Gun Safes for overall home safe?


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FTLOSM
March 21, 2005, 04:02 PM
I want a home safe, something to put important papers, jewelry, a handgun and maybe a few smaller items in while on short weekend trips (piece of mind), something I can bolt to the floor and wall and that would keep the aveage punk who breaks in from getting into it without alot of work.

I will also be getting a few rifles from my grandfather in a few months so again I want to protect those too with a safe and was looking at some of the taller gun safes for the extra room for my items and those rifles.

Been looking at the safes they have at sams club and cabelas and such, they "seem" to me to be pretty solid, I don't think I could get into one very easily even with tools, most are 400+ lbs so once they are bolted in I can't imagine someone walking off with one very easily either...

I did read up a bit in other threads about Safes in general and ratings - most being a RSC vs a TL15 or higher type rated item and that they are not as secure as a TL15 rated safe...

But I wondered are there different levels of RSC? Maybe one that would allow me a large unit yet would pretty much keep out the riff raff with a hammer or crowbar?

Anyone have a RSC that withstood repeated attempts to break into it? What models are best in terms of a RSC and break in effectiveness?

Talking to a locksmith they say go with a TL15 rated smaller safe (the model they showed me was half the size of my needs and cost way more $$) and I was told by him to skip the sams/cabelas type gun safes.

Yet talking to a few gun owners at Cabelas they must be mis-informed or the locksmith just wants to sell a safe, because they (a few guys I talked to at Cabelas) seem to feel their RSC safes are pretty darn solid & secure...

Guess what I am after here is some real user experiences with RSC type Gun Safes, and or if anyone here (I remember one user was a locksmith or had affiliation with safes) can recommend one model over another by chance?

I am looking for as large of a safe as I can get, not so much for guns or a half million dollar diamond & rolex collection, but big enough to put 1 gun (maybe 2-3 down the road) and a portable fire safe of important papers, a laptop & other stuff like that into for times when I go out of town for a few days - just in case some punk does come break in, i'd rather he didn't just have free access to rifle thru credi card statements, birth and marriage papers, taxes, whatever and that he wasn't able to just grab my laptop or watches, or my wifes grandmothers jewelry etc etc ...

My budget for this is upto aprox $1300, space wise I have plenty of room for it so the larger the better, just don't know what exactly to look for or what models or makers are the TOUGHER ones to break into, was hoping for some user input as to actual use and suggestions as this would not just lock up a gun or two but also a few personal items for times when I am out of town and such.

Maybe a gun safe IS the wrong choice, but knowing soon I will have a few rifles handed down to me, and I would like more room for other items, the smaller safes to me that I have seen rated TL15 appear too small for the amount of things I would like to get in there for these out of town trips at least the ones I could afford under $1500.

Just how hard is it really to open say a 625lb $699 winchester 60x30x24 gun safe (saw it at sams club), or the sentry XE-226035 at cabelas (similar price and size to the sams club winchester unit), I went and saw both in person, they both seem pretty solid, yet again they aren't TL15 rated but are RSC types.


Also is there a big advantage to a digital type lock vs a old fashion spin combo lock?

Bill :)

Thanks for any input here, I sure want to find the toughest/largest safe I can within my budget, am even open to ordering online for curbside delivery - no huge staircases to mess with or anything for me to bring it in.

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The Freeholder
March 21, 2005, 04:48 PM
I have a Ft. Knox Defender 7241 with the upgraded fire package, heavy door and a digital lock. Solid, well-built, excellent quality. You're not going to get into it with a crowbar or anything similar. A professional with plenty of uninterrupted time will breach it, but he'll have a job cut out for him.

This one is over your budget price, but Ft. Know makes smaller ones as well.

I wouldn't trade the digital lock. I've had both types on various safes. The last 2 I've bought have been digitals, and I wouldn't go back to a dial type.

FTLOSM
March 21, 2005, 05:11 PM
Thanks for the reply, I have spent some time looking at the Ft Knox website and the Defender 6031 appears it would fit my space needs and in general looks pretty solid too...

When considering something like this is it best to walk into a locksmith and say this is what I want (model make etc) or should I go thru one of these online places or are their any local places that special order or carry Ft. Knox?

I did request a catalog from Fort Knox off their website, and searched the net a bit found a few places that give quotes on this model and they appear to be just within my price range for curbside delivery, would then need to have a few friends help me get it inside and such but that isn't a huge issue, no 2nd floor issues or tight corners to contend with.

