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Gun Safe Recommendations

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by eldude, Sep 3, 2019.

  1. eldude

    eldude Member

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    I've been looking into getting a gun safe and am looking for some advice. Would like to spend less than $1,000. I realize at this price point the safe will not stop a trained burglar if they want to set up shop with tools. There's a couple I've been looking at, Steelwater (12 guage $882 delivered) and Winchester (14 gauge $550 if I pick it up $656 delivered). The Steelwater definitely has better features, but is also more expensive.

    My main question is does the difference between 14 gauge and 12 gauge steel make a realistic difference? Doesn't make sense to spend an extra couple hundred dollars if both can be broken into with an ax to the side or top.

    https://www.steelwatergunsafes.com/product/steelwater-sw592818-heavy-duty/
    https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/winchester-gun-safe-26-gun-ts26-45-1360473
     
  2. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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    Onbiously, the Steelwater is the much better safe. I had occasion to break into my own cheaper safe (one of those heavy duty locker style safes) and I tell you it wasn't difficult at all.

    Since then I have acquire enough firearms to need many safes so I just reinforced a small bedroom and use it.

    But the real safe is the house itself.

    If a burgler has enough time in your house they will get into your safe.

    My Goals, prevent burglers and slow their entrance:

    1. I have extremely strict operational security. No one knows what I have (except you guys here ... and I have ALL of your names :evil:)
    2. My house looks like one of the most run-down hovels on my neighborhood.
    3. To be immediately notified that a burgler is in the house. Preferably when they are still approaching from a distance.
    4. To have the entrances are covered by battery operated cameras connected to the cloud by a battery-backed up router.
    5. to have my dogs barking ferociously on the other side of the locked entrance
    6. To have a complex entrance, a maze if you will, so that anyone rushing in will stumble and fall.

    To this end I employ dogs, camera and heavy furniture (which may contain ammo) in a zig-zag pattern The cameras cover every available entrance, inside and outside. Only a couple are slightly visible.

    so, before you get to the safe, you have already been reported and I have your pictures on my phone which I can report to the police. I can do this while you are still making your entrance.

    Five minutes have passed and now you have to find the gun safe.

    Ok, you found the safe ... good luck beating the Police.
     
  3. rabid wombat

    rabid wombat Member

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    Eldude,

    Dog hammers the high points. A lock keeps an honest man honest. Like cold, layers are your friend. Anything that slows down the badguy helps.

    And, as soon as you buy the first safe...you are now addicted, welcome to crack

    Best
     
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  4. eldude

    eldude Member

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    Sounds like you are living the dream. I envy your firearm collection. I was actually just saying this was my goal to a friend last week haha. My house has security measures as well that's why I'm not sure I really need a heavy duty safe. I do live in a city though so all the houses are very accessible from the street. After I posted I did some more research and found that both 12 and 14 gauge are basically useless against any basic tool like an ax. I'd have to spend about $1800 for a 9 gauge safe for it to not get easily torn open. I've also thought about putting a false wall or something. Concealment might be even better than a safe.
     
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  5. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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    QLine-Design-Nightstand.jpg

    https://loadoutroom.com/thearmsguide/guns-home-firearm-concealment-devices/

    https://covertcabinets.com/

    https://topsecretfurniture.com/

    https://libertyhomeconcealment.com/collections/concealment-flags
     
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  6. eldude

    eldude Member

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    Thanks for the links. I've looked into some of those before, but there's not enough space. I've also considered this https://hiddendoorstore.com/product/hidden-mirror-door/. But that's about the same cost as a pretty decent safe. I think I might have to up my price point to be honest. $1500-1800 might be more reasonable for something that will be more than just a locked cabinet.
     
  7. BCR#1

    BCR#1 Member

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    How many burglars carry an ax with them? Very few I would think. Now a crowbar or very large screwdriver is something else. Most house break ins are grab what you can and get out quick so you don't get caught. Even with an ax, the noise it would make and the time it would take to get it open is not worth the trouble most of the time.

    Buy a quality safe, bolt it to the floor and have a good alarm system installed. A very LARGE canine works wonders too. I have all three and I'm pretty confident my stuff stays put.

    One more thing, always buy bigger than you need or you'll end up buying another larger second safe because your collection out grew your first safe. Ask me how I know this. :)

    Bill
     
  8. Hokie_PhD

    Hokie_PhD Member

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    You didn’t mention having more vehicles than drivers and coming and going randomly.
    Thieves want easy targets. So they look for those who aren’t there.

    They don’t want to be risk being shot or arrested.

    Good neighbors also help. I have one who is retired and another like me who works from home. So our area always has someone. Previously we had two deputies who worked opposite shifts as neighbors. So there was always a marked car on our street. My guess is any crook looking for a neighborhood to pick a house to rob would be really desperate to pick one with a cruiser parked on it.

    Otherwise I think your list is good.

    Oh other than having someone armed home at all times. But that may not be practical.
     
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  9. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    SharpDog, thanks for the links to the "concealment furniture". Looking at those has started me considering some in-house modification options. :)
     
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  10. FAS1

    FAS1 Member

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    This would concern me about the Steelwater. The rest of the safe is 12GA, so is that what the door is? If so, find something with a solid door at least 3/16" (more is better) and bolt the safe down. Try to place it where the sides are protected by walls so a thief will be forced to attack the door. This combined with camera and a alarm system would probably buy you enough time to keep your guns secure.
     
  11. John Joseph

    John Joseph Member

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    I wouldn't want an electronic lock.
    Just sayin'
     
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  12. John Joseph

    John Joseph Member

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    There was a pro burglary down the street a few months ago.
    Every piece of furniture was flipped over.
    Every drawer was pulled and dumped
    Every shelf had the contents knocked to the floor
    There was so much debris on the floor it made walking difficult.
     
