“Computer, open fireplace door. Authorization: Batman” The massive steel and stone door lurches open revealing a spiral staircase to the caped crusader’s famous Bat-Cave. How many shooters have dreamt of having their very own secret lair? A vault containing everything they need in an emergency hidden in plain sight.
I know I’ve wanted something like that for years, so when I heard about the products being made by the folks over at Tactical Walls I ran top grab my credit card, cape and cowl.
Not familiar? Let me give you a run down.
Tactical Walls is an up-and-coming firearm storage solutions company out of Shenandoah, Virginia. They make innocuous gun safes that require either an RFID or special magnetic key to unlock. Where most gun storage companies boast about how thick their armor is, and how long their safes last in a fire, the guys at Tactical Walls took a different approach. The principle behind their products is that a thief can’t steal what they can’t find.
Now other companies in the past have made hollowed out clocks, shelves and even books for storing firearms and other valuable goods, but Tactical Walls takes this idea much further with their line of concealment covers, shelves and décor.
As I mentioned earlier, the concealment items made by Tactical Walls can’t simply be unlocked by pulling a hidden level or pushing some button, no. Their products require a special key or wristband to deactivate an internal locking mechanism.
This mechanism isn’t strong enough to prevent something with a blowtorch or heavy pry bar, but the average adult would have a hell of a time prying one open with their hands or small tools. Though, as I mentioned earlier, concealment is paramount with their products, not rigid security.
After some window shopping, my wife and I (Don’t think for a second that whatever you pick out will make your significant other happy, pick one out together!) managed to find a full-length mirror called 1450MN Bundle with a wooden finish that matched three other mirrors in our home. I anxiously placed my order and waited excitedly like a kid for Christmas.
Which raises an important point. When was the last time you were excited to get a contained or a mirror? If you answered never, you and I have something in common.
Once the new mirror arrived I began reading about how to install the new shelf. If the thought of cutting into drywalls scares you, take a deep breath – installing this mirror isn’t half as bad as you’d think. I’m like Tim Allen of the old show, “Home Improvement” and I still managed to accomplish a custom installation.
Yes. But again, not nearly as bad as it seems, just work slowly and use the right tools. Like a stud finder and circuit tracer / wall scanner. See, part of the installation process is cutting a hole in your wall for the inner body of the mirror. This allows securing mounting of the tactical wall mirror to the framework of your home; the last thing you want when mounting a bunch of firearms to your wall is for the mirror unit to fall with them inside.
Which is why the 1450M includes several heavy duty mounting bolts. But more on that in a moment. The first thing you want to do is break out the instruction manual. (Yeah, I know I hate doing that too) and figure out how large of a hole you’ll need to install whichever Tactical Wall product you purchased. (some don’t require any holes)
Next, once you’ve found said space, use a deep wall scanner to make sure you’re not going to kill yourself buy cutting power lines with a drywall saw. Also, before you cut into the wall, be extra safe and cut the power to that room from your main junction box. If you’re not sure which circuit controls that room, turn the main breaker off. For me, I actually had to cut a custom frame, and rewire some internal lines to make sure they cleared the unit.
As for the rest, please read the manual. It’s not difficult, but patching extra holes in drywall is about as fun as it sounds. Another consideration: check for live wires multiple times before cutting.
But enough about installation, how did my 1450M wall mirror work?
It works great. The unit utilizes large powerful rare Earth magnets to secure any ferrous metal to the inside of the unit itself. While I don’t recall seeing a warning on the box, as a precaution I removed all my electronic optics from any gun I stored inside. Just in case the strong magnetic fields of the firearm retention magnets affect them.
The unit reviewed contained enough space for a Sig MPX-PSB with Osprey 45 sound suppressor attached, plus four handguns and additional magazines. The small magnetic key unlocks the hidden storage compartment once attached to the top left or top right side of the mirror. (The customer decides which during installation) Once the magnetic key is in place, the mirror slides to the right or left, revealing enough guns and ammo to arm you and your loved ones against intruders in a near instant.
The best part about this over non-locking alternatives, is that it keeps the firearms out of the hands of curious children. If you don’t want them to have access to the unit, simply take the key with you to work. Short of tearing a gigantic hole in your wall, they won’t be able to get those firearms, and probably not even then.
After spending a few months with the Tactical Walls 1450M bull length mirror, I’m smitten. It’s an ingenious solution to keeping dangerous items out of unwanted hands, while keeping them easily accessible to authorized users. Another bonus for folks who buy the magnetic version over the RFIB, is that it doesn’t require power at all. So if you wait 50 years to open the unit, it’ll still open!
The chronic problem for firearm storage is the balance between ease of access and positive security to absolutely prevent unwanted users and children from gaining access to your guns in the home. Tactical Walls have solved the problem with the RFID-accessible concealed storage units that look like shelving, mirrors, clocks and even tissue dispensers what can accommodate multiple handguns, flashlights and even a carbine or shot gun. The RFID electronic key can be programmed for multiple products or have multiple keys for one unit so that the units can be quietly opened in the dark even during a power failure. For more information please view www.tacticalwalls.com or call 540-298-8906.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first of many articles from a great friend and tremendous gun writer Jim Grant, who we are honored at Big 3 East to host his experience and writing. His affable personality, gun smarts and quick wit as well as thorough understanding of the subject matter shows through in this and all of his writings, so we welcome him to the B3E family of writers.