I can't be the only one that has played gun-safe Tetris, trying to fit as many guns as possible inside. When safe manufacturers advertise how many guns can fit in their various models, they must make those estimates with straight-stocked iron-sighted semiautomatic and lever-action rifles.
Once a safe starts housing bolt-action rifles, AR-15s and/or rifles with scopes, any manufacturer estimates should be cut in half for a realistic idea of what the average consumer will be able to fit without touching.
Experience and creative thinking have taught me some alternative techniques for fitting more guns in my safe. Alternating one muzzle up and one muzzle down will get a few more in the box. Laying a few AR-15s with stocks collapsed across a full rack is also a technique, but this has to be done carefully to avoid scratching and dinging the guns.
Sadly, most rifles and shotguns get their scratches while in the gun safe from trying to store them or from putting them in and taking them out.
An ingenious and inexpensive idea is rifle rods from Gun Storage Solutions.
The concept is simple. Empty your safe, to include the notched shelves that the rifle forearm/barrel is supposed to sit in. Cut the sheet of Velcro that comes in the kit to fit the underside of the top shelf in the safe. Staple, tack and/or glue it in place. Reinstall the top shelf.
Put a polymer rifle rod into the muzzle of the rifle, insert it in the safe, stand it vertically and push the rod up into the Velcro. The rifle or shotgun will now stand vertically, occupying minimal space.
Staggering one row to fit in the gaps of the row behind it allows for several rifles and shotguns to fit efficiently inside.
The traditional method of putting guns in safes uses floor area inefficiently because the rifle has to lean back into a supporting notch.
As soon as a gun gets set at an angle, it consumes twice as much space as if it were standing completely vertical.
The Gun Storage Solutions method means there's no longer any need for guns to lean into a notch, so the safe floor opens up considerably.
Gun Storage Solutions makes other innovative products to help keep firearms secure both inside and outside the safe.
The Handgun Hangers are plastic-covered metal rods that slip over the top shelf (or any shelf, really) and then up the bore of the handgun.
Handguns can be attached above and under any shelf on the front edge, just inside the door and along the back edge at the safe's rear. Using the vertical space in the safe allows more pistols to be stored inside.
Gun Storage Solutions also has rubber-coated magnets that are useful for any number of tasks.
I have a a few of these and could use a lot more. These simple rare-earth magnets attach to any metal surface, like the side of a safe, cabinet or bed frame, and securely hold any rifle or handgun that contacts it.
Each unit is a rubber strip with two large magnets inside.
The two magnets are perfect for holding a pistol under a shelf or along a bed frame.
When cut in two, the individual magnets can be used to hold spare magazines or for rifles and shotguns leaned against the side of a safe.
The magnets are more organized and secure than the traditional behind-a-door or in-the-corner storage methods.