questions about getting a safe


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JBrady555
October 18, 2012, 05:53 PM
I travel for work about 6 months out of the year. I don't want to leave my guns in my small apartment so I usually spread my guns out among family members, plus my fiance carrys quite a few of them to her fathers(she visits there while im working, about 6 hours from our house). As my collection grows this becomes more and more of a inconvenience. I was thinking of getting a safe, but all I can think about is that this makes it easier for the thief to locate the goods, lol. I don't know how I could secure a safe to the carpeted floor of the apartment or anything like that. To any safe owners out there, what options do I have for keeping my collection secure in my home while I am away? Are there safes that would be better for my situation? Also my collection so far is only about 3,000 worth of guns, I'm not buying a 5,000 dollar safe for 3,000 worth of guns, lol, I couldn't afford that anyways. Thanks for any info.

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bodam
October 18, 2012, 05:58 PM
I bought a safe from Lowes. I think it cost me around $400. That was my budget.

I muscled it upstairs, and bolted it to the floor in a closet. Put a locking doorknob on the closet.

If they want it that bad, they will get it. I'm just gonna make them work for it.

p2000sk
October 18, 2012, 06:24 PM
Letting few people be aware of its existence may prevent it from growing legs. Fill the floor bottom of safe with lead plate or other weight. Backset the safe into a deep narrow closet so that it would be hard to work a prybar in front of the safe.

labhound
October 18, 2012, 06:27 PM
^ bodam I did exactly the same thing, Lowes, upstairs, closet, locking doorknob on the closet door. The safe is to keep out the snatch and grabbers, the lock on the closet is to keep out the grandkids.

W.E.G.
October 18, 2012, 06:31 PM
Do you have a problem with apartment burglaries in your building?

Do you blab about your gun ownership to people who are likely to tell burglars about the contents of your apartment.

Do you have stickers that scream "gun owner" on your vehicle?

If "none of the above" you can probably just lock your guns in a closet in your apartment, and go on about your business.

If you live in an apartment, you have to use some considerable judgment about acquiring new guns, or keeping guns you rarely use. Perhaps consider down-sizing to just the guns you actually use.
Get rid of those "seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time" guns.

JBrady555
October 18, 2012, 07:00 PM
I live in a small duplex, the property has two duplexs on about a half acre. One thing that I believe is a advantage is that its a 495.00 a month duplex and it looks like it too. If I was a thief going for a big payday I would be breaking in something much nicer, lol. I like the closet safe idea but I still don't understand how I would bolt this thing to the floor. What kind of hardware do the safes come with for securing them to a floor or wall?

beatledog7
October 18, 2012, 07:11 PM
Afraid thieves will steal the whole kaboodle rather than try to pry it open? Can't attach it to walls or floor?

Why not make the safe too cumbersome to readily get through a doorway? Drill (yeah, you'll be able to do it with the low-price ones) and bolt through (round-head bolts out, lock washers and nuts in) some 8' lengths of angle iron to the back of the safe, a couple of pieces horizontal and a couple vertical, in a Roman numeral 2 or tic-tac-toe configuration, making the whole thing darn near impossible to get through a doorway. Thieves in a hurry just might decide it's not worth the effort.

Maybe that's a screwy idea, but maybe it's not. Granted, it'll be kind of ugly, but you can paint the irons to match the surrounding wall then place furniture, plants, etc. by the safe to hide them. Heck, the horizontal ones could even serve as photo shelves or the like.

nazshooter
October 18, 2012, 07:22 PM
Imho a safe of some kind is even more important in an apartment since you don't know who has a key but an inexpensive safe or even locking cabinet is a big improvement over just leaving your guns laying around so long as it's bolted down somehow. Besides, a safe is good for protecting more than just guns.

You might want to also consider a rider on your renters insurance for your guns.

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nazshooter
October 18, 2012, 07:37 PM
I like the closet safe idea but I still don't understand how I would bolt this thing to the floor. What kind of hardware do the safes come with for securing them to a floor or wall?

I'm no expert but I've used lag screws. If you can get them into the wall studs that should be pretty secure and easy to patch up when you leave. If you are going into the floor then ideally you would screw into at least 1 floor joist but even if that isn't possible you should have at least 2 layers of plywood under that carpet so I think that would be ok. As for hardware, most safes have some holes pre drilled so measure them and go to the hardware store for the lag screws.

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Sheepdog1968
October 18, 2012, 07:50 PM
Insurance is afforadable as well. I think Collectibles Inc comes out to $100 for 10,000 of coverage. Also, can you install an alarm system in your place? Don't forget a safety deposit box at a bank if we're talking about pistols.

JBrady555
October 18, 2012, 07:57 PM
Lots of great info here so far guys, thanks.

B1gGr33n
October 18, 2012, 08:10 PM
Something to consider: I don't know how it works in FL, but here in MN anything that gets 'attached' to the building (i.e. satellite dish, flag holder, shelves) stays with the building when you leave (assuming you have permission to install it in the first place). You may want to take that into consideration when you're trying to decide how you want to secure the safe.

