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What gun safe for $800?

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by VTX, Jan 12, 2006.

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  1. VTX

    VTX Member

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    I'm looking for a new gun safe. I'd like to keep it around $800. What do people think of the American Eagle AE31?

    Looks like a nice one to me, but I don't know a lot about them. Thanks!
     
  2. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to the forum!

    New guy usually buys the ammo, but since your first post is on safes you can get the dessicant for everyone.;)

    One of the things that I've learned here is that a "gun safe" isn't usually a safe at all by professional standards and that a real safe to keep thieves out will cost quite a bit.

    The AE is a good "gun safe" and remember that you want lots of dessicant (or a dehumidifier)


    That said, check all these and look for anything that member CB900F has to say. http://thehighroad.org/search.php?searchid=1009693
     
  3. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    You can get more safe for the same money.

    We sell imported safes which are made by the same factories that make many of the safes for the other big name companies. The safes we have are heavier (1/4" doors, and 10 ga. bodies), but otherwise fairly similar. You can save money by not having the name on the door.
     
  4. Highland Ranger

    Highland Ranger Member

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    do a search on "residential security container" you'll find lots of similar threads.

    Few guys in the business here as well, CB900F is one that comes to mind . . . .
     
  5. LiquidTension

    LiquidTension Member

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    If you can wait, Academy Sports runs 25% coupons every few months. They don't include guns and ammo, but there is no exclusion for safes - excuse me CB900F, I meant RSCs :p Next time one pops up, I'm heading up to Greenville to take home a $1000 safe for $750.
     
  6. coylh

    coylh Member

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  7. VTX

    VTX Member

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    Thanks for all the input!

    ...edited...

    Sorry, I just deleted all that stuff I wrote. After doing a search on CB900R's posts I realize that I had no idea what I was talking about.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2006
  8. VTX

    VTX Member

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    EDIT...nevermind. See above post.
     
  9. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

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    I agree with coylh. I have a Liberty Centurian that I bought on sale for $799. It seems a good solid safe. I have complete confidence in it.
     
  10. Highland Ranger

    Highland Ranger Member

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    I made the same decision back a few years ago when I needed to upgrade - either buy the cheapo stack-on metal cabinets that offer nominal protection against casual theft, or go for the full house setup.

    Stuff in between looks pretty but doesn't give you the bang for the buck you'd expect.
     
  11. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    I'm not trying to stir anything up here, but I have often pondered this question. As a professional in the safe business, I am often asked to deliver safes for other area retailers who sell them. The people I deliver these safes to often make very similar comments, but I do not want to ask them, for fear of them getting me in hot water with the store.

    You say you have complete confidence in this safe. What excact confidences do you have?

    In theory, what would you expect out of your safe in a burglary attempt? What tools, methods, or force to you think your safe would resist? Do you think that your safe has any weaknesses? If so, what are they?

    What would you expect out of your safe in a fire? What items inside your safe would survive a fire without damage? What items may be damaged?

    I believe that many people buy these safes with very little truthful information regarding the construction or function of these types of units. I don't want to taint any replies with my experiences, so I would like to hear from a few of you that also have complete confidence in the safes that you have before I reply.
     
  12. MrChicken

    MrChicken Member

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    My 2cents...

    Buy a safe much bigger than you think you want. I did and it's full, was full on day 1. When you have a safe, it suddenly seems like there are a lot of things that belong in it besides guns.

    If you are going to open it alot, you should consider a keypad instead of a dial. If you want to keep your HD gun in the safe, get a keypad.

    If your house is kept at reasonable humidity levels and you open the safe regularly, you dont need a dehumidifier.

    Put your big hammers and pry bars in the safe. That will keep the novices from trying to use your tools to break into the safe. They wont get in that way, but they dont know that and they will screw up the lock and door bad enough that you wont be able to get in it either.
     
  13. VTX

    VTX Member

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    Thanks for the advice. The AE31 I'm tentatively looking at will already hold lots more guns than I own. I know what you mean about finding other things to put in there too! I've already started compiling a mental list of things I want to put in it! :D

    My HD gun will definitely NOT be in the safe. It stays either on my person or within arms reach.

    I have a dehumidifier in the room that the safe is in, but I will also probably get one or two of those dessicant cans that Cabelas has.

    Good advice about the tools. I won't keep anything out that might be used against the safe...er RSC.
     
