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Owning a firearm is a constitutionally guaranteed freedom in the United States, but with great freedom comes great responsibility, and nowhere is this truer than when it comes to safely storing your firearms. Gun safes provide a secure method of gun storage that keeps weapons out of the hands of restricted people, such as children, criminals, and the mentally ill. Gun safes can be expensive, but keeping your firearms stored safely and securely doesn’t have to drain your bank account.

10 Best Gun Safes Under $500 of 2020

10 Best Gun Safes Under $500 of 2020Owning a firearm is a constitutionally guaranteed freedom in the United States, but with great freedom comes great responsibility, and nowhere is this truer than when it comes to safely storing your firearms. Gun safes provide a secure method of gun storage that keeps weapons out of the hands of restricted people, such as children, criminals, and the mentally ill. Gun safes can be expensive, but keeping your firearms stored safely and securely doesn’t have to drain your bank account. If you don’t want to spend a fortune, you don’t have to. Just check out our guide to finding the best gun safe under $500 . Top 10 Gun Safes Under $500 Table Picture Name Type of Lock Rating (1-5) Picture Name Type of Lock Rating (1-5) 1. Verifi Smart.Safe. Fast Access Biometric Safe with FBI Fingerprint Sensor Biometric 4.7 2. V-Line Quick Access Keyless Long Gun Safe (Black, 42-Inch) Mechanical combination/key 4.6 3. Stack-On GCDG-9216 16-Gun Convertible Double-Door Steel Security Cabinet Key 4.3 4. Stack-On E-029-SB-E Executive Fire Safe with Electronic Lock Electronic combination 4.3 5. Stack-On A-18-MB-E-S Armorguard 18-Gun Safe with Electronic Lock Electronic combination 4.2 6. Stack-On PWS-1555 Long Gun Wall Safe with Electronic Lock Electronic combination 4.1 7. Barska Large Biometric Wall Safe Biometric 4.0 8. Gunvault SpeedVault SVB500 gun safe Biometric 3.8 9. 75400 SnapSafe, Safes, Under Bed, Digital Lock, Matte black Electronic combination 3.8 10. The GunBox 2.0 The Smartest Quick Access Gun Safe Biometric 3.6 How to Choose an Affordable Gun Safe There are several things to consider before purchasing any gun safe. Here are just a few of them. The Gauge of the Steel When it comes to steel, the lower the number, the thicker the steel. For example, 10-gauge steel is thicker and more durable than 12-gauge. A higher gauge steel will make your gun safe lighter and easier to move. Keep in mind this is true whether you are attempting to move it to clean behind it, or if a criminal is trying to move it out of the house. Fire Rating Most gun safes are layered with fireboard to maintain a cooler interior temperature in the event of a house fire. If you intend to store important documents or cash inside of your gun safe, you want to look for a gun safe with the best fire rating that you can afford. Size The types and number of firearms you plan to store in your gun safe will influence the size you need. Will you be storing handguns, rifles, or both? Be sure you plan ahead and consider space for future firearms purchases. Upgrading to a larger gun safe in the future may not be an option. Often a gun safe is a once-in-a-lifetime purchase, so you want to be prepared. You will also need to consider where the safe will be in your home. If you live in a fifth-floor apartment, it isn’t practical to purchase a massive gun safe, because you may never be able to get it up the stairs. Locks Today’s gun safes feature several distinct types of locking mechanisms. Mechanical Combination Locks. Like the lock on your old high school gym locker, these are the most common and reliable type of gun safe lock. They can only be opened by someone who knows the correct combination. However, opening them can take some time and it can be difficult to fumble through the combination when under stress or in a hurry. Electronic Combination Locks. With these locks, you just punch in your combination. They are extremely fast and you can usually set your own combination to make it easier to remember. Batteries may need to be replaced periodically, and it may be impossible to gain access to the safe when the electronic mechanism doesn’t have power. In this situation, a change of batteries is necessary before you can punch in your combination and get into the safe. Key Locks. This type of locking mechanism is most common on old-fashioned gun cabinets. They aren’t commonly used for today’s gun safes because they can more easily be broken into. Biometric Locks. These locks work by reading a fingerprint. In recent years, these types of locks have become popular for handgun safes because they allow quick access to secured weapons. However, they may not be as reliable as mechanical or electronic combination locks. Top 3 Best Gun Safe Under $500 Reviews 1. Verifi Smart.Safe. "Fast Access Biometric" Fast, secure, and accurate, this handgun safe opens with just the touch of a finger. You don’t have to worry about finding a key or remembering a string of numbers. All you need is the tip of your finger. Using an FBI silicon-based sensor, this safe provides the highest fingerprint recognition performance and security on the market. But this safe’s technology doesn’t stop with its fingerprint sensor. It offers tamper alerts to keep you informed of any unauthorized access attempts. It also performs its own diagnostics to let you know if anything is wrong, as well as when the battery needs to be changed. With the auto lock feature, you never need to worry about remembering to engage the lock. If the safe is shut, it’s also locked. Another notable feature of the Verifi Smart.Safe is the night light feature. When the safe is opened, a low-intensity light gives off a soft glow to illuminate the interior of the safe. This makes it easy to see inside the safe in the dark without blinding you. If you want worry-free, hassle-free performance, then this is hands-down the best gun safe under $500. 2. V- "Line Quick Access" Gun Safe This convenient high-quality keyless gun safe offers convenient access. But with two additional keyed locks, you can also employ extra security measures to protect the valuables inside. It is a compact, yet secure safe for storing your long gun. The sturdy steel construction features a pry-resistant clam shell design, and with the premium powder coated finish to protect the steel, this gun safe is built to last. Although this gun safe may not be enough to prevent a determined thief, its quick-access gun is perfect for keeping your shotgun or rifle out of the hands of curious children or a home intruder. Thanks to its compact design, it can easily be hidden or concealed from all but the most determined criminal. 3. Stack-On Double-Door "Steel Security Cabinet" With a total capacity that can easily be converted to fit up to 31 guns, this is a fantastic option for a homeowner with multiple firearms who wants to conveniently and securely store them all in one place. It can hold long guns up to 54” and with the foam padded sides, you never have to worry about your guns being scratched. The convertible “cabinet section” has three removable foam-padded shelves, making it perfect for storing handguns, ammunition, jewelry, cameras, or other smaller valuables. The only drawback to this multi-gun steel security cabinet is the key locking mechanism. Although the three-point locking system with double bitted lock offers more security than a standard key lock, it doesn’t provide the same level of security as a combination or biometric lock. However, it can be difficult to find an affordable solution for safely storing multiple firearms, and in that case, the Stack-On 16- "Gun Convertible Double" -Door Steel Security Cabinet definitely fits the bill.

