Building a Gun Room vs Utilizing a Gun Safe: Which is Best for You?

Mar 2nd 2023

Building a Gun Room vs Utilizing a Gun Safe: Which is Best for You?

When you think of storing your guns, you probably think of a safe. And who wouldn’t? Safes are simple and easy to find. But are they the best option for your collection? We at Hold Up Displays believe that conventional wisdom isn’t always the correct answer or the wisest answer. In our view, a gun room makes more sense for gun collectors than a safe.


Safes are:

  • Not always fireproof unless you buy one that is specifically made for that purpose (which gets very expensive).
  • Fireproof safes are unbelievably heavy (½ ton and more).
  • Extremely expensive when built to actually be theft or fire proof
  • Prone to collecting moisture.

Let’s take a deep dive into the considerations of having a gun room versus a gun safe.

What’s A Gun Room?

As the name suggests, a gun room is a room in your house finished with the express purpose of housing your firearms. But, since it is an entire room instead of a storage locker, you can store all of your guns, gear, kit, ammo, parts, accessories, and tools. It also gives you a dedicated area to strip, clean, assemble, and maintain your guns. If you’re a builder, it’s your manufacturing center, too.

A gun room can be anything from a spare closet to a full-blown dedicated room, or even a room added onto the house or built in a basement. Really, it can be anywhere. The core requirement of a gun room is its use for that specific purpose (although a concrete block room with a heavy door or vault door also makes a fine storm shelter or panic room).

Most of us don’t have that kind of capital for a dedicated gun room so we have to work with what we’ve got available. Usually, it’s a closet, or maybe an office that wasn’t being used. Or, a room in the garage is also a good choice. Wherever you can find wall storage space, you've got yourself a gun room.

Why Not Choose A Gun Safe?

You’ve got guns to store. A safe stores guns. What’s there to talk about?

What if we told you that a safe isn’t always your best bet for gun storage? Especially when you’ve got a lot of guns to store, or when you’ve got a mix of gun types, lengths, and sizes. For instance, if you have a bunch of AR/AK pistols or SBRs, short shotguns, mixed in with C&R rifles, safe space won’t be optimized.

Safes are also a little misleading. The cheap, sheet metal safes aren’t really all that safe at all. The locking mechanisms are flimsy, and they are light enough that one can easily be wheeled off of your property. Not to mention they offer virtually zero fire protection.

The only way to have a secure safe is to buy a large, fire-resistant unit with a vault door. Make no mistake, these are nice. They are also expensive and prohibitively heavy. I.e, too heavy for an upper room. So you better either have a slab house or a basement to put it in. Once it’s in a basement, good luck with ever getting it back out. We’re serious; these safes weigh around half a ton.

Are Gun Safes Really A Rust Trap?

It depends. A cheap, flimsy safe isn’t. But it’s not protecting anything from fire. Or burglars, to be honest. They are mostly there to organize your life a little bit and keep curious little hands off of them.

But yes, safes are sealed for fire resistance, but they are sealing in moisture, too. You have to add moisture absorbent materials to keep your collection from rusting. And you have to stay on top of using these; they do reach a point of saturation. If you don’t, say goodbye to your gun finishes.

Do You Need A Whole Room?

It really depends on your collection. Look, here’s the deal: every gun owner wants a big enough collection to warrant a full room. But do we need a full room? Be honest and objective.

How much room you need is easy to figure.

A standard wall is 8’ tall. Take that height multiplied by the width and find your square footage. This represents the vertical area you have to work with. Now take for example our gun walls. Each of our slat panel bundles covers an area of 48” long by 36 ½” tall, or roughly 12 sq. ft. Each of these can hold somewhere in the ballpark of 10-12 guns, depending on the size and type.

Figure out your wall space and divide it by our storage solutions. This hack gives you the space you need for your valuables .

What’s the Best Storage Solution for a Small Gun Room?

Most of us will be using a small room out of necessity. But how much do you actually need? Not as much as you think. See, we tend to think of our room in two dimensions; our houses are measured in square footage, not cubic footage.

This thinking excludes a lot of potential space, though. Vertical space is the gun owner's best friend. Guns are relatively light, and in relation to most household goods, quite compact.

Hold Up Storage specializes in vertical storage options. We deliver mind-blowing options for your vertical space, which is why you can get away with using a small closet to store dozens of guns. That doesn’t leave much space for a workbench and work area, but if storage is your main goal, you’ll love it without the work area.

We provide the best vertical storage solutions on the market. Our slatwall design is made of durable aluminum for a secure mount straight into the studs; it isn’t going anywhere so load it up with all the guns and gear.

If you want a more traditional wall storage mount, check out our long gun mounts. Made right here in the USA, our racks utilize American-sourced steel and innovative protective padding. Whether you want your guns mounted vertically or horizontally, we’ve got your mount.

And, of course, we have plenty of locking solutions to keep curious hands (and sticky fingers) from getting to your collection.

Optimize Storage for Your Firearm Collection Today

Gun safes have their place in this world, namely the fire-resistant variety. If you have an ultra-rare collection, they’re a great solution. Just make sure to keep your moisture control measures updated. For most collectors and owners, though, a gun room is their best option. You can store your guns, ammo, tools, and gear all in one place, and do all of your cleaning there as well.

Speaking of cleaning, our folding metal gun rack is a great way to keep your long guns close at hand when you’re cleaning them. We also have a number of free-standing pistol racks and holders for your workbench.

If you’re ready to convert your spare room into a gun room or gun vault, check out our line of gun walls and wall mounts and get started today!