Help on Gun Safe Decisions?


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Kahuna5
March 23, 2013, 06:38 PM
Hey all,

I need some advice on picking out a gun safe to safely store both my long guns, handguns as well as their respective ammunition. I would like to have room for at least 5-10 long guns, at least 5 pistols, as well as ample room on a shelf for ammunition.
My main question would be what are the most notable brands of safes available and what do you use? As of right now price is not a concern as long as I am getting what I pay for. Thanks in advance.


Kahuna

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Magoo
March 23, 2013, 06:57 PM
Graffunder makes some nice stuff if you want a safe. There is a member here that is a dealer.

A thread about safes without a budget concern might be interesting :).

a1abdj
March 23, 2013, 07:44 PM
The first step is determining the level of protection that is required for the task at hand.

The price, good manufacturers, etc, will be secondary to knowing exactly what it is you need or want.

climbnjump
March 23, 2013, 07:56 PM
I would like to have room for at least 5-10 long guns, at least 5 pistols, as well as ample room on a shelf for ammunition.

My advice? If that's the capacity you're thinking now, get one that will hold twice that amount. For some odd reason, these things made of heavy sheet metal have a way of "shrinking" over time with extended use. ;)

2005 Vette
March 23, 2013, 07:57 PM
I bought a Superior safe. You can't buy them at a sporting goods store you need to go to a safe store. Believe me nobody is going to get that out of my house it took two professional movers over an hour to get it down to my lower level.

Kahuna5
March 23, 2013, 09:34 PM
Thanks for the replies.
Climbnjump,
As far as making room for future purchases I will definitely take that into consideration. There's a big list yet to fill...and my wallets not getting any bigger :p

Magoo and Vette2005,
Thanks for those suggestions! I will look further into these.

a1abdj,
I want to keep the guns and ammunition safe from any intrusion, out of the hands of those who shouldn't have access, and just keep everything secure and in one place. I appreciate your input.

Torian
March 23, 2013, 11:13 PM
Sams Club and Costco have some decent economical options for gun safes. I bought a 500 pound Mesa brand safe from Sams Club (stores about 8 long guns and 4 handguns) for about 650 to include shipping, and I'm pretty happy with it.

Stay away from Sentry brand safes or similar low quality builds.

Reloadron
March 24, 2013, 02:48 PM
I can tell you how I went about things. Before you get into an array of mind boggling numbers and designations you may want to give this a read (http://www.thesafesource.com/safe_ratings.htm). I also discovered that what I like to call a safe is really what is called a RSC (Residential Security Container) which is to me still a safe but there is a difference.

I happen to live in the Cleveland, Ohio area which for a change was a good thing as I had Cleveland Safe (http://www.clevelandsafe.com/default.asp) to go and visit. The cool part was a gigantic show room with hundreds of safes to peruse and ask endless questions about. Depending on your location it can be real nice to have a show room where you can get up close and personal with safes.

When they come up with numbers like 10, 20 or 30 long guns I found it best to divide by 2 as these guys must figure on really skinny guns. Then as mentioned allow more room. :)

I don't bother with ammunition in my gun safe, I can put that in a large lockable container or simply not worry about it. The safe is home to my guns, our important papers, wife's jewelery collection, savings bonds for grand children and things like that.

Once I had a handle on things I settled on a pretty large over 1,000 Lb AMSEC for what I needed/wanted.

So my advice is continue to do your homework and as mentioned we have a few members who sell these animals and their advice is always great and worth following.

Ron

PowderKeg
March 24, 2013, 03:11 PM
Gun safe recommendations is a topic that has been well covered here - my first suggestion is to search the forum (and a few other sites) for a hefty amount of info that will help you refine your needs - that's what I did (repeatedly) before finally buying a Sturdy. Then you'll come up with more questions on particulars and differences between brands to help zero in on a choice.

Second suggestion is to double the # of long guns you want to store - not necessarily because you'll be buying more, but because most manufacturers grossly overestimate the # of long guns their safe can comfortably store (unless all you have are single shot youth .22s, then you'll be fine). Sturdy is one company this doesn't apply to.

Third suggestion is to get out and hit as many LGS, big box sporting, and safe stores as you can find within reasonable distance. There's just no substitute for looking at gun safes in person and seeing how variable the fit and operational smoothness of some brands can be. Look at how smooth and tight (or not) the linkage operates, how tight (or not) the door is when locked down, how cramped (or not) the interior is, the difference in door opening/accessibility between internal and external hinges, whether the floor is flush with the door opening or is there a pronounced lip to bang butts against. Take fire ratings with a grain of salt - lots of info/thoughts to be found on that in the forums.

As far as brands with good reputations, there are quite a few - I finally decided on a Sturdy and am extremely pleased. AMSEC (American Security) BF series was my runner-up. Also looked at Browning and Ft Knox that were respectable but were IMHO beat out by Sturdy and AMSEC for my particular needs. YMMV

Elessar
March 25, 2013, 01:49 PM
I'll save you some research time if you want the Cliff Notes version. If you want something under about $3,500 and 1,500 lbs or so (basically an RSC - Residential Security Container) almost all research boils down to either the AMSEC BF series or Sturdy Safe Company. There are of course many other options but these two companies always surface as the most security/quality for the money. The top lines from Summit and others are also very good but seem to come at a much higher price.

If you want to spend over $4,000, some choose Ft. Knox, which are a pricey brand with lots of options but debateable increase in security for the $ (still an RSC). You could convert a used real safe (T-15 or T-30) for gun safe usage. Or you could look at the AMSEC high security line of gun safes (T-15 and T-30 models). There is also Brown safe company, which makes a gun specific safe. Finally, many consider Gruaffunder safes to be the top of the line, gun specific real safes. All of these real safe options are much more expensive and much heavier than typical "gunsafes" from any of the normal gun safe companies. However, they offer far, far more security and likely much better fire protection.

amking
March 26, 2013, 02:59 PM
I'll save you some research time if you want the Cliff Notes version. If you want something under about $3,500 and 1,500 lbs or so (basically an RSC - Residential Security Container) almost all research boils down to either the AMSEC BF series or Sturdy Safe Company. There are of course many other options but these two companies always surface as the most security/quality for the money. The top lines from Summit and others are also very good but seem to come at a much higher price.

If you want to spend over $4,000, some choose Ft. Knox, which are a pricey brand with lots of options but debateable increase in security for the $ (still an RSC). You could convert a used real safe (T-15 or T-30) for gun safe usage. Or you could look at the AMSEC high security line of gun safes (T-15 and T-30 models). There is also Brown safe company, which makes a gun specific safe. Finally, many consider Gruaffunder safes to be the top of the line, gun specific real safes. All of these real safe options are much more expensive and much heavier than typical "gunsafes" from any of the normal gun safe companies. However, they offer far, far more security and likely much better fire protection.


has anyone recently taken a look at the 2013 models from Browning? (specifically the silver and medallion series)

http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/catalog.asp?catalog_=F

http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/browning-silver-safes-sale-online-browning-dealer-fire-safes-security-safe-c-221_222_17696.html
http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/browning-medallion-safes-sale-online-browning-dealer-fire-safes-c-221_222_227.html

i understand the whole conversation and concerns around the composite door and (relatively) thin gauge steel body (medallion is 10 gauge, silver 11 gauge), as well as the argument around fireboard vs other options, but i think for the average consumer that is going to stick well under the $3,500/$4,000+ RSC level it is hard not to look at Browning's newer modular interiors and the door storage system. i originally was very very high on the AMSEC BF series (and still am), but when i take the advice of buying a bigger model and configuring it the way i would like it just gets incredibly expensive.... and frankly the storage/interior options some of the manufacturers are putting out there really need some updating. maybe i'm getting caught up in all the marketing, but i think that if you're not going to spend the truly big bucks on a higher ended safe, and want to at least get off the base level ($1000 or less), these Browning models might be worth a look. throw a media or document safe in the bottom for delicate items/paper and move on.

thoughts or feedback? (I am specifically looking at the SR26/M28 and SR37/M39 models)



side note: based on a variety of things, such as the internal hinges and some other stuff, the Liberty's are not on my list. although I think for the average consumer, Liberty is one hell of a marketing company and has their product mix, advertising and distribution spot on. its just not for me.

