Veterans Aid Trauma Through Tattooing

We all know someone who has one. Perhaps they’re always hidden behind clothing or maybe they’re well displayed. The fact is, more and more people have a tattoo and typically they hold a deeper meaning than one would initially suspect.

Tattooing is an art that has been around for thousands of years, long existing as a way of expression, remembrance, and dominance. One of the oldest known tattooed mummies dates to around 3370-3100 BC! It is a human tradition that has transcended time and location. Every part of the world has seen humans with tattooed symbols telling the story of their lives.

It’s a tradition that hasn’t changed. Our tattoos still tell stories of profound personal impact. Each tattoo has some type of expression that tells one’s story and how it evolved over time. And sometimes those tattoos are the keepers of the darkest memories that no one dares forget.

One of the most prolific tattooed groups are our soldiers and veterans. Each mark on their skin, no matter how small, tells a story that has impacted them for a lifetime. Images of battalion names, memorials to loved ones and fallen friends, celebrations of life, expressions of undying love, and reminders of bleak times all dance on the skin with vibrant stories that words can’t quite capture.

Tattoos serve as a reminder of what has made us who we are, as a story told outside of books and papers, as the constant expression of growth and life and this is a fact that our veterans know all too well.

“First off,” states Jonathan Marr as he shares a photo of his tattoo, “still healing so it looks a little crappy and still have to go back for some finishing touches. I chose this one to cover up a horrible decision. This is to honor all those who came before me. It’s dark to symbolize the dark times veterans have both during and after service.” 

Marr isn’t alone in his story. A countless number of people opened up their hearts and lives to share with us the intimate details behind their art. Chris Meeker writes, “Memorial to my wife. We both served in the US Navy for a combined 40 years (her 24, my 16).”  Meeker tells us that his sleeve contains the coordinates of his wife’s burial at sea, the symbolism of how her loss created a tumultuous storm in his life, and the representation of their undying love.

In celebration of our vets and their amazing stories and sacrifices, we are offering exclusive deals on our products with code VET19.

How does a tattoo share your story? While we might not all have a desire to get inked, we all have stories that we would want to carry with us.

Growing Up in Shooting Sports

Not everyone grows up, instantly loving the things their families do. As you start to become your own person you may or may not find joy in all of the family traditions, and that is okay. But sometimes, you find that you do actually love the things that you were once hesitant of.

Here’s a story of just that. One of the GunVault employees decided to open up and share her story about how she got into shooting sports. If you’re nervous about going to the range for the first time, thinking about taking the sport up as a passion, or just want to hear a good story about a fellow shooter, keep reading!

“Growing up I was surrounded by loving parents and siblings who enjoyed anything that involved the outdoors.  We would frequently go camping, hiking and partake in fishing. One of the hobbies my family enjoyed was shooting. But for me, this was one I was always unsure about. I tried to talk myself out of all the hunting and shooting range trips whenever possible at a young age, using excuses like homework and school events. However, with having such a strong father-daughter bond my father never brought my excuses.

My family was very involved in the sports shooting industry. We would attend many competitions where men and women from all over the country would compete. This mesmerized me but frightened me at the same time. As I got older and came into my own, I started to reminisce on the times with my family at the competitions and how excited everyone was. I thought to myself if this is something that is so important to my family, why not make them happy and just finally try it. Little did I know, this would bring me much more happiness than I could have ever thought.

I decided to take a chance and meet my family at the range to watch one of their competitions. While there, I started to spark a conversation with a woman who works at the range about costs, available range times and instructors. She was so relatable, and her story made me feel so comfortable that I signed up to meet her at the range the very next day. I left excited. The feeling of the unknown didn’t scare me anymore it was exhilarating.

Showing up the next day at the range with no one around, just me, the instructor and three different firearms was surreal. I remember the women who was instructing me offering me pointers, different ways to stand and hold the firearms for better comfort and control. I always thought that once you knew how to shoot, you were set and no more work was needed. However, I quickly learned that this is not the case, practice makes perfect. The more I practiced the more comfortable I felt about handling the firearms no matter where I was.

Now six years later, I am still an avid shooter. I take the time to go to the range at least once a week for about an hour to practice. I’ve built a close-knit friend group in the community, both men and women. These are not just friends at the range but ones who have become part of the family. We celebrate holiday, stand by each other in hard times, and celebrate the good things in life, all together. All from a bond built from shooting.

Today I partake in three-gun competitions where I not only compete but instruct others exactly the same way I was instructed six years ago. Shooting sports have become a part of me in so many ways. I love shooting sports because I not only know how to see a gun and not be frightened but I know now how to protect myself.

I hope by sharing my story I can inspire others to embrace the sport and develop a love for it as deep as I did.

See you at the range!”

