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Gun Safes: Looking for a recommendation

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by dehughes, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. dehughes

    dehughes Well-Known Member

    Hey all,

    I'm not sure which forum this belongs in, but I wager the mods will move it if need be.

    I'd like to purchase a gun safe, but don't really know where to start. At present I have a rifle, shotgun, and a pistol (Glock 17), and would like to have a good quality, secure safe to store them in. Most likely I'll end up with a .22 at some point, but no means do I plan on being a "collector". I'm just looking for a smart, secure way to store my firearms both for my family's safety and for protection from theft, etc.. Your recommendations are appreciated.

  2. JimmAr

    JimmAr Well-Known Member

    Liberty is my favorite. I believe we have the "Lincoln" model.
  3. dehughes

    dehughes Well-Known Member

    Nice. Thanks. I'll look into those...

    In skimming posts in the past I seem to remember there being lock types (electronic vs. combination) and manufacturers that one should get/avoid, but I cannot remember what was what. The Liberty stuff looks nice, though...
  4. hpluseleven

    hpluseleven Well-Known Member

    Second for the Liberty. I have a Centurion model. I have moved several times since i got it and I can move it by myself with a dolly if I have to, or I can move it fairly easily with a buddy and a dolly.

    I would suggest getting a bigger safe than you think you need. Even if you don't intend to be a collector, you will likely find other 'stuff' to store in your safe. I bought my safe after having a house fire. I now keep birth certificate/passport/medical records/dog's shot records/etc/etc in my safe. That stuff doesn't take up that much room, but it seems that I keep my safe filled to capacity between guns, ammo, and 'stuff'.
  5. Davionmaximus

    Davionmaximus Well-Known Member

    Get the best you can justify. My only recomendation is for a digital lock. I tend to get into mine quite a bit... the conventional combination is slow...
    Should have paid the extra 100 bucks or so for the upgrade :banghead:
  6. dehughes

    dehughes Well-Known Member

    Cool. Thanks all. So I have:

    - Liberty is highly recommended
    - Get a bigger one than I think I need
    - Get a digital lock instead of combination

    One that first point, what is the consensus with Sentry brand gun safes? I have a smaller, fire safe for papers, etc, and it's been fine thusfar...

    On that last point, wouldn't a combination lock be the one to have greater longevity and constancy (no electronics, no battery dying, no electronic component failures, etc.)? Or am I geeking out on a non-important point?
  7. Doug b

    Doug b Well-Known Member

    Digital locks

    My safe has an electric lock that uses a 9v battery.Some of these batts. last for up to a year or so and some only a month.Not many things use these batts. anymore and I suspect they spend most of their useful life on the store shelf.Might be worth considering.
  8. lebowski

    lebowski Well-Known Member

    What's your budget and how much security do you want?

    I recently recieved my new "sturdy safe" and I'm pretty happy with it. I did quite a bit of research before buying and IMO in the mid-priced category sturdy and the amsec BF series offer the best value and quality for the money, and by quite a wide margin I may add. If money was no object I'd look at a true "safe" (which nothing mentioned thus far is) from graffunder or brown safes.

    I highly recommend a dial lock over digital. Digital keypads are much more convenient when they work, but they are infinitely less reliable. A dial lock will last as forever. A digital lock won't seem so "convenient" the day you have to call a locksmith to come get you in to your own safe.

    Use the search feature - this topic has been discussed many times and there is a lot of good info on thr.

    Whatever you get, bolt it down.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2009
  9. 2nd 41

    2nd 41 Well-Known Member

    Buy Quality. Buy the best & largest you can. They fill up fast. Be sure you can get it up or down the steps (weight).
    I'm not into fire safes. I prefer an unlined safe. Cheaper & they don't sweat
    inside. Just my preference. I have an American Security. Shop around. Prices vary.
    Mine is a combo dial. Over 25 years old. Never serviced. Never a problem.
  10. heeler

    heeler Well-Known Member

    The best bang for the buck security wise in what is called a gun safe at a reasonable price(sub 3k) is an Amsec BF model or Sturdy Safe.
  11. Guns and more

    Guns and more member

    I'd say to look at a safe as big as you need, and buy one twice as big.
    You will never regret that purchase. I have a Champion with the electronic lock and it has been flawless. These safe threads tend to get into the technical aspects of one safe over another, until you feel you shouldn't buy anything if it doesn't cost $5,000. My theory is this: A $1000 or $2000 safe is better than your stuff in a desk drawer. That's what it comes down to. Yes, a professional bank robber can attack your safe. So far, I haven't seen a lot of bank robbers in my neighborhood. I'm more worried about a smash and grab drug addled thief.
    Buy locally if you can, let them install it. They are the pro's. I had my dealer make another shelf using the same materials as the safe interior.. He did it for free.
  12. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    Find a local locksmith in your area that sells safes - he might have a used one that someone traded in on an upgrade - you'll get a good safe at a lower price....BTW, go with a regular dial - you don't want a battery dial taking a digger at the wrong time. I have a National Security, which is now owned by Liberty
  13. dehughes

    dehughes Well-Known Member

    Great idea about the "used" safe.....never thought of that.

