Looking for a really good gun safe, any advice?????


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Peter M. Eick
March 21, 2003, 06:18 PM
Ok, here is the situation. My insurance company is changing my homeowners policy (everyone in Texas is going to have it done over the next year or so I am told). But anyway instead of no limits on the value of guns I can have insured now I am facing a $2500 limit unless I buy an additional policy.

Without going into details, suffice it to say that the policy will be about $800 per year for what coverage I would like.

So, I have a good gun/fire safe already, but it is a locally made unit, 3 pins, external hinges, thin fire protection, recessed door, 1/8" steel, bolted to the floor etc. Basically it ia a decent "keep the average crook out", but I am not sure it will really stop a dedicated thief. I have the safe inside my house with an advanced security system (24 hour monitored affair with all the add-ons), so I am relying on a 3 step approach. First the house alarm, then the safe itself and finally the policy/insurance company to make me whole again.


What I am looking for is a better safe that will really stop even the reasonably skilled thief. I figure I can justify up to say $2400 on this (3 years of insurance) to make economic sense. I would pay more if necessary, but I want something that is very fire-resistance, quite hard to pick and break into and with a good reputation. Basically, if they get my guns, I want them to have spent hours/days not minutes/hours.


Finaly note, I have an interior spot with power on a concrete slab where it will be anchored. I will just move my current safe to another room and put the new one where the old one was. It would be nearly impossible to drag the safe out without my neighbors noticing (I live in a UMC suburban setting).

Thanks.

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Kahr carrier
March 21, 2003, 08:45 PM
Take a look at Liberty Safes that make a nice fire safe, with that budget you might be able to buy a Presidential series.:)

JohnBT
March 21, 2003, 10:42 PM
Here's a link to what I would have gotten if I'd hit the lottery - note that the prices listed at the bottom of the page are wholesale. Lots of good info on the site though...

www.brownsafe.com/gun_safe.html

For comparison, the top-end Liberty safes have 3/16" bodies. The medium grade Liberty Lincoln has a 10-ga. body - a hair over 1/8" was told.

A good alarm system is a large part of the battle.

John

Double Naught Spy
March 21, 2003, 11:26 PM
Most gun safes are nothing more than glorified fire protection. What is funny is that most safe companies boast about having some sort of door that is extra strong so that it can't be drilled or not drilled quickly. Unfortunately, the walls are often quite a bit thinner than the door and so the quick way in is with a sledge hammer (I have seen this done), power grinder with a cutting disk, torch, etc.

I see the Brown safes have already been suggested. Where most gun safe are glorified fire safes, Brown does make burglar safes with interiors for holding guns. The safes are called burglar safes or sometimes called jeweler's safes. They are made to withstand a much longer assault before being able to be breeched.

What you might consider is finding a used jeweler's safe, have the combination changed for you and then modify the interior to hold your guns (removing shelves and putting in gun racks). You can literally save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by going this route.

As a final thought, if the burglars have enough time, they are going to be able to breech it. For example, say your house is empty all day and so then they would have all day to breech it. If you are on vacation, they would have time enough to find the safe, realize they don't have the proper tools with them, go and get the tools, then come back and gain entry. In some cases, burglars have been unable to breech a safe bolted to the ground and so they chain it to a vehicle and rip the safe from the foundation, load it in a truck, and take it with them.

So, you might want to keep in mind that one way to prevent getting your safe breeched is by installing it somewhere in the home where it might not be readily found or recognized. In other words, if they can't find it, then they can't get into it. If the bad guys do find it, then immediately they are going to know that as a safe, it is going to contain valuable items and therefore putting a lot of effort into getting at those items.

Rembrandt
March 22, 2003, 06:43 AM
I bought a National Security Safe (Magnum Plus) years ago and have been very pleased. 1" thick door with a double wall liner...not cheap, but at 1500lbs it took six of us to get it in place. Had to remove the door and lift it in place with a floor jack. I travel a great deal for work (domestic & International), gone sometimes for weeks at a stretch....it's peace of mind knowing the collection is secure from bad guys and fire.

here is a link... http://www.libertysafenorcal.com/Showroom/NationalSecurity/Magnum.html

JohnBT
March 22, 2003, 09:40 AM
Just for fun, take a look at what is available from Stockinger. They make safes, vaults and rooms to order. I didn't see any specs or prices on the site, but IIRC one of the locksmiths on alt.locksmithing said that a small(?) commercial jeweler's safe was $125k. This site has lots of pics of custom safes...you know ostrich-lined drawers, leather, custom paint, woodwork, etc.

www.stockinger-safe.de/eng/products/hs/index_hs.html

I'm still looking for the 'real' definition of RSC/Residential Security Container. Most of the common gun safe manufacturers like Liberty use it as a selling point and some of the locksmiths say it means the safe will withstand a 5-minute attack by a trained person with a hammer and big screwdriver. Trained meaning they know precisely where to attack it.

For reference, a TL-30 burglary rating on a really decent safe (see the Brown website for sizes and prices) means the experts take more than 30 minutes of working time, using power tools and such, to get into the safe. They know the weak points of the design, or actually have the plans in hand, and only working time is counted. They don't include coffee breaks, drill bit changes, etc. in the timing.

Still, an alarm system and an RSC-rated gun safe is better than hiding your guns in a closet. Heck, no alarm system and a cheap safe is better than the closet.

Okay, I'm out of coffee. Time to go rent a hammer drill so I can bolt my safe to the basement floor. I'll probably go through the slab and hit a spring - the house is 87 years old and I have no idea how thick the floor is. The walls are 14 inches of brick, so maybe the floor is overbuilt, too.

John

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