Getting a Firearm as a Gift

What to Do with Your First Gun

With the holidays a thing of recent past, you may have received a gift you just don’t know what to do with, such as a firearm. If this is you don’t panic. A firearm is a precious gift and we want to share with you the ways to not fear your firearm but to understand it.

Rules of Gun Safety

First things first, enroll in your local gun safety course. This could be through a local shooting range, NRA or even your state game and fish department. This is the most beneficial way for you to feel comfortable with your firearm. Who knows, you could even meet others who have the same interests as you!

In the meantime, you should know the basics:

  • Always treat your firearm as it is loaded
  • Never point your firearm at something you are not willing to destroy
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire
  • Always know what is behind your target

Choose the Right Gun Safe

This could not be more important. You will want to select a gun safe based on the size of your firearm and its purpose. Most guns will come with a cable lock of some sort but you should also have a reliable safe if you have a gun in the home, especially if you have children in your home. If you have a handgun consider  GunVault. We have a wide variety of safes to fit your needs. Our line up includes both biometric and digital safes, safes for the home and for on the go.

Practice, Practice, Practice

The best way to learn is through continuous practice.

Start by setting goals for yourself. It is the first of the year after all so make yourself a New Year’s resolution in relation to your firearm. Maybe that’s you planning to go to the range once a week for the next three months. Or you want to learn how to trap shoot, so signing up for a course would be helpful. There are so many resources at your fingertips through your local shooting ranges or NRA chapters that the opportunities are endless for you to succeed in your goal. Shooting skills won’t come overnight so be sure you continue to practice.

Always remember, be safe with your firearm and don’t be afraid of it. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t hit the target every time.

Holiday Gift Guide

When it comes to gift giving we’ve got you covered. We know it can it be overwhelming finding the perfect gift for each person in your life, so we have put together a Holiday Gift Guide to put your mind at ease.

SpeedVault Biometric

This quick access gun safe is made for the Bond hero in your life. With a sleek design and discreet feel, our fingerprint safe is the ideal gift for anyone that wants to safely, and secretively, store a weapon in their home or office. You think the characters in your favorite action scene are alert and responsive? Wait until you see our biometric fingerprint scanner in combination with the gravity-led dropdown door!

MicroVault Biometric

For the traveler in your life, our MicroVault Biometric Pistol Safe is one of a kind. Ideally for the on the go person, the MicroVault gun safe comes with a steel security cable, allowing for easy attachment to just about any fixed object to ensure safekeeping. The high-strength lock and precise fittings make it virtually impossible to pry open with hand tools.

NanoVault 300

Do you have a jet-setter that is close to you? Maybe for business or maybe for pleasure? We have the perfect, small firearm safe that not only falls within TSA regulations but is compact enough to be placed in a bag, briefcase or under a vehicle seat. This is ideal for home, travel or concealed-weapon permit holders. As always, if traveling with a firearm always visit for all firearm-related air travel requirements.

MultiVault Biometric

Our MultiVault Biometric safe is perfect for the home protector. During stressful situations gaining quick access to your safe is imperative. With the MultiVault Biometric, there is no frustration of remembering a code, as you simply use your fingerprint to open up the safe quickly and quietly. This safe is the smartest and fastest way to store your handguns or valuables.

So, are you ready to pull the trigger and purchase a new GunVault for yourself or someone close to you? Be sure to check out the holiday deals from our retailers!

*Not all promotions and sales available on this page.

Gun Range Safety

Whether you have a new gun or ammo that you can’t wait to try, or maybe it’s your weekly hobby. Going to the shooting range should always be a safe and fun experience. Every range comes with their own set of rules but there are three standard rules that are always applicable when it comes to gun safety and the shooting range.

  1. Keep the gun pointed in a safe direction and away from others
  2. Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot
  3. Keep the gun unloaded until you’re ready to use the firearm

If this is your first time at the shooting range, it’s important to introduce yourself to the Range Safety Officer (RSO). Be sure to tell your RSO that it is your first time at the range, this will allow them to tell you what you need to know before you set up your gear and inform you of any rules that the range has. It’s imperative that you learn the commands used at your range. Compliance with the RSO is mandatory and will keep you and others safe.

Two of the most common range commands are Ceasefire and Commence Firing.

  1. Ceasefires are used whenever all shooting must stop, regardless of reason. There should be no handling of firearms when this is called. Anyone in the shooting range can call a ceasefire. If you aren’t sure if you should call a ceasefire or not, call it! It is better to be safe than sorry. Some possible reasons for you or the RSO to call this would be if someone has accidentally walked too close to the firing area, if someone in the range has become ill, or if it’s time to change or retrieve targets.
  2. Commence Firingis the command given that tells the range attendees that it’s safe to shoot.

