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CLT65

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A friend of mine has decided to get a safe. He says his budget is $1k. Anyone know what the best value out there is in that price range?

Before I get the "It's not a real safe unless it costs $5,000", this is what he can afford, so it's either a under $1k "security container" or nothing. He doesn't have a $50k collection.

We've been looking online at Costco, Tractor Supply, Wilco, Cascade Farm, and a couple others. We're getting blurry eyed trying to understand the various fire ratings, metal thickness, reviews, etc.. He's about ready to pull the trigger on a Cannon safe from Tractor Supply, figuring that a mediocre safe that he can afford is a lot better than a cheap metal locker.

Anyone else already been down this road, any advice?
 
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Before I get the "It's not a real safe unless it costs $5,000", this is what he can afford, so it's either a under $1k "security container" or nothing. He doesn't have a $50k collection.
It's for this exact reason not to overspend.

The difference in (comparably sized firearms safes) that cost $500 and ones that cost $1200 is negligible. One might have a slightly higher fire-resistance rating, but truth be told, in a catastrophic loss fire, one's firearms will be the same level of toast with a 45 minute 1400 deg. rating or a 75 minute 1200 deg. rating.

I'd say the best overall buy going right now are the Winchester(brand) being sold @ Tractor Supply. The 26-gun ones come with a back-up key, which is a plus when the keypad fails -- as they all seem to eventually do due to their being cheap China garbage.

They're currently on sale for $550 at TS. Sign up for a store credit card for another $50 off, buy a motion-light and a dehumidifier rod for $50... Voila, one has a medium-size safe for $550 out the door with the same size/quality as a $800-$1200 glorified gun cabi....err safe.

Got a fair amount of long guns and need more space? Buy two.
 

CLT65

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That's exactly the problem we were running into. It's so easy to get caught up in all the specs and reviews.

I did look at the reviews on that Winchester safe, and 139 one-star out of 3,645 reviews total really isn't bad. We saw a lot worse on other safes. In this price range, I think RedRover is right; there doesn't seem to be too much difference among them.

To get past the cheapness and various negatives that people complain about, it looks like you have to really up your budget. If anyone knows of a higher quality safe in the sub-$1k price range, please let me know.
 
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If this is the Winchester gun safe from the Tractor store, you might wanna have a look at the one-star ratings--there's like 139 of them...

Out of 3645 reviews...

At an avg. of 4.6, it rates as good or better overall than any other safe offered by TS having more than a handful of reviews.

Most all of the 1-star reviews are those that are typical with ALL gun-safe reviews.

1. 'Damaged in shipping'(not a problem if one picks up their own safe at TS).

2. 'Upset with size of safe'(everyone knows the advertised # of long guns is a complete joke with ALL gun safes).
Comparing Cannon's "64 Gun" interior @ 17.47"D x 35.87W --- Yeah right it's going to hold 2 1/2x as many long guns as Winchester's "26 Gun" @ 13.5"D x 25.7W. :rolleyes: Good luck getting even 1/2 that number; especially rifles with optics, pistol grips etc. Look at the pictures to get a real idea. Even better, go down to the store and look at the safes in person.

3. 'Keypad malfunctions'(these can be replaced, and even then at least the Winchester model HAS a back-up key, whereas most other higher priced models don't).

The end all here is that a $2500 safe is as easy to break into with an angle-grinder w/ a metal cut-off wheel as a $500 safe. All safes marketed as gun-safes are nothing more than glorified gun security cabinets designed to keep honest hands out, and perhaps deter less emboldened quick-grab burglar-types.
 

CLT65

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One of my pet peeves about safes is all the videos on youtube showing how to break into them, videos made by safe companies showing the weakness of their competitors' inferior safes.

They intend it as marketing, but they're also training videos for every two-bit smash-and-grab thief. Not everyone can afford a $5,000 safe.
 
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One of my pet peeves about safes is all the videos on youtube showing how to break into them, videos made by safe companies showing the weakness of their competitors' inferior safes.

