The point of a home defense shotgun is having an effective long gun that you can quickly get into a fight and put a two- or four-legged intruder down. A 3-inch slug will do for black bears and grizzlies at close range and I’ve been informed that 12-gauge pumps are popular bear guns loaded when loaded with Brenneke and other heavy slugs.
However, the point of a home defense gun is to be on hand in case you need it NOW. A safe is too cumbersome, unless you live in a panic room. What, then, to do? You obviously can’t leave it out for just anyone to find and you certainly don’t for little ones to have access.
Here are a few solid options. They may not be perfect, but they’ll work and keep your scattergun handy.
One stellar option is to use concealment furniture. A number of companies have make furniture with hidden compartments for storing firearms, including long guns. While they don’t lock as securely as a safe, they hide guns very well.
Some pieces are clearly more intended as decor, which is fine, but if you’re sound asleep and someone tries to break in…that clever piece in the living room is closer to them than it is to you. While you could stash home defense shotguns in multiple rooms, be sure to keep one in the bedroom.
Therefore, you need practical furniture. Look for a dresser, chest of drawers, bed, or armoire. That gives you the best of both worlds, as you get a functional piece of furniture AND a good stealthy place to stash your home defense shotgun.
However, be prepared because gun concealment furniture options are NOT cheap.
For instance, the Hidden Gun Storage Shelf by Liberty Home Concealment:
It’s a wooden bookshelf which could double as an entertainment stand if you keep a TV in your bedroom. It also has two slide-out compartments that can hold long guns up to 46 inches long, though custom orders can be had as well.
It’s available in 8 finishes or can be had unfinished, if you’d like to finish it yourself. Unfortunately, the unfinished model doesn’t discount the $1,250 price tag.
Another good example is the Fluted Cherry Dresser by NJ Conceal.
It has a side compartment that stashes a long arm up to 48 inches tall, but you can get it customized for other dimensions if you like. Six finishes are available and you can even add LED lights or a locking mechanism – RFID or magnetic – for an upcharge.
It’s actually a beautiful piece, and at $1,595 it had better be. Granted, it rightly should be called a chest of drawers – dressers are usually horizontal; chests of drawers are vertical – but what’s in a name?
Top Secret Furniture is another maker of clever concealment furniture.
A solid choice from their offerings is their Top Gun Dresser, which actually IS a dresser (wide, rather than tall) at 50 inches wide. The compartment stores long guns up to 44 ½” wide.
A lock is standard, and you have your choice of a magnetic or wireless system with a 15-foot range for the remote. They offer different woods; cherry, oak, standard and knotty alder are standard options with walnut being available for presumably a hell of a lot more money, with more than a dozen choices of stain.
If I won the Powerball, I’d probably get it in walnut with a tung oil finish. The base price is $2,299 before options.
But what if you aren’t super rich or otherwise don’t want to go broke getting something to stash a shotgun in?
A decent cost-effective option is to get a standard gun cabinet that will stow in a closet. Pick a model with a fast-action lock (key-operated is best for quick access, but biometric isn’t bad either).
As it happens, Stack-On makes just such a product: their 8 Gun Security Cabinet.
At 17 inches wide by 11.25 inches deep by 53 inches tall, with a shelf for pistols and/or ammunition, you can easily store a shotgun or either. It’s available in black or green, and in basic black retails for $115 from Stack-On.
The hitch is some assembly is required. You’ll want to anchor the cabinet to the floor or wall (or both) as it isn’t too difficult to lift and carry. If you get a keyed cabinet, you have to know where the keys are at all times. You’ll have to keep them out of the reach of children. You also have to be in a position to get into the cabinet in a hurry.
Cabinets are fine for basic storage, but they’re inadequate compared to serious gun safes – there’s no fire protection, the keyed lock can be punched. But the point is it’s inexpensive, and can be effective enough to keep kids away from your home defense firearm.
Perfect? Of course not. But it’s cheap, and it can work.
Like the idea but want something a little more attractive? There’s the American Furniture Classics 8 Gun Cabinet. Instead of flat-pack steel, it’s made of good-looking wood with a glass door. The door locks, and so do the two accessory drawers and runs about $250.
However, this presents some of the same issues as the Stack-On. Assembly is required. It’s not as secure as a standard safe, and the same ideas apply regarding the keys. It is also not going to fit in many closets as the exterior height is 71 inches. (Overall dimensions are 71″ H by 29″ W by 13″ D.) And that glass front won’t do much to stop a burglar.
