Recommendations for Gun Safes


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sumpnz
July 20, 2004, 10:59 PM
Hey all, I tried the search tool, but the number of hits was off the charts, so at the risk of redundency, I'll go ahead with this thread.

At some point in the next year, two at the most, I will absolutly have to get some kind of gun safe. My daughter will start walking in probably 6-9 months, so I'm sure you all understand the issue.

Anyhoo, what I want is your opinions on what the best safe is for under $1000, and for under $2500. By best, I mean capable of handling my 3 rifles, 2 handguns, and the inevitiable expansion of that collection (though assume for now a max of 10-12 long guns, and 5-6 handguns, plus ammo), protection for them from a typical house fire, and keeping up to moderatly determined thieves for gaining entry. I will probably never have a big enough or valuable enough collection to warrent a safe that will stop even the most determined thieves, nor does it need to survive the fires of hell and damnation.

If an $800 safe will do the job, great. If I have to step up to a $2000 safe, well, I'll do it but it will take a bit longer.

FWIW, my house is built on a concrete slab, so no matter where I put it it can be bolted to concrete. It will likely live in the garage, or the beer and wine closet. I don't keep much in the way of flammable liquids in the garage, but there is a substantial amount of wood as I have an amatuer wood shop currently occupying all the space in there (i.e. cars get parked in the driveway). If I ever close in the current garage and build a detached garage/workshop the safe will have to be able to be moved to that building without requiring a professional service to do so.

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Coltdriver
July 21, 2004, 12:15 AM
I picked up a Liberty Safe a few years ago. They are a great safe for well under 1000 dollars.

I have four .22 rifles, an ar, an ak, a 30 06, two ruger rifles, a shot gun and a savage .17 and still have room for a half dozen pistols and a bunch of other stuff. You could configure mine to hold another 6 rifles easily.

I just got a plain jane grey one because I never did intend to show off a fine laquer paint job (that many of the expensive safes have) to any one! Sits in a closet, bolted to the floor, weights about 550 lbs empty. It aint going to get casually ripped off!

There is another thread on the board about a winchester brand safe that you can pick up at Sams club. Sounds a lot like my liberty. You do have to think about getting it to your house. It takes three fairly strong people to move a 500 pound item up any kind of stairs. Get your safe dealer to quote you a delivered to your door and placed in your house price.

Lennyjoe
July 21, 2004, 03:43 AM
Got a Liberty Colonial series that you can take a gander at whenever your in the neighborhood. PM me and I'll give you the addy.

When are we gonna get together again for another Tucson shoot?

Think its gonna have to be after the weather cools. It hit 105 today:what:

Schmit
July 21, 2004, 07:47 AM
Sump,

Get the biggest safe you can afford... even if it means waiting longer for it. For $2K you can get a nice size safe. The reason for the largest safe is so you can fit in your firearms along with all the other things that will go in it... important papers (Wills, Birth Certs, etc), jewlery, equipment (camera, etc) ammo.

Also get a matte/flat finish not the glossy auto finish. While the glossy auto finish looks great young children can be hell on them (take it from my Grandson Remington who took a ratchet to the front of mine :eek: )

Think of it as a one time purchase and spend the most you can.

WhoKnowsWho
July 21, 2004, 08:26 AM
Think its gonna have to be after the weather cools. It hit 105 today

Yeah, I think my chance of skin cancer went up a lot just to get the dang mail!

Good luck safe shopping sumpnz! I don't have anything interesting to add since I got my safe at Sports Authority with a discount coupon too.

Lennyjoe
July 21, 2004, 10:26 AM
I picked mine up from Roadrunner on Grant just West of Swan.

I also elected to bypass the shiny paint and got the subdued grey.;)

Greg L
July 21, 2004, 11:02 AM
Get the biggest safe you can afford... even if it means waiting longer for it. For $2K you can get a nice size safe. The reason for the largest safe is so you can fit in your firearms along with all the other things that will go in it... important papers (Wills, Birth Certs, etc), jewlery, equipment (camera, etc) ammo.

