Thinking About Building A Gun Room

Thinking About Building A Gun Room

This is a discussion on Thinking About Building A Gun Room within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; So I have a room I built in the basement where my reloading bench and related equipment is located. Two walls are the concrete foundation, ...

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Thread: Thinking About Building A Gun Room

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array CT-Mike's Avatar
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    Thinking About Building A Gun Room

    So I have a room I built in the basement where my reloading bench and related equipment is located. Two walls are the concrete foundation, the other two are 2x4 and drywall.

    I am thinking about knocking down the wood frame walls, replacing with concrete block and adding a vault door. Maybe eventually lining the inside of the block walls with some steel plate for an added measure of safety and fire protection.

    The obvious weak point would be the ceiling/floor of the room above. Trying to think of a good way to reinforce the ceiling that wouldn't add a ton of weight to the floor joists. Anyone have any ideas?

    Thanks,

    Mike
    "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground."

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Use block on all four sides (new addiditonal block on the existing concrete walls) to support whatever ceiling material you decide on. Then there would be no additional stress on the floor joists above.

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    Distinguished Member Array CT-Mike's Avatar
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    That is an idea, but would require some kind of posts in the middle of the room (12' x 13' or so) and I am trying to avoid that. I suppose I could put block on the outer walls as you said, then run some steel beams across, and weld some steel plate to the underside of the beams. I would lose some ceiling height but it might be a good trade off.
    "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground."

    - Thomas Jefferson

    "I'm the arrow, you're my bow, shoot me forth and I will go"

    "Do not let any individual posts put a knot in your Big Boy Under-Roos"

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    We had a vault door for a safe in our old high school. Someone broke in to the school, spent part of the night breaking out the cement blocks next to the vault door and got into the safe...I'm just sayin'...plan ahead.
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

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    Member Array justjim's Avatar
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    If your going to do it I would suggest Steel beam frame with Steel reinforced and cement filled cinder block walls lined with steel plate(walls, roof, floor) on the inside and
    a vault door set into steel reinforced frame. In other words if your going to build a vault, build a vault don't do it half way. Spend the money and do it right. As an alternative (read that
    cheaper) do steel reinforced and cement filled cinder bloc walls, leave the cealing as is and install a commercial steel door set into a steel frame with a heavy duty knob and look set.

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array CT-Mike's Avatar
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    retsupt99

    We had a vault door for a safe in our old high school. Someone broke in to the school, spent part of the night breaking out the cement blocks next to the vault door and got into the safe...I'm just sayin'...plan ahead.
    Ret,

    The ease of being able to break concrete block is the reason I am thinking of lining the inside with steel plate. The outside of the concrete block would be covered with drywall.

    Jim,

    I do plan to reinforce the block with rebar and concrete. The vault door would be set into a steel frame that is tied into the block with rebar and cement.

    When I do this, I plan to do it right the first time, since I know I wouldn't be happy if I did it halfway.
    "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground."

    - Thomas Jefferson

    "I'm the arrow, you're my bow, shoot me forth and I will go"

    "Do not let any individual posts put a knot in your Big Boy Under-Roos"

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    That is a very interesting project! Good luck.
    "The Second Amendment: America's Original Homeland Security"

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    Where are you in CT? I like building things. :D

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    Distinguished Member Array CT-Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastk9dad View Post
    Where are you in CT? I like building things. :D
    I am in the Southeastern part of the state near the casinos.
    "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground."

    - Thomas Jefferson

    "I'm the arrow, you're my bow, shoot me forth and I will go"

    "Do not let any individual posts put a knot in your Big Boy Under-Roos"

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    Quote Originally Posted by CT-Mike View Post
    I am in the Southeastern part of the state near the casinos.
    Oh well, a bit too far for me to help. Nice area though. When I lived in RI I used to go to the Casinos and Mystic all the time.

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    Just lease a bank. There's enough of them around that are closed. Nice vaults too! Alarm system already installed. Could build a really nice gun room and reloading setup in one!
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

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    This question came up a few months ago, Mike, and there were some good suggestions posted back then. One of those was to work along the lines of "concealed in plain sight," and start off with a steel-framed enclosure with welded steel bars spaced about every foot or so (think "cage" or jail cell). Get that in place, then sheet rock around it so it looks like a utility room or a spare bedroom in the basement. Heavy steel wire or more steel bars are welded in place across the ceiling, but not relying on overhead joists to bear any load. Make sure you anchor the bottom of the structure solidly into the basement floor.

    This would be my preferred route, and hopefully I could find a friend who could loan me his welder for the dozen weekends I would need to do the erector-set thing.

    If you go the masonry route with cement block, use steel rods (like rebar) vertically across several courses, and of course fill the holes in the block with concrete as you go. Filling need not be 100% but you add more rigidity. Again. make sure you anchor solidly into the floor.

    The whole approach to security from theft is to slow the thieves down as much as possible, which of course you knew. Even the vault at Tiffany's is not impenetrable, but you can bet your SA it would take a determined guy a long time to get in. It would take a highly-motivated and well-equipped thief to break through steel bars or reinforced cement block walls in your home... and of course your security investment should be proportional to the size and value of your armory.

    Good luck with the project, and be sure to post what you decide upon!
    Smitty
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    Member Array Rivers's Avatar
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    When I first set up my gun maintenance area, a friend (mechanical engineer) suggested that I could easily armor the room (basic drywall on wood studs, concrete floor) by lining the room with magnesium alloy sheets. Apparently, with the right alloy, it's extremely tough to even drill in place or cut without being prepared for magnesium alloy. The cost isn't bad either considering the level of impenetrability you get. If you do a prefab using a drill press and bolt-together setup, you can have a near "panic room" level of security.

  14. #14
    Member Array jamierah's Avatar
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    I know it's not the best form to post a link to another forum but this thread is full of great ideas.

    http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=6&f=46&t=295605
    We the willing, being guided by the unknowing, Doing impossible feats, for the ungrateful, Have been doing so much with so little for so long,
    We now feel qualified to do, absolutely anything, with literally nothing

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    Member Array JohnWFD's Avatar
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    A good alarm system trumps any added "hardened" construction. Would go with 3/4 plywood with 5/8 sheetrock on both sides and top
    ... fire protection and added deterrence.
    "A free people ought to be armed." - George Washington

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