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New gun safe suggestions

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by gunlaw, Aug 28, 2016.

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  1. gunlaw

    gunlaw Member

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    Time for a new gun safe. I'm interested in the Cannon valley forge 42. Any opinions on this unit. Saw on at the lgs for $599
     
  2. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Were I in the market for a "safe" (I'm not, yet--hateful word that, yet)
    I'd be looking at AmSec or Sturdy (Graffunder if I won the lottery) on sale in the $2000 to $2500 range.

    Your mileage may vary.

    In my case, I bit the bullet for a Libery Presidential a decade ago, and it really is not enough--if better than a locking metal cabinet from Tractor Supply.

    However, it's your money, it's your choice. Might be worth the hour it takes to go through what gunsafereviewsguy.com has to say on the topic. And another hour surfing youtube videos on gun safes.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltK-bDbADa8
     
  3. Savage99

    Savage99 Member

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  4. cdk8

    cdk8 Member

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    How good of a product this is depends on what the prospective Buyer wants from their purchase.

    So,
    1 - Do you want a safe that will protect the valuables in the case of a full-on house fire?
    2 - Do you want a safe that provides ANY level of burglary protection should the safe be attacked?

    Like most gun safes, this product isn't a safe...it's a locking box for storage with cosmetics to make it look like a safe. Provided a prospective Buyer does NOT need burglary protection, and does NOT need the degree of fire protection required to survive a house fire, this type of product is a heckuva good value and works very well for the primary need of storage.

    However, the reason this type of product fails miserably when attacked is because it doesn't have enough armor, and a lack of armor cannot be compensated for. I would argue that 1/4-inch of steel armor on the sides is the minimum side thickness standard for LOW security/limited burglary protection, and most gun safes are using armor in the 1/16 - 1/8th inch range. It's not enough...those 16/14/12/10 sidewalls may not even keep an attacker out for one whole minute.

    So do your needs (and the content value) match up with the product? If so, you are good to go. If not, you may want to look at other options. For anyone wanting a gun safe that is capable of surviving an attack but at a decent price, I feel that used security safes are the way to go. You can often find a safe seller or locksmith near you who may have an older high-security safe they pulled from a job way back that they just want to move, and you can get great values this way, for what it's worth.
     
  5. cdk8

    cdk8 Member

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    More than missing, in my personal opinion, it is about what the Buyer wants and getting what one pays for. It may or it may not be justifiable to invest in something nicer.

    Like almost all gun safes on the market, this product is not a good choice for burglary protection as it does NOT provide any useful amount of protection if attacked. The armor is just too thin, especially on the sides, and many criminals know this.

    In terms of fire resistance, what organization provided the rating can say a lot. However, if the test temp was only 1200F, and the duration was only 30 minutes, some house fires may exceed this test temp, and 30 minutes may not be long enough between the point where fire begins at the safe and the safe is cooled down.

    In the real world, sometimes safes see MUCH longer periods of heat given the way house fires work...this is the outcome of a real safe facing off with a full-on burn down, and demonstrates one of the advantages of investing in a premium [real] safe. https://www.ar15.com/forums/t_6_46/398024_AMSEC_Amvault___Burned_In_Fire.html



    If one does want burglary protection, in my opinion the entry point for burglary resistance is 1/4-inch of steel on the side walls, extremely deep welds, solid boltwork, a UL Group 2 or Group 2 M lock, and two-way locking bolts or a hinge-side deadbar. But here is the craziest part...I consider 1/4-inches of armor plate(s) as the bare minimum for LOW security (i.e., hand tool attacks), and yet that is roughly 3 times thicker than this product!!!

    For fire resistance, I prefer UL ratings over many other third parties. For general fire protection, I like the UL 350 rating of 1 hour at a test temp of 1700F because it's a nice middle point of performance vs. price. Safes that have the 2hr/1850F rating tend to be quite a bit heavier and pricier, limiting practicality. With that said, what goes in the safe could easily justify the investment...and the accumulation of guns/knives/collectibles over the years adds up fast, and if storing important documents, jewelry, other valuables, etc. in that safe, then all the more reason to go for a higher fire and burglary rating.

    YMMV.
     
  6. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    1/4" sides...? Thats "low" level protection?
    That is crazy.


    The average thief isnt bringing in 3ft pry bars or power tools unless they know you have a safe and are targeting you for it.

    They're not bringing in those kind of tools on the off chance they may stumble upon a safe.

    Does it happen? Sure

    Is it the M.O. of the average home burglar, No.
     
  7. Jmoreno88

    Jmoreno88 Member

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    agreed, that was my thought process when purchasing. Will it keep out everyone?? no of course not, but will it keep out the vast majority of snatch and run burglars?? Id bet on it.
    Add that i have a safe alarm and a home alarm plus it's bolted down. With the alarm going off im doubting that they'll have time to start hacking away at it or pull it out of the concrete and then rip out 3 door frames to get it out of the nearest exit.
    so you don't always need the biggest and baddest if you take some other precautions to go with it.