Elessar
March 27, 2013, 02:07 PM
In regards to those browning safes you linked to, I'm not seeing anything that would make me want to spend that $ on. I'm not shilling for Sturdy, but since I just ordered one, that is my frame of reference. I ordered a 72" model and all exposed sides have over 3/8" steel, including the ceiling plus a 3/8" plate door and very strong and supported bolt work. Significantly less than those Browning prices. If I would have gotten simple 7 gauge body and 5/16 door, I'd still have more steel than a browning and be around $2100 without Fire lining, $2,700 with (including shipping). I don't see the point of paying over $2k for a 10g safe. Of course, there aren't any cool interior gadgets, fancy shelves or lighting, etc etc on a Sturdy. Just keep in mind that you are paying for those with reduced security.

Check out this Browning safe that was broken into. Every RSC is vulnerable to this of course, even a Strudy. However, the more steel the better, right?

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=621436

Lagarto
March 27, 2013, 04:24 PM
I was product development manager for a safe manufacturer. You have received a lot of good information.

The vast difference in price between an (RSC) and a security safe (T-15, etc) is because the security safe designs are rated by UL to withstand a timed attack using professional burglar methods. A T-15 will last 15 minutes, a T-30 a half hour, etc. The tests are conducted under rigorous standards. These ratings are then matched to the response time of the local police to a commercial burglar alarm in a given area to determine whether or not the individual (such as a Jewelry store) is in compliance with the rating requirements of their insurance carrier. Residential security alarms are very different. Depending on where you live, response times to residential burglar alarms have a low priority and may be 45 minutes or more.

Another factor to consider is fire resistance. These safes all use the " latent heat of vaporization" method to protect the contents. This means that if the external temperature gets above 212 F the insulation material(usually gypsum board) releases steam from the chemically combined water to protect the contents. This can be good or bad depending on the contents.

The variation in price on (RSC) safes is a function of cosmetics and materials. It is weighted 70/30 in favor of cosmetics. A higher price does not mean more security. If you want an elaborate high quality finish so it can be used as a decorative item and elaborate interior features that add nothing to security, be prepared to pay a lot for those features without gaining anything. Additionally, having a safe on display means people see it and talk about it and then more people find out about it. Compare the features such as gauge of the steel, locking bolts, etc. and find the safe that gives the most security

I personally use an uninsulated Amsec safe (not the brand we manufactured we made the "high priced spread"), plain brown finish, dial lock, concealed and bolted to the floor in my reloading room in the basement. I keep my extra ammo, in ammo cans in a old chest freezer. The room is 12 X 12 and I have an overhead sprinkler for fire protection in there.

Reloadron
March 27, 2013, 07:26 PM
Lagarto hits on something I plan to do:

The room is 12 X 12 and I have an overhead sprinkler for fire protection in there.

I have over 1,000 Lbs of AMSEC which I like. The safe isn't going anywhere. This year calls for major interior house renovations, so I got to thinking. The reloading/gun room is scheduled for a makeover so why not add some fire sprinklers? My room is located in a part of the house with no basement but adjoins a room with basement. I can easily run a direct 3/4" water line to the room. Sprinkler Heads from McMaster Carr Supply (http://www.mcmaster.com/#sprinkler-heads/=m2cxwl) are relatively inexpensive and come in a variety of flavors.

I don't waste space in my safe with ammunition. Currently most of the ammunition resides in a small mountain of ammunition cans. Those plus other containers. So I figure I can install a sprinkler system. For a modest investment it would deliver great peace of mind. Our fire and police response times around here average less than 5 minuets which is really pretty good.

As to my choice of AMSEC? You buy a safe (or whatever you choose to call the thing) based on your needs. What I have works for me and there is a space beside it for future plan. Things are tight in there. :)

Ron

lightman
March 28, 2013, 11:05 AM
My main suggestions are to buy much bigger than your current needs, and to buy as much safe as you can afford. Thats to say, look at it as an investment. To look at your needs or expectations is also good advice. Lightman

CB900F
March 28, 2013, 04:50 PM
Kahuna5;

I tried to reply to you & set forth my thoughts. But, I'm also running a retail operation, got interrupted & the site timed out the post. PM me your E-addy if you'd care to & I'll reply on a less time critical medium.

900F

Walkalong
March 28, 2013, 09:37 PM
overhead sprinkler for fire protection This is something everyone should consider. It is very easy to do and could make all the difference in the world.

USBP379
June 16, 2013, 10:34 AM
Has anyone looked at the AR500 option available from Ft Knox? I'm curious to know how this type of liner would stand up against an attack with some basic power tools.

jrdolall
June 16, 2013, 11:34 AM
For the vast majority of homeowners that are looking for a gunsafe/cabinet/RSC the size and configuration are major players. This is why Liberty and the other "low end" safe manufacturers put a ton of add-ons like interior lighting, door storage, etc. I personally believe that any safe can be opened or removed if the thief(s) have the time and knowledge. My safes are NOT designed to keep Hudson Hawk out but they are designed to keep the neighbors cousin out or the crack head down the street. As far as fire protection I completely understand that train of thought and I prepare for it as best I can but after over 50 years I have never had a house burn down or suffer fire damage that would require tremendous heat protection. I know it could happen and I am insured for the possibility but it is so remote as to not be a huge consideration for most. Good selling point and good to discuss but not really a huge factor for MOST. Most people need a "safe" that will keep a casual burglar or a crackhead away from their guns and important papers.
Like most here I do not store ammo in my safes other than a couple of loaded mags in there for quick access in an emergency. Ammo cans and shelves in my gun room hold most of my ammo.
I put a safe in my bedroom recently so I needed aesthetics to go along with size restraints and I went with a Liberty. It MAY hold half the advertised long guns but if I ever accumulate 48 Cricket 22s and single shot shotguns it might hold 2/3s. The door storage for handguns is nice and I actually like the keypad entry. All of my safes are bolted to the concrete slab as well as the wall studs but, once again, The Hawk could probably get in if he had the time.

RetiredUSNChief
June 16, 2013, 12:05 PM
Ooooh....

A 2,100 pound gun safe! Just the prospect of having a safe weighing in over a ton appeals to the kid in me!

:evil:

AABEN
June 16, 2013, 12:39 PM
JEST buy one twice as big as you think you need! I did NOT had to get the second one.

Jim K
June 17, 2013, 10:09 PM
For those with access problems, there are modular safes, like the Zanotti. The are not the heaviest, but they provide reasonable security and can be assembled where they are wanted. The modularity sacrifices fire resistance, so they are not as impressive as other safes that are no stronger but have a ton of asbestos on them so they look huge.

The old "how much is enough?" question always arises. The fact is that few home safes will be attacked by a burglary team with a huge truck and tons of specialized equipment. More likely a couple of teen-agers with a tire tool. But buy to suit your needs as best you can anticipate them.