  14. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    Starter52;

    Sir, no flames intended, but I'm going to be even blunter than a1abdj. Liberty RSC's are simply not quality protection IMHO. They do not have plate steel doors, they have a sheet metal wrap on an insulating core. The Centurian is not a high-end Liberty, therefore it has very thin sheet metal on the 5 sides other than the door.

    I have a door in my shop that while it is not a Liberty, it is built in the manner of a Liberty. An area business bought the safe as a fire/burglary unit from another dealer in state. A fifteen year old boy, on his first known felony crime, broke into the business through a locked back door, then broke the locked office door, and peeled the 'safe' & got an approximate $5,000.00 out of it in far less than 30 minutes. We know the time period because that's how long the owner was out of the business. The kid was not hanging around when he left, & was not running away when he came back.

    Your fire protection is 1200 degrees f for 30 minutes according to the Liberty brochure I have. And it's, woo-hoo, tested to the "OMEGA" standard. The salesman probably told you that you've nothing to worry about since the average home fire is 1200 degrees. The trick word is average. Oily rag in the garage, cooking oil fire in the kitchen, etc. all quickly & easily put out, count. And because they count, and there's more of that type of fire, it brings the average down. But when there's a major fire in the home, frame of the house is burning, the temps are well above 1200 degrees f. Our professional fire dept. tells us that 1600 to 2000 degrees, or more, are typical, depending on fuel sources & point in the fire cycle.

    If your Liberty is in the same room as that type of fire, it's highly likely you'll open it to charred stocks & warped scope tubes. What will you have saved?
    In other words, Dr. Feelgood sells 'safes' as well as pushes pills.

    900F
     
  15. Sir Aardvark

    Sir Aardvark Member

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    Check out Costco.com for some pretty good safe prices.

    They carry Liberty and Cannon safes and others too.

    The prices listed include curb-side or in-home delivery.

    http://www.costco.com/Common/Category.aspx?cat=29105&eCat=BC|114|29105&whse=BC&topnav=

    Of course, there is a catch....you must be a member:

    http://www.costco.com/Common/Category.aspx?cat=503&eCat=BC|502|503


    About once a year, around July or so, they will have a sale on selected models of about $200.00 off or so.
     
  16. coylh

    coylh Member

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    CB900F, the poster is looking to spend $800. Which RSC/Safe would you recommend that outperforms the various models (Liberty, etc) at that price?
     
  17. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    Coylh;

    One with at least a 1/4" plate steel door. Then the heaviest, read lowest #, gauge metal sides, top, bottom, I could find. The higher the gauge number, the thinner the metal. There's no way I can keep track of all the RSC makers out there. I know the product put out by the majors, but by naming names I could very well ignore a limited area company that makes a good product for the money. Ironman was one. They are OOB now, more's the pity. If you're on a budget & can find a used one, go for it. At least they are 10 gauge walls & 1/4" plate door.

    900F
     
  18. Quinch

    Quinch Member

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    Check your local locksmiths, I had one order my Cannon Traditional for about 40% less than the retail stores wanted.
     
  19. VTX

    VTX Member

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    I've decided to hold off on buying anything for now. After searching CB900F's posts and talking to a1abdj I've realized that the AE31 I was looking at would not be that great of a buy.

    I'm tentatively looking at the Amsec BF series. Still just an RSC, but certainly better. However, for that much money I'm wondering if it wouldn't almost be better to just go for a real safe.

    More things to think about. For now I'm just going to hold off and mull things over. Thanks for allt he info guys.
     
  20. TheEgg

    TheEgg Member

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    While I certainly appreciate the input of those in the safe business, and have avidly read their information over the years, I must say a couple of things.

    1) Keep in mind the value of what you are protecting. I have one RSC that is completely full of C&R rifles for example. If you had a good auction day, I guess you might get $2,000 out of the lot. I have them, as well as all my firearms, insured. It makes no sense to me to purchase a $4,000 safe for this purpose.

    2) If you have money, and use it to purchase high dollar firearms, such as custom/engraved rifle and shotguns, by all means go for the high dollar safes. Indeed, if you are in that market, get a custom built vault room.

