Recently I took a trip out to the Willa-Hide factory so they could show me exactly what sets their concealment furniture apart from the others on the market, If you would like to read it you can click here. After Tracy spent some time showing me how much care and craftsmanship goes into the Willa-Hide concealment mirror we had to get our hands on one for testing. The kind folks at Willa-Hide gladly sent us one of their Hidden Memories concealment mirrors for evaluation.
When the mirror showed up I have to admit I was rather impressed with the packaging. Willa-Hide’s custom box did a wonderful job of protecting the mirror in transit, it seems they put just as much pride into shipping their wares as they do when building them.
The first step in installing the mirror was to cut a hole in the wall, I used a plunge saw to carve out a rough hole. I wasn’t too focused on a perfect rectangle since the frame of the mirror would cover any mistakes. The mirror slid right into the hole when I test fit it. The only thing that could have made install easier would have been a paper template, not that the install was tough.
Screwing the mirror to the wall is really straightforward as a result of Willa-Hide pre-drilling and countersinking the holes so there is no guesswork involved. All of the hardware needed is provided in a small plastic bag tucked into the shipping box. You can see the high quality sliders here, I found that they glide very easily.
Installing the concealment mirror didn’t take me more than half an hour photos included. I am sure with a more practiced handy person that install time would be closer to 10-15 minutes. Willa-Hide sent one of the rustic mahogany mirrors with the distressed frame. They did a fantastic job of letting the natural flaws of the wood add to the beauty and warmth of the frame.
The Velcro holsters did a surprisingly good job of holding even my heaviest pistol, something I was a bit concerned about. I located the holsters so I could store my concealed carry holster in the mirror as well. After playing with the configuration a bit I was surprised at how much room there is to work with, if you really wanted to I doubt there would be an issue tucking something giant like a Mark 23 into the holsters.
The top shelf stored my spare magazines and has also been home to the contents of my pocket. The mirror shipped with 6 shelf pins, 4 are needed for the shelf and the remaining 2 I use to store the locking pin. You see the row of holes on the side of the frame that allow you to adjust where the shelf is located. I much prefer this arrangement to some other concealment cabinets that have molded in pockets.
I have to say that the installed mirror looks pretty sharp. Both my wife and I use have made the mirror part of our daily routine when leaving the house. I retrieve my every day carry gun and my wife uses it to check her appearance, not that she ever looks anything short of stunning. It is almost impossible to make out that the mirror is anything more than what it looks like thanks to the precision cut parts that make up the frame.
Locking the mirror is done by a locking pin that drops into a brass sleeve pressed into the frame of the mirror adding strength to the locking point. The pin sits below the surface of the frame so it can only be removed with the provided magnet. I tried to use a standard magnet to get the pin out but found only a very strong magnet like the included one was enough. I really do like that you don’t need to use the pin if you don’t want it to lock every time. Since I don’t have kids I only need concealment.
I have been using the mirror for about 4 weeks now and it has become a fixture in my home that we use every day. The concealed cabinet has more than enough room to also house my Glock 43, a second gun, several spare mags, and my Glock holster. I probably open and close the mirror somewhere around 20 – 30 times a day since I installed it to simulate some wear. The sliders glide just as smooth as the day I installed the mirror with no looseness or rattles. My only gripe is that I wish Willa-Hide offered a touch-up kit for the stain. If scratched I would love to be able to spot repair the wood to keep it looking great.
The Willa-Hide Hidden Memories concealment mirror carries an MSRP of $425 and is available in many other finishes. if you would like to see more about the Willa-Hide line you can check their website here.
This post originally was run on The Firearm Blog - http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2016/03/25/review-willa-hides-hidden-memories-concealment-mirror/