They intend it as marketing, but they're also training videos for every two-bit smash-and-grab thief. Not everyone can afford a $5,000 safe.
They beef out the doors, but the real weakness is the boxes themselves. Most are only a slightly higher gauge sheet-metal(12-14) than common appliances ie. refrigerators. OK, that might be a tad hyperbole, but believe me that a hung-over forklift driver can put the same kind of gouging dents into a Liberty 'Fatboy' safe too.

In addition to the importance of bolting it to the floor, limiting access to the sides/back by enclosing walls can help. Even still, a determined thief with a Sawzall can make quick work of sheetrock panels and wall studs.

That's why at laugh at these.

1632557849101.png
Yeah, that drywall is getting kicked through in a matter of seconds.

As with all things security. It is illusory at best and often times temporary.
 
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A friend of mine has decided to get a safe. He says his budget is $1k. Anyone know what the best value out there is in that price range?

Before I get the "It's not a real safe unless it costs $5,000", this is what he can afford, so it's either a under $1k "security container" or nothing. He doesn't have a $50k collection.

We've been looking online at Costco, Tractor Supply, Wilco, Cascade Farm, and a couple others. We're getting blurry eyed trying to understand the various fire ratings, metal thickness, reviews, etc.. He's about ready to pull the trigger on a Cannon safe from Tractor Supply, figuring that a mediocre safe that he can afford is a lot better than a cheap metal locker.

Anyone else already been down this road, any advice?
For that price only thing I would look at is delivery. Does he want to pick it up, or have it delivered? Yes the ones in this price range tend to be China made. I have one made by Steelwater. The same safe has many names stamped on them. The digital keypad has a special key to open the safe if the pad fails. So you want this.
As for the rest? If the house catches fire you should have insurance. If you do decide if the standard coverage is enough or you want to pay for extra.
ANY safe beats no safe. Yes its quite easy to get past any safe in the 1K price range but, few dope heads who do smash and grabs will do so. They break in, run around looking for anything they can pack off fast. Another layer of protection is alarm. We have a couple safes. We also have an alarm system. If someone is in the house working on the safe's the Police will also be on the way. If all else fails I also have insurance.
The main thing I liked about the last safe we bought was they delivered it free to my garage. Guy pulls up, unboxed it on the lift for me to look over for damage. Then drove it into my garage on a pallet jack. Tell him to pick one, buy it, be happy and ignore all the people telling him its worthless. Have some guns? Have him look into alarm system too. Mine costs me less than $30 a month and I rest FAR better knowing its there when I am not home.
 
I had a Stack-On gun cabinet until one Black Friday a guy at a different store mentioned that Coastal was having a gun safe sale that morning. It was worth the rush to get there and spend $649 for the Liberty safe I now own. (This was several years ago) Since we're getting close to Turkey Day, this might be an option.
I know the Liberty isn't comparable with a Fort Knox or a Pendleton, but I still believe it's been a very good investment. It's now called the Centurion and this is what I have. Right at his price point, too.
 
They beef out the doors, but the real weakness is the boxes themselves. Most are only a slightly higher gauge sheet-metal(12-14) than common appliances ie. refrigerators. OK, that might be a tad hyperbole, but believe me that a hung-over forklift driver can put the same kind of gouging dents into a Liberty 'Fatboy' safe too.

In addition to the importance of bolting it to the floor, limiting access to the sides/back by enclosing walls can help. Even still, a determined thief with a Sawzall can make quick work of sheetrock panels and wall studs.

That's why at laugh at these.

View attachment 1038596
Yeah, that drywall is getting kicked through in a matter of seconds.

As with all things security. It is illusory at best and often times temporary.
A friend of Dad's had a setup kind of like that. He has fairly wealthy and a well regarded Colt collector. The difference? His room had concrete walls and ceiling. :)
 
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Out of 3645 reviews...

At an avg. of 4.6, it rates as good or better overall than any other safe offered by TS having more than a handful of reviews.

Most all of the 1-star reviews are those that are typical with ALL gun-safe reviews.

1. 'Damaged in shipping'(not a problem if one picks up their own safe at TS).

