Gun Safes? opinions.....ideas.....suggestions.


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Blues Brother
August 26, 2008, 08:06 PM
I am thinking of buying a gun safe. :confused: not sure yet.....but thinking.

my local gun shop has some Sentry brand safes. I dont know much about safes, but these seem nice.

Now, please keep in mind, I live in a very small town, kinda like Mayberry style, everyone knows everyone. there is low crime here. hte kinda town you leave your car keys in your car all night if you feel like. I have never kept my guns in a safe. but our world is changing. I am thinking of investing in a gun safe. now my guns arent worth like MAJOR dollars as in rare collectors items, but to me they are worth alot because they are heirlooms from my grandfather, and my father.

I was thinking of locking up all my guns except one shotgun to keep in my bedroom for HD, and maybe one pistol for carry/HD.

So what do you think?

What can you tell me about gun safes? Thanks in advance!
:)

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Ala Dan
August 26, 2008, 08:31 PM
I smell a can of worms, crawling from the top!:D

Not a S-A-F-E by any stretch, but MY Liberty Colonial Series RSC
does a pretty fair job of keeping the "smash and grab crowd", and
my grand child out. Sure, a real S-A-F-E would cost thousands
of $$$$$; but ideally these RSC's perform well is most cases. My
Liberty is 'packed out" with firearms and accessories; and I haven't
lost anything yet~! :scrutiny: :uhoh: :D

Ash
August 26, 2008, 08:33 PM
Nor have I in my Timberline.

But, then, a real safe would neither fit in my house nor would my house sustain the weight.

Ash

Blues Brother
August 26, 2008, 09:10 PM
well, I mean a "safe" as in those sentry type "safes" they are just a lockup deadbolt steel cabinet for guns. they can be bolted to the floor, and they weigh about 300 lbs or so. I mean, if your basic theif breaks in, they cant get your guns. sure, if some REAL heavy duty dudes break in and know what they are doing they could, but why would they want to get in a $800 safe for a few guns? dont make sense.

I realize that real safes are VERY expensive. so just clarifying.

Ash
August 26, 2008, 09:23 PM
Yeah, we are agreeing.

They aren't safes but they do the job just fine.

Ash

Chipperman
August 26, 2008, 09:28 PM
Do a search using the term "RSC" and look for posts by members CB900F and a1abdj.

Sentry has some decent RSCs for the money, I own one myself.


Just remember, that with RSCs and Safes you MAY get what you pay for, but you definitely WON'T get what you DIDN'T pay for.

There is a trade off with cost and weight on one side, and fire and theft protection on the other. As one side goes up, the other does as well.


I'd like to get a better safe than I have, but weight is my biggest concern as my house is almost 200 years old.

Blues Brother
August 26, 2008, 09:33 PM
yea. my bad, I should have made that more clear in my first post.

I guess "locking cabinet" would be a better way to describe them. enough to keep out the honest thiefs. ;)

TStorm
August 26, 2008, 09:35 PM
I agree with BB that locking cabinets are ok for most cases and will keep small and otherwise unauthorized hands off of your firearms. Locks are for honest people in any case.

You can find safes that are not too expensive. Depends on what you want it to do. Just guns or more?

I purchased a Champion Safe last December in coin store for just under $1k. I just saw the same model and size in gun store for over $1,800.

I keep some of wife's real jewelry and paperwork/tax records/a little mad money in there in addition to firearms. I purchased a small fire-rated box for papers to organze them and add to the effective fire rating. Just a thought.

I recall reading an article that discussed safe location (not in workshop w/ tools for access), fire ratings, hinge location (exterior, not interior), bolt size and patterns, lock types and steel thickness. I couldn't find the link to that article, but perhaps someone else here could? All I remember was it was very informative and that the base recommendation was more than my budget! :)

Best of luck

Blues Brother
August 26, 2008, 09:39 PM
well, I dont have any jewelry or valuables. and I dont keep cash in my house. I mean I keep a few hundred bucks on me and a few hundred in an emergency envelope but I operate on plastic. so I dont really have any thing to steal other than guns. well, I mean I have a TV and Stereo and stuff, but you aint gonna put that in a safe.

so mainly just for guns.

