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Old September 6, 2010, 09:45 AM   #1
gaseousclay
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budget gun safe

I've checked out several sporting goods sites for high quality gun safes and still don't know what I should get. obviously, price is key (maybe in the $200-300 range) but so is quality. i'd like something relatively small, like a 5-gun safe for long guns, but also something that has reinforced steel and a bolt locking mechanism. some of the less expensive Stack-On models looked pretty cheap from what I could tell but what about the Sentry models? I don't want anything that's too high-tech, like a digital key pad.....just something simple and effective. the goal is to find a decent, affordable gun safe that I can use at home, and something that will convince my wife to allow me to keep firearms in the house. I've come across several other threads on gun safes and saw that some of you recommended getting a bigger safe just in case, but quantity isn't my primary goal. any recommendations?
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Old September 6, 2010, 10:06 AM   #2
siggygirl
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Quantity wasn't the key for me either. If I actually fill that safe with pistols, I need to find a twelve step meeting for my addiction. It will also become essentially a fire safe for me too. Think about things you can't replace if lost in a fire. Photo albums, documents, passports. Think about stuff you don't want your kids or a BG to get hold if, $$, meds, etc. There were some nice Cannon safes about 300 pounds in that price range where I was at. They were having a big sale. I wound up with a 600 pounder and I'm sure I'll fill it. I hope not all with guns.
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Old September 6, 2010, 10:17 AM   #3
Rifleman1776
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Check out Grizzly tools. www.Grizzly.com
My safe is excellent and was very affordable. I am confident it cannot be broken into except by a well prepared crook with a welding torch.
Downside is it is not insulated for fireproofing. Part of the trade off on price.
My model is no longer made but they do have a good selection of others.
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Old September 6, 2010, 12:59 PM   #4
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Unfortunately, you're not going to find anything of any real quality in the price range you're looking at. However, there are safes in that range that will protect your firearms from children and smash and grab thieves that will not touch the safe in the first place.

Everything in this price range will be Chinese. I would stick with a Stack On or Sentry (leaning towards Sentry) due to the size and longevity of their businesses. At least you know they will be there for any warranty issues. I should also point out that the companies that produce these types of safes usually don't have parts available. They would rather replace the entire unit.

To keep the cost of these safes in perspective, I sell safe locks (just the locks) that run into the $2,000 range.

Quote:
Think about things you can't replace if lost in a fire. Photo albums, documents, passports.
None of these things should be stored inside a gun safe with the expectation of them surviving a fire. They often will not.

Quote:
I am confident it cannot be broken into except by a well prepared crook with a welding torch.
Most gun safes are only designed to thwart an attack with a hammer and screwdriver (I'm serious).

Given a few minutes with a sledge, axe, or long pry bar, and many gun safes can be opened by force. The bright side is that most home burglars don't know how to use a torch.
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Old September 6, 2010, 01:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
"If I actually fill that that safe with pistols, I need to find a twelve step meeting for my addiction."
Don't fill it with with pistols, add some rifles and a shotgun or two!
Something else you could look at is maybe modifying an extra closet, I'm trying to work up something myself, reinforced door/frame, heavy duty lock, locking rack inside, etc. The only downside is it'd have to be your own house, unless you have a very understanding landlord.
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Old September 6, 2010, 02:21 PM   #6
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Costco has a very nice gunsafe on sale for $600.00.

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Old September 6, 2010, 03:47 PM   #7
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I bought a sentinel gun safe last year they said it's a ten gun but I can only fit about 7 in there. It seems of decent quality and I think it was made in America. It has no fire insulation but has a very heavy lock and bolt system in it. I think it was about $120.
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Old September 8, 2010, 05:25 PM   #8
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Not attempting to give a recommendation, I'll share what has worked well for me. I bought a Homack "Homesafe" about 10 years ago at the cost of about $100.00. It holds 8 long guns and has a shelf at the top for handguns and the like. It has two of the cylindrical style locks and is pretty well made. What I have done to make it more secure is to bolt it to wall studs as well as bolting it to the concrete floor with a couple of bags of quick-crete in the bottom. It is far from theft proof but it will take considerable effort and a lot of noise to get this thing out. It's never been tested but I feel pretty confident that it will slow a thief down to the point he may get discouraged and try something easier.
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Old September 8, 2010, 10:09 PM   #9
popeyespappy
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Lowe’s sells a 12 CU Liberty fire safe for around $400. They are 10% off through 9/15.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_292952-10283...executive safe
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Old September 14, 2010, 09:11 AM   #10
gaseousclay
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Lowe’s sells a 12 CU Liberty fire safe for around $400. They are 10% off through 9/15.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_292952-10283...executive safe
nice one. with the discount it's about $350, but i'd probably have to pay for delivery. either way, i'll have to keep any eye out for future sales at Lowes....I didn't know they sold gun safes
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Old September 14, 2010, 03:30 PM   #11
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gaseousclay,

