GunVault Circular lock at risk?


September 21, 2004, 04:38 PM
My police department just forwarded the following info to me:

"For those that haven't already heard:

News broke last week that it is possible to defeat several kinds of Kryptonite bicycle U-locks with a Bic ballpoint pen. Many bike shops removed Kryptonite locks from their shelves. Kryptonite has acknowledged this problem and will be offering customers who purchased locks since 2002 free replacements under some conditions. Also, customers from earlier than 2002 will be able to get big discounts on replacements.

> From what I've been able to find out so far, other lock manufacturers aren't having this problem. More info is available at"

How is this relevant to guns??? Well my GunVault pistol safe has a circular key that looks identical to my bike locks. I'm wondering if it can be as easily defeated. Does anyone have any info on this?

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September 21, 2004, 05:01 PM
Try a 'net search... all I've heard so far is that someone posted a video of them doing it is how the news broke.

I have such a lock, but haven't tried the Bic Trick yet. Will soon.

September 21, 2004, 05:24 PM
I was going to post the same question when I found out about this vunerability.

I tried the bic trick with one of my bike locks (not a Kryptonite), it does work. Took me about 5 minutes to pop it open. My other U-lock has a slightly smaller cylinder and I was unable to get it to pop. Basically, any cylindrical lock is vunerable to this method, but some are easier to do than others, depending on the cylinder diameter. Bic pens work for Kryptonite locks, but I have no doubt that other disposable pens would work for the appropriate size cylinder.

I checked my gunvault and it is about the same diameter as the lock that I was able to pop. I was unable to attempt it because I've used up all the bic pens in my house (they get destroyed in the process). I will get another pen and give it a shot sometime this week.

If you have a gunvault at home, give it a shot. It won't damage the locking mechanism. The worst thing that could happen is that you get a sore hand from trying it.

The trick, for me, was to pound the pen down using a rubber mallet and then just spin it in the appropriate direction (as if you were turning the key). Just keep spinning. If the pen slides out, just push it down again. Once you do it the first time, the subsequent attempts (with the same pen) are even easier.


September 21, 2004, 06:01 PM
Well this is just lovely. I only bought the damn thing a few weeks ago, and now it is essentially worthless.

I suppose one could disable the lock with super glue or some such, but that defeats the purpose of having it as a fall back for failure of the electronic lock, making it more likely that you'd have to break into your own safe some day.:fire:

September 21, 2004, 06:04 PM
Did you try it yet Kar?

September 21, 2004, 06:17 PM
I have a cheapy stack on safe with the round lock. I think it would be more difficult to open than the Krypto locks since you have to actually move the "bolts" out of the way with the force you apply on the key. I don't think the plastic pen would be capable of this.

For those who wish to experiment- my fiance popped open her master brand bicycle lock with a bic, now it no longer functions. I don't now what happened to it. You may want to wait to experiment until you have a replacement.

September 21, 2004, 07:37 PM
I did it with a Kryptonite KryptoLock about a week ago when the news first broke. It works... like a charm. But better that I circumvent the lock at home then someone else circumvent the lock when I am not at home.

My lock doesn't work anymore either. well... it would work if I could get the key back into it, but if you look at the key, there is a little tab (at least the Kryptonite ones have it) and what happens is that the when you use a bic, there aren't tabs and so the inner slot moves independently of the outer slot so now the key won't fit any more

One way to correct this (ifyou have multiple keys) is to file down the outer tab

I hope that makes sense.

September 21, 2004, 07:43 PM
If you can't get the key back in, tile down the tab on the key. Who cares if your key works anymore? I won't be using my easily subverted U-lock out in public anymore, that's for sure.


September 22, 2004, 10:52 AM
I guess for now I'm not going to try the pen trick on my GunVault. I'm afraid it will jam open, which would make it (slightly) less usefull than it is now. At least now it prevents young children and uninformed adults from gaining access.

Meanwhile... I'm going to try contacting GunVault to see what they recommend. I'm also increasing the priority of my task to get a full sized gun safe. My main hang up is whether to settle for a security container that looks like a safe(~$600-800) or to go all the way with a true safe (~$3,000). I don't have any rare or terribly expensive guns, and don't expect to in the future (though I suppose I could change my mind on that), so I'm much more worried about theft than fire. Any advice?

September 22, 2004, 11:32 AM
Go with the true safe. Brown has a 60x28x26 safe with 1/4 inch steel walls and a 1/2 inch thick door for $1500. And they've got bigger safes for less than $2500. Delivery will increase the cost somewhat, but I don't see spending $800 for sheetmetal. 12 gauge steel won't keep a crackhead out for long, let alone a determined pro.