Chipperman
August 26, 2008, 09:43 PM
This page has some good basic info:
http://www.6mmbr.com/gunsafes.html

You can break them into three broad categories:
1. Cabinet- sheet metal or wood, generally <$250. Good for keeping out kids, and no more. No fire protection
2. RSC- Thicker steel, generally $400-2000. Good for smash and grab thieves, minimal or no fire protection
3. Safe- Very thick steel, very heavy, generally >$3000. Good for anyone less than a professional thief, or someone with a LOT of time to spend. Usually pretty good fire protection

Guns and more
August 26, 2008, 09:52 PM
Bigger is better. You'll never regret the purchase.
If you need another reason, think of the papers and photos you can also keep in there.
Things you can't replace.
Peace of mind while you're gone.

a1abdj
August 26, 2008, 10:22 PM
If you need another reason, think of the papers and photos you can also keep in there.
Things you can't replace.
Peace of mind while you're gone.

This is my biggest peeve with gun safe manufacturers.

The majority of gun safes should not be used to protect documents or photos. The peace of mind they are selling you is actually a false sense of security.

Sentry makes some very reasonably priced units. For keeping honest people honest, it's going to be hard to beat their $300 to $400 gun safes. They offer some better brute force protection than a cabinet, and have the "safe look" which will deter many smash and grab theives.

ArmedLiberal
August 27, 2008, 04:52 AM
http://www.sturdysafe.com/

I really like this company and their product. It helps the price considerably that they are less than a couple of hundred miles away from me.

AL

leadcounsel
August 27, 2008, 05:31 AM
I'm VERY pleased with my safe from Sturdy. Google them. They have a great product. I believe their url is www.sturdysafe.com. They offer no-frills but heavy duty, with commerical locks and real fireproofing insulation (the cheap ones use fire resistant drywall/gypsum).

Another piece of advice, please take this to heart - buy the biggest and best safe you can afford and also fit in your home. If you are like most people you will quickly grow into it and probably outgrow it. I've already outgrown mine and mine is as big as a refrigerator!

I store my guns, hard drives, photos, important documents, laptop, and other valuables inside - you will never be at a loss for storing things.

Others may say that the safe isn't designed for documents, pictures, etc. Well, it's better than nothing and you can always double up by putting a smaller safe inside a bigger one.

Gairwyn
August 27, 2008, 07:56 AM
I can't offer you any advice on safes other than to think about how many guns you might own in 10/20 years. Factor that into your purchase plan as well. At the time my then boyfriend didn't think I'd have as many rifles as him hence all of our rifles do not fit in the safe.

Guns and more
August 27, 2008, 11:40 AM
Quote:
If you need another reason, think of the papers and photos you can also keep in there.
Things you can't replace.
Peace of mind while you're gone.

This is my biggest peeve with gun safe manufacturers.
The majority of gun safes should not be used to protect documents or photos. The peace of mind they are selling you is actually a false sense of security.

Every time safe questions come up there's always some post saying nothing but the finest will actually qualify as a safe. True, but we can't afford that. So I think something is better than nothing. In case of fire, my safe with a 1250 deg rating for 1 hr. is better than keeping important papers in a wooden desk drawer.
I'm not going to buy the $4k safe but I may get the $1500 one. Get a small fire resistant box and put it in the "safe" if you want. If my house is blown over in a tornado or hurricane, I'll put my faith in my 800# safe bolted down.

a1abdj
August 27, 2008, 12:01 PM
Every time safe questions come up there's always some post saying nothing but the finest will actually qualify as a safe. True, but we can't afford that. So I think something is better than nothing. In case of fire, my safe with a 1250 deg rating for 1 hr. is better than keeping important papers in a wooden desk drawer.
I'm not going to buy the $4k safe but I may get the $1500 one.