    3)Someone asked about the phrase "complete confidence". That is subjective. I have complete confidence in my lowly, leper like, RSC's in this fashion: I know that a determined person, with some minimal set of tools will probably be able to break into them. The average teenager/drunk/druggie looking for a quick snatch and grab probably will not. I am not trying to defeat the well equipped, determined safe cracker. That is what insurance is for. My safes are to defeat the 'amatuer' criminal. I figure this is the guy that is much more likely to break into my house than the guy who is prepared to peel an RSC.

    4.) Think about where the poster is coming from. While I respect the two safe dealers who have posted on this thread, and believe every single thing they have posted, I think that they naturally lean to the high end products. Hey, if I sold cars, and I sold Beemers, and MB's, I might lean to those products as well, perhaps forgetting that for a lot of us the choice is not between a MB or BMW, but between and KIA and a Hyundai. Since I am in the later group, there is just absolutely no way that I can afford that 635i, so don't tell me that I might as well walk if I can't afford it.
     
  21. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    I sell a lot more $400 gun safes than I do $6,000 gun safes :D

    I also sell and install modular vault systems and doors, but don't think I have ever recommended one of those for a gun collector.

    What it comes down to is a waste of money. If you have something worth protecting, then there are various ways to protect it. There's no sense in buying a $600 gun safe if a $20 dead bolt on a closet door will provide the same amount of security.

    Security products, like all other forms of insurance, have a number of variables. The whole notion is a balancing act. I don't have any problems with the $400 safes that I sell, so long as my customers understand their limits. I do have a problem with all of these safe "dealers" that know nothing about safes filling peoples heads with false information.

    An average person can get into an average gun safe with average hand tools in a very short period of time (single digit minutes). Yet no matter how many of these dealers you speak with, none will tell you this. They say things like "nobody has ever broken into one of xyz's safes" or "nobody will walk off with this".

    And for the customers.....remember the 10% rule. You will spend approximately 10% of your collection's worth on a safe properly designed to protect that collection. If you have $20,000 worth of guns, I wouldn't keep them in a $500 safe.
     
  22. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    Fella's;

    The Egg raises a perfectly valid point, you should match the value of the container to the contents. However, leaving the mil-surp market out of it, I'd say the average cost of a typical firearm these days is in the mid-hundreds range. Just to make it perfectly median, let's say $500.00. So, my hypothetical buyer tells me he's got 6 long guns, 8 pistols. & anticipates 100% growth before he thinks he'll be done buying. Plus all the other stuff that tends to get put in the safe. Now we've got $7,000 in firearms with another $7,000 on the horizon. If we are talking one Citori, one Remington VLS with good glass, and one S&W 629, that covers the cost of a rated safe. If even half of the rest are in the same cost class, well, what can you afford to lose?

    Do you want your insurance company, and perhaps other entities, to know by S/N what you own? Do you want to pay the rather substantial extra rider premium to insure the guns? Or, would you rather maintain your, and your firearms, privacy & turn the premium money towards real protection? Reasonable questions IMHO.

    900F
     
  23. TheEgg

    TheEgg Member

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    Absolutely reasonable questions. Everyone should answer these questions and do the calculations you suggest before making their decision. And, no matter how good the safe I had, I would still want insurance, because no safe that I could reasonably expect to put in my house would be proof against all potential intruders, thus the belt and suspenders approach.;)

    BTW, I DON'T have to list my firearms by serial number for my insurance carrier.
     
  24. coylh

    coylh Member

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    Anyone want to do a "box of truth" for RSCs? I'd like to see someone break into one. Hey, there's an episode of Myth Busters!
     
  25. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    libertyburglary2.jpg

    A RSC rating involves 5 minutes without entry using common hand tools (hammer and 18" screwdriver to my understanding).

    Some RSC safes use 12 ga. steel doors (1/10"), some RSC safes have 1/2" steel plate with composite construction behind that. Needless to say, there are some RSC safes which are better than others.

    Same holds true for your high end safes. Just because 2 different safes meet the same minimum requirements doesn't mean that one will not outperform the other.

    Also, UL testing for an RSC label runs around $10,000 I think. Some companies don't invest that kind of money just to put a sticker on the safe door. I have seen plenty of non-rated safes far more secure than many of those with an RSC rating.

    Also keep in mind that many of the UL burglar ratings involve hand tools, pressure applying devices, power tools, cutting torches, and explosives. The RSC rating is strictly a test against a few small hand tools.
     
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