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Gun safe recommendations

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by ScottMck, Dec 11, 2017.

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  1. ScottMck

    ScottMck Member

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    Hello. I'm new to this forum and am in the market for a gun safe that will hold around 30 long guns. I thought all safes were equal until I started researching them. Alot of them are easy to break into. I am looking for recommendations on brand and models. I want to spend under $1000 if possible and want it fire proof. Thanks for any input.
     
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  2. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    Welcome to THR.
    You might get some fire protection in a safe for $1000 however it will be easy to break into.
     
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  3. rodspade

    rodspade Member

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    I would look for a UL "RSC" certification as a bare minimum. Some cheap cabinets advertise that the lock itself is UL rated, but that doesn't say anything about the rest of the safe. The "Residential Security Container" rating isn't super impressive, but at least you know that UL evaluated it to some basic standard, and that's probably the best you're going to get in your price range.

    I found this site to be quite educational:
    http://gunsafereviewsguy.com/
     
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  4. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    With a $1000 budget you’re looking at something that’ll keep your average burglar out, but not someone who’s specifically targeted your house and gun safe. Fire protect will be limited as well, it might be fine if you live close to a fire station and have a fire hydrant nearby and position the safe somewhere in the house it’ll see less heat.

    I think the biggest thing is to do a good job bolting the safe to the floor or wall. If you watch video’s where people open safes in your budget they like to push them over so they can get more leverage prying on the door. A lot of people think a safe weighing 800 lbs is enough security, but 2 guys can easily slide that and tip it over.

    Also, if you want to keep 30 long guns in there you’ll need at least a 40 gun safe and probably larger than that, especially if many of them have scopes or other optics. Most of the gun numbers safe manufacturers provide have no basis in reality!

    At that price point I think Cannon, Liberty, and Cabela’s/Bass Pro are all pretty similar. You might want to consider looking on Craigslist or Armslist. When I bought my safe I was able to get a much nicer and larger one used off Craigslist than I could have afforded new.
     
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  5. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I was going to say 60 guns capacity rating.

    Companies are very optimistic with their ratings and one can never know what goes on behind a closed safe door:)
     
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  6. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    First, there a dedicated forum for "Shooting Gear and Storage" where this question would be more appropriate. Also, existing posts in that forum should be searched first as this question has already been answered there many times.

    Second, what, specifically, are you expecting the safe to do?
    • How long do you expect it to resist attempts to open it?
    • How long do you expect it to safeguard your guns in a fire (no safe you're going to buy in a store will be "fireproof")?
    • Where are you intending to place it?
    • Is the site structurally able to support a heavy safe?
    • Is the structure able to adequately secure your safe?
    • Do you have an alarm system?
    • Are the entry points to your house hardened?
    The answers to these questions will drive the type of safe you want, how much it will cost and whether you can put it where you were hoping to locate it.
    Third, when you start talking inexpensive fire resistant containers (and when you start talking 30 guns and fire resistance, $1,000 is cheap), the way the manufacturer typically achieve fire resistance is by insulating the walls of the safe with gypsum. The heat of the fire outside the safe has to vaporize the water in the gypsum before it can raise the temperature in the safe. But since gypsum is calcium sulfate dihydrate, that water vapor is carrying sulfates and calcium which will cause the guns within ti rust, so you will need to observe a regular routine of keeping your guns well oiled and protected from your safe.
     
  7. JohnBiltz

    JohnBiltz Member

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    For the average guy, you don't really need that much of a safe. You want something that will stop the biggest threat, teenagers breaking in. A professional thief will go through a gun safe almost as fast as you can open it with the combination. An inexpensive safe of fair quality and insurance is what you want. And a thousand dollar safe is an inexpensive safe. That is what I paid for mine, on sale and it will not hold thirty guns.
     
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  8. RavenTai

    RavenTai Member

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    If you want to actually put in 30 long guns and difficult to break into and under $1,000 you are looking for a deal on a big used safe.

    A "30 gun safe" will barely fit 25 Winchester 94's and skinny 22 bolt actions without optics. getting them out without beating up another will be like playing operation, anything with pistol grips, optics or any width will take up two spots or more

    Also if you are budget constrained look at hiding in plain sight, I have seen furniture that hides safes (couches, beds) converted drink machines false walls etc can provide more security than just their physical strength.
     
  9. If1HitU

    If1HitU Member

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    Under a $ 1000.00,look at Field & Stream 1871,my two 2cents!
     
  10. 420

    420 Member

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  11. Jinx0760

    Jinx0760 Member

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  12. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    Do you own an guns that cannot be replaced on the open market? In other words, if you entire collection were lost tomorrow is there anything you couldn't replace with the money given you by the insurance company?