I'm not saying that you need the finest. I'm saying that you should use the proper tool for the job.

You can buy real fire rated safes starting in the $100 range that will provide far superior protection than your $1,500 gun safe will.

Different safes are designed to do different things. Gun safes are designed to hold guns. Leave the documents, gold bars, video tapes, cash, in the units designed for those uses.

The simple truth is this. The vast majority of gun safes are not burglary resistant, and they are barely fire resistant. If you are relying on your gun safe to provide these protections, you are in for a major disappointment if your safe is ever subject to a fire or brute force attack.

You also don't need to spend $4,000 on a real safe. I have a used Mosler Lug door that weighs around 3,000 pounds, and has a 30 minute tool and torch rating for sale for $500.

What is important is that you do your homework before placing yourself at risk.

Txhillbilly
August 27, 2008, 12:06 PM
I have a Cannon-American Eagle safe and it weighs about 550 lbs empty and has a 1 hr fire rating. Seems to be a nice safe for the price about $600 at Academy,Cabela's wants about $1000 for the same safe.
If a man makes it, a thief can break into it, So nothing is completely safe but it would make them work for it and most common thieves don't want to work.

ridata
August 27, 2008, 12:11 PM
I would take a look at a1abdj's website that is in his signature (http://www.zykansafe.com/).
Look at the different safes that are made for different purposes.

Old Sarge
August 27, 2008, 02:33 PM
Hey Blues Brother, the common ordinary thief doesn't know what is in the safe, and if he has the time and inclemations, he'll bust into it.
Short story; My granddad had an old safe in his business during WW2. Got kicked in and knocked combination lock off, and tore safe up,but didn't get it. Had they gotten in, I'm sure they would've loved the Red Man chewing tobacco, that was all that was in the safe.

Trebor
August 27, 2008, 04:14 PM
Every time safe questions come up there's always some post saying nothing but the finest will actually qualify as a safe. True, but we can't afford that.

You can get a used *real* safe for less then the price of the more expensive new RSC's.

Go to the yellow pages are look up your local "Lock and Safe" guys. Call around and ask if they deal in used safes. Then its just a matter of continuing to check back until they have something that meets your needs. Used inventory changes frequently so you may not get one at the first place you try or the first day you look, but check more then one place and keep calling and you'll find something.

RobNDenver
August 27, 2008, 06:59 PM
I have three safes in our home. One, is a 4 hour firesafe for really important documents and money that I want my wife and I to be able to access anytime, the second a flip open pistol safe in the cabinet near our bed and the third is a Cannon that I bought from the Costco website for about $700 delivered. (less than the value of one gun, by my guess).

Now the gun safe is in our basement. It took 3 strong men to move it down there, so I am confident that it will survive a random home burglary. Everything else is bolted into the house and would have to be really worked on to be either opened or carried away. . .

I have less than $1200 total invested in safes. . . Peace of mind, Priceless.

girvin02
August 27, 2008, 07:12 PM
It's amazing how fast they fill up. I'm also a fan of the big, heavy ones. I have a Browning "Bronze Series" that was delivered to the house for right around $1K. Like RobNDenver, it took me and two hefty friends all of our might to get it down into my basement, with some scary moments along the way (and that was with it being empty). If a thief can get that thing out of the house, they deserve it! They wouldn't have time, however, as I also have a good home security system.

Blues Brother
August 27, 2008, 07:34 PM
Good reading. keep the ideas coming in! :)

RobNDenver
August 27, 2008, 08:30 PM
Who said I was one of the three strong guys? I just stood around an watched. . . LOL

Quinch
August 27, 2008, 08:45 PM
I used a self-employed locksmith to order one, saved me about $1500 if irc.

