Weapon Storage: The Industry Leader

military-whysecureit

How a technology storage expert, turned military weapon storage guru, is revolutionizing the way military armories store their weapons

tom_largeTom Kubiniec got involved in military weapon storage in 2001 while running a technology storage company. He received a call from a client who asked if his storage company could store MP5s in one of its high-security laptop storage cabinets. He was intrigued, and as he looked further into military weapon storage, he found that there were serious concerns and difficulties with the existing systems. The military was moving to modular weapon systems which leveraged a wide variety of attachable optics and electronics (ACOGs, PEQs, etc.). Weapon storage systems, designed for traditional battle rifles (M16, M14, M4), simply were not up to the task of storing these modern weapon systems with their modular components and parts.

It seemed that the companies supplying these weapon storage solutions did not fully understand the challenges and requirements of the modern armory. Most manufacturers were reacting to military weapon system changes by simply adding new components and pieces to their existing rack systems. The net result was that most of the weapon storage systems on the market became very complex, non-adjustable and very difficult to use.

“We took a different approach”

Tom took a different approach. His storage company was fortunate to be located in southern California, with proximity to many military installations. Tom and his associates took every opportunity to visit these facilities to talk with the armorers in command about the challenges faced in a military going through a modernization initiative. They rapidly gained a great deal of experience in military armories. SecureIt was created as a business to address the challenges associated with storage and organization of modern modular weapon systems.

SecureIt® wins the USASFC armory assessment contract

In October 2006, USASFC (U.S. Army Special Forces Command) was facing several big issues in their armories. Storage systems that had been recently purchased were simply not working. A solicitation was put out for an armory assessment program. SecureIt won the contract. Over the next seven months, SecureIt traveled to all CONUS Army Special Forces locations, surveyed the armories, interviewed the armorers and observed the work flow. This level of access to our most elite fighting forces was normally impossible. The time spent in the armories and the frank discussions with team members gave SecureIt an incredible amount of information and experience.

In a brief to USASFC, SecureIt outlined the need to move to modular, scalable solutions. The problem was, a modular, scalable solution essentially did not exist. This realization quickly led to an intense and involved search for a solution, which SecureIt ultimately developed. Since then, SecureIt has designed and installed weapon storage solutions for all branches of the military, in all theaters of operation

 

 

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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!


$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

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$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.


Evaluating Competence of Your Sales Rep

bad weapon rack

Does your sale rep have any idea what he is doing?

In my 14 years experience designing and building armories I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. Most of the problems related to bad weapon storage systems and armories trace back to inexperienced or negligent distributors and sales representatives.

Weapon storage armories are unique and require specialized knowledge.

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So how do you assess whether the sales rep in front of you knows anything about weapon storage?

If the supplier’s main business is office and filing solutions or focused on industrial warehouse storage, then you need to ask them a few qualifying questions.

To start:
Find out if they know anything about guns. If a rep does not have a good understanding of modern military weapons and weapon systems, how can they be expected to provide a weapon storage system that meets your needs and properly stores your weapons and associated gear?

Simple Questions to ask a sales rep:

Can you explain how to disassemble an M4? This will assess very basic weapon knowledge and give you an idea of their level of understanding of the modern environment. I have seen many storage solutions that do not take into account the modular nature of AR platform weapons. There are locking systems that can be defeated by simply separating the upper and lower receivers or popping open the trigger guard on an M4.

Our sniper rifles have floating barrels. How does your system address this? If they respond “Do the guns go on boats?”, you need to choose a different supplier. Lack of understanding of systems like a floating barrel should be another red flag.

NOTE: When storing a rifle with a floating barrel the weapon must be stored vertically with the weight of the rifle on it’s stock and held in place with an upper saddle at the forestock not resting on the barrel. The scope or optic must be free and clear. You should be able to remove the rifle or adjacent rifles without bumping the scope.

Can you explain how to clean a rifle?
Can you explain how to zero a weapon?

If they have little understanding of basic weapon setup and maintenance procedures, there is little chance they will understand proper storage or armory work flow

Remember, they make the sale and move on. You have to live with the system for a long time. It is important that your system designer have a solid working knowledge of weapon systems, optics and armory work flow.

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High density mobile aisle weapon storage systems.

see: High-Density Weapon Storage: Basic Understanding
When considering a high density mobile aisle system, a salesman’s experience installing these systems may not be enough. There are many improper or inferior mobile systems installed in armories around the country. There are also many sales reps out there who claim to have lots of experience. Does installing 20 bad storage systems mean you are experienced?

This system (image right) was designed and installed by a company with a background in business office solutions. In the lower image you see a system end panel that has broken off and sits on the floor. This failure renders the entire system ineffective.

The primary cause of the failure was a poor choice in end panel material. The end-panels are a laminate (particle board with a Formica-type covering) in this particular solution. This type of material looks nice and works well in a law office or hospital setting when storing records, but in an armory where people are moving heavy items like MK19s and M2HBs, the panels will break off if accidentally hit with a heavy piece of equipment.

Steel end panels are a must for mobile aisle weapon storage systems.

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If a sales rep recommends a system with laminate end panels he does not know what he is doing. You need to consider bringing in a different company to design the weapon storage system.

There are many qualified individuals who can properly design and install an efficient and functional weapon storage system in your armory or weapon vault. There are many more who do not really know what they are doing. Take the time to evaluate, not just the proposed system, but more importantly the person who is representing it.

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