Don't forget to search these sources also:

Sam's Club -- A good number of the better quality (and more $$$$) Mesa safes, and other brands.

Home Depot -- Mostly Sentry and Stack-On, a few Mesa safes.

Costco -- Mostly Cannon and Sentry.

Sports Authority -- Mostly Sentry, Stack-On and Browning.

Walmart -- Mostly Stack-On and Sentry.

Academy Sports -- Some Stack-On, Browning, Cannon.

You're sure to have one of these stores locally, so if you find something they carry online that you like, see if the local store can order it (as they likely will not have much variety in store stock and displayed on the floor). You MIGHT even get them to throw in shipping, especially if it's included in a truck's shipment of stuff that's going to that store anyway...it's worth a try.

I ordered a 10-gun Sentry safe from Walmart once...shipping was quite reasonable. Don't know if it still is.

At the very least, compare prices online of the safe you want -- within your budget, meaning probably a Sentry or Stack-On -- at the stores above that carry them...try to find a store that has the best price AND the lowest shipping cost (if they won't give you free shipping on one of their own trucks to the store). A safe under $300 is not going to be heavy so you can go pick it up yourself (at most, bring one friend to help) at the store if that'll save you shipping $$.

HEAVY safes can cost hundreds of $$ for shipping alone, even if it's only "curbside" shipping. "White glove" shipping is even more for the Big Boys (often overlooked and expensive add-on costs to the purchase price of the safe)!

Good luck...

P.S. Stack-On and Sentry are almost identical in features/construction (they may even be made in the same factory) so choose the one with the best price. The Stack-On "Elite" series are their better safes, but probably above your $300 budget limit.

Last edited by cloudcroft; September 14, 2010 at 03:54 PM.
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Old September 15, 2010, 07:08 AM   #12
gaseousclay
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Quote:
Don't forget to search these sources also:

Sam's Club -- A good number of the better quality (and more $$$$) Mesa safes, and other brands.

Home Depot -- Mostly Sentry and Stack-On, a few Mesa safes.

Costco -- Mostly Cannon and Sentry.

Sports Authority -- Mostly Sentry, Stack-On and Browning.

Walmart -- Mostly Stack-On and Sentry.

Academy Sports -- Some Stack-On, Browning, Cannon.

You're sure to have one of these stores locally, so if you find something they carry online that you like, see if the local store can order it (as they likely will not have much variety in store stock and displayed on the floor). You MIGHT even get them to throw in shipping, especially if it's included in a truck's shipment of stuff that's going to that store anyway...it's worth a try.

I ordered a 10-gun Sentry safe from Walmart once...shipping was quite reasonable. Don't know if it still is.

At the very least, compare prices online of the safe you want -- within your budget, meaning probably a Sentry or Stack-On -- at the stores above that carry them...try to find a store that has the best price AND the lowest shipping cost (if they won't give you free shipping on one of their own trucks to the store). A safe under $300 is not going to be heavy so you can go pick it up yourself (at most, bring one friend to help) at the store if that'll save you shipping $$.

HEAVY safes can cost hundreds of $$ for shipping alone, even if it's only "curbside" shipping. "White glove" shipping is even more for the Big Boys (often overlooked and expensive add-on costs to the purchase price of the safe)!

Good luck...

