Gear Review: Magna-Arm Magnetic Holster

Securing a gun in your home can be ridiculously easy or frustratingly difficult, depending on a couple of factors – how many people are in the home, how secure is your exterior, and how much traffic do you get inside the home for starters. And there are no easy answers. Gun safes are secure, but make your guns largely inaccessible. Leaving your guns at arm’s reach is convenient, but leaves them accessible to children and anybody who might want to take a five-finger discount on your guns and possessions. What’s a gun owner to do? One innovative idea is “better living through magnetism” with magnetic holsters from Magna-Arm Firearm Concealment.

Magnets. Simple idea. Even polymer guns have ferrous metal slides and barrels, so there’s always enough there to stick a magnet to. And magnets have come a long way since the little horseshoe-shaped toys of our youth. But will they work to secure a firearm without A) damaging the gun or B) risking the magnet losing its grip? Well…it depends. It depends on the magnet, how it’s surface is shielded fromt the gun, and how the magnet is secured to whatever surface you want to store the gun against. Enter Magna-Arm.

Magna-Arm uses some fairly high-powered magnets (strong enough that you really don’t want them near credit cards or expensive watches) covered is a durable rubberized material. They are designed to be affixed with two, flat-head wood screws (included) to a wall, bed frame, the underside of a desk, or an automobile console. Once secured, place your gun near the magnet, and it will stay until you pull it off. Simple as that. For larger/heavier weapons (shotguns, ARs, etc.), the manufacturer recommends two magnets. I tested this idea with my Wingmaster 870. One magnet will hold the shotgun, but two holds it securely. The rubberized surface of the unit prevented any marring or scratching of my gun’s finishes. And the units themselves are sturdy-looking, if a bit, um…ugly.

Magna-Arm’s product would would be ideal to allow you to secure a gun under a desk, behind a headboard, or inside a closet. My favorite idea would be to secure a shotgun or rifle over the inside of a closet door. That position affords instant, easy access, but it’s not someplace that most people would think to look, even if you are the victim of a burglary. It also keeps the gun out-of-reach of children young enough to be tempted to play with a firearm. Is that sufficient protection for your kids. No. But it a world of risk-assessment, it may well be a risk you’re willing to take, when you try and balance a need to have your defensive tools accessible, versus keeping children safe.

 

Speaking of safety, the disclaimer included is…um…obviously the product of an over-zealous attorney. The entire point of having a gun mounted conveniently nearby is to keep it loaded and ready for action. If you were to follow the admonitions on this scrap of paper, you might as well put your gun in a safe.

Using magnets for holsters is not a idea unique to Magna-Arm. There are a number of companies out there making similar products. (In fact, YouTube features at least one video showing how you can roll your own.) However, there are some advantages to a “buy” over a “build” solution, namely the protective, rubberized coating Magna-Arm uses, as well as their “mushroom cap” design, which allows for a 306º swivel. What’s impressive about Magna-Arm’s design, is that they have a hard plastic coating on the plate and sides of the magnet, but a malleable coating on the business end, giving you the best of both worlds. Because the magnet is raised, you don’t have to worry that securing the gun along the top of the slide, for instance, would cause a problem with your adjustable sights.


If you were to build your own magnetic holster, you’d spend $10 or so on high-powered magnets, another $5 or so on heat-shrink tubing, and probably that much on a wood or plastic strip and some screws. Depending on what your time is worth, you’d spend another half-hour or so assembling the materials you need and making them. Given that, it’s hard to justify not paying the $24 per unit, and getting a magnetic holster that won’t scratch your gun’s finish and will work in just about any kind of mounting scenario you might have. When you look at the design smarts and quality of workmanship on the Magna-Arms product, it’s an easy decision.

Given a choice between a gun safe and storing my guns out of sight (and out of kid’s reach), I think the Magna-Arm solution looks pretty good.

Product: Magna-Arm magnetic firearm concealment
Manufacturer: Predator Shooting Products
Available through: www.predatorshootingproducts.com/Magna-Arm_Dealers.html
MSRP: $24.00
Website: www.magna-arms.com

RATINGS ( 1 to 5 stars. Or asterisks. Who are we kidding?)

Quality: * * * * * – well designed and well made.
Installation: * * * * * – If you can use a screwdriver, you’re good to go.
Mounting: * * * – If wood screws won’t work for you, you’re on your own.
Functionality: * * * * * – It works. It’s flexible. What more could you want?
Value: * * * * * – It’s worth the bucks, when all is said and done.
Looks: * – I’ve seen oil refineries with more style. Then again, who’s gonna look?