When you use the size of the thing as a way of keeping other things safe as a selling point to your better half, rest assured that it will get filled up with the other stuff :D . If you've got the room, bigger is always better. Eventually it will get filled as you slowly accumulate firearms over the years (or very quickly if you get your C&R :eek: ).

Also factor in the savings of no longer needing a safe deposit box at the bank (if you had one originally).

0007
July 21, 2004, 11:53 AM
Sportsman Steel Safe is still located near Santa Barbara, I think. They make a good 72X40X26 fire-resistant for around $1500 I think. Weights about 850lbs empty.

sumpnz
July 21, 2004, 01:35 PM
ColtDriver, that sounds like about the right size for what I want. What is the fire rating like on it.

Lenny, Dunno when we'll get together again, though I'm going to need to put in some serious practice to get ready for hunting (got drawn for mule deer in 30B). PM on the way.

Schmit - I hear ya. But given how pragmatic both my wife and I are, we'll probably stick to a smaller safe as I just don't see us getting THAT many guns anytime in the foreseeable future (short of my FIL suddenly dieing and willing us his whole collection). Plus, neither of us are camara buffs (we have a Rebel and and Elph), and my wife isn't into a lot of jewlery (about a 6" square portion of the safe would be enough for that).

Anyway, I'll look into the Liberty Safes and the Sportsman Steel Safes. In the mean time, keep the suggestions coming!

Lennyjoe
July 21, 2004, 02:34 PM
got drawn for mule deer in 30B
I got a Whitetail tag for 36B in late Nov for bucks. Looking forward to filling the freezer.

On the down side, we didnt get drawn for any Elk tags. Maybe next year.

Jim K
July 21, 2004, 02:40 PM
If a safe is to be installed in a difficult location or is to be moved from time to time, I recommend a Zanotti modular safe (www.zanottiarmor.com) which can be assembled in place and taken apart for moving. The drawback is that due to the modular construction, there is no fire retardant covering.

Jim

sumpnz
July 21, 2004, 02:43 PM
On the down side, we didnt get drawn for any Elk tags. Maybe next year. Me neither. But, I have a neighbor whose parents live in Colorado. Apparently they have to practically wade through the elk on their property, so I might get a chance to go up there if they live in a unit with over the counter tags for elk. I need to look into that some more. I also promised my neighbor that if I do go and can get a tag I'd shoot a bear for her. She hates bears.

Anyway, any more ideas on safes?

mtonetwo
July 21, 2004, 03:49 PM
[QUOTE]Apparently they have to practically wade through the elk on their property, so I might get a chance to go up there if they live in a unit with over the counter tags for elk.[/QUOTE

PM me with that unit number and I will let you know if there are any tags available. :D

WalkerTexasRanger
July 22, 2004, 12:26 AM
I have a Champion safe and it is great. Holds about 15 rifles, six handguns, and lots of documents. The fire rating on Champions is some of the best around, 1300 degrees for 60 minutes. Most are 1200 degrees for 30 minutes. Spent about $1100 on this safe. Has the bankers handle and a S&G lock. Weighs about 750 lbs empty, so still moveable, but barely. Consider one that will fit in a closet, tightly... BIg enough to hold a decent collection, but small enough that I or movers can move without too much of a problem..

www.championsafe.com

Mine is a victory series

Good luck!!!!!

WTR

CB900F
July 24, 2004, 12:42 PM
Sumpnz;

I'd suggest doing a search for either RSC, or my posts.

900F

vector248
September 20, 2007, 11:45 PM
absoutley positively DO NOT even entertain the idea of buying a safe from sportsman steel/pentagon gun safes. I had one of their so called "safes" had it for 4 months, and never got to use it due to poor build quality (locking pins binding agenst door frame) and Sportsman steel refusing to fix the problem. After 4 months i finally got them to take the safe back and refund my money. do your self a favor and save your money and buy a graffunder safe. don't waste your time with anybody else. I saw a grffunder, you literally cannot fit a credit card between the door and the frame. Plus their "weakest" model has 1/4" A36 (tool grade) steel.

a1abdj
September 21, 2007, 12:25 AM
If you're looking at a Graffunder, contact CB900F a few posts up. He is a dealer, and they are great safes.

