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Old September 9, 1999, 10:22 AM   #1
leedesert
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I will own a shotgun, 2 rifle, and 2 handgun. What would you recommend as a good vault that is not to expensive. I just want to keep them resonably secure. Not Fort Knox.
I will be keeping my handgun in a gun vault for quick access.

------------------
"It is easier to get out of jail then it is a morgue"
Live long and defend yourself!
John 3:16

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Old September 9, 1999, 01:55 PM   #2
Mal H
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Stack-On makes some good quality gun "safes" that are reasonably priced. Midway carries them and includes the shipping in the price. But I have seen them cheaper at some local stores. They are definitely not Fort Knox strong (or Liberty, Browning, etc.). They will not keep out anyone with a few simple tools and the time and determination to get inside, but they will keep out the kiddies and that's what they're designed to do.
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Old September 11, 1999, 10:34 PM   #3
HankL
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When your guns are only insured you are shooting craps. You will have them or the insurance company will give you some money for the ones that are gone!
A very nice rifle with a very nice scope can cost well more than a Fort Knox safe! Why not think about it!
Hank
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Old September 12, 1999, 12:05 AM   #4
Mike Baugh
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I have a Liberty safe and really like it . An alternative is a Knaack tool storage box model 4824 . http://www.knaack.com/index.htm
I used one of these for years until I broke down and got a safe . They run about $260 for a 48"x23"x24" box , the box uses 2 padlocks for the locking system and they are both mounted inside the box with only the key hole visible . They are a lay down type so you will need a little extra floor space . They are vastly superior to the Homak style gun cabinets and you would need a torch or saw to break into one . We use them on construction sites and I have seen them hit by cars and they did not open . Later when you buy a safe you can use them for ammo storage . Good luck , Mike...
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Old September 12, 1999, 09:27 AM   #5
David Schmidbauer
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I'm going to put in my $.02 here. My advise would be to can idea of a vault idea. Get a "real" safe. Yes, I know they are expensive (fairly) but....

Your safe will be a one time purchase... that is unless you need a bigger one in the future.

They provide greater security and additional protection against attack/fire.

The way things are going politicaly you may be required to have one eventually (either by the Govt, maybe your home owners insurence, etc).

Don't just think of it as a "gun safe". If you open my safe you see the following contense- Handguns, Longguns, Ammo, Jewlery, Important Papers (Firearm Records, Birth Cert, SSN Cards, Legal Doc, Stock Certs, Other Miss. Papers), my Camera Equipment (when not in use), Colectable things (knives, coins, etc). Now this is what is normally in there... if I am going out of town for any extended period of time additional stuff gets put into it for that period.

They fill up fast!!

Now, you said 2 Rifles and 2 Handguns. Lets just say that each cost $250.00 each (on an average). A small safe with firelineing goes for about that (give or take). However, when looking to buy a safe (one time purchase) think like this. Take the guns you currently have, add the guns you plan on buying in the future, double that amout. Purchase the next larger safe that will hold those (remember all those ungun related things that will go in).

I went from a small (60" x 24" x 18") (approx 450 lbs) safe that cost like $700 to a large (72" x 40" x 26")(approx 1400 lbs) one that cost just over $2k in three years. The little one just filled (and I mean pack to the gills) up too quick (and not from gun purchases!). I figured what the hell, one time purchase.

They are also a fairly good investment. I only "lost" like $50 when I sold my small one (which went toward the purchase of my big one).

The best price I found (and you have to take into accout shipping) was with Southern Security out of TN (I lived in NC at the time). Their phone # is 1-800-251-9992 or 423-376-6297. You may want to give them a call as they also send out a great pamphlet on what to look for in a safe (pro & cons).

------------------
Schmit, GySgt, USMC(Ret)
NRA Life, Lodge 1201-UOSSS
"Si vis Pacem Para Bellum"


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Old September 12, 1999, 01:14 PM   #6
4V50 Gary
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Knacks are good and will defeat a common thief. But if your thief is one of those guys who specialize in construction sites (and they are out there), Knacks don't stop them.

I would consider construction of the box and how the locking mechanism of the door is engineered.

Concerning the box, folded steel is stronger than welded plates. Some firms cut 5 plates, weld them together and then weld on a door frame. Bondo is used to hide the seams. Fort Knox, Browning, Liberty and Sportman's Steel used the folding method where they take a sheet and fold it. The top and bottom are welded but there's only one weld for the body.

Engineering of the door and its frame generally allows for the door to remain even if the hinges are attacked. Further, it should be engineered such that the door can't be pounded in with the results of the door dropping out (there was a fast food chain which bought a heavy safe which was attacked in this manner). You couldn't pry the door open, but if you hit it, it would cave in and drop out. Multiple working locking bolts on both sides (along with top and bottom) provide for an even more secure door. Virtually all manufacturers offer 2 relockers. Liberty's top of the line also offers a 3rd glass relocker (pane of glass with wires hooked to the bolts. If the glass is shattered, those bolts are locked and its time to call a locksmith). Everybody uses Sargent and Greenleaf locks. The best of S&G have which plastic tumblers (can't be x-ray) and have less feel for those with touch to crack a safe. If you go digital, wipe all the numbers after every use (defeats a bad guy who puts UV powder on the keypad).

No safe is invulnerable and a good torch cuts all. Most prowlers won't carry a torch tough and the best of them go for big jewelry firms and not us small guys with guns.

I would feel comfortable with any of the four brands I mentioned. Gunny is right. Get enough box since guns tend to propagate themselves if left alone in dark metal boxes.

