Everyone who carries a concealed weapon, outside of law enforcement officers, has encountered a situation where they were carrying their handgun and had to go to a location which was exempted from their local concealed carry statutes such as a school or government building and many of you live in states where your employer can bar you from carrying your weapon at work but cannot restrict you from leaving it in your vehicle. There are also those, whom I don't quite understand, that have a concealed carry permit but prefer to keep it stashed in their car rather than on their person. Well, the console vault (www.consolevault.com 800-878-1369) is the answer to our collective needs.
I am not a believer in locking my pistol in the glove box or stashing it in the unlocked console. Similarly I do not want to be seen putting it in the trunk and advertising for any observers (casual or otherwise) that it is there. There are too many risks involved here as someone could break into the trunk or car and steal the pistol. Additionally, I have teenage drivers at home. If I forget to remove the pistol from the glove compartment or console I run the risk that they will find it and while my teens have been well trained in the safe handling of firearms and know to leave it alone I cannot vouch for everyone of their friends who might be the person in the car that discovers the handgun.
Well, the good people at Console Vault have us covered. The console vault is a heavy duty, professional security vault that fits into the console of most trucks and SUVs. It is not something that you are going to find in your big box discount store and it is not neither cheap in materials and manufacture nor in price. Premium security never is and premium security plus peace of mind is what the console vault delivers. The Console Vault is made of heavy duty 12 gauge cold rolled plate steel with bank vault style hinged lock pins and drill resistant locks. The vault comes with either a high security barrel key lock or a key-less combination lock. They are also proudly made in the USA.
The vaults are custom designed and fitted to the individual vehicle make and model and have a very exact fit into the console. It fits snugly into the console and has two mounting holes and long steel screws that affix it very securely to the console's bolts.
The mounting holes can be seen in the top right and left hand corner of the above photograph of the bottom of the vault.
Bolt holes as seen from the interior of the vault. Between the tight fit of the vault in the console coupled with the mounting bolts you can feel safe that no one is going to be able to easily snatch the vault out of your vehicle.
I opted for the vault with the key-less combination lock. Once you have input the proper three digit number you merely twist the combination lock itself to clear the locking bolts. The spring assisted door then easily opens to reveal your handgun or any other valuable you may be transporting.
The vault comes with a felt liner which is OK but I would add a piece of egg crate foam for more cushion and to reduce the amount of sliding that the pistol may do as you round corners or stop. If you're like me then you probably have several old pistol or long arm cases you are no longer using from which you can cut an appropriately sized piece of foam.
As you can see, there is plenty of room for a full-sized pistol (even though I am showing a compact model), holster, extra ammunition, tactical knife and flashlight.
Once the console lid is closed no one can tell that the console vault is inside.
I would urge you to check out their website to see if they have a console vault for your vehicle and to also look at their line-up of portable vaults and discrete wall safes. Their wall safes are ingenious, one of which is disguised as an electrical panel and the other has a magnetic cover which can be painted to match your wall making the safe fairly invisible.
The console vaults run about $269.00 which is not inexpensive but well worth the money for the quality of product that you are receiving. I consider this this an essential accessory for the responsible concealed carry owner. If you contact the people at Console Vault please mention that you were referred by Average Joe.
Since writing this post on Sunday I have had the opportunity to correspond with Tom Duengel, the founder and president of Console Vault. I was surprised to find out that this company has been in business for 11 years. Perhaps the reason that the Average Joe is not familiar with them is because a large chunk of Console Vault's business is done with federal agencies such as the FBI, Border Patrol, and the U.S. Marshals as well as many state, county, and municipal police departments.
Tom explained to me that he began to focus on the consumer market after reading a government report which indicated that half of all guns stolen in the U.S. are stolen from the owner's vehicles and he knew his company could provide gun owners with a safe and secure way to store a weapon in their car or truck. They pride themselves in customizing their vaults specifically for the individual vehicle and designing mounting points so that the vault is securely attached to the vehicle's sub frame. Tom also explained that they build their products to tolerances equivalent to aerospace industry standards. I can certainly attest to the fit of the moving parts in the vault and it's exact fit into the Dodge Ram's console. Even without mounting it to the sub frame its fit in the console was so exact that you would have a difficult time removing it.
When I first took my console vault out of the box I wondered why they did not use electronic key pads with digital readout screens like the one on my big floor safe. Tom explained that they ruled out the use of any locking devices that were powered by either the vehicle's battery or a self contained battery pack. As Tom put that in perspective for me I realized that having mechanical locks eliminated the risk of the vault not opening due to a drained battery. Murphy's law always strikes at the worst time and I could envision a scenario when the vault would not open when I needed to access my firearm leaving me to wonder "when was the last time I changed the batteries in the vault".
Lastly Tom mentioned that they are always designing new covert products like their line of wall safes for the home or office. He further told me that they love to hear from their consumers about any design enhancements they would like to see or ideas for new products. Console Vault is also interested in hearing from Average Joe's readers. So much so that they are giving us a $10 discount off the price of any Console Vault product. All you have to do is enter the code AVGJOE10 in the coupon code box on the checkout screen or, if you are ordering via the telephone (800-878-1369) you can just mention the code and the operator will make sure you get $10 off the product of your choice. Couple the $10 discount with the free shipping that Console Vault is offering during the month of December and you have a pretty sweet deal on a pretty great product.