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Trying to decide which safe to buy.

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by Tuna_Wheeling, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. Tuna_Wheeling

    Tuna_Wheeling New Member

    Sep 2, 2012
    I am shopping for a gun safe. I am looking at the Liberty Fatboy Jr with the dial combination for $1199. The liberty dealer wants $185 to install an electronic lock. Cabelas has a safe called the Woodsman, made by Liberty, but it has the electronic. I would like the electronic lock, but is it a better feature than the dial lock? Am I getting any benefit from paying $200 more for the electronic lock? Are the Woodsman and the Fatboy Jr the same safe? Any suggestions or input would be appreciated.
  2. SD929

    SD929 New Member

    Nov 30, 2008
    I just bought an AMSEC BF series safe, kept the manual dial lock. It's not quick thing to do. I couldn't imagine doing it under stress with out any errors, so if you getting into it quickly is your "someones in my house response" then you might think of the dial.
  3. idoono

    idoono New Member

    Dec 26, 2008
    Second Amsec BF series. Personally I would keep the mechanical lock.....less problems.

  4. Steel185

    Steel185 New Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Ankeny, IA
    I was going to get a manual lock because I though I might come in handy if the world came to an end and I couldn't find batteries (yes I know, but I think that way). I had a chance to actually use a manual lock, playing with one at sportsman's warehouse. Wow, it was not like a normal pad lock or your high school locker. That ended the debate for me, I went with the electric lock. I'd play with one if you have access and see what you think Before committing.
  5. chuckj5

    chuckj5 New Member

    Nov 15, 2011
    Four Oaks, NC
    Good safe for the money

    I bought a Safari 14 from Costco. On sale with free shipping. Actually, if you stuff 14 long guns into the safe, it would be tough to get to any one of them other than the one on the front left. It has internal hinges which are more secure; you give up the ability to open the door all the way. Internal configuration is very flexible. I put long guns on the left, papers, valuables on the right and a rack of handguns on the top shelf. I built a padded wood rack to hold my handguns.
    Like most gun safes, they look like big ugly gray metal boxes, I undertook to put a scean on the front and side. I did the design on my computer, then had a friend that owns a vinyl sign company cut the design for me then assembled it on the safe door and side. Even my wife thought it was an improvement.
    Safe has electronic lock, replace the battery from the outside of the safe. Don’t even want to think about what happens if there is a failure of the electronics.

    Attached Files:

  6. al123

    al123 New Member

    Sep 11, 2009
    Do a search here for a1abdj and cb900f. Both highroad members are certified safe technicians. Their views are quite a bit different than what you would get from a typical gun safe (RSC) salesperson.

    I'm no safe expert so the following should be taken with a grain of salt: IME, when dealing with many gun safe sales people they exaggerate the performance of their products, while also extolling features that have nothing to do with protection. They'll talk about their 'super-secure' blended composite doors or the beautiful outdoor scenes silk-screened on the front.

    Bottom line is most low cost gun safes (<$1000) are imported and protection-wise aren't that much different from each other. 10-12 gauge boxes are essentially the same. It's just capacity, features and price. Many Liberty, Cabelas, Cannon etc. products fall into this category. They'll do the job against most smash-and-grab opportunists.

    Somewhat up the food chain (starting at ~$2,000) are higher end RSCs. IMO, the best value at this range are the AMSEC BF and Sturdy Co. RSCs. They provide better protection than your typical low-cost import. Both are made in the U.S. With AMSEC BF products you have to call around for a good price. You may or may not find good deals depending on your locale. Sturdy you deal with the company directly.

    Fort Knox safes you can upgrade for better protection and they look great. They have numerous customization options, but you have to pay for them. High end Liberty, Browning etc. safes also have better protection than the low-cost imports. However, these RSCs generally cost more than the AMSEC BF or Sturdy products for the same level of protection.

    IMO, these higher-end RSCs have a greater probability to deter the smaller subset of practiced or determined (but unprepared) burglars. They might take a shot at a lower-end RSC, but give up on these tougher products. However, none of the above mentioned RSCs would last long against someone with a little knowledge and power tools. (BTW, lock-up your tools and bolt down your RSC).

    For those you need real safes e.g. Graffunder, Brown, and AMSEC HS. These add more time in trying to break in. Price and weight are the issues. For people with high end collections, these may be the best options. For us less affluent folks, they're just a novelty.