September 22, 2004, 01:58 PM
Did I miss it? I can't find any fire ratings for Brown safes...


September 22, 2004, 02:15 PM
Does anyone know why/how this works, or am I the only one?

This is old, old, old news. Think MIT lockpicking guide old.

September 22, 2004, 04:18 PM

I'm a professional locksmith, who specializes in safe sales. For those of you who have done the pen thing & their lock no longer works, two choices: 1. Take it to a locksmith, my shop will do the repair for about $7.50 - 10.00 depending on the situation. 2. Just buy a new Ace/Chicago barrel lock from a locksmith. We charge $15.00 for a new one with two keys.

I agree with 3rd rail, get a safe, not a cabinet or RSC. I don't sell them without the ability to meet or exceed the U.L. 1 hour fire test procedure. Therefore, mine are going to be more expensive than the Brown mentioned above. But they all also meet the U.L. 'B' or 'C' burglary ratings and are heavyer'n hell. Two guys with an appliance cart are either going to break the cart & make an appointment with a chiropracter, or the thing will tip onto one of them. In which case, it's a slam dunk for the prosecution as well as the broken/smashed whatever for them.

I'm in the northern rocky mtns. area, but can drop-ship anywhere in the U.S.


September 22, 2004, 04:22 PM
I had heard about this before. CB900F is correct buy a real safe and not a cabinet. Your firearms should be protected.

September 22, 2004, 07:28 PM
Its just raking the lock with pen. Its the same way you get past most locks. Its just that the made the diameter just right for a pen. Every key lock can be bypassed by raking its really just a matter of how easy is it to obtain the right tools. In the case of a Kryptonite locks, it was a little too easy.

September 23, 2004, 12:48 AM

Vids and everything.

September 23, 2004, 02:19 PM
I had an older Kryptonite lock and can't get this pen-business to work.
With mine, a Kryptonite-4 purchased maybe 5-6 years ago, the diameter of the center post is nearly exactly the same size as the outer diameter of a common Bic pen. In the videos posted online it looks pretty easy to insert the pen, and the end of the pen does not look very much damaged at all--but I can't push a Bic pen onto the center post of mine at all. The end of the pen would end up stretched out quite a bit if I pushed real, real hard I guess.... Or maybe I use the wrong pen? I even tried slicing the pen about an inch, to make sure it gets in, but it still didn't work. The pen says "BiC round stic fine USA"..... <:|

September 23, 2004, 02:51 PM
Doug apparently has the M-16A2 version of the forum software with the three-round burst mode.

September 23, 2004, 04:14 PM
Trebor... "three round burst" perfect <LOL>

CB900F - since a barrel lock replacement can be had so cheap, how about a non-barrel (standard key) lock? Do they make one that would be a drop in replacement for this? I know they can be defeated too, but hopefully they are still able to stand up to a junkie with a ball point pen.

Thanks for the safe advice. I'm definitely leaning towards the true safe.

September 23, 2004, 04:41 PM
Someone tried to steal my motorcycle (locked with a cable and a krypto) like this a few MOTNHS ago... I didn't realize how they did it until now. I had to file the little tabs off my key and pound it in with a hammer to get the thing open all the way. Luckily, the lock was really old as is, so it didn't turn all the way because it's all crusty and dirty inside.


September 23, 2004, 05:02 PM
Does anyone have firsthand knowledge of whether the lock on a GunVault is vulnerable or not?!?! I'm assuming it is, but no one so far has come out and said "yep, I did it personally and it worked" on an actual GunVault.

September 23, 2004, 05:33 PM
CB900F - just IMed you with a few questions.

September 23, 2004, 07:05 PM
Doug apparently has the M-16A2 version of the forum software with the three-round burst mode.
-Heh, I don't seem to be the only one. From where I'm sitting, there seems to be about a 120-second delay in posting and viewing today.

Besides, the ban is over, everything is legal now, right???

September 24, 2004, 09:19 AM

There are some blade key locks that are not pickable, the brand name is Medeco, we sell them. You also get key control when you buy one. You designate to the shop who is allowed to get keys made. Medeco has a proprietary key blank for each shop it contracts with. In other words, if you live in Dallas & lend your key & get it back, you know that even if the guy you lent it to goes to Memphis & tries to get a copy made, the shop there physically can't do it. They might be able to reproduce the cuts, but the key itself won't go into your lock. If Medeco finds out that the other shop did try to cut a key outside their contract, Medeco will void them & confiscate the cutter & stock.