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Old September 12, 1999, 01:52 PM   #7
Mal H
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I really don't understand this. When someone says 3 times that he doesn't want a big vault: "not too expensive... reasonably secure... Not Fort Knox", why do you guys insist on these recommendations? If soemone asked for your opinion on cheap reliable transportation, do you recommend a Range Rover? I know your intentions are good and your reasoning is very sound, but we really shouldn't try to convince someone to buy something they may not need or may not be able to afford.
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Old September 12, 1999, 06:45 PM   #8
bauldy
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leedesert, http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/ They have stack-on safes at reasonable prices.

Bauldy


[This message has been edited by bauldy (edited September 12, 1999).]
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Old September 12, 1999, 10:12 PM   #9
David Schmidbauer
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Mal H

My excuse is that I'm a Hard Headed Dumb Retired Jarhead.

I tend to think in simple terms. I.E. my guns cost this much, a safe costs this much, will the cost of the safe outweight the cost of replaceing the guns and any related cost associated with their loss?

Also, with the amount of law suits filed in this day and age I really don't want MY guns falling into the wrong hands. Given the cost of even a large safe compaired to that of hireing an attorney to defend you against a criminal and/or civil suit cause one of your guns that was ripped off was used by a dirtbag and a relative of theirs is looking to cash in, seems like a small price to pay (Literally!)

I look at my safe the same way I look at my insurances (home, auto, life). I may never need it but when I do I know I'll rest easier as will my family.

------------------
Schmit, GySgt, USMC(Ret)
NRA Life, Lodge 1201-UOSSS
"Si vis Pacem Para Bellum"




[This message has been edited by David Schmidbauer (edited September 12, 1999).]
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Old September 13, 1999, 09:04 AM   #10
leedesert
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Thank you Mal H,
However I do appreciate you guy's trying to convince me to get a real safe.
I will only own the guns I need (Shotgun, Rifle, small rifle for son, 2 handguns).
The 8 gun stack-on is selling for $110 where I live so I think that will be the one.
It is pretty sturdy, Has a descent locking mechanism, and can be secured to the floor.
I will admit that given a crow bar and about 10 minutes I could break into it. My philosophy is this.
I spend my big money on securing my home, (good locks, security system with back up battery, informed neighbors, etc...).
If someone gets into my house after all that and still thinks he has time to fiddle with a locked metal locker he desreves what ever he can get. The fact is most crooks after hearing the alarm will at best grab whatever they can quick, (VCR, Stereo, TV)throw it in the car and get the hell out of dodge.
My purpose is to prevent someone from casually stumbling unto my guns and having access while at the same time having a reasonable level of security.
Thank you all for your advice.

------------------
"It is easier to get out of jail then it is a morgue"
Live long and defend yourself!
John 3:16

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Old September 19, 1999, 12:05 AM   #11
Mal H
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Just got back from a 1 week biz trip - traveling incognito. Couldn't log into TFL - so that's what withdrawal fever is like!

I think you will be satisfied with the Stack-On safe, it is much better than the usual thin guage sheet steel stuff. And it has a better 3-point locking system.

I also want to reiterate what I stated earlier, that Schmit's reasoning for getting a "real" safe is very sound. When the cost to replace your guns gets higher than the cost of the safe, then it just makes economic sense to buy one. And it doesn't take long for that point to be reached. But, adding a safe like the Stack-on to a good home security system also makes a lot of sense.
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Old September 30, 1999, 08:00 PM   #12
Mike_A
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I had the same prob a few years ago. I went with Stackon for my first "box". I had a friend weld some diamond plate on the door to cover the openings around the seams (inside on the hinge side) and felt pretty secure about it. It was also lagged to the floor and wall studs.
When I was ready for a real safe I put my money into "size" instead of "pretty". All you are really buying is a steel box, keep that in mind. All those fancy finishes just jack the cost up without any real benefit.
-Mike
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Old October 5, 1999, 02:43 PM   #13
Fisher
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I have thought about as have many of the people here on TFL about safely securing my guns. This is the conclusion I came to. For about half the price of a gun vault you can buy the door and the framework that it closes into. I have drawn up plans to cement block in a section of my basement and use the vault door to secure it. No only will this be secure but you will have much more space than you would in a regular gun safe.

I realize that this may be more than you want to do to secure your guns but think about it. As stated above, you will undoubtedly purchase more guns in the future. This way you will never out grow your gun vault.

Just an idea. I hope it helps.
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Old October 5, 1999, 07:49 PM   #14
Mike Baugh
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Fisher , make sure you add rebar to the block as you are laying it up and grout full the cavities . Anyone with an ordinary hammer can knock a hole through a cement block wall and once started it can be opened up quickly . The rebar and grout will slow them down a little . Good luck , Mike...
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Old October 7, 1999, 03:06 AM   #15
oberkommando
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I'm very happy with liberty pres. model but store ammo in evergreen or some such name electrical box with two enclosed masterlocks about 200.00 from the home depot for low cost, could work as semi secure gun box. Have biggest liberty, am glad it's biggest cause almost full not just my stuff but friends that need to secure their guns use up room, if you live in kalifornia you definitly need to secure your arms or face lawsuit because of theives not responsible for thier own actions.
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Old October 9, 1999, 01:10 AM   #16
StanA
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Great topic everyone! It's made me want to go out looking into some locking solutions. Besides that I live in a small house and I have run out of ideas on were to hide stuff! I really need a safe in the future thought because of fire protection also.
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