Gun Safe Problems


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DS Gun
August 11, 2009, 10:05 PM
Less than a year ago I bought a gun safe. I got it from Sam's Club and it says Western Winchester on the front. It has a SecuRAM electronic combination controller.

We went on a vacation for 12 days and we just got home. I thought it would be a good idea to lock up my car keys in the safe just to be extra careful since the car would be sitting in the garage. Of course I also have a bunch of other stuff in there as well. The problem is now I can't get into the $%# thing! I have never had any problems but today I enter the 6 digit code and it just beeps twice and nothing. I try again and it beeps twice and then beeps every 5 seconds for 5 minutes. The password is 100% accurate so that is not the problem. I have not been this stressed out for ages... I am of course worried about my other items but I need those car keys to get to work.

Has anyone else ever had this problem? Recommendations? I replaced the 9 Volt battery with a new one and that didn't work. I am planning on calling the SecuRam company tomorrow but wanted to check here for suggestions also. I am so pissed. If I didn't spend so much money on that safe I would be drilling/sawing/whatever to get inside.

Thanks for any help. :banghead::banghead::banghead:

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ThrottleJockey72
August 11, 2009, 10:34 PM
That's why I didn't get the electronic lock:) Sorry to hear about your problem. Good Luck.

lebowski
August 11, 2009, 10:41 PM
I think you're going to have to call a locksmith.

Thank you, by the way. I'm in the market for a safe and was on the fence between a mechanical vs. electronic lock, I think you have convinced me to go w/ the mechanical.

Yo Mama
August 11, 2009, 10:43 PM
Mechanical all the way. Your battery died which usually defaults the code, and this is going to cost you a house call. Sorry bud.

TXHORNS
August 11, 2009, 10:46 PM
sounds like your safe could be made by granite safe. you may try calling them. they are in fort worth, tx. they make/made alot of safes for winchester and bass pro shops under the redhead brand. a locksmith can drill it open too but it still wont work properly. did you get any paperwork with the safe? mine is a granite from bass pro and has a pretty good warranty although i cant rememeber what it is. good luck!

preachnhunt
August 11, 2009, 10:48 PM
Sometimes mine won't open and I turn the handle hard right first and then left and it opens. Other than that it sounds like time for a locksmith.

DS Gun
August 11, 2009, 11:07 PM
I do have some paperwork and it is by Granite Security Products. I am going to give them a call tomorrow. It has been less than a year since getting this safe. I was worried about getting an all electronic lock and now I wish I had listened to my worries. Never again.

The original battery was fine and the keys still beeped when pressed. I only replaced the battery to ensure the battery wasn't the issue.

Dr_2_B
August 11, 2009, 11:37 PM
Yup, I've had a few safe issues before too. Looks like you're gonna need some help.

Trebor
August 11, 2009, 11:40 PM
When you call the locksmith out, ask him how much to convert it to a mechanical lock and if he can bring that with him on the first trip.

Everytime I've talked to a locksmith they recommened mechanical locks over electronic locks. They've just seen too many electronic locks fail and replacing them can be a regular occurence.

DS Gun
August 11, 2009, 11:40 PM
Thank you thank you thank you preachnhunt! I tried doing what you said twice and the second time around I heard the locks release. I grabbed those car keys so fast you can't imagine. I wonder what happened and whether I should be worried about it breaking down now. It was so expensive and so hard to move around to just get rid of it. I have not closed it yet but tried the keypad several times with the door open and it is working fine now.

DS Gun
August 11, 2009, 11:42 PM
I wonder if I could change it to a mechanical lock, that would be nice. I know that would probably void my warranty but the warranty is only for a year anyways.

kanewpadle
August 11, 2009, 11:56 PM
Looks as though your safe has the same foot print as a traditional combination lock. It will have to be professionaly installed by a locksmith or safe technician. Make sure you call someone who know's what they are doing.

