Are your guns safe in a safe?


June 24, 2003, 10:15 AM
Was talking with a friend I hunt with. He owns a ranch which is absolutely covered with birds during dove season. HE lives in a metropolitan are about an hour away. He has a second home on the ranch and keeps a significant portion of his gun collection there at all times.

Recently, someone broke into his ranch house and took the safe, which was bolted to the slab. Guns, safe, and other misc., items all gone.

Insurance (his wife was the agent, and there may be divorce proceedings pending) said coverage capped at $30,000.00

He estimated his loss, guns only, was over $50,000.00.

36 long guns and 14 hand guns.

Someone must have had a forklift to move that safe.

If you enjoyed reading about "Are your guns safe in a safe?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
June 24, 2003, 10:24 AM
A safe will only keep an honest man honest. That was pretty obviously a professional job.. The first thing he should be doing is figuring out exactly who knew he had a safe and who knew what was in it. Pro don't hit by accident. Maybe the insurance list got out or maybe he bragged too much . Who knows? Best insurance is having someone nearby most of the time. :mad: for your friend. The other thing is to periodically review the contents in your safe and upgrade your insurance to reflect changing values - up or down. His wife for sure should have been on this.

June 24, 2003, 10:25 AM
:scrutiny: That smells like an inside job...
What happened to the concrete slab, were the bolts ripped out, or did they cut a chunk of the slab out?


June 24, 2003, 10:36 AM
That smells like an inside job...

Actually my first thought also. Many people knew the safe was there, probably more assumed there would be. He hosts a Opening Weekend Bird Hunt every year, lots of people, different ones every year, you would assume most are respectable though. There are 3 brothers in this family 2 are very high profile competitive shooters. The third brother would be my first suspect, sadly.

As for the concrete, I don't know yet. I will visit with him further and obtain more details.

June 24, 2003, 10:38 AM
I really hate thieves. This kind of thing always bums me out. I have tried to keep my safes more secure by bolting them to the floor and walls and putting them in areas where it's hard to get to them. But when it comes down to it, the only thieves that stops are the amateurs. And I'm betting that the locked safe itself will stop most of the amateurs. How do you stop the pros? I hate to think the only answer is that a professional thief will get your goods no matter what you do.:(

June 24, 2003, 10:54 AM
If possible, I always advise forming up & pouring a rebarred casement around the safe . The rebars should extend into the slab tieing it together. The door should be the only thing exposed. A sturdy section of angle iron below the door will discourage prying attempts. 4" minimum on the casement is sufficient. Its not a difficult project & it adds security/fire resistance to the safe.

June 24, 2003, 11:02 AM
With enough time and money, anyone can break into anything. It really stinks but its the truth. Sorry for your friend though.

Duncan Idaho
June 24, 2003, 11:41 AM
Recently, someone broke into his ranch house and took the safe, which was bolted to the slab. Guns, safe, and other misc., items all gone.I would really like to know how someone could break a safe loose from a concrete slab without having to wrench the safe (with a cable/chain tied to a truck/winch, or a forklift, etc.) to break the bolts.

And if they did wrench it loose, what then would be the point of the theft? All of the guns in the safe would quite likely sustain serious damage. Collectible guns would instantaneously become useless pieces of scrap.

Sounds like the ultimate "inside" job to me, and I don't mean the brother.

:scrutiny: :uhoh:

June 24, 2003, 11:42 AM
Yep - a safe will DELAY thieves, but not STOP them. Its only purpose is to buy you time (also in a fire... even the best fire-resistant safes will only resist heat for so long). IMHO, this man should have had an alarm system tied in to the police, so that in his absence, if someone broke in, a silent alarm would have been sent to LE's in time to catch them in the act. If they were out in the boondocks, and were able to work undisturbed, it's no wonder they had the time and patience to take the whole safe with them.

June 24, 2003, 11:48 AM
Sad for your friend to suffer a loss such as that.

My safe is epoxied & bolted to floor and 2 walls of the basement, with a good bead of epoxy at the safe/wall/floor junctions to reduce the ability to get a prybar beside or behind the safe. Some one [or several someones] COULD get it away from the wall, but then they still gotta open it or lug it upstairs.

