Shotgun vs rifle vs handgun for HD, and handgun safe question.


June 5, 2009, 01:25 PM
You know I thought and thought about what is better for home defense, and then my decision was made for me.

We had a baby.

Now anything other than a handgun seems way too easy for the little guy to get ahold of, a handgun safe near the bed seems the only quickly accessible option.

the rest, need to be locked up in a safe now I think.

What do you guys reccomend for a smallish handgun safe that can be accessed easily by me or my wife?

Do those fingerprint doodads work? or is a pinpad better. I really dont know anything about them.

thanks in advance for your advice.

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Hungry Seagull
June 5, 2009, 03:09 PM
We have a vault, a very small one compared to some of the levithans availible in the one source of vaults and safes in our area.

My pistol fits in there at the top snugly when I feel the need to lock it up.

If there is ever a fire, we will point at a particular part of our dwelling and inform the firefighters where the guns are and the ammunition box if we didnt have time to get to it and get em out of the building. That is where they will make thier first attack after placing engine between house and others.

The vault has a one hour rating against fire. It wont take that long at all to consume the building.

Take photos of your gun, safe and papers duplicate them elsewhere off-site that way, if everything is lost due to flood, fire or whatever you have documentation to work off of.

June 5, 2009, 03:36 PM
I have four boys, the youngest is three with mild autism. (Only relevant in how to deal with the question posed.) What I have found, is that I want access to my handgun too regularly to want to lock it up. When I take it off at night, it goes on the closet shelf. The rest of the time it is either on my person or locked in my car.

In a perfect world, I would leave my shotgun in a handy place in the bedroom, round chambered, safety on. Until all of my boys are educated and responsible, I will not live in this world. And even when THEY are worthy of full trust, it doesn't mean that all of their friends who come to my house are. (The place I grew up was such that everyone knew how to handle guns. I may try to move back to a place like that.) And when I unceremoniously kick them out on their 18th birthdays, there will probably be grandkids to worry about, meaning I will have to start all over again. It is unlikely I will ever be able to have a totally kid-free zone.

This is why I keep my shotgun inside the door of the closet, magazine full, chamber empty, slide locked. I might consider hanging it on pegs over the inside of the closet door. It's just what I have found works for me. That and combinations of my M-1 carbine, cleared, with magazines in a pouch on the butt.

Fred Fuller
June 5, 2009, 04:51 PM
Since this is more a hardware question than a S&T question, it's off to GGD...


June 5, 2009, 07:19 PM
I have a biometric (finger pad) vault that fits a full size handgun. It's attached by cable to the headboard and fits under the bed. Works fine.

I'm probably in the minority, but even today I wouldn't leave any kind of gun out of the safe or vault, loaded or otherwise. Definitely wouldn't when the kids were young.

June 5, 2009, 07:48 PM
I like the top-drawer safes ( Short height, so that they fit in the drawer.
They are out of sight in the top drawers of each bedside dresser.
Use small through-bolts to bolt it to the drawer so a kid can't simply take the safe out.$main-Large$

I've read some bad reviews on the biometric safes, YMMV.

June 5, 2009, 08:08 PM
There was this YouTube video of a guy making a homemade magnet one could drill high up in a closet wall or something. It allows easy access to your sidearm if needed. You could put it up high behind your coat hangers...

June 6, 2009, 03:37 AM
My setup is kid safe, even though I don't have kids around. I carry while awake, and keep all other guns in a safe. While sleeping, I have my shotgun leaning against my bedpost right next to me, all other guns in the safe, and I have my bedroom door locked. The shotgun is chamber empty, magazine full, hammer cocked, safety on.

By the way, loaded chamber on a pump shotgun, like an 870, is not safe. There is no drop safety, like on a Glock or something.

I like the safe that CoRoMo posted - no batteries or electronics is the way to go for me.

June 6, 2009, 11:11 AM
I have a biometric (finger pad) vault that fits a full size handgun. It's attached by cable to the headboard and fits under the bed. Works fine.

I have a biometric one also, but mine is a POS. My 12 year old grandson can open it without a problem in less than a minute even though it is not set for his fingerprints.

June 6, 2009, 11:42 AM
I looked into small safes closely a couple of years ago.

FWIW--I chose a v-line safe, like CoRoMo references. These safes require NO batteries, have a simple, 'physical' access based on push buttons, and seem to me to be a reasonable value.

No keys, no batteries--what more could one ask for?

Jim H.

Hungry Seagull
June 6, 2009, 11:50 AM
My vault has three ways to get into it.. no, make that 4 ways...

One A key. Turn key, it opens. Simple, idiot proof and keyhole is covered. But smart criminals know where it is anyway right?

Two. A solid state electronic keypad. Type in numbers and click! It says open. A set of Double A batteries inside the safe operates the keypad.

It will tell you if the batteries run low.

If you did present with a safe with NO Key and a DEAD set of batteries you could hook to it a special plug to power it and bypass both key and keypad and gain access with the right code.

Then you could break out a powerful drill, water mixed with lube oil and pour it all over it while driving through one spot that will knock out the tumbler rod and yer in.

Or you can call the store to fetch safe and wait a month while they wrestle with it.

The biggest mistake we ever made was buying a cheapo walmart safe with a PLASTIC COMBINATION WHEEL... it failed with a audible click after the third try just prior to being placed into service never to be openable again. Lucky we didnt place anything into it that first night. Yes we got our money back and put a X with a magic marker inside one corner of the cardboard box. Returned item to walmart.

A week later it was up for sale again on the shelf with our X on the box. Pity the next sucker that buys the thing.

Oh and I remember way number 5. Toss chain round safe and tie it to truck. Drag safe on back roads for miles and miles at night in rural areas until safe falls apart.

But safes, vaults, wall boxes etc are all good. Panic rooms and tornado bunkers are even better.

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