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Best Gun Safe?

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by -C4-, Jun 15, 2007.

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  1. -C4-

    -C4- Member

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    Fort Knox, Liberty, Sturdy Safe, Zanotti? What is the best safe company out there currently?
     
  2. marsh1

    marsh1 Member

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  3. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    None of those listed are the best safe company. In fact, all of those you mentioned are gun safe companies....not safe companies.

    If you could give me a better idea what you're looking for, I could probably point you in a better direction. Nobody makes the best safe, as there are different safes better for different situations.

    Edited to add:

    You will hear lots of people tell you how great their safes are, yet they've never actually used their safes.

    When you buy a firearm, it's designed to shoot. You take it out, shoot it, then base your opinion on variety of factors, including how it does its intended job. When you buy a car, you drive it. That's what cars are designed to do. People then state their opinions on cars, and how they do what they are supposed to.

    Safes are designed to protect against burglary and fire. If your safe has never been burglarized, and never been in a fire, how do you know how good it is? Basing your opinion on price or looks has nothing to do with how good of a safe it really is. Basing your opinion on a manufactuer's claim also has nothing to do with how your safe will actually perform when put to its intended use.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2007
  4. cheygriz

    cheygriz Member

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    Since I'm not an expert on safes, before I bought, I asked a couple of locksmiths who are experienced with them and, for what it's worth, they BOTh recommended Fort Knox!
     
  5. -C4-

    -C4- Member

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    a1abdj:

    Going to use it to store my guns, silver, jewlery, etc and important papers. I am looking for something that is going to be pretty good in the security department (not top of the line) but will have a lot of fire protection. It is going into the basement so looks aren't really an issue, but I also don't want to break the bank. Thoughts?
     
  6. RNB65

    RNB65 Member

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    I think you're going to find that anything sold as a "gun safe" is going to have such thin sidewalls that a determined thief can beat a hole through it with an ax or sledgehammer n a matter of minutes. Most cheap gun safes are made of 12gauge steel (10/100ths of an inch thick). Better ones are made with 10 gauge steel (13/100ths). A few are made with 8 gauge steel (16/100ths). AMSEC is often considered the top of the line RSC, but none are going to give a great deal of protection. Stay away from Liberty. Search this site for info on Liberty gun safes to find out why.
     
  7. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    VERY VERY happy with the quality and affordability of my sturdy safe. www.sturdysafe.com
     
  8. xjchief

    xjchief Member

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    I just bought a Patriot gun safe for about 1800 delivered. It is 10ga steel and fire lined with shelving included. You can spend as much or a little as you like on these things. They all brag about being the best but from what I hear an experienced safe cracker can get into all of them fairly quickly. UL certifies most locks in mere minutes before they can be compromised by a pro.

    [​IMG]

    I'm not really sure that the extra metal helps a whole lot. May take a drill an extra minute to get through and will increase the weight of the safe if you don't bolt it down.

    I'm certainly no expert but I shopped around a bit and decided that for my collection of guns the safe I got would be adequate. If you've got a very expensive collection you may want to consider a high end safe or a vault room type enclosure.
     
  9. -C4-

    -C4- Member

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    RNB65: Tried looking around for posts on liberty safes, but didn't see any horror stories or anything. Particular posts?
     
  10. RNB65

    RNB65 Member

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  11. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    The first problem is that you're looking for a safe that does a little bit of everything. They do exist, but they are typically expensive, and gun safe companies don't build them.

    Guns go in a gun safe. The silver, jewelry, and etc. may be able to go into a gun safe, depending on the value of the items. Important papers need to go into a seperate fire rated unit (gun safes carry no meaningful fire rating).

    In some cases, we suggest that a buyer purchase more than one safe. You could get a fire/burglary unit for the papers and valuables, and a gun safe for the guns.

    If the total value of the safe's contents are in the $10,000 or less price range, and your paperwork is in quantities small enough to go into a small fire rated box, then a single gun safe would probably still work out for you.

    Does the safe have to go down any stairs? Do you have a walk out? If you have a walk out, can you drive to it?

    If you have a walk out that you can drive to, I'd probably take a look at some used commercial safes. These types of safes will often carry meaningful fire/burglary ratings, and are much better designed to protect their contents.

    Different people have different meanings of "break the bank", but you can often get high quality used safes for $1,500 to $3,000. People regularly spend more than that on a typical gun safe.

    I might also take a look at the AMSEC BF series, as they are in the same price range, but built better than many of the other gun safes on the market. If you're willing to spend a little more, Graffunder builds a very nice safe.

    If you elect to look at used safes, I would be more than happy to provide you with the contact information of companies in your area that would deal with used units.
     
  12. LoadedDrum

    LoadedDrum Member

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    a1abdj-

    Is there a brand and model you would you recommend if one had the intent of getting a used commercial safe (some of a caliber that you would feel offer real security) and converting it to a gun safe? Also what sort of fire insulation do commercial fire rated safes use? Thanks.
     
  13. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    There are so many safe manufacturers out there, and many of them build quality products. The used safes you may be looking at could range from antique, to modern day, with both giving you good levels of fire and burglary protection. If you are looking at these safes at a safe company, the people there would be better able to point out the differences, and explain how that would impact your use.

    The fire rated safes will cost less than the burglar rated safes. If you choose to look at the burlgar safes, then you will want to stick with those using "composite" construction, as they offer some fire protection.
     
  14. PAshooter

    PAshooter Member

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    All of the "big name" manufacturers turn out a good product. I ended up going with Fort Knox based on my dealer's customer service. Been very pleased with my choice.
     