Even though I don't reload, I have an extra 150Lbs of shot still in the bags in the base of the safe..

Carlos Cabeza
June 24, 2003, 12:17 PM
I have always been of the mindset that a safe is supposed to be hidden if possible and NO ONE knows you have it, for obvious reasons.

And yes I do have a med. sized one that is concealed behind a false wallboard panel.

Kenneth Lew
June 24, 2003, 12:26 PM
Safes only stop the honest, non determined people from stealing.

Many years ago, my father evicted someone that rented a bar from him. With the aid of the constables, he drove his forklift inside the building and moved everything OUT, INCLUDING THE 6000 LB. SAFE AND FLIPPED IT ON ITS SIDE, DOOR FACING DOWN. :evil:

June 24, 2003, 12:27 PM
I guess my Homak cabinet bolted to the wall wouldn't even slow 'em down huh? :scrutiny:

June 24, 2003, 12:36 PM
My copper`s instinct tells me the Sheriff should be taking a hard look at the wife.

It`s sort of like having a swimming pool. You can take all sorts of precautions, but people still drown. If stuff didn`t get stolen, we wouldn`t need insurance.

4v50 Gary
June 24, 2003, 12:44 PM
Security should be multi-layered and the safe is the last defense. It should be in a locked room. The house should have secured windows and doors (laminated glass & deadbolt doors). Alarm contacts should be on doors and windows (glass breaker) that are supplemented by motion sensors. This should be attached to an audible alarm that is monitored with the monitoring company having instructions to contact the sheriff if something is amiss.

Nice to have a dog on the outside, but you gotta have someone there to feed it. Exterior fence with no-trespassing signs (adds a "trespassing" charge against perpetrators).

June 24, 2003, 12:56 PM
Those doves can be evil little critters when riled! :neener:

Seriously, though, sorry for your friend ... that stinks!

June 24, 2003, 01:03 PM
I would never lock them all in a safe. Way to easy to steal them all at once. Like it has already been said....only the honest stay out.

John Ross
June 24, 2003, 01:57 PM
Quote: "Insurance (his wife was the agent, and there may be divorce proceedings pending) said coverage capped at $30,000.00"

In the future, he (and everyone here with a gun collection) should follow the insarance advice listed at


Carlos Cabeza
June 24, 2003, 02:19 PM
Thank you John, Another good precautionary measure to protect yourself in the event of a natural disaster or theft.

June 24, 2003, 02:35 PM
A sad story for sure. :(

At this point, my safe is worth more than the collection I keep in it, so if it were to be stolen, they would probably leave the guns and take the safe, instead.

June 24, 2003, 02:48 PM
I wouldn't jump to the wife so quickly, yes, she knew about it but then so might his other family members -- siblings, nieces, nephews, etc. Maybe some of his "friends" -- clearly someone that knew him well enough to know what he had and where. Just because his marriage is ending doesn't mean she did it. I'd be careful about accusing people outright without proof. I can't imagine the proof will be hard to find given what they had to do to remove it. Someone had to have seen this -- hard to do it without attracting attention...:scrutiny:

Double Naught Spy
June 24, 2003, 03:03 PM
Are guns safe in a safe? As noted, safes are only delay devices and do not offer any sort of actual long term protection. Sometime back on TFL, I believe, an officer worked a case of a large safe installed in a basement had been taken. The basement was poured, the safe lowered in, bolted down, and the house then built over it. The safe could not leave the house without changes to the structure of the building. The family went on a 2 week vacation and returned to find their home heavily torn up. Burglars had apparently used chains and trucks and ripped the safe from the foundation, up and out the walls of the house. The safe was then carted away for opening at their convenience.

Probably the best way for something to be safe from thieves is to have that something be unknown to start with and then kept in a place where it is not likely to be found. During the Depression, due to a lack of trust of banks, some people turned to "post hole safes" which were things like Mason jars full of money that were deposited under specific post holes. Sometimes these were buried elsewhere, but the name comes from using the fence as a guide. Say you have 2000 fence posts and even if somebody knew you buried money under one of them, it would be a lot of work to dig up all the posts unnoticed.

