How Do I Become A More Efficient Shooter?

Before I joined the military at 20, I always had an affinity for firearms, especially big machine guns that you feel in your bones when you shoot. I was fortunate enough to become a .50 Cal gunner and live my dream with my brothers and sister in arms.

It was this moment in my life when I became fixated on learning everything I could about how my guns worked. Learning something new that I was passionate about fuels the fire within my mind to explore the knowledge I wish to obtain.

During my time as a gunner in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), there were countless times that my training saved my life. Even the little things that you don’t consider important while training become vital to your survival in a life and death situation.

I learned that if I train with my equipment and gear enough it will become muscle memory in times of extreme stress. Today, I want to go over some of the weapons and gear I have for hunting, home defense, and the equipment I use to keep my guns running smoothly.


One of the mottos I try to live by is, You’re Only as Efficient as the Knowledge You Possess. As I left the military in 2011, my love for learning led me to pursue a Master’s Degree in History at West Virginia University (WVU).

At WVU I was able to read about people like Plato, Socrates, John Locke, T.S. Elliot, Horace Mann, among others. One of my favorite quotes about knowledge is from John Locke, in which he states, “No man's knowledge here can go beyond his experience”. Locke is suggesting that if you want to obtain true knowledge of a topic, you must gain the experience first. For guns, this means training as often as possible.

What Guns Do I Train With?

I believe it’s important to be well versed in multiple shooting platforms, including, a Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW), bolt-action rifle, AR-15, AR-10, Semi-Auto Shotgun, pump shotgun, and a full-size pistol (1911).

Most of my guns are used guns with decades of use, such as my Winchester Model 70 30-06 hunting rifle that was passed down to me from my grandfather before he passed. I have a Mossberg 500 that has been in my family for at least 25 years as well that I still train my children with.

One of the most important things to learn about handling old rifles, shotguns, and pistols is they’re made of metal and as we all know metal can corrode and rust. One thing many people don’t know is how fast metal can rust from improper storage.

How Do I Store My Guns at Home?

I probably overdue it when it comes to gun security and gun protection because I’ve seen gun barrels and bolt carriers rusted to a point of no return. Regardless of where I’m at, I always try to make sure I have a primary plan, back-up plan, and tertiary plan for gun storage and security.

The Lockdown Puck

The Puck is the one product that all other Lockdown products are built around. For example, I keep the Puck in my vault between my Gun Safe Pistol Rack and AR-15 Magazine Rack.

The Puck measures the temperature, humidity, and movement inside the vault to keep your collection in pristine condition and safe from unwanted guests. I love the fact that I can monitor the status of my puck with the free Logic App. As long as I have a wifi connection, I can monitor in real time the temperature, humidity, and security of my vault.

Compact Auto Dehumidifier

The Lockdown Compact Auto Dehumidifier is only 9” long and 4.5” wide with a 600ml tank (0.63 Quarts). Regardless of the size of your safe, the compact dehumidifier will fit in the smallest safes or storage containers.

It works by pulling moisture from the air with a thermo-electric process that converts heat into power. If you have the type of safe to accommodate a hose, the Lockdown dehumidifier has a built-in adaptor to connect the hose to a drain in your home for stress free maintenance. I love this feature because as I travel for work each month, I don’t have to worry about emptying my 600ml tank.

Gun Safe Pistol Rack (Barrel Down)

I use the Lockdown 6 handgun rack with the barrel down position in my vault for all of my handguns. Although I don’t have 6 handguns, I’m able to space out the 4 that I have to balance the stand.

I chose the barrel down model because I feel more comfortable reaching into my vault and grabbing my gun with the barrel pointed down and away from me. You can choose either the 6 gun slot or the single gun slot. Something like a .357 Magnum or Desert Eagle would be perfect for the single stand.

GoldenRod Dehumidifier Rod

The GoldenRod Dehumidifier Rod is an absolute must have when it comes to your vault. It runs on either 110 or 120 Volt AC plug and eliminates the humidity inside your vault. As strange as it sounds, the GoldenRod Dehumidifier Rod increases the air temperature by circulating warm air through the vault. This constant circulation of air prevents any mildew, mold, or corrosion from humidity.

