A few months ago, there was real concern over our rights to “bear arms.” Although the attention has shifted to other news items, no one is convinced that the desire of some is to disarm the population. During that time, I read many articles on various sites about caching firearms and ammo. You can find a lot of information and advice out there on preparedness websites. But I was presented with a cache option that is very well thought-out and I believe effective in protecting your firearms from those that would want to take them from you and the “elements” that would want to “slowly” take them from you.
The Mono Vault comes in many different sizes from a 9″ diameter, 7″ height to a 12 1/4″ diameter and 47 3/4″ height. There is one to fit your needs. The 107′s can hold “many” snub nose and revolvers and 1-2 semi-auto, 4-5″ bbl pistols. The 248′s can hold “many” of everything else, including AR’s, some scoped, and 24″ bbl shotguns and scoped bolt action rifles.
“Mono Vaults are constructed of polyethylene with nominal 1/4″ wall thickness. All Mono Vaults are equipped with a threaded and gasketed wide mouth lid to protect the contents from the elements. A Burial Shield (included) fits over the lid assembly to protect it from physical damage.”
I can say that the construction of the Mono Vault is solid. I had some friends come over to take a look at it and they were very impressed. But I will say that the Mono Vault is just one piece of the protection that you want to use for your firearms.
The Mono Vault should be used with desiccant. Desiccant’s remove moisture from the air. But Store Guns doesn’t sell you those little packets that come in your beef jerky packs. No, they sell some serious 450g or 750 g silica gel desiccant packs. They can be used and then recharged if they need to be.
StoreGuns also shared this information with me concerning the Mono Vault – “We recommend vertical installation. We tested a series of MonoVaults with humidity and temperature sensors with automated hourly sampling for 1 year using 200g of desiccant. 7-9% humidity after 1 year, trending up at a straight line. Assuming the slope of the line would remain stable a projection of the graph suggests hitting 50% humidity at 3.5-4 years out. Backing off from that we suggest using that 200g pack only for applications less than 2 years… but go with the 900g if it fits. We generally suggest using as much as fits the budget without interfering with function. If using a vault liner we like most of the desiccant outside the liner with a smaller amount inside, e.g. with a 248 using 900g or so outside of the liner with a 200g pack inside. Desiccant / liner / desiccant / bag …makes for a multilayered system of protection. note: I have not seen it happen but it is said that desiccant can over-dry wood stocks and cause cracking or checking, though I would assume most guys aren’t caching their pre-64 Winchesters. Test location: Idaho mountains, buried, sun exposed site, hot summer, cold winter, snow pack, decomposing granite.”
There are still other layers that you can use to protect your firearms. Another layer would be the use of VCI’s. VCI stands for Volatile Corrosion Inhibitors. Basically, you are putting a layer between your firearm’s metal and the oxygen left in any container, protecting it on a molecular level.
One option is the standard Z-Corr bag. Standard Z-Corr bags come in either a Velcro closure or a vacuum bag with a vacuum port and a super-heavy duty zip-loc type closure These bags are the civilian version of the military bag created for the US Marine Corp. To see more information abour Z-Corr bags, including the science behind it, click here.
Or, you might want to use the ProTect NoRust bags instead. There are many options for the ProTect bags, including options for pistols and rifles. Even if you are storing firearms in your safe, you might want to look into these bags.
Lastly, you will want to keep a Humidity Indicator Card close to your prized possessions to make sure that the moisture in the air is minimized as much as possible.
As my friends and I spent a little time looking over the Mono Vault, it was suggested that the Mono Vault could be used to cache more than just firearms. It can be used to cache food and water too, or a combination of items. This might appeal more to the prepper than just storing firearms.
I recently wrote about an incident at my dad’s place in the country where some idiots broke in and stole the generator. Having something like the Mono Vault on site, buried, is a great idea for someone in my situation. I would definitely trust my supplies to the Mono Vault vs a PVC tube. Although I think a PVC tube is a solution, there are many points of possible failure with a DIY tube. The Mono Vault has one lid with a gasket seal and then a top that covers that. Store Guns has ideas and advice on burying your cache here.
In closing I would say that I didn’t put my Mono Vault into the ground yet. It would be hard to test. I will and I hope to come back in 5-10 year, God-willing, and tell you of my results. But with what I have experienced so far, and with the layered options that Store Guns provides, I know that I’m not going to be disappointed.