Practice Gun Safety

We all know that gun safety is extremely important. But do we really know what it means to practice gun safety? Perhaps you’re considering a firearm, or you’ve had one (or more) for years. It’s never a bad time to brush up on gun safety to keep yourself and your loved ones safe in your home and in the field.

You should know the ins and outs of your firearm. Be sure you know how to properly fire it, and that you know what ammunition is appropriate. Check to see when it was last cleaned and serviced. Not only will this keep you and those around you out of harm’s way, it will also prolong the life of your gun.

Keeping your gun clean will ensure proper functioning. Your gun should be cleaned regularly to avoid moisture, dirt, grease or oil from building up and causing issues. The gun should also be inspected to be sure all parts are in good working order. You can have it checked out by a professional gunsmith.

One important safety measure we hear time and again is to make sure firearms are kept locked away and unloaded. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, any firearms should be unloaded unless you are actually using them. Don’t store guns loaded. It is your responsibility as the gun owner to keep your firearms from being used improperly.

Your firearm should be kept locked away or otherwise stored in a place that unauthorized users will not be able to access it. There are several options available, according to the National Rifle Association, including devices that directly attach to your gun to prevent it from being fired.

The locking mechanism on your gun should be used, but it isn’t perfect. Don’t count on your safety keeping you or the people around you out of harm’s way. You should always keep the muzzle of your gun pointed away from people and keep your finger off the trigger unless you are firing.

Wearing the right gear can also keep you safe around firearms. Wear eye and ear protection when shooting.

Of course, when firing, you should always know what you are actually firing at. Don’t just check your target. Look all around and beyond your target to be sure nothing in the area poses a danger. Bullets can travel far, even if they are ricocheting off another object.

Finally, if your gun does not fire properly, use caution. Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. The NSSF suggests carefully opening the action, unloading the firearm and disposing the cartridge. Of course, care should be taken when performing all these steps.

When used properly and safely, you can enjoy your gun for many years. Always follow safety precautions and you can keep yourself, your family and all those around you safe.

-Deer Abby

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To the Hunt! Safety.

With the arrival of fall, hunters have a lot to consider. Firearm safety should be first on the list.
 
Gun safety should be top of mind for every hunter. And statistics indicate it is. According to the National Safety Council, accidents involving firearms in the home have decreased significantly over the last twenty years. Data indicates that we’re being cautious in the field as well, as hunting is now ranked among the safest activities in America. But while we’re doing well, the beginning of hunting season is an excellent time to reinforce good habits and remind ourselves about the common-sense precautions that helped build that excellent safety record.
 
In the home
 
Safety considerations in the home are most critical, because home is where your family will be exposed to danger if firearms aren’t handled properly. As a firearm owner, you’re responsible. You have to know how to take care of guns and how to store them safely. If you’re not willing to assume that responsibility, you shouldn’t purchase a firearm.
 
Do unload outside. Don’t load inside. Before taking a sporting firearm into the home, make sure that it is unloaded. When unloading, point the firearm in a safe direction. Never load the firearm in the home. The best way to protect your family is to make absolutely certain that a loaded sporting firearm is never allowed in the home.
 
Store unloaded firearms out of the reach of children. A gun safe is the best alternative for this. See “Practice Gun Safe Safety” on page 24 for more information on the gun safes you’ll find at Dunham’s. Store ammunition in a different location, such as a locked cabinet or a second safe. When you remove a firearm from storage, check to make sure it is unloaded, even if you’re absolutely certain it’s unloaded.
 
A firearm-locking device can render a weapon unusable. Dunham’s carries both Remington cable locks that prevent a round from being chambered and Remington trigger blocks that make the trigger inoperable. Use a lock any time your weapon is in the home or otherwise not in use. A lock is additional security that comes at a small price.
 
Do it now. You might be tired when you return home from a hunting trip, but you must store your unloaded weapons and ammunition before you do anything else.
 