I do recall one fellow who insisted that nothing less than sides of 5" case-hardened laminated steel armor plate would do, plus 4 combination locks on an 8" thick door. I thought that was a bit much, and that probably he had never actually bought and paid for something like that for himself, or considered the small problems of getting it into an ordinary house and what kind of floor support would be needed!

Jim

CB900F
June 17, 2013, 11:16 PM
Jim K;

I beg to differ. You forget the simplicity and ease of gravity delivery to the basement!

:D 900F

herrwalther
June 18, 2013, 05:32 AM
Snap safe is another modular safe company. A bit smaller than your typical units but again they are modular. I am considering replacing my large safe with one for easier moving depending on how often I have to move in the next 20 or so years.

Tractor supply is a place I did not expect to see good deals on safes. I got a Winchester safe from them for 500 even with a 6 door gun panel.

USBP379
June 18, 2013, 08:28 AM
Red Head as sold by a large sporting goods chain.

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/06/18/yze2uvys.jpg

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/06/18/are2esem.jpg

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4v50 Gary
June 18, 2013, 08:48 AM
We also had a thread here about building a tornado shelter. a1abdj was among the first to suggest the tornado rated doors (generally 1/4" steel). Hide yourself with your loved ones (guns & honey).

USBP379
June 26, 2013, 05:46 PM
Hopefully this video will play for those who've not "friended" Sturdy on facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=591963134168803&set=vb.100000653663038&type=2&theater

herrwalther
June 26, 2013, 11:22 PM
Hopefully this video will play for those who've not "friended" Sturdy on facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v...type=2&theater

Plays fine. Thanks.

WRGADog
June 29, 2013, 10:42 PM
American Security safes

OleReb
June 29, 2013, 10:53 PM
I bought a Liberty safe last year and its great,i bought big for the future and got one that will hold 51 long guns and still have 2 shelves for ammo and whatever at the top. Something that size that's good quality is going to cost but its worth it,i got mine at a actual safe/locksmith store.

cbpagent72
July 11, 2013, 03:15 AM
That is the reason why I decided to pay a bit more and get my Summit Denali gun safe. 7 gauge body and 1/2" plate door, between that and my Alarm system and camera system, I finally have some peace of mind.

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Tapatalk 2

allaroundhunter
July 11, 2013, 03:27 AM
I have a redhead safe purchased from bass pro shops. It is made by browning for them, and has the DPX door storage area as well.

CB900F
July 11, 2013, 09:08 AM
Fella's;

There's one thing to keep in mind: You don't really know how good the safe or RSC you bought is until it's attacked. Could be a burglar, could be a fire, but until that happens it's just a storage cabinet.

900F

Sav .250
July 11, 2013, 09:23 AM
Lots to consider when thinking of a Gun safe. Fire rating,construction,etc. Posters can help with their opinions but I`d go a step further. Google your question. Get the facts.

Hanzo581
July 11, 2013, 09:32 AM
I have been putting off getting a safe for years. From reading online unless I spent thousands and thousands of dollars I'd be wasting my time is pretty much what I took away from my research.

So instead of lugging in some 2200lb multi thousand dollar monstrosity I put that money into hardening my entire home. I don't really care about a safe for fire protection, I have no heirlooms, everything I have is replaceable, I just wanted something that would simply keep kids/nosey people out, and slow a criminal down a bit until the police arrived after the alarm went off.

For that, I don't see why anything basic from Sams, Dicks, Bass Pro etc wouldn't due.

Will it stand up to two people working on it for 15 min? No, but you should have other defenses before it gets to that.

Elessar
July 11, 2013, 01:29 PM
it seems to me that spending 20% of your total gun collection value is pretty reasonable and prudent. Some may spend more than that depending on replaceability, etc. If I have $20k of firearms and related valuables sitting in my house, $4k for a safe seems prudent.

Some people spend more on a single rifle scope than their safe as they balk at higher safe prices. I don't quite understand that, but eveyone of course does their own risk assesment and has different situations.

USBP379
July 11, 2013, 04:06 PM
Red Head/Bass Pro.

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/07/12/evagyhag.jpg

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USBP379
July 11, 2013, 04:07 PM
http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/07/12/ta7eryry.jpg

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Hanzo581
July 11, 2013, 04:09 PM
You've posted the pictures twice in this thread, can we have some info on the opening of that? Like how much time it took, how many people, what tools, was it pulled out of the floor/wall assuming it was bolted down properly etc....

USBP379
July 11, 2013, 10:37 PM
Another Browning. http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/07/12/u7esuje5.jpg

Sent from my Torque using Tapatalk 2

CB900F
July 12, 2013, 11:24 AM
Fella's;

I have to admit that I'm somewhat bemused by the following: "Posters can help with their opinions but I`d go a step further. Google your question. Get the facts."

Both A1abdj and I are respected & known professionals in the field, and I feel that neither of us presents anything but valid information. But, of course if you feel that google is a superior information sourse, by all means go for it.

900F

jrdolall
July 12, 2013, 11:52 AM
I am one that considers my gun safes to be a last stand against criminals. I really have safes more to protect people in my house and keep the guns somewhat organized than to prevent a thief from taking them. All of my guns are insured. I own a lot of guns but none are extremely rare or monetarily valuable so hardened gun collector thieves should not be targeting my home.
I have no doubt that the experts in this thread and any really accomplished thief could break into any of my safes. Protecting my guns is way down on my list as protecting my family is tops. To that end I have layered security designed to protect people and deter meth heads and crazy people more than determined thieves. Liberty, Winchester and any of the "lesser" safes are more than adequate for my needs. I have them bolted to the floor and the wall so moving them is not a one man job and TBH if 4 burglars get into my home, disable the alarm, pacify the dogs and have the time, knowledge and resources to remove or break into my safes then there is probably not a thing I can do about it.
WHATEVER you do just ignore the gun capacity of the safe. Unless the company has some knowledge of your collection all they are telling you is how many slots are in the safe. A 48 gun safe really holds maybe 20 scoped rifles(never tested that)but it WILL hold 48 single shot 22s or shotguns and a bunch of pistols.

Torian
July 12, 2013, 12:10 PM
Red Head/Bass Pro.

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/07/12/evagyhag.jpg

Sent from my Torque using Tapatalk 2
Thanks for sharing these pics. For those of us in apartments, we have a little bit of an advantage due to the level of noise this would make.

If I was in a house and not planning on going anywhere for a long time, I would definitely spend a lot more on heavier duty safe.

Hanzo581
July 12, 2013, 12:16 PM
Again, can we get some more info about the pics? Just showing us a busted open safe is usless as any safe can be opened, it's the how it was opened that is important.

USBP379
July 12, 2013, 04:36 PM
Again, can we get some more info about the pics? Just showing us a busted open safe is useless as any safe can be opened, it's the how it was opened that is important.

The saw cut Browning was reported over on calguns. From what I recall, it was attacked with a saw found in the house. Time involved wasn't an overly long time as in the house wasn't empty for weeks or anything like that.

The pried Red Head is something I thought was posted here on THR but I can't use advanced search function on tapatalk. Anyway I seem to recall the safe was in the bedroom and was busted open when the owner stepped out for a short time, 45 minutes or so.

I spoke with James Stodd of Summit Safes recently about safes, body and door thickness, etc. He told me he's been dealing with safes for 20+ years. He says he's seen some 12g and a few 10g safes successfully attacked but has never seen a 3/16" or thicker safe successfully broken into. Doesn't mean it can't happen but it doesn't seem very likely.

Doug Tarter of Ft Knox told me you need three things to successfully pry open a safe. One is a flexible body, two is a flexible door, and three is inadequate locking bolts.

