Time Well Spent Inventorying Guns & Gear

Let’s face it…nobody likes to think about the possibility of your guns or outdoor equipment getting stolen, but few among us are so naive to think it could not happen.   So what steps have you taken recently to make some safeguards to protect your financial investment?   So, you say, you’ve got a list…but when was the last time you reviewed or updated that record?

I know…it’s not one of those activities that most of us enjoy.   Yet, to be prudent gun owners we need to occasionally take some time to ensure we have all the details correct about our collection in case of disaster.   I’ve also found that the late winter doldrums is a perfect time to sit by the computer and accomplish some of these necessary tasks.

For me it starts by pulling each gun out of the gun safe and giving it a quick once over looking for any evidence indicating the first signs of rust, etc.   Then I take a digital photograph trying to get an up-close view to show the gun’s condition.   This year I even took the extra step of using an image editing program to permanently label the photograph with the gun’s model number and serial number as shown below:


Next, I used a spreadsheet program in Excel to document all the details of the gun and to serve as a permanent (and editable) record of my ownership information.


To down-load a template of the particular Excel file I use for my record-keeping click HERE.   There’s nothing fancy about this file…but it aids in performing some of the totals calculations to keep a running value of your collection.   I also set this program up to include a worksheet tab for non-gun items you may want to include…such as binoculars, range finders, GPS, wildlife art, etc.

Now to be honest, if you’re one of the lucky few who has a rather extensive collection of prize firearms it might be wise to check out this program.   Blue Book Publications, Inc. puts out a wonderful Inventory Software Program that accomplishes the same thing as my file above, with the addition of having the gun valuation software built right in to its function.   That’s right…this program will walk you through and help you determine the value of each gun as well as capturing all the pertinent ownership details.

BBP not only sells this great computer program, but this company also sells the “bible” which is used industry-wide to determine all gun values.   This company’s products are definitely worth a look and best of all, if you order now you will get their most recent book and software program issues that are scheduled to be released in April.

Oh…and one last word of advice.   You may want to password protect any of these files for added security from your spouse.   Even as helpful as these programs would be in establishing value in case of theft…the important numbers they reveal could definitely work against you if they fell into the wrong hands within your household.   Don’t take that chance!   Who needs a spouse backed with this critical information lobbying against your next gun purchase?   I know I sure don’t.

© 2006 Jim Braaten.  All Rights Reserved.   No Reproduction without Prior Permission.