I am installing a digital lock on a safe for the local sheriffs dept. I tried to convince them not to but they insisted. So be it.

a1abdj
August 12, 2009, 12:26 AM
Thank you thank you thank you preachnhunt! I tried doing what you said twice and the second time around I heard the locks release. I grabbed those car keys so fast you can't imagine. I wonder what happened and whether I should be worried about it breaking down now. It was so expensive and so hard to move around to just get rid of it. I have not closed it yet but tried the keypad several times with the door open and it is working fine now.

You had back pressure on the lock. This is where the bolt work of the safe is resting against the bolt of the lock. The little solenoid inside isn't strong enough to operate properly due to that pressure and voila, you get the proper beep indicating a correct combo, but the handle won't turn.

Common problem with gun safes, and the solution you just learned will work every time if that's the only problem. You can also put pressure on the handle in the locking direction and hold it while entering your combo.

Most UL rated locks are interchangeable. You can easily switch from an electronic to mechanical and vice versa.

Kingcreek
August 12, 2009, 09:37 AM
the high quality and the broad spectrum of information on this site never ceases to amaze me.
long live The High Road.

trimore
August 12, 2009, 09:53 AM
I am in the market for a safe as well. Good to know.

I think I have decided on a mechanical dial rather than digital though. I would prefer that it last "forever" and I definately don't trust the electronic lock to do that.

USSR
August 12, 2009, 10:04 AM
My safe (Sentry) has the best of both worlds. I can remove the electronic key pad from the door and have access to the key lock.

Don

DS Gun
August 12, 2009, 03:13 PM
I would like to be able to open this one with a key as well, that would be nice. I am going to research switching this one to a mechanical lock. Thanks all for the help!

TXHORNS
August 12, 2009, 03:37 PM
Im happy you got it open and also happy I learned this trick since I have a similar safe. Good thing I joined this site!

jakemccoy
August 12, 2009, 04:17 PM
I would like to be able to open this one with a key as well, that would be nice.

Can any expert here comment on the security of a lock with a key option. Is a pure combination lock without the key option more secure?

It seems like a key option adds a path of entry that may be easily compromised by someone who can pick locks. Plus, people tend to place such keys somewhere in the house, like in their nightstand or in their "secret hiding place" that isn't really too secretive.

dieselkanic
August 12, 2009, 05:00 PM
Now just think if it had been a SHTF situ and you were trying to get your guns out of the safe...

Like many who think guns should be 'locked away' would have you store them... in a safe.

a1abdj
August 12, 2009, 08:19 PM
Can any expert here comment on the security of a lock with a key option. Is a pure combination lock without the key option more secure?

It seems like a key option adds a path of entry that may be easily compromised by someone who can pick locks. Plus, people tend to place such keys somewhere in the house, like in their nightstand or in their "secret hiding place" that isn't really too secretive.


This is an area where people can get confused. The safe the poster is talking about has a key override. Many gun safes also have key locking dials. This key has nothing to do with the lock, but simply keeps the dial from turning.

Many of the safes with key overrides are not as secure as you would think. They use non UL rated locks which in many cases do not have the safeguards against bouncing or other simple attacks. They key locks also tend to be easy to pick open.

I have never seen a UL rated lock with a key over ride, although they do make redundant locks that use mechanical and electronic functions in the same lock. They also make redundant locks that use electronics only.

If you do want your safe to operate with a key, you can install a UL rated keyed safe lock on the safe. These locks will also fit easily into where your existing mechanical or electronic lock is mounted.

christcorp
August 12, 2009, 10:36 PM
Well my safe, with an electronic keypad, has a manual key override in case the battery goes totally dead or I forget the combination. It's a PITA to use; you have to remove the digital kepad which is done by taking out some screws. But then the mechanical key overrides and allows you to open the door. Then, with the door unlocked, you can redo the electronic combination just like when it was new.

txjohng
October 22, 2009, 10:00 PM
but according to the directions, it says if you enter the right code and it does not open, push down on the handle to the left ---well I did ...and now the damn thing keeps spinning! crap! any suggestions? can a lock smith get past this?