I have no experience with attacks and am not a professional locksmith or salesman but I would suggest passing on a fancy interior or gloss paint if it means you're getting a thin sheet body and/or thin composite door.

Sent from my Torque using Tapatalk 2

a1abdj
July 13, 2013, 10:52 AM
I spoke with James Stodd of Summit Safes recently about safes, body and door thickness, etc. He told me he's been dealing with safes for 20+ years. He says he's seen some 12g and a few 10g safes successfully attacked but has never seen a 3/16" or thicker safe successfully broken into. Doesn't mean it can't happen but it doesn't seem very likely.


I don't know who James is, but what? 20 years in the safe business and he's never seen anything heavier than 3/16" broken into? Quick, send him the link to this other thread just a few posts down so that he can get up to speed. It's a fellow THR member (amateur) breaking into a burglary rated safe: 1" plate, and 3" of concrete around it:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=718365&page=4




Doug Tarter of Ft Knox told me you need three things to successfully pry open a safe. One is a flexible body, two is a flexible door, and three is inadequate locking bolts.


While true, what he is saying is subjective. What is flexible with a screwdriver is not the same as what is flexible with a pry bar. What is flexible with a pry bar is not the same as what is flexible with a porta power.

Tomcat47
July 13, 2013, 11:47 AM
I like Liberty And National.....

http://www.libertysafe.com/

http://youtu.be/efuu7yFeNjM

Keep in mind if this safe (A) safe is mounted in your home to the floor and wall it changes the game on entry.... putting it on its back gives an advantage to entry! My safe is mounted in a corner at two load bearing walls and is lagged to floor and two walls with a total of 10 lag bolts.....

Nothing is impenetrable, but we must make it a challenge to the thief to accomplish what it was designed to do! Leaving saws and tools around is not a good idea! I keep those locked up as well.

USBP379
July 13, 2013, 01:13 PM
I may have misquoted Mr Stodd and he could have said pried open or forcibly entered as opposed to broken into.

His contact information is right on the Summit website if anyone wishes to contact him.

I don't know who James is, but what? 20 years in the safe business and he's never seen anything heavier than 3/16" broken into? Quick, send him the link to this other thread just a few posts down so that he can get up to speed. It's a fellow THR member (amateur) breaking into a burglary rated safe: 1" plate, and 3" of concrete around it:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=718365&page=4






While true, what he is saying is subjective. What is flexible with a screwdriver is not the same as what is flexible with a pry bar. What is flexible with a pry bar is not the same as what is flexible with a porta power.



Sent from my Torque using Tapatalk 2

RetiredUSNChief
July 13, 2013, 04:46 PM
You know, having read all of this I occurs to me that when I eventually do get myself a decent gun safe, I think I'll also simply buy a "sacrificial anode" safe that potential crooks can focus all their efforts on.

The decent gun safe will be more covertly installed and concealed while the sacrificial anode safe will be easier to find and more accessable. Nothing extremely valuable stored inside that can't be readily replaced, but enough to make crooks think they don't need to go much further after breaking into it.

Kind of like the way Mom and Dad used to keep me out of trouble when I was a kid...give me something obvious to work on to keep me from applying my more "destructive" efforts elsewhere.

:evil:

guggep
July 13, 2013, 08:52 PM
Be sure to store all of your DIY tools in the second safe. That way you don't make it easy for someone to use your own tools against you. It forces them to bring their own party favors.

Teachu2
July 13, 2013, 09:20 PM
That is the reason why I decided to pay a bit more and get my Summit Denali gun safe. 7 gauge body and 1/2" plate door, between that and my Alarm system and camera system, I finally have some peace of mind.

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Tapatalk 2
Agreed. I actually got my Denali at the local Liberty dealer. Impressive safe for a homeowner.

USBP379
July 19, 2013, 08:49 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRROQPe9ra4&feature=youtube_gdata_player

I like some of the features of this safe and I'm glad to see some companies starting to make interiors that are set-up for AR's and other similar rifles.

With that said, the video doesn't mention any sort of U/L security rating nor is there any mention of steel thickness. Note how easily the gentleman starts the door swinging near the end of the video. That door looks awfully lightweight to me.


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USBP379
July 19, 2013, 11:31 PM
Here's something that was posted over on ar15.com. This was written by a gentleman named Tony. He works for AMSEC and is one of their safe designers.


The UL RSC Test is no trivial matter, it is conducted by the same guys that do the TL high security safe testing. These guys "know" everything, and even though the test is run with only one attack technician, there is a group watching and consulting at every step of the test to assure the best approach and methods are applied. The tool list basically allows anything in your toolbox, with limits on the drill bit size to 1/4" diameter and sledge hammers no more than 3lbs, and prying devices no more than 18 inches long. The only power tool allowed is a hand-held drill.

The tool complement may seem unimpressive, but that is definitely not the case. I have watched them make a 3/4" diameter hole with a 1/4" drill bit in 20 seconds. They modify tools (without any time penalty off the test clock) so that they can be more effective. They abuse tools way beyond their intended application. The drill bits are top quality, and the testing techs know how to make them work at their optimum. If they can bend, grind, cut or shape a tool for a special need, that's allowed and off the clock.

The test is limited to five (5) minutes, but that is very deceiving. The clock only runs when there is tool-on-product, and a single 5 minute test can take more than an hour to run. Also, the team can run as many different 5-minute attacks as they choose. So, if they see multiple areas they suspect are vulnerable, they can go at each attempt as they desire. A full range of testing generally takes the better part of the day, unless you know your stuff and have left very little to concern them. These guys have seen it all, from every manufacturer in the world, at every level of security. They can pretty well look at a safe, drawings and pull the door cover to decide if the safe is a good design or not.

The Lock is a key area, as you might guess. For a lock hardplate, there are many approaches to protecting that area. The simplest of which is to put a thick carburized (case hardened) plate under the entire locking area so that the lock, the relocker(s) and the point of engagement with the Locking Bar, so that entire area is protected. That plate needs to be at least 1/4" gauge steel, if not more, and have a Rockwell C of at least 56. That is roughly the hardness of a good mill-file. The most vulnerable spot in the mechanism is the point where the Locking Bar contacts the Lock Bolt. This is UL's favorite drill point.

The UL guys drill with uncanny precision. They have the drawings, and they disassemble the safe to plan their attack. The attack method used is to bore a hole right thru the center of that contact point where the Locking Bar meets the Lock Bolt, taking off a piece of the Lock Bolt and a chunk of the Locking Bar. This pierce alone allows the boltwork to move toward the unlocked position another good bit more than normal. They then cram a nice new bit in the hole and crank it up full speed and start hanging on the handle to press the locking bar into the drill bit. They wrangle the drill around as this pressure on the handle forces the locking bar to get milled off on the side of the drill flutes. All the while, they are twisting and rotating the drill making the hole larger and larger. Once they get thru the hardplate, they can get this milling operation to pull back the boltwork enough to use a pry bar to open the door in a couple minutes. This is the primary reason you see shear points and clutch devices on the Handles of better safes, so the side-force at the lock bolt is limited in this attack approach.

The best defense here is to have a hardplate in that specific area that is too difficult to penetrate with a high grade Carbide tipped drill bit and a good quality (Milwaukee) high power hand drill. A carburized plate is nowhere near good enough to hold up to this attack. A skilled operator can put a hole in a Rc 58-60 hardplate in under 2 minutes. There must be more than that in this one sweet spot. There is a company in LA that sells a disk we call the "Gunsafe Disc", and it will hold up to this drill attack. It's not cheap, but it's effective. It's a 1-1/4" diameter round disc that is a bit under 1/4" thick. One side is heat-treated tool steel, the other side is a high-temp silver-soldered matrix of Tungsten Carbide powder. The whole assembly is heat treated to a high level of hardness. We punch a hole in the Carburized Hardplate (before hardening) so this Disc sits under the lock bolt hidden under the mounting plate.