P226RX: Integrated Optics, Organic Design All From One Company

P226RX: Integrated Optics, Organic Design All From One Company

For decades, the SIG P226 handguns have been proven in combat. SIG Sauer has just taken the P226 into the next century with an integrated slide-mounted reflex optic, the ROMEO1. SIG is the first company to build the gun and the reflex optic, they were, literally, made for each other. Designed as SIG’s entrant in the U.S. military trials to replace the M-1911, the P226 is in use by the U.S. Navy SEALs, Federal agents, and numerous law enforcement agencies including the Texas Rangers, Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Michigan State Police to name a few. With the ROMEO1 slide-mounted reflex optic, the P226RX has faster sight acquisition on target and the exceptional ergonomics and balance make this full-size pistol easy to handle. If you have never shot a handgun with a reflex optic, you have no idea what a leap forward this is. The reflex optic allows you to maintain eye focus on the target. With conventional sights, optimum marksmanship requires front sight focus. In a fight, you have to look at the target, requiring you to change focus to see your sights. With a reflex optic like the ROMEO1, you just do what comes naturally and focus on the target. Your eyes will see the dot on the target. Some shooters are concerned that an electronic optic can fail at the worse possible time. Just in case there is a problem with the reflex optic, the P226RX comes with tall SIGLITE Night Sights are easily viable and you are back in the fight. ROMEO1 The ROMEO1 features a molded glass aspheric lens with high performance coatings for superior light transmittance and zero distortion. Manual illumination controls remember your last used settings. Three MOA Red-Dot with multiple intensity settings ensures rapid target engagement under a full range of lighting conditions. The readily available CR1632 battery is top-loading, allowing for quick battery replacement without having to remove the sight from the firearm. Extremely strong and lightweight aircraft grade CNC Magnesium housing ensuring a lifetime of reliable service. Dependable waterproof (IPX-7 rated for complete immersion up to 1 meter) and fog-proof performance. Specs CALIBER 9mm Luger ACTION TYPE Semi-Auto FRAME SIZE Full-Size GRIP TYPE E2 FRAME FINISH Nitron FRAME MATERIAL Alloy SLIDE FINISH Nitron SLIDE MATERIAL Stainless Steel ACCESSORY RAIL SIG Rail TRIGGER DA/SA TRIGGER PULL DA 10 lb (44 N) TRIGGER PULL SA 4.4 lb (20 N) BARREL LENGTH 4.4 in (112 mm) OVERALL LENGTH 7.7 in (196 mm) OVERALL WIDTH 1.5 in (38 mm) HEIGHT 6.4 in (162 mm) WEIGHT 34.4 oz (975 g) The SIG 226RX is a different kind of gun with new capabilities for a factory gun. Want a 226RX of your own? Find a Sig Dealer HERE

Classic Guns: Old Model Ruger Single Six

Classic Guns: Old Model Ruger Single Six

/* custom css */.td_uid_2_5f379d2211471_rand.td-a-rec-img { text-align: left; } .td_uid_2_5f379d2211471_rand.td-a-rec-img img { margin: 0 auto 0 0; } For its first several years, the Single Six had what was known as a “flat loading gate” on the side of the receiver. A gun inspired by the classic Western TV shows of the 1950s that were dominating the family room of nearly every home in America, the Ruger Single Six has gone on to become the stuff of legend. How Did The Ruger Single Six Become An American Icon: "The Ruger Single" Six was inspired by the popularity of TV and movie Westerns in the 1950s. Given Colt discontinuing the SAA, the revolver gained a foothold. Originally the .22 LR had a 5 1/2-inch barrel, and 4 5/8, 6½ and 9½-inch models were later added. The main difference between the ‘Old' and ‘New' model Ruger Single Six was only safe to carry the old with the hammer down on an empty chamber. The advent of the transfer bar safety made carrying a fully loaded Ruger Single Six a reality. The year was 1951. Bill Ruger’s company was profitable and becoming well established in the industry, and he was anxious to expand his product line. The new medium of television was growing rapidly. Black and white TV screens were lighting up America’s living rooms every night, and some of the most popular programs were Westerns. A common thread in these shows was the type of handguns used by both good guys and bad guys. By far the most frequently seen models were single-action revolvers, most of them patterned after the Colt Single Action Army. Find Out More About Ruger Firearms Bill Ruger, who had always been a fan of the classic Colt, saw an opportunity. Colt had ceased production of the "Single Action Army" at the beginning of World War II and there was no indication that it would be back anytime soon. In fact, an official announcement from Colt several years earlier had stated there would not be a post-war Colt SAA. Based on the popularity of Westerns on the TV screen and in motion pictures, Ruger decided to develop an updated and improved version of the single-action revolver. The timing was a wise move. It would be 25 years before Colt returned to the single-action market, and by that time Ruger would be well positioned as the leader in the field. The popularity of TV Westerns continued through the ‘50s and peaked in 1959, when an amazing eight out of the 10 most popular programs were Westerns. Related GunDigest Articles 10 Classic Shotguns You've Got to Own 5 Classic Colt Guns You've Got To Own 5 Classic Semi-Automatic Rifles You've Got to Own A Grand Entrance Best Starter Kit for Concealed Carry: S&W M&P 9 SHIELD $394.96 guns.com Safariland IWB Holster $43.99 brownells.com Safariland Duty Belt $88.99 brownells.com SnagMag Ammo Pouch $LOW! gundigeststore.com Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links. Caribou Media Group may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. Thank you! Work had been underway on the first Ruger single-action since 1950, and by June of 1953, the gun was ready, the Single Six. Like the Ruger Standard Automatic pistol, the Single Six was chambered for the great .22 Long Rifle — everyman’s cartridge. Based on the appearance of the Colt Single Action Army revolver, it was first introduced with a 5½-inch barrel. It could also be used with .22 Short or .22 Long ammunition. As the name suggested, the cylinder held six rounds, but the original model should only be carried with the hammer over an empty chamber. (See Old vs. New Models below.) Later models were added with a 4 5/8-inch, 6½-inch or 9½-inch barrels. Grips were checkered hard rubber with a black eagle medallion inlay on each side. Varnished walnut or stag grips were available as an option with ivory grips added in 1954. The ivory-grip version of Ruger Single Six is one of the rarest and most collectible. The standard model had a blued barrel and cylinder with an anodized aluminum grip frame. The earliest models featured a flat loading gate and rounded profile front sight. Made between 1953 and 1957, these became known as Flat Gate models. In 1958, this loading gate was changed to a contoured shape. This picture of a New Model Single Six illustrates two important Ruger features — the contour-shaped loading gate, and the famous transfer bar firing system shown in the cocked position. When the trigger is pulled, the bar drops down to allow the hammer to hit the firing pin. A series of Ruger Single Six models — about 250 — were engraved by the factory between 1954 and 1958, and they are considered the most collectible of all Ruger firearms. Most were engraved by Charles Jerred of the United States, while a total of 22 were sent to Spain to be engraved by several notable artisans there. More Gun Collecting Info: The Walther PP Series The Quintessential 22 Pistol: The Colt Woodsman The Rocky History Of The L.C. Smith The Browning SA-22 Colt Python : The Cadillac Of Revolvers A Lightweight Single Six with aluminum cylinder was introduced in 1954. Original prices were $57.50 for the Standard model in 1953, and $63.25 for the Lightweight (1955). In 1959, a version was introduced chambered for the .22 WMR (Winchester Magnum Rimfire) cartridge, and it was made only with a 6½-inch barrel. A Single Six Convertible model with interchangeable .22 LR and .22 WMR cylinders became available in 1962 and replaced the .22 WMR only model. It was made with barrel lengths of 4 5/8, 5½, 6½ or 9½ inches.

