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I'm thinking of buying a gun safe

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by thriftyjoe, Jan 24, 2010.

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  1. thriftyjoe

    thriftyjoe Member

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    As to my usual policy of not skimping on equipment, I'm looking for the best bang for my buck with a gun safe

    It's tough shelling out hundreds of dollars on a safe when it could be going towards a nice .308 bolt action with a good scope

    So far I've found a few options at costco:

    http://www.costco.com/Browse/Produc...g=en-US&Sp=C&hierPath=114*29105*3373*&topnav=

    http://www.costco.com/Browse/Produc...g=en-US&Sp=C&hierPath=114*29105*3373*&topnav=

    http://www.costco.com/Browse/Produc...g=en-US&Sp=C&hierPath=114*29105*3373*&topnav=

    What do you guys think of Cannon and Bighorn as companies? does anyone have one? good quality?

    I understand that a proper safe will last for generations to come so i want to get the right one

    I'm trying to keep in under $1000 and maybe upgrade in the future, i will stretch if i absolutely have to

    what do you guys have? what would you buy if you were in the market for a safe with under 1k budget?
     
  2. KevinR

    KevinR Member

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    Go to a gun shop and spind the extra mone and get a good one on the first go arround. If you get one now it will not be worth anything later when you try to sell it. So just find the money to get a really good one now.
     
  3. ArmedLiberal

    ArmedLiberal Member

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    I'm noticing that the Costco ad does not specify the gauge of steel used in this safe.

    With an absolute limit of $1000, I would get a StackOn cabinet for $250 or so, bolt it to the floor and walls of my closet and start saving for a well built gun safe. More like $2000 to $2400.

    Just my opinion.


    Scroll down a bit and check out the fire axe attack on 12 ga steel.

    http://www.sturdysafe.com/minuteman.htm


    Lots of basic gun safe info:

    http://www.6mmbr.com/gunsafes.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  4. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    The level of security you need can only be assessed by you. High vs. low crime area, do lot's of people know about your guns and other valuables, or just a few, the security of your house itself, etc.

    If half the houses on your block get broken into regularly, it'd be wise to get a really good safe and secure it well. But if you live in an area where break-in's are almost non-existent, your home looks humble, and you don't brag about your collection, you may not need so much protection. Obviously, a big, expensive safe won't hurt in the latter circumstance. Just sayin' that it may not be necessary.

    The overwhelming majority of burglaries are smash and grab, particularly the random ones. So your best protection is keeping them out of the house in the first place. If it is easy for them to get in unnoticed, they may feel emboldened about the amount of time they have to find stuff or break into safes. A barking dog or alarm system that draws attention to your home are particularly good first-line deterrents. Good locks and barred windows also mean that the thief has to spend that much more time trying to get in, and this is the riskiest part of his venture. If a burglar is spotted getting into a house, or an alarm system alerts the police, he knows he only has minutes to get in, get out and be gone. Often, they'll simply not risk it after being made. Also, if the entrances to your house are easily seen from roadways and neighbors windows, you are less likely to be victimized. If you have a side entrance on your house that is well concealed by a fence or foliage, that theif can screw around trying to get the door open without having to worry much about being spotted.

    And don't forget surveillence cameras. Small ones that are dificult to see at glance, but can be noticed once one looks, combined with a window sticker that tells people they are under video surveillance, may make that potential theif change his/her mind without even trying. They don't know where the footage might be recorded, and in this day and age, there is a very real possibility that they are being watched live and the recording is on a remote internet server or other wireless recording device they'll never find. Knowing this, they may simply decide to knock on the door and act like they are looking for you, then walk away. And chances are, they won't come back, because even if they conceal their identity the next time, they were visible the on the first visit, and that will make them suspects if anything happens.


    In summary, unless you live somewhere in which there are no neighbors to see the criminal and the police may be a ways out, I would say a $500 safe and a $1,000 security system is preferable to a $1,500 safe in a house that can be easily penetrated and the theif operate unnoticed.
     
  5. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    Most of what you're going to find in the sub $1,000 range is going to be Chinese.

    The Bighorn has a 10 gauge body, and although I haven't looked at your links, the Cannon probably has a 12 gauge body.

    For the same price, I'd get the Bighorn.
     