Players that have not attempted to get their RSC rating are unaware of the intensity and effectiveness of this test. The UL rating does present a much higher level of security assurance. There are other more simple techniques that UL uses to defeat Boltwork systems. They study the entire Boltwork system, and look for points where a hole under a specific point (or points) would allow a punch to collapse or buckle a key element or elements in the system. They also look for fasteners and connections that are easily removed, broken or drilled off. Remember, the whole door is easy to punch holes thru, so they can attack 5-6 points in under 5 minutes with ease. The clock only runs when tools are on the safe, so five minutes of testing can take an hour or more. I see those weaknesses in unlisted products. So, when you see a Boltwork with lots of fancy gears, clusters of big linkages, and pretty chrome plated parts, don't be so impressed. Most of those things are there to impress the uneducated eye. They offer very little in added security, and in some cases actually provide compromise opportunities. A basic 3-bolt system on the locking side is just as effective as a 30-bolt system with bolts on all four sides. It's all glitz, and no go.

Other methods include side-attack on the Boltwork, unlike the TL-15 and TL-30 testing. They can, and will attempt to punch the boltwork back by accessing one or more locking bolt thru the side and banging on it with incredible skill with a heavy punch. This is where the timid fail. Good punch resistance is not easy to come by, and requires several preventative measures to assure it survives.

Pry attack, wedge and sledge on the door gaps, hinge removal are all on the table, and they will exploit any weakness there. If deadbolts are not effective, you can fail real fast. You would be shocked at how fast these guys can knock off those pretty glossy brass-capped hinges on the safe. Last, they test the body, even if you meet or exceed the material minimum requirements that are not documented. You don't get a pass because you use heavier steel. They like to drill a circle of holes about 4 inches in diameter with the drill, then punch out the plug. This takes every bit of 5 minutes with an 10 gauge body. Dual steel layers add to the difficulty and allow slightly lighter outer steel barriers. Much of this testing is left to luck and cosmic tides. If you get a bad break, and a test that would typically be easy becomes a failure point, too bad, you lose. The opposite applies too, so if a tech has a bad day, misses a drill point, breaks a tool where it's stuck in the breech, you win a favorable outcome.

That's most of the UL RSC testing in a bucket. There is a lot more, but these are the fundamentals. I assure you, it is no trivial effort to achieve a rating. Particularly if you are not a seasoned security producer with extensive experience. Testing is expensive. I think the most recent price was around $12,000 to run this test. Most have to come back twice to get their listing. Anyone that says they passed on the first try is probably telling a lie. Most of the guys in this industry didn't have a clue until they went in for testing. Most everyone comes away shocked and disappointed.


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USBP379
July 20, 2013, 03:11 AM
You've posted the pictures twice in this thread, can we have some info on the opening of that? Like how much time it took, how many people, what tools, was it pulled out of the floor/wall assuming it was bolted down properly etc....
Here's the thread showing the info on the Red Head:

http://www.mdshooters.com/showthread.php?t=105193&highlight=safe+broken

heeler
July 20, 2013, 04:03 PM
Sigh...Yet again people.
Always bolt your safe in a strategic strong point location as this is going to be your best chance to thwart a pry attack.
And if your going to buy a gun safe at least buy one that has the UL rating and more importantly one that has plate steel in the damn door and not just some flexomatic sheet metal door wrapped around sheet rock insulation.

amking
July 20, 2013, 06:28 PM
As a follow-up to my earlier post in this thread back in late March, I ended up plunking down the cash and ordering an AMSEC BF6636 (textured granite w/black nickel hardware). It is still not here yet and it was a lot more than we really wanted to spend, but I hope it lasts a lifetime (my wife REALLY hopes it lasts that long...).

I still believe that the interiors put in from companies such as Browning are pretty compelling for the average person shopping at a big box store. if i was a hunter (i'm not) and had a ton of long guns, it would be hard not to like many of the features on those safes. at the end of the day though there is a difference in the security, and that's what we're buying it for. it is slightly frustrating to know that even despite the expense of my choice, there is some point in the future where i will have to get creative with long gun storage in there, and even will potentially need to get a cheap gun locker for insignificant stuff like a kid's .410 or a .22 lr.

i'm sure i would have been happy with a Sturdy safe, but was able to get a reasonably good deal on the AMSEC locally and they are going to handle the delivery down a sloping driveway. touching and feeling something so expensive beforehand is also helpful.

has anyone recently taken a look at the 2013 models from Browning? (specifically the silver and medallion series)

http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/catalog.asp?catalog_=F

http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/browning-silver-safes-sale-online-browning-dealer-fire-safes-security-safe-c-221_222_17696.html
http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/browning-medallion-safes-sale-online-browning-dealer-fire-safes-c-221_222_227.html

i understand the whole conversation and concerns around the composite door and (relatively) thin gauge steel body (medallion is 10 gauge, silver 11 gauge), as well as the argument around fireboard vs other options, but i think for the average consumer that is going to stick well under the $3,500/$4,000+ RSC level it is hard not to look at Browning's newer modular interiors and the door storage system. i originally was very very high on the AMSEC BF series (and still am), but when i take the advice of buying a bigger model and configuring it the way i would like it just gets incredibly expensive.... and frankly the storage/interior options some of the manufacturers are putting out there really need some updating. maybe i'm getting caught up in all the marketing, but i think that if you're not going to spend the truly big bucks on a higher ended safe, and want to at least get off the base level ($1000 or less), these Browning models might be worth a look. throw a media or document safe in the bottom for delicate items/paper and move on.

thoughts or feedback? (I am specifically looking at the SR26/M28 and SR37/M39 models)



side note: based on a variety of things, such as the internal hinges and some other stuff, the Liberty's are not on my list. although I think for the average consumer, Liberty is one hell of a marketing company and has their product mix, advertising and distribution spot on. its just not for me.

CB900F
July 20, 2013, 08:13 PM
Amking;

If you have access to a scroll saw, it's perfectly possible to cut your own interior configuration. Also, storing every other gun muzzle down works for some people. Others just pull the stock interior slot board, put all the long guns in socks & cram 'em in there.

900F

DeepSouth
July 20, 2013, 09:50 PM
So instead of lugging in some 2200lb multi thousand dollar monstrosity I put that money into hardening my entire home. I don't really care about a safe for fire protection, I have no heirlooms, everything I have is replaceable, I just wanted something that would simply keep kids/nosey people out, and slow a criminal down a bit until the police arrived after the alarm went off.

For that, I don't see why anything basic from Sams, Dicks, Bass Pro etc wouldn't due.

Will it stand up to two people working on it for 15 min? No, but you should have other defenses before it gets to that.

Around here neighbors aren't generally close enough to hear break-ins and tend to mind their own business anyway, which is fine with me. The average police response time is normally 3-5 hrs.
I have a shop full of power tools, many of them metal cutting tools like Metabo saws and Porta-bands, not to mention an oxy/acetylene torch.

If someone really wants to get into my safe they will. Probably the best thing I could do is get a Rottweiler. :scrutiny:







I blame all typos on the iPhone auto correct.