Cross-Dominant Shooting and How to Overcome It

Cross-Dominant Shooting and How to Overcome It

Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s The conflict between right and left is a big sticking point for shooters, and I’m not talking about politics.  I’m talking about hand dominance vs eye dominance. Fear not! You’ll find no politics here. Let me explain. Unless you’re one of the ridiculously small percentage of people that is truly ambidextrous, your dominant hand is going to have a huge impact on how you shoot.  What a lot of people overlook is something even more important: which eye is dominant. Just like your hands, you almost certainly have one eye that is dominant over the other.  We don’t have solid numbers but it’s estimated that less than half a percent of the population has no eye dominance either way. Why is this important? Well, if you’re cross-dominant (right eye dominant, but left hand dominant, or vice versa) you can have some trouble shooting if you don’t learn how to correct for it. That’s what we’re going to cover in this article. Roughly a third of the population is thought to be cross-dominant, but thankfully, there are several ways for cross-dominant shooters to shoot just as well as anyone else.  The difference comes down to practice and training. As with most issues, the solution is to train more. If you think you might be cross-dominant, want to learn how to train someone to overcome cross-dominance, or have a lot of shots that go a little high, but way off to one side (a common indicator that a shooter is cross-dominant) you’re in the right place. Diagnosing Cross Dominance Besides misses that land high and to one side, tilting your head to one side, or moving or tilting the gun to your non-dominant side are also signs of cross-dominance, and are things you should be aware of in your own shooting, or in those you’re training. Fortunately, there’s a very easy way to quickly and easily diagnose cross-dominance, and you can try it right now wherever you’re reading this. First, hold your hands out in front of you, and make a frame with your fingers like you’re a photographer lining up a shot. Pick something commonly available like a picture on the wall, a piece of furniture, or a 20th century ship in New York Harbor. Find an object a good distance away and tighten the frame you’ve made with your fingers around it, keeping both eyes open. Now, keep your hands still and close one eye, then the other.  The object should stay in the frame when viewing it with one eye, and move out of frame when viewing it with the other eye.  The eye that keeps the object in the frame and allows you to still see it clearly is your dominant eye. Another way is to extend one arm and point at an object with one finger, keeping both eyes open.  Do the same thing as before and close one eye, open it, and close the other eye. Your finger will stay pointed at the object when viewed with your dominant eye, but will appear to move to one side and no longer be pointed at the object when you have your non-dominant eye open. Now, if you are right handed and right eye dominant or left handed and left eye dominant, you’re done unless you’re working with someone who is cross-dominant or you’re a trainer looking for ways to help folks you’re instructing. This is especially important to understand if you’re looking at training your kids early, as they may be cross-dominant whereas you are not. Since you’re still here, let’s take a look at ways to correct for cross-dominance. Addressing Cross-Dominance Alright, if you’re looking to overcome cross-dominance when shooting a rifle or shotgun…I have some bad news. You have, to my knowledge but please correct me if you know otherwise, three options: Close or occlude vision (by using anything from an eye patch, to translucent tape over your shooting glasses ) through one eye. Limiting your peripheral vision, especially in a defensive situation, is never good, but you can get away with it in a match or when at the range. One of our top contributors, Annette Evans demonstrates taping over one side of your eye protection as a cross-dominance fix over at Target Barn . Use a red dot, which will allow you to keep both eyes open, with your dominant eye on the target and your non-dominant eye on the dot.  This makes more sense in practice than explaining it, so you’ll just have to try it.  You can also do this with other optics, depending on your degree of cross-dominance, but it doesn’t work well with all scopes, and doesn’t work with irons.  For what it’s worth, this is what I default to, but I can handle a long gun equally well shooting right or left handed.  Like anything else, it’s something you can overcome with training. Learn how to shoot with your non-dominant hand, which is easier with a rifle than a pistol in most cases. Overcoming cross-dominance with a pistol is a bit easier. Cross-Dominance and Pistol Shooting When it comes to pistol shooting, if you’ve never held a gun before, or have limited shooting experience, or are working on training a newbie, I’d strongly recommend teaching them to shoot with the hand that matches their dominant eye, rather than trying to use their non-dominant eye and dominant hand. If you’ve already started shooting and you want to overcome a cross-dominance issue you discovered after, or want to correct issues a student has developed, there are a few things you can do. Learn to Shoot with Your Non-Dominant Hand This a worthwhile skill for anyone to learn, but it is especially important for cross-dominant shooters. Shooting with your non-dominant hand is always good practice. If your dominant hand is injured or otherwise occupied, learning to shoot a handgun with your off-hand can save your life.  