Guns and more
August 27, 2008, 08:51 PM
You can buy real fire rated safes starting in the $100 range that will provide far superior protection than your $1,500 gun safe will.
Okay, how many cubic feet is your superior $100 fire safe? How about a brand name, I'll check it out.

Eyesac
August 27, 2008, 09:14 PM
I bought an American Security from a local dealer, I couldn't be happier with it... I've actually had a break-in since then, and the theives didn't even touch it!!!

a1abdj
August 28, 2008, 01:04 AM
Okay, how many cubic feet is your superior $100 fire safe? How about a brand name, I'll check it out.

Sentry...I don't sell them, but they are usually available at Walmart, Office Depot, etc..... They have a real UL fire rating on most of them.

Stevie-Ray
August 28, 2008, 01:19 AM
The Winchester safe made by Granite Security. Sold by Sam's Club and it's the one I have. It has an e-lock, a fire rating of 32 minutes @ 1200 degrees, and is about all I need at this time with the house I have. Cost me less than 600 bucks, but weighs 600 lbs. Make sure you have lots of help. Was thinking of Sentry myself, as Sentry has small gun safes for around 400 bucks, but this one was quite a bit bigger for not a lot more cash.

Dihappy
August 28, 2008, 02:14 AM
Sentry? There are too many youtube videos about how easy it is to open those things up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=274YXGoi6WI&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Kqm4S9-m9Y

CRITGIT
August 28, 2008, 02:20 AM
You may find one twice as large as you think you'll need at a nearby gun show. I got a super deal & delivery on mine that way. I just waited until the last hours of the last day of the show and ..........................YAHTZEE!
Don't know how I live without it!

CRITGIT

Ash
August 28, 2008, 06:26 AM
In defense of Century, those are just fire-resistant lock boxes. They are not intended to be particularly secure, just to save documents during a fire.

Ash

762 shooter
August 28, 2008, 06:34 AM
Got a good deal on a real safe at Sam's Club.

Nate C.
August 28, 2008, 07:40 AM
1. Purchase one at least two sizes bigger than you think you will ever need. Safes shrink after delivery, especially when SWMBO decides to store stuff therein.

2. Fort Knox. Enough said.

vynx
August 28, 2008, 04:54 PM
Any locking cabinet it better than nothing at all - heck you can set an eyebolt into a stud and lock your guns up with a chain and it is better than nothing.

I have an inexpensive Sentry and the peace of mind it provided was worth it.
The Winchester safe from Sam's also seems like a good deal for the price.

Later on I bought a used TL30 safe from a Safe Company I store a small fireproof safe inside it for important papers, jewlery and such and lock all my guns n there. I never worry about thieves anymore. The safe weighs over a ton and I had to take out a door jamb to get it into the spare bedroom so no ones going to haul it away.

Its not fire resistant but I'm not worried about fire.

Joat
August 28, 2008, 10:41 PM
I have a friend that purchased an old coke machine cleared out the coke racks inside and built a gun locker inside. It's locked and insulated and he has a small light behind the sign to give it the look of being powered.
It didn't cost him much and it has lots of room, plus it has the quality of being the last place a person would look for guns. He has it in the game room at his house and if someone asks why it doesn't work he tells them he's going to get arround to fixin it one of these days, but for now it's just another project waiting its turn.
Miss-direction and hiding in plain sight to me seems to have it's advantages, plus not having a lot of spare change to spend on a safe is another reason I like the idea.

cliffy
August 28, 2008, 11:06 PM
My "safe" is a Sentry: bolted to a concrete floor is the really key. I live in a semi-decent area, otherwise I'd not even bother with a safe. My real safe is the automatic I have strapped to my hip. I do not live in paranoia ville, but being prepared is not paranoia, only commonsense. If I lived in a "big city," I'd imploy even more deterrents, only for family protection. As it stands, I'm fully-prepared for any crazy event. cliffy

whosyrdaddy
August 29, 2008, 01:37 AM
Any locking cabinet it better than nothing at all - heck you can set an eyebolt into a stud and lock your guns up with a chain and it is better than nothing.