A contract with your kids. The National Shooting Sports Foundation suggests you have your children sign a firearms responsibility contract. A suggested format can be found on this page. Basically, it helps ensure that if your child does encounter a firearm, he or she won’t touch it.
 
In the Field
 
That first day of the season is thrilling, and enthusiastic hunters can’t wait to get out in the field. But before you grab your gun and go, take a few minutes to reflect on some standard precautions.
 
Don’t shoot yourself in the foot—or in any other body part. Self-inflicted gunshot wounds are common. Make sure the safety is on when you’re walking and keep your finger off the trigger. Keep the gun pointed at the ground or sky. If you tuck the gun under your arm and point it straight ahead, you could shoot your partner in the back. And check the safety over and over again. If you’re new to hunting or have just purchased a firearm, study its operation thoroughly before taking it out in the field.
 
Do you look like a deer? If you’re not wearing hunter orange, another hunter might very well mistake you for game. If you want to live to hunt another day, you have to make yourself visible while on the move. According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, in states where hunter orange is mandatory there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of vision-related shooting incidents. In many states, firearm hunters are required to wear an orange hat, cap, vest, jacket or rain gear. Camouflage outer garments are legal if 50% or more of the surface is hunter orange.
 
That firearm is loaded. Or at least you should treat it as though it is. Never assume that a firearm is unloaded, even if you know it’s unloaded or think you know it’s unloaded. Many hunters and innocent bystanders have been shot with “unloaded” guns.
 
Look beyond the target. If deer are moving toward you it could well be that other hunters are driving them in that direction. Before you pull the trigger be certain that no one is behind the prey, lest they become the prey. If someone is driving the deer, let’s hope they’re wearing hunter orange.
 
A dirty barrel is deadly. If you fall in the field and the barrel of your firearm strikes the ground, you have to make sure that it is clear. A fouled barrel can cause the firearm to explode in your hands. But before checking the barrel, make sure the firearm is unloaded and, if possible, that the safety is on.
 
It’s hunting season, and that’s cause for both joy and reflection. A little thought can go a long way toward keeping our loved ones and us safe in the home and in the field. There is no subject more important to the hunting community than firearm safety. Don’t ever forget that.
 
-Deer Abby
 
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Priceless Peace of Mind

When it comes to gun safety, there is no such thing as overly cautious. And a modern, secure gun safe is the most certain way to protect your home and loved ones. While you may have confidence in your ability to maintain control over weapons without locking them up, many disaster examples say otherwise. A quality gun safe can protect your weapons while keeping them out of the hands of curious children – or hardcore criminals who could turn your weapons on you and your family.
 
To many, the words “gun safe” suggest a hulking box that takes up a lot of real estate. And while there are safes large enough to contain a substantial collection of long guns, small safes meant to protect a single handgun are also available. The small safes do a good job of keeping weapons and children separated, but since they can easily be carted off and opened later, they don’t offer much in terms of protecting your gun investment or keeping your weapon out of the hands of criminals.
 
From models that can fit in a desk drawer to those that can fill a room, safes are now available in a wide range of sizes and shapes. Most have shelves and racks that can be positioned in a variety of ways to accommodate a range of equipment. In choosing one that’s right for your weapons, consider the length of your long guns, the number of guns that will be stored, and space requirements for ammunition and accessories. You might also want to devote part of your safe to documents or valuable storage, so don’t scrimp when it comes to size. And if you’re a firearm enthusiast, remember that your collection will likely grow larger over the years. Nothing says, “plan ahead” like two small safes standing side-by-side
 
A Premium Product
 
But while size matters, it’s not the only consideration. Equally important are locking security, fire resistance and waterproofing. Not all locking systems are created equal, and while most of today’s better safes offer protection from the elements, the quality and level of temperature resistance and moisture sealing varies.
 
The best safes offer extensive protection from fire and water, along with multiple locking points. For example, one of the most popular gun safes available at Dunham’s is the Total Defense 28-gun fire resistant/waterproof safe from Stack-On, The safe is approved by the California Department of Justice for firearm safety and features four-way locking with eight 1.5-inch locking bolts. A durable combination lock opens the safe and a hardened steel plate behind the lock resists drilling. The safe can resist fire for up to 30 minutes at 1400° F. It’s built with insulation inside the doors and walls and a fire seal at the door’s closure point. The seal expands when heated and can keep out smoke and soot.
 