Beyond that, this is one of the simplest ways to overcome cross-dominance issues, particularly early in your shooting career. Of course, there are problems with this approach.  First, you may not be able to get over using your non-dominant hand to shoot.  I’ve known many people who were strongly right or left-handed and thus didn’t feel comfortable using their weak hand to control and manipulate a handgun, which is understandable. The other issue is that most handguns are setup for to be shot right-handed only, so shooting left handed can cause a host of problems, particularly with guns that don’t have ambidextrous or swappable controls. In general, I’d say it’s way easier to overcome right eye dominance when you’re left-handed than the other way around.  If you’re left-handed, you’re probably already used to conforming to a mostly right-handed world, and you may find it’s easier to do that here. Close, Squint, Cover, or Partially Block One Eye Like with a rifle, you can also close or otherwise block vision through your dominant eye, which will cause your brain to prioritize input from your open, non-dominant eye.  For some people, simply squinting one eye (if possible) can work, though it can cause problems with the uneven tension in your face affecting your accuracy. You can also put something like scotch tape, chapstick, or something similar over the lens of your shooting glasses on the side of your dominant eye.  Again, I wouldn’t call this eye deal (heh) but it does work, and many folks find it helpful in competition environments. In a defensive situation, you’re not likely to have your shooting glasses on, and you’re going to want as much of your vision unobscured as possible, so while this works at the range, it isn’t really possible if you’re planning on carrying a handgun for self defense, and if you subscribe to the “train how you plan to fight” mantra like I do, it makes this suggestion impractical at best. Turn or Tilt Your Head Turning your or tilting your head to the side is a totally viable way to bring your dominant eye inline with the sights of your gun, even if it does look a bit silly at the range. The problem here is that it not only feels unnatural, but it’s difficult to maintain and to perform consistently.  Neck pain will result if you do this for long periods, and you can develop some long term issues if you do this consistently. For the occasional range trip, it’s fine, and in a panic situation where you need to get your eyes to cooperate right now , it will serve. Jeff Bridges helpfully demonstrating the “tilt your head” approach in the movie True Grit. Canting the Gun The other option that I really don’t recommend is canting the gun.  Canting the gun 15-45 degrees to the left or right can bring your dominant eye in line with the sights appropriately, but it can also cause a host of other issues and difficulties. First, it’s hard to cant the gun consistently, and when you’re trying to be both fast and accurate, consistency, especially in your training, is key. The second problem is one of function.  Modern firearms were designed to be held vertically (not sideways, not canted, not upside down) and any deviation from that can increase the chances of malfunctions, and it also causes problems managing recoil and getting your eyes back on the sights quickly for a follow-up shot. Also, you’re just asking to get hit in the face with brass. Beyond that, you’re going to have some serious trouble adjusting your point-of-aim vs. point-of-impact at longer ranges.  This is another technique that I would only advocate using in a pinch, but it can be very effective with a revolver where cycling of brass isn’t as much of an issue. You can also check out another shooter’s approach to cross-dominance with our friends at USCCA . Shift the Gun Past Your Midline A modern isosceles stance has you holding the gun squarely in the middle of your body.  The most natural, and least disruptive method I know of for a cross dominant shooter to address their issue is to simply shift the gun a little to either the left or the right to bring it more in line with your dominant eye. This way, you’re keeping both eyes open, you’re not doing anything weird or uncomfortable with your head, and you’re holding the pistol the way it’s meant to be held. The main problem with this is you have to alter your stance a little regarding how you hold your arms, and it can theoretically make recoil a little more intense because you aren’t in the optimal position to absorb it and compensate.  That being said, the difference is relatively minor. The one thing I would be conscious of would be making sure you aren’t pulling shots to your dominant eye side, which is a common issue with this method, in my experience. For what it’s worth, this is the method I use, and to my knowledge, is the most common method for professional cross-dominant pistol shooters, and I think that’s because it’s such a natural position. This method is so natural in fact that many cross-dominant shooters arrive at this solution without being told, if they are unaware of their cross-dominance.  And if it work, go for it. Parting Shots And that’s something I want to be clear about.  All of these solutions can work .  You should experiment with them all and find what’s best for you.  Just be sure to understand all the potential downsides before you commit to one method, and once you pick something that works, train, train, and train some more. Are you cross-dominant?  What do you think of these techniques?  Let me know in the comments below.