  15. cloudcroft

    cloudcroft Member

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    Most safes are the same re: features and quality for a given price-bracket.

    Consequently, any brand in your price-range will do...you just need to like the color and the lettering on the front!

    So just be clear on your budget and start looking at assorted brands in your price range. Also consider the warranty...Cannon safes has a good warranty as they pay RETURN shipping if your safe gets trashed...read it. NOW, Liberty does, too...I guess playing catch-up to Cannon.

    But MY Liberty is NOT included in the new warranty. Outrageous.

    -- John D.
    Liberty Presidential 25 and Sentry G4211...soon to get the Winchester safe (about $590) at Sam's Club.

    Yes, I call them safes, not RSCs. So do they.
     
  16. Sir Aardvark

    Sir Aardvark Member

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    a1abdj mentioned Graffunder:

    http://www.graffundersafes.com/

    The cheesiest weapons safe they make has 1/4" plate outer body. They also have 1/2" plate and 1" plate weapons safes that all include fire insulation.

    Most of the Residential Security Containers (RSC) have 10-gauge outer bodies.

    If I knew then what I know now, I would seriously consider getting a Graffunder - hey... if I keep buying more guns, I'll need a new safe anyways!
     
  17. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    a1abdj is the acknowledge authority on safes and gun safes here and you can trust any advice he gives you.
     
  18. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    Fella's;

    You want a quote on a Graffunder, drop me a PM. I'm a locksmith specializing in safes & sell Graffunders.

    If you do a search on the term RSC, you'll pull up quite a few posts, concentrate on the earlier posts, or go to Pax's site: www.corneredcat.com, there's an article there that covers securing firearms in the home.

    900F
     
  19. thebaldguy

    thebaldguy Member

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    I actually saw several Graffunder safes today. This store had several of the lower end models, and cross cut samples of the high end ones. I now know the difference between a RSC and a safe.

    We looked at one that weighed 2400 lbs., and cost $6400.00. I figure you could put at least $6400.00 worth of valuables inside for safekeeping. I almost passed out when my girlfriend agreed that $6400.00 didn't seem like too much for security.

    Maybe when I have a house with floors that can handle over 2400 lbs. of safe I can get one. I don't think it can go down a normal flight of stairs.
     
  20. cloudcroft

    cloudcroft Member

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    Professional safe moving companies should have at least one "stair climber" (about 10-grand I've heard)...you'd be amazed where a REAL safe moving company can install safes. Besides, going DOWN stairs is a whole lot easier than going UP them!

    Unfortunately, we have no such professional safe-moving companies in this town, just clowns. We're better off doing it ourselves.

    -- John D.
     
  21. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Quote from: RBN65

    ""Stay away from Liberty".

    Care to explain further? I have a Liberty Colonial Series RSC that I'm very
    happy with; as its done evertything that I have ever expected of it, not
    withstanding a house fire or burgluary attempt. I "guard" my safe, as I
    do my home; 24-7, with NO COMPRIMISE (not the H&K logo). There are
    of age family members present 24-7, that most likely would be able to
    reach the safe in time to kill or maim any perp that entered as an
    "unwanted guess"; safice to say that they made it into my home in the
    first place (ha-ha-ha). I won't discuss publicy my "other" security type
    parameters; but you had better believe they are in place. Personally, I
    have found nothing wrong with the Liberty safe model that I own~! ;):D
     
  22. -C4-

    -C4- Member

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    a1abdj - dropped you a pm. I think the best idea may well be to get two different ones. One for the stuff with a good fire rating and one for the guns. There are just tons of companies out there it is hard to sort through all the "our safe is the best" BS.
     
  23. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    Ala Dan;

    From the tone of your post to RBN65, it would seem that you consider your primary protection not to be the Liberty, but other defenses. As a safe professional I can assure you that my considered opinion is that the construction of a Liberty is second to many.

    Until you get to the absolute top-of-the-line model, there is no plate steel anywhere on a Liberty. When you do get to that top-end safe, there's one little plate buried in the door that protects the lock mechanism on one side. Liberty uses a sheet metal wrap composit construction door. Yes it's thick, which in & of itself means nothing. Liberty's active bolts are not secured by plate steel. That's why there's so many bolts, they're held by sheet metal & secured, on the frame side, by sheet metal. Look at the gap(s) in the door of your Liberty between the door itself & the frame. I would not be surprised if you can stick the end of your finger in those gaps. That's not a good thing.

    900F
     
  24. aerod1

    aerod1 Member

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    Best gun safe? Mine, because it was tested when my home was burglarized in December 1999. The perps (there was more than one) got away with all my electronics (computers, stereos, tv's, vcr's ect.). They tried to break into my safe and failed therefore saving all my guns and my wife's jewelry. I now have a security system and video serveillance systems on my home. Plus, there is very seldom a time when I am not armed with a firearm.
    This happened while I was at work. I am now retired and spend more time at home.......with my firearms.:D
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2007
  25. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Att: CB900F My Friend-

    I respect your expertise in the RSC (safe) business. May I say that in my
    area, we are much more likely to face the "smash and grab" crowd, than
    we are profesional "safe crackers" armed with crow bars, power tools, or
    any type hammers. Our problems lie with the "roper doper" crowd; look'in
    for a quick fix. You are right, is saying that I rely heavily on my "border
    security"; than I do my Liberty. If a perp makes it too the Liberty, he/she
    has gone too far; and faces an immediate threat of death, as we would
    not hesitate too shoot one of these "cowards of society"~! ;):D
     
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