These days, it seems nothing comes cheap. Gun, ammo, and optics prices continue their climb. Regardless of what you pay for any of those, protecting that investment is a must. However, many gun owners overlook one of the most affordable methods of safeguarding guns – the lowly, basic gun sock. 

What Are Gun Socks & Why Do You Want Them?


Bulldog Gun Socks
A rack full of Bulldog gun socks at a retail location. There are plenty of options to choose from. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

A gun sock – or knit sleeve – is a simple, stretchy covering built specifically for firearms. Most have a drawstring at one end with the other end stitched shut. Some use a tag for easy labeling of what’s inside. The firearm slips inside and is protected. 

How could something so simple be so important? While cheap cases or homemade coverings can accomplish some of the protection job, actual factory-production socks use special, moisture-wicking, breathable, silicone or oil-impregnated fabrics. Retail prices on these little gems normally range from $6 to $20, with sale prices often coming in even lower. 

Now let’s dive into the many benefits of gun socks.

Safe Queens?


Blaser R8 Safari rifle
Fine, expensive guns – especially collectible ones, like this Blaser R8 Safari rifle – deserve some care in storage. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

We’ve all heard the term “safe queens” for guns that spend their lives in a vault. Regardless of how much time your gun spends in a safe, it’s not always “safe.” Guns pick up plenty of nicks, scuffs, and scratches in there. The use of gun socks all but eliminates those dreaded safe-incurred marks that can detract from collector value.  

Pack that Vault


Gun socks in a safe
Gun socks in a gun vault keep things safe and allow for greater capacity. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

When a gun vault advertises a certain capacity, it’s almost impossible to get that many guns in there safely – unless you’re either a Tetris master or you use socks. When you do, you can usually far exceed the capacity without worry about damage to the guns inside. Covered firearms can be packed snugly together with the socks padding them nicely. 


Guns in gun socks in a TSA case
Our Safari firearms – a Henry lever action and Magnum Research BFR handgun – inside their gun socks and then into the Boyt hard case for international flights. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

In addition to vault safety, we also use socks for an added layer of protection when traveling. Sure, the gun goes into a hard case, but first we put it in the sock. We have done this on two recent international flights with excellent results. A properly-sized sock protects the guns, optics, and accessories. Plus, an added degree of rust deterrent is never a bad thing. 

Rust Prevention

Speaking of rust, socks combat that nastiness. Depending on the particular covering chosen, there should always be some combination of breathable, moisture-resistant, poly-based fabrics. Those combinations help inhibit the formation of dreaded rust, which can spell the downfall of your beloved firearm. Of course, they’re no replacement for proper care. 

Fire Protection

We’re saving the best for last. This comes from witnessing the terrifying after-effects of house fires on supposedly fire-proof gun safes. While the vaults in question protected their contents from the actual fiery flames, when the cold water from fire hoses hit those blisteringly hot vaults, the seals on many of them failed. Thus, the mess of smoke, ash, and nasty chemicals was sucked inside. Guns left bare were horribly pitted with missing finish and required major restoration – even brand-new guns still with hang tags. 

However, guns in the same safes that were in socks required only a wipe down with an oil rag to come out looking like the day they went in. This was not a one-off. In fact, over years of working with a local gunsmith, this story has played out three separate times. Each time, gun sock sales skyrocket for good reason. 

What to Buy?

BFR Gun Sock
Our Magnum Research BFR came with its own sock – many firearms do not – yet the purchase is well worth the cost, and sells them. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

The nice thing is gun socks are inexpensive, and there are multiple sizes and styles to suit all types of firearms. Take Bulldog’s offerings for instance: standard rifle and shotgun, oversized/scoped, handgun, and tactical. While these are general sizes, the items have a good amount of stretch, so it’s a one-size-fits-most type of product once you narrow down the metrics. 

Buyers will find many branded choices – like Beretta, Henry, and Remington – on the market, but the majority of gun socks are made by a few major players, including Bulldog and Allen. Heck, a number of companies even send their new firearms inside a sock. For instance, our recently received Magnum Research BFR came with a customized gun sock. Most firearms, however, do not. In that case, stocks multiple options. If we buy a gun, we also spend a few extra dollars to get a sock at the same time. 

Socking Caveats


BFR gun socks
Gun socks are great. You can protect your gun, store more guns in your safe, and many even let you label the guns so you know what they are without taking them out of the sock. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't from time to time. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

Gun socks are great in most ways. However, sticking your guns into a sock, stuffing them in the safe, and forgetting about them is not the answer, either. Though oil-impregnated, that’s no replacement for routine cleaning, wipe downs, and maintenance. Similarly, socks without a quality, locking, fire-proof safe are far from the greatest protection. As always, safety comes first, and that means securing your firearms. After that, the second level is protecting the actual gun from harm. 

A few naysayers claim gunsocks trap moisture over the long term. We’ve never experienced this, even with guns in socks for over a decade. To be sure, they’re not a magic pill. If you’re storing a firearm in an inappropriate area with incredibly high and uncontrolled humidity, bad things will eventually happen. But for the average shooter, collector, hunter, and traveler, they’re a huge cost-benefit win. Call them what you will, but investing $10 or less into a home for your firearm is a no-brainer.