$760K Armory Mistake?

Armory Mistake; complexity of organizing all specialty components in an existing competitive cabinet

Should the US military use import weapon racks?

Reprinted with permission of Brad Enders


$760,000 of Canadian import weapon racks sit, unusable, in a quanset hut at Ft. Hood.

When the 3rd BCT, 1st ID (Duke Brigade) was reactivated and uncased their Colors at Ft. Hood TX They needed to purchase new weapon racks for their armories.

The decision was made to buy weapon racks imported from Canada. Sold in the US under several names, (Sekure, DSL), the weapon racks were delivered and installed into all 3rd Brigade armories. Following their deployment, word came down that they would be relocated to Ft. Knox. The weapon racks were not to be part of their EMTOE at the new location so they would be left behind for the next military units to occupy their Ft Hood space.

All the racks are locked and nobody has the keys…

Flash forward several months and you have a group at Ft. Hood trying to set up new arms rooms. They have been assigned all of the Canadian weapon racks once used by the 3rd BCT. There is one problem. All the racks are locked and nobody has the keys. This sounds almost funny until you realize the enormity of the situation.

The weapon racks (designed to meet a Canadian standard) have an integrated Abloy lock system in the doors. This lock uses a laser cut hardened steel key. The key cannot be duplicated and for security reasons Abloy will not produce new keys unless the customer has 2 things: The original invoice for the locks and the key card (each lock comes with a business card sized “key card” which has the unique lock ID).

As there was no system or process in place to organize and store unique keys or special key cards, these items were misplaced.

The net result is the racks are unusable.

There is no way to open these weapon racks shy of cutting off the doors, which will destroy them. Weapon racks should have a useful life of 20 years, now there are hundreds of them sitting in a big quanset hut by the motor pool at Ft. Hood. They will sit there until someday someone gets sick of them and dumps them for scrap steel value.

Canadian manufacturers make high quality products, however their weapon racks are designed to meet a Canadian security standard and Canadian armory protocols.

While the Canadian racks meet Army AR190-11 and Naval OPNAV 5313 security requirement for small arms storage, they are clearly not the right choice. Just because a weapon rack meets the minimum standard does not make it a good choice for US military applications.

In the US Military all weapon racks should use a standard removable pad lock and nothing else. In the event of a lost key the lock can be cut off. This will cost $8.00 to replace. Replacing an Abloy keyed Canadian weapon rack will cost about $1200.

An additional concern: in a crises situation access to weapons in the Canadian Racks would take a very long time if the keys were not available as the doors would have to be cut off.

While the Canadians make high quality products, these weapon racks were clearly never designed for US military use.

Armory Fail: Did Moody AFB just blow $118,553?

spacesaver weapon rack fail


Did Moody AFB just blow $118,553?

From FedBizOpps:
23rd Contracting Squadron at Moody AFB is issuing this notice of intent (NOI) FA4830-16-Q-Z025 to inform industry contractors the Government’s intent to execute a Single Source award under FAR Part 13 – Simplified Acquisition Procedures (SAP), with Patterson Pope Inc.

This will be a Firm Fixed Price (FFP) award FA4830-16-P-0008, in the amount of $118,553.71.


What is happening here is the military is buying a bunch of components and brackets to update Spacesaver weapon racks in order to store different weapons.

Older technology systems like Spacesaver and Dasco (marketed under Sekure in the US), and the clones (Argo, Combat, Datum etc.) are all based on the old 1990s idea of building a weapon cabinet with a modular back panel, then produce a wide variety of brackets to hold different individual weapons. Each weapon system has its own unique set of brackets. We call this family of products “Bracket Racks”.

This type of system, developed in the 1990s, works when first installed and the brackets match the MTOE or weapon list. The problems start when the list changes, new equipment is added or units are relocated. When changes happen the unit must go out and buy new brackets to accommodate the change. In this case, they are spending $118,000! Every time things change they will have to source, either from inventory or procurement, the correct brackets. Since there really is no efficient or standardized way to store and organize weapon rack brackets, unused brackets frequently get lost. That leads to issues like this 118K purchase, which is a complete waste of tax payer money.


Enter SecureIt™ and Cradle Grid™ Technology.

SecureIt’s revolutionary CradleGrid system has only one moving part and properly stores all weapons in a military armory – from rifles and crew-served weapons, to mortar canons and most shoulder launch systems. The weapon cabinets can be adjusted on the fly and no tools are required to store whatever weapon the armorer has in their hands. There is never a need to buy additional parts.