They aren't by any means cheap. Figure around $100.00 to $150.00 for a padlock & some keys. However, they are VERY good locks. They are available for home doorknobs & deadbolts, camlocks, desks, padlocks & some other pretty esoteric uses.

They also are incredibly drill-resistant. They can be had with guarded hasps, which makes it tough to get a set of bolt cutters on the hasp. It's not to say that they can't be done by a burglar, but they do have to work longer & harder & make more noise doing it.


September 24, 2004, 03:29 PM
My Wal-mart special Gunvault-like safe has a similar bbl lock. Oh, joy.

CB900F knows his stuff.

CB900F is a dealer. I was a user of Medeco & other locks as well as some safes, spindials & the like. I developed certain preferences after using, setting, drilling out, and replacing various padlocks, spindials, & such. I developed strong preferences for Medeco and S&G.

If you think those barrel locks are an annoyance, just wait until you use one of those electronic spin dials that come on some safes and are used in other applications. Electronic spin dials are of the Devil. I hate them with the white-hot intensity of 1,000 suns.

September 24, 2004, 03:40 PM

Ya gotsta hold yer tongue 'just right'.


September 24, 2004, 08:00 PM
I hate them with the white-hot intensity of 1,000 suns.

That's a whole lotta hate.

The one thing I hate most is the laptop I haveta use at work. I only hate it like, oh... about a hundred, hundred-fifty suns or so, though...

September 24, 2004, 09:01 PM
Kyptronite is offering to replace the defective locks.

September 25, 2004, 12:45 PM,1035941

found this on fark

September 25, 2004, 02:05 PM
There are some blade key locks that are not pickable I thought any lock with a keyhole can be picked. I mean...a key is nothing more than a custom pick, no?

I have a Sentry Steal-Safe safe for my handguns. It has a key with 4 blades, like an "X" and each is cut differently. Don't know if that's any better though. But it also has a combination so I think it's fairly secure.

September 25, 2004, 10:25 PM

The four-blade type are extremely difficult to pick. There are those that can do it, but it's not a practical matter. It's pretty expensive to pay a 'smith his hourly wage to pick one. More of a one-upsmanship thing among 'smiths.

The Medeco's are simply not pickable by the common, uncommon, or specialty thief. That pretty much includes T.V. spies too. And don't get me started on "Gone In 60 Seconds".


September 25, 2004, 10:56 PM
Bike locks aren't the only problem. This trick has been around for quite awhile, and was the driving force behind Kingston changing the design of their laptop locks. Two years ago, ALL of the kids who came to this school purchased those locks for their laptops from the bookstore. Within two months, half of them had lost the key. I got to spend an inordinate amount of time defeating those locks for kids who had tethered their computers to their desks and now couldn't move them.

By the way, the newer Kingston laptop locks are easily defeated with a little raking, so stay away from them.

September 26, 2004, 10:41 PM
Well a guy over on sigforum tried it with his Gunvault and posted video. It took him all of 2 seconds to open it with the pen.

Here is a link to the thread:

Go to the first thread by GlockGunslinger. The underlined here in the post is a link to the video he made.

Andrew Rothman
September 27, 2004, 08:03 PM
I sent GunVault a message from their web site, asking them to remedy the problem.

If you have one, I suggest you contact them as well. They need to know that this won't blow over, and that they'd better get behind their products or risk going out of business.

September 27, 2004, 08:28 PM
Anybody try a Homak yet? I wasn't able to get mine open with the bic pen I used.

September 27, 2004, 10:36 PM
I too have sent a message to gunvault. I did this last week and got a message saying that the person whose email address I sent it to (using their website form) was on vacation.

I sent a new one tonight.

No responses to either.

September 28, 2004, 12:11 AM
Just sent GunVault email. They better react positively and quickly if they want to keep their customers.

Mr. Mysterious
September 28, 2004, 12:21 AM
From Stack-Ons website:


Since recent news reports indicated that Kryptonite bicycle locks - and other locks using tubular cylinders - can be compromised, we have worked with our lock supplier and engineers to conduct an analysis of our own products.

We are pleased to report that all of our gun safes and fire resistant safes are not affected by the developments concerning tubular cylinder locks. Our gun cabinets, however, do use a type of tubular lock and tests we conducted indicate that some of these locks are susceptible to being picked through certain manipulations.

All of our gun safes and gun cabinets comply with accepted industry security standards. While all of our products continue to provide a significant deterrent to theft, we want to provide an option to our gun cabinet customers who would prefer a non-tubular lock. For those customers we are offering, free-of-charge, a replacement non-tubular lock, with instructions for installation.