If you're wanting to see what else is available, I have a few manufacturers represented on my website (link below).

After getting confused while taking all of this information in, don't hesitate to post any questions. Both CB900F and I are commercial locksmiths that deal with safes every day.

sumpnz
September 21, 2007, 02:53 AM
Thanks Vector for the necroposting :D.

Anyway, now that this thread is about 3 years old, I suppose an update on what I've done is in order. I picked up one of those uber-cheap Stack-On cabinates (the $80 one) that was used to keep little fingers off the guns while I saved up for something more substantial.

Back in July I placed my order for the Zanotti ZA-II 5' safe (30 long gun config). I was going to order the 6' safe with the 3 drawer option, but that added too much to the price. As it is, with delivery charges it'll set me back about $1640. I'm expecting delivery sometime in the general vicinity of Thanksgiving (yes, that's a 5 month backlog). At that point the Stack-On cabinate will be used for ammo storage.

I know neither are exactly fire-proof, but the modularity of the Zanotti was a big plus. I'm still in a transient time of my life (dangit, I was hoping to have roots somewhere by now) so the ease of moving the Zanotti was a big plus for me. Besides, later on, when I have settled down a bit, I can always build a closet to surround the safe that will give as good or better fire protection than the fire-rated safes do on their own.

GLOOB
September 22, 2007, 12:45 AM
Damn. I didn't even consider buying my first gun until I had a safe. Esp if you are buying a gun for home defense, you should consider that your home will most likely be violated when you're NOT there. Also, someone may break in to your home, because they KNOW there are guns inside to be stolen.

busstuf
September 22, 2007, 02:02 AM
You live in Yakima,where Graffunders are built! Go look at them at there dealer,Grizzley Enterprises. I have two of them,after seeing alot of different safes. It is my opinion, that no other safe comes close in comparison. You get what you pay for holds true when buying a safe or a RSC.

sumpnz
September 22, 2007, 02:56 AM
I should point out that I did also pick up a pistol safe quite a while ago too. One of those safes that comes with the sticker on the box that warns not to drop it on your foot. Fits my Sig and my wife's .38.

OAKVILLE SHOOTER
September 22, 2007, 07:56 PM
I like my Liberty real well. Something to think about is the fire rating. Safes are rated for a set time limt, usually 30 45 or 60 minutes, at a set temperature and list a max interior temperature for the test. The better the fire rating, the more expensive and more heavy, even for the same size safe. Liberty warranty covers loss/damage to guns if the safe is broken into, or there is a fire.

Important. Don't size safe according to current needs. Buy the biggest safe that you can afford and have room for. When I got my safe three years ago, I had maybe 5 handguns and five or six long guns. Now I have over 20 of each. Seems I like to buy guns, and as long as the wife isn't complaining...............:D:D Now, safe is full. Handguns hanging on pegs on inside of door. Long guns double stacked. Had to move the ammunition out and still don't have room for anymore:banghead:

Must be time for another safe:D

a1abdj
September 23, 2007, 12:51 PM
I like my Liberty real well. Something to think about is the fire rating. Safes are rated for a set time limt, usually 30 45 or 60 minutes, at a set temperature and list a max interior temperature for the test. The better the fire rating, the more expensive and more heavy, even for the same size safe.

There is currently no gun safe on the market that carries an insurable fire rating. In other words, no recognized testing agency (UL here in the US), has tested and passed a gun safe. These "ratings" that you see on gun safes are provided by the manufacturer, or from an "independant facility". Although gun safes will give you some protection, they will typically not protect their contents during a fire.

Liberty warranty covers loss/damage to guns if the safe is broken into, or there is a fire.

Liberty will replace the safe, not the contents. Many other manufacturers offer this as well, but most people simply add the safe to the list of damaged/stolen items given to their insurance company.

