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Gun safes.

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by Miguel Hernandez, Feb 17, 2019.

  1. Miguel Hernandez

    Miguel Hernandez Member

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    Looking to get a gun safe. I did some research and read a bit about gun safes. Gun safes really aren't safes and don't reach safe standards and this is why the gun safe industry has made their own test. Many of the thick door safes are just filler material and the true steel doors are normal thin. I found that their is a debate on fireproofing and the materials used. Even with a lot of this information and more I am finding it hard to decide what to get. My longest gun is about 52 inches and I do plan to have a self so I am guessing interior of 60 inches would be fine. I have about 5 long guns but I would like a safe to hold about 15 long guns and a few handguns just for future planning. Also I would prefer decent fireproofing. It would be nice if I can store important documentations and also jewelry/valuables. Space and cost of a safe being also a concern. The main goals is that I won't lose anything in a fire because I do livein a small city and houses are close by and fire likes to spread. Also to stop somewhat intelligent robbers. Any recommendations?
     
  2. tuckerdog1

    tuckerdog1 Member

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    Recommended you buy AT LEAST one size larger than you think you're going to need. I did just that, and recently still had to buy another. You WILL fill it up over time. A true safe is going to be very expensive & very difficult to move around. What are being represented as safes are RSCs ( residential security containers ). Some are better than others, but any can be breached with common power tools & enough time. I have no illusion my stuff is truly "safe". I'm just making it difficult for the typical B&E punks. I bought Steelwater brand. I suspect brands like Fort Knox are likely better, but like you, price was a consideration. I felt they were a good value. They also give a discount to veterans and LE.

    https://www.steelwatergunsafes.com/...MeAbT5IDZEq9MQVCOEhZrUnbRQAif5fxoCzVAQAvD_BwE

    Disclaimer: No affiliation with them, other than being a repeat customer.

    Tuckerdog1
     
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  3. lightman

    lightman Member

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    I'll 2nd the recommendation to go bigger than you currently need. I have had both a 60 inch tall safe and a 72 inch one. The extra space with the 72 inch one allows for a shelf up top. Thats really convenient for things like magazines, binoculars, handguns, ect.
     
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  4. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Contributing Member

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    We had a member several years ago who was really good with this stuff. He was in the safe business and could define specifications and answer questions with the best of them. I suggest you continue researching specifications and determine which container will cover your wants and needs in addition to the like to have features. The member may have been 900F and I haven't seen him around for a few years now.

    I was fortunate when I bought my safe in that I had Cleveland Safe Company relatively close. You really want to talk with safe people, those who know and can explain safe features. Another advantage is delivery and installation. My safe was over 1500 pounds empty weight. Had to remove a door frame to get the thing inside and the installers showed up with everything needed to move and install the thing. So again, consider the differences between a safe and residential security container, talk to people who do this for a living and decide what features you may want and or need. The gun safe here also serves to store my wife's jewelry collection and all of our important documents. I went large and now I really need to add another one. I am thinking maybe this time a good RSC and I'll move some of the lower end guns to the new RSC. A good safe can be expensive but think about what is going inside it. My homeowner insurance would not come close to replacing 50 years of accumulating guns. Also, a safe which is advertised to hold 15 long guns will typically hold about 7.5 long guns. :) You don't want premium long guns resting against each other.

    Ron
     
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  5. Obturation
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    Obturation Contributing Member

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    Always buy as big as you can afford, i bought a 26?something gun safe a couple years ago, i have only 10 long guns and maybe 10 pistols in there along with jewelry and documents. There is 0 space left, my remaining guns still in the 2 other smaller safes ive had, i just keep my most valuable ones in the larger heavier safe. I should have bought a 40some gunsafe - i doubt you could get an honest 20 long guns into a safe that size either. Bigger is always better.
     
  6. SummitTech

    SummitTech Member

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    A safe is more of a deterrent in the event of a break in giving authorities time to respond to your security system if you have one implemented. If its not bolted down with the proper moving cart it can be lifted and moved out of the home in minutes. Bolted down with some leverage it can be broken free and moved then later opened.