For 32 years, our hallmarks have been safety, security and customer satisfaction. We are committed to you, our customer, and will continue to do everything we can to provide for your storage needs. Thank you for your time. Please contact our customer service department at (800) 323-9601 or visit our website if you have any further questions.

September 28, 2004, 12:24 AM
We better see something like that from GunVault ASAP.

In truth we wanted to get a second gun vault.... won't even consider it til this issue is cleared up.

Andrew Rothman
September 28, 2004, 03:20 AM
Way to go, Stack-On! GunVault, are you listening?

Partisan Ranger
September 28, 2004, 10:25 AM
I tried to jam the end of a Bic pen in my lock on my GunVault safe and couldn't get it to budge. Am I doing something wrong?

September 28, 2004, 02:26 PM
I tried to jam the end of a Bic pen in my lock on my GunVault safe and couldn't get it to budge. Am I doing something wrong?

Yes, you are probably doing something wrong. You have to dissassemble the pen and turn it into a simple plastic cube. Take off the end cap and remove the ink cartridge. Then you need to modify one end slightly to make it fit into the lock. Try some trail and error and see if you can figure it out with just that amount of instruction.

I haven't done it myself, but there are complete instructions all over the web. Check that Sig forum post out for an example.

September 28, 2004, 07:56 PM
I didn't do it on a Gun Vault, I did it on a Kryptonite bike lock, so this might not apply, but you have the fit is a little tight so you have to really jam it in there and the plastic will bulge to the fit around then center portion of the lock

September 29, 2004, 02:23 AM
Maybe it's just me, but the Gun Vault kind of "access control" boxes are not really designed for theft prevention in the first place, right? No doubt it would suck if the locks were not decently robust but IMHO anything that can be carried-off while still locked is not truly a theft-deterrent.

This reminds me of "The Club" situations re. car steering wheel locks from years ago. Again the main design purpose of the device was to deter/delay casual joy riders, not serious professional thieves as they could simply tow the entire car away, Club and all...

September 29, 2004, 09:59 AM
...but some of us use it to keep our kids away from our loaded guns.

Andrew Rothman
September 29, 2004, 12:28 PM
Maybe it's just me, but the Gun Vault kind of "access control" boxes are not really designed for theft prevention in the first place, right? No doubt it would suck if the locks were not decently robust but IMHO anything that can be carried-off while still locked is not truly a theft-deterrent.

The GunVaults can be bolted to a large object like a bed or dresser. Mine is.

And I know it's not the be-all-end-all of security, but that it can be opened with a Bic is just too much.

September 29, 2004, 05:29 PM
I bought my Gunvault for two reasons - first, to keep a loaded gun in within my study, but inaccessible to the kids. Second, when going on family vacations and staying at a hotel, I wanted a small, portable safe to lock the loaded gun in while we sleep. That way I don't have to worry about my kids getting at my pistol while I'm asleep.

Yes, I teach my kids to "stop, don't touch, leave the area, tell an adult", but all too often I hear stories of kids getting at them anyway, or teens committing suicide when there were no obvious warning signs. My oldest is just hitting puberty, and surfs the internet - the last thing I need is him hearing about the lock-picking-with-a-pen trick and deciding to try it out on my GunVault, for whatever purposes...

September 30, 2004, 02:30 AM
Hey GunVault, your ears burning?

September 30, 2004, 09:18 AM
By the way, I have the Gunvault GV1000 Standard model. No external A/C power jack - so I cannot simply disable the lock by filling it with epoxy, as I'd have no way to open the safe should the batteries fail (and the batteries are installed inside the safe).

I've now emailed them as well, including a link to this thread.

September 30, 2004, 03:53 PM
Just got back in town from a vacation. Glad to see my thread continues to grow. I too have emailed GunVault, but have not heard from them yet either. Lets all keep after them until they do the right thing. I agree that if they don't address this they are as good as out of business, and deserve to be.

As to the security of the GunVault (or similar). Obviously not as good as a true safe, but much better than the sock drawer, or being "hidden" in the closet. How many of you out there are doing that? You're dreaming if you think hiding your gun will work. Thieves and kids will still find most of them. Much better to wear the gun.

My GunVault is bolted to the floor. A determined thief can still get it, but for $100-150 it seems like reasonable protection against kids or smash and grab thieves (which is all I expected it to be), at least it was util this "pen key" revelation.

Andrew Rothman
September 30, 2004, 06:26 PM
They are completely ignoring emails (the out-of-office reply is from someone in their web-site-builder company, because she is CC'd on all emails). They have disconnected their toll-free number. They are not answering their business phone at all, at any hour.

