It is clear that we are living in perilous times. I’ve often referred to our present era with the phrase: We Are Living In The Age Of Deception and Betrayal. (WALITAODAB.) Now that the Democrats are again ruling Washington, so-called “gun control” measures are going to be coming at us at a gallop. So it is wise to complete your firearms battery soon. For now, private party sales are still legal in about 34 of the 50 States. So stock up, before we have a nationwide “Universal Background Checks” law. The purpose of this essay is to underscore the importance of distributing your firearms into several discreet and discrete safe storage locations. This is not the time to keep all of your proverbial eggs in one basket. WALITAODAB!
The U.S. military is famous for its use of acronyms. You might say they speak an English dialect called Acronese. One acronym popular with military communications planners is PACE. That stands for Primary, Alternate, Contingency, and Emergency. For your distributed firearms storage locales, I suggest something along those lines. I use a variant of this acronym: PACE-BB. I’ll explain that in detail.
But first, let me remind you that you need to record the serial numbers and detailed descriptions of your guns, for insurance and/or theft-reporting purposes. I recommend using 3″x5″ cards for this — one card per gun. That way you can simply shred or burn cards whenever one legitimately leaves your collection. And if you ever lose a gun to a burglar, you certainly don’t want to hand authorities your full list of guns.
I do not recommend any electronic cataloging unless you have a fully air-gapped (not Internet-connected) tablet or laptop. But most people don’t have the self-discipline to resist connecting such a device, so it is best that you stick to just using 3″x5″ cards. Those cards should be hidden in the home of trusted relative who is not a likely target of gun confiscation. (Read: Granny’s house.)
Also, consider that any gun that is not inspected frequently needs or be heavily oiled or greased, and stored in a sealed container with a large packet of silica gel desiccant. Or, if stored in a wall panel or in a small hidden room, with an electric dehumidifying rod, such as a Golden Rod.
The PACE-BB Strategy
Here is my description of how to pursue a PACE-BB firearms/optics/ammunition/precious metals storage strategy. You will note that the only gun not mentioned in the following list is your primary self-defense pistol. That should be close at hand, at all times. And depending on your circumstances, you might want to have a defensive rifle or shotgun close at hand, as well.
This is your primary battery of your most capable self-defense and hunting guns. This set of guns should be kept very well hidden (architecturally), but fairly quickly accessible in your home. I’ve linked to dozens of YouTube videos that describe the construction and camouflage of such hiding places. We’ve also had several good articles in SurvivalBlog, such as this one. Even an interior hollowcore door cache can hold a surprising amount. Just put “cache” in the SurvivalBlog search box, and you will learn a lot.
Examples of the items stored here would include:
- Your 7.62mm NATO battle rifle — such as an AR-10, HK91, FN-FAL, or SCAR-17.
- Your primary fighting shotgun. (Such as a Saiga-12 or a Benelli.)
- Your secondary carry pistol.
- Your primary .22 foraging/training rifle.
- Your primary night vision scope.
- Your primary scoped hunting/long-range countersniper rifle.
- Roughly 30% of your precious metals, ammunition, holsters, and magazines.
This is the secondary battery of your less capable self-defense and hunting guns. This set of guns should be also be kept very well hidden (architecturally) – preferably in or beneath an outbuilding, or in the dwelling of a well-trusted relative or friend who lives near you. Examples of the items stored here would include:
- Your 5.56mm NATO battle rifle — such as an AR-15, HK93, or Mini-14.
- Your secondary fighting shotgun. (Such as a Remington 870 or Mossberg 500.)
- Your tertiary carry pistoi.
- Your secondary .22 foraging/training rifle.
- Your family heirloom guns.
- Your secondary night vision scope.
- Your secondary scoped hunting/long-range countersniper rifle.
- Your Federally-exempt pre-1899 cartridge guns. (Yes, I sell some, so I’m biased.)
- Roughly 40% of your precious metals, ammunition, holsters, and magazines.
This set of guns should also be kept completely offsite, preferably in a waterproof underground cache. Many of my consulting clients have successfully used newly-made heavy duty plastic single-compartment septic tanks with a “man hatch” and an 18″ to 24″ hatch extension.
Examples of the items stored here would include:
- A secondary 5.56mm NATO battle rifle — such as an AR-15, HK93, or Mini-14.
- Your quarternary carry pistoi.
- Your tertiary scoped hunting/long-range countersniper rifle.
- Roughly 20% of your precious metals, ammunition, holsters, and magazines.
This set of guns should also be kept completely offsite or even out of the country preferably in a second waterproof underground cache or perhaps in a private vault. (Not in a FDIC-insured bank safe deposit box!) This cache could be a small as a buried 20mm milsurp ammo can with triple layer of paint. Examples of the items stored here would include:
- Your last-ditch backup pistol.
- Photocopies of your birth certificate, driver’s license, and passport.
- Roughly 10% of your precious metals, a few magazines, and a small supply of ammunition.
BB stands for several things: Basic Beater, Burglar Bait, Bureaucrat Bait, and BB gun.) This set of inexpensive guns should be kept in a gun vault that is bolted to a wall and floor in an obvious place in your home, in fairly plain view — such as in the master bedroom closet. This is essentially a sacrificial set of guns that will assuage a larcenous burglar or bureaucrat. Let the miscreants direct their attention and expend their energy on this. Again, WALITAODAB. Let’s face it: If you have any indicators that you are a gun owner, then you cannot keep ALL of your guns well-hidden in your walls, or the burglars or bureaucrats will take the time to tear your house apart, looking for them. In this “BB” safe you can store a few “low-end” guns and a small amount of ammunition. Examples of the items stored here would include:
- An older single-shot shotgun.
- An inexpensive well-worn lever-action (such as a Winchester or Marlin .30-30.)
- A used Kel-Tec pistol
- A used high-power .177pellet/BB gun, such as a Daisy Model 880 or 881.
Note: If you’ve ever bought large quantities of ammunition by mail order, with a credit card, or otherwise “with a paper trail”, then you should have at least one inexpensive gun in that same caliber in your “BB” safe. For 5.56mm, look for a Kel-Tec 5.56 SUB-16 or RDB. And for .308/7.62mm NATO, look for an older .308 bolt action rifle.
Your Mileage May Vary
The foregoing is just my general advice. Your personal circumstances, house design, budget, and preferences will probably vary considerably. But regardless of what you decide, just be sure to somehow distribute your gun collection in a variety of places. Again, please consider: WALITAODAB. This is not the time to keep all of your proverbial eggs in one basket! – JWR