Visit to GunSmoke in Denver Colorado. The shop from American Guns TV program

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Recently, I was in Denver Colorado for a week, and I traveled to the gunstore Gunsmoke. Gunsmoke was featured in two seasons of the show American Guns on the Discovery Channel. It was unfortunately canceled by Discover in the wake of the Newtown Shootings.

The store is located in Wheat Ridge, a suburb of Denver on a busy secondary road.
The retail store is relatively small. They have two large glass counters filled with guns. Guns on the walls, and a room filled with collectable guns.  The selection was good. The prices were good. One thing they did not carry was Ar-15s or gunparts.  The gunsmiths sections are located in the basement and other parts of the building that were off limits to the public.  They also had tons of Gunsmoke Labled items for tourists who were fans of the TV show.  I bought a hat for myself and a Gunsmoke Teeshirt and Mouse pad for my son.

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Inside

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Cannon they built during one of the American Gun Episodes

All the people I met at Gunsmoke were very friendly and helpful. At first, the only person I recognized from the American Guns show was Rich Wyatt — Founder/Owner, Firearms Instructor. He is amazingly tall around 6′ 6″ and literately stands above the crowd.

Unlike other people on TV, I have met, Rich was very friendly and would pose for photos with anyone and also autograph anything.  I bought a American Gun’s mouse pad and he autographed it for son.  He later posed for a picture with me.  And then he and several of the gunsmiths from the show, actually recorded a Merry Christmas Video message for my son, who loves the program. Actually calling my son my name in the video.

I met and hung out with Brian Meidal – Head Gunsmith and Gary — Gunsmith and Builder.During the course of the two episodes, the TV show made it seem like another gunsmith Scott was the biggest jerk in the universe. Brian told me that the TV show was not completey real. The show played up tension between Scott and the other gunsmiths. In fact many of the builds portrayed in the show, were not really for customers.  They had customers come in and ask for a rifle to be built or customized and many times for the build that was to be featured during that week. Also the pricing for the builds were made up and ad-libed, so money was not really exchanged for some of the builds. And Gunsmoke kept the result of the build. There was a cannon that they supposed build for a customer, in the corner of the showroom.

They were still open when I was there, but they have had some issues recently. There was a breakin where guns where stolen. And owner Rich and GunSmoke were audited recently by the IRS, It seems that Rich and GunSmoke had not paid taxes for some time.   And they always flashed huge sums of cash on the TV show when they were buying guns.  Whoops. Rich and Guns were really nice people, and I wish them luck with the IRS.

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Since I am an semi-international Man of Mystery, I have blocked my face in the above photo.

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Building a secure Gun Room

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Before

I started collecting guns a few years ago without a proper place to put them.  I ended up with guns and equipment everywhere. Now I don’t have young kids, so that was not a problem.  But it bothered me, So I decided to use some extra space in my basement and build a gun room.

It’s not that big.  I only had about 12 feet by 8 feed available in a part of the basement.  The rest of the basement is finished. My office is right across from where the gun room would be.  I teach courses over the internet there, when I am not on the road.

There is one window that will have to be secured

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Framing up

during the process.  I decided to use wooden framing components.  Some cities make you use aluminum or metal.  Now I have built walls and done wallboard before.  I have already finished the rest of the basement, so pretty much now what I was doing.

I decided to use a 1 inch 4X8 plywood inside the walls.  I then bought metal sheets and screwed the metal sheets into the plywood. Then hung wallboard up.  I did this to make the room more secure. My dog has chewed his way through a wallboard wall once and it doesn’t take much to kick your way through wallboard. These walls are strong. It will take a lot of time and effort to get those these walls. And it the time it takes a thief to do that. I would have noticed and shot him repeatedly.

Then I thought about what I wanted for the walls of the gun room. Many people use that cheap white peg board, which I just think looks terrible. I was looking at Home Depot’s website when I found stanless steel metal pegboard.  It was not that expensive.  I ordered a few sections. They come in 2 feet by 4 feet and I liked the look.  So one whole wall was covered with this pegboard. It looks great.
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Then I was looking around and found a pre-built small worktable at the local home depot. It was around $60 on sale. This would be the place I work on and clean guns.

I decided that I wanted the ability to use the internet in the gun room and bought a 32 inch flatscreen monitor and attached it to the wall facing the pegboard. Right above where the workbench is now.  The TV has You-tube and Netflix built into it. So I can watch gun building videos or watch movies without a computer. The workbench shelf stores boxes and other components. And there is a Xbox here in case of emergencies.

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The bought some shelves for the ledge next to the window and I store magazines and holsters in these shelves.IMG_6593

For ammo storage, I bought two large ammo storage boxes at a flex market.

Instead of using hooks to hang the guns, I used peg board accessories designed to hold garden tools.  They work better then standard pegboard hooks.

Lastly, I installed track lighting pointing at the wall of guns.  I installed a sub floor and carpeting.  And I got a metal security door and two locks. One with a key. One with a combination.  The door has re-enforcement so some cannot use brute force to the door to get in.  Lastly, I installed Cast Iron metal security grades over the windows in by basement. Both the gun room and my office next door, to make the basement more secure.

Now my whole collection is on display.  I have a room to work on guns and hang out in.

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panoramic photo

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Some of the pistols

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Some of the rifles

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More rifles

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Ammo

For those that notice details.  The rocket is a training rocket that was already fired and legal to own. The rocket launcher tube is empty. Also legal to own. Since I did all the work, it was relatively cheap at around $1200 complete.  If you can’t do your own framing, drywall, and electric, it would probably cost three times that price.