Big Boy
October 22, 2009, 10:06 PM
Am I the only one interested in making a gun "room"? Thinking of one of those key pad locks on the door. Have the walls filled with guns and a work table in the center :)

KAB55
October 22, 2009, 11:36 PM
I bought a Winchester safe from Sam's Club and it has a traditional combination lock, went in there a month later and all they had were ones with the digital locks. Was kinda disappointed at the time, but in retrospect I'm glad I got the one I got. No problems with it at all.

4v50 Gary
October 22, 2009, 11:39 PM
What Trebor suggested. Replace the electronic lock with the old fashion, mechanical kind.

txjohng
October 22, 2009, 11:47 PM
man this blows.... i would not trust electronic mechanisms ever again! My dad and I had a conversation about mechanical vs electronic locks and well i guess he was right.

My problem is started very similar to the OPs, but now my handle is a free wheel and turns at will and after 2 times of entering the correct pass-code it beeps for about 5 minutes...(which according to the user manual is an incorrect password)

As far a building a gun room...i guess it is possible up north where the are basements. you can build room surrounded by concrete and rebar and get one of those safe doors.

txjohng
October 22, 2009, 11:50 PM
that is my plan - replacing the electronic with mechanical, but right now i am concerned with opening the safe since it appears the fn thing is broke. the handle connects to a shaft which runs inside the safe, sadly when i turn the handle the shaft also turns...

peyton
October 23, 2009, 02:20 AM
I think you are panicking to early. I have an electronic lock on my safe and I have to make sure the locking handle is turned all the way counterclock (I think) before I touch the lock. The handle on yours probably needed that extra little twist to free the lock. With the safe door open, lock it (in the open position and then go through the opening sequence a few times). I think your user manual will tell what perference battery is best.
Also, as I can tell you first hand the lock will shut its self off if the numbers are typed in wrong so many times. I am in Iraq and my wife wanted to show the brothers in law the interior of the safe and fat fingered it. Lastly, if you can not get it to work the way it is intended, call the manufacturer. I imagine they want GOOD reviews on their products.

a1abdj
October 23, 2009, 10:26 AM
but according to the directions, it says if you enter the right code and it does not open, push down on the handle to the left ---well I did ...and now the damn thing keeps spinning! crap! any suggestions? can a lock smith get past this?

This depends on your definition of "keeps spinning". If you're pushing on it, and the handle creeps around, you probably have a loose set screw on the handle hub. If the handle is so loose that it really spins, you may have broken a sheer pin or something similar inside of the safe.

You can check the set screw on the handle hub easily if there is one. It's usually mounted facing the ground when the handle is in the normal position. Be careful not to strip it.

If it's not the set screw, you will probably need the help of a safe tech. A general locksmith should only be called if you do not have a safe tech available in your area.

have an electronic lock on my safe and I have to make sure the locking handle is turned all the way counterclock (I think) before I touch the lock. The handle on yours probably needed that extra little twist to free the lock.

This is common on gun safes, but easily preventable by the manufacturer. Of course fixing the problem would cost an extra $1.00, and because everybody has to sell gun safes for as little as possible, you probably won't see this problem remedied anytime soon. You could fix it yourself with a dremel in most cases, but this may void the warranty.

txjohng
October 23, 2009, 05:37 PM
yeah, it "spins" ....and there is a set screw there which it took off, but that appears to do nothing...the weird thing is that the set screw is on top...i called winchester safes (Winchester Safes • 4801 Esco Drive • Fort Worth, Texas 76140 • Tel: 817-561-9095 • Fax: 817-478-3056) and they are shipping some parts sometime next week...well see how it goes...although i not sure how they are going to fix it though especially since something inside the safe is broken....


thanks for the input

txjohng
November 12, 2009, 12:06 AM
so granite safes aka winchester safes took care of everything. they hired safe smiths to get into the safe and replace the lock and everything else. since it was under warranty, i had to pay nothing. i have to say that winchester had very good customer service. i was pretty impressed

carbuncle
November 12, 2009, 12:31 AM
Good to know that they will take care of their customers!