Bill

FTLOSM
March 22, 2005, 03:06 AM
I was at dicks sporting goods tonight and saw a browning medallion series safe (the smallest of that series) slim its called, MAN that thing looked like a TANK compaired to the Stack On and American models sitting next to it.

The guy working there was a MAJOR jerk tho, took about 20 mins to get help then another 15 mins to get him to go get the combo sheet to let me SEE inside a few models, asked for pricing info and weight info he was clueless and rambled off aproximate costs.. I looked at my wife as if to say ok how much more clear can I make it that I want more info (price at least?) she too just said lets go after about 35 mins of jerking around...

I don't even know how they sell safes there the guy was SO rude and SO non helpful, there is another dicks across town, ill try there and hopefully they have someone who can at least answer some basics of cost and whatnot but wondered if anyone here has good or bad input on Brownings Medallion series, sure did seem to run circles around the american, stack on and winchesters I have seen locally at other shops.

Are there any good online places to buy brownings at a discount ?

Bill :)

Hawkmoon
March 22, 2005, 01:21 PM
The gun safes sold at Wal-Marts are not temperature rated. Which means if there is a fire, neither the guns nor any important papers inside have any protection against heat.

The better gun safes have various levels of thermal protection. You can see quickly if it's heat rated because the thermal ones have a gasket around the dor. When exposed to high hewat, the gasket expands to seal the opening.

The Freeholder
March 22, 2005, 02:21 PM
The best thing would be to contact Ft. Knox, see who your local dealers are and go visit. Do the same with some of the others you're interested in as well. I wan't really sold on spending the extra on the Ft. Knox until I started visiting various safe dealers and looking at the offerings from the different manufacturers.

This isn't something I'd buy over the Internet. Research yes, buy no.

carpettbaggerr
March 22, 2005, 07:59 PM
Ft. Knox Defender 7241 .....You're not going to get into it with a crowbar or anything similar. A professional with plenty of uninterrupted time will breach it, but he'll have a job cut out for him.

According to Ft Knox's website, the door is 1/4 inch steel, and the body is " 10 gauge steel, Uni-body construction". 10 gauge steel is 0.104 inches thick. If a burglar can get at the back or sides of the safe, I doubt it would take 5 minutes to peel it using a hammer and chisel.

The RSC's are better than nothing, but you'd be better off saving for a real safe.

Konall
March 22, 2005, 09:04 PM
10 gauge steel is 0.104 inches thick. If a burglar can get at the back or sides of the safe, I doubt it would take 5 minutes to peel it using a hammer and chisel. 12 gauge steel is 0.104 inches thick. 10 gauge is 0.135 (http://www.pacific-steel.com/SSsheet.html). While 3 hundredths of an inch may not seem like much, it is a 30% increase or around 50lbs more in a smallish gun safe.

Also, try peeling 10 gauge with a hammer and chisel sometime--I think you'll change your mind. I've worked with 12 gauge quite a bit, and even that would be quite an adventure to peel with a hammer and chisel. 10 gauge at 30% thicker? I'm really skeptical.

Now a high powered air hammer with a steel cutting bit, or a heavy duty jig saw with metal cutting blades might make a 15-20 minute job of it. Of course if your burglar is toting that kind of hardware not even 1/4 inch plate is going to slow him down much.

Hugo
March 23, 2005, 12:55 AM
What about Liberty Safe Co? The Presidential or Washington models seem pretty good, Presidential model has 2.5 hours fire protection at 1200 Degrees Fahrenheit, 1.5 hours for the Washington. Anybody have one of these? How to they stack up to Fort Knox safes?

My brother is thinking of getting a safe for his home since he wants to keep his papers safe from identity theft. What would you avoid? Besides Walmart or sams club safes?

Edit

Whoops I found a bunch more info here on THR.

P.S. If any of you are near Detroit, maybe you need these guys for your home or business. www.stayout.com Great website address isnt it? No I dont work for them. :)

LiquidTension
March 23, 2005, 01:04 AM
I think CB900R is the person you need to talk to on this board, he's the one with the safe experience.

Jim Diver
March 23, 2005, 02:19 AM
I would recomend a Liberty safe.

Reasonable price, great quality, and great service.

Vodka7
March 23, 2005, 04:42 AM
"I don't even know how they sell safes there the guy was SO rude and SO non helpful, there is another dicks across town"

This reminds me of a funny story from several years back when my mother was still very much getting used to the way the internet worked.