What most safe dealers won't tell you is that if you have a burglary and the folks find your safe, whether or not they get it open on that trip or steal it on that trip, the knowledge will then be public to them and their buddies. Not only that, but as a burglar who finds a safe, where do you think all the valuables are going to be? Duh! All the valuables are in the safe, right? The safe then becomes a central focus of interest because it will represent a concentrated amount of wealth.

John, neat post on insurance. That seems to be safe advice. Unfortunately the sad part of such events is that while there may be a monetary settlement, the monetary aspect may be secondary to the owner who had a lot of emotions tied up with the guns as well. There is little chance money can replace your Sears and Roebuck .22 bolt rifle you got when you were 7 and used to get your first rabbit. Such items are priceless.

June 24, 2003, 03:03 PM
Just because his marriage is ending doesn't mean she did it.

His marriage is not ending, his joke, I borrowed it. He made the statement that he was a little mad at his wife/insurance agent when he found out he wasn't covered to the full value of his collection.

More details as I learn them.

June 24, 2003, 03:09 PM
I feel badly for him -- those guns will be hard to replace. He needs to take a hard look at his "friends" or recent family that's been up. People talk....

June 24, 2003, 03:22 PM
Safes are really only worth something against people who know nothing about safes. To the average idiot burglar they are of great use. Against someone who knows what they are doing they are pretty useless. NO gun safes are time rated. This means that a pro could be in them within basically 5 minutes. The best way is of course to steal them. If you talk to an experienced safe mover they will tell you that they can easily move a 2K pound safe using ballbearings. The issue on how it came out of the concrete is different. It still wouldnt be that difficult if you plan it out. Concrete anchors are meant for shear stress more than linear stress. If you could get the safe rocking they would probably come out. Plus over the years they start to come loose with the movement of opening and closing the door. Plus the weather can expand and contract the concrete. If a lot of people know you have a safe then you are kind of screwing yourself. I think the best idea for safes is bolting two together so that it wont fit out a door unless seperated.

Urban Warrior
June 24, 2003, 04:43 PM
I agree with alot of the folks here: They have to find it to steal it!

If you conceal the safe well (secret room, behind walboard, enlarging a closet, etc.) they have to spend time looking for it.

Another great idea is to get a cheap wood gun cabinate with the glass door, and put a few "junker" rifles, and shotguns in it. Clean them up real nice, and wipe them with oil so they look like you care about them.

Should someone break in they'll take the "bait" and probally not spend the time hunting for your real collection.

A friend of mine does this, and has taken intenals out of the "bait" guns. ...........UW

June 24, 2003, 05:13 PM
Sorry to hear of his loss.
Mr. John Ross-welcome to THR.


I have personally responded to find the front of my 'employment' had had a wrecker driven through -one safe missing with a 1/2 million in valuables gone. In 2 hrs abandoned safe found, torched, everthing gone. Years later found out pros, had hacked insurance records and security measures...those evil black rifles they were found with...full auto...serious pros...they meant business...if I , or LEO had arrived in time....

I have seen a Tann safe that required [estimated 22hrs] over a holiday to take a cool 2 million. The smaller one [forget brand]was removed from its concrete /carbon bits and steel impregnated base--a weak area is the bottom...only 1/4 million taken from it.

I was always amazed when clients shared security measures, and were hit. I was always leary when the ins company came to do inspect of safes and alarms.

Thats why I prefer do not tell anyone anything, do not show off, and keep hid from site.

I do know some that have safes , but the way we did it, no body knows, and it'll be there when the house/bldg is sold or destroyed.

Oh-BG's show up after getting re-embursed. They wait and hit again.

Bad part about a really good system, easier to just kidnap , or kidnap a family member....

Better to be real low key, and keep mouth shut...I didn't/don't tell family or friends I might even have guns or shoot.

" When I had everything stolen, I only bought one handgun to keep at home...hunting...I borrowed this..."

I will NOT post how BG's find out where stuff is, how they circumvent security lines...if BG's were wired like reg folk, some would only have to work 20 hrs a week and still be filthy rich.

Kenneth Lew
June 25, 2003, 12:11 AM
A better question is whether the location you store your firearms are safe.