With that said, it’s nice looking enough to not hide.
Fast Access Safes
That brings us to “fast-access “safes for your home defense shotgun. These come in a few different varieties, but they all have some features in common.
Some are designed as under-the-bed units, some are upright, and there are wall-mounted units. Almost all fast-access safes feature a more complex lock than a simple barrel lock and key, though a few have those as a backup. Biometric and RFID locks are quite common, though a few are out there with push-button or other mechanisms.
One example is the SnapSafe Under Bed Safe.
This under-the-bed safe is basically a flat locker with a digital lock for quick access, which can be programmed with a 3- to 8-digit code. You can choose a regular or XXL size model.
Dimensions are 40″ W by 6″ H by 22″D for the standard model (so a full-size shotgun wouldn’t fit) and 48″ W by 7″ H by 24″ D for the XXL, though that’s wide enough for storing a gun with tactical furniture, a light and a red dot provided OAL is within those specs. It also includes a 5-foot steel cable if you wish to anchor it.
Opt for the XXL model; the standard version will barely fit a shotgun with an 18-inch barrel.
It’s a bit pricier at $307 MSRP, but it’s a solid (150 lbs for the XXL model) fast-ish access safe that won’t be going anywhere once you’ve got it. Just be aware you’ve also got to be able to dive under the bed and punch in a combination in a hurry…potentially in the dark.
Wall-mounted fast-access safes offer some of the quickest access. One such product is the ShotLock Solo-Vault.
You can choose the shotgun 200M – which has a mechanical push-button combination lock – or the 200E (pictured) which has an electronic lock. Both have a barrel lock as a backup, in case you forget your combination or the electronic lock fails…so long as you have your key.
The ShotLock Solo-Vault – and similar products by other manufacturers – essentially secure the receiver inside the locked box. It is, of course, a best practice to mount the safe to wall studs for the most secure connection. Use is pretty simple, in that you unlock, grab and go, but this does present a few issues.
First, you have a gun on your wall and not everyone will want that. Significant others don’t always take kindly to storing a loaded weapon on the wall. Stored inside a closet, you can keep it out of sight…so long as you can get to it in a hurry.
Another issue is the Solo-Vault is fairly light, at just under 5 lbs. I’m not saying it would be easy, but it isn’t inconceivable for a burglar to be able to rip it off the wall.
Ultimately, these three storage methods – concealment furniture, gun cabinets and fast-access safes – all have their own benefits and drawbacks. You have to make your own choices to fit your needs when it comes to storing your home defense shotgun.
Have a different idea for storing your home defense shotgun? Is there another product you felt I should have mentioned? Looking forward to football season? Just angry and need to vent? Sound off in the comments.
With no children in the house, I just use a drawer…..
With “no children in the house”, why use anything at all…???
What home defense shotgun? Some of those would be pretty cool for a rifle though.
The pic at the top piqued a question –
If solo at an outdoor public range, say a 100 yard rifle range, how do you secure your weapons during the long walk to the target and back? I have just been loading them back in my vehicle, but now I wonder if I’m inviting a rock through the window…
The range I used frequent, you could only go down range during certain intervals. And the range-master stayed behind to ensure no one got crazy and started slinging lead.
Seemed like a reasonable enough solution to me. But not all ranges are set up that way.
Just sling it and take it with you downrange. If that’s too heavy, and you’re worried about a bad guy or idiot launching lead downrange, take just the bolt or barrel. If you’re also worried about theft, a cable lock through the action and attached to the bench will stop most casual attacks.
Geoff, that’s a damn good question. Back in the day when I used a public range in the national forest two of us went. One stayed with the weapons while the other walked down range. Weapons on the bench were unloaded. Handguns on our hips were.
No kids or stupid people in the house, leave it on the dresser or the desk.
Arc, when you leave the house, do you lock it up? Not criticizing, just wondering about different approaches to gun storage and readiness.
I do the same thing. My nightstand guns stays there unsecured all day. My carry gun stays with me. Everything else is in a safe. It’s a very safe neighborhood but If someone breaks in they win the nightstand gun. Any bedside safe is trivially easy to remove and I’m not going to open and close the main safe every morning.
