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Gun Safe Construction

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by jim357, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. jim357

    jim357 Well-Known Member

    I was at a gun store yesterday, just looking around and started looking at the gun safes. The two that I looked at were fire rated and had thick walls. However, the bottoms of these things appeared to be just thin sheet metal. Am I missing something or could a burglar just tip the thing over and use a simple tool to cut through the bottom? I could be wrong, I was not willing to lay on the floor and poke around, but is this common construction? I did not notice the brand name. Great reason to bolt the safe to the floor.
  2. shilo

    shilo Active Member

    I move and install safes as a side job. everything from small jewelers safes to gun safes to monster commercial safes. The gun safes really arent even safes. they are home security lockers. The bottoms of these are the weakest point. Just thin sheet metal. The sides and back are weak. Anyone with a die grinder could get into one rather quickly. And that nice sheetrock fire proofing just protects the guns inside from sparks! Some of the cheaper chinese ones, Big Chief comes to mind, could be broke into with a sledge hammer. Always bolt them to the floor. When I move them, its just two of us using dowel pins and plywood to roll it through houses and gravel. We use simple 4x4 wood blocks and longer peices to roll em or down stairs. Customers are quite surprised when there 1500 pound safe gets put down stairs by two guys in 20 minutes with no special tools. If one was to steal a safe and not worry about the carptet and walls, it could be snatched in ten minutes!
  3. a1abdj

    a1abdj Well-Known Member

    The walls are usually the same thickness as the bottom, and in many cases, the same thickness as the door. The doors and walls look thicker because of the insulation.
  4. barneyrw

    barneyrw Well-Known Member

    Instead of bolting it to the floor I set it in place and then located a wall stud behind the safe and then drilled a hole from the inside of the safe near the top into the wall stud. I then screwed a 3/8" or 7/16" ( I can't remember which) lag screw with a large fender washer from the inside of the safe into the wall stud. You will now pretty much have to tear the wall apart to get the safe loose. Unless you live in a remote area, most home burglerys are pretty much a grap what you can and get out quickly before someone calls the police or the owner comes home. These safes are meant to make it time consuming and difficult for a thief, they are not burgler proof.
  5. shilo

    shilo Active Member

    Exactly. they are home security lockers. Meant to deter "snatch and grab" robbery. nothing is burgler proof. Even bolted to a cement floor or to a wall, a 6 foot pinch bar can loosen just about anything. Then a pallet jack or some roll pins and your safe is byby
  6. Pietro Beretta

    Pietro Beretta Well-Known Member

    All Any Lock does; whether it be on your front door, your car, or the lock on your safe: is keep an honest person honest.

    If someone wants to steal or break into something: they will. :what:
  7. Morrell

    Morrell Well-Known Member

    I have been looking into getting a firearm safe myself. It seems to me, given the attitude of the comments here, that I might as well buy a 300.00 gun "locker" rather than spend 1000.00 on a safe. Whats the point of spending the extra money if the lock is all but pointless, the weight means nothing, and the fire protection is a joke? :confused: Why did you posters bother with a safe and not save the extra money to get better insurance since the safe is pointless?
  8. jim357

    jim357 Well-Known Member

    A lot of folks seem to be down on gun safes. However, this reminds me of the story of the two men walking in the woods. They were discussing what they would do if they came across a bear. One man said to run. The other man said, "That is crazy, you will never be able to out run a bear." The first man then stated, "I don't have to out run the bear, I only have to out run you!"
    There was / is a fellow on here who has told us a bit about his security. A good safe, good locks, an alarm system and likely other things that he has not made public. At some point it is easier to go to the house next door. But if a person is not going to take precautions because he feels that nothing is 100 percent, he becomes that person next door.
    Just my opinion and worth exactly what you paid for it.
  9. keithhr

    keithhr Member

    I just installed my Sturdy Safe made in Fresno Ca. it's amazing

    I believe that a lot of firearm owners are duped into buying safes that are close to being worthless in providing actual gun security.
    I've spent quite a bit of time reading about what makes a good gun safe as I've been searching for my own, and I found that there are a lot of major suspect safe manufacturers using really cheap materials and using over dramatized fire ratings to have at least something to claim for their safes. The plan is to over hype the fire ratings if the safe offers little to no real burglary security. So they just delivered my Sturdy Safe bolted it down and here's a link if your curious. (sturdysafe.com)
    I am not affiliated with this company in any way, I just feel fortunate that I discovered this company. I believe the value of their safe construction is unsurpassed for the money they charge. So, here goes the main differences. Many major safe builders use 12-16 gauge outer steel which offers virtually no protection against a common axe attack. Usually adding a bit more door thickness , never the less they wouldn't stop much of an attack period, but well disguised fire ratings are used as a ruse. So, a safe with an outer thickness of of just .0589 inches (16 gauge) to .1046 inches (12 gauge) this covers the majority of gun safe outer walls including safes up to $1800-$2000 safes with plaster board, gypsum sheathing or a foamed concrete inner layer, providing not much protection.

    So the reason I'm writing this is I've read so much crap recently describing these woefully inadequate safe constructs I felt . I had to speak up. I just purchased a Sturdy safe with outer walls of .1793 thick walls (7 gauge ) with a front door of 5/16" thick. The safe is also made of one sheet with 12 -90 degree bends with a recessed door . It is actually a thing of beauty in the simplicity of it's construction. For the price of this safe, I paid less than $1000 before tax and shipping( unlucky for me they are made in my state so I paid taxes. One of the reasons I am writing this is I wanted to share my good fortune upon discovering this totally made in America company. The only body welds on this safe is for the top and bottom, not counting the welds which were used to attach the protective plate around all the locking modules internally. The safe also uses far fewer locking components as they have placed the handle on the side in direct line with the locking bolts, so no elaborate cam locking structures. There is at least one manufacture who touts the massive number of locking cams (needless complications) just to use as a sales tool and to be able to place the handle in the center of the safe for visual appeal, absolutely mine boggling.
    I've never written a safe review but felt this was a substantial enough find to share it with people also interested in the best protection for their firearms that they can. I just bolted mine down today, I must admit that I didn't get the fire protection ( high temperature ceramic glass wool , actually two types compressed to 2" thickness) because I live just a couple of blocks from a fire station. This unlined (without heavy gypsum sheathing) weighs in at 520 LBS which is way more than the competition in just the steel. There is a lot more I could have written but just check it our for yourselves, and see if you find it as cool as I did. I think it is unbelievable quality for the money , and granted some have complained of its industrial look on other forums, but I just put on some decals that came with it and it actually looks kind of cool. After reading how they build their safes I kept reading all the major player specs and kept coming back to this manufacturer, and I hope this helps someone else looking for a safe. I'm feeling pretty good right now because I was fortunate in finding this company. Sure a professional burglar would probably have no trouble getting into this safe, but the casual burglar is not gonna touch this baby for sure. I have another safe in my garage I bought last year (amsec commercial fire, burglary safe)

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