ZDriver96
July 21, 2013, 10:24 AM
I have a 425lbs 24 gun Cannon safe. I purchased this to protect against mainly smash and grab type burglaries and fire protection. For 600 dollars it is a good safe. But I know it would not keep a professional out or even a guy who brought in power tools. Its superior to Stack On or some of those other cheap over priced safes but not as good as a Liberty or Fort Knox. It does have a outlet attachment that let me add a humidifier and LED lighting so every time I open the safe it lights up. I really like that feature.

It has a lifetime warranty against, burglars, fires, floods, etc.

Id suggest spending the extra money for hidden surveillance cameras.

CB900F
July 21, 2013, 02:03 PM
Zdriver;

In my professional opinion, your Cannon may very well be the superior RSC in comparison with the Liberty. And for the cost of a Ft. Knox, start looking at real safes, the additional cost isn't that big a step up.

900F

presidents_topgun
July 24, 2013, 11:29 AM
I bought a Canon 48 long gun safe with shelves on top for storage for hand guns or other small items. Although it is a secure safe and weighs 800 bs plus empty, I have three issues with it. 1st The shelving is cheap press board material. 2nd the spacing between guns are so close you won't be able to set bolt actions side by side. The 3rd and most important is the key pad failed 8 months into owning the safe. Trying to communicate with the California Canon safe people is difficult. Their phone system is the pits with very poor prompts and sometimes it just rings with no answer. Once I went through the rigerous tasks of having to go back to the dealer who sold it to me and then getting back to Canon Safe co. was an all day event. The up side is, they're going to ship a new key pad to a lock smith/safe company via two day air Fed-X at no cost to me. The lock smith is about 80 miles away. Now, if they do what they say they are going to do, then I can make this weekends gun. Otherwise, I'm sitting here with my thumbs stuck up my bazoo.
Canon is now providing a dual access safe, i.e. electronic key pad, as well as a dial entry access. I inquired about replacing my key pad only entry with the new dual access lock and they informed me that it won't fit my safe. They stated that it is designed to fit only the new safes!????? Crap, mine is only 8 months old.
Since I am in and out of my safe nearly every day, the digital key pad is very handy, but when failure occures, emotions start to well up since you can't access your prized posessions. So, that is an issue one needs to consider when buying a new safe.

Best of luck, Presidents_topgun

Hanzo581
July 24, 2013, 11:58 AM
Here's the thread showing the info on the Red Head:

http://www.mdshooters.com/showthread...ht=safe+broken

That's a lot to read through, but I got all the info I needed. House was vacant when it happened, no telling how long the guy(s) took to open that safe but they had no time constraints. Not to mention no alarm. Again, cheap safes are really just to slow people down. You give someone all day (which these guys could have had) and any safe can be opened.

Beretta96
July 24, 2013, 12:05 PM
I have an alarm in an inconspicuous place so if they try to rock my safe it breaks the alarm contact and sets of my alarm.

I also have a camera focused on it and it records 24/7.

USBP379
August 25, 2013, 11:14 AM
Something else the brochure does not tell you about. This is a photo of the bottom of a Chinese import. The top and bottom of the safe are stitch welded on. The seam on the top is filled with body putty prior to painting but the seam along the bottom is left unfinished.

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a1abdj
August 25, 2013, 11:45 AM
Something else the brochure does not tell you about. This is a photo of the bottom of a Chinese import. The top and bottom of the safe are stitch welded on. The seam on the top is filled with body putty prior to painting but the seam along the bottom is left unfinished.




There are many safe built in this fashion, including safes with high burglary ratings, and even the modular vault used by your local bank. It doesn't matter if it is a continuous weld or "stitch welding" so long is the weld is of proper quality and strength.

I know people like to assume that stitch welding is an indication of low security construction. In reality, I'll claim that safes with very few seams are of low security. If the steel is thin enough that it can be bent into shape with a brake, as opposed to individual flat plates welded together, then it is thin enough to be breached in short order by any matter of attack (prying, cutting, etc.).

CB900F
August 25, 2013, 12:06 PM
Presidents topgun;

I'd suggest that you look into having the locksmith install a LaGard Basic electronic lock in your Cannon instead of the replacement they're supposed to. Yes, you'll have to pay for it. But it's a very reliable unit that we simply don't see problems with. OTOH, you could have an S&G 6730 manual dial lock put on & pay the price in increased entry time but the reliability is extremely hard to beat.

900F

USBP379
August 25, 2013, 02:28 PM
There are many safe built in this fashion, including safes with high burglary ratings, and even the modular vault used by your local bank. It doesn't matter if it is a continuous weld or "stitch welding" so long is the weld is of proper quality and strength.

I know people like to assume that stitch welding is an indication of low security construction. In reality, I'll claim that safes with very few seams are of low security. If the steel is thin enough that it can be bent into shape with a brake, as opposed to individual flat plates welded together, then it is thin enough to be breached in short order by any matter of attack (prying, cutting, etc.).

I don't necessarily think stitch welds in and of themselves mean a safe is low quality but I do think stitch welds are used on the Chinese safes to meet a price point rather than a structural point.

Stitch welds combined with 14 or 12 gauge steel???

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dmproske
August 25, 2013, 09:12 PM
? That mesa brand is certainly no better than a sentry.

Sams Club and Costco have some decent economical options for gun safes. I bought a 500 pound Mesa brand safe from Sams Club (stores about 8 long guns and 4 handguns) for about 650 to include shipping, and I'm pretty happy with it.

Stay away from Sentry brand safes or similar low quality builds.



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Torian
August 25, 2013, 09:39 PM
? That mesa brand is certainly no better than a sentry.





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I've handled and owned both brands, and I respectively disagree. Neither are great safes, but Sentry is practically the bottom of the barrel. I almost knocked one over at Sams Club just looking at it. The Mesa brand is only slightly more expensive, but it has larger locking bolts, more of them, thicker steel, and almost 200 pounds heavier for the same dimension safe.

Neither are professional level safes, but the choice between one or the other is easy to anyone who has owned them.

Carmmond
August 26, 2013, 02:15 PM
I've handled and owned both brands, and I respectively disagree. Neither are great safes, but Sentry is practically the bottom of the barrel. I almost knocked one over at Sams Club just looking at it. The Mesa brand is only slightly more expensive, but it has larger locking bolts, more of them, thicker steel, and almost 200 pounds heavier for the same dimension safe.

Neither are professional level safes, but the choice between one or the other is easy to anyone who has owned them.

I have to agree with you Torian for the money the Mesa is hard to beat. I looked at more safes over the last year than I want to think of and in the $1200 range to my door Mesa got my money.

NotAGunNut
September 9, 2013, 10:48 PM
Hi, new guy here.... but some of the info in this thread is terrible. I can't quote for some reason, but I'll link to the post.

Tomcat posted this post: http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=9017773&postcount=47 where the video is unimpressive at best. That's their presidential safe? I.e. the best they've got? Do you see how flexible that door is with just a few short pry bars? If those were real attacks they'd start at the corner and break the bolts/sheet body working in a different direction. These guys all work for the manufacturer, it's in their interest to show this in good light. Wouldn't be [relatively] hard to break into that RSC. For $1k I'd break into that RSC with a friend in no time.

I currently own a Liberty gun safe (albeit a low-end model) and I can flex the outer sheet metal with my finger. I bought it before I learned about real safes just to keep my guns away from kids.

Companies such as Liberty, Stack On, etc. are more advertising companies than anything. They have a recognizable name, but not serious security. When people say buy a "[Liberty, etc] because XYZ," the XYZ is usually only applies their top of the line safe which is used as marketing for the rest of the crap they sell. Don't buy a brand, buy the specific safe!

