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Gun safes

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by slofyr, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. slofyr

    slofyr Seattle Member

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    What's the consensus about the quality of the various brands of safes these days? What a maze to wade through. I'm after something small designed for a couple of rifles and handguns that won't need a forklift to offload, that can be parked in a closet and has a basic combination lock [no batteries]. I figure experienced thieves can get any door open if they are motivated, so I'm more concerned about keeping inexperienced kids away from my stuff.
     
  2. Skang

    Skang WA Well-Known Member

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    before spending over $400-500, how about cable lock or trigger lock?

    Fast forward to 22:00"

    [video=youtube;ltK-bDbADa8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltK-bDbADa8&feature=player_embedded[/video]
     
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  3. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    When I was in the market I figured a gun safe provides up to three levels of security. First level is keeping kids out. That doesn't take much of a safe....basically something that locks. The second level protects you from the meth head level of thief. That means a pretty simple safe but heavy enough they can't pack it away without an investment of time or money (that they don't have). That level of security eliminates most of the safes under $500 but covers probably 95% of all threat from thieves. Next up is the professional thief who can either crack a safe in your house, hack through it with a fire ax, or rip it out of the house using methods that include backing a tow truck up to your house and ripping it out of the floor/through a wall. I figure you can't stop the professionals so the best safeguard against that level is to keep your mouth shut about your valuables and have good insurance.

    The other element of a safe is protection from fire. I go with good insurance, cause I've heard of the best safes getting hot enough to cook the contents. Claims made about safes is for marketing purposes, and the test are conducted in "the lab". I'm in the computer business and the stuff we test in the lab almost never works the same in the field. I'm sure there are success stories, but there are just as many stories of failure.

    I went with a small Browning safe from Sportsman Warehouse....cost $599 on sale (I think) a few years ago. Keep in mind that a 20 gun safe will only hold about 10 guns with scopes on them. It might hold 20 lever action rifles with no scopes, but who has that sort of collection.

     
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  4. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    The biggest complaint about safes is the person bought too small.

    I was looking at safes a few years back.I was looking cheap.
    Then I just happened to pull out my $700 M700 with a $800 scope on it and realized I had a few more as expensive and many less expensive besides.
    How smart was it of me to look at cheap safes?
    Could I miss my "gun of the month" badge for a couple months?

    So I spent a grand or so on a safe that was bigger than I though I needed.Worked out perfect.
    Sold that one and the contents a year later.

    Now I bought one that I was sure was plenty big enough.
    Haha. I have guns sitting in the corners as to not scratch others while getting them out of the safe to shoot.
    Oh and wives decide they need some of the room.

    So buy big and add up what you have in guns and other stuff that the safe will be protecting.That may change your budget.
     
  5. ATCclears

    ATCclears Seattle area, WA Well-Known Member

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  6. pioneer461

    pioneer461 Columbia County, Oregon Active Member

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    You get what you pay for. I'd recommend a quality safe that is; a) heavy; b) fire rated; c) bolted to the floor and; d) larger that what you want for now. I got a small one to begin with, and quickly out grew it and bought another, bigger one. I now have three.

    Relying on a cable lock may keep out the curious kids, but any thief will have no problem cutting the cable in the privacy of their own home. You may not care about theft, but if stolen, the rest of us have to worry about it (them) in the wrong hands.
     
  7. warnerwh

    warnerwh Portland, OR Member

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    Over at THR do a search for gun safe recommendations. There is a ton of accurate information from various experts in the field and none trying to sell you anything. Believe me it will open your eyes. If I knew what I know now I would have never bought my Liberty. Btw what people are calling gun safes is not accurate. They are RSC or residential security containers and nothing more.

    Here's a good start: Gun Safes: Looking for a recommendation - THR And scroll to post 20 and search threads a1abdj is in. There are several of these people and they go into depth. Much accurate info here. Don't buy until you read up more. Most of us know nothing in comparison. You'll get a better safe after you learn more.
     
  8. BK13

    BK13 PNW Member

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    I like my Fort Knox, and when I get another (a second safe) I will most likely go that way again.
     
  9. mortar maggot

    mortar maggot western wa Active Member

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    Buy bigger than you think you need!

    You will put important papers in there also, have room to expand your collection.

    If it says it will hold 12 long guns that is 12 that have no scopes, no pistol grips. If your guns have those it will not hold 12 guns.

    NW Safe in Enumclaw
    Sportco in Fife
    Costco.com and at various time in the store have some cheaper type safes.
     
  10. Snopczynski

    Snopczynski Bonney Lake, WA Member

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    The best thing you can do hands down is stop doing research on the internet and go to a store and talk to a safe professional. They can show you the different things there are to be offered from the different brands at the varying price ranges. You can visually put a picture to what security and fire protection looks like.
     
  11. Benny503

    Benny503 Grants Pass Well-Known Member

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    Costco is having Winchester safe 48 long guns for 799. I am convincing my wife to get me that one for the ammos :)
     
  12. Snopczynski

    Snopczynski Bonney Lake, WA Member

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    I would steer towards something better. Something with continous body welds, a UL listed lock, and something that won't corrode your ammo because it is filled with high sulfur content chinese sheetrock. The big ones to steer clear of ar Winchester, Cannon, Heritage, Sentry, and Stack-on.