I have a cousin who's had great luck with a cheap Rubbermaid locking cabinet in his garage. Garage was broken into, thieves made off with a couple hundred bucks of power tools and that was all. Never bothered with the locked tool chest or the cabinet. Of course there's very, very few people that know the actual contents of that cabinet, and he's been very careful to keep it that way.

flatlander937
October 18, 2012, 08:26 PM
Any chance you could install a safe at a family member's house since you are gone for long periods of time? Having a safe at your own place as well would be nice, but if nobody is home at least every few days, then someone could break in and just live in your place for weeks/months while trying to pull your safe out/apart. Doubtful, but I know I've read a story or two on here where something similar happened.

JBrady555
October 18, 2012, 08:36 PM
Any chance you could install a safe at a family member's house since you are gone for long periods of time? Having a safe at your own place as well would be nice, but if nobody is home at least every few days, then someone could break in and just live in your place for weeks/months while trying to pull your safe out/apart. Doubtful, but I know I've read a story or two on here where something similar happened.
Yea I'm worried about this with my travel. If someone does break in, they pretty much have as much time as they need to figure out how to crack or remove the safe. I'll probably try to find the heaviest safe that I can within my price range and leave it at that. I'm also going to look into renters insurance and see if firearms would be covered.

steveb4c
October 18, 2012, 08:39 PM
when i rented, i used a smaller safe, an 8 or 10 gun i think. it was small enough to hide behind my wifes' long dresses in the closet. you couldn't see it, even with the door wide open. it was bolted down to a wood floor under carpet. concrete might make a little noise putting in anchors though.

Ignition Override
October 18, 2012, 08:48 PM
When each gun was carried into the apartment, was it carried at night with almost nobody else outside?

If so, and each gun was covered by a shapeless large piece of fabric or in a wide cardboard box, then there might not be much reason to worry.

bodam
October 18, 2012, 09:34 PM
Find out if you have wood floors or concrete slabs. If they are wood, bolt it down with lag bolts. I also bolted some angle iron around the sides of the safe so they could not get their fingers behind it and rock it forward.

The idea of bolting "wings" to it is interesting. That way they can't get it through the door of the closet. Clever.

heeler
October 18, 2012, 10:35 PM
The fact that you are living in an apartment,thus renting,makes bolting a safe down problematic unless of course you might get permission to do this in a closet per the manager.
If they give you static about it then a gun safe in the 700 pound plus range might possibly do the trick as at that weight it gets a lot harder to move out of your apartment.
Or you might possibly rent a very small climate controlled storage unit and put a contractors jobbox or a cheap $500 gun safe in that to place your firearms.
Since you are on the road or what not for a length of time at least most storage units that are climate controlled are fairly secure.

bodam
October 19, 2012, 08:16 AM
I'd rather repair a few holes in the wall then leave guns in an apartment unsecured. But that's just me.

mdauben
October 19, 2012, 08:45 AM
I ran across a safe company once that sold their safes disassembled and you put them together in place. The idea was once assembled they were too big to fit through a common door and you could only take them apart from the inside so you couldn't do it while the were locked up. Seemed like an interesting idea.

When each gun was carried into the apartment, was it carried at night with almost nobody else outside?

If so, and each gun was covered by a shapeless large piece of fabric or in a wide cardboard box, then there might not be much reason to worry.

I try to be covert about bringing new purchases into my place but unless you are going to just sit on your apartment and fondle you guns, you are going to be carrying them in and out to the range or hunting or to a competition. It kind of hard to totally hide their presence and still use them.

JBrady555
October 19, 2012, 10:37 AM
thanks for the input guys. Anyone care to make safe recommendations? Good brands in the sub 600.00 range?

Savage99
October 19, 2012, 11:14 AM
Consider a safe that comes in pieces that you can carrry into an apartment, assemble it in a closet and then when you move take it with you!

The Snap Safe and Zannoti will do that.

http://www.snapsafe.com/
http://www.zanottiarmor.com/safes.htm

http://www.snapsafe.com/images/index/assemble_img.jpg

Arp32
October 19, 2012, 11:20 AM
One thing that I believe is a advantage is that its a 495.00 a month duplex and it looks like it too. If I was a thief going for a big payday I would be breaking in something much nicer, lol.

Seems logical, but it hasn't worked out for me. Been burgled 3 times in my life, and two of the incidents happened when I was young, broke and lived in a low rent neighborhood. I didn't even have anything worth the effort at the time, as I recall they only got the pocket money on my dresser, a $50 Sony radio and some CDs.

heeler
October 19, 2012, 11:55 AM
Sub $600 and one is pretty much as bad as the other in pry protection.
Consider a jobbox and spend less.

Ridgerunner665
October 20, 2012, 10:44 PM
Several small safes is better than a single large one...

The idea being...it takes longer to open 6-7 safes than it does to open 1...maybe even hide a couple of the small ones (similar setup to a water heater in a mobile home).

hso
October 20, 2012, 11:05 PM
Good brands in the sub 600.00 range?

There aren't any. You will find mediocre RSCs in that range that can be pried open. Useful gun safes intended to keep burglars out instead of kids start at $1,000.
You'd be better off getting a security door with a proper deadbolt installed on a reinforced closet. You'll have more space than an RSC and you'll have about as much security.

Sub $1k "safe" companie are selling piece of mind instead of real protection against thieves.

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