I was in Wal-Mart last week and strolled by the "gun" counter (in the Everett store it's cleaning supplies, a sad selection of hunting gear and a pictures of knives on a piece of cardboard in a case- not a gun to be seen) and stopped to look at an electronic safe. I asked for the combo, keyed it in and it beeped and didn't open. Did it again, same thing. The lady behind the counter tried twice, then asked another guy if there was another code or a trick and he yeled over, "YOU TRIED THE WRONG CODE TWICE, NOW IT'S LOCKED OUT FOR FIVE MINUTES." I said, "Thanks, that tells me everything I need to know."

Later on I told this to my wife, and we both agreed that the likelihood of keying in the wrong code in a high-stress situation in the dark and then getting locked out when you need your weapon the most is a deal breaker for us. I'll be looking at the mechanical versions at a proper gun shop, I think.

Guns and more
November 12, 2009, 10:41 AM
Now don't all you electronic lock bashers feel bad? The lock wasn't the problem.
I've had mine for two years and it has been flawless.

In your case, I be thinking of taking the back off the door and greasing all the moving parts of the bolts. Sounds like something hung up.

Maybe the message isn't electronic locks, as it is Sam's Club safes.

If you're pushing on it, and the handle creeps around, you probably have a loose set screw on the handle hub.
Mine creeps on the shaft. The dealer said he does that so a burglar doesn't put a pipe on the handle and break the shaft.
When my lock releases, I can turn the handle with one finger.

RUGER SCOUT RIFLE
February 15, 2010, 02:48 PM
I have the same safe as the OP with the same problem

skidooman
February 15, 2010, 04:10 PM
My American Security safe has done the same thing as the OP's. Luckily I was able toget it on my own by sheer luck though.

Scrapperz
February 15, 2010, 04:18 PM
Yep this is why I got a mechanical lock.

tuckerdog1
February 15, 2010, 05:21 PM
I'm in the market for a bigger safe. Been doing a LOT of reading. I came across an article ( and can't find it to post a link here..sorry ), by a locksmith comparing the digital locks vs the old dial types. Of course, ths is just an article by one guy. But he says the digital have a failure rate about 20 times higher than the dial types. He mentioned that some digitals have key backups in case of lock failure. He said those were the lower end locks that they actually expect to fail, thus the key backup.

Also during my reading, I saw that it is pretty standard, that if an incorrect code gets entered 3 times, the lock will not open for at least 5 minutes. I guess that's handy if some troll is trying to break into it. But lousy if during a time of stress in the dark, and you REALLY need to get in, you enter the wrong code 3 times.

I'm going with a dial.

Tuckerdog1

a1abdj
February 15, 2010, 06:07 PM
Been doing a LOT of reading. I came across an article ( and can't find it to post a link here..sorry ), by a locksmith comparing the digital locks vs the old dial types. Of course, ths is just an article by one guy. But he says the digital have a failure rate about 20 times higher than the dial types. He mentioned that some digitals have key backups in case of lock failure. He said those were the lower end locks that they actually expect to fail, thus the key backup.


If you happen to find this please post it here. Sounds like what I've said here many times word for word. I'd like to make sure what you read was something that I said, and not something that somebody else has "borrowed" .

joejoeshooter
February 15, 2010, 07:24 PM
Mechanical all the way. Your battery died which usually defaults the code, and this is going to cost you a house call. Sorry bud.

This is so not true. I have a Browning Silver series. I can take the battery out fir 9 years and then put the battery back and it's fine. A digital (a good one - $200) is the best option.

The "default the code" thing is 100% complete internet gibberish.

jjs

RedAlert
February 15, 2010, 07:28 PM
One poster, commented on stress causing them to miss the electronic keys and having the electronics lock them out for a time period.

I wonder if under the same stress if the individual would be able to dial in the combination any easier. If your fingers are trembling so badly, you are likely unable to dial a combo stopping on proper number.

The advantage in this scenario, as I see it, is that the mechanical lock has no capacity to "lock out" a person for too many incorrect tries.

mallc
February 15, 2010, 07:37 PM
My house gun is only in the safe when I'm sure it WON'T be needed. If in doubt...keep it out!

