Moving a Gun Collection
I've collected a substantial gun collection over the years--mostly long guns--and will be moving to a different state in the near future. Looking at about 900 miles one way. I originally planned to move the collection myself, but figure it'll probably cost me at least $2500 just to buy cheap padded boxes or gun cases in which to pack each gun. Add in the cost of a sizeable rental truck, the crazy price of gas, hotel rooms, and miscellaneous expenses, not to mention my time, it'll be at least $6000 for the move. So, I am now considering a commerical mover who is an expert at moving gun collections. So, having said all that, has anyone had experience contracting to move a gun collection? If so, any recommendations on which vendor to use and what they charge? Thanks in advance for any suggestions or recommendations.
I'm gonna have to do the same thing here shortly. I just planned on using moving blankets for the ones that I don't have cases for. Luckily though, I only have about 100 to move......
Only about 100 !!!! --- around here you would be considered 'a possible hunting partner' - if you were single - you wouldn't even make 'eligible bachelor'. Best Regards - AQH
If it were me, I'd be moving it all myself. One I have a trust issue of others with my valued personal items.
Second, they are going to spend just as much as you will, plus more, in order to turn a profit. jmo
900 miles you can drive that in one long day. The biggest thing I would worry about is leaving guns in a vehicle overnight . Many of guns have been stolen while parked at hotels by them stealing the whole vehicle. I haul guns to gun shows and we never leave guns in the vehicle. I assume you will have gun safes or a gun room made at your new home so you could break the transfer into smaller lots. As to hiring someone to haul your guns, I have never heard of a company that does it but you can contact a big auction company to see how they do it.
Cody Firearms Member
Winchester Arms Collectors Association Life member
Small rental truck, ok. No cargo trailer.
Lot buy gun cases off here or another site.
Talk to insurance company on your plan and see what they recommend as far as coverage.
Get your best trusted buddy and split driving without any overnight stay and proceed to destination.
Just my opinion.
I don't know how many guns you need to move but I wouldn't trust anyone else to move a "collection". I would be hitting yard sales and buying all the cheap blankets and quilts I could. You can wrap a couple of long guns in one large blanket and they should be fine. Two people driving 900 miles should not be a big deal and that way there is ALWAYS someone with the truck. The company I used to work for had several service trucks on the road most of the time and they were broken into and all the tools stolen several times. No way would I park a load of guns in a hotel or even a restaurant parking lot. Talk to someone who was tired after working a gun show and decided to wait and unload the truck or trailer the next morning and found all the guns gone. It happens and the ATF goes crazy when it does.
Once again, Ricci is the voice of reason.
You might check with Brinks or another armored car company, though.
This may be a crazy idea, but what about contacting Kasey (Locust Fork) here on GB? She takes several trips a year picking up guns to sell on GB auctions. She has a secure trailer, and she and her crew are very familiar with handling all kinds of guns. If she was to have a gun trip in your vicinity, I wonder if she would consider picking up your guns and transporting them to your new location?
In July 2020, I moved my collection 150 miles in the state I live. I used boxes the guns came in. Those w/o boxes were transported in gun cases I had on hand, and gun socks for the rest. Yeah, I wanted to minimize the involvement of others. Good luck with your move.
As long as I am physically capable, I (or trusted companions) will always move my firearms. I'm about the same quantity as you, and it is a hard labor of love to move them, that is for sure. I don't trust hiring it done. For one, I've seen the way moving companies handle stuff marked fragile. No thanks to that treatment! Two, as MontanaJoe mentioned, those same expenses you are referring to, will be incurred by a company. You can bet they are going to take on a certain percentage to every expense when it comes time to bill you.
Almost all of my long guns are already wearing silicone gun socks. I put them into the soft or hard gun case with those still on it. I NEVER put two guns in a case unless it has a solid divider. Too many times they have gotten together and the barrel of one trashes the bottom of the stock on the other one.
I like the idea of contacting LocustFork or other volume dealers and at least pick their brain, and maybe can hire the experts similarly to what the local flunky moving company would charge.
Regardless, good luck. I hope you are moving TO a more free state and not a restrictive one.
I would visit some thrift stores lots of blankets and quilts on the cheap to wrap each one up in when done donate back or to a a animal shelter
as stated hire some one they will surly tell a friend or three and they have to add on ther time and packing materal no way cheaper then you can do it
rent a u haul truck one way and maybe get a co driver so it could be a a non stop ( over night ) trip
A lot of wisdom/experience here. I've moved a medium-sized collection after months of scouring yard sales/gun store clearance sales and saved some $ on packing materials. After the move I tossed most of the cases/blankets, keeping the nicer stuff for local transport.
