Gun safe/RSC opinion and price check... (Cannon C-23)


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heypete
November 8, 2006, 10:31 PM
Greetings all,

I've perused much of the archives here (at least the last year or so), and am seeking a price-check on a Cannon C-23 "safe" (technically an RSC).

The local safe shop has some very pleasant employees, seemed quite knowledgeable, listened to what I was looking for in terms of a secure firearm storage container (anything beats the sheet-metal Stack-On cabinet I have now), and recommended a Cannon. They showed me several different models of Cannon safes, and I seemed most impressed by the C-23. In addition to being made in the US (somewhat important to me), it offers a 40 minute 1200F fire protection rating (Intertek-ETL, not UL), and seems to offer the security I need at a reasonable cost.

Total cost is $1,400. This includes the electronic lock (without it, it'd be $1,300, but I prefer the electronic lock), next-day delivery, installation, and bolting-down. The price also includes taxes, so it's the complete out-the-door-into-my-closet price. Compared to other similar safes offered by competitors in the local area, that's a good deal (more than $200 less than a comparable Liberty safe with similar features from a competitor with poor customer service, with additional delivery and installation charges added on).

To me, this seems to be a pretty fair deal. I realize the differences between a proper "safe" and an RSC, but this seems to be more than sufficient for my reasonably-foreseeable needs. Right now I have eight long guns and a single handgun (sold the rest of the pistols a few months ago to pay bills), and this safe advertises a 22-gun capacity (more like 15-18 realistically), which should give me room to expand in the future.

Total value of my guns is about $4000-$5000, and I have one NFA article (a Gem-Tech Outback II suppressor...well, I don't have it yet, but it should be ready for pickup sometime in December). Due to my being located in an apartment with reasonably attentive neighbors (i.e. they're able to hear the sounds of criminal activities), I'm not worried about plasma-cutter-equipped safecrackers working all night to steal the contents of my safe. I'm more worried about smash-and-grab criminals armed with angle grinders and 10 minutes or so of time, and this seems to offer suitable protection. Any thoughts?

The shop showed me a Cannon safe (again, technically an RSC) today that they were doing warranty-replacement on because it was cut in an attempted burglary. It seems the criminals used an angle grinder or some other such tool, and attempted to cut the door and doorframe. They managed to scuff up the paint in a lot of areas, cut a 3" long cut through the outer steel of the door, and make a few minor incisions on the door frame. They also knocked the lock dial off, but for all their efforts they were not able to compromise anything that would allow the door to open or otherwise allow them access to the safe. Cannon is replacing the safe for free, which is nice. Given the security situation at my apartment (criminals could cut the beams the safe'll be locked to and simply cart off the thing whole if they were that keen on taking it, and there's nothing I can do to harden the walls to prevent it), this seems to be more than adequate.

I have no reason to believe that a criminal would know ahead of time that I possessed such a safe, owned firearms or other valuables (other than my guns and computers, the safe'll be the most expensive thing in the apartment), or otherwise have reason to burglarize my property or target me specifically for crime.

I'm rambling, but essentially here's my question:
1) Does this seem like a reasonable price for this safe, including all taxes and installation?
2) Does this seem like it would provide a reasonable degree of security from an average criminal?

Any input would be useful, particularly from other Cannon owners.

Cheers!

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Froggy
November 8, 2006, 10:53 PM
Hey Pete,

Can't give you any info on the Cannon, but I'll suggest that if you haven't been to Sportsman's Warehouse yet, you owe it to yourself to pay them a visit. They have a good selection of "gun safes" to choose from in a wide range of prices.

Sportsman's Warehouse
3945 West Costco Drive
Tucson, AZ 85741

520-877-4500

heypete
November 8, 2006, 11:04 PM
Can't give you any info on the Cannon, but I'll suggest that if you haven't been to Sportsman's Warehouse yet, you owe it to yourself to pay them a visit. They have a good selection of "gun safes" to choose from in a wide range of prices.