    We have had break-ins in the area where large 400+ lb safes filled have been taken out of homes in the matter of minutes. This is done during the day when owners are not home. They are normally found later opened and empty. Eventually the thieves were caught but items never recovered.

    Getting a safe is step one. The next step is securing it and making it as difficult as possible to remove from the home. A security system should also be in place. If your good with your neighbors keep an eye out for anything odd such as a car that continuously passes by. Cameras outside the home also help, security lighting, entry points locked up on all stories of the home.

    These people do this for a living. They will think of ways that would surprise you.
     
  7. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    When I bought an RSC, I was dismayed to find a current catalog inside, showing models the dealer did not list. I would have bought the next size larger if I had only known there WAS a next size larger. Fortunately, I still had my old Treadlock for the lower value stuff.
     
  8. George P

    George P Member

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    The best actual safes will have a T-15 or T30 rating and solid plate steel thickness measures in inch increments and not "gauge" thickness. Some safes allow the use of a concrete slurry after placement making it a lot heavier and harder to defeat as well as increasing the fire rating. NONE like that will be cheap however, so calculate the value of your guns and go accordingly.
     
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  9. lightman

    lightman Member

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    At one time there were 2 different safe guys on here and their willingness to help was a real asset to the site. They are missed.
     
  10. Obturation
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    Obturation Contributing Member

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    I put my safes in the basement , as to make it very tough to carry out. Could always try to open it on the spot , but time wouldnt be on their side. Took 3 guys and a hydraulic dolly to bring it down, i doubt it would come up without a lot of trouble. My thinking was to let gravity work against removal, as opposed to being on a ground floor or a second story where it could be dragged to a window or door and pushed out. I feel fairly confident with my setup, but there are always desperate crooks.
     
  11. BobABQ

    BobABQ Member

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    Buying a gun safe is sort of like buying an air compressor, roll-a-way toolbox or welder. Buy bigger and more powerful than you think you need. Trust me you will fill it up or need the extra performance at some point.

    I am actually looking around at different gun safes while I am saving up the money. I hope to purchase something this Christmas.

    I like what I see with Sturdy Safes. They tend to be expensive but you can upgrade the steel to whatever level you feel comfortable with. They also do custom sizes if that is important.

    I have not heard about this Cleveland Safe company; I need to take a look at it.
     
  12. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Contributing Member

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    Located downtown Cleveland, Ohio. I did pay for delivery and setup but it was well worth it, I even generously tipped the guys who got in in. I had the measurements so I had the lag bolts in place when they delivered and as I mentioned the door frame removed. There was no way I was going to position a 3/4 ton safe. :) I liked doing business with them because they had staff who understood gun safes and all safes in general plus a decent enough showroom to browse including gun safes which is simply a safe with gun racks. Before I forget is I keep my handguns on an upper shelf using these holders which work well. The same work well for my revolvers except snubbies.

    45%20Colt%20Series%2070%20Guns.png

    I can fit comfortably two rows like you see on a shelf in addition to my wife's jewelry and on the other upper shelf all our documents, papers of importance and stuff like that. The empty handgun boxes are just piled on top of the safe. Anyway, while the inside of the door has some compartments the racks like this I love for handguns. Cleveland Safe Company. Obviously unless you are in NE Ohio they won't be of much help. :)

    Ron

    .
     
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  13. lightman

    lightman Member

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    Um, I think someone likes 1911's! Nice!!!
     
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  14. alfsauve

    alfsauve Member

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    You want nice? Get a Pendalton. Seen in the background on ShootingUSA show. It's on my bucket list.

    Mine's (not a big name one) also in the basement where removal will be a real pain. I will probably leave it with the house when I'm move.
     
  15. PaFrank

    PaFrank Member

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    Correct! The insurance industry classifies most gun safes (Remington, Winchester, Liberty, etc) as Residential Security Cabinets, NOT as a safe.

