Guys, if you don't mind, I need some pretty quick opinions here. I've been thinking about a new gun safe. At first I thought~"I'll just buy a little one to control the overflow". However, that is exactly why I'm buying ANOTHER safe. I didn't buy one that was large enough to start with! So, my wife comes home yesterday and says, "I'm buying another safe. We've got guns all over the house". It turns out that SHE'S been looking at safes and not telling me. (Women are sneaky. :) ) Anyway, she found a "Browning Safe" that she likes.
Opinions please? Are Brownings pretty OK?
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April 11, 2003, 12:04 PM
The ones I've seen are pretty nice.
I just built one myself. Spent about $100 in wood... its heavy. Its 6' high, 4' wide, and 2.5' deep.
April 11, 2003, 12:06 PM
I'm sure the Browning is good. I have a Granite Security and really like it. I recommend the digital lock. I can be in the safe in about 4 seconds.
April 11, 2003, 12:11 PM
Brownings are good safes, and I'd buy one. However, there's a very important point to consider when looking at safes - don't buy one that's too large! It's a bear to move, and can be a real problem if you move to a home with a relatively low-strength floor, as the big safes can easily approach a ton in loaded weight. Reinforcing floors can be expensive!
I'd rather buy several smaller safes. This offers the following advantages:
1. You can move them much more easily than a big safe;
2. You can locate them in different areas of your home, so that one of them should be always accessible, no matter where you are;
3. If you have a house fire, it's possible that some of the safes will be unaffected (particularly if the fire brigade is quick to respond), thus protecting your investment;
4. A burglar will have to break into several safes, not just one, which takes a whole lot of time - and if he wants to steal the entire safe, he's got a lot more work on his hands to steal more than one, which again takes time (not to mention a bigger/higher-capacity vehicle to carry them);
5. You're unlikely to require floor reinforcement for them, which means that they can go into a second-floor room if necessary;
6. You can segregate your firearms by category into different safes, if you wish. This means that if you want to show someone your shotgun collection, you don't have to alarm them with your evil black rifle collection at the same time! :D
April 11, 2003, 12:12 PM
Browning safes are good. The darn safes never are too big. Years ago I bought a small safe that was the most that I could afford at the time. It was not fireproofed to save on the expense. A couple of years ago I bought a new bigger fireproofed safe with plans on selling the old one. Now I have two safes and the second one is almost full. :) Watch-Six
April 11, 2003, 12:49 PM
This is not a hugely heavy safe. Slightly under 500 pounds.
Steve: I've heard that the digital locks can be sort of "short-circuted" with a 9 volt battery and a thief could get in. Is there any truth to this?
Thanks for the speed of your replies, guys. She wants to go look and maybe buy early this afternoon.
Oh, and "Shweboner" (What does THAT mean? :) ) I can't build one myself. My back is so bad, sometimes I can't bend over and pick up my hammer! It's a drag.
April 11, 2003, 12:56 PM
I discussed that with the lock company. I'm no lock specialist, but they are, and they assured me that the system is built to prevent such situations. The locks on GS safes (and they are on some Brownings too) are their top of the line keypad lock and referenced some lock prick-proofing standard and said that it exceeded that. I remember looking it up and noting that it was good enough for me, even though most went over my head.
April 11, 2003, 01:12 PM
What kind of batteries power the keypad? Is there some kind of alert that notifies you that the batteries are dying?
Sometimes I screw up the combination on my manual dial. The combination just happens to be so similar to my high school locker combination (stupid things you can't get out of your head!) that sometimes I get the two mixed up. :o
Preacherman has some really good points.
April 11, 2003, 01:15 PM
Its a 9 volt. When the battery is getting weak it beeps a lot more when you open the lock. So far I get about a year on a battery. works like a charm.
April 11, 2003, 02:00 PM
I've heard that the digital locks can be sort of "short-circuted" with a 9 volt battery and a thief could get in. Is there any truth to this?
I read a thread on TFL with a couple of supposedly locksmiths responding saying that this it was possible to defeat the combo with a 9v battery. Of course they didn't post the procedure to do so. I've asked more than a few different safe vendors at gunshows about this and they all laughed in my face saying this was utter nonsense. The most common problem with electronic locks is the keypad eventually wearing out. Here's a link to the 6120 series S&G lock S&G (http://www.sglocks.com/comptronic/comptronic6120.html)
April 11, 2003, 03:06 PM
I recently bought one of the Browning Bridger Plus's. Not a bad safe for the money, I spent just under $950 for it. And it's probably the best investment that I've ever made as far as fire arms related stuff.
April 11, 2003, 04:04 PM
It IS possible to short-circuit some electronic safe locks... I've seen it demonstrated by criminals (I work with them every day!). However, I don't know that it can be done with the higher-end electronic locks. It's certainly possible with the cheaper models - both re1973 and myself have witnessed it.
