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Old 12-14-2010, 05:32 AM
Naga1337 Naga1337 is offline
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Default Hidden Under-car Storage Compartment

The laws in my state dictate that I can only carry a loaded handgun in my car. "Loaded" means that there are loaded magazines for the firearm in question somewhere in the car, so if I wanted to carry a rifle (which I do,) even if it is locked in my trunk, and the loaded magazines for it are locked in a separate container, the rifle is still considered "loaded," according to the law. I would like it it I could have a couple of loaded rifle magazines on hand, in the event of an emergency. My only legal option is to transport them outside my car.

One of those rooftop "big mac" storage compartments would be too cumbersome, so, inspired by people hiding their keys under their cars, and since I just had to work on my car's bumper, I have decided that the most practical solution would be to make an under-car storage compartment. More accurately, it would be a small waterproof box stuck up behind the rear bumper cover.

I drive a Chevrolet Malibu. I recently got rear-ended, so I spent a lot of time digging around under the rear bumper cover. It seems to me that there is enough room between the bumper cover and the nearest sheet metal to stick a dry box big enough for a couple of AR-15 magazines. It would take a few seconds to get to, but it would be faster than having to load the magazines if I ever needed them in a hurry. I figure I would attach it with copious amounts of mounting tape and/or a few strategically placed threadlocked nuts and bolts.

My questions are:

1. Is this idea feasible?

2. Does anyone have any suggestions for improvements?

3. Does anyone have any alternative ideas as to where I could place such a storage container on the car?

I know it's a bizarre request, but I want to stay legal, while also having a solution to this problem more practical than having to load the magazines before use.
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  #2  
Old 12-14-2010, 06:59 AM
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Spatula Tzar Spatula Tzar is offline
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Default Re: Hidden Under-car Storage Compartment

It's certainly feasible. It might not be legal though. I'm not sure exactly how the laws work.

Tape won't hold anything. Bolts are essential. I have no idea how durable the box is, but it needs to withstand being pelted with rocks. The latch doesn't look secure enough either. The bottom of a car is a surprisingly harsh environment. I'd start with a cheap metal toolbox bolted to the frame, with a drybox or even watertight tupperware containers inside. Use plenty of foam padding.

I'd suggest keeping the box under the hood, if the law allows. There you only have to contend with heat instead of abrasion.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:44 AM
Bogart Bogart is offline
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Default Re: Hidden Under-car Storage Compartment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naga1337 View Post
It seems to me that there is enough room between the bumper cover and the nearest sheet metal to stick a dry box big enough for a couple of AR-15 magazines.
Hah. Get rearended again, box gets crushed, and a round goes off and/or some spill out. Should be a fun scene.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naga1337 View Post
3. Does anyone have any alternative ideas as to where I could place such a storage container on the car?
A great storage area in the engine bay on a lot of vehicles is the space in the airbox under the air filter. It's usually pretty easily accessible, sometimes without any tools. It gets a bit warm, but not terribly so.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:17 PM
Muffin_Man Muffin_Man is offline
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Default Re: Hidden Under-car Storage Compartment

Imagine the fun if your car was to encounter a bomb dog.

That's a pretty strange law. It's even worse than CA.

I'm not entirely sure of what type of emergency you want to be prepared for that would allow you to A: enter your vehicle/open trunk and grab a weapon, and B: scuttle around under your car/in engine bay to retrieve ammunition. The only scenarios that come to mind are from movies.

Another thing to think about; ever have you car broken into or stolen? It fucking sucks, add having a weapon (aren't ARs fairly costly?) stolen along with whatever else and a busted window. No bueno.

I don't know what state you're in, but if you're really worried about shit+fan, look into a conceal carry permit.

MM
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:19 PM
Naga1337 Naga1337 is offline
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Default Re: Hidden Under-car Storage Compartment

Thanks for the replies.

