Today I’m going to show you how to make a really effective and [here’s the operative word] cheap way to hide a handgun close to your bed, but not obvious to anybody looking around in the room for weapons, and easily accessible if you need it late at night.
First you will need a suitable night stand, preferably one with a thick top and a decent skirt around it. Read the entire Instructable first to ensure the night stand you want to use is a good choice. (Oh yes, this Instructable also works for tables and desks as well). If you have everything at hand this whole Instructable should only take you about an hour or so.
The list of components you need is really short and you can get all of them at the local hardware store (even at Lowe’s and Home Depot!); you will need:
- 1 ea gate latch (an Open Bar Holder type as pictured) $3
- 1 ea right angle bracket (the more holes at different levels the merrier, similar to the one as shown) $1
- 1 ea 3/8” diameter* wooden rod (buy the pine, not the oak--it’s cheaper and easier to work) $1
(*This diameter will work for a .45 like the one shown. For a .38/9mm you will need to find a 5/16" dia. rod. You could use a 1/4" dia in a pinch but that's tough to drill and mount).
- A roll of good electrical tape $2
- A handful of wood screws of the right size (based on your hardware) $2
- A piece of construction paper (if you need to know what this cost you must be new to this sight) a pen or pencil (a Sharpe works best) and a few inches of scotch tape.
- You will need a hand drill with at least one drill (sized to the screws you use) and [optional] a bar of soap.
You will see all of the pictures of everything you need in the following steps.
OK, here we go!
Step 1: Be Safe and Start Cutting!
I offer this Instructable under the assumption that if you are at the point where you wish to conceal a handgun for personal protection you are familiar with good, sound handgun handling practices and have a lick of common sense. Failure to follow either of the above could result in something very bad, even fatal when handling your weapon during the course of this Instructable. PLEASE be safe with your handgun and handle it properly at all times!
Step 1, measure and cut the length of wooden rod you will need. It needs to be at least 2” long (to stay engage in the barrel) but no longer than the inner length of the barrel WITHOUT hitting a chambered round. (I personally don’t keep a round in the chamber as usually just the sound of a .45 slide chambering the first round is enough to scare away any would-be late night intruders, but those of you hiding a revolver or a loaded automatic please keep this in mind; you don’t want to be jamming a rod down a barrel and hitting a bullet at the other end of it; bad things can happen!).
I measured the rod length right off the gun itself as shown, mark it clearly with a Sharpie then use a small wood saw (I used the one on my multi-tool) to cut it off.
Step 2: The Hole Truth and Nothing But...
(Here’s an old carpenter’s trick for threading a long screw full-length into wood: put a little soap on the beginning threads by scraping it on a used bar of soap. You can screw it in by hand and after a while the soap will dry out and give you a good hold.)
Also, if you have some sandpaper handy it helps to hit the end that goes down the barrel with a small taper. It will make for an easier mount.
Step 3: Seeing It From All the Right Angles.
I buy the kind of angle that has three holes in it so I can chose the clearance of the wooden rod based on the thickness of the handgun. (This isn’t too critical as long as the rod doesn’t bind the barrel when the gun is lying flat; you want it enter and egress the barrel as level as possible.)
Step 4: Maintaining Your Spacial Orientation.
Here is the easiest place to decide left-hand or right-hand draw (see Step 7 to catch my drift).
Note how I use the gate latch as a means to hold the gun up and concealed. I also located the gate latch about mid-way from the base of the handle to the finger guard. That way the gun is in an easy in-easy out configuration. (I did this step before the next so you can see the shiny latch contrasting against the black handle of the handgun. Feel free to do Step 5 before Step 4 if you want.)
Step 5: Cutting Through All This Tape.
Wrap to your heart’s content, just make sure you get plenty on the corners and edges. Don't wrap it too tight as electrical tape, if stretched too tight, will peel off after a while. Use scissors to cut a clean, crisp edge when starting and ending a wrap.
If you happen to have a can of tool-dip this would work even better. But if you do use tool-dip make sure you clean off any stickers and oil from the gate latch.
Step 6: Avoiding Trouble at All Cost! Do Not Skip This Step!
You will also need to set the drill-depth based on how thick the table surface is. If you have drill stops use them; if not, mark the drill with a wrap of tape (masking or electrical) just shy of the thickness of the wood on the table top like I show above.
Failure to do this step may result in drilling though your bed stands’ top and may also result in your significant other using the same gun [you are trying to conceal] to kill you when she/he discovers the holes you drilled in her/his night stand, so take your time on this and the next step; exercise good drilling techniques!
Step 7: AC or DC? the Choice Is Yours.
So as to not interfere with any lip that might slow its’ egress, pay attention to where (and in what orientation) you want the handgun in. It is best to place the barrel tip as close to the opposite side of the table to avoid any conflict with the skirt. Also, if you haven't done this yet chose a left-hand or a right-hand draw. (To change the draw flip the guide over as needed).
I myself am right-handed but chose a left-hand pull for fear of pulling it out with my finger on the trigger. I would rather pull it out awkwardly and change hands cautiously than grab it automatically, ready to [accidently] pull the trigger.
Now that the drill guide is in place drill your holes where you marked them in the guide. DO NOT drill past the stop (or tape guide) unless you place little value on your personal well-being!
Step 8: Not Seeing Is Believing!
One last note: IF YOU HAVE LITTLE ONES running around your house DO NOT leave a loaded weapon in this holder unsecured! They have a way of finding things in places you would never imagine they would look! As a matter of fact in certain states it is illegal to leave a loaded gun unsecured in the presence of adolescences. If you have children in your house, or if you have friends & family that bring theirs young'uns over to your house, you should lock the weapon up in a secure manner BEFORE they sneak into your room.
You can make the following mod to this mount if you want to make the handgun inaccessible while in the mount. You should do this mod before you wrap the latch with tape and as you mark the hole location on the drill template.
Buy a large padlock and drill a close-tolerance hole (relative to the diameter of the hasp) in the gate latch just behind the grip, on the inside between the edge of the latch and the barrel mount, allowing minimal clearance between the hasp and the butt of the gun. That way the gun cannot be removed unless the padlock is removed. Chances are it won’t stop a professional thief from stealing the gun (if found) but it will keep children’s hands from removing the weapon if they find it.
Thanks for readin’!