I've given them four days already. I'm done. I've filed the following complaint with the Phoenix Better Business Bureau:
Like Kryptonite locks so much in the news in the last week (, independent investigators have shown that GunVault brand gun safes with tubular locks can be opened in seconds with a common Bic pen.

Kryptonite has offered to retrofit ANY of their locks EVER sold with a more secure locking mechanism at absolutely no charge to the customer -- even paying shipping both ways. THAT is great customer service.

I emailed GunVault 9/27 via their web site -- got a reply from "Michelle Vandesteeg" <>, saying

"I will be out of the office from September 10th to the 27th of September.

"I will be returning e mails during the week of 9/27.

"Thanks, Michelle"

Risdall is an advertising agency in Minneapolis that built their web site. I talked to Michelle today, and she confirmed that she, and Risdall, are solely the web site builders, and do not speak, or handle customer issues, for GunVault.

Michelle did tell me that they are "going through some legal issues." I can only presume that this relates to their locks...

I have tried to call GunVault several times. Their 800 number (1.800.622.4903) is disconnected; no one answers their local number (623.445.0309), nor is there an answering machine.

Failing to respond to customer emails, disconnecting a toll-free number, and not answering the phone are NOT BBB-worthy behaviors.

I urge you to undertake an accelerated investigation of this company's current practices.

The more people that complain, the faster the BBB will get on their case.

Please file a complaint if you have a GunVault.

Here's a shortcut:

Andrew Rothman
October 5, 2004, 12:44 PM
Come on, folks. I know I'm not the only one withoneof these. Could ya maybe please take a minute to turn up the heat on these guys?

October 5, 2004, 07:35 PM
i got a hold of stack on. they made the sentinel cabinets i got from wally world. they're sending me replacement flat style locks for my four cabinets. good customer service from them:D .

October 5, 2004, 08:17 PM
Sentinel could make a PR killing if they retrofitted gunvaults locks..... since Gunvault has not seen fit to respond to my emails or apparently anyone elses.


Andrew Rothman
October 20, 2004, 11:12 AM
If you own a GunVault and can't take 5 minutes to fill out a Better Business Bureau complaint, you are part of the problem.

Come on -- pitch in!

October 20, 2004, 01:10 PM
Anything can be stolen or broken into.
The Gunvaults are not so strong+heavy that they stop theft.
They are more for stopping a grab theft.
You can disable them with a hammer, and yes, a pen. But how many burglars know of this trick?


October 20, 2004, 02:55 PM
Anything can be stolen or broken into.
The Gunvaults are not so strong+heavy that they stop theft.
They are more for stopping a grab theft.
You can disable them with a hammer, and yes, a pen. But how many burglars know of this trick?


And if you bought a "real" safe, then it was announced that, Oops! Despite your safe's combination, ANYONE can get into it by spinning the dial really fast 20 times, wouldn't you want the company to do something about it?

Read the complete thread. Gun Vault mini-safe's have a purpose. I have both a 'real' safe and a Gun Vault, and I'm none-too-happy to suddenly have my Gun Vault become useless for keeping a pistol or two locked up safely. My main goal with mine is to keep pistols out of the hands of my children when travelling - I can't trust it for that any more.

Master Blaster
October 20, 2004, 03:21 PM
The fact is that most "real safes" can be defeated with a $50 angle grinder,and a $15 cut off wheel availible at any home center in about 20 minutes. Most real safes that weigh less than 5,000 lbs use 10 gauge or lighter sheetmetal for the top sides and back despite the 1/4" or better hardplate in the door. The thief needs to just cut a door in the side top or back and they are in.

October 20, 2004, 04:26 PM
Had a chance to stop by the store I bought my GunVault from (Frontiersman) and ask them about this lock issue. They claimed they didn't know anything about it, and had no plans to rectify the situation with customers. They also claimed GunVault has been taken over by Doskosil.

I tried to complain via the BBB link above but it wouldn't work for me.

Andrew Rothman
November 11, 2004, 01:44 PM
Well, it's been 42 days since I filed a complaint, and over 45 since I contacted GunVault directly via email.

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

The BBB told me that the postal mail they sent to GunVault is being returned unopened.


November 11, 2004, 08:18 PM

My advice, stick to blasting. It's obvious you've got something to learn when it comes to real safes.

I'm a locksmith who specializes in safe & vault sales.


November 11, 2004, 09:03 PM
They also claimed GunVault has been taken over by Doskosil.