The safe is also water resistant and can keep your guns and valuables dry for up to 72 hours in as much as 2 feet of standing water. Both the fire resistance and waterproof ratings are not just the opinion of the manufacturer. The safe was tested by ETL, an independent testing lab. Look for ETL ratings when purchasing any safe that is said to be waterproof or fire resistant.
 
With more than 17 cubic feet of interior space, the safe is engineered to accommodate different storage needs. It’s fully carpeted and equipped with six interior shelves. It can be configured to hold 28 guns, converted to hold 14 guns plus storage items or set up for storage only. Barrel rests help organize and protect stored long guns. In an online review, a buyer wrote, “This safe is very flexible in how you position weapons, shelves, etc. If you have an assortment of long arms and handguns, this safe will fit your needs well.”
 
A Wealth of Choices
 
Dunham’s also carries a wide range of other Stack-On gun safes and cabinets. Among the safes are 24-, 36- and 48-gun fire-resistant safes from Stack-On’s Elite line. Gun cabinets are offered in 8-gun and 14-gun models. Also available are smaller personal and quick access safes.
 
Gun cabinets are an alternative to safes for those who aren’t looking for protection from fire, water or professional thieves, but just want to keep their weapons out of the reach of small children.
 
The 14-gun Stack-On Steel Security Cabinet can hold up to 14 guns and has a removable shelf. Foam padding on the bottom of the cabinet protects weapons. A key lock and three-point locking system provide good security. The cabinet meets the California Department of Justice standards for firearm safety.
 
Choosing a storage safe or cabinet is simply a matter of determining what’s right for you and your family. If you need premium security and protection, the Total Defense 28-gun safe is a great fit. But if flooding isn’t a concern, one of the Elite series safes can provide security. And for those who only want to restrict access to weapons in the home, a gun cabinet is a great choice.
In the final analysis, one can never be overcautious when it comes to the secure storage of weapons. Peace of mind is priceless.
 
-Deer Abby
 
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Taking on the Great Outdoors

While some outdoor sports are relaxing, others are invigorating. Tramping through the woods, hunting wild game, paddling upstream — they’re all activities that not only entertain but get your heart rate up as well. Let’s take a look at some activities geared toward the more adventurous outdoor types among us, along with some tailor-made gift ideas. 
 
Dashing Through the Snow
 
Snowshoeing is America’s fastest growing winter sport. That’s not surprising, since this odd and ancient footgear, which can resemble an oversized tennis racket, is a great way to venture forth into places where others don’t dare tread. That means getting away from the crowd and enjoying nature at its most pristine.
 
Snowshoes are as old as recorded history itself, going back all the way to about 4000 B.C. or earlier, and first coming to this continent with Asian adventurers who crossed the Bering Strait and settled in Alaska — long before Europeans got the bug to travel.
 
So how difficult is snowshoeing? Can you walk? If the answer is yes, then you can snowshoe. At its most basic, the sport involves nothing more than putting one foot in front of the other with snowshoes on your feet. But in truth, efficient snowshoeing does require a technique that is somewhat different than walking in ordinary shoes. When walking in snowshoes, it’s best to lift each shoe a bit and slide the inner edge over the inner edge of the other shoe. If the shoes don’t overlap a bit when you stride, you’ll be forced to walk with a bowlegged gate that can be taxing.
 
While ancient snowshoes were made from wood and leather, most of today’s snowshoes are made with aluminum, plastic and various synthetic materials. But the idea is the same: the snowshoe gives walkers a big footprint, so they won’t quickly sink into the snow. Because snowshoes distribute body weight over a large area, even soft snow can provide adequate support for walking.
 