When SecureIt completed the Arms Room Assessment Contract with USASFC (Army Special Forces Command), the results clearly showed that complexity was the biggest problem. The bracket rack systems were failing. Originally designed when the military used primarily the M16, these racks simply could not adapt to the sweeping changes in infantry weapons. Modern military units field a wide variety of modular rifles, shotguns and other weapon systems. The old bracket racks are just not designed for a variety of weapons.


The Arms Room Assessment contract was a 2-year program in which SecureIt surveyed all Special Forces armories, interviewed armorers and observed workflow. The objective was to determine why so many armories were failing inspections and performing so poorly.


”We needed a system that did not require additional components or parts yet could store all weapon systems in a modern military armory. It had to be easy to use so that an armorer could walk up and use it, without any training.”



Based on the knowledge gleaned over the 2-year program, SecureIt set out create a system that would adapt to any changes without the need to purchase additional materials. During development of the system, a large sign on the wall at SecureIt headquarters read, “Innovate and Simplify”. The team knew that to be effective the solution had to be easy to understand and use. Tom Kubiniec, SecureIt President and development team leader, says “We needed a system that did not require additional components or parts yet could store all weapon systems in modern military armory. It had to be easy to use so that an armorer could walk up and use it, without any training.”



The solution was CradleGrid Technology

The innovative solution to this widespread bracket rack problem is CradleGrid Technology, a system with just one moving part, designed to properly store any and all weapons in a military armory. The CradleGrid system has three basic components:


The Cradle :

A patented, unbreakable weapon Cradle, or saddle, engineered to properly support rifles, shotguns, larger crew-served weapons (M240, M2, MK19) and most shoulder launch weapon systems with optics attached.


The Grid

A steel, gridded back panel that would allow for total adjustability of the cradle, while being compatible with COTS (commercial off the shelf) products.

Where all other weapon storage companies use proprietary back-panels (so you must order all components from them) The Grid is a commercial back-panel used in shops and storage facilities all over the world. This allows operators to source materials almost anywhere in the world.

The Base

A universal, unbreakable base that situates to allow for standard rifle stocks, spade grips and larger format weapons. The universal cavity accommodates any stock and is canted backward so the weapon naturally falls into the Cradle.

The CradleGrid system not only stores all weapons but can accommodate a wide variety of gear in an organized, flexible system.

Affordable and Sustainable

SecureIt weapon storage cabinets, all of which feature revolutionary CradleGrid Technology, provide a simple and sustainable system that properly stores any weapon or weapon system and can adapt instantly and easily to any future changes. The “one moving part” simplicity of the system also costs far less to produce than the old bracket racks with all their never-ending assortment of different parts and pieces.


The final answer

The real beauty, then, of SecureIt’s CradleGrid Technology-based weapons storage system is that it is mind-bogglingly simple, completely future-proof, requires no training and eliminates the possibility of blowing $118,553.71. And that was just one instance. It really is the answer!

Military Weapon Storage: Avoid Horizontal Mounts

SecureIt Avoid Horiz Mounts; hassles experienced by firearm owner trying to pick horizontally displayed rifle from behind an AR15

All weapons must be stored vertically.

Barrels pointed up has been a standard since the first flintlock – and with good reason. Safety is the most obvious reason, however in a modern armory there are other considerations.

System flexibility: Vertical storage offers the ability to adapt to the widest variety of weapons.

Speed: If you manage an active armory where weapons are issued and returned often, vertical storage will prove the most efficient.

Accountability: Site counts and audits are also much faster with standard vertical storage.

Problems with horizontal weapon mounts.

The use of horizontal mounts in weapon racks started in around 2002 by Dasco a Canadian manufacturer, in an attempt to fit more weapons in their 48” high weapon rack. Sounds logical if your only consideration is trying to sell a 48” rack. On paper it looks good, however in an active armory it is very cumbersome and almost impossible for an armorer to issue and return weapons efficiently.

This sequence shows the difficulties removing weapons form horizontal mounts. What you can not see in marketing and sales photos is that it is all but impossible to remove the inner weapons.

When the rifles have slings, it creates a real challenge as things get tangled very quickly. Space has to be maintained above the lower rack in order to have room for the rifle being extracted to clear the lower rack.

In these images the horizontal mounts are used on an open expandable weapon rack system. It is easier to show the difficulties with this type of open rack. The problems get a lot worse when mounted in enclosed weapon cabinets.

There are several types of weapon storage racks to choose from with many options. Horizontal mounts should be avoided.