Does a secluded neighboorhood with little vehicle traffice or a commercial area with high vehicle traffic offer more security? How visible is your property to the general public? Will someone notice a tow truck smashing through the building and call the police? In my opinon the best defense is a lot of traffic and a lot of security.

Kenneth Lew

June 25, 2003, 02:21 AM
Safes will thwart the guy that came in to nab your stereo and your tv....if they came in for the safe, they will get the safe.

Your question: "Are your guns safe in a safe?" was answered by your subsequent post....obviously not.

Double Naught Spy
June 25, 2003, 10:01 AM
Jeeper, I am very pleased to say that you are wrong on the issue of gun safes not being burglar rated. The vast majority are not burglar rated and are nothing more than larger storage protecting against fire damage.

The part I am pleased about is that there are some available, but the problem is the cost of such safes is much more than regular gun safes. The ideal would be to have a "burglar" or "jeweler's" safe that has the appropriate gun racks inside instead of the normal non-gun shelving. Brown makes such a beast. They are not cheap, but they do seem to be one of the best ways to go if you actually want a burglar rated gun safe. See

Do note that the burglar and fire ratings on safes are usually expressed in minutes, such as 30, 45, 60, and 90. These are simply delay times before the contents can be obtained or destroyed.

June 25, 2003, 11:11 AM
Double Naught,

From what I see on that website (which I have seen before) I believe my statement is still correct. I said that no gun safes are "TIME RATED" not "Burglar Rated" which none of the ones I saw there were. I might be missing something but the "TL" listing is what I was talking about. I get your point but my general point is that most gun safes are to protect against the average idiot and not a pro. You have to get a pretty damn serious safe to get a time rating.

June 25, 2003, 11:43 AM
Safes will thwart the guy that came in to nab your stereo and your tv....if they came in for the safe, they will get the safe.
That's the only thing I count on the Homak style cabinet to do. It's not much but beats one of those Oak beauties with glass doors.

June 25, 2003, 11:56 AM
My gun safe is in the cellar, actually built into the wall. Ripping it out is nearly impossible, and if you do, you'll have to find out how to move it out of my house which is situated right next to a busy road. Furthermore, it's wired to a good alarm system. And getting the safe out of my house through the stairs is impossible as the stairs and the elevator are not rated for the weight of the safe.

June 25, 2003, 01:08 PM
Interesting post. On the decoy line of thought - if practical, or affordable, would it make sense to have a decoy safe? Maybe with just bricks in it and have the valueables in other locations?

June 25, 2003, 01:14 PM
Is anyone reluctant to put their NRA stickers on their vehicles, thinking that the stickers advertise the fact that you're a gun owner, and would lead someone right to your door? I like to show my support for the NRA, but I've always worried about this.

June 25, 2003, 01:34 PM
Decoy safe...
Guess I'm set up that way, actually have two of the Homak's; The one in open view contains stuff I could live without - Turk mauser, couple of beater shotguns etc.
The good stuff is in another one that is not in plain sight. My kids and their friends that go shooting with us have been told that telling people about my guns is not a good idea. I trust them but you never know who they might mention it to.

4v50 Gary
June 25, 2003, 01:44 PM
JohnPL brings up a good point about stickers. I have none on my car. About the only thing I sport is the American flag which conveniently covers my VIN #. :D

No stickers, license plate frames or rifle rack to betray my views or politics.

June 25, 2003, 04:47 PM
living in the COUNTRY is safer? HAH! Best place to steal guns. My uncle kept his on a wall rack in the screen porch at the ranch.

Country folks start TRUSTING people. Big mistake.

Kenneth Lew
June 25, 2003, 09:24 PM
Is anyone reluctant to put their NRA stickers on their vehicles, thinking that the stickers advertise the fact that you're a gun owner, and would lead someone right to your door? I like to show my support for the NRA, but I've always worried about this.

Heck, I'm very reluctant to post what I have on the internet becuase there are a lot of crooks looking around.:scrutiny:

June 25, 2003, 11:38 PM
I have always been of the mindset that a safe is supposed to be hidden if possible and NO ONE knows you have it, for obvious reasons.