4 Best ACOG Scopes [Hands-On]

Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s If you told me today that I was going to war , and I had to choose my kit right now… do you know what optic I would take? I’d bypass all the Eotechs, Aimpoints, Nightforces, Leupolds, and Schmidt and Benders of the optics world and settle on one optic, the Trijicon ACOG . Ya’ Boy with an ACOG equipped M249 Helmand Province Afg 2009 Find out why… plus how to figure out the best model for you (since there’s a lot of them). Trijicon ACOG Lineup Now complete with a full YouTube video too: Table of Contents Loading... Why the ACOG? Well, it helps I’ve already been to war with it once. I’ve also trained extensively with it, put thousands and thousands of rounds downrange with one, and would genuinely trust my life to it. Of all the gear that I carried and was issued two pieces stand out to me, the M240B machine gun and the Trijicon ACOG . They were two pieces of kit I have no complaints about and never saw fail . I’ve seen combat with ACOG, and it performed admirably under pressure, and the design’s versatility and simplicity made it stand out. We’ll take a little more on this later, for now, let’s look at what an ACOG is. What is an ACOG? ACOG is a name for an entire line of optics that vary in size, reticle magnification, and even illumination power. Trijicon ACOG Models Top Down View ACOG stands for Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight . These are fixed power optics that can range from 1.5x to 6x with plenty of options in between. There are a total of 12 different ACOG variants, with well over a dozen different reticle combinations. While some come powered via battery, but they are mostly known for using a mixture of tritium and fiber optics to illuminate the reticle. Here’s a comparison chart straight from Trijicon ( full image here ): ACOG Comparison Chart, Trijicon The fiber optics absorb light and power it during the day. In the absence of light, the tritium kicks in and gives the reticle a slight glow. A Fellow Squad Member with an M16A4 and an ACOG That long red tube you see on top of ACOG is where light is absorbed and used to illuminate the optic. There are some cons though. The system self-regulates. This means the brighter it is outside, the brighter the reticle is. It is night vision compatible as well. My Experience My experience is tied to the oh so sexily named and not confusing at all TA31RCO-A4CP and TA31RCO-M4CP ACOGs. Trjicon ACOG TA31 4x32mm 1090 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 1090 at Brownells Compare prices (2 found) Brownells (See Price) OpticsPlanet (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing The optics are identical, but the A4CP was designed for the M16A4 and the M4CP for the M4 Carbine. The difference between the two is easy to miss and is due to the fact the optic uses a BDC, and the rifle’s barrel lengths are different. The difference in barrel lengths creates a difference in ballistics to include bullet drop. These particular models are 4X with a 32mm objective lens. Both optics utilize the same BDC reticle layout that extends out to 800 meters. My Squad Helmand Province 2009 – Lots of ACOGs BDC reticles are extremely common on ACOG scopes. The vast majority of ACOG reticles incorporate some form of BDC. When it comes to known distance ranges, I’ve only ever gone to out to 500 yards with the ACOG. I will attest out to 500 yards, after the meter to yards conversion is done, it’s dead on. It made rifle qual every year a walk in the park. The Reticle So Many Reticle Options If you’re not familiar with a bullet drop compensating, or BDC, you should be. These specific reticles are popular on most ACOGs and provide predetermined aiming points for bullet drop. The reticle is very specifically tuned to the type of 5.56 load, projectile weight, and the barrel length. Close up of reticle The reticle has predetermined aiming points that allow you to place that aiming point on a target and have a reasonable expectation that the round will hit the target. As you can see it’s somewhat self-explanatory. The 4 and 6 are used for 400 and 600 meters respectively. What’s not explanatory is where do you aim at the 100, 200, and 300-meter line? Well, I can explain, or I can steal a slide from a USMC presentation… ACOG BDC, thanks USMC! Does this make a little more sense now? If you look to your right, while keeping your hands and arms in the vehicle, you may notice the target perfectly aligning in width with drop down hash marks. Also please notice how the hash marks are slowing getting shorter as they descended. This still isn’t all of them…. Why is That? The reticle also has a built-in rangefinder. The hash marks, starting at 400 yards are designed to replicate the width of an average man’s shoulders. Since targets get smaller as they get further from the shooter the lines are. In the USMC we shoot at 500 yards on man sized targets and the lines work perfectly. It was always something we made sure to note for young Marines. Courtesy USMC Admittedly in combat, this isn’t exactly easy to use outside of an ambush situation. It’s merely a tool for the box and does allow for scoping suspicious characters carrying AKs. What Else Rocks about the ACOG? The ACOG is a near invincible optic. In my experience, it’s a freakin’ tank. Going to war is one big test for sure, but people don’t understand just how rough predeployment training can be. We go hard in the desert, in the snow, everywhere. Lots of time on the range and in the field. They get roughed up, and they bounce off walls in MOUT, they ride in Humvees, MRAPS, Tracks and more. My second deployment had me going out to sea with a Marine Expeditionary Unit. This gave the ACOG plenty of time to be exposed to salt water and bumped and dumped in places like the UAE, Romania, Spain, Djibouti, and a few more. After two deployments and five years with an ACOG equipped weapon, I have never had one break on me. I’ve also never seen one go down when used by another Marine. I know more than one guy who was carrying an ACOG when they were hit with an IED. This will affect your zero… One literally stopped a bullet and saved a Marine’s life once …. Thankfully outside of some minor injuries, my friends and their ACOGs were perfectly fine. From Trijicon’s website, the ACOG is drop proof, shockproof, fog proof and can be fully submerged to 100 meters. Our Own Torture Testing Recently we did some torture testing of high-end optics…and the ACOG triumphed. Water submersion…easy. Cold and hot temperatures affecting zero…pssh. Freezing Trijicon TA-02 ACOG Then we shot it…starting from rat shot to .410 #9 birdshot, 12ga #7.5 birdshot, and finally .22LR Mini-Mag. Trijicon TA-02 Acog .22 LR Minimag Damage It was a perfect shot on the battery compartment…but the rest of the optical system was untouched. Zero held too. Check out the full High-End Optics Torture Test to see what happened to the EOTechs and Aimpoints in the test… Group Shot of Destroyed Optics Clarity? Usually, clarity is something we all love to talk about when it comes to optics, but with the ACOG it seems like clarity is second to everything else. However, it does need to be mentioned eventually. The Trijicon ACOG is a brilliantly clear optic. The glass is magnificent and extremely strong. It allows you to see and differentiate between different potential targets easily. ADS with an ACOG The optic does exceptionally well in low light situations, and unless it is pitch black, you’ll be able to use the optic at night. The ACOG’s clarity was a big deal to us. We used our ACOGs