Ala Dan
September 30, 2007, 08:41 PM
Much has been written 'bout Residential Security Containers, commonly
called safes. We have a couple of very knowledgeable persons on board
here there are "SAFE EXPERTS". I will deter my comments to those two
professionals, who actually making a living at selling, moving, and at
times servicing these RSC's. If memory serves me correctly, they say
that an actual safe [bank vault type] start at 'bout $3500 and go for
well over $20,000~!

My advice, is simply to assess your needs. Are real "safe crackers" a
big problem in your area; or is it the "smash and grab dope heads" that
are hyped up on crystal meth, PCP, pain pills, or smoking crack? Do you
need to keep a former prison inmate (that has served time for burglary
and safe cracking); or do you need to keep the dope heads, and/or
your 3 year old grand child from tampering with the merchandise? I
choose the latter, and in doing so purchased a pretty painted forrest
green/gold trim with brass hardware LIBERTY COLONIAL SERIES safe
from my employer. Thus far, combined with my other excellent security
measures- it has served me well. :scrutiny:;):D

greg531mi
October 5, 2007, 11:13 PM
Yes, pretty, and I think the thieves would love it too....Reminds me of all those cars out there with spoilers out there on their 4 bangers......
If you want to be cheap, go down to your local SAFE dealer, and buy a used one, with good protection, put in a gun rack, cost you just as much as a pretty one.
Please, listen to the experts...get a real safe....not a tin box!

kolob10
October 7, 2007, 11:26 AM
I have a Canon fire resistant safe and it has served me well. Keep in mind the "residential" safes are only "smash and grab' safe. Anyone could gain access to the contents of your safe in about 20 minutes with a dremel type tool unless you have a commercial unit costing over $3500. A professional could get in quicker.

Handyguy
October 9, 2007, 11:54 AM
There are safes available that have ratings for both security and resistance to break-in. I think most "gun safes" are just that- storage boxes for your guns. Like anything, price detrmines what you get to a large degree.

langenc
October 9, 2007, 02:31 PM
Someone somewhere told me or I read that if your safe provides fire resiatance that there could be a pretty good tax deduction on such a purchase. That was a couple years ago-check with your tax person-and would someone please post details.=-maybe a taxperson reads these??

Roadrunner NV
October 9, 2007, 02:58 PM
I don't think whatever safe (small or high grade) you've got will stop a motived thief, it is just a matter of time. More time you give, more chance a thief can steal your safe contents.

Consider an installation of fire detector very close to your safe, so if one guy use a torch cutting (I read most of the safe will not resist) your fire alarm will go off, bringing the fire department on your location, ad more gadget surveillances if you can, etc...

Dirtypacman
October 9, 2007, 03:43 PM
The bigger the better to start - you will always need more room no matter if you think it will hold what you got now.

I recommend going with the fire protection also just for the peace of mind.

mrreynolds
October 9, 2007, 07:20 PM
Check my page under Manufacturers > Security

a1abdj
October 9, 2007, 08:05 PM
Someone somewhere told me or I read that if your safe provides fire resiatance that there could be a pretty good tax deduction on such a purchase.

This is true if you use a fire rated document safe or filing cabinet. You may be able to cheat and claim your gun safe is a fire rated safe, but in truth, it's a gun safe, and not suitable for the deduction.

Consider an installation of fire detector very close to your safe, so if one guy use a torch cutting (I read most of the safe will not resist) your fire alarm will go off

I can almost guarantee you that anybody bringing a torch to attack a safe has already bypassed your alarm system. Cutting torches seem to be a tool used by professionals more so than your average burglar.

Gun safes are much more likely to be attacked by common hand and power tools, and many will be easily defeated. Crowbars, saws with steel blades, and hammers are your biggest threats against a gun safe.

Most residential burglars aren't carrying 4' pry bars with them, so make sure you don't leave yours sitting next to the gun safe. A criminal is more likely to use tools found at your house then he is to bring his own.