Kasey @Locust Fork might be the solution depending on location from/to and her interest in such a venture; she might even be able to add other pickups after she drops your collection. Her team is experienced and has the packing goods on hand. If this is viable, it'd likely cost about as much as moving yourself, but your collection could (potentially) be insured during the trip.
Best of luck no matter what you decide. My strongest advice...don't leave the rig parked overnight anywhere.
I retired and moved to another state several years ago. I was able to do what others have suggested. Guns that had boxes were put in their boxes, others were rolled up in blankets. Some were wrapped better than others but everything survived. I had a cheap 8 gun safe. All of my pistols/revolvers were in cases or boxes and fit into that safe. I was able then to lock up the safe so no issues as I had to travel across Illinois on the move. It was a tight fit but everything was moved in a Ford Escape with the back seat down and covered with moving pads to not stick out too much.
Given the distance, you might need someone with you....
900 miles is a long LONG day for a driver. Almost impossible. If there are 2 drivers. not such a big deal. Still a long, long day.
I moved a bunch wrapping them in blankets and putting a piece of corrugated cardboard between the layers all of them made the trip just fine.For handguns the large bubble shipping envelopes work pretty good I gave them a little extra protection by wrapping them in a shop towel before putting them in the envelopes.
Also agree if you can get a second driver almost every time my vehicles have been broken into has been in a hotel parking lot
Or, you could have a pre-move sale....
There might be a forum member along the route that would be able to let you park your rig overnight in a safe spot for an overnight stay. That would help break the trip up and make the move a lot easier.
Commercial movers; My mother used commercial movers each time she relocated. One time she lost a handgun. This was either a Ca-Ca move or a Ca. Oregon move.
A friend hired a U Haul truck to move from Ca. I was told he was stopped for a sobriety check mid day.They emptied the entire truck. He was arrested, tried, convicted of something (I don't know what but wonder if it was Ca. law or Fed law) and went to prison. If it was Ca. law all that needed to be done was let him drive out of state.
The last time I moved firearms I moved only a few at a time. All were either in my cab or in the bed of my truck(locked camper shell). I had a relative to watch both start and destination. I had to travel 600 miles. If I had to do it again for more distance I could travel in one day I would consider hauling a trailer/toy hauler. If I remember correctly a trailer is considered a residence. You could eat, sleep and go to the bathroom close to your cargo.
I do this every 1-3 years. Penske truck is the way to go. Reserve it several months out and be flexible on pickup location, and you can get a good price. $600 for my move this summer (26 ft truck).
If you don’t have cases or the original boxes, look into commercial rolls of bubble-wrap or similar. My personal approach is to use stack-on cabinets, with cased/boxed guns packed snuggly inside each, and the cabinets strapped upright to the truck rails. Works great. I have also previously used a few big plastic deck boxes to pack in.
Pro-Tip 1: Pack your collection towards the front of the truck. Then pack the back with other junk (baby/kids stuff is my go-to). If anyone were to inspect or break into it, will have the appearance there is nothing of value in there.
Pro-Tip 2: Break the trip up by staying at a campground where you can stay right with your stuff. If you MUST stay at a hotel, sweet talk them into letting you park in front of the entry. Otherwise, park so as to block your truck in tightly between a light pole and your chase vehicle (if you have one).
Pro-Tip 3: High-quality disc lock (e.g. Abus) on the cargo door.
Our move was only 450 miles, which was 7 1/2 hours. We made several trips with safes in a trailer & wrapped in tarps . Guns were locked in a 2x2x5 job box and/or Homak/Stack-on boxes laid down in the back of my van with "stuff" on top. Boxes, cases & blankets were reused. Funny, we did go through a DUI check point close to our new home. I explained to my wife that they just wanted to see that I hadn't been drinking. And she said, "good they didn't ask about the arsenal in the back." Heck, we might have made "good ole boy " status.
What states are you going through?
I don't know why anyone hasn't mentioned this yet!!............Sale em to me CHEAP on GB and I will save you the hassle! 😁😎👍
Seriously, I would NOT trust any stranger with my collection, even tho mine must be substantially smaller than yours(yes I'm man enough to admit it LOL). Wrap them in blankets, bath towels, etc., after you run out of gun boxes/cases. Towels and blankets are great as long as you stack them so they don't bounce around!
PS.. if moving to the southeast from the west coast.....LEAVE all the politics in the crap hole from which you are fleeing. If you not in a crap hole, then here is hoping you don't move to a crap hole!
That is around a 13 hour drive if I'm doing the math right....which is VERY do-able. You get up real early, hit the road and make stops for food and fuel and you'll be there well before bedtime. I'd get the zipper cases for the long guns, put your handguns in bubble wrap envelopes in heavy duty tubs....rent a trailer if you have a truck or cargo van. I'd do it myself before I'd hand my guns over to any moving company.