Good advice. I was actually considering buying from a large-scale chain like that, but I've recently been thinking...buying from a local, non-chain dealer with on-hand knowledgeable people (say, like many gun shops...for different values of "knowledgeable") with whom I could develop a rapport with might be very convenient when I need advice or recommendations (say, with moving a safe). While many of the larger chains (Wal-Mart, presumably Sportsman's Warehouse) may offer the same products for less money, I'm willing to pay a small premium for good service.

Most staff at chain stores I wouldn't trust to know a gun safe from a duck call, in my experience.

In short, I'm willing to pay a small, reasonable amount more for a quality product made in the US (especially if the difference, such as between the Cannon C-23 [made in the US] and the Cannon Patriot P-22 [made in Korea], is less than 10% in price) purchase from a local store with knowledgeable staff.

Froggy
November 8, 2006, 11:06 PM
Good point, and I must say they impressed me with this bit: The shop showed me a Cannon safe (again, technically an RSC) today that they were doing warranty-replacement on because it was cut in an attempted burglary....

heypete
November 8, 2006, 11:13 PM
*nods* That impressed me too. Glad to see there's still some honest shops around. :)

atomchaser
November 9, 2006, 12:06 PM
Even it if is a few more bucks, it sounds like your local dealer is the way to go. My local dealers seem to think that they can charge whatever they want. They are all $500 to 1K higher the safe I'm looking at. One guy quoted me $500 to deliever the a safe to my garage. I told him to pound sand, which is easy since I live close to the beach.

CB900F
November 12, 2006, 02:43 PM
Heypete;

The proper way to phrase "Cannon C-23 "safe" (technically an RSC)" would be: Cannon RSC, (technically a 'safe') It actually is an RSC, and is being marketed as a 'safe'.

That bit of nit-picking aside, it sound like a reasonably good deal for you, to me. It's the taxes, delivery, and installation, included in the sale price that makes it the deal it is. Are stairs involved in the delivery? If so, did you specifically tell the store that there were stairs, & if so, how many? If you didn't, don't be surprised if they didn't come prepared to place it in your 3rd floor, or basement, or whatever it is, flat, and will want more money to do so.

900F

heypete
November 13, 2006, 10:49 AM
CB900F: Nitpicking received and understood. :D

Prior to the payment of the safe, I talked to the folks at the safe shop and informed them of the configuration of my apartment. It's on the ground floor, with about a 3" threshold, a small tiled patch immediately inside the door, and wall-to-wall carpeting from the tiled patch near the door to the desired location in the closet. There are two parking lots where the truck could unload -- one about 40-50 feet away, with several 90 degree turns on a sidewalk, but on the same level as the apartment, and one parking lot that's exactly four 9" steps above my apartment level.

They indicated they'd prefer not to use a stairwalker, as it gets to be a pain sometimes, and that they'd prefer to deliver from the level parking lot even if it requires a greater lateral movement. They indicated that they'd reconnoiter the apartment before unloading the safe and plan out how best to get it through the apartment (shouldn't be difficult) and into the desired location. They should arrive at 3:00pm today, so I'm looking forward to it.

I actually mentioned the fact that I had read up a little from other safe vendors (not knowing your name, I didn't mention you, but you were one of the ones I was thinking of) and understood the differences between an RSC and a proper safe. They were rather pleased that a customer had done his homework, and were very pleasant and spent some time showing me some of their proper "safes" just to satisfy my curiosity. I'm surprised the safes can even be moved, and don't fall through their concrete floor. :evil: Some of the cash safes for businesses have nearly foot-thick walls (about 3-4 inches of steel with the rest being concrete) and less than a cubic foot of storage space within. It certainly looked impressive, and even though the bolts were only about a half-inch in diameter, the safes looked quite a bit sturdier than the RSCs (as they most certainly are). I find it amusing that the RSCs have 1" bolts on a 3/16th" door, as if someone's going to bother cutting through the bolts. I guess it's so the owner feels better when the door's open.