    If so, then you're on the hook to ensure they are ALL secure. For everyone else:

    Implement a "concentric ring" strategy:
    • "Harden the target" by getting deadbols on all the doors and use extra-long screws to ensure your doors can resist an attempt to break in.
    • Get a monitored alarm system that will call the police if your house is broken into.
    • Consider adding a rider to your homeowner's insurance policy to protect your guns. The insurance policy (replacement cost coverage) that I have on my internet server farm costs less than $10 a year.
    • Get a safe (or RSC) that will fit into an inconspicuous location in your garage. Bolt it to the floor and walls.
    • Along most most likely route of any intruders, set out inexpensive - but still good quality and easily pwned - jewelry and accessories to attract the invader's attention before they get to they start to look for guns.
    Most RSCs have fire safety ratings that are so short they won't protect their contents until the fire department arrives and has a chance to have an impact on the fire's effect. If your fire department's response time is 24 minutes and your safe is fire-rated for 15 minutes, then the fire resistant qualities are of no value.
     
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  13. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    You have a lot of good information above.

    Let me add to that.

    Let's suppose 30 long guns at only $500 each, that's $15,000 worth of arms. Perhaps spending a bit more than 1/15th that value to protect them is apt.

    For my 2¢, I'd actually be looking at two (2) "20 gun" RSC for that many arms. One is physics, smaller cubic footage is easier to fire protect than larger. Also, you buy steel by the pound--takes a lot more pounds for a 40-45 gun safe than a 20. But, mostly to get better access.

    See, a 40 gun RSC is going to have to "stack" arms to stow that many. Unpacking 10 or 15 arms just to get to the back row is a pain (shoot, I don't like having to pull 4 arms out to get to a 5th).

    Now, really, given how many arms you want to protect, I'd actually look at "hardening" a closet (4x16x8 concrete block over roxul batts) instead of an RSC. Armoring up a 36x48x96 closet is way more space than even a good UL safe, and has no "look at me, I'm full of valuables" to it at all. Ok, so that could run to two or three grand--but isn't your 15 grand of goodies worth it?
     
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  14. lightman

    lightman Member

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    CapnMac makes a good point. I always thought that a safe should be considered an investment. My suggestion is to buy a bigger one than you think you need. Collections usually grow and like the others have said, the claimed capacities are not accurate.
     
  15. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    The only thing I can add to this is buy a bigger safe than you think you need. The people that sold me my Liberty safe stressed that point several times and after I got my safe home I discovered they were right. Glad I listened to them. Look for a good safe on sale. That's how I got mine and I saved hundreds of $.
    Thins to consider. http://www.chuckhawks.com/buying_gun_safe.htm
     
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  16. EMT40SW

    EMT40SW Member

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    Get a used safe. Search Craigslist & talk to the local guys like Safe Movers, gunsmiths, & locksmiths. Be patient. My friend got a beauty used off Craigslist for $700 that was once the safe a gunshop locked all their inventory up at night in. That thing is huge. Also try to get a used TL15 or TL30 if you want a real margin of security rather than feel good hype. Sturdy safes are supposed to be good. Good luck!
     
  17. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    As you've seen those don't really exist. Fire resistant can be had, but you also have to look at whether the box with a lock and some insulation you bought is just an oven that turns out ruined guns when the house burns down or has ceramic insulation in quantities to keep the temp down for the 45 minutes at peak fire temps. Also, placement of the thing is important if you're not spending a lot more money, and even if you do, so that the thing doesn't ruin your guns surviving the fire. Water intrusion from the fire fighting activities is critical in deciding what to buy and where to put it (and modifying the space it will go into to serve as a layer of protection against heat and water can help enormously). You can get a lot of bang for your buck planning and modifying the space for a Residential Security Container (what most "safes" actually are) to hide.
     
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  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    From the link:
    No supposedly to it, 12 gauge is easily hacked into. And I can use a hand truck to roll a 500 pound safe out by myself, and I'm no spring chicken any more.
     
  19. JeffG

    JeffG Member

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  20. BigBL87

    BigBL87 Member

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    Unless the electronic lock has a key backup, which many do.

    That being said, there are good reasons to favor a "manual" style lock, one of the better ones being there is less to go wrong with them vs electronic. That said, I went with electronic for easy access in case me or my wife needs to get something in a hurry, moreso my wife as I keep my preferred HD gun in a biometric safe by the bed.
     
  21. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    Get a mechanical lock or a keyed backup. My electronic lock malfunctioned and I was locked out of my own safe for over a month. To get a locksmith to drill it and get in was going to be 500 minimum. Luckily the safe opened one more time after lots of fooling with it and I didn’t have to spend the money.
     
  22. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    I have a Liberty Safe with a Sargent and Greenleaf electronic lock. These locks have proven to withstand military-level EMP attacks. Have had it for several years and it has been very reliable. It takes me 2 seconds to open it. I prefer electronic locks , they are just quicker to open plus this one has a red nightlight that makes it easy to see in the dark. As long as you change the battery every year( I change it every 6 months). Never any problems.

    http://www.sargentandgreenleaf.com/products/electronic-locks/spartan#features







    sa
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
  23. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    One thing to consider is something like Captn Mac suggested but slightly grander. Make a safe room that also doubles as the gun room.
     
  24. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Mechanical will outlast you and me, and our children. Digital is handy, I do grant you that, and I have a small "safe" with one for exactly that reason, but my main gun "safe" is mechanical.
     
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