Scott

billybobjoe
February 15, 2010, 10:20 PM
Hydraulic locks.

tuckerdog1
February 16, 2010, 02:34 PM
Quote:
Been doing a LOT of reading. I came across an article ( and can't find it to post a link here..sorry ), by a locksmith comparing the digital locks vs the old dial types. Of course, ths is just an article by one guy. But he says the digital have a failure rate about 20 times higher than the dial types. He mentioned that some digitals have key backups in case of lock failure. He said those were the lower end locks that they actually expect to fail, thus the key backup.

If you happen to find this please post it here. Sounds like what I've said here many times word for word. I'd like to make sure what you read was something that I said, and not something that somebody else has "borrowed" .
__________________


Well I did find the link I was thinking of. But it doesn't mention the lower end locks having the key backup because they expect them to fail. I did read that, but it must have been in another article. I've been reading so much about these things, my eyes are drying out.

http://accurateshooter.wordpress.com/2008/03/14/electronic-vs-dial-locks-on-gunsafes/

Tuckerdog1

tul9033
January 5, 2013, 08:24 PM
I know this is an old thread, but I had to weigh in after seeing this. A mechanical combo lock on the Ft. Knox for instance requires the following procedure to open:

1. Turn the dial left until the first number of the combination aligns with the opening index the fourth time.
2. Turn the dial right until the second number of the combination aligns with the opening index the third time.
3. Turn the dial left until the third number of the combination aligns with the opening index the second time.
4. Turn the dial right. It should come to a positive stop in less than one revolution. If the dial does not stop, carefully repeat the entire opening procedure at least two more times before calling a qualified safe technician.

Don't plan on getting into a mechanical lock under any kind of stress or even in under 30 secs under the best of circumstances.
Ft. Knox is now making a dual combo safe that has both a digital and mechanical lock.

MuleRyder
January 5, 2013, 08:37 PM
I have a Winchester branded safe from TSC with an electronic lock. I have had no trouble with mine and it is a lot faster than a mechanical lock. I can't imagine trying to get into a dial safe under stress. I just hope mine keeps working good.

tul9033
January 5, 2013, 08:49 PM
I've got a 4 year old Winchester that I have opened at least once a week with the digital lock and haven't had a single issue. The safe has a lifetime warranty and 1 year on the lock.

CB900F
January 5, 2013, 09:47 PM
Fella's;

Please realize that all locks are not created equal. There are junky mechanical dial locks as well as junky digital keypad locks. There are also some very good electronic locks as well as the time-proven brand-name mechanicals. The thing to realize is that you get what you pay for. If you buy a low cost offshore made unit, you're almost certainly not going to get a high quality U.S. made locking unit on it.

That being said, the junky mechanicals are probably more reliable than the junky keypads. However, I have an electronic lock on my personal safe. But it's not something that's commonly found on retail RSC's made by anybody in the U.S. or China.

900F

Dave P.
January 5, 2013, 10:12 PM
One thing you can do with a manual lock is preset the first number to
the sequence. No one but you would know it was preset and it speeds up
entry. I have a small battery powered red light above my lock and with
it preset can open it in about 10 seconds in the dark with just the light.
Dave

tul9033
January 5, 2013, 10:26 PM
Is that with someone kicking your door in :D
Fact is some people are just more comfortable with the mechanical. I know you will be getting into your safe after an EMP while I'll be using spears and rocks. :) Maybe I can use my safe as a barricade!

Chuck R.
January 6, 2013, 04:46 PM
Don't plan on getting into a mechanical lock under any kind of stress or even in under 30 secs under the best of circumstances.


Or you can use my method which is to put the stuff you might need in a hurry in simple gun vaults (I use V-Lines) and keep the expensive stuff locked up in my safe, soon to be locked up in my safe, within my vault.

I really prefer the mechanical locks, and with the right combo set, and practice they’re not terribly slow, and they are u8sually very reliable. After all, any defense should be layered.

Chuck

Dave P.
January 7, 2013, 12:51 PM
The only reason I'd need quick access is if the Glock 17 and the
extra 33 round mag ran dry.
By then I'd be dead so it still wouldn't matter.
Dave

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