to scope any and everything. This includes trash that could be bombs, guys who could be carrying AKs, and for doing more mundane tasks like spotting crossing for the canals that were all around the countryside. What About Close Quarters? One thing I always hear regarding the ACOG is, “What about CQB?” How do you use a 4x optic in close range shooting? Trijicon ACOG TA44c View Thru That’s a good question, but it’s one easily answered. The ACOG can be just as useful as a red dot scope when you employ the Bindon Aiming Concept . The Bindon Aiming concept was created by Trijicon founder Glyn Bindon. Not every ACOG reticle is compatible with the "Bindon Aiming Concept" , but most are. The reticle has to give sufficient contrast to the background of the target. The BAC is simple, just keep both your eyes opened when you are looking through the optic. Your dominant eye should be focusing through the optic, and your nondominant eye should be observing the field in front of you. When focusing on a close quarters target the optic will act almost like a red dot. Courtesy USMC With the reticle superimposed over your vision and works extremely well. The brain is taking two images, the magnified image, and the unmagnified image and combine them together. The end result is a red dot just placed over your vision. We shooting a number of ‘Tables’ in the Marine Corps. Tables in the Marine Corps are a set of shooting drills all combined into one long exercise. Tables 2,3, and 4 all fired at relatively close ranges. After a lot of practice, I became pretty damn good with the Bindon Aiming Concept. To go back to the magnified view you can either close your nondominant eye or learn to focus with just your dominant eye. The real way to use the BAC is to learn how to alternate focusing your eyes. ACOG Downsides So as much as I love this optic, it’s not entirely perfect. The ACOG is designed for combat, and a lot of its advantages do have a few cons. Battery-free illumination is excellent, and a self-regulating reticle is also pretty handy. The problem arises when its super bright outside the reticle becomes super bright. Too bright to be honest. A universal cure in the Marines was to place tape over the red strip that collects light. That would often help dim the reticle just a bit. Afghanistan is a sunny place, but the reticle would get bright enough to make your eye uncomfortable. Also, the reticle auto adjusts to where you are, not where your target is. If you are in a dim environment, like inside a building, and aiming at something outside that’s a bit brighter your reticle will still be dim. Meme Lyf It’s even worse if you are in a bright environment and aiming into a dark background. The reticle will make it almost impossible to see your target inside a darkened environment with a raging red reticle. The issue with using tritium to gather light is that it will eventually die. This does take years, and years to ever happen, but it will die. This can be a hard pill to swallow when you are looking at spending 1200 or more dollars on a scope. There are now battery powered ACOGs that found a way to beat this problem. They are limited to only a few models though. The ACOG is great, but Browe Optics is producing what’s best described as the ACOG Gen 2. These battery powered optics do away with a lot of the ACOG’s weaknesses. That being said I’ve never taken one to war and back so I don’t have the necessary experience to say which is better. I’d like to point out though that Browe was founded by the man that was Trijicon’s Director of Operations, so he and his company is very familiar with the product and what goes into a great optic. Best ACOGs SQUAD Since we’ve already taken a peek at the USMC’s ACOGs (TA31) I figured we can shop around a bit and show off some of the other ACOGs out there. And keep in mind the retail prices we show are pretty different (lower) than the MSRPs shown in the YouTube video. SQUAD, AGAIN 1. Trijicon TA02 4×32 ACOG Battery Powered Goodness First up, we’ve got the Trijicon TA02 , which actually does utilize a single AA battery to illuminate the .223 reticle inside the optic – the first ACOG model to offer user-selectable levels of brightness. As mentioned above, an occasional criticism of other ACOGs that use tritium or fiber optics to illuminate the reticle is that direct light or shadow on the optic can occasionally give you a mismatch in illumination compared to your environment – and obviously being able to select that illum level yourself works around that. Right off the bat, you’re going to notice that most models of ACOG are going to have some pretty shallow eye-relief, meaning you’re going to need the correct standoff distance between the length of pull on your gun to use this thing correctly. Basically, you’ll want to find that sweet spot. As a result, target acquisition isn’t super fast, but again, it’s a 4x optic and that’s not really what it’s meant to be used for. That being said, the reticle is BRIGHT in daylight conditions, and the brightness adjustment knob has a super handy feature where each click between brightness levels turns the optic off. We much prefer that option compared to most other optics on the market where you’ve gotta scroll from 1 all the way back to 11 if you need the highest brightness setting. Daytime bright! ~3pm Sun. The reticle itself is sort of the classic ACOG chevron, and includes bullet drop calculations for .223 all the way out to 800m, though unfortunately our local desert spot only punches out to about ~200 or so. The TA02 includes a thumbscrew picatinny mount that’ll mount directly to your gun’s rail, though it can be removed if you need or want to mount it to an AR carry handle for whatever probably stupid reason. Or if you absolutely refused to ditch your (detachable?) carry handle 🤷‍♂️ The optic also includes an RMR mount that sits a tiny bit further forward than what you’ll find on most other ACOGs, giving you the option to have a back up red dot for close-range shots when 4x is overkill. Trijicon also advertises the TA02 as night vision compatible, though we suspect that’s probably aimed more at mounting a PVS14 or something similar on your gun itself, as attempting to crane your neck over to aim through an ACOG while wearing NODs sounds like it’d suck pretty hard. Trijicon ACOG TA02 4x32mm 1100 at OpticsPlanet Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 1100 at OpticsPlanet Prices accurate at time of writing With an MSRP of about $1,500 or so, the TA02 is a bit brutal on the wallet – though there’s a definite step up in both the illumination and the crystal clear quality of the glass that comes along with that price tag, thankfully. Blap. 2. Trijicon TA648 6x48mm ACOG Up next, we’ve got the super chunky TA648 – a 6x riflescope that utilizes both tritium and a fiber optic scrolly wheel thing to deliver illumination to its reticle. Using the same type of chevron found in the TA02, the 648 is apparently specifically tuned to the ballistic trajectory of the issued M855 round, and indicates via a tiny ‘A4’ in the optic itself that it’s meant to be paired with the 20” barrel of an M16A4. The reticle is a bit more dim on the 648 than on other models, but it’s definitely still visible in bright conditions. Not quite as bright, but still Gucci. The fiber optic wheel also allows you to only use the tritium glow if you find yourself in darker conditions, but you’re definitely going to want to keep that bad boy opened up if you’re in anything close to bright midday sun. Scroll the textured wheel to the side to select how much light is allowed to hit the