    I believe that Zanotti Armor is an exception......

    http://zanottiarmor.com/videos-brochures/
     
  16. George P

    George P Member

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    Graffunder, AMSEC and a few others make T rated safes.
     
  17. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

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    I just went with RSCs (11, so far, all different sizes for different types of weapons) fastened to the floor, walls and each other. They are wired for electricity and have lights, connections for dehumidifiers and contact and tip switches connected to the alarm system. Total price is less than one quality safe, even with all of the modifications.
    Anyway, my floor wouldn't carry a 3/4 ton safe.
    Makes for a nice man cave.
     
  18. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Ok, some handy points.
    One, assume that the reported number of guns stored is 40% inflated (unless you only own single-shot shotguns and tube magazine 22s with no glass).
    All claims of fire resistance require several grains of salt this also applies to "fire proof document safes" in spades.
    AmSec, Sturdy, and Graffunder are all good brands.
    Avoid electronic locks at all costs. Too many of those are too easily defeated. Like with a paperclip.
    Always, always go find a locksmith/safe shop near you house and ask them about traded-in models.
    Find out if who you are buying from also delivers. Find out if they use a truck with "AAA CHEAP GUN SAFES" on the side or not.
    Spend more than you think than you can afford.

    For 2¢ I'd tell you to start with a budget of $2500, or the sum of the replacement value of all your arms. That, and once you get below 2 grand, you are really not getting much more than a glorified sheetmetal locker with an over-fancy lock on it. That number is not accidental, either--the safe I bought years ago for $1200 would cost at least $2500 today.

    We get these threads about once a month. If you use the search box, up there at the top right of the page, you can probably find easily a dozen threads on this. All with particularly good info.
     
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  19. waho

    waho Member

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    Having just been burned out, (Woolsey Fire Nov 9) I would like to say that the majority of RSC's, which my Cannon was, aren't worth the amount of money they charge for them. Everything in the safe was gone. Makes me wish I would not have bought the larger size, maybe should have gone with smaller ones spread around. This 'buy something bigger than what you think you need' puts everything into one spot. The Cannon I had was supposed to be good for 1350deg for 90min, well it wasn't. Remember the bigger the safe, the more guns you could loose. The next time I have something valuable I'll dig a hole in the ground.
     
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  20. George P

    George P Member

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    Nothing wrong with buying bigger; you just need to also buy quality and that isn't cheap or light.
     
  21. EH1

    EH1 Member

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    Back in the 70s when I was a young man, I was doing some work at a bank that had closed and was being rebuilt into a church. I was talking to the general contractor who was in the cellar looking at the vault door which opened into the room for the safety deposit boxs. He just wanted the vault door out of there so he could work. I offered him $50.00 for it. Sold! IMG_4673.jpg IMG_4674.jpg It took me a few days to gut and dismantle the door and haul it out. But that's the kind of stuff energetic young men are good at. I buillt a reinforced room in the corner of my cellar to hold up the door. I keep a lot of gun and ammo stuff in there and also a lot of randomish stuff. A lot of banks are closing these days. I'll bet some of them have vault doors for cheap money.
     
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  22. rayatphonix

    rayatphonix Member

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    +1 for Sturdy Safe (sturdysafe.com). You can customize to your liking. They’ve gone up some since I bought mine (steel tariffs?) but I still think they’re a good value.
     
  23. alfsauve

    alfsauve Member

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    I avoid them because I've never seen a posting about an S&G rotary dial lock failing. And If you worry about an EMP event you should also avoid electronic locks.

    At our local ginormous LGS which has ~20 floor models on display, all are electronic locks. They will special order an S&G but they looked at me funny when I asked.
     
  24. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

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    I find it amusing that folks that would never accept an electronic lock on their gun would allow an electronic lock on the box that holds their gun... .
     
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  25. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    In the basement of my office there's an old bank vault that my department uses for storage. The door is a really cool 10" thick old school bank vault door and goes floor to ceiling. I've joked about buying it, but I'm not even sure my basement foundation could support it's weight, let alone any wall.
     
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