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In the market for a safe

Discussion in 'Gear & Accessories' started by Joe Link, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I'm looking to make an investment in a large safe soon. I know many of you have a lot of hours into researching, so hopefully I can save some time and ask for your help :thumbup:

    I'd specifically like to know which brands I should be looking at, which aspects are the most important to compare, etc. I know I want a large safe made in the USA, but that's about it.
     
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  2. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Craigslist has a very unique safe for sale right now.
    It was made by the inmates at the Oregon State Penitentiary.
    Very few were made and a limited number of the gun safes had the brass "Oregon State Penitentiary " label.
    The remaining inventory (30) were offered to Oregon Department of Corrections.
    It will store 20 long guns and many handguns.
    I have one that is very similar in construction in size and price.
    It's been a great safe.

    Oregon State Penitentiary Gun Safe - $825 (Salem, Oregon)

    It is 60" tall, 24" deep and 36" wide.
    The door has 4 1" pins that secure the door.
     
  3. B5Ben

    B5Ben Boise Well-Known Member

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    Sturdysafe.com
    Best safe for the money. Period. Many sizes/options to accommodate nearly anything you could want or need. Plus it's American made with American materials. Wait time can be a bit lengthy but well worth it.
    If/when you order, do it over the phone. The prices online are a little higher than what I was able to get speaking directly with them.
     
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  4. SmawGunner

    SmawGunner portland metro Active Member

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    Heres a long thread on gun safes from another forum where they go into great detail.
    Gun Safes | Paragon Pride Forums
    My recommendation is to accept the fact that any safe can be cracked by a crackhead with a sawzall and the correct blades. If you dont believe it then do a google search on sawzall cracked safe. So maybe spend less on the safe and more on extra layers of security. For instance, anchor it down so its difficult to pack off, wall in the sides to prevent sidewall access, conceal the front so its not obvious, wireless camera security that you can monitor on the internet when your away, motion sensors in your house, loud barking dog thats actually trained to bark, secure your windows, alarms on the window screens so when they cut the screen it sounds the alarm, secure your doors, security motion lights outside. Keep your mouth shut. Just do whatever you can to buy yourself time and make your neighbors house seem like a easier target.
     
  5. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

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  6. Classic

    Classic Federal Way WA Well-Known Member

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    So, you need to realize that a safe will only keep a mediocre crook away from your stuff for about 10-12 minutes. A great abrasive saw and access to a side or top will get them the goods.
    That said, I commend you for getting a safe! This will keep your guns out of the hands of stupid kids who break into your home because they are bored (I was a rotten kid 40+ years ago) which is the exact reason I got mine!
    I have one and an alarm so between the 2 I'm hoping my guns are safe. Personally I wanna keep the bungling idiots out of my stuff. It's up to the cops to keep the pro's away from my guns. Fire resistance is another story.... My Canon is only good for 30 minutes but I have a smaller safe inside it that will keep my "legal papers" safe much longer (at least another hour).
    You can get a decent safe from Costco delivered to your home for about $800 similar to the size you mentioned. It will be good for 30 minutes in a fire. Not sure if I have ever seen a safe good for over 60 but at an hour they get real pricey...
    Good luck and thanks for keeping your guns out of the hands of stupid kids.
    On a side note I have a couple friends who got lazy and didn't always lock their safe only to find it empty one day... Safes don't work unless they are locked!;)
     
  7. SmawGunner

    SmawGunner portland metro Active Member

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    Sidewall thickness. Alot of safes advertise 1" or 2" thick sidewall but they are actually just 2 layers of 11 gauge (0.12" thick steel) with fiberboard or other fire protection between the layers. I like Fort Knox because you can pay them to add extra layers to build up that wall to a true 1" thickness of steel. Of course your going to pay alot for those extras.
     
  8. SmawGunner

    SmawGunner portland metro Active Member

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    Fire protection. You got to look at their advertised time and advertised temperature. Some are advertised with high temp but low time. Others at low temp but high time. Maybe consider getting a sprinkler installed. If your safe is in a fire then make sure right after the fire you hose it down immediately and cool it off. Because everything inside will still be cooking. Remember time and temp still applies after the fire.
     
  9. WilliamIV

    WilliamIV Longview, Washington Active Member

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    I say go all out and purchase a Fort Knox safe. You will not be disappointed, but then again, you shouldn't be for the amount they cost. I have one and it's hands down the best safe out there I think.
     
  10. SmawGunner

    SmawGunner portland metro Active Member

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    So what other methods can you guys recommend to slow the thief down and buy yourself some time?