    These are pictures of Winchesters. Two of them had the top beat open with a 6 Lbs. hand held sledgehammer. One of them was also hit with an axe. There is also a pic of one that was pried open while standing up (bolted down) in a guys home. I don't think Winchester has actually fire tested their safes either. I saw a tack welded body 75 minute heritage go through a fire test and fail in 26 minutes. Winchester welds their bodies the same way Heritage does. When you have a tack welded body, the box heats up and the seams spread apart in the heat. That allows the heat to get in the safe from the seams being spread open.

    DSC02995.jpg
    winchesterdoorbentbolt.jpg
    Winchester60308.jpg
    Winchester60306.jpg
    Winchester60303.jpg
    Winchester1.jpg
    Winchester2.jpg
     
  13. bruzer

    bruzer Grants Pass, OR Well-Known Member

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    After watching Rogue Safe Company's promotional video Rogue Safe Company - Security on Sale. Choosing what safety rating it right for you. I sold my Liberty Safe. If you watch the video and say to yourself, "No bag guy has those kind of tools". Well they don't have to at my house because being a mechanic I have all the tools needed to make the job easy. No way I can lock up all the valuables in a safe and all my tools in safe and those safes in another safe. Another eye opener to the Big Box Store Safes is actually measuring the thickness of the sheet metal they use. The Liberty Safe was a little thicker than the sheet metal on my truck's body but thinner than the steel used on the bumper. Not hard to take a pick axe and poke clean through. They do a good job at making you think the walls and door are 3 inches thick.

    I am no expert and this is only my experience with one of the Big Box Store Safes. Good luck and stay safe.
    Mike
     
  14. beavertonbuck

    beavertonbuck Beaverton Active Member

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    You tend to get what you pay for with safes, and the more expensive the better protection you have. However, when you watch the video you notice that the safe is not bolted down and is freely manipulated by the thieves. The lay it on its back with the left side of the safe in the open. This allowed them to get maximum leverage with the 5' crowbar and work up and down the door at the same time.

    I would like to see the test down with the safe properly bolted down and the left side of safe up against the wall to prevent these guys from being able to leverage their weight. I think that the outcome would be somewhat different. Also most break-ins are not done by professionals so they most likely are not going to bring the tools necessary to either move a very heavy safe or to get inside of it. I believe that any safe would suffice for 98% of the break-ins that occur.
     
  15. evltwn

    evltwn Gold Hill Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Go to Rogue safe. 1. pick what you want (they build to order here in the US of A). 2. Lay down the requisite amount of money (a lot, comparatively speaking). 3. Lock up your guns and sleep well. You have purchased an heirloom that will do you well. And of course, a well aimed cruise missle will open it up. Thats what insurance is for.
     
  16. BearArmy

    BearArmy OR Active Member

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    What gauge of steel are they using and is it a unibody or welded seams?
     
  17. Snopczynski

    Snopczynski Bonney Lake, WA Member

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    There is already a picture of a safe that was pried open while standing up (because it was bolted down) in this thread. You can still pry open entry level safes even if they are bolted down because they dont have enough strength in the body, door frame, the door, and bolt supporting hardware to resist a pry attack. Another huge problem is they don't have enough fire protection to actually protect the contents in a total loss house fire when rated under 60 minutes. Heck, a lot of the safes on the market are actually not even fire tested.
     
  18. beavertonbuck

    beavertonbuck Beaverton Active Member

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    Yeah I saw the picture but my main point is that a "cheap" safe is going to keep out 98% of the thieves. While it is not always the case most people that are breaking into homes don't have a plan and they want to get in, be quite, and get out quickly. Sitting there pounding on the top of the gun safe is not going to be quite and is going to be difficult if it bolted down and against the wall.

    I'm not arguing that the more expensive models are not better or that they don't offer more security just that you have to evaluate how much risk you are willing to take. Are you okay with dropping $700 on a safe and then buying two guns are do you want to take all that money and buy a $3k safe. My point is that the $700 safe properly secured is going to be sufficient for 98% of the burglaries.
     
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  19. Snopczynski

    Snopczynski Bonney Lake, WA Member

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    I don't quite think the same thing. We get a lot of people who come into the shop after burglaries, a good majority of the people with safes end up having them messed with. They get hit with hammers, pried with pry bars, and people even try to pry them open with claw hammers and screwdrivers. I got an email yesterday from a guy who had a stack-on safe bolted down, and it was pried open. So, it is hard for me to say it is 98% ok, I would say from my experience it may work for about 25-35% of the burglaries I hear about. Which I hear from people about burglaries weekly. ALso, again the fire ratings on the entry level products are not good enough for a total loss house fire either.
     
  20. beavertonbuck

    beavertonbuck Beaverton Active Member

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    Good information there. I guess we are on different ends of the spectrum here. I tend to deal with burglaries in general, where as it seems like you specialize is safes. So my question is at what price point do you start getting into a more secure safe. Would safes like Liberty be a good starting point or are we talking about even higher dollar safes?