USBP378 posted the following: http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=9026888&postcount=53

Although it sounds impressive, keep in mind that in order to get a UL RSC only the FRONT of the safe must pass and many safes claiming to be RSC aren't even UL rated. Read carefully, they'll say UL rated lock or something else and put a nice big UL sticker on there. That's the reason you can have a UL RSC that can just be punched with a small hammer and a screwdriver on the side. Or just a hammer.

Most RSC's are pretty unimpressive. People claim they "only want to stop a smash and grab" type person, but the reality is that they pay the money for a safe for protection, not protection against the least common denominator. If you want to keep guns away from your kids an RSC is great. If you want to keep your valuables secure then shop a real safe. If you're storing valuables, then this is an investment.

Remember, when you get a safe you typically concentrate your valuables in a single place. A burglar knows this and is extra motivated to get in.

Hopefully this post doesn't come off badly and I hope I didn't misrepresent any facts - I'm not a "safe guy" just learning. Just stating my opinion. Hope I didn't offend anyone :)

Ohio Gun Guy
September 9, 2013, 11:18 PM
I dont have safe specific experience, but I am in construction and in my opinion there is nothing on this planet, that cannot be opened, given the right tools and time. The key is to make them be loud, slow them down as much as possible, and do it in the light.

I've had job sites broken into with our Joboxes destroyed in just minutes....

I't was interesting reading about the UL testing for safes, sounds like a fun job! ;)

Cokeman
September 10, 2013, 02:07 AM
So, unless you spend thousands, getting a safe is not a good idea? That's what I'm gathering from this thread.

RetiredUSNChief
September 10, 2013, 12:15 PM
I don't think that's what's being said at all, Cokeman.

Spend your money wisely, rather, is what I'm getting.

Like guns, once you seriously start shopping around for safes it looks like you can rapidly wind up spending a ton of money if you don't have clearly defined goals.

If what you need is a Home Security Container (HSC), say, because you're just concerned about keeping the kiddies safe, then there is no need to spend thousands.

Like guns, though, it looks like everybody has an opinion based on whatever they think is important. The key is to determine what YOU think is important.

We can all "GO BIG" on anything we want. Heck, on the subject of safes we could simply advocate buying a closed up bank building and using the vault if we want to go big.

CB900F
September 10, 2013, 01:04 PM
Fella's;

Yeah, I sell high end expensive true safes, and I'll flat-out tell anybody that anything is better than nothing. What the buyer needs to do is determine both the needs (not wants) and the threat level. Threat levels can be determined by talking with law enforcement, your fire department, and your insurance agent. This is also a good time to talk with several insurance providers and see who's going to give you the best coverage for you at what price.

Some insurance providers make no provision for a safe, some recognize the difference between an RSC (not HSC) and a true safe. Some say they'll cover the "contents" but ask to what maximum dollar amount. Others want a detailed list of guns & S/N's & possibly a video reference for other valuables. It's a good idea to shop around & get specific information. You'll be surprised at the differences available within the insurance industry. If the local agent is basically clueless on the subject of safes & RSC's ask to get the company's commercial division involved. These are the people who insure jewelry stores & other potential high loss customers & will know what a true U.L. rated safe is.

Keep in mind that the U.L. 1 hour thermal protection standard is the only one worth paying any attention to as a base line. Other "independant labs", BTU, Pyro 3000, or Omega Labs tests, etc, are just numbers that the marketing department manipulates to induce you to buy. A time/temp ratio means nothing until you know exactly what the test procedures are. You can go online & find them for the U.L. test, good luck with any of the others.

Look at cost/benefit ratios, especially for added rider insurance coverage and safe deposit box fees against biting the bullet & buying a true safe. Particularly if you possess, or your wife does, literally irreplaceable items.

900F

NotAGunNut
September 10, 2013, 10:59 PM
Cokeman, I hope my post isn't the reason you came to the conclusion. First of all, I'm not a "safe guy" like some of the guys here (i.e. CB900F), just giving a perspective on some of the information that I read in this thread.

A lot of good info and I wanted to "clean it up" a bit, so others who aren't as well informed would know. I found this forum by doing google searches and reading various archived threads (a lot of fun ones :)).

I don't believe everyone need spend thousands of dollars, but people should be realistic about what they buy and what they pay for. A lot of gimmicks in the gun safe industry, I'm finding.

If my post is not the reason for yours, then ignore what I've said... :evil:

Cokeman
September 11, 2013, 12:26 AM
So, is there a safe for $1000 or less that is worth buying? I'm worried about thieves, not my kids.

USBP379
September 12, 2013, 09:00 AM
So, is there a safe for $1000 or less that is worth buying? I'm worried about thieves, not my kids.

What size are you looking for?

In your price range, you might look at the Ft Knox Maverick and the entry level safes from Champion and Superior. I have seen some fairly positive reviews on the Model T. Champion's Encore series and Superior's Medalist series should be close to your budget depending on size. You might also want to check with Sturdy and get a price on a safe without fire lining if you are mainly concerned with theft. You will likely save $400 or so if you can order a Sturdy without the insulation.

Otherwise keep an eye on Craig's List for your area. You might be able to find a used safe that someone's selling as part of an estate sale or because of a move to a new town, etc.

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Carmmond
September 12, 2013, 04:52 PM
So, is there a safe for $1000 or less that is worth buying? I'm worried about thieves, not my kids.


If I were worried about thieves and not my kids or fire I would hire a carpenter and look at making me a false wall. Me I wanted fire protection and some security then I put that behind a false wall.

Cokeman
September 12, 2013, 11:49 PM
As you can see in my sig line, I don't have many guns. I would be fine getting one of the smaller safes from a company. I wouldn't need anything huge. I wouldn't mind a Fort Knox. They're local. I've been to their factory a few times for work. It's been many years though.

Apparently Superior is a local company too.

USBP379
September 13, 2013, 12:10 AM
As you can see in my sig line, I don't have many guns. I would be fine getting one of the smaller safes from a company. I wouldn't need anything huge. I wouldn't mind a Fort Knox. They're local. I've been to their factory a few times for work. It's been many years though.

I visited the plant back in July and came away impressed. We stopped in completely out of the blue and wound up going on a factory tour. The company marketing rep dropped whatever he was doing and was happy to show us around. Our little daughter wasn't too excited about wandering around in a noisy metal plant so the receptionist volunteered to watch her and let her color at her desk while we walked around. A very friendly environment. Just a class act all the way.

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Carmmond
September 13, 2013, 12:16 AM
As you can see in my sig line, I don't have many guns. I would be fine getting one of the smaller safes from a company. I wouldn't need anything huge. I wouldn't mind a Fort Knox. They're local. I've been to their factory a few times for work. It's been many years though. Get the best you can swing and feel safe with. I have a woodworking shop so I can custom trim the house and hide the safe and let me tell you they don't even know it's there. I'm only worried about fire.

leadcounsel
September 13, 2013, 02:15 AM
I'm happy with my Sturdy Safe and feel it was a good value.

Cokeman
September 13, 2013, 02:36 AM
How much was it?

USBP379
September 13, 2013, 11:05 PM
Sturdy includes the cost of shipping in the prices listed on their website. With that said, I have found it possible to get a cheaper price over the phone based on proximity to CA . If you're in UT it's probably worth your time to call for a price quote.

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78tsubaki
September 15, 2013, 02:59 PM
Late to the thread but I will add that I am still impressed with the Sturdy I bought in 2008. At the time Sturdy had a limited run of the safe I bought. They are a small, all American company that is about customer service and quality. They have the ability to adjust to your needs.

a1abdj
September 15, 2013, 08:31 PM
I'm only worried about fire.

