Building Gun Racks

We have a fair amount of racks here in the armory. In the very beginning, we purchased pre-fabricated shelving. But over time, it became apparent that it was just easier, and more economical, to custom build racks as we needed them.

The main cost savings comes from the customization we can do. Depending on where the rack is going or how large we want it to be, using an outside company can get cost prohibitive. Some folks look at our operation and just see dollar signs and quote us stupid prices.

The worst offender was some years ago with an electrician. We needed some additions to lighting and electrical. An approved contractor was brought in to look at the job, and he quoted us $2500. Freeze literally laughed out loud when he heard the price. In the end, we did it in house for the grand total of $100 in parts. We expected the quote, with value-added labor, to come in around $400. Yeah.

Pegs Installed

Pegs Installed

Back to weapons racks. While commercial stuff is more uniform and polished, in-house racks can be single or double stacked. Carbine or rifle height. Cornered or flat-walled.

Notice non-slip carpet.

Notice non-slip carpet.

The only real limitation is weight. How many guns are you planning on the rack holding? Will that rack eventually include weapon specific accruements such as magazines, slings, bayonets, ammunition, optics, etc? Because what we have found is anything that is weapon specific, we tend to keep with that weapon. The result is things get stuck in or around the guns as time goes on.

Racks need to be strong enough to hold items typically heavier than a rifle.

Racks need to be strong enough to hold items typically heavier than a rifle.

Example: You have some uncommon foreign military rifle that uses hard to get magazines or has some valuable scope and mount accessory option? Guess where those parts end being stored? Right next to or behind the rifle in the rack. So you not only want to build racks that are robust enough for unforeseen weight. You also want racks that are large enough that rare and fragile accessories don’t easily tumble or get knocked on to the cement floor when de-shelving weapons.

If not equal height, we find carbines on top / rifles on bottom works better.

If not equal height, we find carbines on top / rifles on bottom works better. Don’t Forget to include installed bayonet length!

Yes, we are speaking from experience regarding accessories and weapons hitting the floor. Unfortunately.

The reason this post has come to mind is…we have a new delivery of wood showing up this week. More racks are in the works.

Busy times.


“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”

Marky Mark

Marky Mark

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Writer for Co-Host of the John1911 Podcast. Video content provider for John1911-TV.

Areas of focus: Defense and National Security, Modern Light Weapons, Analysis of the Geo-political / Military Relationship in the Context of Strategic Goals.
Marky Mark

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  • Brennen Munro

    When I showed this to my wife with the explanation that anything I built would also be stained and “dressed” a bit fancier, and her reaction was not much more than a cold stare… She told me that after 30 years a marriage she knew that seeing an empty spot on the rack would just feed on my OCD until I came to her with the idea of filling that gap with another rifle! It is a harsh day when you realize that your wife knows you so well, that she can shut down a gun purchase months in advance! Smart and beautiful… Even without another rifle, I still won!