  6. thriftyjoe

    thriftyjoe Member

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    Thank you for the suggestions

    What are the name brands that i should be looking for?
     
  7. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Search for threads that a1abdj has participated in if you want a thorough discussion of "safes".

    Remember that because a big steel box resembles a safe it doesn't always mean that it will protect your property the same as a safe.
     
  8. Bhamrichard

    Bhamrichard Member

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  9. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    There is a difference between a RSC (Residential Security Container) AKA safe, and a real T-rated safe. The gun "safes" you see are RSC's.

    First - think about how many guns you want to store and add 50-100% more capacity. Second, it needs to be bolted down, preferably to the floor and into two walls in a corner. Third, what is the humidity where you live? If necessary, plan on a Golden Rod or similar...

    Last, and where you should look first - is your local locksmith who sells safes. He might have a trade-in from an upgrade, he might have a line on a real safe for the same amount - lots of possibilities......
     
  10. KC&97TA

    KC&97TA Member

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    First - think about how many guns you want to store and add 50-100% more capacity.

    If you have 'AR' or tactical style rifles they take up the room of 2 or 3 standard shotguns... 5 AR's will fill up a RSC that is advertised to hold 7/14 long guns, this is were I went wrong on my first purchase when I only had 2 AR's.
     
  11. Z_Man

    Z_Man Member

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    When I was looking for my first safe, Cannon ended up on my top five list. Not the line from Costco but that's besides the point. It soon fell off my list when I looked into their warranty. Let me explain. Cannons web site says "Cannon Safe is the ONLY manufacturer to offer a ZERO COST - Lifetime Replacement Policy**."

    http://www.cannonsafe.com/warranty

    This is a pretty strong statement but none the less it's not true. If you look for the ** at the bottom of the web page, it says "** - Limited Lifetime Replacement Policy – see 2008 product owners manual for additional information, and complete coverage details."

    At first I didn't really question their warranty. Come on, what else can ZERO COST mean especially after they used bold and all caps in the statement. They couldn't have stressed it any more than they did. It wasn't until numerous posts told others to read the fine print that I went and read the owners manual for details. Their own owner's manual contradicts their claim and states "If Cannon Safe Inc. is replacing a safe, we will require the old safe to be returned to the factory. This being the case Cannon Safe Inc. will at its expense have the safe opened and will pay for the freight to the factory and returned. The purchaser must have the safe packaged and palletized and available for a curb side pick up at their expense." This is probably the case with many warranty policies but to purposefully mislead the purchaser speaks volumes about a company. There are other interesting details about their warranty you may want to read.

    Go to page four here http://www.cannonsafe.com/media/manual_pdf/CannonOwnersManual.pdf

    It was important to me to purchase from not only a reputable dealer but also from a reputable manufacturer. I also found there were too many people with less than happy Cannon customer service experiences. I guess Cannon just left me with a bad taste in my mouth but enough about Cannon. It's just an opinion.

    My top three choices were AMSEC (BF series), Sturdy and Graffunder (B Rate Construction). The Graffunder was twice as much as the other two so it didn't make it. The AMSEC ended up beating out the Sturdy in my case only after I touched and felt them in person. As for keeping it under $1000 I wouldn't be able to recommend one. I would say save your money and once you have $2000 go and buy one that will give you piece of mind. I have seen AMSEC BF series for under $2000 plus shipping/delivery.

    One more thing, I didn't really take into account whether or not I lived in a high vs low crime rate area or if people knew or didn't know about my guns. I wasn't going to settle for a cheap safe just because my neighborhood or a five mile radius never had a break in. I thought of it more like a seat belt or an air bag. Chances are you will never use one but when the time comes I bet you wished you had the best money and your budget could buy. Unless your stuff is not very valuable. Also what ever size you think you need double it. Like you said it will last generations. Chances are you will outgrow it.
     
  12. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    You can spend hours and hours reading up on gun safes. It's a good idea.

    Bottom line is that if you are a gun owner, with more than just a couple of inexpensive guns, a quality gun safe is a must.

    You'll also find in your search that there are crappy safes out there. Yes it's hard to shell out a lot of money on a safe when you could buy one or several new guns, but it's a fact of life that you need to secure your stuff.

    Safes are made to keep out burglary and sometimes fire. A good safe will last you the rest of your life, which is pennies a day in cost.