The Doskocil safe doesn't look like the GunVault safe on their website (assuming this is the right company). Actually it is impossible to tell from the picture just what kind of keylock the Doskosport safe has:


It might be worth trying to contact them anyway to see if the rumor is true. I am going to give them a call tommorrow.

Doskocil Manufacturing Company Contact Page (

I gave up trying to reach GunVault after getting the "disconnected" message on their phone. At this point I would be happy if the thing could be salvaged by installing a new lock, even if I had to pay for it. Still cheaper than replacing the whole quick safe. Obviously Kryptonite figured out a fix, so replacement locks that can't be jimmied with a bic pen must be out there.

November 12, 2004, 12:50 AM
but i couldn't get mine open with a Bic

November 12, 2004, 07:49 PM

Doskocil denied the rumor that they have taken over GunVault from American Security Products Company, and only offered the same disconnected phone number to call.

I also spoke with Cabelas, which sells the Gun Vault. The Product Specialist checked with their purchasing agent, and he confirmed that Gun Vault has admitted they have a problem with their safes, and have committed to Cabelas to fix the problem before any more are shipped.

He also confirmed that they have purposely disconnected their phone because they have been "overwhelmed," but are supposedly responding to their e-mail on a first sent basis.

Cabelas did say that if you bought one of the safes from them, they would make partial refunds if you want to return it.

For those of us that bought them elsewhere, it appears there is not much more that can be done than hoping Gun Vault actually responds to their e-mail.

Andrew Rothman
November 15, 2004, 02:24 PM
I got an email from the Phoenix Better Business Bureau. They say that GunVault, not answering their mail or phone, is presumed to be out of business.

I called The Frontiersman, my local gun store where I bought my GunVault.

The say GunVault WAS bought by Doskocil -- that they have a new shipment of GunVaults in, with Doskocil's name all over them.

I called Doskocil today -- the rep who answered, Kathy, said that Doskocil used to market GunVaults a couple of years ago for ADVANCED SECURITY PRODUCTS, LLC., but "If it has a key lock on it, it's not ours."

So I asked, "So, there's been no action between Doskocil and Advanced Security Products in the last month or two?"

She then said -- and this is curious -- "If there has, it's news to me -- I'm going to check that out."

So I guess I'll go have a look at the Frontiersman tonight, and see what those boxes really look like.

Separately, I wonder if I couldn't make a few bucks by offering GunVault retrofit kits... Hmmm.....

November 15, 2004, 02:36 PM
The Doskocil gun vaults I see online look nothing like my Gunvault with the finger grooves.

November 15, 2004, 03:12 PM
I called Doskocil today -- the rep who answered, Kathy, said..."If there has, it's news to me -- I'm going to check that out."
Pretty much what Kathy said to me, except for the "check that out" part :rolleyes:

Separately, I wonder if I couldn't make a few bucks by offering GunVault retrofit kits... Hmmm.....
If you are serious, sign me up.

Guy L Johnson
November 15, 2004, 07:41 PM
Just recived 3 replacement locks for Stack On cabinets they wer prompt requested them 3 wks ago
Guy L Johnson

November 16, 2004, 12:14 AM
Sent a message to gunvault today. Marked calendar for Nov 29th to complain if no response. Also going to post a retraction in another forum recommending this type of vault to someone with children.

Mark in California
November 16, 2004, 04:07 AM
My house was robbed once. The little cheap fire safe I had stopped them cold. They tried to open it and then went on to rummage through the entire house.

My point is, most of the times they are in a hurry and anything that looks like it going to take a lot of time they by pass.

November 16, 2004, 04:18 PM
I'm filing a complaint right now. And though GV's website is up, their numbers are still not working/picking up.

There is a list of distributors on the website. Two of those that are in my area are on my errand list for this week; I plan on writing a letter to the store manager for each telling them about GV's lack of customer service and the lock problem. This is probably the only way we can pressure them to do anything.

Deplorable business ethics. They're great products for what I need them for, and I'd gladly pay for a lock update or the shipping to have them fix it; not to address customer concerns really bothers me, especially since they're still taking online orders for the product.

Anybody write any letters to gun mags?

November 17, 2004, 01:59 AM
Man am I glad I ran across this thread. The video on the sigfourms was.... shall we say enlightening at the least. I was getting ready to buy one of these and I'm sure glad I didn't. :barf:

November 17, 2004, 09:31 AM
Has anyone had any success in contacting Homak Mfg? I bought a Homak gun locker from Cabelas last year with the circular locks and have tried repeatedly to speak with someone about this issue. I'd like to know if my locks are effected and if so, if I could PURCHASE some replacement locks for the box.