Another factor is the damage caused by a fire. If your electronic lock is external to the door, it's going to be burned up in the fire, and then how are you going to get into the safe? A would-be burglar can also bash it to pieces with a convenient tool in an attempt to penetrate the safe, with a similar problem to you as the result.
These are the reasons why I stick with the "old reliable" dial-and-key method...
April 11, 2003, 04:07 PM
That's one reason why I stick with the "old reliable" dial-and-key methodWhich, of course, can be manipulated open by someone with skill.
April 11, 2003, 04:30 PM
Hav e a couple Brownings. They have worked out very well. As you've noticed, it is very easy to outgrow safes. When looking through the Browning catalog a number of years ago to buy the first safe, I had mistakenly picked the wrong one. I was looking to get a fire rated one but had chosen a non-fire rated one on the facing page. :rolleyes: After receiving it and noticing that it wasn't fire rated, I decided to keep it anyway as I would probably get another later on down the road. I proceeded to stuff all of my guns in there and lo-and-behold, they did not all fit. :mad: I made doubly sure the next one bought, not long after, was fire rated.
April 11, 2003, 07:39 PM
M1911, You have a valid point but the run of the mill house breaker is not a person of skill. The crew from Oceans Eleven most likely won't show up at any of our homes to rip off our firearms.
I like The Preacherman's ideas on multiple safes if you have areas to put them. I also like my idea of a walk in safe. :)
April 11, 2003, 07:49 PM
I've found one of Winchester's safes at Wally World Bulk for $799, which I considered an outstanding deal. It is the half and half type which has many shelves on the right side. This is just what I need, as I don't have many rifles. What I don't know is who makes them. I don't think it's Winchester, but I don't really know. It's beautiful, has great locking bolts and weighs about 640 lbs. Sorry if I'm butting in, but I couldn't see starting another thread. Anybody know about these?
BTW, Browning safes are always considered excellent. If the price is right, that's all you need.
April 12, 2003, 09:48 AM
I chose the dial and key (Locks the dial.) over the lighted keyboard. When I got there, there were a lot more to choose from than I had anticipated. I finally found the model I wanted, "on sale", in the "scratch & dent" section. I looked it over carefully, however the only scratch or dent I could find was a very small chip on the upper right side of the door! I chose this safe. Small scatch~save a couple hundred dollars. No contest in my mind. Good deal.
Thanks to all who replied-I appreciate it very much!
April 12, 2003, 01:36 PM
Heritage & Liberty safes all the way for us. I dont think Win. brown., or Rem., makes thier safes. Tke Heritage was absolutly the best buy for me. Thanks
April 12, 2003, 10:12 PM
Liberty makes the Remington branded safes - they don't have Liberty's lifetime warranty, however - just one year. Dunno who makes the Winchester or Browning safes, though.
April 13, 2003, 12:10 AM
"Once more into the breach dear friends.";
None of the mentioned units are safes. They don't meet the criteria for that designation. There's no law against the marketing dept. calling them safes though. The Browning, Liberty, Heritage, etc. are all Residential Security Containers. Not safes. Good to withstand a door attack of 5 min with hammer & screwdriver. Whoopee Ding, the side walls are 10 to 16 guage sheet metal.
Go to: www.brownsafe.com. Go to the Underwriter's Laboratories website. True safes start at a 'B' rating, then go to 'C', 'E', TL15, TL30, then TLTR.
As for the 'fire proofing' in RSC's. It's sheet rock, gypsum wall board. Take the paper off it & call it firerock. Good flame barrier, lousy heat sink. Typical rating is 1200f for 30 min. Typical fully involved structure fire, the frame of the house burns, is 1600 - 2000f. Some Liberty's stack 4 layers of sheet rock in & call it an Omega standard fire safe. Is supposedly good to 1500f for 45 min. And boy does it take a lot of room out of the interior of the safe. If you truely want to have fire protection, you need to go to the U.L. certification standard of 1750f for 1 hour AT THAT TEMPERATURE. In other words, the test furnace is brought up to 1750f first, then the timer starts.
Yes meeting the standards costs more, about $1000.00 more for a given size of box. But if you open the door to your Browning after the fire and the stocks are charred & the aluminum scope tubes are warped, what did you save?
Preacherman, if your insurance company won't compensate you for an attack on your safe, either sucessful or not, you need to make some changes there.
Guys, I'm not trying to make fun of what you've got. What you do need to do is the research before you buy. By the way, I don't sell Brown safes. They just have a good website for explaining some of the basics. I am a locksmith & do sell safes however. But not on somebody else's website. 899F
April 13, 2003, 08:35 PM
I am looking for a good affordable fire proof safe in the Atlanta area (Marietta). I have about 10 or so handguns I would like to keep in it. Maybe 2 long guns as well along with a bunch of old family photos.
Not sure what size I need, but I am in a one story home on concrete slab so floor reinforcment shouldn't be a issue.
Any good place in ATL for fire proof safes?
April 14, 2003, 09:18 AM
Well, my new Browning safe is coming tomorrow afternoon. Odd that they didn't want to wait until my check cleared. I don't LOOK honest. I look downright scary. :) Permanent "war face".
