Stack On Bedside Pistol Safe lock failure/hack

Discussion in 'Handguns: Accessories, Holsters, and Optics' started by Fiv3r, Apr 24, 2019.

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  1. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    Some 7 or 8 years ago I bought an inexpensive $50ish dollar Stack One safe from Gander Mountain. It's no frills, but my daughter was starting to move and toddle, so I wanted to limit the access to my bedside gun without breaking the bank.

    It's been a great little safe, if a bit shallow. I keep my bump in the night handgun in it along with whatever pocket pistol I will be carrying the next day and a couple documents like my passport (mainly so I dont lose the thing in between my very infrequent international trips).

    Anyway, this model is battery operated with a 4 digit programmable code. As the batteries weaken, it gives you a pretty good amount of time to replace them. If you don't, a hidden key cover can be pried off. I think I've replaced the batteries maybe 2 times.

    Two days ago, I went to get my pistol out of the safe. I touched the buttons...no beeps. Dang it. I don't remember any warming beeps going off, but whatever. I look for my back up key stuffed somewhere in my drawer...no dice. Well, just great. I hadn't seen it since we moved 5 years ago.

    I check the Stack On website. 15 bucks for a spare key and i need to register my safe first...ugh, hard pass.

    So i buy a little lock pick set. I figure, why not. I studied the broken english manual. Pretty cool little skill to pick up and I get pretty good at jimmying the clear practice lock. I go to my Stack on and use my tools and pick and pry and cuss and spit.

    OK. Time to hit up You Tube. What am I doing wrong?

    First video I bump into is a 11-12 boy doing a tutorial on how to use a paperclip on how to pick a Stack On safe. I start watching hoping to figure out how he bends it a special way to get it engage this devil lock.

    About 15 seconds in he just shoves the clip in stock and pushes it left. The lug rotates at he opens the door:confused: Well this has got to be fake.

    I take a paperclip, shove it in, push left....safe opens:eek:

    So, if you have an entry level Stack On safe, you can defeat the lock with a paperclip. Not the most secure design, but obviously I didnt buy it to be a venerable Fort Knox.

    The problem with my safe and why it died all at once? I guess I dropped the door too hard and the battery cover came loose killing power to it. A bit of super strong duct tape fixed that.

    Now, can anyone recommend a small mechanical button lock safe? It doesnt have to be high dollar at all. Actually, now that my daughter is 9 and doesnt have any interest in guns, I dont feel the need to protect HER from getting ahold of it. However, we do have her friends over from time to time, so I like to keep my loaded guns secure....not that they should be rooting around in my underwear drawer:rofl:

    Thanks for reading.
     
  2. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Member

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    Welcome to the world of lock picking. You will never have the same sense of security again :evil: You also hit another nail on the head: attack the safe where it is weakest, not where it is strongest. So many of these biometric "super secure" bedside gun safes still have a simple tubular lock somewhere. Sure, I won't be able to trick the fingerprint scanner, but that doesn't matter if I have a tubular lock pick available (or if I can just get a coat hanger to release the latch).

    Unfortunately you are going to be hard pressed to find a bed side safe that is secure against someone who really wants to get into it. Even the "real" gun safes aren't really safes (they are "residential security containers"). For the bedside handgun I've been happy with GunVaults. They have a few different models depending on what you're looking to "secure" and what size/footprint you want.
     
  3. FAS1

    FAS1 Member

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    Whether it's batteries or an electronic failure of some type, the inexpensive handgun safes aren't very forgiving. They fail without warning a lot of the time and then people question the sanity of keeping a defensive gun in one. Just so you know the mechanical "Simplex" lock costs the safe manufactures more than you spent on that safe. Also, all are thicker steel which costs more. I'm just trying to explain why you will have to spent significantly more on a quality mechanical locking handgun safe. The plus is that it will probably last you a life time.

    The other thing to consider is where and how you want to mount it. Ones that open like a cigar box can only be mounted with the door opening up and limit your mounting possibilities. Others can be mounted in any orientation giving you more flexibility.

    V-Line, Ft. Knox, AMSEC, Stealth, FAS1 all make handgun safes with the "Simplex" lock. Take a look and see which has the features you are looking for. V-Line will be the least costly, but offers the thinnest steel. FAS1 will be the most expensive with the thickest steel and a couple unique features.
     
  4. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    Thanks for the info, guys:)
     
  5. CopperFouling

    CopperFouling Member

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    @FAS1 makes a heck of a good safe. You'll be shocked at how sturdy those safes feel. The Simplex lock is quick to use once you open it a few dozen times. I've owned and used one (in and out a couple times a day) for about four years now, and I would buy another in a heartbeat. They're not cheap, but high-quality, made-in-the-USA products rarely are.
     
    John Joseph and FAS1 like this.
  6. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Unless they have changed something, Gunvaults have several security flaws that I have noticed when I owned one. First, they have a tubular backup key. As pointed out, those are easily defeated. Second, the Multivault uses a very fragile opening mechanism. A small motor spins a braided metal line to pull the release bar for the door. Eventually that braided wire will wear down and snap, causing your safe to be an expensive paper weight. Hopefully not with your firearm in it. You can guess how I know this.
     
  7. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    I'm not too concerned with how secure a safe is in regards to a thief opening it up. It's more of a safety feature for my daughter or any other kids that are in my house. I'm kinda glad the stack on can be jimmied so easily in case I have another batter compartment failure. I still would like to have a mechanical lock at some point. However, for my needs, I think this little cheap one is working fine.

    A look at a standing gun safe costing hundreds of dollars or more as real theft security. This little Stack On is just an obstacle for curious fingers, and I'm OK with that.
     
  8. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    The Stak-On's and some of the First Alerts have an exploit that's even simpler--simply drop the lock side of the container about 6-8 inches. The solenoid will rebound on the bounce and leave it unlocked.

    That one has been known since the 2011 DefCon and was published in pen-testing circles as early as 2009 as the result of a 2005 lawsuit.
     
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