Always keep in mind that you are responsible for your own safety and the safety of those around you. If you see that someone isn’t following the rules, you should leave the range and tell the RSO what is going on. Other courteous shooting range manners include not shooting at posts, supports or target frames as they’re expensive to replace as well as leaving the gun range better than you found it. This means cleaning up your firing station or any trash you may see lying around. A fun day at the shooting range happens when you and others put safety and courtesy first!



How To Clean Your Gun

How To Clean Your Gun

Proper inspection and cleaning of your gun will keep it functioning smoothly and firing safely. Due to the small explosion in the chamber every time the trigger gets pulled, residue and sediment get left on the inside of the barrel, which makes it imperative that you take the time to clean it regularly in order to avoid dangerous malfunctions. You should be cleaning your gun after every time you fire it, and especially after a target practice where you fired lots of rounds.

Remember to always clean your gun in a well-ventilated area. Not only does the solvent and lubricant smell foul, but the fumes are noxious and can make you sick so it’s good to have a place with good air circulation when cleaning your guns. Once you have a good place chosen to clean your guns, next is the cleaning tools–aka cleaning kit. Whether you have purchased a pre-assembled cleaning kit from a sporting goods store or you assemble it individually, you will need a few key things in your cleaning supplies.

What you need:

  • Cleaning solvent
  • Lubricant or gun oil
  • A bore brush
  • Cleaning rod
  • A patch holder and patches
  • Flashlight
  • A nylon cleaning brush
  • Cotton swabs
  • Microfiber cloths for polishing

Once you have all of your supplies ready, disassembling your gun before cleaning it is a must–although it is rarely necessary to take a pistol completely apart for anything other than repairs. Only disassemble the gun as much as the manufacturer recommends, check the owner’s manual for instructions to prepare the gun for cleaning. Once you have completed that, you are ready to clean your gun.

Step 1: Cleaning the barrel with the cleaning rod and patches.

Working from the back of the bore if you can, soak the bore (or inside of the barrel) using a cleaning rod, patch holder, and the right size cotton patches for your gun. If you are unable to work from the back of the bore, use a muzzle guard–this keeps the cleaning rod from banging against the muzzle, which can cause your gun to malfunction.

–To thoroughly clean the barrel out, push a solvent soaked patch through the bore until it exits the other end and remove the patch. Don’t pull the patch back through because that will redeposit all the gunk you just cleaned off.

Step 2: Alternate the bore brush and patches.

This will thoroughly scrub the barrel. Remove the patch holder and attach the bore brush, run the bore brush back and forth along the full length of the bore 3-4 times to loosen any debris. Then, reattach the patch holder and run solvent soaked cotton patches through the bore, removing them when they have exited the front. Continue repeating this process until a patch comes out clean. We recommend running one more dry patch through to dry it out and inspect closely for any missed build-up.

Step 3: Lubricate the barrel.

Attach the cotton mop to the cleaning rod and apply a few drops of gun conditioner or lubricant to the cotton mop. Run the cotton mop through the bore to leave a light coating of gun oil on the inside.

Step 4: Use solvent to clean and lubricate the action.

Apply solvent to the gun brush and brush all parts of the action, make sure to wipe them dry with a clean cloth. Next, lightly lubricate the moving parts of the action (a light coating helps prevent rust, a heavy coating attracts debris).

And, voila! You are finished! Now just make sure to wipe down the rest of your gun! We recommend a luster cloth (a flannel cloth that comes pretreated with a silicon lubricant), this will remove any leftover debris as well as add shine! Although if you don’t have a particular cloth designated for cleaning your gun(s), old shirts and socks work really well too.

What the “AR” in “AR-15” Really Stands For

Facts about the Second Amendment

 United states constitution
We learned them in grade school, but we don’t give the Bill of Rights much consideration and how it affects us today. Consider the Second Amendment, for example. You might know that the amendment protects our right to bear arms, but do you know why it was created or when? Probably not. Looking to test your knowledge on the second amendment? Take our quiz and see how much you really know!

Here are some facts so you can spruce up what you know about the second amendment:

  • There has been some controversy over whether or not individuals should have the right to bear arms even if they are not in service to the nation (i.e. in the army), but, in 2001, the federal court ruled that individuals can indeed “privately possess” their own firearms.
  • James Madison was the primary author of the Bill of Rights and was known as the “Father of the Constitution” because of his extensive work in creating it and writing papers to encourage its ratification.
  • The Bill of Rights was drafted in 1789
  • The Second Amendment was largely included originally because there was no trained army and the nation depended on the aptitude of its citizens when the time for war came.
  • John Adams began the establishment of a trained militia when he created the professional navy.

Our country is governed by a document that is over two hundred years old, and still it functions. And, thanks to the Bill of Rights, we are able to maintain our ways of life. As responsible citizens, we should know important facts about the Constitution and its amendments.

