Surplus US Military weapons locker?


The Undertoad
November 16, 2006, 09:05 PM
I was shopping for a gun safe today. Ran into a gentleman who stated his father may still have a few surplus military weapons lockers. He said they're quite plain but are gen-u-wine steel plate and much more resistant to forced entry than the $1000 RSC's with pretty paint. No fire protection at all - but that's what I have insurance for. I'm more worried about theft.

I told him the dimensions and storage capacity I'm looking for. I'm probably botching the numbers because I also looked at a bunch of gun safes at several stores, but I think he said it'd weigh 300-400#. If this fellow calls me and I go check these puppies out, anything I should know? I am assuming they were DRMOed or something.

If anyone could give me tell tale signs that they are "the real deal" or signs that I should run and not look back, I'd appreciate it. Google isn't turning much up but politics, news articles, blog entries and RPG stuff. The only military weapons locker I've ever seen is the armory at Ft. Eustis, which is really just a very secure room with lots of guns in racks. :) I asked if it had a combination lock and he replied in the affirmative... A photo or good description of what these are, if anyone knows, would be awesome. I'll be sure to follow up if I get more info.

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Toy Mtn Boy
November 16, 2006, 10:32 PM

My last unit, at Ft. Knox (1977-1979), kept all weapons in map and plan containers. They looked something like this:

I don't know but they looked like they weighed more than 400 pounds.

Military regs prohibit storage of military and privately owned weapons (POWs)in the same security container. The armorer and others were not happy when they had to empty one just to store my POWs.:D


Toy Mtn Boy
November 16, 2006, 11:33 PM

Here's the same container with a rifle rack. The basic security container/safe weighs 1080 pounds!


The Undertoad
November 16, 2006, 11:40 PM
TMB after your first post I found that one too! Wow! You beat me to posting the link because my browser keeps crashing on me. :scrutiny:

THANKS for the info. Now I have a clearer idea what I am looking for. And if the damn things weigh half a ton it may be more trouble than it's worth to get it into my house :what: But we shall see... Never underestimate a squad of moderately-in-shape people properly motivated by free pizza and beer :evil:

The Undertoad
November 16, 2006, 11:44 PM
Just ran into a potential snag... if these are the same security containers, they are 39" deep. The closet I was planning on putting it in is only 26" deep. Bugger. This may require some rethinking.

November 16, 2006, 11:46 PM
wow. thats nice. id get that bad boy if you have the means. better than having to play tetris to get rifles in and out of the safe

Just ran into a potential snag... if these are the same security containers, they are 39" deep. The closet I was planning on putting it in is only 26" deep. Bugger. This may require some rethinking.

sawz-all is gods gift to man

November 17, 2006, 02:29 AM
Ebay (

November 17, 2006, 08:15 AM
NOBODY BETTER OUTBID ME ON THIS :evil: This is actually within one or two hours of me, and I'm going for it!

November 17, 2006, 10:41 AM
Undertoad -
I work on those things occationally(I'm from the government and I'm here to help you.). If you (and them) aren't too far away, I'd be glad to take a look at it for/with you on a weekend. I'm on the East side of the belt way in Maryland.

(Especially if he's got more then one.)

Almost forgot. They can be pretty easily moved with an appliance dolly.

El Barto
November 17, 2006, 12:13 PM
I know that there is a webite, I think it is the DRMO, that has gov't safe's on them every now and then. If I find the link I will post.

November 18, 2006, 08:49 AM
ScottsGT.....In case you didn't read the description very well, (like many people on Ebay) that thing is locked and nobody knows the combination. Just an FYI in case you overlooked it.

Those GSA things are insanely expensive. For $1500 I could get a "gun safe" made with steel and concrete poured between the steal and I'd think it'd take more than 30 minutes to get into it.....then again I'm no professional thief.

November 18, 2006, 09:12 AM
I used to be safe mechanic (READ: legal safe cracker)....And if its GSA rated safe it is VERY difficult to open (without the combo)...In order to pass GSA regs there's some "extra stuff" (I won't get real specific) that has to be defeated to get it open. Could be very costly to get it open.

The good news is, if you come up witha GSA rated container they are FAR superior to the gunsafes you usually see.

Edit: just looked at eBay aution---look like the outer (nasty) door is open (+++) inner on is probably not fully GSA rated, so it should be easy to drill.

November 18, 2006, 10:19 AM
I read the auction before I posted it. :p The smaller internal locker is the one that has no combo. "Contents Unknown" is always fun.

Also, I hang out on the lock forums on and off, so I know a little. Anything with a GSA label is serious stuff.

November 18, 2006, 11:07 AM
There are two types of GSA Containers (safes) that you'll commonly run into.

Class 5 safes are the heavier versions, Class 6 safes are the lighter versions. There will be a tag on the safe somewhere that declares what class of safe it is. If the tag is not on the safe, it's generally because a locksmith removed it. Once one of these safes is opened by drilling, the safe no longer carries its rating (unless the entire door is replaced).

These safes are not high security units, but can be highly manipulation resistant. The class 5 safes will be more secure than the majority of gun safes on the market.

