Let’s be honest. Most of us get the cheesy required gun lock when we buy a gun. And that cheesy lock gets chucked on a shelf (or in a bag), and we forget about it (until we sell it). And if we do actually install it on a gun, we find it is basically useless. The keyed locks are pathetic (I’m sure I could train a chimp to bypass one). And if it is the cable kind, you are going to have to leave your slide open and the gun won’t easily fit back in a holster, nor lay flat, etc. Then again maybe these things aren’t really that big of an issue… I still struggle with a use case that requires me to lock my gun using some sort of cable locking device.
The Omega Gunlock is really a pretty simple device. It is a small cylinder about the size and shape of the round meant for the gun (and you can get it for pretty much all calibers; pistol, rifle, and shotgun). You drop the gunlock into the breach with the slide locked back, insert the locking rod/key into the front of the barrel and twist to lock it. The lock itself basically has a screw in the middle, which, when tightened, causes the entire unit to expand in place, wedging it inside the barrel. Ever had a piece of brass get lodged in your gun? Basically what this does, but easily removable.
Overall it holds pretty securely in the gun, and it does have a small lip that can be caught by the extractor when you manipulate the action. They advertise that it has a “recoil pad” to protect the firing pin if dry fired. However I would not use this while dry firing, as, again, it wants to extract when you run the slide. After a half dozen manipulations I was able to cause the gunlock to slide out enough to lock the trigger of my G17, and seize the slide, necessitating insertion of the key to unlock it.
At the end of the day, this will not scuttle your gun without the unlocking key, and at most it will befuddle someone trying to figure out what is wrong with the gun. A strong punch with a rod will likely knock it loose–I didn’t actually try this as I didn’t want to injure it (or my gun) in case I was wrong.
I didn’t have any access to a kid to try and see if they could defeat it. Arguably this would be more difficult as they would have to understand the mechanical operation, and then understand that there was something blocking the barrel. Again, my use case is I am either carrying it on my body, with it next to me while sleeping, or secured in the safe. In any case, I would not leave a gun lying around with a lock in place for anyone to find, let alone a child..
Benefits of the Lock (per manufacturer):
- Ends accidental discharge by occupying the chamber, whether locked or not.
- Doesn’t change the handling or holstering of the gun.
- Child resistant key –on pistols and revolvers
- Fast access – goes from locked to loaded in seconds, even in the dark
- Gun friendly – all materials are softer than ammo brass
- Recoil pad – on pistol locks acts to protect the firing pin if ‘dry fired’.
- Difficult to defeat – internal design lends to strength
- Simple and easy to use – if you can load your firearm, you can use our lock
- Exceeds all state and federal safety standards – California DOJ, Maryland approved
- Supplied to Browning and Winchester for over 10 years – still the lock of choice for their most prestigious shotguns.
- Caliber specific firearm safety – a full line of automatic pistol, revolver, rifle, and shotgun locks.
MSRP starts at $29.99 for semi-auto pistols (and then goes up from there). If I had a need of a gunlock I would definitely use the Omega, simply because it is more subtle, and cannot be as easily defeated.
How many of you currently use gun locks, and what is your use case? Does it really provide a good balance of safety and security? Perhaps for transport in locations that require it be locked is the only place I can think of the utility.
You can find more information at their website: http://www.omegagunlock.com/