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Need help choosing a gun safe

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by K_Dubbya, Oct 8, 2013.

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  1. K_Dubbya

    K_Dubbya Member

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    Greetings again,

    I am in the market for a new steel gun safe. I am looking for something that can hold about 30 weapons comfortably (20 long guns and 8 pistols). I would also like to store valuables like birth certificates select jewelry etc... I want something that has interior lighting and fire resistance. I have read a bit about internal and external hinges what are your thoughts? I would also like something has has customizable inserts so I can change the interior as my collection changes. My price range is around $2000 give or take a few hundred. Are there any companies that anyone has had positive or negative experience with? Thanks!

    P.S. I have attached a few photos of some interior designs that I liked if it helps.
     

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  2. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    Hans;

    You want an RSC, not a safe. As for internal hinges, in a word, don't. The shop won't work on them. That little round dot at the end of the previous sentence is a period. Here's the problem with interior hinges, they are invariably in RSC's, not safes, which means a sheet metal frame. When moved, or otherwise stressed, sheet metal has been known to distort, which affects the alignment of the door & internal hinges. Repair is more trouble than it's worth.

    Find the RSC that gives you the features you want/need & buy the one at the best price you find. There's no significant difference in the protective capabilities among them. Thermal ratings are always a time/temp number that means nothing until you know the test parameters. The only thermal rating to pay any attention to is the U.L. 1 hour pass certificate. No RSC will have it, you have to go to a real U.L. rated safe, which is beyond your stated budget.

    900F
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2013
  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    The Sturdy gun safe is a very solid option between the average RSC and a real safe.

    The Amsec BF series is another one and these two are often debated as to which is better. Plenty of threads on them. Either is an excellent choice IMHO.
     
  4. ArmedLiberal

    ArmedLiberal Member

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    Lots of money spent on advertising, selling the illusion of security without the reality.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBhOjWHbD6M

    http://www.6mmbr.com/gunsafes.html


    7 Gauge Steel or go home

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

    <link removed>


    To get real security you have to spend rather more than $2000.

    If you just want to keep your guns safe from children and teenagers or to stop a novice burglar in a hurry then $2000 is just fine.

    Maybe a $300 Stack On type cabinet is enough for this purpose if its well bolted to the walls and floors.

    Keeping your safe hidden and secret are essential.

    Placing your safe in a closet so that the walls limit how thieves can move their pry bars/tools will slow them down.

    Do not store power tools next to your safe. You can drill a quarter inch hole into your $2000 safe in less than 30 seconds.


    Fire protection claims for Residential Security Containers are a farce. Different companies make up their own fire protection standards and tests and create their own ratings of how long your safe will resist a fire. You can't really compare ratings between safes as they are all made up anyway.


    If you don't bolt your safe down, you just have a convenient container for thieves to quickly load your stuff on to the truck.


    I can vouch for Sturdy Safe. They're family owned, good people, don't spend corporate sized budgets on advertising. Good information about gun safes on their website.

    American Security safes have a very good reputation but you'll pay more.


    "The Sturdy gun safe is a very solid option between the average RSC and a real safe.

    The Amsec BF series is another one and these two are often debated as to which is better. Plenty of threads on them. Either is an excellent choice IMHO."​
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 2, 2014
  5. Outlaw Man

    Outlaw Man Member

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    Not at all to detract from what CB900 is telling you, because his reason is by far the most important, but I'd also add that exterior hinges are a bonus from a swing radius standpoint. They can open a full 180-degrees.

    I went with Amsec, but I agree that Sturdy makes a good one, too. As a general rule, you're going to pay extra for the name on an RSC that's exactly the same as another, cheaper model that hasn't been rebranded, so steer clear of the Brownings and such, unless you just have to have the flashy lights and pretty paint.

    Some good advice in Armed Liberal's post above.
     
  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Being able to remove the door (exterior hinges) from my Sturdy made it much easier (weight) to get to where it needed to go, as well as get it through the door to that room.
     
  7. PowderKeg

    PowderKeg Member

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    Big ditto on everything CB posted, plus the following:

    - as a rule (with very few exceptions) do not believe the stated capacities for long guns. Knock anywhere from a 1/3 to 1/2 off for a more realistic estimate, unless you have nothing but .22 single shot youth rifles. Sturdy is one exception I know personally - their racks are spaced wider, so unless you have a large number of really oversize long guns with huge scopes and/or mall ninja accessories, you'll most likely get within a couple guns if not the full count.

    - If you want to store a few other items besides that many firearms, then give very serious thought to spending additional for a 6' instead of a 5'. Doesn't sound like much, but the best decision I made (after deciding on a Sturdy) was to go for the 6' model with 2 top shelves spaced a usable distance apart.

    - Once you've found a gunsafe you think is just big enough for your needs, fugetaboutit - you need to go up to the next size to actually (and barely) meet your minimum requirements.

    - Stick with a quality mechanical dial, unless you're willing to demand and spend extra for an honest top quality electronic pad. I've seen several run-of-the-mill "quality" keypads that failed to open while casually looking at gunsafes for the past several years.

    Run around to as many LGS, locksmith/safe stores, and gun shows as you can find to see how highly variable the door fit and lockdown/tightness of so many "affordable" gunsafes are, how sloppy and loose (or rough and binding) the bolts and lockworks can be, how cramped the interiors actually are versus the highly optimistic capacities, and how many use buzzwords, gimmicks, and extra wallboard "insulation" to distract from the lack of steel, sloppy fit, and budget locks.

    If I had to do it over again, there are three that would get considered at the moment, all 36" wide - 6' Sturdy (which I've had for a year and would buy again in a heartbeat), 5.5' Amsec BF (the runner-up to the Sturdy decision), and a 5.5' Zykan B Rate (which wasn't fully known about during the prior decision). Unfortunately, all three will blow past your imposed limit of $2000 by a grand+ with shipping. There are less expensive - and smaller - models from those three manufacturers/dealers, but you're probably not gonna be happy when you see how much stuff won't fit in. Sure there are plenty of similar-sized wallboard-lined tuna cans out there in the sub $2000 range, but you get what you pay for.

    Oh, and if funds weren't a limiting factor at all, then Graffunder and AMSEC's HS series would climb to the top of the list, along with a beefed up Sturdy.
     
  8. carlson1

    carlson1 Member

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    A safe is one of those things that you get what you pay for. The Youtube videos above are great videos.

    I purchased a small safe that is in the slab of my home hidden that keeps all of our jewelry, power of attorney, wills, etc. . .

    i purchased a medium size safe that I keep only hang guns in. Then I purchased a larger safe for my long guns. I am very seldom gone so I have a handgun in every room hidden in the house. I have long guns in our bedroom, but when we leae town every thing is locked up.

    I personally think the Fort Knox Safes are the best, just my opinion.
     
  9. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    carlson1;

    I'm going to suggest that you do some research around this site, there's a large number of threads on "safes" and true safes. The "safes" are actually RSC's you see, and that is the category that the Fort Knox line falls in. In my opinion, the price jump from a Ft. Knox to a true safe is not large enough to worry about if your budget is that much to begin with.

    To my experience the only three companys currently offering gun safes to the consumer market are: The very top-end of AMSEC's line, Brown, and Graffunder.

    900F
     
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