Bulletproof couch on display at Texas hunting show

Posted: Updated:

FORT WORTH -- At the Hunters Extravaganza at Will Rogers Coliseum, people are window shopping. And when they reach Booth 1229, they start furniture shopping.

"If you break it down and remove the cushions," explained Brian Poitevent, as he revealed what was hidden inside the couch his company manufactured, "you notice it looks like a normal sofa. But open up the lid, and you have a concealed gun safe."

"No one knows it's there -- not your cleaning crew, not your guests," he said.

Poitevent works for Fort Worth-based Charles Alan, a furniture maker, which is now making the Couchbunker. It was invented by John Adrain, CEO of Heracles Research Corporation, which has also been selling gun safes disguised as beds, called the Bedbunker.

The concealed safe in the Couchbunker provides space to hide up to 40 rifles and ammunition. The bulletproof cushions are optional.

"Hopefully you never need the panels," Adrain explained, adding, "but we never know the situation we're going to be in. If there's a home invasion, you can take one of the cushions, and hand it to one of your children or your spouse to protect them. We make them with arm straps, so you can hold the cushion with one hand and fire with the other hand."

Adrain is an inventor, and his Heracles Research Corporation is based in Spokane, Washington, but he has temporarily relocated to Texas.

"Thirty-to-forty percent of our business goes to the state of Texas," he said.

He recently enlisted a local police officer to test his bulletproof cushion design at a gun range, and then posted the video on his website.

"You'd have a survivor behind this panel," he said on the video, after the sofa's cushion took repeated bullets, yet remained intact.

"We did a .380, a 9mm, a .40 and a .45-caliber," Poitevent explained.

Adrain added, "It will stop a .44 Magnum pointblank."

The patent on the design is pending. Adrain said his sofas are selling, but they are expensive, starting around $7,000.

"I had an e-mail this morning from Abu Dhabi, and they wanted a quote on 16 of these," he said. "So I'd say there's a lot of interest."

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com