Safety Tips

Home/Safety Tips

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!



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.

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!

Tips For Long Term Gun Storage

The days of burying your guns are over my friends, hiding your firearms off-site is useless if there is an emergency and downgrades the quality of your gun. In this day and age there are ways to store your guns that keep you and your family safe while maintaining the integrity of your firearms. When it comes to proper storage the most important things is preparation and where you store it. There are three main reasons proper long term gun storage is important:
1. Protecting family, keeping guns stored securely so children cannot access them.
2. Protecting guns, keeping them nice.
3. Keeping them secure from thieves but available in case of break-ins.

Pretreat your Firearms

1. Break Down Your Gun as much as you can.
2. Keep Gun Decocked this relieves tension in the springs and other parts of the gun.
3. Remove All Fingerprints from the gun. Residue left behind can affect the quality of the gun over time.
4. Clean Your Gun Completely. Copper, lead and plastic will all attract moisture so cleaning your gun with an ammonia-free cleaner will help keep it dry.
5. Thoroughly Clean Out The Bore of your gun and then apply a very thin layer of lubrication. Also apply a thin layer to other exposed metal on the gun. This creates a thin coating that protects and seals the surface while in storage.
6. Treat Wood Stocks With Wax to prevent any swelling or cracking from occurring. Don’t forget to wax the inside of the stock, it’s all important!

**Continue to check your stored firearms periodically, especially if living in a humid climate. Be sure to re-oil if necessary.

Pretreat your Storage Area

The first thing you need to do is make sure that you have a safe and reliable storage area. A Gun Vault is a great storage option that will protect and secure your firearms. Here are storage tips to avoid and actions to take.
1. Gun Safe this is the most secure option for storing your guns while keeping them readily accessible. Protected interior keeps your firearm from rust, dirt, and moisture if stored properly. Safe can be opened by key, code, or fingerprints.
2. Use a Silicon-Treated Gun Sock the silicon protects your firearm from rust and moisture getting in while the thick fabric protects against any scratches and dirt.
3. Gun Storage Bags protect your gun from rust, dust and corrosion for years.
4. Use Desiccant or a Dehumidifier inside of the gun storage location to prevent moisture from rusting and cracking your guns.
5. Store your long guns barrel down so no oil can seep into the stock or other parts of the gun.
1. Sheep-Skin Lined Cases these attract moisture which can cause the rusting process to begin within 24 hours. Not only does moisture create rust but with too much exposure it can cause your stock to crack.
2. Gun’s Original Box or any cardboard box, these become very weak over time and alert anyone and everyone of what is being stored. Similar to the sheep-skin these also attract moisture and threaten the longevity and quality of your gun.

If you’re ready to switch to a safe, more secure, and easily accessible method of gun storage consider a Gun Vault safe today.

Call Today (800) 242-1055 or contact Gun Vault online.

Hurricane Preparedness Tips

Hurricane Preparedness Tips 


1. Share evacuation plans with family members so they know where you’re headed.
2. Run ice makers on overdrive now! Fill up freezer bags with ice and fill as much space in between your freezer items as you can.
3. Freeze tap water for pets, cleaning or drinking in Tupperware-type containers. REMEMBER to leave a small bit of space between the top of the water & the lids so the ice expands but doesn’t crack the container.
4. Fill up all vehicles with gas, check tires & oil.
5. Retrieve cash from ATM, enough to get you through highway tolls and gas fill-ups for out of town trips. Call your bank if you leaving the state so they don’t freeze your card for out-of-area “suspicious” transactions.
6. Make sure all important documents, heirlooms & photos are in your safe. For extra security, put them in a waterproof, plastic.
7. If you aren’t comfortable leaving these items behind, take screenshots of all important documents and email them to yourself. Take the originals with you in a sealed bag or plastic, waterproof bin.
8. Don’t forget about your furry friends. Be prepared with food & supplies for your pet or livestock. Take vet records with you in case you need to shelter them at a storm-safe facility.
10. Put old rags & beach towels on your windowsills. Even with the best windows & shutters, water seeping from the wind pressure happens. A few damp towels are better than soaked drywall or floors!
11. Shutter your windows and doors and bring everything outside into your garage or house as soon as possible. Do not wait until the day before. Better to get done early and relax than wait until it’s too late, ESPECIALLY if you are mandatory personal (hospital employee or first responder).

Best Places to Conceal Your Concealed Weapon

If you are the owner of both a gun and a concealed weapons permit, you may be wondering where the best locations are to conceal your weapon while on the go. Since most state laws mandate that your weapon be concealed if it is on your person, thinking about the best places to conceal the weapon is important to remain both comfortable and in compliance with the law. Often backpacks and handbags are the ideal places to conceal a weapon, but there are good places on your person to carry a weapon as well. The most important thing to consider when carrying a concealed weapon is, of course, to keep it concealed, but you also want to keep the weapon accessible. Here are a few effective places to keep your weapon while in transit.