2. 'Upset with size of safe'(everyone knows the advertised # of long guns is a complete joke with ALL gun safes).
Comparing Cannon's "64 Gun" interior @ 17.47"D x 35.87W --- Yeah right it's going to hold 2 1/2x as many long guns as Winchester's "26 Gun" @ 13.5"D x 25.7W. :rolleyes: Good luck getting even 1/2 that number; especially rifles with optics, pistol grips etc. Look at the pictures to get a real idea. Even better, go down to the store and look at the safes in person.

3. 'Keypad malfunctions'(these can be replaced, and even then at least the Winchester model HAS a back-up key, whereas most other higher priced models don't).

The end all here is that a $2500 safe is as easy to break into with an angle-grinder w/ a metal cut-off wheel as a $500 safe. All safes marketed as gun-safes are nothing more than glorified gun security cabinets designed to keep honest hands out, and perhaps deter less emboldened quick-grab burglar-types.
Actually there is quite a bit of difference in opening something made out of 16ga steel & a Burglary Fire safe. Something with a BF rating will be much harder to cut open

I think this safe is pretty good & it's under $2,500


These job boxes seem pretty hard to open


looks like 16ga steel, so not too tough maybe
 
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looks like 16ga steel, so not too tough maybe
The Stack-On storage cabinets are built kind of like that. Not a safe, but if it's bolted down it'll make getting to your stuff much more difficult.
When I got my safe I gave the cabinet to Dad and he bolted in down in a bedroom closet. It was a huge upgrade for him as those guns had just been stashed in another closet forever. I bought that cabinet when my now wife moved in and had a couple of kids, because my stuff was stored in a closet, too! Now I use the cabinet as an ammo locker. Even the cheap one has been a good investment.
 

CLT65

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Thanks everyone. I think he's on his way to Tractor Supply to buy one of those Winchester safes. Looking at it fresh with a clear head today, he said it was the perfect fit for him.

He doesn't have a lot of guns, but there's this new law here in Oregon that makes criminals of people for storing their guns the way they have for generations. He was all set to buy a $180 Bimart gun locker, but decided if he was going to do it, he might as well step up and get something better.
 

CLT65

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Absolute security is always an illusion. You merely pay for the level of security that you can afford, and live with it. Sometimes we get carried away with the what-ifs and it will eat you up. I have a pretty decent safe myself, probably more than I need for what I have. I have a lot of guns, but nothing particularly valuable. It's bolted down and surrounded by built in cabinets, so I figure that helps, but all it probably means is that if some determined thief had time in my house when we were away, all my nice cabinets would get torn up, and the wall ripped out. He'd be disappointed once he got into it though: "Where are all the Glocks and ARs to sell on the black market, and what's with all this junk!?" :D

On the other hand, I'm not so sure that the sub-$1k safes are really all that "easy" to get into. I've seen the videos on Youtube made by safe manufacturers where a couple guys with pry bars go at a competitor's safe and have it peeled open in short order. Those are absolute ideal conditions for doing what they're doing, and guys who know exactly what they're doing. I think it would be different in your house, with a bolted-down safe full of heavy guns, limited time, looking for the right tools, etc.. Now if you live out in the boonies and are on vacation, and they've got all weekend to do it, then even an armored, reinforced vault wouldn't be completely safe.

It's a little like personal security (concealed carry). You carry a gun for that very, very remote possibility that you may have to use it. But, is that .380 enough? Better make it a 9mm. But what if a gang attacks you? Better make it a full size Glock 10mm with a bunch of extra mags. What if it's a biker gang on drugs, wearing body armor? Dang, better carry an AK pistol with drum mags. What if it's a zombie grizzly bear biker gang on drugs, with guns? Maybe a Mk19 40mm... :eek:

Not making fun of anyone, just trying to be funny making my point about levels of security. On the other hand, most people have a tendency to be a bit cavalier about security until something has happened to then, then it becomes very real.
 

Tony617

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That Tractor Supply safe is better than nothing and it has one override key which is fine if an EMP goes off sometime in the future or a CME from our nearest star Sol. Be sure he does not loose that override key. If possible can that key be duplicated so he can have two instead of one?
 
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