When these safes are taken out of service from the government, the governments locksmith will inspect the safe to make sure its empty, then change the combination to a uber top secret series of numbers so that all of the out of service safes have the same combination. If you end up getting the safe, I can share this combination with you through e-mail.

These safes can also be used by civilian companies that do government work. If this is the case, they may have different procedures as far as the final combination change is concerned.

November 18, 2006, 05:04 PM
So far I'm the only bidder on it. Really is not tall enough to do the job properly, but I think I can make it work. Being that it is in Barnwell SC, I'm thinking it came from the Savannah River Site Nuclear facility. I'm sure I can make a pull out rifle rack like the website showed. Rails might be a problem, but I think I have a source for some if I get it. Loading it on the trailer is going to be a problem though. I'm thinking a strap and a come-a-long to drag it sideways up on the trailer.

November 18, 2006, 07:44 PM
Interesting that that safe has what appears to be a radioactive material sticker on the internal safe door. It's highly unlikely that that it contains any radioactive material, but I would be cautious unless I knew that it was empty. If it did contain radioactive material at one point, I would want to see some documentation that any residual contamination was below release limits.

If it has significant residual contamination or a radioactive source in the little safe, you don't want to mess with it. You have to get people like me involved (health physicist), and we don't work cheap.

November 18, 2006, 10:55 PM
"Contents Unknown" is always fun. Yeah. When I first saw that I was wondering what the feds would think of me showing up with a "top secret" notebook or piece of plutonium saying, "this was left in a safe I bought":what: .

If it was close enough, I'd be interested. I suppose I could go down the the AF records facility(it's quite literally down the street) and see if they have any they're getting rid of.

My first thought was to leave the drawers, and rig racks to lay the guns flat in. It's too short for that though.

What did you search for to get that, CypherNinja? I'd like to browse.

November 18, 2006, 11:11 PM

I'm not too far either, but I won't bid on it. I just had a "well why didn't you think of that" moment as I've work on a Naval base for more than five years (active duty military and now contractor) and never thought of going to Dr. Mo to see if there is a safe begging for a new home. Guess I have some leg work Monday.

BTW, get a geiger (sp) counter if you want to see if you want to mess with that top drawer. Surely someone wouldn't be idiotic enough to store a source or similar material in something like that.


The Undertoad
November 19, 2006, 12:16 AM
a1abdj, thanks for the information. I was hoping you would respond. What does GSA stand for? Government Security Approved or something? :)

Scott good luck with the ebay auction.
Radioactivity...that sounds un-fun. Odds are good it's from a Navy base in my area but we have some nuclear facilities too... :uhoh:

Car Knocker
November 19, 2006, 02:08 AM
GSA = General Services Administration

November 19, 2006, 07:40 AM
Unfortunately just doing a simple survey with a Geiger tube will not be enough to ensure you that the safe is 'safe'. If you decide to buy it and can definitely prove it's origin is the Savannah River Site, call the health physics/radiation protection department at SRS. They have already violated federal regulations by either losing control of radioative material or failing to obliterate a radioactive material warning sign from an empty container. If your safe is contaminated, it will probably go into a hole at SRS or Barnwell and you'll never see it again.

Bottom line is that small safe will have to opened to see what is in it.

November 19, 2006, 01:11 PM
Latest question to seller:

OK, I bid, but after looking closer at the photos, I see a radioactive warning sticker on the inside safe. Did this come from the Savanna River Site? And does it have certification that it has been cleared, as in any documentation that any residual contamination was below release limits? Especially since you have NO idea what is inside the inner safe?? This auction my be in violation of E-bay rules and federal law if proper documentation is not provided.

I'll keep an update as to their answer.

November 19, 2006, 07:51 PM
A likely explanation is that the safe was used to store check sources. These are radioactive sources used for calibrating the radiation detection instruments. At facilities I have worked, they are always kept in safes, and the safe has to have rad markings. Often times, the stickers will be left on the safes after the contents are relocated, to allow for future use of the safe with other sources.

When the safe is declared excess, if it was ever in a Radiologically Controlled Area (or contained rad material), there will be a release survey performed, for dose rate, and contamination. These surveys are always documentedm and there is always someone who signs that the material is allowed to be released to the public. This documentation, however, MAY NOT be with the safe. It may be in the record files of the RadCon group that performed the release survey. Once it is checked and declared "clean", it is just another piece of excess.

They should have removed the rad sticker, and are in violation of regs for not removing it, if the material is free released. If there is detectable (but harmless) levels of radiation fixed in the material of the safe, then the sticker should remain on it. This is a possibility. And, of course, the least likely possibility is that this safe is a legacy container, whose records have been lost for years, and it was just sold as excess or scrap without anyone really knowing what is actually inside. While rare, these kind of things do happen.
exersize caution.

November 19, 2006, 10:45 PM
What did you search for to get that, CypherNinja? I'd like to browse.

I searched for 'gsa safe'. Sorry, but that was the only hit.

You guys could also try

I don't know how often security containers get put up there, but its worth keeping an eye on. There are safes on there now, but nothing suited to long guns, unfortunately.

November 20, 2006, 12:43 AM
They do have them on govliquidation from time to time. Its just a matter of being near where its being sold. Usually they sell most things off in big lots so only liquidation and surplus companies and the like can order the vast quantity of goods.

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