And yes I do have a med. sized one that is concealed behind a false wallboard panel.

Is this post a joke?! :scrutiny:

brad cook

June 25, 2003, 11:55 PM
Just realized how poor my gun insurance is. John Ross' article at:

...was very informative. Check it out.

June 26, 2003, 02:24 AM
Digme....I dont see how that post would be a joke, when you have a few other even more un-plausible ideas floating around this thread...such as:

Pouring concrete all over your safe,

and having a diversion safe filled with junk.

Not saying that these things arent possible, or that the posters dont actualy have these things, but when you think about it, a sheet of wallboard doesnt sound all that strange.

June 26, 2003, 02:42 AM
I'm not speaking on DigMe's behalf, but I thought the same thing when I read that post. It essentially said, "the most important thing about having a safe is telling no one of its existence or location. Let me tell you where mine is!"

It's funny. :p

June 26, 2003, 03:31 AM
One of our members is in the safe business, hope they chime in. I've been out of the loop for a bit, after "retiring" from a former life.

The Jewelers safes, Like Tann, and others that are high rated TR/TL by UL can run an easy 20K. These have time locks (you DO want more than one), spl combo dial (s) and Key lock (s). Some people use the "day safe method". Getting in and out throughtout the day just key lock(s). You see some systems require two persons with two different keys are required to be present at the same time in order to operate.

Used safes can be found, just have to contact the Corp office , usually best.

These also have glass inserts that in the event some monkey starts banging away or uses a burning bar--safe locks down tight--then you call a safe person--The company safe guy whom knew the companies safe -took 8 hrs to retrieve my mdse once after attempt.

I dropped 60 K on one safe, spent 5Ok for a just a door for a walk in I had built. Then I had to put an O2 tank in it in case staff was locked in during an armed robbery and ran out of air. Put in a hidden phone line too. ( before cell phones and 911)

These safes were kinda hard to conceal, but we did the best could. By nature of business it was kinda hard to conceal fact we had a safe. Not easy to deny and play stupid. Thats why any pro that knew what I /we used and the difficulty to get into without safe locking down would chose the easy way--Kidnapping.

I and others had to watch six, be careful of us, spouses, kids, any family being kidnapped. Take us in-- wait for timelock and take mdse. Don't imagine after the mdse taken much need for me after getting the darn thing open...not for a couple of million in mdse anyway.

Thats why I suggest low key when in public about guns, safes, security measures. Doesn't take a rocket sceintist to figure out or suspect a gun collection with decals, Brandxxx range bags and tactical looking gear...someone will pick up on it.

Hiding anything of value...hey the BG's been using metal detectors for ages to detect hidey holes...who do you think "prompted" getting detctors improved, better, smaller and accurate, Bg's , of course.

I assited with a "friend" , came home from vacation, alarm by-passed ( easy to do) and using sledgehammers , took the wall safe with 100K in jewelery from the safe hidden behind the painting.

All this security stuff does is keep an honest man honest. Pro's are called Pro's for a reason.

I cannot describe the feeling of seeing one safe taken , another $50k safe destroyed, and 2 million + taken in mdse. Sick, anger, just really don't describe the feeling. At least nobody got hurt, no kidnap attempts...those are tough...especially when kids are the target.

Explains why I have carried long before CCW, had guns scattered around and kept extra gun in trunk of vehicle. Defensive driving and street racing comes in handy to.

What guns? Guns are evil dude. :)

June 26, 2003, 03:49 AM
bjengs, Digme...I gotcha now...that IS sorta funny....even though he really DIDNT tell us where it is, and none of us know where he lives.

June 26, 2003, 04:00 AM
Dang theives!! My safe is down stairs in the basement and it took a bunch of burley farmers to get it there. It ain't comming out before the cows come home hahaha.

June 26, 2003, 06:54 AM
Bummer to lose the guns :(

Maybe a mad idea here but how about this?

With webcams and computers becoming smaller and cheaper, it's becoming (or already is) feasible to wire part of your home with a camera system. One way is to conceal several high resolution webcams in the room where the safe is, with the output being sent to a computer elsewhere in the house. The computer should be a small lowpowered single board computer with no moving parts (they do exist) and a large UPS. Running on that computer should be software that detects image changes, i.e. something moving through the field of view. Image changes and the date can then be recorded to something like a flash memory module. This in effect creates an video recorder for the area around the safe. Flash modules are becoming big enough that you can store quite a backlog of images.

