View Full Version : Gun Safes
January 29, 1999, 09:33 AM
I've always followed the poor man's route to gun storage - find a very unusual, but secure spot in the house, and hide the gun. Not too sophisticated. So, I decided to invest in some better storage equipment.
I'm planning on installing a Gunlocker safe for quick access - see http://www.gunlocker.com/ . Fits between the studs in a wall in your home - seems like a better alternative than the small, nearly portable 'tactile' safes. I would be concerned about how to secure those from theft.
And, we're getting a large safe as well. Talking to a rep for Fort Knox - we need a custom size. In another application, we're also considering Liberty, American Security and Frontier.
In both cases I plan to do my best to hide the safes. Seems like the best approach is to keep a low profile.
I can't seem to find much research on any of these products, that is, for comparison purposes. It's a fairly large investment, and I want to get the right gear. Anyone had experience with these companies? Thanks.
January 29, 1999, 11:33 AM
I bought a Liberty last year. I got the half gun - half shelf version. I bought a 72 " tall model. That gave me an extra shelf above for a total of two full shelves plus four half shelves and long gun storage. I've put the long guns in cloth bags so I can stuff them in the 17 gun EZ out interior. I've got about 30 or so long guns in there now (haven't counted lately). I pull each one out occasionally and wipe it down and check for rust. Also have several desicant packs in there. The shelves are full of handguns, camera equipment, important papers, etc. This is the best investment I've ever made in that I have peace of mind about something "walking" out of my house. The way I figure it is if someone can carry that thousand pound safe, there's nothing in this world that I can use to stop them short of a tactical nuke and maybe I'll even hold the door for them. :)
January 29, 1999, 12:48 PM
Jeff, you may also consider buying used. A guy I met has a turn of the century bank vault, about 5'x 3' and 4' tall, that is beautiful, just as well made and secure as the new ones, and he got it for about $600, if I remember correctly. A piece of history to keep you pieces in! (sorry, could't help it!)
January 29, 1999, 09:19 PM
I bought an 11 gun American Security. Four months later, some punks broke into my house but didn't even touch the safe. I used to keep my rifles in the corner in the closet.
Anyway, I recommend buying a safe that's bigger than you think you will need. You can fit an amazing amount inside one but once it's full, it's FULL. Another consideration is if you have assault rifles or hunting arms (shotguns). Two different requirements. The assault rifles have pistol grips that take up space. You can't necessarily stack them in the way the manufacturer of the safe intended (you'll need to buy even bigger then). If you have long barreled shotguns also, you'll have to find a compromise on the shelf height.
The American Security seems to be one of the cheaper made safes. Fit and finish aren't as good as the Libertys or Brownings but it qualifies as a real safe (not a locking, sheet metal gun cabinet). The function of the combination and locking handle/lugs seems comparable to the more expensive models.
About keeping a low profile, a simple tarp or sheet of some sort works suprisingly well for 'camoflage'. I keep my small safe inside my closet and throw a shop coat over it. My friend has a huge safe in the garage and drapes it with one of those cheap, plastic blue tarps. It just looks like some garage "junk" and it doesn't catch the eye (no tumbler or vault handle to see). I prefer to keep the safe inside. Ask the rep for his recommendations on location, and securing tips. Hope this helps.
January 29, 1999, 11:57 PM
My safe is the size of a small gunsafe but it's a commercial Jewlery safe. weighs 1500 lbs. Most gun safes in the same size were 800-900 lbs. I got mine used from a locksmith company. I had an interior built and it holds about 12 rifles and 15 handguns. Check with your locksmiths in the area they sometimes have great buys on used clean safes.
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February 3, 1999, 06:08 PM
I'm new around here, but just wanted to pass on my safe experience. Just took delivery of a wide body Browning fire safe on Monday and I'm very, very pleased. Fit and finish is superb; this thing is beautiful (as far as big metal boxes go :) .
I did quite a bit of research and what I found is that if you go with any of the big name safes (i.e. Liberty, Ft. Knox., Browning, American, etc.) and are careful to get the features you want (like fire protection), you can't really go wrong. All have their pluses and minues, but in the end, the higher end quality ones are all very stout and will deter the average amateur burglar. We can't kid ourselves; if a professional wants to get into a safe, he will...a better safe just buys a little more time. Look for thick bodies and doors, lots of thick door bolts, lock with a drill plate/relocker to thwart attacks on the lock, etc.
If fire protection is your concern, however, I'd be careful to look at what type of protection your getting and if the safe has been rated by UL or some other independent lab. For instance, what Liberty calls "double wall" protection is really just one layer of insulation, not two. You have to get their "triple wall" to get the equivalent of Brownings "double wall".
I chose the Browning because of its security features, superb fit and finish and because I got a great deal on it! I ordered it from an out of state dealer (no sales tax) and it was drop shipped directly from the factory (only have to pay shipping once) saving me several hundred dollars. If anyone is interested, I can give you the dealer's info..He's a great guy and a pleasure to deal with (didn't want to post it now lest I be stepping on anyone's toes). Take care,
PS I agree...definitely get a bigger one than you think you'll need!
February 3, 1999, 11:28 PM
Thanks to everyone for your help. I also found some info at http://www.recguns.com/XIIIB1b.html , and a list (albeit incomplete) of manufacturers at http://www.gunsgunsguns.com/gunhoo/a.safes.htm .
I have two separate applications. In one case I can put in the largest gun safe I can buy. In the other, I have an unusual and limited space, and I'm still trying to find a quality company that will build the right size for us. In each case, to the extent possible, we'll follow the advice to maximize the size of the safe, and include fireproofing as well.
Ringo, one question. I found 'Brown Safe Manufacturing' on the web at http://www.imall.com/stores/brownsafe/ . Is this the same company you refer to as Browning? Whether it is or not, please post the name / contact info on your dealer, and a web site for Browning if it exists.
February 3, 1999, 11:57 PM
February 4, 1999, 09:41 PM
Jeff, the Browning website posted above is the correct one (never hear of Brown, but they look strong). When you get there, there's a description of the "Gold" series safe which I bought on the "New Products" section, and a more detailed description of the safe construction in the "Hunting/Shooting Catalog" section.
One thing to note is that the catalog is from 98 when Browning still used a steel liner in their fire safes. They no longer use them in 99 safes, but have beefed up the door considerably, added 4 more bolts to the door, fully carpeted the inside, supposedly increased fire resistance 10% and included the previously optional deluxe exterior. Personally, I would have preferred the steel liner for some extra resistance to drills and torches, but hardly any of the other mfrs. even offer steel liners and if they do (like Ft. Knox), they are mucho $$$. Life's often about trade offs, I suppose.
Dealer's name is Doug Whiton and his phone # is 603-924-9800 (NH). He's a locksmith, so he may be out on a call..just leave him a message and he'll get back to you. Again, he's a great guy (very mellow and grandfatherly) and I can just about guarantee you he'll give you a price that will make your decision easy once you consider the quality of Brownings and look at what it will cost you to get a similar quality safe. At least that's what happened to me! Please tell him Stan in California sent you.
The only drawback is that depending on the model, your safe is basically made to order, so you'll have to wait about 4-5 weeks. But, this means you can have it just the way you want it with regards to color, interior, etc. and best of all, you get to choose the combo! Much better than having to remember another random set of numbers. If you're interested, I can also give you some tips I've learned on delivery, installation, etc. Hope this helps!
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