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Gun Safe Furniture

Chris Upchurch

No, not the clever furniture you can buy that conceals a gun safe. I'm talking about “furniture” that goes in your gun safe.

I've long said that safe manufacturers don’t seem to make safes for me, or most of the gun owners I know. They seem to think that all we own are long, slim hunting rifles and over/under shotguns. The slots for rifles are far too close together to accommodate protruding charging handles, flashlights, optics, and pistol grips. On the flip side, they provide enough height for very long barrels, much of which is wasted space when your firearms collection is slanted towards black rifles, bullpups, and SBRs.

A friend of mine from back in Utah gave me an idea for a way to solve this problem. What I've done is essentially build a small chest of drawers inside my gun safe.

This elevates my shorter rifles off the floor of the safe, turning what was wasted space above the muzzles into a set of drawers that can accommodate pistols, suppressors, or even AR lowers.

The space above the drawers is just barely long enough to accommodate an 18" barreled shotgun or my PTR (and the PTR is only possible because I recently put a collapsable stock on it). It will quite easily hold a 16" AR or AK, much less a bullpup or SBR. The shelf on top of the drawers extends all the way to the left side of the safe, but on the right side there's an opening where I can put my few full length rifles.

The drawers sit far enough off the bottom of the safe that the bottom one will clear the lip of the door. There's a space underneath the bottom drawer that can accommodate additional hardware. The drawers will just barely fit through the opening when the safe door is opened as far as it can be (the safe is in a closet so the door won’t swing all the way open.

Construction was pretty simple. I got pre-made drawers at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. They’re not on rails or anything, they just sit on individual shelves (handily enough, each drawer comes with it's own shelf). The rest of the wood came from cutting up a couple of finished shelves I bought at Lowes, which seemed like it would look nicer than unfinished lumber. The whole thing is held together by a couple of L-brackets. The only tools I used were a screwdriver, drill, and table saw (and you could skip the table saw if you had a steadier hand and more patience than I).

So far I'm quite happy with it. It looks decent (all of my carpentry mistakes are hidden away where they can't be seen) and it seems like it will be very functional.