    Mechanical locks appear to have fewer service calls than electronic locks. Electronic locks have more features (e.g. changing the combination without voiding the warranty) and are faster to enter. You can choose the lock depending on what's important to you. The above mentioned safe technicians have good information on this.

    One common advice is buy more capacity than you think you'll need, and that a 20 long arm box may really only hold 10 if you have any accessories attached.

    Good luck.
  7. Teachu2

    Teachu2 Senior Member

    Jan 17, 2012
    Keene, CA
    I have four, currently. My first has a dial, the next three are electronic. My wife fails 3 out of 4 attempts to open the dial, I fail 1 out of 4. We both open the electronics first time, everytime.

    I elected to go with multiple safes rather than a single huge one for several reasons:
    1) Bigger isn't better - it takes the same amount (or less) of time to open a big model vs a smaller model of the same safe (or RSC).
    2) My collection's value (including sentimental value) doesn't justify a high-security safe.
    3) Time is everything to a residential burglar. I have a good alarm system, nosy neighbors, loud dogs, and quick LE response time.
    4) Three of the four contain few or no guns. Tax records, pictures, passports, etc.
    5) It takes longer to locate and open 4 RSCs than one.
    6) I can move one by myself. I bolt them to the concrete slab and the wall behind them.
    7) I can add space relatively inexpensively - just buy another..
    8) A pro will quickly defeat any safe I could reasonably afford. A typical residential burglar will still be trying to get into the first one when the deputies arrive.
    9) I'm well insured, and have no true collectables. If someone manages to defeat everything and take my guns, the insurance company will congratulate me for purchasing a rider last year and send a check. The RSC manufacturers will repair or replace the RSCs at no charge. And the economy will get a boost.

    You can only do so much. Most residential burglaries are committed by kids and addicts, so if you can slow them down until LE responds you are golden.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2012
  8. FAS1

    FAS1 Active Member

    Jul 2, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    External hinges allow the safe's door to open more for easier access to the safes interior. They aren't really part of the safes security other than it is an attchment point for the door.
  9. chuckj5

    chuckj5 New Member

    Nov 15, 2011
    Four Oaks, NC
  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Nov 20, 2006
    Some posts went away.

    Please try to answer the OPs question without arguing among yourselves or making unkind comments about each other.
  11. Savage99

    Savage99 Active Member

    Aug 13, 2004
    Welcome to the forum.

    While have have old office safes they cost me to have a rigger put them in the basement.

    If I got another safe I would consider a safe that I could carry piece by piece into the house and assemble there.

    Snap Safe makes one and so does Zanotti. Walmart sells them along with others.

  12. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    0 hrs east of TN
    I have dial and pad systems and I don't think anything has been gained by the keypad systems that offset the cost.

    Where value increases with expense is in the type of material used in the fire rating, the thickness of wall and door steel, and the interior features. Quality of the lock mechanisms also increases the value with the increased cost and could prevent a call to a safe tech to open your safe.

    Internal and external hinges play no useful role in the security of the Residential Security Container since they only support the door when open. Cut them off and the pins hold the door securely in place since any quality RSC also has pins on the hinge side of the door.
  13. phm14

    phm14 New Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Houston, TX
    CB900F here on the forum is a Graffunder dealer. I shopped prices on some of the larger, higher end RFCs (residential storage containers), and buying a Graffunder BF7248(?) was a much better value-much tougher to break into than a RSC rated box. My unit suffered some finish damage in transit (drop shipped from factory-nothing to do with the dealer), as it was under packed IMHO. This took 3 months to resolve, but CB900F (Jim) hung in there and saw it through as best as anyone could have. He was very professional, and demonstration superlative service after the sale.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  14. 2nd 41

    2nd 41 Active Member

    Dec 3, 2007
    A safe dealer told me that electric keypads do go sour and will need service in time.
    I currently have a safe from 1980 with dial. Never had a problem. I'm looking for a second safe and will try a keypad this time.
  15. Mr. Greg11

    Mr. Greg11 New Member

    Nov 25, 2012
    So. Cal
    Some makers offer to install both type locks. When the electric one fails you still can get in with the combo lock. Best of both worlds, Speed of opening" electric" and "old reliable"combo.
  16. erikk8829

    erikk8829 New Member

    Jun 18, 2012
    I have had a Fort Knox Guardian with the e key pad for 8 years with no problems
  17. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Mentor

    Jan 8, 2011
    I like my keypads for quick entry and ease of combination changes.

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