Of course, you don't tell anyone you have such a system set up, including the insurance folks (they can get hacked). It's probably legal since it's your home, but the less people who know about this the better. Until you get burgled and the perps get caught on camera. Of course, for added security you should have the safe set in concrete and embedded in the wall of your basement gun room, hidden by one of those 6'x3' racks you hang your gun tools and accessories on.

ErikM :evil:

June 26, 2003, 07:11 AM
On the decoy line of thought - if practical, or affordable, would it make sense to have a decoy safe? Maybe with just bricks in it and have the valueables in other locations? Maybe, maybe not. It depends.
There's also the possibility that if the BG hits once and gets burned by the decoy, they may come back. This time, they may come back when you're home instead of when you're out, or they may just come in and wait for you to return, figuring if you'd go to that much trouble, there must be something REALLY valuable to steal.

Wife comes home,,,BG is waiting,,,BG doesn't really believe her and decides to wait it out 'till I come home.
BG w/time to kill + wife = bad situation.

YMMV accordingly.

June 26, 2003, 09:12 AM
IMHO, your best security is secrecy. Even somebody you trust may spill the beans about that guy who has all the guns in that house there...

June 26, 2003, 09:48 AM
I think BigG hit the nail on the head here, IMO
I was talking to the owner of a local gun shop last
week and he had a regular customer who was a truck
driver who boasted about his collection.

He came home one day to find his dog shot, his wife
badly beaten and all of the guns gone.

After hearing this, I firmly believe keeping your mouth
shut is the first line of defense and possibly the best.

June 26, 2003, 10:33 AM
When I had the coin shop, it was always the loudmouths who came in whining that their coin collection was gone.

(info) Police do not look for coin collections as they are unidentifiable.

I used to keep my guns in a chest type freezer in the garage. It wasn't plugged in and the chintzy padlock was normal procedure to discourage meat thefts. Had good luck with it. Insulation kept guns (each wrapped) from temp extremes.

Now have a safe. USUALLY a gun safe will be tapped from the SIDE where it is essentially about as strong as a can.

A Johnson bar will usually lift ANY safe. The security is the alarm and neighbors with the intelligence to determine that moving safes at night with all the lights off is NOT normal procedure.

June 26, 2003, 10:38 AM
I think the big lesson here is that:

"ANY safe can be busted into so keep your mouth shut about your collection and get good insurance that covers everything"

June 26, 2003, 11:13 AM
I used to keep my guns in a chest type freezer in the garage
A co-workers home was broken into, they missed most of the jewelry, all of the cash that was stashed but what they did get was the TV, stereo, some tools and all the meat out of the freezer in the garage! I guess theives gotta eat too.

June 26, 2003, 05:45 PM
By the same token, don't leave a ladder lying underneath your deck or near your open 2nd story windows.

June 26, 2003, 05:51 PM
I've always figured the safe was for somebody that just happened to break in. Not somebody who actually wanted the guns in the safe. Any idiot can break a window and get in hte house. But not any idiot can get in a safe.

June 26, 2003, 10:56 PM
A co-workers home was broken into, they missed most of the jewelry, all of the cash that was stashed but what they did get was the TV, stereo, some tools and all the meat out of the freezer in the garage! I guess theives gotta eat too.

Reminds me of the movie "Out of Sight." White Boy Bob stealing the steaks... Good movie. Bob later illustrated poor gun safety when he ran up the stairs with pistol in hand and blew the back of his own head off.

brad cook

June 27, 2003, 05:11 PM
This is why I don't keep all my eggs in one basket so to speak. I only keep 3 handguns in my house 2 of those are locked in a safe due to little ones,the 3rd is on me all the time. The others are in a safe place :D I also recommend strongly an alarm systen linked to the police as well. Also the most important thing is TELL NO ONE YOU OWN A GUN!!!! let alone 10 or 20 of them. They can't steal what they don't know is there,I can not stress this enough.