I’d criticize if they left it in the drawer. That’s irresponsible. If Someone breaks in, and steals it from you, you could be charged with a failure to secure.
“charged with a failure to secure”?
First of all that’s not a thing in most free states unless its some act of gross negligence.
Second, Its in my locked house, not laying on my driveway. If there’s even a chance any kids will be in my house (hasn’t happened yet in 2 years) I would put it the nightstand gun in the safe.
I’m unemployed, I haven’t left the house in months and usually family do the store runs. I haven’t left the house in about three months.
Unemployed != doing nothing, working on a business in the back yard.
FML for trying to write comments fresh out of bed. Did I mention I just crawled out of the bed?
I got one of those gun magnets and put an AR behind a curtain in the bedroom. No kids.
Yup. I just got some of the magnets as well. Considering mounting them underneath my nightstand for my handgun.
An AR is almost all aluminum and plastic besides the barrel and BCG. Do you hang it by the barrel? Just wondering.
Right now, my Remington 870 is mounted to a wall with a simple pad lock wall mount. Since I carry a Glock 43 even around the house (I work from home) and keep it by the bed while I sleep, it will be my first grab in a home defense situation. I would have to go down the hall, into another room to unlock and grab my shotgun. My Glock 17 is is in that same room. Maybe I should re-think all of that.
BTW, no children in the household.
Sounds like you and I like the same guns.
Haz, you are a man of fine taste and judgement.
Queue the anti-Glock crowd.
Life, 1911 man my whole life. Still am. Glock 22 w/Hienie Straight Eight night sights and TLR on the rail next to the bed. Full confidence in the weapon. Besides, if someone broke in and stole a 1911 I’d be really pissed. A Glock? Eh.
Colon carry, only way to be certain…
Clean your weapon often? LOL!!
Well i see the weekendgunnit autists are migrating from reddit.
Simmer down, chief, I’ve been making ass jokes around here for years… don’t go having a prison flash back on me.
“Storing your firearms in an inconspicuous, unassuming way against unexpected late night red flag raids”
Fixed it for you.
… and that is why they would basically need to take my house appart to find all my guns. Whomever gets the house after I die is going to have one hell of a scavenger hunt.
hmmmm…..you make me think I need more guns, PWRSERGE. Not sure how many is sufficient.
Do you know where they all are?
There are some advantages to being a near-eidetic polymath.
I’ve had lots of bad mojo with biometric locks due to my huge paws. I suggest testing this type of lock before purchase.
Bio locks are never a good idea. The dont work when your finger is oily, cut, dirty, bloody, etc.
The only shotgun slug I would trust against a grizzly or other dangerous game is the 870 grain hard lead slug from Dixie Slugs.
Mossberg Persuader (retro) in the bedroom corner behind the door. Glock 19 in the nightstand drawer. Ruger .357 in a kitchen drawer. S&W Bodyguard .380 in my pocket, or in the chest of drawers caddy. Wife good with all of the above, plus the Ruger LCR .38 in her own bedside table. Remmy 870 in the closet. Safe full. Six dogs. Security cams. Home a quarter mile off the road.
Call it good.
I’m going to disguise mine to look like a fishing pole. Kinda like this one
If nothing else fast forward to near the end. He adds a skylight to the room.
The hidden shelves that fold down…. can they actually fold down if you have items on the shelves?
If the items must be short, the whole thing looks ridiculous.
Another option is the Hornady under bed gun safe/cabinet that can open with either RFID (bracelet, sticker, keychain fob all included), keypad code, or metal key. It seems very solidly made, plugs in to an AC outlet but has battery backup, can be kept vertical or horizontal and comes with a system to lock to bedframe.
I keep my pistols and shockwave in it, and it works very reliably. Costs about 150 dollars on Amazon.
Dumb. F’ing dumb. If you’re worried, put it on the top shelf of your bedroom closet so the kids don’t get it and also don’t see it. I saved you $1250 on dumbass furniture. You can thank me later.
“Dumb. F’ing dumb. If you’re worried, put it on the top shelf of your bedroom closet so the kids don’t get it and also don’t see it.”
Because children don’t get into things and won’t pull out a chair or climb?
Have you ever meet any children?
My kids are all trained to use the various guns that are staged, and are responsible enough to know when to use them.
They have earned my trust, and I’m damn sure that Jesus walks with them 😉
nice advertisements… hope you got paid