Quick Access Long Gun Case:

So I have been wanting to keep a shotgun by my bedside for home defense. The problem was that I have a child in the house and she often has friends over. And so even though my daughter knows not to play with guns, her friends may not.
So the problem was how to keep a long gun by the bedside at the ready and yet inaccessible to children?

Well my first thought was a gun safe, however, I found most gun safes' are either quick access but not designed for long guns or are big safes designed for any firearm but are not quick access in the middle of the night.

So I had to come up with my own solution, and I will admit this may not be perfect, but it works for me.
So here it is, my quick access stealth long gun case for ~$35.

1: Over the door "dorm" mirror (available from "Bed Bath and Beyond" for $20)
2: 6' Studs from you favorite home improvement warehouse.
2: 12" Piano hinges.
6: 90 angle brackets. (deck building supplies)
44: 1 multipurpose wood screws.
1 Door/Window alarm (optional)

Drill driver. (a 3" doorknob hole drill bit is nice but not completely necessary)
Stud finder.
Measuring tape.

Start with the two studs and cut them to around 36" to 40" depending on your long gun of choice.
(Admittedly if you are going to put a full skeet gun with a 28" barrel and a full stock this will not work, but that is hardly a good choice for home defense anyway, in this case we are using a Mossberg 500 with a home defense barrel and a collapsible stock).
Next cut three 12" pieces from the remaining stock. Set one of these aside for now, and then screw in the 4 angle brackets to make a basic box 12" high inside and place the final 2 brackets along the top board flush with the back 16" apart on center.

So far you should have something that looks like this: (There is no back, you are looking down at the top of my workbench)
Basic box

Next place the mirror upside down on your work bench and place the box front side down over it, using the top edge of the mirror and the top board of the box add the 2 piano hinges in a position so that the mirror can open hinged from the top.
Paino hinge

Now, use a stud finder to locate 2 studs on the wall you want to mount it to, and place the 90 brackets over the studs and screw them to the wall.
Take that last 12" piece of wood and drill a door knob hole in it about the middle. Slide this in where the end of the barrel will rest and use it to hold the gun in a level position. This is what it should look like.
Finished on the wall.

Now close the top:
(I blacked out the reflection of my messy room ;)

Easy access, just lift the mirror and grab.
Lift and grab

Finally, I picked up a simple Door/Window alarm from Harbor freight tools for $2.
I mounted the alarm to the frame and the sensor to the mirror using the included adhesive tape.
Alarm1   Alarm2    Alarm3
If you open the case the alarm will sound, this is enough to scare curious kids and alert you if someone is opening the case and you are not in the room. If there is an intruder in the house and you open the case to retrieve the shotgun he hears this and he will now do one of two things. A) He will run away because he just heard an alarm followed by a cocking shotgun. B:) He doesn't care that you know there is an intruder in your house, in which case a 12 gauge shotgun is pretty much the ideal possession to have in this instance.

Now I know this is not technically "locked" up, but it is high enough off the ground that children cannot reach it and it is very well hidden such that no one would ever think to look behind the mirror. Also, there is not a shell in the chamber but it *is* cocked, and as anyone who knows shotguns, you cannot fire or pump the shotgun in the state. Combined with the safety that is on, it is quite a cryptic process to load this weapon from this state, but one that can be done quickly with practice. I feel this very unintuitive process provides safety from those who would stumble across it.

Well, there you have it, my $35, stealth gun case, this may not be as safe as a gun vault, but the alternative to keep this at the ready would be for the gun to either be under the bed or out in the open, and I think this is a better solution than either of those alternatives.
My $.02