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.

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.

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.

How Do Self Healing Targets Work?

Self-healing targets are the latest technology in the gun target industry. You can fire well over 1,000 rounds at one target and it will remain intact with zero to minimal damage. So you are probably asking yourself, “How do self-healing targets really work?”  Keep reading to find out.


The Material

The magic behind the self-healing target is all about the material. Although most manufacturers aren’t open about the proprietary material they use to create self-healing targets, it is known that they are made out of a durable yet flexible polymeric material.

The flexibility of the material allows for a bullet to enter then immediately contract as the bullet passes through the target. The bullet passes straight through the target and the friction and heat created by the shot allows for the material to close and reseal itself. This lets it keep its shape and durability.

Depending on the types of ammo and calibers that are being used as well as other factors such as the distance and size of the target, one self-healing target can be shot up to 10,000 times.


Tracks Accuracy

Many think that it would be impossible to track the accuracy of your shot with a self-healing target since the bullet goes all the way through the target then reseals. However, if you want to see the accuracy and exact location of your shot, you are able to do so because the shot leaves behind a burn that marks the precise location of the shot.


Safer than Steel

Safety is another issue that gets brought up regarding self-healing targets. Some believe that the bullet will ricochet off of the target because the material has an elastic consistency but this is not true. In fact, self-healing targets are a safer alternative to steel targets as they do not splatter lead like steel targets do.



Self-healing targets are a safe, fun, and new way to practice your shot whether you are using a BB gun or .55 caliber. There are several different types and sizes of self-healing targets to choose from to give you an exciting shooting experience.

Always remember that proper firearm handling and shooting range etiquette is absolutely crucial at all times to ensure your safety and the safety of others.

Types of Gun Sights

Iron and optical sights are used on firearms, telescopes, and crossbows to increase aim. Within firearms, there are different types of sights depending on the weapon you are using. Become familiar with these for the firearm of your choice. Learning these different types of sights will give you a better understanding of how they function, and how to best utilize them when using your firearm.

Simple Sights

These types of sights are more basic than other sights that may be used. They are the sights referred to as iron sights. In most cases, they will consist of two parts, a front aiming piece that is lined up with another at the rear. These types of sights are common with handguns, although they are also present on rifles as well.


When used on firearms, this type of sight will generally be created by two rugged metal parts. Although they are normally built into the firearm, they can be adjusted or fixed when factors such as elevation, target speed, and wind speed are relevant. There are two different types, open sight and closed sight, both of which take time to master.

Optical Sights

These types of sights are more advanced, using optics to allow the user to see a magnified image of the target. This also includes a reticle, which is the target crosshairs that many people have come to associate with what a sight is. These crosshairs are used to indicate exactly where the firearm is lined up, and the target you are shooting. Within the classification of optical sights, there are two main groups:

  • Telescopic sights – these have a graphic image pattern reticle placed in a position that gives the most optimal aim. These are used on firearms, as well as surveying equipment and some bigger telescopes.


  • Reflector sights – these will be non-magnifying sight that shows an aiming point over the target. The idea behind this sight first originated from an Irish optical designer in 1900, and progressed from there. They were heavily used in World War II and the technology only further progressed over time making this a more viable option.


Find out which sight works best for your needs, and invest in a firearm that uses it. There are many different types when it comes to firearm sights, especially those that are optical. Learn the differences in your weapon before making any major decisions. By doing this, you can learn how to better use these sights to improve your accuracy. For more questions or to purchase a reliable safe contact GunVault at (800) 242-1055.

Tips for Properly Storing Ammo

Proper ammunition storage is as important as properly storing the guns that fire it. The care and maintenance of your ammunition will, in part, determine the functioning of your gun. Neglecting to safeguard ammunition is not only a waste of money, it can be hazardous as the likelihood of malfunction and serious deterioration increases. Just like proper weapon maintenance ensures proper functioning, properly storing and maintaining your ammo will help ensure weapon functionality. Taking basic steps to store your ammo is the right conditions will help preserve it and keep it in good order when it comes time to use it in a gun. Here are a few ammo storage tips.

