11 gauge steel 600 pound liberty safe - is it enough?

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by TheCpaNextDoor, Dec 31, 2018.

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  1. TheCpaNextDoor

    TheCpaNextDoor Member

    Dec 31, 2018
    Just been reading about safes - cutting, tortching, stealing/removing, etc. I bolted my safe down. Can anyone attest that they work?

    I keep hearing stuff like 10 gauge is where a fire axe or sledge hammer can’t break the steel. But then when you get into 7 gauge type safes you’re looking at 1000 pounds + and an $6k safe or something.
    Jinx0760 likes this.
  2. Mn Fats

    Mn Fats Member

    Jan 23, 2017
    I'd wager that most safes that are bolted down get skipped in a home robbery. It takes guts to sit inside someone's house and hack away for an unspecified amount of time.

    Now if the perp knew your schedule, say you were on vacation, then no gun safe I've seen is "safe". Just takes the right tools and man/men.
    Jinx0760 likes this.
  3. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Member

    Jul 22, 2012
    LV county KS
    That will stop the average thief. The steel thickness is only one important aspect. Having locking bars/bolts/rods all the way around the door rather than just on one side is a good idea. By that I mean the bars that are inside the door that are what actually engages the safe around the door opening to keep the door shut. Also, if you have a cheaper safe make sure the side opposite of the hinges is as close as possible to a sturdy wall. That would keep thieves from being able to get a good angle with prying tools. But even a properly installed expensive safe won't stop someone with the right tools, knowledge, and some time. An alarm system to alert you and/or police keeps those people from having enough time.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
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  4. Scrapiron45

    Scrapiron45 Member

    Aug 26, 2018
    I have two of the liberty's and have no doubt with the proper equipment I could peel open the side or top in ten minutes. It would be a loud, smokey process but I'd get in. The thickness and weight of the safe is just part of my total security plan. Lights, alarms and dogs are part of my plan too. I'm trying to slow smash and grab thieves, I have one of the small cheapo fire safes with a few rolls of quarters in it sitting on top of a gun safe hoping they'll take it and run. A fireman friend of mine recommended setting the safe against an exterior wall, said there's less potential for heat damage there compared to deep in the structure.
    Jinx0760 likes this.
  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 20, 2006
    To stop a smash and grab thief looking for a quick in and out who can find something of interest to steal instead of spending time on the security container we call a gun safe? Probably, if it is bolted down in a corner and they did not bring, or you do not provide, tools to break in with.

    A $600 gun "safe" is minimal protection IMHO. Much, much better than nothing. Leave stuff out like laptops, TVs etc, that they can steal quick and easy and leave.

    One of the best bangs for the buck is a Sturdy "safe" A lot of metal to cut through. Mine saved my guns when I was broken into. They stole a TV, a battery drill, and a shotgun I carelessly left out of the safe.
    Jinx0760 likes this.
  6. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    SE GA
    Short answer is yes.

    Long answer is very complicated and involves way to many unknown variables.

    These answers are also true for 100 dollar cabinets and 10000 dollar vaults.
    Jinx0760 and Skgreen like this.
  7. Waveski

    Waveski Member

    Jan 28, 2014
    43 north
    The way I figure it :

    If there is a crew in your house with heavy tools - plasma cutter and such , and they are able to settle into the kind of noisy , smokey efforts required to breach a safe of average construction and a decent bolt array , and they can do so without discovery or interruption , all is lost anyway. The proper occupants of the house are already incapacitated or have fled and neither they or the neighbors are calling the cops ... doomsday scenario. Anarchy. The safe will withstand the ordinary druggie looking for a quick buck , which is the most likely scenario.
    Mn Fats likes this.
  8. paulsj

    paulsj member

    Jan 12, 2017
    Why not get cheap safe from Walmart load it with some steeil bars leave it in plain sight unbolted making sure its not too heavy for someone to carry it away?
    ontarget likes this.
  9. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

    Jan 8, 2011
    A RSC for smash and grabbers and a dedicated insurance policy for pro burglars works for me.
  10. doubleh

    doubleh Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    NM-south of I-40
    I seriously doubt 10 guage would stop a strong person with a fire ax. It's only 9/64 of an inch thick. Now old, gimpy me would probably be defearted by it. Heck,14 guage would probably keep me out.
  11. jmorris

    jmorris Member

    Sep 30, 2005
    You won’t stop anyone that is determined, knows what they are doing and has time, you are just providing an obstacle.