It's pretty disappointing because I haven't been able to get through to speak with anyone, all of my voicemail messages are unanswered, and my e-mail message is unanswered. It's been weeks. Very disappointing.

In the past, when I called Homak to order a replacement set of keys, I was able to immediately get in touch with a live person and she promptly responded to my questions. Since I became aware of this circular lock problem, I haven't been able to talk to anyone there. It's very unprofessional behavior on the part of Homak...

Andrew Rothman
November 17, 2004, 10:36 AM
Just so ya know --

The Better Business Bureau has dropped Gunvault and is of no further use to anyone. If you complain, it should be to retailers, the Arizona AG, or a lawyer.

November 17, 2004, 11:41 AM
Someone from Homak Manufacturing called me this morning and I called her back. She informed me that the Homak locks are not the type of tubular locks that are affected by the Bic problem.

I was happy to finally speak with someone to get my questions answers, even though I am a little disappointed that it took several weeks and several calls to finally get to someone. Anyway, I'm glad that Homak followed up with my most recent voicemail and was able to address my concerns.


Master Blaster
November 17, 2004, 12:40 PM


My advice, stick to blasting. It's obvious you've got something to learn when it comes to real safes.

I'm a locksmith who specializes in safe & vault sales.


So your saying that I cant cut 10 gauge sheet metal and drywall fill with a, angle grinder and a Cut off wheel, and I cant cut through the side of many of those $900-2000 "gunsafes" I see in the gunshops and on the net????

I can rent a gas powered cut off saw with a diamond wheel at the local hardware store think that'll let me cut through????

Here is a milwaukeee 18 volt portable that can handle 1/2" mild steel plate.

Andrew Rothman
November 17, 2004, 05:21 PM
Update: The guys at Frontiersman sell some guns at good prices, but are a little confused about gun safes.

The safes they say have Doskocil's name all over them are Gun Guard safes, bearing no relation at all to GunVault.


My next step is to unmount the GunVault, take it apart, and see if the lock can easily be replaced.

Any locksmiths have any ideas?

November 18, 2004, 11:49 AM
Matt, I'd like to do the same. Please post details of how you resolve this here. Thanks for persisting in this.

November 27, 2004, 10:40 PM
Is it just a problem with manufacturing that all there products are backorderd on there sight????
:uhoh: :mad: :scrutiny:

November 27, 2004, 10:46 PM
So your saying that I cant cut 10 gauge sheet metal and drywall fill with a, angle grinder and a Cut off wheel, and I cant cut through the side of many of those $900-2000 "gunsafes" I see in the gunshops and on the net????

I think the $900-2000 dollar ones don't qulaify as a real safe in the eyes of a Prof. safe guy.
A husky wrench will losen a bolt, but I buy snap-on tools as a profesional mechanic.

BTW, CB900F gives good free advice.

May 3, 2006, 08:28 AM
Sorry about resurrecting such an old thread, but I only just realized my GV1000 has this problem after watching this video:

Gunvault / Cannon Safe disclaims any knowledge of this problem, which is even more annoying seeing as how it seems several THR members contacted the company about this back in late 2004.

Did any of you get the radial lock on a Gunvault replaced (either by yourself or a local locksmith) with some kind of blade key lock? If so, what was involved in doing that?

With the current lock, I just can't trust the safe to do its job (keep curious kids from getting inside it).

BTW, I tried the rolled paper technique on my GV1000, and though I've not mastered it, I did open the safe 3 times with rolled index card in a matter of minutes. The center portion of the lock on my GV1000 is too fat for a Bic pen, but roll the paper around a Bic, and that fits.

May 3, 2006, 09:04 AM
Actually I recently saw the Gun Vaults for sale again, with the same worthless circular locks, and thought of resurecting this old thread myself.

It does seem the company is incredibly cynical and unethical. They just ignored complaints, laid low, waited for things to calm down, and went back to selling the same old crap. :banghead:

Warn everyone you know about the worthless products sold by gun vault. :cuss:

I had mine converted to a Medeco lock, by a smith. Cost ~$70. Probably over kill, as the lock is now far superior to the container, but at least you can't get into it with a pen anymore.

May 3, 2006, 09:43 AM
Well, it's good to see the conversion can be done. Even your Medeco conversion for $70 is probably cheaper than buying a whole new fast access safe. Do you know if they had to disassemble the inner top panel to get the old lock out?

May 3, 2006, 11:22 AM
These ethical issues are a common theme amongst many gun safe manufacturers.