Humidity Control


Humid temperatures can be a primary cause of deterioration of ammunition. Excessive moisture reacting with brass casings and primer can lead to corrosion and the ammo being rendered unsafe to fire. When storing ammo, make sure that humidity levels are low. Storing ammo in an airtight ammo can be a good option if you have large quantities susceptible to trapped humidity in packaging. Keeping your ammo stored in a gun safe uncovered for a few days can help extract excess moisture and prime it. Make sure there is no moisture in ammo cans before sealing and storing the ammo. For long term storage, consider using a dehumidifier and desiccant packets to keep the ammo in good condition.

Label & Rotate Ammo


When you purchase ammo, label it in containers with the date of purchase. When selecting ammo for use, be sure to use the oldest ammo first to keep the stock rotating efficiently. For optimal performance try to keep ammo stores as fresh as possible. To avoid having to deal with the storage of large quantities of ammo, buy less, date the containers, and use the oldest ammo first. Another housekeeping detail for ammo storage is to mark all of the containers with the caliber of ammo in order to keep different calibers separate. This is meant for safety and effective organization of your ammo supplies. Finally, perform seasonal ammo checks to verify that the ammo is in good condition and replace any that appears deficient.

Secure Storage


Treat the storage of your ammo like you treat the storage of your guns. Keeping ammo in a secure gun safe environment will ensure that the ammo is protected from tampering and from humidity. Many gun vaults are temperature controlled environments and ideal places to keep ammo. Be sure to use an air tight ammo can for increased temperature control. The same precautions and responsibilities that come with being a gun owner extend to ammunition. Keeping live ammo under lock and away from children, pets, and harsh environments is an exercise is responsible ownership.

For a safe place to store your ammunition or firearms contact GunVault to find the perfect fit. We offer a variety of gun safes and are here ready to answer any of your questions. Give us a call today at (800) 242-1055 to secure your valuable items!

Types of Ammunition

Ammunition can be an intimidating subject if you are not knowledgeable in the firearm department. Selecting the right ammunition for your firearms whether for hunting or personal defense is an important decision. Having the proper ammunition is necessary to keeping your firearm safe while having optimal performance. This topic can be overwhelming and confusing but we have simplified it for you.

Ammunition is general indicated in a measurement. The United States commercial market uses a U.S standard measurement while most of the world uses a metric system. The measurements in metric are almost always a “diameter to length” ratio. For example: 5.56x45mm is 5.56mm wide and 45mm long. Shotshells are measured in “gauge”, with a lower number being a larger in diameter. For Example: A typical 12 gauge shell is 70mm long, which works out to be 2½”.

Parts of a Cartridge

A cartridge is made up of four components: case, primer, powder/propellant, and projectile.

  1. Case
    The case is typically made from brass, nickel, or steel.
  2. Primer
    This is the ignition for the propellent, see the round dimple on the base of the cartridge.
  3. Powder/Propellant
    This is the gunpowder.
  4. Projectile
    This is the only part of the cartridge that is the actual bullet.

Types of Bullets

Bullets come in a variety of types that are used for different purposes. Each bullet is commonly referred to by it’s suffixed acronym making The different types of bullets are listed and pictured below.

  • Lead Round Nose (LRN)
  • Wad Cutter (WC)
  • Semi Wad Cutter (SWC)
  • Semi-Jacketed (SJ)
  • Full Metal Jacket (FMJ)
  • Semi-Jacketed Hollow Point (SJHP)
  • Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP)
  • Special (RCBD)

Along with the most common bullets there are a few additional types to consider:

Soft Point (SP): The tip of this bullet is exposed lead.
Armor Piercing (AP): The core is composed of alloy instead of lead.
Boat Tail (BT): The rear end of the cartridge is tapered to stabilize the projectile in flight.
Boat Tail Hollow Point (BTHP): This is a combination of the boat tail and hollow point features.

If you are new to owning firearms don’t hesitate to ask questions when purchasing your ammunition. Unless you have a fairly uncommon firearm, it should be simple to get the ammo you need. Just as it’s important to use the right ammunition for your firearms, it’s also important to store your gun in a safe place. For more information on ammunition or gun safes contact GunVault at 800-242-1055 or online.

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