Anyway, good shop, and they were certainly happy to take my money. :evil:

Ala Dan
November 13, 2006, 04:17 PM
I have a Liberty Colonial Series RSC, with dial-up combination lock. Its a
23 gun RSC, currently holding just three long guns; but cramed full of
high quality handguns, and a few accessory's. Its deep forrest green
with gold/brass colored trim. Thus far, I feel "at ease" with all of the
"smash and grab" thieves operating here locally; but we still try to
keep a family member present at all times, that is well qualified in
the use of firearms~!;) :D

CB900F
November 13, 2006, 07:57 PM
Heypete;

If it's no imposition, please PM me the name of that shop. I've visited Tucson a time or two. Had some fun browsing J&G, & seeing if I really could talk a cop into a "contest of acceleration", seeing as how we were on Race Street. The cops were cool, I was surprised.

900F

heypete
November 13, 2006, 08:15 PM
CB900F: No imposition at all. Indeed, as I've had only positive experiences with them, I'm perfectly willing to state the name of the company here. It's called "Bruce's Safes Unlimited", and while they don't seem to have a website, they do have entries in the phonebooks (both dead-tree and electronic).

stealthgoat
November 13, 2006, 09:45 PM
heypete,
I got a Cannon C23 with electronic keypad earlier this year here in TN, I am very happy with it.

I have had a Cannon C15 with keypad for several years, also a great product just too small for me now.

Note - my C23 was installed before I noticed that the internal knockout for the dryrod cord isn't knocked out. I should have punched it out from the back, now I can't see where the factory hole is. If you are going to use a dryrod, look for the hole before everything is bolted down : - )

MountainBear
November 14, 2006, 10:46 PM
Most places I checked for safes quoted me at least $200 up to $450 just for delivery. Add instalation and bolting down, subtract that from the total price and then reevaluate.

--Bear

a1abdj
November 15, 2006, 10:56 PM
Most places I checked for safes quoted me at least $200 up to $450 just for delivery. Add instalation and bolting down, subtract that from the total price and then reevaluate.


Hiring a professional to move a safe isn't cheap, and many people do choose to move them on their own. However, you would probably spend more than the $200 to $450 if you hurt yourself.

By time you consider the $4,000 dolly, the trailer and/or truck, fuel, the liablity insurance, and the years of experience, it's actually quite a bargain. The last thing you want to do is injure yourself or your friends, or tear up the expensive gun safe you just bought just to save a few dollars.

Note - my C23 was installed before I noticed that the internal knockout for the dryrod cord isn't knocked out. I should have punched it out from the back, now I can't see where the factory hole is. If you are going to use a dryrod, look for the hole before everything is bolted down : - )

A hole in the safe large enough for an electrical cord isn't really going compromise the integrity of the safe. You can easily drill the hole through the side or top if you don't want to remove the safe to access the factory hole.

Zundfolge
November 17, 2006, 12:32 PM
What does "RSC" mean?

heypete
November 17, 2006, 06:33 PM
What does "RSC" mean?

"Residential Security Container", a UL classification that encompasses nearly all major-brand gun safes.

RSCs are not technically "safes", as safes are held to higher standards of theft-resistance. Most RSCs can be opened in a fairly short time (less than ten minutes or so, I'd guess) with an angle grinder, while safes can be much more difficult to cut open (safes also have much thicker walls and doors, and frequently have cut-resistant material built into the steel).

Most RSCs are designed to keep casual, smash-and-grab burglars out, and to protect their contents against fire. Safes are meant to keep more dedicated criminals out, though they too can be compromised given sufficient time.

CB900F
November 17, 2006, 09:45 PM
Fella's;

It's a little more accurate to say that many RSC's have a fire protection rating, rather than they "protect their contents against fire". The problem is that the common ratings really don't offer much protection when faced with a major, total loss type house fire.

Here's what's going on. A very typical RSC rating is 1200f for 30 minutes. There is no national standard as to how the test is performed to achieve that rating. In other words, how quickly did the temp in the furnace ramp up to 1200f? Was the safe at 1200f for only the last 10 minutes of the test 1/2 hour? Was the safe upright, or laid on it's back for the test? Gee, I ask the nasty questions, don't I?

Then, double check me with your professional fire department please. I've been told by the pro's that a typical fully involved home fire will reach temps of 1600 to 2000f or more depending on the fuel source(s) at some place in the fire, at some point in the fire cycle.