Why? Because they don't know a lot about safes, ratings, or real world scenarios. They know there is a demand, so they build an inferior product and sell it.

This is one of the reasons that I always suggest people buy their security products from a locksmith who specializes in those products (or me :D). The only people who know less about these gun safes are the superstores or sporting goods stores that sell them.

I think the medeco conversion is an excellent idea for anybody who needs that level of comfort.

May 3, 2006, 02:23 PM
Question for the experts.
I've been following thread with interest. I have a chance to buy a gunsafe with one of the questionable locks on it. I will need to replace it but don't feel that I quite need Medeco security. I have a couple of Van cam locks and about 1/2 doz cam locks that are marked "MIWA". (The Van locks are a barrel type but not like the ordinary ones. The Miwa's are a magnetic blade type. I believe they came from arcade video games.)
Are either of these any good?


May 3, 2006, 02:44 PM
The purpose of a Gun Vault is to have a loaded handgun readily available to a home- or business-owner, but not readily available to children or burglars.

It's hardly impossible to get the thing open with tools.

It does not replace a real gun safe. If you need a real gun safe, get one. Keep the pistol in there if you're not at home and are really worried about someone getting to it.

Henry Bowman
May 3, 2006, 02:49 PM
How many of you were actually able to open your GunVault with a pen? :confused:

I'm going to go out on a limb and call "Chicken Little" on the whole issue. :rolleyes:

May 3, 2006, 03:23 PM
If someone has the time, a Sawzall will get into a GunVault quicker. A cordless drill could also be used, too, pretty easily.

Again, that's not the point of the GunVault.

I'll go try the paper thing, and report back, though. It will be good to know.

Shawn Dodson
May 3, 2006, 03:44 PM
GunVault is an access control device, not a safe.

May 3, 2006, 04:02 PM
I actually know something about safes. So you know, Locksmiths are experts in Opening cars and re-keying house, most don't crap about safes. So be very careful taking a Locksmith's advice. Ask him if he is a registered Safe and Vault Technician. Most Locksmith Schools spend less than a day on safes. Safe and Vault Technicians work on safes NOT locksmiths. I've drilled almost every safe made and can pick almost any lock. The first thing you must remember is ANY SAFE can be opened given enough time and tools. "Locks were made to keep honest people honest."

First off how old is your GunVault? I would guess it is a few years old. The lock you are talking about hasn't been used since May 2005 when GunVault Inc, was purchased by Cannon Safe Inc which by the way builds safes for Commercial, Residential and Guns. This is probably why they aren't aware of your problem because they don't make the same box you own. It was completely redesigned at that time. Before you go Slander a company make sure you know what you are talking about.

Also as another person said on this thread what are you looking for? What did you expect to get for $99?? Quick Access Pistol boxes are NOT high security safes. They are not rated by UL. The New GunVault meets or exceeds the ASTM F15.55 standard on Quick Access Pistol Boxes which is the highest standard and exceeds CALDOJ which is what most Manufactures follow. Medeco locks are excellent locks and hard to pick but 99% of all consumers don't want to pay an additional $70 on a $129 item. So if you are concerned buy a new GunVault or replace the lock with a Medeco. If you want High Security buy a Underwriters Laboratory rated safe. Quick Access pistol boxes made by all manufactures are made to have quick access to a handgun and keep kids and the casual person walking through your house out. The fact is it is faster to pick the GunVault up and walk away with it than pick the lock. FACT all locks can be compromised (picked or bypassed) the harder they are to compromise the more money they cost. I personally don't like Key Locks because you have the issue of Key Custody. If I know you and want into your Key Locked container all I have to do is steal your key which is pretty easy most people in the USA leave keys laying around.

As always you can't drink Champagne and pay Beer prices. If you want high security you better open your wallet and then decide how high you need to go UL RSR, TL15, TL30, TL60 or TRTL60x6. The last one can run you up to $10,000 depending size. The skys the limit on how much you can spend on security.

May 3, 2006, 11:21 PM
How many of you were actually able to open your GunVault with a pen?

I don't want to describe the technique, but it is possible. I just did it to mine.

It still serves the purpose of an easy-access, yet kid-proof place to keep a pistol.

June 7, 2006, 03:11 AM

when was yours manufactured? I just got one and the sticker inside indicates it was made in March, 2006.

Are the "new" locks (Cannon-era) susceptible to the same sort of attack? drillrig's post seems to indicate that they are not. If not, what about the lock has changed that makes the attack fail? (I'm hoping it's not just a change in the diameter of the key.)

Does anyone know any details of what other changes were made during the re-design? This is just a point of curiosity.


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