How Do I Secure and Store My Guns for the Range?

Depending on the type of range you have access to, it’s important to be buttoned down and have everything you need for the range in easy to carry bags. The ranges I go to are dirty and not very well maintained. Keeping dirt off my guns and optics is important for performance and longevity.

Silicone Gun Socks

No matter where I’m located, every last rifle that I have is kept in a Lockdown Silicone Gun Sock. For starters, you can get a Silicone Gun Sock for your AR, pistol, or bolt-action rifle for less than $7.00.

I use gun socks because it helps keep dust, dirt, and rust away from all parts of the gun. It also prevents guns from scratching if they fall. Using gun socks is the easiest and most stress-free way to care for your guns whether you’re home or away.

When I go to the range, I normally have at least 3 guns with me with a pistol, AR, and either a shotgun or hunting rifle. No matter my goal for the day, every extra magazine I shoot with my pistols makes me more efficient and prepared.

Magnetic Barrel Rest

One of my favorite tools that I always have in my range bag is the Lockdown Magnetic Barrel Rest. Anytime I get out of my vehicle at the range, I place the magnetic barrel rest on the metal of my bumper. This simple $15.00 tool allows me to stage 3 of my rifles against my SUV as I prepare the rest of my gear.

I’ve been fortunate enough to create a private range on my hunting property that I use during the off-season. I can use this magnetic barrel rest to stage my rifles right next to me as I zero in my new scope, optics, lights, or laser attachments.

The barrel rest allows me to save time and energy by keeping my guns out of their cases while I shoot. If you’ve ever tried to rest your guns against the bumper of your truck or SUV, you’ve most likely had to wipe the dirt or mud off your guns as they inevitably fall with a gust of wind.

Silica Gel 40gr

Anytime I’m at the range with my AR or muzzleloader, I use the 40 gram silica gel inside my ammo crates and component containers to ensure that the humidity of the Virginia summer never ruins my components.

Simply put, you can’t train properly in the high humidity of the South without a way to control the moisture. Traveling from home to the gun range is a lot safer with a simple $5.00 piece of equipment that can absorb all moisture inside your ammo crates. To make it even better, the Lockdown Silica Gel is rechargeable by placing it in the oven for a few minutes (until the gel pack turns back to normal color.

How Do I Secure and Store My Guns in My SUV?

Anytime you travel between your home and the range, you really need to be sure of your local and state laws regarding weapons transport. For example, in Virginia, I’m allowed to travel with my guns in an unlocked carrying case, as long as they’re not loaded and out of reach (unless I have my CCW card on me). However, in states like California, rules are more strict and require a locked case with the ammo and guns separated.

HandGun Vault

The Handgun Vault is one of the best tools for me when I’m traveling to a range or training facility. The California DOJ and TSA approved the Lockdown Handgun Vault for both ground and air travel.

Tip: if you need to fly with your handguns or rifles and have to put them in a case below the plane, use your Lockdown Puck inside the case. You can monitor the temp and humidity, but more importantly, you’ll know if someone tries to open that case. This added level of security improves your security and brings a better peace of mind while flying with guns.

Keyed Trigger Lock

Even if I used my Handgun vault, I normally add a trigger lock to go inside the case. This is an easily added level of security that I can easily add to my guns for less than $10.00 per lock. This key lock allows me to have 3 methods of security to and from my house and range at an affordable price.


Anything we do in life requires time and effort, but weapons are different because of the seriousness of the tools. Any American (non-felon) can buy a gun and learn to pull the trigger, but it takes intense training to become proficient and safe with your guns.

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably just as serious about training as we are at Lockdown. You can be John Wick with a pistol or Chris Kyle with a rifle, but if you don’t properly maintain your weapons, ammo, and gear, it won’t matter.

Lockdown can take the stress out of your maintenance and storage for an affordable price. There is nothing we want more than to give our customers the peace of mind to continue to train hard without the stress of heat, humidity, and dirt ruining their collection. Give Lockdown a chance to impress and we’re confident that our unique technology, affordable price, and responsive customer service will do just that.