    Someone once recommended gluing sharpening stones all over the inside of the safe wall to dull any blades cutting through the wall from portable band saws, circular saws, and sawzalls. I read another one where someone attached small chainlink material to the inside wall which would dull any blades coming through. Any other ideas?
     
  11. NoFlinch

    NoFlinch In a van down by the river Owner of Cocaine addicted dog.

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    I researched safes in great detail before buying one from Rogue Safes in Medford.

    Go their web site, watch the vid about the 1.45 minutes it took for some Tweekers (not really) to pry open a $800 safe.

    "Number of Bolts" are for salespeople. The most important thing is the space around door and frame (along with metal thickness, etc), but can you fit a pry bar into door space???????

    I paid about $4500 for mine, but I'm securing about $300 worth of stuff............:confused::paranoid:
     
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  12. Dapapadon

    Dapapadon Gladstone, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I bought mine at Coastal. Worth checking out if they are close. They carry Liberty. And they run sales fairly regularly. I think I got a lot of safe for the money I spent.
     
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  13. Swedish K

    Swedish K SW Washington Moderator Staff Member

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    another security improvement I've seen is often used to harden the front dial/mechanism area of the safe to protect against "pro safe crackers" from drilling it and cracking it the "old fashioned" way. The company was out of Auburn, CA if I recall - pricey safes but pretty cut resistant. First, they used a 1/4" steel skin, behind the skin they had a 1/2" plate of hardened steel that looked like peg board - every inch or so they had a 1/2" hole in the plate with a hardened ball bearing in it. Inside of that was the layer of fire insulation and finally another 1/8" steel liner. Instead of just using this method in the middle of the door they did this to the entire door, both sides, the top, and if not being bolted to a wall for an extra $300 or so they would do the same to the back and bottom.

    The idea being, if you were trying to drill through you would either hit one of the ball bearings and it would just spin or you would catch part of the bearing and it would break off the drill bit in the hole. If you tried to cut through it the blades would roll the bearings and take ages even with an abrasive saw. Essentially this left someone trying to break in stuck using a cutting torch, plasma cutter, etc. to gain entry risking destroying what they wanted to steal.
    *** Note - this was what their sales pitch was, in all honesty I never tried to cut into one of their safes and they could have been blowing smoke but the concept sounds valid.

    Now if I could only recall the name of the company.... they used to be at the Reno and Sacramento gun shows frequently.
     
  14. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner You'll Never Know Well-Known Member

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    Is it Liberty???
     
  15. Swedish K

    Swedish K SW Washington Moderator Staff Member

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    Not Liberty - just did a search and can't find them - they may be gone. The company was out of Aubrun/Grass Valley area.
     
  16. billcoe

    billcoe PDX Platinum Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    American Security (AKA Amsec) is another top notch safe company. They do have a lower end (as in like a Liberty or Cannon) that they peddle via Costco which I would avoid as you can get a cannon/liberty for less) HOWEVER, I don't own one as the weight was too much to hump up a flight of stairs. Better safe = more steel. Sturdy mentioned above and AMSEC would be the 2 I'd go with. I was worried of the stairs collapsing so went lighter (and less secure). One feature I love is an electrical outlet inside for a Goldenrod. 2 features I'd want 2nd go round. Some safes have Led lights which turn on when you open it, I'd get that feature, and also look into a safe that has both the digital and manual combo locks in case the digital one dies, if I were to do it again.

    Of course like everyone, despite thinking I was OK, I didn't get a large enough safe. Once it's sitting there, not so easy to get a better one for several reasons. Sigh.....the ball bearing idea sounds good too.

    Good luck!
     
  17. SPHBS

    SPHBS Portland Active Member

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    If $ is much of a concern, a Graffunder would be at the top of my list. 1" solid plate outer shell with some models over 5000 lbs... There isn't even enough room between the door and the body to fit a crow bar...

    Since $ is a concern for me, I went with a Fort Knox with upgrades including 1/4" body and a 5/8" door (solid plate and not total thickness.) It was still a lot of $ but well worth the piece of mind.
     
  18. simon99

    simon99 Central Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Graffunder, Ft. Knox, Cannon , Liberty....

    these are the safes I'd be looking at.

    Fire rating, "extras" such as AC outlets, lighting, etc. capacity, wall thickness, lock mechanism.
     
  19. SVT-ROY

    SVT-ROY Tigard Resident Beretta guru

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  20. mjn

    mjn Tri-Cities, Wa Active Member

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    We ended up with a Browning 45 Pro Series Deluxe. I love it.

    What I can say, is buy twice the size you think you'll need.

    Trust me on this. :laugh: