Gun safe question

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Jan 18, 2003
I'm looking to buy a larger gun safe, and I don't have a basement or garage. The safe would go on wood floors. (Hardwood over plywood over wood joists.) So how heavy a safe can I install without risking any structural damage such as warping? Thank you.
It depends upon your house, but the rule of thumb is that if your floor will support a freezer it will support a safe of RSC for guns.

I would suggest the exterior corner of a room for placement, regardless of how close together your floor joists are.
^ And advice does not come no better than that ^ Corner at outside wall should hold about any of them.

I am fond of Liberty safes....these depend on your budget.

I also like Winchester safes that are available at local Tractor Supply stores...

They Carry a Winchester Safe for $699.00 that will hold 24 long guns...
I was just in TS today and talked to manager about the larger Winchester Safes that you see on internet.

He said follow me....we proceeded to the back storage area and he showed me a Winchester almost exactly twice the size Height and width as the other Winchester holds 54 Long guns....Very nice!

Both have pockets on door (inside) for pistols and revolvers. The Large one he said is $1699.00 He said I can order you one...20% down lays it away....pick it in 90 days... ( I am planning on ordering one Friday ) I have out grown the 24 gun model including other valuables and stuff. I think I will use the 24 for keepsakes, insurance papers, documents and stuff and move all firearms to the 54....then I will have a lot of room and excuses to visit more gun shows.....:D

Both are Fire Rated Safes @ 1400 degrees! The 54 is rated to 2 hours! The 24 gun weighs 507 lbs the 54 gun weighs I think 1400 lbs and mechanical locks are available. Available in Black and Gray colors.


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I don't know where you plan on placing the safe, but it might be possible to shore under the floor joists to help carry the weight if you get a really heavy safe. If you plan an upstairs placement, your only real choice will be a corner of the room on the outside wall. It is going to be a load bearing wall where inside corners won't necessarily be load bearing.
So for example: The Winchester safe I mentioned above weighs 507 lbs empty and has outside dimensions of 30" x 22"

I looked for some calculations and this is what I came up with:

30" x 22" = 660 sq inches on the floor..

507 lbs / by 660 = .7682 psi (rounded)

.7682 x 144 = 110.6208 psf

In my searching...the average home is built to a standard psf of 40psf..:uhoh:

I either have some miscalculations or need to get some floor jacks...:eek:

Anyone care to confirm or correct my calculations.....:confused:
Frank will more than likely chime in on this but for most rsc hso is correct. Tomcat storing important paper work in a rsc isn't advised.
Ditto Murdoc....

I should have mentioned..... I have some of those Sentry 1100 Fire Chest for documents inside the ("RSC") hence the main reason I am out of space in smaller model now.

I also have a Sentry 12 long gun (RSC) that I bought several years ago at Walmart and it actually offers no UL fire protection at all and is probably one of those that could be broken into relatively easy I suppose.

I have actually learned a lot about safes here on THR!

I really hope to Get a Liberty Presidential or National in the future!
good, I was just making sure. It's a common misconception that paperwork is ok to put in a rsc (false security at its best). I get to say it about once per day at work sadly.

I've never actually seen these larger Winchester safes that cheap. I've been thinking about picking up a larger rsc to stack spam and gi cans in.
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Tomcat something is wrong here.
507 pounds should not cause any issues in a home.
Otherwise a group of heavyweight guys sitting around on a couch all the while drinking beer watching an afternoon football game would surely come crashing through the floor.

Murdoc,you are right about paper in a gun safe.
Buy an UL rated fire box such as a Sentry,etc. and place the paper work in there and THEN place said fire box in the gun safe.
Do you have access to a crawlspace under where you intend to place the safe? If so, put in a couple of sills with upright supporting members under the floor joists? Then weight should no longer be an issue.
Subfloor tolerance

I've been told subfloors can support 250 lbs per square foot. If a heavy 250 pounder can sit in a home on a lazy boy then a 12 gauge steel box with 1 or 2 layers of fire board lining is fine.
Tomcat47 wrote: ......snip

In my searching...the average home is built to a standard psf of 40psf..

I either have some miscalculations or need to get some floor jacks...

Anyone care to confirm or correct my calculations.....

This is just an internet opinion by a non-expert, so take it with a grain-of-salt.

My understanding is the 40 PSF residential home standard is for the total weight a floor system will bear. I.E. a single story 1500 sq.ft home is max rated for 60,000 lbs of stuff evenly spread out. So unless you have pianos, safes, and refrigerators in every sq ft of your house, generally speaking most homes can handle the 'typical' number of heavy items.

The problem of having very heavy objects is not just breaking or 'snapping' of the floor, but the gradual bending of the floor joists. My limited understanding is that floor systems are meant to have some flexing and constant heavy weight on an area between joists MAY cause some sagging. It depends on a whole lot of factors (age, damage, location etc) to determine if it might be a problem. Additional support may be needed if these factors come into play.

HSO's advice is sound: Look for a load bearing wall or exterior corners to put your heavy objects next to if weight may be a concern.

Another source for reference:

It talks about aquariums but it's relevant to this discussion.
And that is where all my safes are .... corners with load bearing walls.

I was actually being skeptical of the 40 psf.......which actually puts your refrigerator in jeopardy of going south....:eek:

A friend has a Large Harley Davidson (Liberty) safe at the center of DW manufactured home...this safe has to be 1400lbs empty??

Been there for almost 5 years now...nothing has moved. He keeps saying he should put something under the floor. But then again, a mobile home has steel cross members.

And thanks for that link: Aquariums or safes, that clarified the 40 psf....
and a 40 gallon aquarium holds 334 lbs of water alone....
My house is not built on a slab and has a crawl space, I checked with my contractor before I made my purchase of my Superior Master Series M40 empty wight 1050 lbs. He suggested and I had him install supports under the house to prevent any sag that might happen over the years. Mine is not going to be placed along an outside wall but rather near the middle of the house inside a closet.
When thinking about the weight of a gun safe, don't forget to include the potentai weight of the contents.

If it is hard to get a safe into the space or there are problems like stairs, a modular safe might be considered. These, like Zanotti, can be assembled where they are wanted rather than trying to move them. The problem is that the way they are made precludes use of fire resistant material.

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