over here. Short version: had a student who was going to get a gun safe(fine idea), but had never written down the serial numbers of his guns(bad idea). I think Lawdog had a post a while back about the problem of someone reporting a burglary where an old family gun was taken, but they had no record of the serial number, which greatly reduces the chance of getting it back.
It's worth saying again: if you own any firearms, make a list of the make, model, cartridge and serial number of each. Preferably take a picture of each. Take the list and pictures and put them in a safe place. Preferably with a backup copy.
While back I decided to make sure mine were covered, so I got out the camera and, each time I had one out, I'd take a good picture. When they were saved to the pc I renamed each shot with 'Fitzenboomer 310, serial #', and saved them all to a file, and made an inventory list with all the information and anything unique about each. And then I did two things:
Got a $5 flash drive and copied them both, picture list and typed list to it and put it in a safe spot.
Printed a copy of the inventory and put it away.
Ideally, if you've got a safe-deposit box or someplace else secure, put a backup copy there.
I'll throw something else in. Some old firearms- and a lot of .22 rifles- prior to 1968 did not have serial numbers. While you may not, for various reasons, want to/be able to stamp a number on them, you can take off the buttplate and put something under there with your name or something to prove ownership. Or stick a note under a grip panel or something. And note in the inventory that you did so.
So, like James says, secure them when not in use, and write it down and keep the record safe.g