For all those who exercise the right to bear arms, be sure that you are taking proper care of your firearms by storing them in a secured gun safe. Have any questions or looking for the reliable safe to protect your family? Contact GunVault today!

The History of Firearms in Law Enforcement

A means of defense and a way to enforce the law have always been an important part of being a policeman. Take a look back at the history of firearms in the different factions of law enforcement, and how it has changed over the years. Compared to the advanced firearms that are used today, the earliest forms of weapons seem too simple to have been of much use.

Moves to Standardize

Right until the end of the 19th century, police weapons in the United States were in no way standardized. Instead of issuing each officer a firearm, they were required to use whatever weapons they happened to personally own. Because of this, there was a wide assortment of weapons used including shotguns, revolvers, and muskets. During this time there wasn’t a budget for not only weapons, but the training as well.

The first city to standardize the weapons used by their law enforcement was New York City. In 1896 Theodore Roosevelt was the police commissioner who made the change. He recognized that by standardizing the weapons used, he could do the same to both the ammunition and training, thus making it easier for officers to get the tools they needed. With this in mind he invested in 4,500 Colt Police Revolvers.

City to City

Today the weapons in the police force are not standardized all across the board, but differ between the different entities. Each city’s or faction’s law enforcement will have different weapons in their use. Most of these are Glock pistols which are semi-automatic, short recoil operated, and polymer-framed. The move towards other factions becoming standardized began in the early 1900s.

Each region seems to choose different calibers. In the Northern United States it is more likely you will see the .38 Special, while in the South, it is much more common for larger caliber revolvers to be used by law enforcement.

Each decade seemed to bring more changes of what was popular. As firearm technology improved, preferences changed. In the 1960s semi-automatic pistols gained popularity across police forces in the United States. This is especially important for police officers in urban areas where crime rates are higher, giving them more firepower than before.

Over the years the weapons used by police officers have changed. These changes have been dictated by safety, ease of training, and use. As firearm technology improves, changes will be made within cities as to which guns are used in different situations.

Understanding Common Gun Malfunctions

Guns, like any other piece of mechanical equipment, are prone to malfunction. Guns are susceptible to jamming or misfiring–both defined as a partial or complete failure of the gun to function as designed. These malfunctions can be temporary, harmless events or dangerous instances where injury occurs and the gun is permanently damaged. Understanding common firearm malfunctions and why these situations occur is an important aspect of gun ownership. Improper maintenance and user negligence are the two principal reasons for gun malfunctions, and these malfunctions can be grouped into two types: mechanical malfunctions and cartridge malfunctions. Here are a few of the most common ways in which guns malfunction.

Dud Rounds


This is a common reason for misfires in guns of any variety. Basically, dud rounds consist of a failure to discharge due to malfunctions in the primer or powder. This malfunction causes the round to fail to discharge from the gun. These are typically fairly minor forms of malfunction in guns and require that the round be removed. Always dispose of the dud round since it can still pose a risk if reused.

Incomplete Discharge


Incomplete discharges occur when the round fails to exit the gun barrel and becomes lodged inside of it. These malfunctions are some of the most dangerous since the gun could actually explode. When the round does not carry enough force to fully exit the gun, the discharge is considered incomplete. Additional rounds that are fired when this occurs can strike the lodged round and cause a total weapon failure. This could ultimately injure the shooter or those in the vicinity. Incomplete discharges can occur as a result of any obstruction in the barrel, round or otherwise.

Delayed Discharge


When there is a delay in the triggering action of the gun and the ignition of the propellant, delayed discharges can occur. These malfunctions are risky and can easily lead to accidents if handled improperly or by an inexperienced shooter. Guns that fail to fire but haven’t totally malfunctioned should be treated as delayed discharges. Keep the gun pointed downrange for a couple minutes before removing and disposing the round. There is a risk that the round could explode outside of the gun and cause injuries from fragmentation.

Failure to Feed and Eject


These are each common malfunctions that can damage a weapon or potentially lead to injury. A failure to feed occurs when round is not fed into the firing chamber. A failure to eject occurs when the empty cartridge or the fired round fails to clear the ejection port of the gun. This often occurs in self-loading, semi-automatic pistols where the cartridge becomes lodged in the slide of the gun. These can be mechanical malfunctions or a result of negligence in cleaning, inspecting, and loading a gun.

Hammer Follow and Slamfire


When the firing mechanism of a gun functions faster than designed, a hammer follow occurs. This occurs when the hammer follows the bolt and pin in battery as a result of the disconnector. A slamfire occurs when a round is unintendedly discharged as it is being loaded into the chamber. This is a dangerous malfunction since the round discharges while being loaded. Carefully inspecting and maintaining your gun and ammunition and exercising care when loading and firing the gun are critical for safety and avoiding preventable mechanical malfunctions.

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