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Gun Safes

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by DC300a, Apr 13, 2010.

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  1. DC300a

    DC300a Member

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    I am looking into buying a gun/valuables safe. I will be storing ~20 rifles in it and I would also like to store family papers and coins in it as well.
    Liberty Safe makes one that I really like but I dotn particularly care for the price tag.

    What safe do you have or do you know of that is a good safe without the premium price tag? Any suggestions, links, or even pics would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    You're going to be in for a big shock.

    Liberty safes (and most other gun safes) are not designed to protect paperwork or valuable coins.

    A safe designed to do those two things that is large enough for guns will cost several times what the Liberty does.

    If you want the protection, it's going to cost. That's the way it is.
     
  3. SafeGuy

    SafeGuy Member

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    Not sure which Liberty you're looking at which is giving you sticker shock, but you do need to clarify what you expect in terms of fire protection. My suggestion would be to click on the link in my signature and read, "How To Choose The Right Safe". It will give you some basic info which isn't going to try to sell you on any particular brand of safe.
     
  4. DC300a

    DC300a Member

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    Thanks Safe Guy
     
  5. JCinPA

    JCinPA Member

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    Usually (I suspect) the really important papers are a small part of the safe contents.

    I have one of these

    1170.jpg

    in the bottom of my safe. It makes me feel better about birth certs, naturalization papers for my wife, my military discharge papers, photos.

    It' ain't perfect, but it has to help.
     
  6. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    To truely give paperwork the best chance at survival, it needs to be in a UL listed container. The little fire box that JC posted would do the trick. Even a free standing Sentry fire safe would offer excellent fire protection at a small price. It won't offer much security though, so it should only be used for documents.

    These fire boxes offer excellent protection when placed inside of a gun safe (even those using gypsum board), and don't cost a lot. Everybody keeping small amounts of paperwork in a gun safe should use one.

    The security a safe offers is somewhat proportionate to its cost. A gun safe sized safe rated for 15 minutes of burglary would run approximately $4,000. Compare that to a $600 safe of the same size, and the burglary resistance (or lack thereof) should be obvious.

    Small amounts of valuables are OK in a gun safe. Once you start exceeding the $20,000 mark (all contents combined), you need to choose your safe a bit more carefully. In many cases it makes better sense to buy a less expensive, larger gun safe for the few guns. Then you can buy a smaller, properly rated safe for the valuables.
     
  7. JCinPA

    JCinPA Member

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    Now that's brilliant!

    [​IMG]

    Instead of spending a ton of dough on a 'real' safe big enough for a big collection of long guns and important papers and some real valuables, like jewelry (I don't have much of that, by the way), maybe the answer is to get a 'decent', large, 10-gauge gun safe with moderate security and insulating properties, and then get a real burglary-rated and UL rated fire safe--much smaller volume, for the important stuff.

    Makes real economic sense, too, since you can get a fairly economical real burglary and fire rated safe in smaller size. All my guns probably total up to less than $10,000. Maybe closer to $8,000. I have real concerns for a much smaller volume of stuff, namely important paperwork for kids born overseas, wife's citizenship papers, my discharge papers, old photographs, and some valuables (less than the gun values) and emotionally important momentos.

    If I took all my important papers and momentos out of the Liberty Lincoln I have now and got a quality, used, small true UL burglary and UL fire rated safe for the papers and the lower dollar value, but more important stuff, I'd be well protected and money ahead as opposed to getting a very big true UL rated burglary and fire box to store it all in. After taking all that stuff out of the left side of my Liberty I could get my unprotected, but relatively modestly valued rifles in the freed up space.

    There's a tradeoff here between real versus perceived security and fire needs and size of the box, isn't there? If I separate my stuff into two categories and protect them appropriately, that makes a lot more sense than trying to load a big volume of less important stuff into the same box with the really important stuff and demanding high security and fire protection on the big box. Six foot tall, 4 foot wide UL rated burglary and fire protection is prohibitively expensive, and probably not needed.

    a1abdj, you're steering me away from selling my old, 10-gauge Liberty Lincoln (PITA) and getting a nice BF-7240 and toward Keeping my current gun safe and getting a smaller, used true burglary and fire rated safe. Get all my guns in the Liberty (which really is pretty and has a nice green automotive finish that the wife likes because it matches our study), and get all the other stuff that I never really fiddle with out of the left side of my Liberty and put it in the basement in a real safe.

    You, sir, are brilliant! I am shifting my thinking entirely.
     
  8. JCinPA

    JCinPA Member

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    You know what I really need?

    A used GSA Class 6 two-drawer file safe. About $1,750. Get my papers and momentos out of the gun safe and into that, my guns into the Lincoln, and . . . DONE!
     
  9. A and O

    A and O Member

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    My wife bought several fireproof netted folders several years back. I keep the most of our important papers in these set up on the sides of my gun safe. Fire in a modern house is not that big of a concern to me. The safe is in the garage away from any items with a low flash point. My concern is more for theft protection although I live in a very low crime area.
     
  10. cloudcroft

    cloudcroft Member

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    JCinPA,

    I have the same Sentry 1170 (?) Fire Safe in my small Class B rated (but non-fire-rated) Cobalt S852C safe -- except mine is black (seems the Sentry 1170 comes in 2 colors and 2 heights). It nicely fits into the Cobalt 852 with room to spare on top of it and the sides for other things. I have 3 smaller (half as tall) Sentry 1170 Fire Safes in another safe with ammo in them. The large one in the Cobalt has important papers, checks, keys, a handgun or two and sometimes a camera.

    Using these Fire Safes (which aren't really 'safe' from burglarly by themselves as they can be pried open easily with a screwdriver or carried off -- but most fire-rated-only 'safes' aren't burglary-resistant anyway) is a decent way to get SOME fire-protection for a non-fire-rated safe such as a Class B. You can use a burglary-rated safe for better theft resistence yet add some 'fire-rating' to it. Neat.

    -- John D.

    EDIT/CORRECTION: I thought the Sentry 1170 Fire Safe came in two sizes (but same model #) but I checked my safes and the smaller Sentry Fire Safes I have are model 1100, not 1170...so I have one 1170 Fire Safe in my Cobalt S852C safe and three Sentry 1100 Fire Safes in my other gun safe (RSC).
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2010
  11. Lorenzo Rojo

    Lorenzo Rojo Member

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    As crazy as this may sound...

    On my way out of Lowe's yesterday they had a 22 gun, combination lock safe priced at $749 or something like that. I had never seen anything like that in Lowe's before. This may be worth looking into if you have Lowe's in your neck of the woods...By the way, where is "the real Florida?"
     
  12. cloudcroft

    cloudcroft Member

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    Yes, the home improvement stores carry safes -- check out Home Depot online and do a "safes" keyword search -- so does Sports Authority, Sports Academy, Costco and even Walmart. Sometimes I see them actually in stock and on the floor but mostly, you need to order from their website.

    Of course, you have to add shipping to the total cost (if it's not included in the safe's price), unless you can get them to ship it free to your local store for you to pick up...if that option is offered.

    -- John D.
     
  13. rustysragsinc

    rustysragsinc Member

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    Don't forget to look on ebay. Hell, they got everything else!! You might get a great shipping rate also.
     
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