Ankle Holsters

Carrying a weapon around your ankle is a great place to conceal the gun while still preserving easy access. Ankle holsters are virtually unnoticeable and effectively hide your gun from view. The primary downside to these types of holsters is that you are limited in the size of gun you can carry. Smaller caliber guns that fit easily around the ankle are the most plausible options for concealed weapons in this area.

Shoulder Holsters

Shoulder holsters are a great option to conceal a weapon beneath a jacket or coat. These types of holsters typically allow you to carry a larger caliber gun since the holsters can come in larger sizes and accommodate more space than ankle holsters. These types of holsters may be more noticeable than holsters elsewhere on the body, but can usually be effectively concealed beneath the right type of clothing.


Concealing your weapon in a backpack is a good way to keep it hidden during transport. While you sacrifice some accessibility in the backpack, the gun is effectively stowed and guarded. Having a dedicated compartment to keep the gun during transport will also help ensure that the gun is safe and undisturbed as you move about. Security is always a top concern when you keep a gun in a backpack since there is a greater chance of loss or theft than if the gun remains on your person. Because of this risk, it is important to keep the backpack on you at all times. Often, concealing a gun in a backpack eliminates the risk of the gun becoming visible through clothing or detaching from your person.

When your firearm is not on your body be sure to store it in a secure place, a gun safe. GunVault offers a wide variety of quick access biometric safes to keep your gun and family safe. Call GunVault today at 800-242-1055 or visit us online.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:  •  •  • 

What to Do When You Get Held up at Gunpoint

Getting held up at gunpoint is a terrifying thought. As much as one does not want to even think about the possibility of it happening to them, you should because it happens more frequently than you may think. The average American’s likelihood of being robbed, assaulted, raped or murdered EACH YEAR is 1 in 250 (this is only reported cases so it’s actually more). With this being said, it is smart to be aware of such circumstances and be prepared in case it happens to you at some point in your life.

What You Should Do If You Get Held at Gunpoint

Stay Calm: If there is one thing to remember, it’s this. It may seem difficult to stay calm in this type of situation, but it is absolutely crucial because it allows you to think rationally. It will also decrease your likelihood of making sudden movements which is the last thing you should do. Also, staying calm will help you recall details later when you are describing the situation and the attacker to the police. Don’t become angry, overconfident and retaliate because it will make them feel threatened.

Be Compliant and Give Them What They Want: Most likely, their sole intent is to rob belongings from you. Put your hands up, tell them they can have whatever they want, and cooperate. Don’t defend your property–defend your life. A wallet is worth losing over your life. After all, valuables that are taken during a gunpoint will most likely be covered by insurance.

Make Eye Contact and Get Personal: If they look you in the eye, it will make them have to acknowledge you as a person who has family, friends and a life to live. If necessary, mention your family and other personal aspects to further humanize yourself to them.

Most likely after this, they will get what they were looking for and be on their way. Allow yourself a large amount of space from them before calling 911. However, if the attacker tells you to get in a car or come with them, this is when you need to think (and think quick) about your escape plan.

Look for ANY way to get away within 5 seconds. This is just enough time for you to get away without potentially getting shot. Try looking behind them as if you see something or someone in order to distract them and break their concentration just in time for you to run preferably toward any sort of civilization. Fight for your life and do whatever you can to get away. You DO NOT want to go anywhere with them because the chances of survival will dramatically decrease.

Keeping Yourself out of the Situation


When you are a victim of a gunpoint encounter, you may just be at the wrong place at the wrong time and there was nothing that you could have possibly done to avoid it. Nonetheless, there are also ways to decrease the likelihood of such attacks that you should keep in mind:

-Avoid dangerous areas as much as possible

-Carry a gun and take a gun course

-Avoid aggressive people and don’t fuel their fire

-Don’t be overly flashy with expensive clothing, jewelry. phones, etc.

-Avoid walking alone at night (especially if female and/or intoxicated)

-Know your surroundings

-Get trained in self-defense

The best advice that can be given when you are held up at gunpoint without your own gun and with no experience in self defense is to stay calm and be cooperative. However, know when to stop being compliant and when it is time to escape and fight for your life. Ultimately, try to avoid any situations that increase the likelihood of a gunpoint but also understand that it could happen to anyone.

3 Tips for Your First Trip to the Gun Range

For those attending the shooting range for the first time, the prospect may seem daunting. Don’t be intiminated by those who seem to know it all, these simple tips can help you feel like an expert, even on your first trip to the gun range.