Bingo. Most B&Es are committed by stupid lazy people who are in a hurry to get the hell out of your house before you show up.

Most people see their valuables in terms of retail replacement cost. A thief sees your stuff in the context of resale. You may have paid $2k for your tricked out tacticool Bushmaster, but he's going to sell it for $50 in a back alley, so to him, it's worth $50 and that's exactly how hard he's going to work to get it.

Now that pickle jar that you've been dropping your pocket change for the last however many years, that's another story. Small, high end electronics are easy to get rid of and they don't carry the stigma harsh sentences like stolen guns. In fact, how many on this board keep an up to date record of the serial numbers of anything you own besides your guns?

My advice is to get your Sentry safe (RSC) and stack 7 or 8 cases of beer next to it. Odds are they won't look twice at the safe.

Cacafuego
August 29, 2008, 03:50 AM
The majority of gun safes should not be used to protect documents or photos.


I keep documents in a little fire box safe thingy, inside my gun safe.:neener:

hornydragon
August 29, 2008, 10:05 AM
Cool, keep them going, Thank you for the info !!
I read about some people using those silver tool storage that you put in the pick ups, but i dont remeber where. anyone have an idea about it , i guess is not that safe but i remeber reading something about this. :)

hardwarehacker
August 29, 2008, 10:37 AM
I did a lot of research on gun safes a few years ago. What I wound up with is probably way more than you are looking for, but here it is...

First off, the 'lock boxes' sold at WalMart are good for keeping local teenagers out, but not much more. I had one and realized that it will slow someone down, but will not stop them. One look and everyone knows what is in it. If you get broken into once, you will worry that they will be back for it, with friends. A circular saw with an abrasive 'chop' blade can open it if the thief has time alone with it. Unless you bolt it into the structure of your home incredibly well, it can be brute-force pried off and carried away by a couple of big bubbas with gorilla bars. And in case of fire, it becomes an oven.

Free-standing gun safes are expensive and bloody heavy. Forget about putting one anywhere other than the ground floor, and be certain the supports under your floor are up to it.

The best choice I found was a vault door. In my last house, I was lucky enough to have a concrete block outbuilding with a windowless room in it. Could have done almost the same by lining a large closet with concrete board and wire mesh. I bought a door for about the price of a gun safe and bolted it in place. Problem solved. The door weighs much less than a complete safe, so it was easy to move around with an engine hoist.

One place to look, as a price comparison if nothing else, is www.sportsmansteelsafes.com. They make clones of an old Browning safe design and sell factory direct. Delivery costs are (fairly) reasonable because they have contracted with a freight line for big discounts. They also make a full line of free-standing safes. Very solid no-frills products.

MAKster
August 29, 2008, 10:43 AM
I agree that sometimes we overdo the likelihood of needing a serious gun safe. Since a burgular wants to get in and out of a house as quickly as possible why would they spend time trying to break into a gunsafe not even knowing what's inside when they could just grab the 40" LCD TV or laptop computer and run off. Who bolts their TV to the floor? Most people park their $30,000 cars on the street even though the door lock probably costs $1.25.

waterhouse
August 29, 2008, 11:13 AM
I only have experience with a few RSCs, but I was very happy with the service (delivery, prompt email responses, polite people on the phone), price, and quality of my Sturdy "safe".

It doesn't have a fancy exterior (although one may be available), but it has 7 gauge steel and the interior is very customizable. Plus, they say it holds X number of guns and it actually holds that many long guns easily (obviously depending on how you design your shelves and such), without any of the guns stacked in corners or touching each other. It wasn't low cost compared to things like a Sentry, but it was lower cost than many other RSCs in its comparative size even after they shipped it to my door.

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