fiber optic. However, this is maybe one of the heaviest optics we’ve ever had the chance to play with, coming in at a thicc 2lbs, 6oz. However, the optic’s own weight does itself mitigate the already minimal recoil on our PSA AR seen here – making follow up shots while stationary quite nice considering the reticle doesn’t move much. You’ve also got a massive amount of rail space on the 648 – enough to mount a full size micro red dot on the optic if for whatever reason you wanted something a bit bigger than an RMR. Such as, you know, every optic you own. It’s worth noting that the bulk of the 648 can make accessing your charging handle a little bit annoying if you’re not running an upgraded one, as the optic itself sorta gets in the way. It’s not world-ending, but it is slightly obnoxious. The face says it all. With an MSRP of approximately 3,000 dollars, the TA648 is obviously not going to be for everyone – considering the vast majority of us probably don’t spend anywhere near that on our army of poverty pony AR-15s. Trijicon ACOG TA648 6x48mm 1950 at OpticsPlanet Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 1950 at OpticsPlanet Compare prices (2 found) OpticsPlanet (See Price) Brownells (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing BUT, if you’re inclined to pick up a fixed, 6x riflescope with a dope reticle, and a level of bombproof construction that feels like you could beat someone to death with it – maybe takeout another mortgage and grab one. Welp, guess that’s where my velcro shotgun panel went. What’s your take on the big boy ACOG? Readers' Ratings 4.46/5 (13) Your Rating? 3. Trijicon TA11F 3.5x35mm ACOG Next! The TA11F – a 3.5x ACOG specifically tuned for the M193 cartridge . Best 5.56 XM193 55 gr American Eagle XM193 55 gr 419 at Palmetto State Armory Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 419 at "Palmetto State Armory" Compare prices (3 found) Palmetto State Armory (See Price) Lucky Gunner (See Price) Brownells (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing Again, same chevron reticle as before, but notably the fiber optic on this ACOG runs from the front of the optic almost all the way back to the rear. Probably a better overall shape for capturing light. As compared to the 648’s strip of fiber optic that sits perpendicular to the plane of the scope itself, the elongated optic combined with the tritium on the 11F lends a comparable level of daytime brightness as the battery-powered TA02. A bit brighter than the 648 in afternoon sun. We actually had some issues zeroing the 11F at first – we had maxed out the elevation knob to the lowest setting it can be adjusted to and were still hitting high on our 200 yard steel But, we eventually realized that we’re dipshits and had mounted the optic slightly offset from the Picatinny rail on our AR, causing the optic to sit at a stupid diagonal angle. Absolutely our fault, and once we got it fixed, getting it zeroed was business as usual. There’s not a ton to say about this individual model, and we’re not entirely sure why you’d want a 3.5x optic when the vast majority of ACOGs are 4x – but it does it’s job fine! Just about the same eye relief as the other models above, with maybe just a smidge of faster target acquisition speed considering the slight reduction in magnification. You’ve got your standard RMR mount included as well. Adding an adapter plate will allow you to throw an RMR right on those wings for close-up stuff. and we wish that we could show you what an RMR looks like, but unfortunately, ours permanently lives on one of our Grey Ghost Precision glock slides due to some stripped Allen screws. We don’t want to talk about it. The face says it all, Pt2. The TA11F comes in at about $1600 – and like we said, is pretty no frills as far as ACOGs go, but even a no frills ACOG is still a damn cool and high quality optic. Trijicon ACOG TA11F 3.5x35mm 1050 at OpticsPlanet Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 1050 at OpticsPlanet Compare prices (2 found) OpticsPlanet (See Price) Brownells (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing The underside of this rail looked like it fell off of a mountain when I was done shooting from these rocks for the day, though. 4. Trijicon TA44-C 1.5x16mm ACOG Lil’ Nugget The TA44-C is a 1.5x zoom tiny boy that sort of sits in a weird middle ground between rifle scope and red dot. Honestly, this one’s pretty out there. The green reticle and fiber optic are pretty rad and way brighter / clearer than any green red dots we’ve fired, but – it’s still an ACOG, with an ACOG’s eye relief. Sorry for the blur – our camcorder fell off the back of the gun while shooting. For us, this feels a bit odd, as the 1.5x zoom and super low profile (for an ACOG) mean that it’s obviously intended more for fast target acquisition and close up shots. But the fact that you’re not going to have a clear view through the optic unless your eyes are in the exact right spot means that it doesn’t do that job quite as well as your standard holographic or red dot sight, in our opinions. We also mounted the 44-C to a Bobro throw lever mount – giving it just enough height to be able to used comfortably on a standard AR- flat top rail. The spring tension in the throw lever will nail you in the knuckles pretty hard if you’re not paying attention, though. While this is one of the lightest ACOGs around at just 4.9oz, we’re not super sure what you’d actually use this for. Trijicon advertises the optic as being for both CQB teams or competition shooters, but… Ehhhh? The face says it all, Pt3 With an MSRP of $1200, we’d probably pass on thet 44-C – but if any of you that are using one see this, we’d love to hear exactly why we’re wrong in the comments section below. Trijicon ACOG TA44-C 1.5x16mm 840 at OpticsPlanet Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 840 at OpticsPlanet Prices accurate at time of writing *whoooshh* Modularity Lastly, you can add a Trijicon RMR to the top of an ACOG via a very simple plate. This is a very simple upgrade that does give you a super close range option for close quarter’s shooting. The RMR is easily the most robust miniature red dot on the market, so it’s a faithful companion to the ACOG. CQB Ready ACOG RMR Mount Trijicon RMR Mount for ACOG 62 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 62 at Amazon Prices accurate at time of writing Trijicon RMR – also perfect for pistols. Best Pistol Red Dot Trijicon RMR Type 2 469 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 469 at Brownells Compare prices (4 found) Brownells (See Price) OpticsPlanet (See Price) Amazon (See Price) Rainier Arms (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing Another Cog in the Gears The Trijicon ACOG is an outstanding rifle combat optic. It’s served its country well with the USMC, the Army, and Air Force. The Trijicon ACOG is a rugged, reliable and well designed and thought out combat optic. The Gold Standard might be the TA31 but we had a great time with these four other models. Trjicon ACOG TA31 4x32mm 1090 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 1090 at Brownells Compare prices (2 found) Brownells (See Price) OpticsPlanet (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing Make no mistake the Trijicon ACOG is a combat optic . It’s designed with fighting in mind, and that’s where the design comes from. Sure it can be used for other things, but its design is focused on combat, so remember that. This is my favorite rifle combat optic (so far) but what’s yours? Check out more of our favorites in Best AR-15 Optics . A Couple AR-15 Optics