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  8. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    Aside from a bank vault a side grinder and a handful of cutoff wheels most safes or RSC's are only separated by the time it takes to cut.
    It takes some sort of castable cement component to slow down cutting steel.

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  9. au_prospector

    au_prospector Member

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    You should probably watch these videos. . .

    You think you are "safe" from quick snatch and grab robbers with an inexpensive lock box at 338 pounds? You get what you pay for.

    I say one man can be in and out with your Cannon box in less than 10 minutes.
    He takes it to his house where he can pop it open at his leisure.
    You guys are thinking someone is going to open it on premises.
    I say they are more likely to take the whole deal and go some where else to pop it open.

    With 2 or 3 guys? Gone in 60 seconds.

    It is kept upstairs you say?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RO6FJQoi0H8

    Cant move it without a pallet jack you say?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RO6FJQoi0H8

    They cant possibly get my lockbox into a pick up truck?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RO6FJQoi0H8

    You might save your money and get something more substantial.
    Or buy this one as a decoy for your real safe.

    Do some homework... You get what you pay for.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2016
  10. Jmoreno88

    Jmoreno88 Member

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    ive never seen quick snatch and grab robbers bring a professional electric dolly like that, but if they knew that you had a safe then I'm sure they would bring one, but then again if they knew you had one then they probably have been planning it out and then no longer fit into the quick snatch and grab robber category? Not saying it hasn't happened but just think it won't be done by the common jackass that goes for electronics and light valuables and then stares right into the security camera on the way out, but yes if you have it cheapest lock you could find on a stack on security "cabinet" then youre definitely screwed

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  11. au_prospector

    au_prospector Member

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    Yeah I thought it was a cool video though for a MUCH heavier safe. Your right, an electric dolly is not at all needed for a 300 pounder. In fact I still say one guy can do it quickly by simply pushing it down the stairs. Why not? Not the bandit's house, the faster the better. Get in, get out and leave.

    The point is, the Cannon is insufficient unless you simply want to keep your kids out of it. It wont protect in a house fire, it is not water proof so when the fire truck comes and sprays it with water, you have instant steam inside which means instant rust, it is easily defeated, and it is portable.

    I am no expert, there are some safe experts on this forum. If you ask nicely, they will direct you to a real safe and local supplier and explain why a quality safes with professional installation is the way to go.

    Good luck!!!
     
  12. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    No matter what you have you should have it bolted down to the floor at a minimum, lagged in on 2 sides is better yet. Getting one down the steps is nothing if your going to break into it, getting up steps is another story.

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  13. Jmoreno88

    Jmoreno88 Member

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    oh idk any of the specs for the cannon so im sure you're right, I was just kind of talking in general about cheaper (not cheap) safes in 5-800 range. Was just saying that you can get one that isnt $2500 and 1k lbs and still have some protection for the vast majority of burglars if you take the proper steps (bolted, added weight, difficult to get to, fire rated, alarm etc.) but hey if someone can afford it then by all means, i know i will eventually

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  14. sota

    sota Member

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    I have the Tractor Supply special version of that Cannon safe, TS6026E. Funny how they brand it differently for different vendors, yet it's the same safe. Bought it back in 2012. It's been a good safe, but I need bigger. My issue is I'm constrained on width, and not a whole many manufacturers make taller than 60" safes. So far I've only really found one that's 72" tall and 36" wide (or less) from a company called MESA. I'd really love to find one even taller.
     
  15. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    All of your links go to the same video.
     
  16. HighExpert

    HighExpert Member

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    How good is your $2500 safe when the guy comes in when you are there, puts a gun to your wife's head and says "Open it". A lower priced safe is like your front door lock. It is meant to keep basically honest people and amateurs out. It is lots better than putting your guns under your bed or in the closet. I have a Cannon and a Fort Knox. Both have served me well. Some folks say they are locked steel cabinets, OK. They are what I could afford.
     
  17. Predator55

    Predator55 Member

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    Before you buy search you tube on gun safes. You will learn a lot and how a lot of gun safes are worthless. Good for keeping kinds out but criminals not so much.
     
  18. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    Depends. Does your $2,500 safe have a lock with a time delayed opening?

    Many commercial safes have this feature for the very reason you describe.
     
  19. cdk8

    cdk8 Member

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    Yes, I consider 1/4 inch as low-level protection and the entry point to rely upon for limited protection from an attack. If one wants burglary protection, I think they should try for that as minimum armor. And truthfully, this is still only modest protection, but it can resist an attack with hand tools far better than the 1/8-1/12 inch side walls seen with most gun safes.

    A RSC certification means that a safe (built to certain standards) is attacked AT THE FRONT by ONE person, for FIVE minutes, using basic hand tools only. If the safe can withstand the attack for five minutes, and it is built to minimum construction standards, it is awarded the label.

    Now, consider how most RSC safes use a side wall with less than half the armor of the front. How long do you think that safe is going to hold out? Especially at a time when criminals are aware of the vulnerabilities of gun safes, and there are tons of videos showing how easy they are to defeat?