The health benefits of snowshoeing are multiple. First, it’s good aerobic exercise that can keep your heart rate up for an extended period of time. What’s more, it improves leg muscle tone, and if trekking poles are used, it can improve upper body fitness as well.
 
Bill LaPierre of Yukon Charlie’s, a major supplier of high quality snowshoe equipment, recommends using poles, since they can help you remain stable and upright on challenging terrain, while reducing the burden on your knees. Dunham’s carries a wide range of Yukon Charlie’s snowshoe gear.
 
Snowshoes are available in a variety of lengths and widths. The larger snowshoes are for bigger people and more difficult conditions. Children’s sizes are also available. In addition to various sizes, snowshoes come in a range of styles, each designed for a particular type of hiking. Aerobic or running snowshoes are small and light and are not meant for wilderness hiking. Recreational snowshoes are larger than the aerobic models, and are great for moderate walks. Mountaineering snowshoes are the largest. They usually have a long tail and are meant for long-distance trips and serious hill climbing.  A Dunham’s sales consultant can help you choose the size and type of snowshoe that’s right for you and every member of your family. 
 
Hoofing It
 
Most winter sports require some heavy-duty foot protection. And while some, such as skiing, call for purpose-built footwear, for many activities a pair of high-quality insulated boots can keep you warm and on the move. In fact, for those whose idea of great winter sport is a hike through the woods on a snowy day, boots and warm clothing are all the equipment that’s necessary. Of course a good boot is essential gear for hunters as well.
 
Winter hikes are an activity that the entire family can enjoy. Because only minimal gear is needed, it won’t break the bank. Hunting has also become more of a family activity in recent years, as parents strive to teach their offspring the value of self-sufficiency, while experiencing the joys of outdoor activity and skill development.
 
While a variety of boots that claim to be waterproof and insulated are available, not all are created equal. Nothing ruins a nice afternoon hike or a winter hunting trip faster than cold feet. Dunham’s carries several types of heavy-duty insulated boots that can keep your tootsies warm in the most severe conditions.
 
For men, the Rocky Jasper Trac Insulated Pac Boot is a superb choice. With a polar-trac outsole for great grip, a removable three-ply liner, 200 grams of Thinsulate insulation, and guaranteed waterproof construction, this boot is ready to take on old-man winter.
 
The Itasca Snowbird Boot is a popular choice for the ladies. This heavy-duty insulated boot is great for hunting and other winter activities. Dunham’s also carries boots for the kids. Ask your sales representative to help you find the winter footwear that’s right for your outdoor activities. 
 
Safe, Not Sorry
 
While most hunters think of gear in terms of what they’ll be taking out to the field, a good gun safe is a critical piece of equipment for every hunter.
 
Gun ownership carries with it a measure of responsibility. In the home, the only safe weapon is one that is stored in such a way that it can’t be accessed by an intruder or curious child. And the best way to ensure that your guns are secure is to lock them in a safe. Of course, a good safe has other uses as well, such as the storage of precious metals, jewelry, cash, and important documents.
 
A small safe is okay for cash and handguns, but for long-gun hunting weapons, a fairly large safe is necessary. However, many modern safes are designed to economize space by allowing for alternate rows of barrel up and barrel down storage.
 
Plan carefully before choosing a safe. Consider possible future needs as well as current requirements. Fire and water protection should also enter into your decision. ETL ratings are an assurance of fire protection, but waterproofing can be important as well, particularly if you live in a flood zone. Your Dunham’s representative can help you decide what kind of safe best meets your requirements.
 
Among Dunham’s most popular safes is the Stack-On Elite Gun Convertible Fire Safe. With storage for up to 24 long guns, the safe features reinforced steel doors and five large live-action locking bolts. An additional three solid-steel dead bolts secure the hinge side of the door. It’s a safe that will protect your weapons and provide peace of mind.
 
 Paddle the Day Away
 
Kayaking is a water sport the entire family can enjoy. Few outdoor sports offer as big a return in fun for as small an investment. And because kayaks are light and compact, they’re easy to store and transport.  
 
