Documenting/Cataloging Firearms: What do you do?

Documenting/Cataloging Firearms: What do you do?

This is a discussion on Documenting/Cataloging Firearms: What do you do? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Am interested in what record keeping others use to keep track of their firearms? Do you include photos? Original bill of sale? Specs on that ...

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    Documenting/Cataloging Firearms: What do you do?

    Am interested in what record keeping others use to keep track of their firearms?
    • Do you include photos?
    • Original bill of sale?
    • Specs on that specific model?
    • Back up off site? if so, do you trust the "cloud" with that information?
    • Excel or other software specific to weapons record keeping?
    • If Excel, what information is included in the columns?
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    Array msgt/ret's Avatar
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    I have an Access database I built to record serial number, make, caliber and several other details, backup is thumb drives in each safe plus a safety deposit box. The original receipts are kept together and in the safety deposit box. Computer is backed up on Carbonite so if it fails I can recover all files (happened twice) then as a last resort you might even get a copy from NSA if you ask nice.
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    I write make,model and serial number on a piece of paper and keep a couple copies in different places in case they get stolen or destroyed. Don't see a need to do more than that.
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    I would not have a list of my firearms serial number any where anyone but me could ever see them. If you think anything on the cloud is safe , good luck.
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    VIP Member Array LimaCharlie's Avatar
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    I have an Excel spreadsheet with Manufacturer, Model #, Caliber, Serial #, Barrel Length, Year of Manufacture. I also have an Excel ammunition spreadsheet. The rows are Calibers and the columns are manufacturer specs. Between me and my wife, we stock eighteen different calibers and gauges. The spreadsheet is color coded to show my preferred ammo and my wife's preferred ammo. I carry a copy in my wallet for ammo shopping.
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    I keep it all on paper in a fire proof set up ..No way in heck would I ever store it on a internet connected device
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    VIP Member Array Chuck R.'s Avatar
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    I'm kind of a MS Excel junkie with packing lists, reloading equipment inventory, reloading supply inventory, magazines by gun, etc. So I keep a spreadsheet with:

    Description
    Caliber
    SN
    Cost
    Date Purchased
    Location Purchased
    Optic/SN IF applicable
    Remarks/Notes field

    I have photos and a binders full of the original receipts and owners manuals. Rifles will get an additional data card with:
    Round count
    Chamber dimensions for resizing brass and OALs by bullet
    Favorite loads

    I also keep an inventory of my "what-if" ammo supply, but the practice/training stuff gets used regularly, so I just open the cabinet door and look.
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    Excel spreadsheet with pertinent data, purchase date & cost, any significant mods or improvements, and estimated current value.
    Data backed up locally on standalone drives - no way I'd connect to "cloud" storage.
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    Excel is my friend.
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    Member Array Dial1911's Avatar
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    Never trusted any computer, off site storage or cloud. But I once had all my information on cd’s and Digital photos stored on SD cards, but they were lost in the river when the boat carrying my guns across sank.
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    Senior Member Array halem1's Avatar
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    Excel spreadsheet stored on a secure cloud storage. Yes, despite what others claim, there are secure services out there. I record make, model, serial number and any accessories specific to that gun. (Magazines, holsters, and the like.) Since my little collection are mostly everyday bread and butter guns the purchase price is not recorded nor the place of purchase. Everybody knows what Shield costs, etc.
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    VIP Member Array OldChap's Avatar
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    I just used Excel to create a database and record all the details on each gun.

    But that isn't the trick...

    The trick is what you do with the information - how you secure it. I keep it on USB thumb drives. I use a data encryption software package to make the files accessible on the desktop (WIN 10 Pro 64). I use passwords that are as secure as the commercial encryption packages allow. A couple of notes about this:

    1) MS Office (WORD, EXCEL, ACCESS, etc) all create backup copies of whatever you're working on. You need to locate any backups and use a wiping program to scrub the drive they are stored on. Remember nothing is ever really erased on a computer until it is electronically overwritten in every memory location.

    2) Most encryption programs have versions you can locate on the USB drive so you can open the files from any computer, provided you have the password.

    3) I use Notepad to record really sensitive things like bank passwords and credit card details - no unintended backups stored somewhere other than where you intend it.

    4) The USB drive is only inserted when I have a monitor running on the WIFI network to make sure there are no unauthorized copy schemes transmitting the contents. I use software to search the entire desktop storage after I access these to make certain no unauthorized backups are stored.

    5) The USB drives are kept under lock and key in a small fire/flood proof safe along with a disk image on a large USB HDD.

    This may seem like overkill to most of you...sorry. I'm not paranoid, I just know what hackers can and most of what they cannot do, so I cover the bases.
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    Member Array Osprey's Avatar
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    I have a good memory

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    VIP Member Array OldVet's Avatar
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    What guns?
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    Senior Member Array BlackJack's Avatar
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    I keep all my original receipts in a file folder. Aside from that, the only thing I do is keep a log of my shooting. My shooting log includes the make, model and SN in the header of the sheet for each firearm. Below that, I track date, location, type of ammunition, number of rounds fired and comments for each session. I really do not feel the need for anything else.

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