Monthly Archives: April 2014

Tips for Purchasing Guns from a Private Seller

At Sportsman Steel Safes, we focus on gun safes and other gun safety issues, but our gun knowledge doesn’t begin and end with safety. We know what first-time gun buyers have on their minds when they’re thinking about purchasing a firearm. Along with the issues of safety, gun type, and ammo type, people spend most of their time considering where they’re going to purchase their gun. We will always advocate going to a licensed and public gun seller. If you do, you won’t have to worry about whether or not the transaction is legal – you’re sure to get a good firearm, and you’ll have a chance of a refund in case anything goes wrong.


We know that, for a variety of reasons, some people will chose to find a gun through a private seller. Again, we always recommend using more traditional means for getting a gun, but if you want to buy from a private seller, make sure to follow these tips:

Check ALL local, state, and federal requirements for private firearm sales

We cannot stress this enough: if you’re going to use a private seller, make sure you know about the laws in your county, town, and state, along with the federal laws governing the sale of firearms. Usually, most places require a simple notification of a change in ownership, but since guns are such a hot-button topic now, new laws and restrictions are being adopted every day.

Make sure the gun has a serial number

By now, nearly every handgun and long gun should come with a manufacturer’s serial number. The purpose of these numbers has nothing to do with manufacturing, and everything to do with the law. Serial numbers are recorded when a gun is first purchased from a dealer so that the police and government can track who owns the gun. Make sure that any weapon you purchase has a valid serial number, and never buy any kind of handgun or long gun that has a scratched off number or missing one. The absence or distortion of a number can be a sign of a stolen weapon.

Always test it out

This may seem like a no brainer, but not testing the weapons has become more of an issue lately, as more people use the Internet to buy guns. Some private sellers may try to con customers by selling them a gun that looks nice, but doesn’t work. Buying a gun that doesn’t work isn’t just a waste of time; it’s almost always a waste of money, if you buy it from a private seller. If you find out that your gun is a dud after you purchase it, you shouldn’t expect a refund. Always ask to test it out before hand, or to physically see the seller test it out.

At Sportsman Steel Safes, we advocate gun safety – and that extends to the purchasing process. If you must buy a gun from a private seller, use due caution. Better yet, avoid the risk and buy from a legitimate seller. And of course, no matter what gun you choose, make sure that you have an adequate gun safe to house it. Contact us today with any questions you may have!

Tips for Choosing the Safest Gun Safes

When choosing the proper gun safe to store your firearms at home, you must research what attributes create the safest gun storage environment. Customers ask us all the time what features can make gun safes the absolute safest. We are more than happy to help educate gun owners on how to pick the right safe that can protect not only guns, but anything from important family documents and photos, to priceless heirlooms in the worst scenarios.

Image: Tips on How To Choose the Safest Gun Safes

Tips on Choosing The Safest Gun Safes

  1. Get a safe that utilizes an electronic digital access. Opinions throughout the industry typically agree that combination dial locks are in fact slower to open than electronic locks. It is extremely important to factor in the speed of your firearm’s availability in a crisis situation, and the difference in opening time between a dial and digital lock is pretty substantial. Additionally, electronic locks with digital access allow owners to change codes whenever necessary as opposed to combo dial locks that require a much longer process. Digital access can also allow for industry upgrades such as fingerprint technology. It has been reported that around 80% of total gun safe owners rely on digital locks, rather than their dial equipped ancestors.
  1. Get a safe that is completely fireproof. Your safe should be certified flame retardant and suitable for surviving temperatures of at least 1500 degrees Fahrenheit; some high end models can even reach levels of 2300 degrees. The exterior of your safe should also include a flame retardant powder coating that helps deter fire, including blow torches during break in attempts.
  1. Get a safe that incorporates a separate steel frame solely for its lock plate. This simple addition greatly prevents common intrusive attempts such as drilling.
  1. Get a safe that has “Jig-Saw step doors,” over traditional flat surface designs. Flat doors rattle and only provide a gasket seal on one level. During a fire, hot air can still get into safes that are only protected through one level of sealing, thus putting your important documents at risk. On the other hand, “step doors” are built like bank vaults and commercial grade safes, sealing your firearms on four separate levels. This type of seal actually creates a gun safe that is airtight and waterproof, as well as fireproof.
  1. Get a safe that is protected under a warranty. In today’s day and age, most companies stand by their work in the form of some sort of warranty. Make sure you choose a well known manufacturer that offers guaranteed protection to your valuables.

If you consider the five tips mentioned above into your decision making when picking out storage for your firearms, you can guarantee that not only your valuables, but your family, will be protected by the safest gun safe possible.

Let us help you make the best possible decision for your firearms protection; whether you buy from us or not, we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about gun safes.

Call us at 800-266-7150 or fill out our contact form here.

Wood Gun Cabinets Can Be Deadly

The Waikato Police in New Zealand disclosed earlier in the month that 8 firearms were stolen from a resident’s wood gun cabinet. Police have asked gun owners to consider upgrading their wooden gun cabinets and rifle display cases to steel gun safes bolted in place; stressing that it’s not only about protecting your investments but also about keeping the community safe.

image: burglar stealing guns

This crime probably could have been avoided. Since this wood gun cabinet probably had a glass front (such as a rifle display cabinet), it showed the crooks exactly were the guns were. So breaking into the unit was not only easy to achieve, but quick to locate. These types of gun display cabinets might be nice to look at, but they are not safe.

As the police have cautioned and as we always say, having sub-standard firearms security in your home is a tragedy waiting to happen! What’s worse is, if these guns are used in a crime, if you live in the wrong state, you might just be liable. Yikes!