While kayaks are well suited to hunting and fishing, they’re now used primarily for recreational boating. And in comparison to other watercraft, kayaks are a bargain. For example, KL Industries eight- and ten-foot Water Quest Kayaks are very stable and come with padded seats and storage. And they’re available at Dunham’s.
 
Other very affordable choices are the Pelican Ultimate 100 and Escape 100 kayaks. These boats turn and track with the best of them, yet they’re stable and easy to paddle. Ask your Dunham’s sales representative to help you choose the kayak that’s best matched to your needs.
 
-Deer Abby
 
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Airsoft Adventure Never Stops!

Plenty of Action and Adventure for Backyard Target Shooters, On-line Mercenaries and Outdoor Weekend Warriors.
 
You are crouched behind a pile of rubble, cradling a replica Kalashnikov AK-47 in your arms. Your heart beats a little faster as you wait for a band of enemy insurgents to attack. It all seems so real, but are you:
 
A. In a simulated battle at your favorite game park?
 
B. In a virtual on-line war zone, engaged in a multi-player mission?
 
C. In your own backyard? 
 
If you are among the growing ranks of Airsoft enthusiasts, it could be any of the above. As a sport, airsoft is exploding in popularity because in backyards, on-line battle zones and game parks everywhere, the action is always on.
 
According to Justin Sigler of Soft Air USA, the leading manufacturer of airsoft guns, targets and accessories, “Airsoft allows boys and girls to be Wild Bill Hickok or Annie Oakley while shooting at targets in their own backyard, and adventure-addicted teens or adults to play out their wildest Ethan Hunt or Lara Croft fantasies.”
 
Generally considered far less dangerous than air-powered BB guns and far less expensive than paintball guns, orange-tipped airsoft guns are spring-powered replicas of real weapons used by players to shoot plastic BBs at targets or in mission-based scenarios with other players in open fields or paintball parks.
 
“Super-soft” airsoft pistols for beginners propel high-visibility pink 0.12-gram plastic BBs at 120 – 140 feet-per-second (fps) versus 1,000 fps from conventional BB guns. Soft Air USA is the exclusive licensee of a wide range of authentic, incredibly durable replica pistols, machine guns and shot guns, as well as tactical assault and sniper rifles, including full-metal auto-electric guns (AEGs) capable of firing 0.25-gram plastic BBs, specially powder-coated for game play, at speeds up to 500 fps. Each Soft Air gun is packaged with a rubberized sticky target and with the fps power rating clearly marked.
 
Once you discover your ideal weapon, visit Dunham’s and choose one of the authentic spring-powered replicas from Soft Air. Dunham’s offers a wide selection of weapons, kits, targets, scopes, laser sights and accessories.
 
Then use the strategies and tactics you developed during on-line play to dominate the field at your local game park. Many paintball parks are quickly converting to airsoft play. In addition to open spaces with bunkers and trenches, some include bombed out cities, jungle fields or western towns. Some host airsoft competitions during which participants enter a specially constructed maze and shoot at targets along the way. Best times determine winners in different age categories. Protective eyewear is always recommended for target shooting and game play. Traditional prescription glasses, sunglasses, or goggles not designed specifically for airsoft or paintball play may break or shatter in game play and cause possible eye damage.
 
“No other sport,” says Sigler, “offers so much action and adventure on so many different levels. Whether you are a backyard target shooter, an on-line mercenary or an outdoor weekend warrior, airsoft is the sport for you.”
 
So, what are you waiting for? Dunham’s has everything you need to ensure you go into every airsoft battle armed with the best. 
 
JOIN THE ACTION ONLINE…
 
If you are unsure which airsoft gun is right for you, simply log on to http://www.thewarinc.com/   and try one on-line!
 
War Inc. Battle Zone allows you to experience hard hitting combat as a third person shooter in free-to-play multiplayer sessions. Create your own character. Select from over 130 available weapons, with more being added each month. Compete with friends and other players in real time team versus team combat. Fight your way through a desert village, in urban chaos or night warfare, or in close-quarter battles. Enjoy cutting-edge next-generation graphics and plenty of action while you test different hand guns, machine guns, shot guns, or assault, sniper and tactical weapons.
 