The website for Dick's Sporting Goods is *not* www.dicks.com

PAshooter
March 23, 2005, 10:01 AM
I have a Ft. Knox Defender 7241 with the upgraded fire package, heavy door and a digital lock. Solid, well-built, excellent quality. You're not going to get into it with a crowbar or anything similar. A professional with plenty of uninterrupted time will breach it, but he'll have a job cut out for him.

Exact same safe (and options) I have, except I went with the traditional dial combo lock (heard too many horror stories about electronic locks failing...)

Plenty of room inside for a pile of rifles and handguns, important papers, ready cash, and whatnot. Biggest factor in going with Fort Knox was helpfulness and quality of service from the local dealer. Very happy with both the buying experience and the peace of mind that comes from having both the guns and other assorted stuff nestled snugly within this behemoth :)

BTW - seriously considered Liberty, but my local dealer had no interest in trying to wrestle a 41"x72" safe down my outside basement stairs and into my utility room with a 7' ceiling... said it couldn't be done, in fact. Fort Knox guy said "no problem" - and he was right.

cgv69
March 23, 2005, 01:04 PM
This reminds me of a funny story from several years back when my mother was still very much getting used to the way the internet worked.

The website for Dick's Sporting Goods is *not* www.dicks.com

Very common mistake. I know my wife did it and hell, my boss (an IT manager) did it. Still pretty funny though! :D

Big_R
March 23, 2005, 05:20 PM
I bought a fire rated Winchester safe around 10 years ago, which came with a lifetime warranty. I used it since it had a lock malfunction about a week after I got it. They sent out a locksmith from the Twin Cities, about 90 miles to repair it since the local lock smith was hunting. He was able to open the safe and he replaced the lock, both at no charge. He said this was a problem not with the safe, but with the lock, and told me I'd bought an "adequate" safe. Part of the warranty also involves attempted break in, although I can't remember exactly what it was. Haven't had any problems with it except it's full. Guess that's a good problem to have.

Ryan

Jeeper
March 23, 2005, 05:37 PM
The most common way to break into safes is to steal them. Like you said the average idiot isnt going to have tools with him no matter what. Anything large enough and bolted down will likely be left alone. That is also what insurance is for. I was more concerned with fire safety when I was looking. I can replace my guns. Documents are harder to replace.

Rico567
March 23, 2005, 06:49 PM
"Documents are harder to replace."

Indeed they are. If they're historical documents, that cannot be replaced by duplication, then I'm afraid I support an off-site solution- a safe deposit box or something similar. If they can be duplicated, there are several methods of xerography that may be employed....but I still favor an off-site solution. These may be multiple. For example, the law firm that did our wills retains the originals (we have unsigned copies- think about the reasons for this, other than fire or theft) in their fireproof safe.
On the whole there are two categories of documents here: the irreplaceable originals of historical or sentimental importance, and those of legal/financial significance. The first case is the more problematical, and I can't get around my opinion that a commercial depository of some kind is best. For the latter, it may be reduced to a few CDs or DVDs and stored in a secure location that can be very small indeed.

FTLOSM
March 24, 2005, 12:24 AM
I found out I will be getting my grandfathers guns (passed down to me) on April 4th so I wanna get something soon (sooner than I even expected).

I am going to swing by Gander Mountain and a local locksmiths shop tomorrow, went to the other dicks sporting goods on the other side of town today since the other dicks had brownings yet no help and no pricing and were very rude and vauge when I asked for help....but sadly they didn't have enough floor space to have the brownings out on the floor at that smaller store...

I asked for pricing and in general some size/weight info, the girl fumbled around thru some books she had and asked another girl for some help and they went away for about 10 mins and said she didn't know any of the stuff I asked and couldn't find it (LOL) so to come back after 5 when her boss was there...

I guess they don't sell alot of safes at Dicks Sporting Goods... too bad too cuz I probably would have bought one of those medallion series brownings they had (the small slim)...

Will see what the locksmith has, what gander has and then well heck I dunno maybe ill just go with something cheap like the winchester at sams for now, for the papers I would lock up in it I have those in a fireproof safe as it stands right now so that safe would go into the bigger gun safe etc...

Thanks for all the input and advice here.

Bill :)

Zach S
March 24, 2005, 03:28 AM
10 gauge steel is 0.104 inches thick. If a burglar can get at the back or sides of the safe, I doubt it would take 5 minutes to peel it using a hammer and chisel.
ROFLMAO!!! Thanks, I'm at work, and needed a laugh.

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