There is a wealth of knowledge out there for long-term storage of firearms, as many folks did it in the 90′s during the Ban craze then. I already posted on how/where to hid things in your house or on your property, and talked about PVC tubes, but that was in reference to hiding various things, this is just about guns.
The reasoning for caching your weapons is to keep them from any confiscation plans that might be had, but there are a few steps you need to take first.
Obviously you don’t want to have a record of you owning a specific firearm, as well as a credit card statement showing that you bought PVC tubes and concrete as well, it’s not going to be convincing if you have to give some liberty lies down the road if someone comes knocking (Liberty Lies are what i call it when you have to lie about something you shouldn’t have to in regards to exercising you own liberty, such as saying “No I don’t have that gun anymore” or “Yes I bought all that ammo, but i shot it up last year”, Like white lies but more righteous!)
Any of the things i mention here should be purchased with cash and in a different, town/county than you live in, to give you a better buffer against 2 and 2 being put together. You need to “dress appropriately” as well, by this I mean you don’t want to show up in a suit and tie buying pvc pipe, glue, etc under the auspices you are repairing some stuff around the house. Do people who wear suits do this sort of thing? Yes, but you’ll look more convincing with a worn out old t-shirt and jeans, just makes you look less recognizable and unique, I would also buy it at a mom and pop shop, not home depot, who like to track purchases made by customers (not for malicious reasons, just to target their ads for you better).
For the internet purchases I would try to get someone to buy it for you (you pay them back of course) who isn’t a “gun nut” have it shipped to their house, the older the better. Because then they can just say they bought it to store old deeds and pictures in case of a fire….but cant remember where they put it! “I know its over here somewhere…my mind just don’t work like it used to…” (very frustrating for an overzealous agent trying to figure out if grandma is a “terrorist”, because anyone that would buy that is obviously one right?) In any case you need to find anyone that isn’t that closely connected to you and then pick it up from them to maintain operational security.
Charles Wood Method
One method I read about involved a guy hiding his PVC cash on his property under a downed log, which was pretty ingenious as you will always know where it is as long as that log is there!
- 6 inch Schedule 40 PVC pipe , end caps and PVC solvent
- Used Rust preventative oil that is used for storing unused machinery in damp locations (the oil dries to form a waxy coating)
- Large Mylar Bag used to wrap a Mainframe Computer. You can purchase 5 Gallon Mylar Bags (20×30) from Amazon.com or ones that are up to 60″ in length from Sorbent Systems all depends on the length of your weapon (you’ll want to disassemble it first)
- He placed all the pieces in individual mylar bags and sealed them with a small bag of desiccant packets to absorb any moisture present.
- He also packed in two small cans of 1-1-1 Trichlorethane degreaser so that when he dug it up he would have the degreaser right there, all in one.
- several thousand rounds were packed in as well, along with a cleaning rod, gun solvent/gun oil and patches so that the weapon could be degreased then cleaned and be ready to used
Charles then put everything in a large mylar bag, a couple more bags of desiccant, Since there was loose space around the rifle he dumped in loose rounds to fill the void and threw in a large back of desiccant packets on top of that. He then put another bag of desiccant in a few bags of ammo then the big mylar bag full of the rifle and supplies, then a few more bags of ammo on top of it. He had a tank of nitrogen available so he purged any air that might be in it and sealed it up. You could probably make do with using a small amount of dry ice, and makes sure it has completely dissolved before you seal it and through in some oxygen absorbers, which you can purchase or just use some handwarmers, that should purge most of, if not all the air inside the tube.
Charles then took “extreme care” using the pvc solvent to make sure the end caps were perfectly sealed and watertight, and buried it. Even going as far as to have the resident forester mark it as a “wildlife tree” so that future logging wouldn’t disturb it!
He then duct taped the ammo to the rifle bag making sure it all would fit in the space in the PVC, loaded the tub with a large bag of desiccant packets followed by some more ammo, the rifle bag and the other supplies. Since there was loose space in the bag
These are a pretty innovative product, if you don’t want to deal with doing the PVC route yourself, but it does offer less protection in that it will show up as a “purchase” on your card, so like I said you’ll want to do this through a third-party
Monovaults are an all in one product from small sizes to bury pistols or jewelry to the larger tubes to bury rifles or shotguns. As with PVC you’ll want to oil the weapon, possibly putting it in a protective sleeve, however mylar with desiccant and oxygen absorbers will do the trick as well.
Some Notes on Caching
- Prior to putting the gun in whatever bag it may be going in You will not want to douse it in oil, a light coat is good, since if you have a lot on the weapon, over a long period of time, especially if there is extreme temperature fluctuations the oil will seep into areas it is not supposed to. Rem Oil or Birchwood Casey Barricade work well.
- Along with the store the weapon barrel down so the oil doesn’t seep down into the action of the weapon
- You can also coat the weapon in GI grease under the name “Grease, Rifle” or Cosmoline, but this will require A LOT of work to get the stuff off, but it is very effective. You will want to include a not to yourself or whoever you send to get it indicating the bore, chamber and bolt face have been coated in grease and to clean before firing. (Note: when firing brand new weapons, especially belt fed machine guns, even after cleaning them very well, they will spit out ungodly amounts of a black greasy substance when firing for a while afterwards until all the grease comes loose from firing!) If planning on having these buried for many years or even a decade or more, USGI grease is probably the best and most piece of mind way to go.
- You can store extra magazines in an ammo can if you put in some large desiccant packets, and will probably only need a light coat of oil and an annual inspection or every so often. Remember even if you have polymer PMAGS you still need to oil the spring!
- Humidity control is key, moisture will attack and destroy a weapon, as even a bit of it, especially over years of sitting underground will DESTROY your weapon and make it a nice paperweight.
- Wherever you bury it, you will want to pay attention to natural markers and avoid areas where water will collect, say if you have a spot of land and you can see one piece of it has a slightly higher elevation choose that, water will naturally run down and not pool in that area. You may even want to dig a very large hole and have a good layer of gravel below where you are burying your cache to ensure drainage of water away from the cache.
- Inert Argon gas is a great displacer of air, and is used for welding and in smaller quantities for wine preservation. You can use this to “flood” a gun safe or other container and it displaces the air in it, you seal it up and you should be good to go. It can be pricey as 40 cubic feet will run over a hundred dollars. For non-caching purposes you can flood your gun safe with it (if the safe is air tight) and put in a dehumidifier rod inside to keep everything well protected, that is if you don’t plan on getting into that safe often, which means you’ll have to do it again
- To minimize temperature fluctuations bury it over 8 feet deep to get any type of consistent temperatures.
- Teflon tape and paste on the threads of the PVC cap along with a bead of silicone on the outside will help ensure that it is sealed properly, unless you plan on cutting the tube to open it as Mr Charles Wood did.
- If you want larger than 6″ PVC check pool supply companies
- In colder climates to avoid frost heaves and destruction of your vault you may want to bury foam insulation around the vault itself, a few feet with dirt between the insulation and the vault, to keep the ground around the vault from freezing and cracking the PVC or Monovault tube.
- If you have tunneling varmints like groundhogs in the area you can wrap chicken wire around the tube to discourage them chewing on it.
- To Avoid Metal detectors you may want to bury the cache in an area already saturated with metal “trash” or just do it yourself. you will not want to just locate this trash just around the cache, but over a large area around it, perhaps burying tin cans or locating it below a metal t-post with wire fencing. You will want the trash to be believable so don’t scatter 1000 nails around the area, if there is not reason to have that many around there. Going to a junkyard and getting rusted out old parts could work as well.