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Can I break my gun down into parts to store it?

Is it advisable? Bill Harriman offers some tips.

Break the gun down into component parts so you don't miss anything

Learn how to break your gun down into component parts safely

Knowing the method of breaking a gun into parts is a very useful skill to have – particularly when you’re maintaining and cleaning your shotgun. 

But is it acceptable to break down your gun into components for storage so that you can fit it into a smaller space? That’s exactly what a reader asked recently.

Breaking a gun into parts for storage

Q: I need to buy a gun safe for my house, but I don’t have room for a full-size gun cabinet. I will therefore need to break a gun into parts to store it. Will this cause any problems with the gun?

A: None whatsoever. Shotguns are designed to be broken in two for cleaning, so there is no reason why they should not be stored long term in that state. Make sure that the cabinet is installed away from damp and that it has a soft lining (foam or similar) to protect the guns. (Putting your gun cabinet in the attic is not a great idea and this is why.)

Store the stock and action with the stock uppermost so that any oil on the action does not run on to the wood — mineral oil is the death of wood fibres.

See here for advice on how to remove stuck shotgun chokes.

Camouflage is key to security

A shorter cabinet has an advantage in that it is easier to conceal. If you can lie it on its back and bolt it to both wall and floor joists, it will be difficult to attack. Anyone doing so would not be able to use his upper body strength fully because you need to stand up to do that. This arrangement doubles the capacity as well.

If you cover it in carpet, a thief will think it is a bit of central heating trunking and will leave it alone. Camouflage is an important aspect of security.

You might like to read a firearms officer’s advice on safe gun storage too.