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In many places, from gun rooms to hunting camps, the number of long guns exceeds the available rack space. For less than $50 in materials and two hours of work, you can construct a rock-solid 18-gun stand that holds every long gun securely but gives you quick and ready access. Scopes are easily accommodated, and the rack fits in the footprint of a garbage can.
All materials are easily procured at a typical hardware supply store. Two principle parts are the ⁵⁄₄-inch-thickness rounds. The rounds are sold pre-cut to size and provide a very affordable and time-saving alternative to making them yourself.
• One 1¼” x 24″ diameter wood round
• One 1¼” x 18″ diameter wood round
• Two 4″ diameter PVC toilet flanges
• One 4″ diameter, schedule 40 PVC pipe section
• 1 container PVC Glue
• Ten 1 ¼” construction screws
• 12 upholstery tacks
• 8 feet of ½” diameter cord or tubing
• 6 feet of 1″ foam pipe insulation
Hand saw, 2″ hole saw (doorknob hole saw), power drill, hammer, screwdriver, knife or box cutter. Wear safety glasses, hearing protection, and gloves as needed.
Cut recesses around the perimeter of the smaller wooden round. These cutouts cradle the guns at the top. Mark the perimeter of the round at 3 ¹⁄₈-inch intervals, so you’ll end up with 18 evenly spaced marks (half in each direction reduces compounding error). At each mark, place the hole saw guide bit ½ inch in from the edge. This will create a half-circle cut out. DO NOT go beyond ½ inch, as deeper recesses decrease firearm stability.
Cut the PVC pipe to a 32-inch length. The exact length can be adjusted, but there must be sufficient room for scopes and rear sights to fit under the top round.
Attach the PVC toilet mount flanges centered on both the 18-inch and 24-inch rounds, using four 1 ¼-inch screws to secure each flange.
Open the slit on the foam insulation and wrap it around the outside of the 24-inch round so that the insulator slips over the wood, forming a C-shape. Secure one end with two upholstery tacks, and then slightly stretch the insulation to complete a full circle and tack the other end in place similarly. Backfill tacks at 12-inch intervals. Next, slip the ½-inch cord or tubing under the top of the insulation. The insulation will hold it in place.
Glue the PVC pipe and flanges together. Your rack is now complete.
Long guns are most secure when resting on only the toe of the buttstock, which will crush down firmly into the foam, preventing any movement. DO NOT lean rifles back, as they will then be unstable.
Illustrations by Clint Ford