Bragging is the main reason people get nabbed wether it be a crime they commited or getting thair house broken into. For me I had (past tense) a friend who had a real sleeze bag for a boyfriend. I believe this guy would take the sandles off of jesus' feet if it would get him dope. I was ripping when I learned she told him I owned guns,I already had an alarm system so all I needed to do was get my other guns out of my house.

Needless to say I don't bother with this girl anymore haven't spoken to her in at least 6 months. As for my house I feel it is safe I have 2 big dogs a mutt and a pitbull plus the alarm so I feel safer now.

If anyone should ever get passed the alarm and the dogs and manage to get into the safe (all this will take time time they won't have as my house is almost never alone) They will only get 1 gun as I carry one and my brother carries another.

June 27, 2003, 10:26 PM
Smoke, Jeeper, RE1973, and all;

Yes, I sell safes. Yes there are safes that are time rated, ie a U.L. listing that states, in minutes, what type of attack will be sucessfully resisted for how long. TLTR type safes can be had for much, much less than the 20K figure I saw in one post. They can be had in a size to hold long guns for under 10K - used but perfectly serviceable.

If you truly want a high quality gun safe, TLTR type safe, a vault, or an actual bank vault, by all means please PM me. I'm more than happy to advise members. No, I don't tell people how to circumvent the common gun safe. What I will do though, is tell you how to compare a Residential Security Container to a true safe.

People, a Liberty isn't a safe, it's an RSC.


June 27, 2003, 11:10 PM
Dealing with a safe? I know of two different schools were some people came in with a large truck (think U haul type) backed up to loading dock and loaded up computers and left.

One was a high school and they did the job on a weekend.

The other was a college and they did it during the day.

In both cases people saw them and figured they must belong. They were not dressed like crooks or anything.

June 28, 2003, 03:33 PM
I've only got 3 guns so far...and possibly 3 of my dad's I'll hold onto, and I've been talking to people about them. Well, I've gotten into guns (ownership) in the last month, so naturally I'm excited and gung-ho about it, and have been talking to everyone. Well, after reading all this, it sounds like that's been a bad idea. I'm going to get a safe, but it's an inexpensive, lightweight jobbie by Sentry (all I can afford currently)...and I'm getting worried that that won't be enough. Filling the bottom with at least 200 lbs of shot is going to be someting I do...but I'm still worried that won't be enough. My collection isn't extensive, or expensive, but it'd still suck to have it stolen.

June 28, 2003, 05:22 PM
Molded of plastique....not plastic.... a good long gun so it has to be held in both hands and close to the cheek. Electronic trigger.

Naw, not really....gee. How awful.


June 28, 2003, 06:34 PM
Thank you for jumping in. I hope all will read the definition and difference in RSC vs Safe.

I had to use these expensive jobbies, insurance mandated, plus I could depreciate value on taxes.

June 29, 2003, 12:36 AM
Any tips on how to bolt safes down better? What are good, better and best practices for security safes - besides having dogs. ;)

July 4, 2003, 12:50 PM

My advice, don't bother with the shot. Up to about 800 - 1000 lbs what they do is use a refridgerator dolly & just tip it & roll it away to the truck. 200 lbs of shot isn't going to help with 3 guns & a sheet metal storage cabinet. Frankly, getting real creative about hiding either the cabinet or the guns is going to work better.

There are limits to what works with the bolting idea also. If what you are bolting is sheet metal, it's highly likely that two good sized guys & a 6 foot bar are going to be able to tear the metal or shear the bolt. Or pull the bolt from wood.

With a low number of guns, go stealth. A big part of the problem today is that a large number of 'safes' aren't. They are Residential Security Containers. See the thread I put up titled safe information. I put a link in there that does a good job of explaning all this.

For the record: Liberty, Browning, Natl. Security, Paragon, and MOST others sold as gun safes, are not safes. They are Dr. Feelgood protection at best, and very poor fire protection also.


July 4, 2003, 09:43 PM
Agreed, but an RSC is still better than the closet. Around here the major threat is crackheads or teenagers running through grabbing what they can carry.

Anybody else is going to have to work a little bit and my neighbors would likely hear the noise since our antique houses are only 3 feet apart - the width of the sidewalks between them.