It's quite common for the salesperson to tell the prospective customer that 1200/30 is excellent protection because the average house fire is only 1200f. Gee, that kicker word is average. Got an oily rag in the garage on fire? Stomp it out, but that & the little grease fire in the kitchen, those minor incidents, count heavily in lowering that average number.

The U.L. 1 hour fire standard is the only one that counts people, everything else is advertising B.S.. In the U.L. test, safe goes into furnace, gas is lit & temp brought up to 1750f first. Only then does the 1 hour test period start. At the end of the hour, the internal transponder is read. Anything that passes this test is gonna read about 270-280, becuase the end of the hour, is not the end of the test. The gas is shut off, but the safe remains in the sealed furnace until the interior temp of the furnace cools to 68f, laboratory ambient. At no time can the interior temp of the safe exceed 350f for the entire test cycle. About a 500% tougher test to pass than the typical RSC meets. Omega lab, 3000 degree pyro test, or Fred's wonder test, they all pale in comparison to the U.L. test.

I've got the pictures to prove my safes can & do go through total loss home fires & keep the contents undamaged. Remember the devastating SoCal San Diego area fires of a few years back? Where's the pics from Liberty, Cannon, Browning, etc? Take a good look at the pic on the back of the Liberty 2006 brochure, see much actual flame damage? Neither do I.

900F

heypete
November 17, 2006, 09:57 PM
*nods* UL's definitely got an impressive test. Seems like it'd be almost mythbuster-ish to work there and test various things.

Either way, you have a way of making someone get buyer's remorse. :D Of course, the Cannon RSC I have is certainly better than nothing in terms of theft-resistance and fire-resistance, which is essentially what the cheap Stack-On cabinet I owned (and still have, but I'm going to give/sell it to a friend who has nothing) offered.

I wish I could afford a proper safe with a UL-tested fire rating. Perhaps in the future. Do you deliver? :evil:

CB900F
November 18, 2006, 09:29 AM
Heypete;

Factory direct shipment to your driveway.

:evil: tempted? 900F

heypete
November 18, 2006, 04:03 PM
Ah, see, it's the "to the driveway" thing that gets me. I suppose I could pay a local safe shop to install it, but I shudder to think how expensive the freight and installation would be.:D

Perhaps when I win the lottery, or at least have enough money saved up that it wouldn't be any trouble. :scrutiny:

CB900F
November 18, 2006, 05:05 PM
Heypete;

Nah! Just have 'em wheel it into the garage & set it where you want it. Then all it takes is leveling it so the door doesn't swing on it's own. That's kinda important what with what those doors weigh. Then there's a coupla easy ways to secure it to the floor if it's a permanent site. If you're gonna move it though, some prep work is needed in order to allow it to go with you. OTOH, it can substantially improve the value of the house when you sell, and :evil: you're gonna need a bigger one by then anyway, aren't ya? :evil:

Who me?:p 900F

heypete
November 18, 2006, 05:10 PM
Garage? You mean that big, flat, black, striped thing outside my apartment? :)

I went with the RSC because 1) I lack major sums of money, and 2) I'm in an apartment and will probably move in the next three years or so. It's expensive and heavy to do that...particularly when my next location is likely to be my girlfriend's condo (I'm going back to college after the army, and I live about an hour away, hence why we're not living together already), which is on the second floor. A bajillion-pound safe wouldn't be the best of ideas there. :evil:

Once I win the lottery (which'll be never, as I don't play) I'll need a warehouse to hold all the guns I plan on buying. :D

CB900F
November 18, 2006, 06:30 PM
Heypete;

Man, do I have to do it all!!?? Change of MOS to Intelligence, James Bondo your way into having to have secure storage at home. THEY buy/reimburse/whatever, the safe. YOU reap the benefits.

Sheesh! I get enough heavy lifting at work, now I gotta do it on the internet too. Bripe,Gitch,Miss, & Poan.

:D 900F

heypete
November 18, 2006, 08:10 PM
Ah, perhaps I wasn't clear. I was in the army, and am now going back to college. I can't change MOS anymore, as I don't have one. :evil:

Ironically enough, my girlfriend's having a "girl's night" with our friend Kim, watching all the Bond films. I told her she'd be more than welcome to lust after any of them, so long as it wasn't Lazenby...

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