Then I would stay away from the Sturdy.

78tsubaki
September 15, 2013, 09:03 PM
I do not know about that. My safe has the Sturdy (Terry) selected fire lining based on a dry product that Terry decided was the best. My safe has yet to be tested THANK GOD! I live in the woods and wild fire worries me.
My safe is located in a place in the house to give us the best chance. A fire is serious business.

That said the fire lining in our Sturdy does not wick moisture. It appears to help maintain a reasonable level humidity while still offering the same protection found in industrial ovens. My guns do not rust. I live in Washington state. I don't pay to much attention other than to oil them twice a year regardless of use.

I would probably put a fire sprinkler over my safe if I had the Crown Jewels. Otherwise, I write a list of everything I need to grab if given 15 minutes to evacuate. We are prepared to go!

Reloadron
September 15, 2013, 09:34 PM
I would probably put a fire sprinkler over my safe if I had the Crown Jewels. Otherwise, I write a list of everything I need to grab in 15 minutes and prepare to go!

The cost of a DIY sprinkler system really isn't that much. A few sprinkler heads from McMaster Carr (http://www.mcmaster.com/#fire-sprinklers/=oivy7o) supply are less than $30 EA. A 10' section of 3/4' copper pipe is about $20 from Lowes Home Improvement (http://www.lowes.com/Search=copper+pipe?storeId=10151&langId=-1&catalogId=10051&N=0&newSearch=true&Ntt=copper+pipe#!). You need a plain jane check valve for under $15 (also from Lowes). Additional hardware, more pipe or whatever including a ball valve at the end of the line to bleed things you are looking at under $200 as a DIY project. Not bad considering the peace of mind.

Just My Take
Ron

a1abdj
September 15, 2013, 09:43 PM
I do not know about that. My safe has the Sturdy (Terry) selected fire lining based on a dry product that Terry decided was the best.

And in short, this is the problem I have with a number of gun safe manufacturers. What they decide is best, has little to do with reality, since many of them have zero background in the safe business.

For years, I have said that concrete fills are clearly superior, because that's what the vast majority of safes with real fire ratings use. On another forum, an engineer who has designed safes for many years backed up this claim with science (all above my pay grade). Come to find out, there really is a reason that real safe manufacturers with real fire ratings use those materials. He added that gypusm board was second best, and that passive insulations like fiberglass simply are not as effective.

The truth of the matter is that if fire protection is the most important requirement, then a gun safe shouldn't even be an option. A UL rated fire safe (using cast filled insulation) is going to be your best bet.

USBP379
September 15, 2013, 10:05 PM
The truth of the matter is that if fire protection is the most important requirement, then a gun safe shouldn't even be an option. A UL rated fire safe (using cast filled insulation) is going to be your best bet.

The problem here is that a true fire safe that's big enough to hold anything but the smallest collection of long guns is going to be weighed in tons rather than pounds. Same is true for sq ft of storage. A very large fire safe is going to have a fairly small amount of interior storage space. Most home owners neither can afford nor have use for these monsters.



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CB900F
September 15, 2013, 10:12 PM
Fella's;

Which is where Graffunder comes in. Plate steel, proprietary concrete insulation, and what I feel is a reasonable cost given the protection you get. No, they are not for everyone, they're expensive. But, if you've got $10,000.00 worth of guns & stuff, it's a false economy to buy an RSC in my opinion.

900F

Walkalong
September 15, 2013, 10:21 PM
The cost of a DIY sprinkler system really isn't that muchI am halfway there. I bummed some sprinkler heads, and recently when I had to tear open a couple of walls I ran a water pipe into the attic. All I have to do now is run the water over to where I need it and install a sprinkler head over the safe. If you already have water in the attic, which many do, it would would be real easy to do.

Walkalong
September 15, 2013, 10:22 PM
But, if you've got $10,000.00 worth of guns & stuff, it's a false economy to buy an RSC in my opinion.And that's a fact. :)

Reloadron
September 15, 2013, 10:52 PM
But, if you've got $10,000.00 worth of guns & stuff, it's a false economy to buy an RSC in my opinion.

I also strongly agree with that! For many that is a low ball figure too.

Ron

a1abdj
September 15, 2013, 10:59 PM
The problem here is that a true fire safe that's big enough to hold anything but the smallest collection of long guns is going to be weighed in tons rather than pounds. Same is true for sq ft of storage. A very large fire safe is going to have a fairly small amount of interior storage space. Most home owners neither can afford nor have use for these monsters.


There's not much of a difference in weight between a gun safe and a properly UL rated fire safe when comparing external dimensions.

The internal volume will depend, as some cast insulations allow thinner walls, and some gun safes have several layers of gypsum board.

A 2 hour fire safe for example:

Internal Dimensions:
50" Height
18.5" Width
21" Depth
External Dimensions:
60.5" Height
25.5" Width
28.875" Depth
Weight 875 lbs
Capacity 11.2 cubic feet

USBP379
September 15, 2013, 11:10 PM
There's not much of a difference in weight between a gun safe and a properly UL rated fire safe when comparing external dimensions.

The internal volume will depend, as some cast insulations allow thinner walls, and some gun safes have several layers of gypsum board.

A 2 hour fire safe for example:

Forgive me. You are correct. I'm thinking TL rated stuff not UL fire.

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Camron
October 4, 2013, 12:40 AM
The main things that must be done when you are going to save your gun is that you have a proper gun save and a proper place for that gun safe.Because when you have a quick access to that place and other person don't know that place you can easily secure them and access them when you need.
Queensland Security (http://www.rent-a-cop.com.au/)

USBP379
October 4, 2013, 08:53 AM
http://www.policeone.com/police-products/firearm-accessories/firearms-storage/articles/6336776-2-key-considerations-for-buying-a-gun-safe/

Here's a brief article with some common sense things to look for.

CB900F
October 4, 2013, 09:21 AM
Fella's;

I read the linked article listed above. It's good information, as far as it goes, but the author apparantly only visited the plants of a few RSC manufacturers. She does not make the differentiation between true safes & RSC's.

As the author is a working LEO, and her article is aimed at that market, price is a definate consideration. The sad fact is, most LEO's are not able to afford, and may not need, a U.L. rated safe. But, the option was not presented, which tells me that she needed to do a little more research on the subject.

The data in the article has been posted on THR many, many, times.

900F

USBP379
October 4, 2013, 05:01 PM
Fella's;

I read the linked article listed above. It's good information, as far as it goes, but the author apparantly only visited the plants of a few RSC manufacturers. She does not make the differentiation between true safes & RSC's.

As the author is a working LEO, and her article is aimed at that market, price is a definate consideration. The sad fact is, most LEO's are not able to afford, and may not need, a U.L. rated safe. But, the option was not presented, which tells me that she needed to do a little more research on the subject.

The data in the article has been posted on THR many, many, times.

900F
Good point about not mentioning heavier UL safes although I think you're right in that this article wasn't really aimed at a commerical-level buying audience.

What I took from the article is that it is important to not merely be suckered in by price. While there are certainly some bargains out there and some companies charge more likely due to name recognition only, the buyer needs to be aware that price alone isn't probably the best feature when shopping for a safe.

USBP379
March 23, 2014, 12:06 PM
Here is a good example of what might be one of the better deals from a well-known manufacturer. These look like what many companies were making before steel prices went crazy and forced makers to use thinner steel in an effort to keep costs down.

http://www.westcoastsafes.com/fort-knox-gun-safes-fort-knox-m2-gun-safes-c-1000071_1000082.html

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