I should have mentioned that the box I linked to is just an example. The one I have in mind has a more secure latching system. I also planned on putting a couple wraps of tape around the box to hold it shut, while still being easy to cut through with a knife.

I thought about the rear ending situation. While I doubt the ammunition would go off (ever see a Glock get dropped from an airplane?,) I wouldn't want to risk it. Under-hood storage would certainly be easier, but the main concerns would be heat and ease of access. The ease of access wouldn't be too much of an issue, but the heat would be. Also, I'm not sure if that would constitute "outside" the car. Regardless, I will check out my air box and see if it is a feasible location.

Any suggestions as to how I could check the temperature at the various points under the hood of the car?

Again, thanks for the replies.
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  #6  
Old 12-14-2010, 07:20 PM
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InToXiCoLoGisT InToXiCoLoGisT is offline
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Default Re: Hidden Under-car Storage Compartment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naga1337 View Post
Thanks for the replies.

I should have mentioned that the box I linked to is just an example. The one I have in mind has a more secure latching system. I also planned on putting a couple wraps of tape around the box to hold it shut, while still being easy to cut through with a knife.

I thought about the rear ending situation. While I doubt the ammunition would go off (ever see a Glock get dropped from an airplane?,) I wouldn't want to risk it. Under-hood storage would certainly be easier, but the main concerns would be heat and ease of access. The ease of access wouldn't be too much of an issue, but the heat would be. Also, I'm not sure if that would constitute "outside" the car. Regardless, I will check out my air box and see if it is a feasible location.

Any suggestions as to how I could check the temperature at the various points under the hood of the car?

Again, thanks for the replies.
For temps, go with something like this: http://techinstrumentation.com/produ...ermometer.html

Cheap, and they have many use's.
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:55 PM
Naga1337 Naga1337 is offline
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Default Re: Hidden Under-car Storage Compartment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Intoxicologist View Post
For temps, go with something like this: http://techinstrumentation.com/produ...ermometer.html

Cheap, and they have many use's.
I already have something like that. I would be worried, though, that since I would have to leave the hood open to take the measurements, the temperatures would be lower than they would be under normal (closed hood) circumstances. Am I incorrect in this belief?
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:01 PM
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InToXiCoLoGisT InToXiCoLoGisT is offline
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Default Re: Hidden Under-car Storage Compartment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naga1337 View Post
I already have something like that. I would be worried, though, that since I would have to leave the hood open to take the measurements, the temperatures would be lower than they would be under normal (closed hood) circumstances. Am I incorrect in this belief?
Depends, how long the hood is open for.

You could always wire a thermometer through/to the firewall, or right to the point you want the temp. read at. It's probably a cheaper route compared to using the laser one. (if you didn't already have one, that is)

Think aftermarket computer cpu/case thermometer. It's still 12 volts.
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  #9  
Old 12-14-2010, 10:33 PM
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Spatula Tzar Spatula Tzar is offline
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Default Re: Hidden Under-car Storage Compartment

I don't know much about the heat sensitivity of bullets, but if it helps, automotive electronics are rated for 125 C. It's about the hottest you can expect any place to be, aside from inside the combustion chamber or exhaust line. Wrap it in aluminum foil for a little extra protection.

Also, put a desiccant inside the box. No sense in risking moisture.

Last edited by Spatula Tzar; 12-14-2010 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:03 AM
Naga1337 Naga1337 is offline
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Default Re: Hidden Under-car Storage Compartment

Based on my reading, the flashpoint of most blends of smokeless powder is about 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Assuming that 125 degrees Celsius is correct for automotive electronics, there shouldn't be much of a risk. I will use a desiccant, though I plan on cycling the ammunition out at least once a month, so I doubt moisture or other prolonged stresses will be an issue.