I looked at some nice TL-rated safes for $5k and $10k IIRC, plus options and delivery and stuff, but decided I needed to eat this year.


July 5, 2003, 11:54 AM
I always liked what Bruce Willis' character did with his safe in The Jackal: Hook a fishing line to a grenade inside the safe that pulls the pin if it's not unhooked before the door opens more than 3 inches. If I can't have my guns, then neither can some scumbag! :D

But that's probably one of those situations where the thiefs family would sue you and win... or worse, you would forget about the booby trap yourself.

July 5, 2003, 12:04 PM

Granted, an RSC is better than nothing. However, you don't need to go to a TL rated safe in that price range either. A good 'B' rated burglary/fire safe can be had for much less than the price you mentioned. Good grief, I can even sell used TLTRX6 safes for less than you mentioned.

The biggest thing that irks me about the upper end RSC's is that they cost so very little less than a decent B. But profit margin to the marketing dept. beats protection 'most every time.


July 5, 2003, 12:39 PM
See, that's what happens when I post something from memory.
You're right, I was thinking B-rated and up. The figures I had in mind were from the Brown Safe site:

Wholesale for a 36 cu.ft. model 6048 (60x48x22) is:

B - $2096
C - $2992
E - $5569

Plus shipping to VA and $200 or more for shelves.

And then there's the list of options:

Key Locking Combination Dial
Glass Plate Relocking Device
Three way Bolt Work W/Anti-Drive
Silent Holdup Alarm Lock with optional hookup to either an internal or external alarm system.
Internal Locking Compartments
Deluxe Finish (Pin stripe & gloss paint)

I know I would've wanted some of these.

And then there's the dealer's profit margin and I have no idea what that would typically run, but let's just say that I couldn't find any deals locally.


July 12, 2003, 05:50 PM
I checked those out too, I only have 1000K. Has anyone checked with the Fort Knox safes?

July 14, 2003, 02:35 AM, only 1000 thousand? Geez, i suppose you WOULD be looking into buying "Fort Knox" (safes) if you've got juuust that much cash. :D

July 14, 2003, 06:30 AM
I am fortunate in that I have a small room in my basement (dry) that is lined with concrete block. The only weak point is the metal lined door but it has served me well for 20 years. A safe is almost always a good investment but most good ones go for the price of a couple of guns or more and I can't shoot the safe. Having a loud indoor dog that barks at everything helps also:D

July 14, 2003, 09:18 AM
Yeah, but for the price of 5 years' worth of dog food and vet bills you could buy a good safe.

And you don't have to clean up after a safe.


July 20, 2003, 10:22 PM
JohnBT - Agreed, but an RSC is still better than the closet. Around here the major threat is crackheads or teenagers running through grabbing what they can carry.

Has anybody considered "hardening" an interior closet? Saw an article in Poular Science / Home Mechanix (whatever they call it nowdays) a few years back about using some reasonably priced materials to make a "safe closet" - Metal clad solid core door w/ deadbolt, hardened screws into reinforced strike and jambs, 1/2" rebar horizontally through studs, and doubled 3/4" plywood as interior paneling with doubled 5/8" drywall on walls, floors, and ceiling. Option (if house construction allows for extra weight) is dampened bags of plaster or concrete in stud spaces around rebar.

Saw this reprised in a "tips of the trades" book a few years ago... contractor claimed it protected his stereos and valuables within.

Just a thought, for those with the construction ability.

July 21, 2003, 12:23 AM

What is usually involved in making a vault room? I am just curious what thickness walls and cealing usually are. Any explanation would be cool.

July 21, 2003, 12:39 AM
Jeeper & Tango 7;

What is involved in making a safe room? It can be anything from the suggestions that Tango provided, which are good, to a full-fledged bank-type vault room, & anything in between. The first thing you have to provide me with though is a reasonable scenario. What type of situation & structure are we dealing with? New construction, price is literally anything goes or - single working mom in one bedroom rent control flat in a bad part of town? Give me something to work with here please. Otherwise I'd have to write a book - for free.


If you enjoyed reading about "Are your guns safe in a safe?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!