  13. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    Between those two I'd probably go with the Steelwater. The steel gauge isn't going to matter much, the extra fire protection claim might though.

    Either way, the most important thing is to bolt a safe / security cabinet to the floor and / or wall. Something weighing 600 lbs is nothing for two guys to just put on a dolly and walk away with.
     
  14. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I have multiple safes. Five in all. Three handgun and two long gun. They are In separate rooms. One is in an outbuilding.
    I dont think they will all be found by a thief.
     
  15. eldude

    eldude Member

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    I think I've talked my self into spending a little more and considering a Liberty Colonial 30. It's $1600, but is made with American steel instead of Chinese. Seems like there is some validity that American steel is generally better due to stricter standards. I'll be able to bolt it down in a spot that doesn't leave much access to the sides. It has 11 gauge steel all around I think. Not sure if the door has thicker steel added. Plus it'll take me a littler longer to fill up compared to a 20 gun safe. Steelwater also has a 22 gun version that is 9 gauge with 1/4" on the door that's about $1800 with free shipping so about the same considering delivery charge on the Liberty, but Steelwater is made in China. I don't really have anything against foreign made stuff, just not as confident in the quality control. Steelwater seems to have better specs on paper, but isn't UL certified like the Liberty. Any thoughts between these 2?

    https://www.libertysafe.com/safe-colonial-safes-ps-7.html
    https://www.steelwatergunsafes.com/...ater-extreme-duty-2-hour-fire-rated-hd593024/
     
  16. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    14 gauge Stack-On for $140 from Tractor Supply for long guns and infrequently carried handguns. It stops access to little kids that aren't yet trained in unsupervised use. When you fill one up, just buy another and another. You get far more capacity for the dollar and when it's time to move you can empty it and move it easily, even up or down stairs. Anything else and you're probably looking at costly professional movers. As Armored Farmer pointed it, it can be useful to distribute them in multiple locations. It's also practical to conceal them unlike a single behemoth cabinet. It can limit losses to both theft and fire.

    Small handgun safe (I like Fort Knox for ~$250) for quick access to carry guns when you must secure them off your person and you have little kids in the house.

    Provided the inventory warrants insurance:
    Insurance is for theft.
    Insurance is for fire.

    Cameras, dogs, labyrinths, 9 gauge plate, relockers, drill plates, and chrome plated handles won't get your guns back. All that stuff just gets burned up, stolen, or damaged. Hopefully the dogs make it.

    Therefore, there may not be a reason to buy more safe than your insurance requires. I do appreciate that insurance can't replace some things like sentimental value. To protect that kind of thing, it becomes a subjective judgment call on the part of the owner, what they think it's worth spending to try to protect that kind of value.

    If you have no safe at all, get a cabinet now. Get the Stack-On I mentioned or get a Rigid jobsite tool storage box. It's a few hundred bucks at the most and you can pick it up at the store today. If you decide to buy the costly "RSC" type cabinet like Liberty, you can always use the steel lock box for ammo or tools.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
  17. eldude

    eldude Member

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    I don't have kids so that's not an issue. I would definitely get a cheap lock box if that were the case. You guys must have bigger houses/land than I do. It would only take a few minutes for someone to go to every room in my home and I don't have a lot of land, I live in an urban city. Labyrinth and spreading firearms out isn't really an option or practical. My insurance will cover the loss and none of them have any sentimental value, I'd just rather my firearms not easily fall into the wrong hands. This could happen even with the best safe, but at least I made a good effort. That's my main reason for wanting something more secure. Something like the liberty might be overkill, but at the same time a cheap safe might not be enough if someone can puncture the metal or pry it open fairly easily
     
  18. FAS1

    FAS1 Member

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    The Liberty you mentioned would be a starting point for me. I do like it overall for the price range, but wish it had a thicker steel door. A safe door made from 1/4″ (.250) steel is over nine times stronger than one made from 11-gauge (.120) steel.

    SteelChart.jpg

    The graph illustrates a general rule of steel strength. The bending strength of steel increases by approximately the square of its thickness.
     
  19. eldude

    eldude Member

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    I looked at a graph like then when doing my research. I'd prefer thicker steel too, but 1/4" all around is about 3x the price. I found out the liberty does has two sheets of 11 gauge steel in the door with about 1/2" or 1" of fire board or composite material in between.
     
  20. BCR#1

    BCR#1 Member

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    I can't believe how much Liberty safes have gone up in price in the last 5 years. I bought my Fatboy Jr back in 2014 from the largest Liberty dealer in the country and paid 1K OTD no tax for a new floor display model.

    Bill
     
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  21. eldude

    eldude Member

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    I've noticed that too from looking at different forums. It seems like safes across the board have gone up too, not just Liberty specifically.
     
  22. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    If you locked your door, that's enough. Felony burglary is far from the easiest way for a criminal to obtain guns like the ones you have. You're wasting your money if you think you're protecting society. Buy a locking cabinet you can move and bolt-down as needed. Save the difference for a better future. It will do a lot more good than an overpriced steel and gypsum box.
     
  23. rayatphonix

    rayatphonix Member

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    I recommend you check out Sturdy Safe. Good compromise between cost and security. I just noticed they now offer a line of “cheap safes” in addition to their standard products. The cheap version is an option if you need to save a little $
     
  24. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Member

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    I'm not going to recommend a particular brand of safe.

    I happen to have a Liberty but the thing that I want to point out is that I looked around on for sale pages in my area and I found one essentially like new and I think I paid $325 for it.

    The guy I bought it from was an officer who was on his way to SHAFE and didn't want to take the safe with him.


    So if you really want to stretch your dollars look around and see if you can find one used
     
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  25. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Member

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    That's because experienced burglars know where all the good hiding places are
     
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