I also got another idea that may be easier. I know that in some places, soldiers will cover the magazine openings with plastic bags to keep water out. I also know from experience that Dual Lock fasteners combined with Velcro makes an incredibly strong bond, but one that can still be broken with a hard yank (I use such an arrangement on my helmet camera.) Therefore, if I could somehow simply seal off both magazine openings, and then stick some Velcro to the side of the magazine, and some Dual Lock against a surface of the car (or vice versa,) I believe it would be perfectly secure.

As long as I have properly cleaned the adhesion surfaces, I have never had properly applied (i.e. allowed to cure) Dual Lock or Velcro sheets come off of a surface. Knowing that a loaded AR-15 magazine weighs in at just under 1.5 lbs, I think I will do some experiments using weights stuck to the car to test the feasibility of this idea.

Thanks for the additional suggestions.
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:41 AM
Bogart Bogart is offline
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Default Re: Hidden Under-car Storage Compartment

So long as the car is running, fresh outside air is being constantly drawn through the airbox which should keep things cool. Only when you stop the engine would some residual heat "soak through" until things cool off or the engine is restarted.
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  #12  
Old 12-15-2010, 03:47 AM
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Default Re: Hidden Under-car Storage Compartment

The plastic bags could work for the engine compartment, but underneath the car they will get pelted with rocks and become useless. Also, keep in mind velcro and dual lock are only rated to 93 C. They might not hold in the engine compartment.
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:55 AM
eesakiwi eesakiwi is offline
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Default Re: Hidden Under-car Storage Compartment

I put a easy hidden compartment in one of my cars once, smaller than the box but a good idea anyway.

It was this sort of ashtray that I used, metal & direct into the dash.
[//]http://images.hemmings.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/ashtray.jpg[//]
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:58 AM
ilovechronic ilovechronic is offline
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Default Re: Hidden Under-car Storage Compartment

What you described as "magazines having ammo in them" is not technically loaded but that may be how your state defines it. For it to technically be loaded the mag has to be in the gun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogart View Post
Hah. Get rearended again, box gets crushed, and a round goes off and/or some spill out. Should be a fun scene.



A great storage area in the engine bay on a lot of vehicles is the space in the airbox under the air filter. It's usually pretty easily accessible, sometimes without any tools. It gets a bit warm, but not terribly so.
The round would have to be stricken exactly in the primer with the right amount of force for it to go off. It would not be anything you would have to worry about really besides a round going off that is chambered in a firearm.

An alternative would be to keep a "speed loader" to load your ar15 mags rapidly which the speed loader is basically like stripper clips.

Last edited by ilovechronic; 12-15-2010 at 04:05 AM.
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Old 12-15-2010, 04:04 AM
eesakiwi eesakiwi is offline
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Default Re: Hidden Under-car Storage Compartment

I made a hidden compartment for a old car once, I used the ashtray.
This sort of ashtray>

I got another of the same sort & cut the lid end off & riveted the two ends together (to get the correct size, you can measure it, its easyer).

Then I just slid the ashtray back in & measured how far the lid end stuck out & then removed it.
I then cut that distance off the cut end of the 2nd ashtray.

Then I turned it around & tack welded (you could bend over the excess end metal & rivet it on) it onto the current ashtray.

It just ended up to be a 'double depth ashtray'.

When you pulled it out, it stopped in the normal position, then you had to reach in & toggle that metal clip up & pull the ashtray completely out to get access to the secret compartment.

It was lined with black velvet for darkness & silence.

I was pretty pleased with myself with that idea.