-Paintball Warrior
 
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Gun Safety Starts At Home

You’ve spent a lot of money on your guns. You want to protect that investment. You want to protect your family. You need a gun safe — a good gun safe. A haphazard collection of guns around the house is a recipe for disaster, especially if you have children. Anyone with more than a single rifle or shotgun should invest in a high quality, secure and fire resistant safe to store weapons and appropriate hunting paraphernalia.
 
Size — Buy More Than You Need
 
The first thing to decide is how big the safe needs to be. Experts agree here — buy more size than you need, at least more than you need right now. Your gun collection is bound to grow over time. A good safe is more than just a gun locker — it becomes a secure storage device for your family’s other valuables as well. You’ll find you quickly fill up even a large safe. Spend the money for the size, protection, and features you want. Your gun collection may be worth many tens of thousands of dollars. Some people who visit Dunham’s wouldn’t hesitate to spend $450 on a EOTech Sight or $1100 for a custom action, yet they don’t want to spend more than a few hundred dollars on a safe. That’s not common sense.
 
“The most common mistake gun enthusiasts make in buying a safe is to not plan ahead,” says Ken Wolowicz of Stack-on-Safes. “People will think ‘I have 10 guns, so I need a safe to hold that many.’ But just because you have 10 guns, doesn’t mean you won’t get more. You can always use the extra space now for other items — hunting accessories or even other family possessions.”
 
Fire Protection
 
One of the biggest reasons to have a gun safe is to protect those guns in case of fire. Fire protection ratings vary a great deal among safes. That rating is usually expressed in terms of temperature (degrees) and time. A safe rated at 1200 degrees for 30 minutes means that a fire of 1200 degrees (typical for a house fire) can burn for a half hour without the interior exceeding 350 degrees — enough to damage contents. Considering that most house fires are put out in 15-20 minutes, that half hour protection is usually adequate.
 
To be especially cautious, if you keep other valuables (jewelry, documents, etc.), consider having a smaller safe within the gun safe — that way you are doubly protected.
 
What Kind of Lock?
 
Standard combination locks remain the most popular with gun safes, but electronic versions are becoming more popular. Both kinds of locks offer security, so it really comes down to personal preference. Electronic locks tend to add a bit to the cost, so you pay for their convenience — it’s up to you.
 
Be Flexible
 
Ken Wolowicz says the most important consideration in shopping for a gun safe is to be flexible. “You want a safe that you can modify to fit your own particular needs,” he says. “You might want special shelving, and you might want to change things around based on new purchases you make, or new things you want to store. Look for a safe that lets you be creative in how you arrange things inside.”
 
You can easily build a replacement that fits the guns you own, not the guns some marketing director thinks you have. For scoped guns, you need to increase clearance from the sidewalls 3” or more (assuming scope-side faces the safe wall). To ease access, you should also increase the spacing between guns. If you have a number of benchrest rifles with square, 3”-wide fore-ends, consider building a shelf with 3.5” rectangular slots instead of the typical tight half-circle cutouts. This will give you a rock-solid mounting point that won’t allow the rifle to bang into its neighbor.
 
If you have a variety of AR-type rifles, some long and some short, you can build a simple stepped box that sits on the safe’s floor. Place your 20”+ ARs on the bottom step and the short-barreled ARs on the upper step.
 
Water Protection
 
One much overlooked aspect of gun safe performance is the ability to protect the contents from water damage (due to floods, plumbing leaks, or water from fire-fighting). In the aftermath of the flooding in New Orleans, more people are thinking how they can keep water out of their safes. The first thing you can do is create a raised concrete platform. This will also make it easier to access items in the bottom of the safe.
 
Then, you should ensure that all holes in the safe base or sides are sealed with heat-resistant silicone or similar caulking material. This will also help safeguard the contents from fire damage.
 
-Deer Abby
 
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