The National Firearms Museum at the NRA’s headquarters has an old wheellock gun on display. It had been brought to America on the Mayflower in 1620 and belonged to John Alden. The gun can be directly attributed to him in two ways: It was mentioned in his will, and it was found, still loaded, in a hidden wall panel by the front door of what was once his home, nearly 300 years later. Alden was a skilled carpenter and cooper (barrel-maker) and likely built the hidden compartment himself. But even if you lack barrel-making skills, you can take after Alden and securely hide you guns and valuables at home. I’ve found many online guides for building hidden doors and false walls at home, but nothing I’ve ever built has ended up looking like the advertisement. Fortunately, there are others who know what they’re doing when it comes to building safes.

Off The Wall

Hidden Safes provides both custom work and simple, do-it-yourself, hidden, home storage solutions. The company can place gun safes behind false wall panels, storage-area equipment or movable book cases. Wasted space in your home can be walled off and turned into a usable hidden room or crawl space, and Hidden Safes can add a wall to create a hidden gun room that will do double duty as a safe room for you and you family. Of course this is custom work based on the architecture of your home and on your specific needs. No two hidden rooms will look alike, all the better for keeping things hidden. The company also sells a simple, do-it-yourself, false-air-vent storage compartment, which comes completely assembled and ready for installation in any room of your home. A hidden fastener opens the front for access to the customizable interior. Its adjustable shelves allow you to store one or two handguns and other valuables. For more information, visit hiddensafes.com or call 901-213-0111.

For something simpler but still hidden, Cannon Security Products offers a wall safe that combines concealability with quick access. This safe can be installed between two wall studs, flush in a wall, and features an electronic combination lock and a drop-down door that instantly opens for fast access. The Cannon wall safe has steel construction with two LED interior lights and a false bottom for more secret storage. The upholstered interior protects your firearms and can easily accommodate two handguns plus assorted documents, cash and jewelry. Since the entire unit fits flush with your interior wall, it can easily be hidden behind a photo frame, a painting or the clothes in your closet. For more information, visit cannonsecurityproducts.com or call 800-242-1055.

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