Last edited by eesakiwi; 12-15-2010 at 04:06 AM.
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Old 12-15-2010, 04:37 AM
Naga1337 Naga1337 is offline
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Default Re: Hidden Under-car Storage Compartment

Again, thanks for the helpful ideas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spatula Tzar View Post
The plastic bags could work for the engine compartment, but underneath the car they will get pelted with rocks and become useless. Also, keep in mind velcro and dual lock are only rated to 93 C. They might not hold in the engine compartment.
I wish I could find a picture of the underside of my car, but there's a place that is roughly below the rearmost part of the rear window, in which there is a vertical surface where the flat part faces backwards. I suspect that anything attached there would be relatively safe from debris and away from the exhaust system, while still being easily accessible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovechronic View Post
What you described as "magazines having ammo in them" is not technically loaded but that may be how your state defines it. For it to technically be loaded the mag has to be in the gun... An alternative would be to keep a "speed loader" to load your ar15 mags rapidly which the speed loader is basically like stripper clips.
Unfortunately...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ORC 2923.16(K)
(5)”Unloaded” means any of the following:

(a) No ammunition is in the firearm in question, and no ammunition is loaded into a magazine or speed loader that may be used with the firearm in question and that is located anywhere within the vehicle in question, without regard to where ammunition otherwise is located within the vehicle in question. For the purposes of division (K)(5)(a) of this section, ammunition held in stripper-clips or in en-bloc clips is not considered ammunition that is loaded into a magazine or speed loader.
It's funny. I can legally have an SKS or Garand in a mount immediately next to the driver's seat, with the clip right next to it, ready to go, and still be perfectly legal. But the moment an actual "magazine" or revolver "speedloader" comes into play, it becomes in illegal "loaded" weapon, no matter where the magazine and firearm are located.

Last edited by Naga1337; 12-15-2010 at 04:39 AM. Reason: I'm OCD about grammar...
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  #17  
Old 12-15-2010, 05:37 AM
Mr. White Mr. White is offline
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Default Re: Hidden Under-car Storage Compartment

Just read the glock out of the plane article, I want to move to AMerica to get a gun now
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Old 12-15-2010, 05:52 AM
Naga1337 Naga1337 is offline
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Default Re: Hidden Under-car Storage Compartment

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Originally Posted by Mr. White View Post
Just read the glock out of the plane article, I want to move to AMerica to get a gun now
Tee hee hee. On that subject, I seem to recall that when those "tests" were first conducted, the gun wouldn't fire after it was dropped from the plane. Upon disassembly, the author of the tests discovered that while the gun was perfectly fine, the ammunition itself had deformed from the impact, and therefore wouldn't feed properly. I might be recalling that wrong, though.
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:36 AM
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Default Re: Hidden Under-car Storage Compartment

The article said it wouldn't fire after being dropped off a building for that reason. The plane test worked fine, but it fell in soft dirt. I'd like to see how it holds up being dropped onto rock or concrete. Either way, it's still more reliable than I would expect.
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Old 12-15-2010, 02:20 PM
Mr. White Mr. White is offline
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Default Re: Hidden Under-car Storage Compartment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naga1337 View Post
Tee hee hee. On that subject, I seem to recall that when those "tests" were first conducted, the gun wouldn't fire after it was dropped from the plane. Upon disassembly, the author of the tests discovered that while the gun was perfectly fine, the ammunition itself had deformed from the impact, and therefore wouldn't feed properly. I might be recalling that wrong, though.
Yep that's right, but how often are you gonna throw your gun out of a plane to see what happens? I just meant I would love to own a gun period, which I cant really do in Australia without bullshit limits and laws etc
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:31 PM
Amie Amie is offline
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Default Re: Hidden Under-car Storage Compartment

Can't you just carry loaded stripper clips and empty magazines in the car? Seems faster than a box hidden behind your bumper, less effort, less to go wrong.
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Old 12-16-2010, 04:16 AM
Naga1337 Naga1337 is offline
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Default Re: Hidden Under-car Storage Compartment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amie View Post
Can't you just carry loaded stripper clips and empty magazines in the car? Seems faster than a box hidden behind your bumper, less effort, less to go wrong.
I could. The problem is finding a reliable charger guide for AR-15 magazines (most of them out there are made out of cheap flexible steel.) But even then, it would still take a decent bit of time. Thanks for the suggestion, though. I will look more into that.
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