    The door is going to be the hardest spot to breech. Put it in a closet and they will have to remove walls and studs to get to the thinner sheetmetal sides.

    Even then you get a guy that knows what he is doing and he will get in with a mag drill, carbide bit and a screwdriver, without breaking a sweat swinging a single thing.
    Skgreen likes this.
  12. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

    Feb 27, 2009
    DFW (formerly Brazos County), Texas
    Simple answer is "it depends."
    Do you live in a low-crime neighborhood?
    Is it a mixed neighborhood, or all commuter Dual-Income types?
    Have you met your neighbors and now what sorts of folk they are?
    Do you hae nay other layers of security (dog/dogs, cameras, alarm system)?

    All of those things matter, whether the lock box you use says "Stak-on" or "Liberty" on the outside.

    As above, best answer is having a closet so it's even more discrete (If this causes angst about where to but clothes, point out that provides an opportunity to "invest" in beautiful armoires for clothing storage, and/or a nice chest of drawers that the tv can sit upon). If it must be exposed in a room, choose a room not much frequented by guests and typically has drawn curtains, blinds, shutter or the like. You can beef up the side protection if exposed, too. A simple bookcase the same general height will hold a few hundred pounds of hardcovers, not an easy thing to move away. A storage cabinet (preferably locking) can achieve similar mass by stashing ammo and accessories in it. And will simply look like more furniture in the room.
  13. DavidABQ

    DavidABQ Member

    Mar 19, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    I was a victim of a break in and the thieves, the snatch and grab type, grabbed some jewelry that was not secured. An inexpensive gun safe was enough for them to keep going. I have no doubt someone knowing what they are doing can break in easily.
  14. AmmunitionDepot

    AmmunitionDepot Member

    Dec 20, 2018
    I agree that you're bolted down safe should be enough. If you get robbed they will likely go for the easy stuff that they can grab and go. Someone would have to know what you had in the safe and really really want it to go through the trouble and risk of getting in it and not getting caught.
  15. Riccochet

    Riccochet Member

    Jan 2, 2019
    Unionville, NC
    I've always been of the mindset to buy once, cry once. So I bought an Amsec. It's 3400# empty. 1/2" plate steel door reinforced with 4" interlocking 10ga steel and concrete/ceramic, 1/4" plate steel sides reinforced as well. It's bolted to concrete, but I really don't think that was needed. When I sell the house it's going with it. I'm sure if someone had the time and tools they're going to get in it, but it won't be as easy as one of those sheet metal and gypsum RSC's.

    My only recommendation if you are considering an RSC is to not get a cheaper one with an electronic keypad. If you go in to the big brand stores like Dick's, BassPro, etc and see those safes. Give that keypad a spin and it comes right off. Behind it you'll see butterfly style keyhole. You can fashion a key out of a wire coat hanger and pop that safe open in seconds. Really I don't recommend electronic locking mechanisms in safes at all. Too many variables to fail leaving you locked out. And the cheaper ones use a simple solenoid to release the fly wheel, which can be manipulated with a strong magnet. Again, opening your safe in seconds leaving no trace that it was tampered with. Vidoes all over Youtube of these cheaper safes being cracked in seconds.
  16. BigBlue 94

    BigBlue 94 Member

    Dec 5, 2018
    The Great American Prairie
    While I can't attest to the strength of any safes that aren't just sheet metal cabinets, I can offer some input.

    We had a fire that burned down our shop 4 years ago. I had a steel weatherguard (high quality) toolbox on my truck and the lock/latch buttons melted out so I couldn't get into it. I took a 15 pound, 4 ft demolition crowbar to it with full on overhead he-man swings. I could barely do more than puncture it. Never got it opened up. I'd venture that it was .125" or so thick. I was worn out and saw no fruits of my labor.
  17. FAS1

    FAS1 Member

    Jul 2, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    Thicker steel can make a difference and buy you some time. Might even get the common crackhead to take your TV and leave.

    This is from a customer that had a break in. My handgun safes are 7GA and I don't know about the gun cabinet he mentioned as they usually don't say how thick the steel is.

    "Wanted to let you know that a few weeks ago we had a burglary and the dude found the FAS1 by my bed and it appears he tried to pry it open and failed. He got away with plenty of stuff, and the Stack On security cabinet didn't keep him from some of my long guns... but he didn't get my pistols, thanks in part to your product."
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