The Rules of Safety

gun holding a gun at the gun range

Go into the gun range with confidence, but not a disregard for safety. Make sure safety is always a top priority when going into the gun range. No matter how experienced you feel you are, never let your confidence get in the way of safety. There are a few main rules of safety that must be observed at all times:

  • Treat the gun as if it is always loaded. Even if you are confident there is nothing in the chamber, treat the gun as if it could go off. Too many accidents happen from an overconfidence that the gun is not in a position to shoot at any given moment.
  • Only point the gun down range. You should never point a firearm at anything you aren’t willing to shoot. While you are at the gun range, always be aware of where it is pointed, and what is in that direction.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. You should have your sights on target and everything else aligned before touching the trigger.
  • Wear your protective gear. It may seem silly to those new to firearms, but safety glasses and earplugs are essential. always wear these while you are on the range. It doesn’t matter if you are shooting or just observing, you must wear eye and ear protection.

Know What You Need

handguns at the gun range

When you check in, a staff member will most likely ask you what you need. This person will be knowledgeable, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask. Some of the things the staff will most likely ask you before you head out to the range include:  

  • Have you shot here before? This is a chance for you to identify yourself as a first time shooter. Familiarize yourself with the rules of this range.
  • Do you have eye and ear protection? Often times you will have the option to purchase these at the gun range if you have forgotten.
  • What are you shooting? Sometimes ranges have separate areas for those shooting pistols compared to those shooting rifles. There’s a chance they may want to inspect your ammo as well.
  • Do you need anything else? This includes, ammo and targets. Make sure you have what you need before entering the range.

Go With Someone Experienced

outdoor gun range

If possible, go with a friend who has experience at the gun range your first time. Having someone there to show you the ropes will be beneficial, and can increase your confidence there. Attending the gun range for the first time may seem overwhelming, but these tips can help make it easier. Following the rules of safety, knowing what you need, and going with someone experienced can all make your first trip to the gun range a better experience.

Best Ways to Keep Your Family Safe from Guns

kid learning gun safety

Don’t hide guns, lock them up in a safe

This is incredibly important for a variety of reasons. The first is if you have children in your home. Kids like to get into things, that’s just the way they are and with guns unprotected in the home this could result in dangerous situations. Many people will educate their children on gun safety and feel comfortable having guns unlocked around their home. This leads to the next big reason they need to be locked up, visitors. If you have company over that is not educated on guns they need to be secured in a safe. Your children may be educated on gun safety but there is no guarantee that other children are. Depending on the people who are in and out of your home; relatives, housekeepers, neighbors, etc. makes it vital that your guns remain secure from them. Keep the keys to the safe hidden in a place that cannot be reached by children. If there is a combo to be entered do not give it to anyone unless they have your full trust or firearm training.

Educate your children

When educating your children about guns, take the topic seriously, they will react to the gravity in your voice. Firearms real or fake fascinate young boys and girls. Children typically play with fake guns which makes teaching them about the difference between real and pretend vital. It is important to teach them when they are young that guns are not toys, they can be dangerous. It is also important to show your children how to act with guns by being a role model; lock up your guns when home, practice safe gun handling, and always take the topic seriously. By starting their education at a young age your children will be better prepared if a situation ever arises. Once you feel they are old enough, practice gun safety and training with them as well. They will be less likely to sneak into your things or mishandle guns if they have been demystified. The first and most crucial lesson to teach them is the four steps to take if they see a gun:

1. Stop what you are doing.
2. Do not touch the gun.
3. Leave the area you are in.
4. Tell an adult right away.

Protecting our families is one of the primary reasons we purchase firearms, don’t let accidents happen in your home. Make sure you take the necessary actions of locking up your gun when it is not being used or on you, and teaching your children about gun safety. For any questions about vaults or help choosing one that is right for your family, feel free to call us at (800) 242-1055.

2 Reasons To Take A Gun On The Trail

You may spend every weekend hiking different trails and never experience any dangers, but that doesn’t mean they are nonexistent and never happen. With so much unknown in the world, it is safe to say you never know what–or who–you will encounter.

Before we go on, it is important to first read your state’s laws about carrying a weapon as well as shooting an animal. Each state has open carry and concealed carry laws on the type of gun and/or rifle allowed, and even down to the age requirement of the shooter.

So why should you take a gun on the trail?

It’s never known what kind of stranger you will run into, especially in the woods. As harsh of a reality it may be; robbers, rapists, and murderers are everywhere, but a quiet hidden spot is great for any kind of predator.

Depending on where your trail is, although very rare you may meet a bear or a mountain lion. It’s important to remember that shooting animals on a hike can be against the law, know your state laws and prohibitions before taking your gun with you.

In the end, it does make sense to sometimes take your gun on your hike with you. Knowing when is what takes much attention and deliberation. Double-check the carry and concealed weapon laws in your state before you head out on your adventure!

Go to Top