You might can get a deal from a dealer on the cases....buy them, do the move....sell them back to the store. I'd do that myself if you were near me.
I hope you're moving to a free state.
And fiery auto crashes
Some will die in hot pursuit
While sifting through my ashes
Some will fall in love with life
And drink it from a fountain
That is pouring like an avalanche
Coming down the mountain
Don't forget to take along the ammunition.
being in the military for over 20 years i learned one thing about moving. three moves is equal to a house fire with your stuff.
First off I wouldn't trust a mover to move my guns from one room of my house to another. I can't remember buying very many guns that didn't have a gun case or a box with it to begin with and for the ones that didn't I bought a case or box for it that same day and kept it so that the next time I needed to move I'd have cases or boxes for them all from the last time I moved.
Are you moving your guns for the last time in your life? Is this the big one? Or do you think you might be moving again someday? If you're going to be moving again someday then just buy cases for them now and you'll not have to worry about doing it the next time and the next time, and the next time after that...
Ahem...it's hard to believe we've even got one truck driver in here that thinks a 900 mile trip in one day is "near impossible" these days. Ah, come on Allen you've not went and got soft on us have you? 😉 😂 You use to hobo a train further than that by the cocktail hour and you never left the sleeper car before noon. 😀
This is a great idea. I am in the country in central Oklahoma if you do end up needing a stop-over for you and your cargo.
Isn't it funny how such a simple thing becomes so complicated??
No, not really. There are many options and many great ideas. There are even offers being put out to pull into a fellow members driveway if on the way.
You load the truck you drive the truck you unload the truck. Of course, there are pre and post preparations but no it is not that hard. Record all serial numbers, wrap the guns in blankets The OP has never said how many or from where to where but still 900 miles with two drivers shouldn't be that difficult. And I would not ever leave a truck filled with guns without either my or the other driver's eyes on it. Again, just my opinion. I spent five years driving all over this country and have done 700 mile days alone. I don't want to do it now, but four fifty is no big deal.
Let's take the government approach to this...
First off, we'll need to identify a (possibly imaginary) problem.
Then we need to form a study group.
Study groups need funding, we'll need to raise taxes.
We'll study this thing to death for the next twelve years and each year get more and more funding!
At the end of all this time we will have forgotten what the original objective was/is and will have come up with a cure for male pattern baldness and semi-flatulent incontinence.
I'll leave it to the moderators to appoint the study group, I've done my part.
Look into PVC thin-wall (DWV) pipe. Wrap gun with bubble wrap and slide into length of pipe, plug ends with wood disc. Stack and strap pipe into truck. Sell pipe on CL when done or donate to ReStore, etc.
Fill rest of truck with Salvation Army furniture.😁
I have moved lots of guns(as many as 200 at a time) lots of times. I have used cars, SUV's, pick-ups, U-Hauls, and a motor home. I have taken as many as 75 to Kasey in Alabama and 3 years ago moved myself and my wife and 42 long guns to Alaska 3800 miles away. I usually rent or buy packing blankets for military guns, stacking them in layers, and usually put modern guns in cases and stack them too with packing blankets for padding. Always(well almost always) remove the bolts and scopes, label them and pack them separately in bubble wrap in a box or bin. Try to stay out of "BLUE" states like California, NY, New jersey, and Illinois, and especially big cities. Cover any guns so they aren't visible. I usually place items like pictures and lamps on top of them. Don't block your vision, have all lights working properly, tags up to date, carry proof of insurance, and absolutely obey all laws, don't speed, carry drugs or alcohol, cartons of cigarettes, or lots of cash. Take along your gun insurance policy and have proof of where you are going along with phone numbers. Traveling into Canada you need some special forms listing all your guns. No ak's, AR's, other semi-auto centerfire rifles, mags over 10 rounds, handguns, or large or dangerous looking knives. They must be in a secure area that is not readily accessible and unloaded. Yes, they will check. Keep your ammo separate from the guns and have an inventory sheet. If they find any pistol ammo like 9mm or 38 special, they will question you a lot and look for a handgun. Also never tell them you have a rifle or shotgun with you for self defense. Canada does not consider that a legitimate reason to have a gun. I know because I made that mistake once. On that trip I was on vacation and they made me go back. I had to ship my rifle home. Be especially polite as the officers can deny you without cause if they don't like you. I think a covered trailer is the best for gun transport. If your car or truck breaks down you can rent another and still get where you're going without unloading. I normally unload in the middle of the night and cover the guns so they aren't identifiable when loading or unloading. Don't cross the Canadian border in the east, out west in Montana is better. I stay out of Washington and Oregon also. Lastly, don't wear your Trump MAGA hat, or display pro-gun stickers. Low key is best.