    Here's what I would do. Avoid buying a crappy $1,000 safe. Spend the extra money on a quality safe. I did all the research you're doing now, and spent $1800 on a safe about 4 years ago, from Sturdy - www.sturdysafe.com

    I liked it so much I bought a second one this year! I've NEVER regretted owning a safe. I keep important papers, electronics, and photos in the firelined safe too.

    Good luck.
     
  13. racine

    racine Member

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    Look Real Hard

    You might want to look real hard to find the country of origin or manufacture. I was shopping for a safe over the holidays and looked at Sams Club, Lowes, etc.. and found that both the Winchester and Liberty safes were priced at $575-$675. I don't have any big ticket guns but just a few long ones and pistols. My primary intent was for quick burglers looking for an easy take. I've got an alarm system, a dog and a good insurance policy along with the NRAs program as well for supplement. Many of the safes today under $800 are now being outsourced to China so look hard for the label despite what the sale people say-they don't know squat! In short I ended up with the Liberty safe that I was assured was US made only to recieve it and find labels from China. I thought I'd look around to find a US made one but all of those were in short supply and well over $1200 + the delivery fee. My thoughts were that should the house burn or the safe opened then I would rather have the items replaced for fair market value rather than to try to used surviving items or worry about recovery of items that may be damaged during the heist. In a few years when I can afford a $1500 safe( which may be no harder to open by a pro), I may sell this one and splurge. This safe keeps items locked up from amateurs and children. Know what your buying and decide what your budget is. I looked for used safes on ebay but only found really expensive ones I'd have to pay to move.
     
  14. searcher451

    searcher451 Member

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    Good for you. Every serious gun owner should have one. The issue with safes is that if you get one that's any good, it takes five men and a mule to haul them from the store to your house, then haul them inside the house, then get them into the spot inside the house where you want to keep the safe. These folks offer an alternative to that:

    http://www.zanottiarmorsafes.com/safes.htm

    The safes are high-quality, and you don't need to go with the crane-through-the-ceiling route to get them in place.
     
  15. joejoeshooter

    joejoeshooter Member

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  16. miamivicedade

    miamivicedade Member

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    I think the best deal running for Gun Safes is the Big Horn for $999 from Costco. The price includes shipping. It's over 700 pounds.
     
  17. Tim the student

    Tim the student Member

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    Can one of the safe experts offer some opinions on Zanotti?
     
  18. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    A kit that you assemble to make an RSC. They obviously put more into their product than say Stack-On's Double Door Cabinet, but it is still... what it is.
    Some of the info from their site:
    I can not find a price anywhere, but my gut says that for the same money, you could get a completed safe with actual fire protection. I'm no expert, but I'm not interested in assembling my own RSC, no matter what the price or how well it comes out.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  19. searcher451

    searcher451 Member

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    Folks I know who have purchased the Zanotti safe not only highly recommend the various models but also will often go back and purchase another, and then another. I know one collector who has three of them and is currently ordering a fourth. And he is not stingy when it comes to protecting his collection. To each his own, of course. It was suggested here as an alternative to the Costco/WallyWorld crowd -- not that there's anything wrong with those.
     
  20. twigs

    twigs Member

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    I suggest you look at the posts from a1abdj and CB900F. They are both safe professionals who have gone to great lengths to educate us gunowners (thank you both!!!), and while they sometimes disagree on their opinions, they are always consistent and candid on the facts they offer.

    I was ready to buy a safe last year until my audiologist sold me a pair of $5000 hearing aids. It seemed I had been exposed to gunfire in my youth.

    Now, I'm saving my pennies again. I'm looking for some reasonable security and more than decent fire protection, not a lockbox to keep out small kids, so I'm willing to pay for decent quality. $1000 will not buy that quality. Rather than buy something as a stop-gap measure, I'll wait and save up for the "better" level, which I know is not the best. But I'm also not going to spend the $5000 I spent on new ears.
     
  21. gearjammer711

    gearjammer711 Member

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    I got a cannon from Tractor supply for 699, I love it. it was the best I could find in the 1000.00 and under cat. just make sure to look for ratings that are from outside orgs, not from the company! if you dont know look for the rating stickers on the inside of the door.
     
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