The solution is easy. Buy a steel gun safe. One with a DOJ compliancy.

Not only does Sportsman Steel gun safes have a DOJ rating, but none of our gun safes have ever had a door drilled open in 35 years. If you’re concerned about fire protection, Sportsman Steel offers a commercial grade 2″ Step System door with a heavy-duty 3/4″ pry resistant frame.

Don’t become a victim of having your firearms stolen. Protect your guns with a steel gun safe from Sportsman Steel Safes. Call 800-266-7150. 

Gun Ownership Restrictions – Do they Apply to You?

When you hear the way some people talk about gun ownership in the United States, you’d think it was possible to simply walk into a gun store and walk out with a firearm of your choice like you were buying groceries. Gun ownership isn’t a right; it’s a privilege that some people may not be able to have. You may be skilled in firing a gun, you may accompany your friends when they go shooting, and you could own the safest gun safe for your future firearm, but that doesn’t mean that you can own a gun.

Before you set your heart on getting a firearm, Sportsman Steel Safes advises you to make sure that you can legally own one. There can be exceptions, but if you fit any of the following categories that we’ve outlined here, you may not be able to purchase a gun.

Mental instability

As we learn more about mental illness, this factor seems to be constantly changing in law. In almost every state, there are laws that declare that a person cannot own a gun if they are found to be mentally disturbed or incompetent; however, the definition of “disturbed” or “incompetent” can change from state to state, and even country to country. A person with major depression and no history of violence could get a firearm in one state, and be completely barred from gun ownership in another.

Felony record


This is another factor that can vary from state to state. It’s almost universally agreed upon that felons that were convicted of a violent crime are barred from gun ownership. If you have been convicted of a non-violent crime, there may be a chance that you could be legally allowed to own a firearm. That chance, however, is small – if you have any criminal record or conviction, getting a firearm may be very difficult or impossible.                                                          

Juvenile Records

Most people don’t think about juvenile records, since many of these crimes do not legally follow people into adulthood. It’s also possible to request that certain records be expunged or sealed. But it’s possible that some serious crimes might remain on a person’s record, which can prevent them from owning a gun.

Non U.S. citizens (usually)

Not being a citizen of the United States usually automatically bars you from gun ownership, but (surprisingly) there are some exceptions. If you are permanently immigrating to the country, you may be able to own a gun. If you’ve managed to obtain a hunting license that was issued in the U.S., you should also be able to own a firearm.

If none of the above apply to you, the chances of being able to purchase a firearm are much greater. Call us at Sportsman Steel Safes today with any gun safety questions or for information about one of our state-of-the-art safes: 800-266-7150.

3 Mistakes People Make that End up Ruining their Shots

For some first-time gun buyers, it can seem like some people were just born with the ability to shoot. When you go to the gun range and see people flawlessly hit each bulls-eye, or go hunting and notice that your friend seems to hit every animal that comes in their sight, it can be easy to think that you have to be born with some gun skills. It is true that some people happen to have a knack for shooting, but a lot of different things go into being a good shot. You’d be surprised by how one seemingly small alteration in the way you handle your firearm can dramatically change the accuracy of your shot. Don’t vow to lock up all of your firearms in your gun safe when you come back from another unsuccessful day of hunting; see if you’re making these common mistakes when you take your shot.

Improperly mounted scope


You may have been mounting your scope the same way for years, but that doesn’t mean that you’ve been doing it correctly. Properly scope mounting can be difficult, but luckily there are a lot of resources available to help you do it correctly. has an excellent step-by-step picture post on the proper method. If that doesn’t work for you, do a quick YouTube search for videos that will demonstrate the technique. If you’ve been doing it wrong, a slight change to your scope may help improve your shooting accuracy a great deal.

Pulling the trigger roughly

Pulling the trigger on your firearm properly is a lot more complicated than you’d think. In fact, the term “pulling the trigger” may not be the best way to describe firing your gun. Ideally, when firing, your finger should make more of a pressing motion than a pulling motion. When most people fire, they end up yanking too hard, which can completely mess up a perfect shot. When you pull your trigger, it shouldn’t jostle your gun, mess up your sight, or do anything to affect your shot.

Using the wrong ammo

The importance of ammo has been mentioned on this blog plenty of times in the past, but in terms of having a good shot, the type of ammo you use is crucial. If you’re shooting factory rifles, always test a few loads to see what kind of ammo will perform the best in your firearm. If you have to reload your gun often during hunting, also be sure to focus on how smoothly you can reload your gun.


Owning a Gun Safe is the Best Gun Control

The debate over gun control has been talked about for decades. It’s time we stopped talking, because it won’t happen; not dramatic gun control anyway. Not with Americans fascinated with firearms. But what we can do is take small steps toward making our country safer.

image: gun safe

For example, of the teens that used guns in high school, theater and night club shootings, 85% acquired their weapons from family members who didn’t have them locked up. That’s right. Rifles, handguns and ammo was left out in the opening for troubled teens to take and use on their shooting rampages.

I can’t help but think that if these families had guns safes how many lives would have been saved. Ten, twenty, a hundred? By simply buying a DOJ approved gun safe, we could reduce the likelihood of these shootings dramatically. So the next time someone mentions gun control, ask them where their guns are? If they are unprotected, in a closet or under the bed, this gun control problem start with them.

As gun owners we need to be responsible.

The solution is easy: Buy a gun safe and be a part of the solution.

Call Sportsman Steel Safes for gun safes and vault doors. We’re had zero safe doors drilled open in 35 years. Call 800-266-7150.