Gun safe shelf load limits.


February 3, 2013, 02:14 PM
I an looking into buying the wide body Cannon safe at TSC. I know these aren't top of The line but its a far cry better than the wooden gun cabinet that Im presently using. My question is, does anyone know what the load limit for the shelves are? I am wanting to put some ammo cans on a couple of The shelves but one .50 cal. Can with 1000 rounds of .45 acp weighs over 50 lbs. Alone. I don't want these to come crashing down when a shelf fails.

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February 3, 2013, 05:13 PM
You would be wise to strengthen the shelf, either by replacing it with good quality plywood or doubling it with a ply shelf underneath. All the safes in this price range that I have seen use MDF shelves, and they won't carry the load.

February 3, 2013, 05:32 PM
The easiest way to boost the load capacity of a span is to shorten the span, in this case by cutting a few pieces of 1x3" or similar wood (which you probably have lying around) to the right length and inserting them vertically at the midpoint of the shelf, thus using the floor of the safe to help carry the load. Painted to match the safe's interior or even covered with similar material, they blend in nicely and take up almost zero room.

February 3, 2013, 06:23 PM
Shelves aside, look at how the standards that support the shelves are attached. Many are just stapled into the gypsum board insulation, and will provide a fairly limited amount of support.

If I had full ammo cans, I'd store them in the bottom of the safe.

February 14, 2013, 11:28 PM
I pulled all of the interior shelves out of my Liberty and built all new shelves using 2x10's, 2x8's, 2x6's and 3/4 inch plywood. Then I had paint custom matched to the interior fabric and painted them.

They hold a tremendous amount of weight, 100's of pounds, including several 50 cal ammo cans on the bottom.

I wouldn't use the shelves that come in a gun safe for anything.

This is before I trimmed them out. All of the shelves along the left side simply stack, they are not screwed or bolted together.

When used with Rifle Rods, there is very little wasted space.

February 15, 2013, 02:42 AM
I have a sentry firebox that holds important papers and coins sitting on one of the stock shelves that came with my Winchester safe. Weighs about 40 pounds and doesn't budge the shelf. The top part of the shelf that holds the barrels of long guns can hold considerably more though.

February 15, 2013, 10:43 AM
Some would argue ammo shouldn't be stored in a gun safe in the first place.

In the event of a house fire, burning ammo in the safe will burn everything inside the safe to ash.

There is also the pressure to deal with, and whether or not the safe is sealed too tight to let it vent without blowing the door off.

Best practice for storing ammo is in steel GI ammo cans on a steel shelving unit in the basement.


February 15, 2013, 11:13 AM
I understand where you are coming from rcmodel but then again...In most raging house fires our gun safes probably wont save our guns and at the price and scarcity of ammo,and in the picture vtail has posted,it appears he has quite a high dollar value in ammo stuck back.
Fwiw I have lots of ammo stored in my safe as well as I worry far more about a home burglary than I do a fire.

February 15, 2013, 11:41 AM
I don't store ammo in my safe for the fire safety reasons mentioned by rcmodel. However; that is a GREAT safe setup vtail and I am green with envy

February 16, 2013, 08:04 PM
Have a Champion and shelves eventually sagged. Took some aluminum angle and screwed a piece across the shelf on the bottom in the front and the back and eliminated the sagging

February 17, 2013, 08:12 PM
Vtail had a good solution to this problem. I like that! For now, I put a piece of shallow electrical strutt under my shelf. Lightman

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