    A fire axe will destroy most gun safes in no time. Heck you can even beat through a 12 gauge wall with a hammer. All the placement and bolting in the world can't compensate for a lack of armor, IMO.

    Ultimately, it comes down to what the owner wants, and the above is my personal opinion.
     
  20. Jmoreno88

    Jmoreno88 Member

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    definitely agree with that but our kind of whole point was the average snatch and grab robber isn't going to have all that. How many quick get away robbers carry a fire ax or even basic hand tools beyond a pry bar at most? Not very many cuz they're trying to get in and out quickly.

    If someone breaks a window and jumps in to start getting jewelery, money, electronics, etc. and comes across the safe, i highly doubt that they're going to have any tools with them to get it open in any reasonable amount of time. But of course they could always come back a few days later with help and tools but that's a different story and doesnt fall into the snatch and grab guys.

    Just saying that yes absolutely a smaller lighter safe can be stolen but i don't think from the vast majority of burglars if you take simple steps.

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  21. cdk8

    cdk8 Member

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    Mid-range Liberty and Fort Knox safes are frequently more expensive than high-security safes. The cosmetics of gun safes will drive the cost up dramatically over a plain model. In some cases, a gun safe that is based off of a standard safe may sell for two or three times the price of the original.

    The AMVAULT is a TL-15/TL-30 tool-resistant composite safe with a 2 hour UL350. It's established itself as one of the best all-around high-security safes because it is secure, does very well against fire, reasonably priced, and has a large service network for consumers. It's a plain jane safe but it does a great job at the two primary purposes of security safes. The AMVAULT is often less money than the Fort Knox Guardian. Used AMVAULTs are often less money than the entry-mid gun safes.

    Used TL-15 and TL-30 plate safes can often be found for under $1,000. DieBold, Tann, Kight, Hamilton, Gary, Adesco, and Mosler are just a few names where tons of value can be found. The plate thickness on a TL-30 safe is 10 times that of a 10 gauge gun safe.

    Another option could be several of the GSA locking containers. It's not uncommon for safe sellers to get a bunch in at a time and then just want to blow them out. Some of these containers are in the shape desired for a gun safe (as not all are file cabinets.)

    Because there are quite a few affordable security safes outside of the gun safe world, I don't think one has to settle if they want higher levels of security.
     
  22. cdk8

    cdk8 Member

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    I personally feel the probability of a hand tooled attack with multiple individuals is more than it may seem and great enough for me to assume it will happen. This is, of course, my personal opinion, and based on my own experiences and interactions. Quite a few people (myself included) have tools in their own home that could rapidly defeat a 12-gauge plate, but most of these tools cannot easily defeat 1/4-inch of steel.

    I've attacked a 1/4-inch wall and a 12-gauge wall, and in my opinion the many cases where hand-tooled attacks will quickly & easily defeat a 12-gauge plate limits its security benefit. Moving up to 1/4-inch makes most of that a non-issue, covering areas where I think there is still a very real chance of it happening, which is my opinion.
     
  23. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Something is better than nothing, but more steel is always better. Most, if not all, of the $600 "safes" have next to no steel in them.

    My home was broken into a few months back, and it did not look like they even tried to get into my Sturdy. I also have a small cheap "safe" I keep some ammo and a couple of odds and ends in, and there was no sign they tried to get into it or move it. (Something is better than nothing.)

    I had left a shotgun out leaning against the wall, and guess what, it was stolen. (I miss my TV too.)

    Buy the best you can afford (Make it hurt a little), put it in a corner and bolt it down.
     
  24. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    Here is something to consider as a first time safe buyer or someone just beginning to start their gun collection.
    Think about a midrange RSC that is sized for a couple dozen guns which will hold less in reality. In 5-10 years you will have doubled your needs and will require more room. Before you know it you'll have 3 or 4 which IMO presents a more difficult problem for thieves. Add in anchor bolts, security and some creative framing enclosures and you have a reasonable expectation of security.
    Compare the cost of multiple units with a capacity of 100 guns to the cost of one "safe" of that capacity and in the end if you wish to pass some on you can pass on the RSC too.

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  25. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    True, why bother if you have a sawzall and a angle grinder in your garage, let alone a prybar and hand sledge?

    Or, with some or the 18ga boxes with only sheetrock for heft--chef's knofe with the knifeblock as a mallet (like the thief cares that it's a $500 Henckles set).

    Oh, and you have to know the specs on these boxes. The inexpensive boxes get "fire protection" by way of gypsum board, aka sheetrock. The 'fire protection' comes from the heat transferring from the sheet metal to the gypsum. The gypsum releases entrained moisture. Eventually, though, that moisture converts to steam, at which point the gypsum material is used up.

    This is where UL ratings leave self-tested safe rating in the dust. Some safe makers use a 1200º test where the testing oven is borught up to heat, the heat turned off, then the room temperature safe is put inside for 20 or 30 minutes. These are considered to have "passed" if they do not exceed 300º after they open the door.
     
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