April 14, 2003, 09:49 AM
I think some of your fears are pretty unfounded. A fire is likely to damage a spin dial as much as an electronic lock. The locking mechanism is inside the safe, not on the door. Both will need a locksmith's attention. The lock panel can be replaced under warrantee prior to failure. Regarding damage by a burlgar, I woul dnot be surprised to see a spin dial S&G bashed to unusable parts or drilled out by a burglar that has seen movies too many times. Either way, yes you get a visit from the locksmith.
The day to day security and ease of owner access more than outweighs my paranoid concerns regarding the electronics. Gun out when I'm home, gun in when I'm gone. Takes me 4-5 seconds and no inconvenience. Even if I'm running majorly late for something, I can get or leave a gun in the safe depending on the situation.
April 14, 2003, 12:06 PM
Oh, and "Shweboner" (What does THAT mean? ) I can't build one myself. My back is so bad, sometimes I can't bend over and pick up my hammer! It's a drag.
I usually go by Shwebo, but thought I'd give it a little something.
Well my safe doesnt have doors yet, so its not too safe. Also its never gonna be fireproof. But for under 100 I got me one big *** safe.
April 14, 2003, 01:42 PM
I gave a lot of thought to building a huge walk-in gunsafe in my basement. I thought about buying and hanging (that would be the hard part) a nice safe door, putting in electricity and a bench. Nice. The problem is, when those rare times my back doesn't hurt too badly, I could make concrete block look like last year's birds nest with a sledge. Seemed nice to have a big room, but not too secure. I need a book that tells how to make secure walls.
April 14, 2003, 01:54 PM
If worried about fire consider if put on upper floors it will be hotter AND safe may fall thru. I have considered putting a plastic container full of water on top of safe for additional fire protection. :) The lower in the house and the less burnable stuff near the better. Just keep off floor to avoid major water damage from fire "brigade" Haven't hear that term for long time. :)
April 14, 2003, 01:57 PM
if you are going to make a "safe" out of an entire room, couldnt you "hide" the door to it somehow? make it appear as if there is nothing there?
April 14, 2003, 08:40 PM
Kentucky, FEMA has a guide for building storm shelters using concrete block, rebar and grout that will withstand some pretty good impacts. I will search up the pub. number and post it here.
I will be the first to admit that my walk in is not as secure as bank vault. I will tell you that it is as secure as any gun safe out there with the advantage of not being able to be hauled off and broken into at another location.
Security in layers my friend, how many locks, alarms, alarm back ups, dogs, etc. The shortest period of time the attacker has to penetrate your defense the better.
I will not post my usual Molon Labe sig line here. :cool:
April 15, 2003, 09:30 AM
I just got another idea too. My regular barber just had to move his shop from the Galleria to a place down the street.
The place is an old "Savings & Loan" company. In the back of the store, the "safe room" still exists. Maybe it's because that safe door weighs tons and was too difficult to move. I don't know. It's an old time thing with a glass back and huge gears. Maybe I couldn't even move the thing. It was difficult just to open and close. Awww...just forget it. With my luck, it'd probably fall and squash me like a pancake!!!! Sheesh! I must be nuts. Where DO these ideas come from? I keep thinking of that Gene Hackman movie "Uncommon Valor" where the cook keeps saying--"Agent Orange, all Agent Orange" while the guys dance around.
Dumb ol' KR
April 15, 2003, 11:58 AM
CB - Nice to see someone chime in who can explain the difference. Thing to remember is that most containers are only to keep the common window breaker out. If a serious B&E guy knows what's in the container and wants it, he'll get into it if he has the time and the tools. Best time I ever had was 21/2 hours into a Mosler class 5 safe with an S&G 8500. We drilled the lock and got lucky. That's a $22,000 replacement cost for the safe if we destroyed the door... That said, I'd still rather have a mechanical lock on my safe then an electronic lock. Seen too many failures on Maas/Hamiltons and those are $6-800 electronic locks.
April 15, 2003, 10:26 PM
Did you know the X-08 been replaced with the X-09? We are now going into an 1871 Diebold cannonball that went through an intense fire. The owner knows the combo & we dialed it, but the frame is appantly warped around the door. So, it's an old style lugged door, manganese steel semi-square on a pedastal. If you're interested, I'll keep you posted.
Back to RSC's. The problem now is that it's fairly common knowledge among the criminal element as to how to peel an RSC in about 5 min. I can't imagine where they learned how to do it. Maybe in a govt.-run security institution? I know the ACLU would have a screaming hissy, but 100% solitary confinement would sure slow down the spread of 'Dis is howya doos it' information. Oh well, business is good.
What's worse, to my mind though, are some of the fire proofing claims made by (supposedly) reputable manufacturers. Fully involved house fires commonly, regularly, almost certainly in the very high majority of cases, exceed BY FAR, the fire rating of RSC's. And that, friends & neighbors, sucks for the average gun owner who thinks he has protection. 900F
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