I don't think whatever safe (small or high grade) you've got will stop a motived thief, it is just a matter of time. More time you give, more chance a thief can steal your safe contents.


That's true to an extent. Safes buy time against threat. The better the safe, the more time you buy. You can't use the argument that "eventually they'll get into it" because there's a big difference between 5 minutes and 5 hours.

The first step anyone should take when safe shopping is to determine the threat level they face along with the value of the contents. You then buy a safe that offers you that protection. Price, paint, warranties, and other factors should only play a minor role in that decision.

Roadrunner NV
October 9, 2007, 08:48 PM
a1abdj, I was reading something about a ratio contents value/% investment you should put in your safe. Is it perhaps, a possibility to evaluate how much we need to spend in a safe.

CB900F
October 9, 2007, 09:04 PM
Roadrunner;

Yes, there are suggestions as to the contents value/vs cost for safes. However, they tend to be meaningless unless & until you determine the threat level to your valuables.

In other words; there are areas of this country that putting $50,000.00 worth of contents in a $5000.00 'B' rated safe, would be reasonable. There are other areas that that would be rather unreasonable.

900F

a1abdj
October 9, 2007, 11:43 PM
It is certainly true that the risks vary across the country as CB900F mentioned above. Insurance companies do a lot of research on this, and are more than happy to dictate safe requirments to their insured.

We usually use a rough figure of 10% safe/cash ratio. If you're keeping physical goods in the safe, you can spend less. Around here, a brand new$9,000 TRTL-30x6 would be good up to around $300,000 in assets. You could buy a used version of that safe in the $5,000 range.

The problem you have applying this to gun safes is that the purchase price isn't directly related to the security. The fancy paint, warranty, interior, and brand recognition is figured into the price, but providing you zero protection.

Roadrunner NV
October 10, 2007, 11:49 AM
Actually my ratio is: 1 safe/ 4x the price of the safe in contents. Basically 25% investment to secure that, but I should eventually take an insurance to be on the good track. I am not living in a bad area, but extra care doesn't hurt.

Jack Halloran
October 20, 2007, 10:25 PM
I need an RSC to hold 8 rifles, 5 handguns, several boxes of ammo, 2 cameras, papers, jewelry, etc. The contents' value is in the $7-8,000 range. I'm more concerned with security than fire protection, because the papers will be in a fire box within the safe. It will be in a closet with a deadbolt and security hinges on it. My budget is $1,000-$1,500. I want something that will defeat the guy who learned how to bust into cheap safes in the joint. Could you rank these into No Good, Too Good, and One of These:

Graffunder
Brown
Heritage
Champion
Fort Knox
Browning
Granite (Winchester)
Cannon
AmSec
Fortress
Patriot
Diamondback
Security Products
Liberty
Gardall

Whew, I think I named them all, except Sentry and Stack-on! Granted, some of these may be "economy" brands made by another on the list. Feel free to add your own.

CB900F
October 22, 2007, 09:56 PM
Jack;

Brown & Graffunder are true safes, not RSC's. Either will exceed your budget, though they offer excellent protection. FWIW, I sell Graffunder.

AMSEC is the largest maker of safes & RSC's in America. They produce, or import, everything from TL rated safes to tin boxes. Make sure you know what you're getting if you buy an AMSEC. Not that the company itself is anything but reputable, but the dealer may not give you the correct, entire, and whole picture without considerable questioning by yourself.

Fort Knox: Protection is available that's above the average RSC. However, it's still not a true safe and the price difference from the top end of their line to a real safe is minimal. That's my opinion & I'm stickin' to it.

Of the rest: Buy the unit that gives you the features you need at the least price, there's no substantial difference in protection.

900F

George Hill
October 23, 2007, 12:52 AM
If you guys like Liberty Safes, take a look at Champion. They are similar to the Liberty line, but offer better fire protection at longer times at higher temps. Champion is another Utah safe company and they rock.
We've dropped the Liberty line and now deal exclusively with Champion.

Jack Halloran
October 24, 2007, 12:26 AM
What is meant by "active bolts" and an auto-detent system?

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