    I'll run a search and see what shows up. I looked around the forums but didn't see anything...

    As well, I'll look into those brands already mentioned, and give special attention to dial locks...

    As for price, I've figured in the $500 range, hopefully under $1k, as I don't have that many guns at the moment, and none of them are exceptionally "valuable" (though I'd rather they not get stolen, obviously).

    Last edited: Sep 30, 2009
  14. lebowski

    lebowski Well-Known Member

    That price range will limit you quite a bit.

    I'd probably start by going to zykansafe.com and check out his eagle series. He has several listed for <$1000 (also don't forget about shipping).
  15. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    That's why, in his budget range, a used one from a local locksmith might be the best scenario
  16. trimore

    trimore Well-Known Member

    I would recommend against the digital lock. Think of how many things that are digital or electronic survive past 10 years, 20 years. Not many. And if your safe is 15 years old, what will be options and cost be to fix the digital lock. Additionally things that need electricy in the form of batteries tend to cause frustration since they have to be changed regularly and tend to go out when you don't want them too.

    If you need quick access to a handgun, a small handgun lock box would be better such as a gunvault.

    Now that I see that you are in the $500 range. I did quite a bit of research recently and found that unless spending at least 700-800 and more likely over $1000, a safe is not worth spending that much money for the improvement over a gun cabinet. What I found was that a sub $1000 safe could be gotten into by a persistent theif and nothing under $1000 provided fire protection that I was comfortable with.

    For me, keeping the guns from children and visitors was the highest priority and then fire protection (for more than just my guns). A gun cabinet does the #1 priority and anything under $1000 was not going to accomplish the fire protection to my satisfaction.

    I decided on a a gun cabinet. Depending on the size and sales, once can be had for between $80 and $175 for the size you are looking for. I bought one for $129 at Dicks and then on the same day my neighbor saw me unloading it and said I could have a extra one that he had that was brand new. I took the one from Dicks back and put the free one to good use.

    I agree with another poster about looking for used. I did find some but nothing fit my budget need at the time. Persistence monitoring craigslist could really pay off.
  17. heeler

    heeler Well-Known Member

    If your budget is that low then head over to Home Depot or Lowes and buy something like a Greenlee contractors tool box.
    This will cost less than $500 and are usually made of 16 gauge steel and will definitely keep the kids out and the smash and grab louts.
    A gun rack for the long guns can be easily built.
    A friend of mine uses one for his massive ammo dump cause his Ft.Knox safes cup has runneth over.
  18. Bear2000

    Bear2000 Well-Known Member

    Diamond Back Safes - Best Bang for the Buck

    I just ordered a GS5930H Diamond Back Safe. Total price was $950 (shipping included). The specs on this safe blow away anything else in the $1000-$2000 range:

    10 gauge steel
    10 1 1/2" locking bolts
    60 mins fire protection
    22 guns
    697 pounds.

    Try to find anything close to those specs (most are 12 gauge steel w/ 1" bolts) anywhere near that price. You can get the 20 gun safe w/slightly less protection for $750 shipped, and the 16 for around $600 shipped.

    Check them out here, but you can get them cheaper (like I did).

  19. dehughes

    dehughes Well-Known Member

    Wow...you know you're into guns when your Fort Knox runneth over. :)

    Yeah, I'm not worried about fire/water damage, or even theft, really, so much as safety from curious children. Something solid would be nice, even something with a sturdy door and bolts...a gun cabinet is kinda in that direction, albeit maybe a bit too low strength for my gun instincts. I'll look into the Sentry stuff or a used cabinet locally, as I don't want to pay for shipping and wager I could find something decent locally...
  20. a1abdj

    a1abdj Well-Known Member

    The Diamond Back is just a name applied to a safe by one particular distributor. These same safes are available through a variety of distributors under a variety of brand names.

    But do you know who the cheaper retailer is? Do you know who has access to your information (including safe combo)?

    These companies selling these safes for a few dollars over cost are not going through any background or licensing check of any kind. Buyer beware.

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