The U.S. Armys M-14: Somewhat Less than Legendary

We have a soft spot in our heart for the M14 rifle, even though we experienced it in the service primarily as the M21 sniper system, a fiddly, unstable platform with, “no user serviceable parts inside.” (Seriously. The operator was not permitted to field-strip the gun — that was strictly for the armorers who built the thing. You could swab out the bore, but they’d rather you didn’t). Some of the fiddliness was caused by the Leatherwood ART II scope, an early bullet drop compensator telescopic sight. The Leatherwood was adopted, we always suspected, because Jim Leatherwood had been an SF guy, not because the scope was incredibly great. The replacement of the M21 with the M24 bolt gun, a gun that was developed primarily by SF marksmen (snipers and competitive shooters), was met by hosannas. Its Leupold mildot scope took the onus off the scope’s internals and put it on the shooter, and we liked that. So when Shawn at Loose Rounds penned a post critical not as much of the M14 but of its somewhat unsupported legend of battlefield prowess , he was aiming right up our alley. He has technical support in that post from Daniel Watters, arguably the most knowledgable man on post-WWII US small arms developments not to have written a book. And his arguments are generally supported by the M14-related books in our collection, some of which appear in footnotes or Sources. The M14’s history is interesting. It had a long and arduous gestation, involving many false starts and dead ends, before finally settling on a weapon that was a little more than an M1 with a box magazine and improved gas system. This whole process took 12 years (from 1945 to 1957) and cost a surprising fortune, considering that what came out of it was essentially an M1 with a box mag, useless selective-fire switch, and improved gas system. From the operator end, it looks just like an M1, except for that dopey and wasteful giggle switch, but you can actually reload an M1 faster. The M14’s prototype, the T44, came this close (Max Smart finger gesture) to losing out to the US-made FN-FAL version, the T48. The final test found the two weapons roughly equivalent. 1 Previous tests greatly improved both arms, and made one lasting improvement in the FAL hat benefited FN and foreign operators: the incorporation of the “sand cuts” in the bolt carrier. 2 One deciding factor was that the FN rifle did not have “positive bolt closure,” a way to force the bolt closed on, say, a swollen cartridge. (Never mind that that’s a crummy idea, it was Army policy. Some say, in order to accept the home-grown, Springfield-developed T44 instead of the foreign-designed FAL, but that’s certainly not written down anywhere important). The M14 went on to have a surprisingly difficult time in manufacturing — surprising because it had been sold on extensive commonality with M1 Garand design, and sold as producible on M1 Garand tooling. All manufacturers (Springfield, Winchester, Harrington & Richardson, and TRW) struggled to make the guns. (Stevens calls M14 production, in a chapter heading, “A Tragedy in Four Acts.” 3 In H&R’s case it was not surprising, as H&R had struggled with an M1 contract and only had an M14 contract because of political corruption in the Massachusetts congressional delegation, TRW, which is generally thought to have produced the best rifles of the four manufacturers. 4 The M14 was supposed to replace the M1, but also the BAR, carbine, and SMG. Until you see them side by side, most people assume the M14 was smaller than the M1. This “M14” is actually a civilian Springfield M1A. (image: Rifle Shooter mag ).. In fact, only a few M1 parts are interchangeable with the M14, including most internal parts of the trigger housing group, and some of the stock hardware, A few other parts, like the extractor and rear sight aperture, interchange but aren’t quite “right.” (The M14 extractor works better in either rifle; the M1 and M14 sights are calibrated in yards and meters respectively). 5 The M14 had a short life as a US service rifle, and a controversial one. (Congress, for one, couldn’t believe the amount of money that had been spent for a relatively marginal improvement over the M1). But it has had a long afterlife as stuff of legend. And this where Loose Rounds’ most recent effort in mythbusting comes in. Here is a taste: Go on to any gun forum, and it won’t take you long to find people willing to tell you how great the M14 is. How accurate,like a laser, tough as tool steel with no need to baby it or clean it. powerful as a bolt of lightening, and how well loved it was by those early users who refused the M16 because they wanted a “real” weapon made of wood and steel…. .. But, is all that really true? Maybe it is a triumph of nostalgia over common sense and reality. One truth is, it was never really liked as much as people think they remember. The M14 was having major problems even before ARPA’s Project AGILE and a Defense comptroller reported the AR15 superior to the M14;the famous Hitch Report stating the AR15 , the M1 and the AK47 superior. (Loose Rounds then quotes those exact conclusions from those reports, which are also referenced in many of the Sources we list at the end of this document). My own Father had this to say. Dad was in Vietnam from 67-68 in the 4th Infantry Division. “I liked the M14 in basic, It was the first semi auto I had ever fired. It got old carrying all that weight fast running every where all day and night. I qualified expert with it. Once I was issued an M16 right before we over seas, I never looked back.” For every person who has told me how great the thing is, I have found two who had nothing by misery and bad experiences from it. I myself among them. … The M14/M1a will be around for as long as people will continue to buy them. Certainly there is nothing wrong with owning them liking them and using them. By no means is it useless or ineffective. But its legendary reputation is something that needs to be taken with a grain of salt and careful study of the system if you intend to have one for a use your like may depend on. If you are curious posts on shooting rack M14s and custom service rifle M14s with Lilja barrels fired at 1,000 yards can be found here on Looseorunds using the search bar. There you can read of the M14/M1A compared against the M1 Garand and M1903. When we sat down last night to start writing this, we were going to analyze their post in great depth, but we can only suggest you go Read The Whole Thing™. The M14 is very beloved, but then, many soldiers come to love their first military rifle quite out of proportion to its qualities. (Indeed, we feel that way about, and retain a limerent attachment to, the M16A1, while recognizing that progress has left the original Army M16 behind). Indeed, there is a space on the gun room wall marked out for an M21, sooner or later. But that;s where it is likely to stay most of the time. (Shawn’s post at Loose Rounds has some details about the fiendish difficulty of keeping one of these in accurate shooting trim). Notes: Stevens, North American FALs, p.106; Iannimico, p. 62. Iannimico, p. 59. Stevens, US Rifle M14, pp. 197-224l Emerson, Volume 1, pp. 41-70 Emerson, Volume 3, pp. 129-130. Sources Emersom, Lee. M1 History and Development, Fifth Edition . (Four Volumes). Self-published, 2010-2014. Iannimico, Frank. The Last Steel Warrior: US Rifle M14. Henderson, NV: Moose Lake, 2005. Rayle, Roy E. Random Shots: Episodes in the Life of a Weapon Developer. Bennington, VT: Merriam Press, 1996. Stevens, R. Blake, North American FALs . Toronto: Collector Grade Publications, 1979. Stevens, R. Blake, US Rifle M14: From John Garand to the M21 . Toronto: "Collector Grade Publications" , 1979. This entry was first posted on weponsman.com by Hognose .

Summary

Owning a firearm is a constitutionally guaranteed freedom in the United States, but with great freedom comes great responsibility, and nowhere is this truer than when it comes to safely storing your firearms. Gun safes provide a secure method of gun storage that keeps weapons out of the hands of restricted people, such as children, criminals, and the mentally ill. Gun safes can be expensive, but keeping your firearms stored safely and securely doesn’t have to drain your bank account.