Imagine yourself sound asleep at home when you’re suddenly awakened by the piercing sound of glass breaking or the crash of your front door being kicked in. What is your first thought? The safety of your family, property, or yourself? How do you plan to address this situation when it presents itself? As an ex-Army Ranger, my instinct is to quickly assess the situation by identifying the threat and neutralizing it with an appropriate amount of force.

If you have a wife and children in your house like I do, leaving a loaded handgun in the nightstand is an irresponsible and unsafe means of retaining access to your firearm. But securing your home-defense weapon in a gun safe will require you to move to the location of the safe, calmly enter the combination or code (most likely in the dark), and retrieve your weapon. Anyone that’s been in a firefight or a life-and-death situation knows that your body does some physiological shit that’s out of our control. Fine muscle movement is one thing you’ll struggle to maintain in these situations. That’s why remembering your gun safe combination and successfully entering it in a stressful situation may not be practical.

A little over a year ago, I was doing some research on the Internet looking at designs for a covert firearms-storage solution and came across Tactical Walls. Liking what I saw, I contacted the owner of the company, Tim Matter, who is a USAF veteran and now small business owner to discuss his innovative products. At the time, Tim had two concealment mirrors in the works that would allow you to use the cavity of space between wall studs to conceal both long guns and handguns.

As a general contractor, I loved the idea of providing a solution like this for my own customers. The beauty of the product is that you’re concealing firearms in plain sight. What appears to be an elegant, wood-framed, full-length mirror on your wall quickly opens with the click of a hidden magnetic switch. Slide the mirror open to expose an AR-15, combat shotgun, or a short-barreled rifle, with room to spare for handguns and ammo.

The mirror’s functionality remains unnoticeable to the casual observer, intruder, or uninformed family member while closed. Only you or your spouse would be able to readily access what lies beneath in case of an emergency. The hidden magnetic latch location is unmarked, yet is easily located in the upper corner of the mirror frame. Simply attach the magnetic key provided and the latch will release, allowing you to slide the mirror open. A relatively easy procedure that takes about a second.

Image courtesy of Tacticalwalls.com
Fully-loaded 1450M

Since their inception, Tactical Walls has continued to innovate with new products. One such innovation is a simple way to attach your firearms within the insert using magnets. The concealment covers are sold with several very strong magnets that can be taped to the back of the plastic insert in whatever configuration you’d like to attach your firearms or accessories.

The interior of the plastic insert is also covered in Velcro for attaching anything from patches to pouches, or any “hook/loop” accessory you have. Also included are accessory shelves that can be arranged and installed within the insert for the storage of smaller, loose items. In the accessory department at Tactical Walls, you’ll also find a slick motion-sensor LED light that will help illuminate the contents of your Tactical Walls when the mirror has been opened.

Image courtesy of Tacticalwalls.com
Options other than a mirror

Tactical Walls currently offers three different sizes of concealment covers. The largest is the 1450, which is also the measurement of the interior storage space (14″ wide by 50″ tall). The mid-sized 1420 is large enough to hold up to four handguns, and the smaller 1410 is ideal for one to two handguns. If you’re not comfortable cutting a hole in your wall for the concealment covers, Tactical Walls recently introduced concealment shelves.

These inconspicuous shelves attach to your walls with no permanent modification and can be opened with the same magnetic key-latch system. Once unlatched, the bottom of the shelf lowers with the help of a gas shock, allowing you to access whatever firearm you can fit in there. Available sizes are the 1242 rifle-length shelf and the 825 pistol-length shelf. Model numbers once again reflect the amount of storage space within these units. The shelves also include an adhesive-backed piece of foam that can easily be cut to safely cradle your firearms.

Image Courtesy of Tacticalwalls.com
1242RLS and 825PLS
Image courtesy of Tacticalwalls.com
1242RLS and 825 PLS

All units are made here in the U.S. by a veteran-owned company. I love supporting veterans like Tim, especially those with such innovative ideas as Tactical Walls. Both the concealment covers and the shelves are constructed of poplar hardwood with several finish options to match your home decor. There are several insert color options to further customize the look of your unit. If a mirror isn’t the best option, you can also use a white board, chalk board, or a picture in its place if you desire. These units are all built and finished to order, so the lead time is typically three to four weeks.

Base Pricing: (Optional items are extra)

1450M  $490

1420M  $360

1410M  $260

1242 RLS  $395

825 PLS  $295

Image courtesy of Tacticalwalls.com
Fully-loaded 1420M

Bottom line:  After purchasing a concealment mirror for myself over a year ago, I’ve become the Tactical Walls dealer in Michigan, have installed units for customers around the state, and have shipped several to my Ranger buddies throughout the U.S. It’s a pretty cool product that will do exactly what it’s designed for. I’ve had a few prospective customers argue the validity of these products with me, and I admit, they may not work for everyone. These concealment covers and shelves are not meant to save your valuable gun collection from a fire, as they are not fireproof nor were they designed to perform this function.

The magnetic latch is not impenetrable, nor was it designed to be. People have argued that a burglar could gain access to your mirror with nothing more than a screwdriver. Indeed, if someone broke into your house while you weren’t home and they had enough time to clean out all your valuables and then decided to start looking at your mirrors and shelves wondering if they had hidden compartments in them, yes, they could probably pry them open with a screwdriver. Not a very realistic scenario, but whatever.

You should always store your collectibles or valuable guns in a fireproof safe. The Tactical Walls units are designed to house your go-to weapons when the shit hits the fan and you need quick access to them. For these concealment mirrors and shelves to be effective, you should not let anyone know how they operate—which is easier said than done once you install one.