P.S. Stack-On and Sentry are almost identical in features/construction (they may even be made in the same factory) so choose the one with the best price. The Stack-On "Elite" series are their better safes, but probably above your $300 budget limit.
thanks for the tips. i'll check these other stores too, although, I went to Lowes lastnight and looked at the Centurion/Liberty gun safe and it's exactly what i'm looking for.....and it was only $357.
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Old September 15, 2010, 08:25 AM   #13
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Something to read before you buy.
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Old September 15, 2010, 09:13 AM   #14
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Safes only buy time.

Either for fire or thieves, they just buy time.

Given a little intel, tools, and enough time, ANY safe can be broken..... and if your multi-story home and all it's contents burn around your safe, the stuff in it is toast, unless the FD puts the fire out before it burns to the bricks.

It's a good idea to secure your guns ..... but even a multi-thousand dollar safe can have it's top or side panel opened with a metal cutting wheel or blade, or a torch. That may take awhile, but if you are gone for the weekend, and your neighbors are not looking out for you........
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Old September 15, 2010, 11:29 AM   #15
cloudcroft
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gaseousclay,

You're welcome.

Glad you found the safe (actually, we're talking RSCs here) you wanted at Lowes -- AND, it's already there at the store so no shipping charges (unless they factored that into the price already).

Although you are going to buy your safe at Lowes, I'll leave my post above as it is in case someone else reads this thread who is also looking for "safes" and stores that carry them. As you noted, most of us would would not have thought that these companies DO carry safes, even if only basic models.

Your Liberty Centurion will be a whole lot better than "hiding" guns in a closet as most people do...until they're all stolen that is!

P.S. Back in March, this guy got A Liberty Centurion 12 at Lowes, too: http://www.amazon.com/Centurion-Gun-...owViewpoints=1

Sounds like both he and you got great pricing (if you both got Liberty Centurion 12s)! [Amazon was $579 + $194 shipping = $773!]

And it's light weight of 280lbs (Liberty Centurion 12) is not much, so you and a friend (at most) could handle it easily with a hand-truck/dolly. Be sure to mount it in a CORNER so a thief can't rock it to pull out the mounting bolts -- make him have to PULL on it (very inefficient) rather than be able to PUSH on it, as he could if it were not tight against 2 walls in a CORNER. Perferably in a corner on the LEFT side of the room (so a thief with a prybar can't get good access to the door opening side because of the wall right up against the left side of the safe).

Whatever you do, remember the rule of thumb: If your safe weighs less than your car, bolt it down!

Good luck...

Last edited by cloudcroft; September 15, 2010 at 12:10 PM.
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Old September 15, 2010, 01:27 PM   #16
gaseousclay
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Quote:
Glad you found the safe (actually, we're talking RSCs here) you wanted at Lowes -- AND, it's already there at the store so no shipping charges (unless they factored that into the price already).
thanks for the tips. the safe I found at Lowes was listed at $357, but I couldn't tell if it was on sale or not. they offer delivery which is something like an additional $56, so it's certainly an option if I can't find someone with a truck willing to help me.
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Old September 15, 2010, 02:09 PM   #17
cloudcroft
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If you mean shipping from the Lowes store to your house is $56, then it's probably only "curbside service," meaning it just comes off the truck's liftgate and onto the ground (that's ALL the driver does)...getting it from the curb into your house/apt, and then where you want it mounted (and mounting it) will be up to you. You will need a friend uness you can handle a dolly with 260 lbs on it okay by yourself. Most of us can.

Good luck...and be sure to keep a copy of the combination somewhere "safe."

I turn my combos (I have 4 safes) into 'phone numbers' and list it with my other phone numbers in my wallet...only I know which particular phone number is fake, and what it REALLY is. Whatever, you need to have a copy (reminder) SOMEWHERE...in case you forget. Getting a locksmith to come out is expensive. Liberty can help you if you can priove it's yours, but still may charge you. I believe Sentry charges people a fee.

But really, put a copy of the combination somewhere in case you forget...and don't forget how many turns of the dial you make between numbers...not all combination locks have the SAME # of turns between numbers, so if you forget -- even if you DO have the combo -- you STILL won't open it!
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Old September 23, 2010, 12:57 PM   #18
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Gun Safes from the big box retailers

Hi, I am reading several reviews in regards to gun safes from the big box retailers like Lowes, Homedepot, Wallmart, Acadamy. You should be approach these with caution.
I was in Acadamy several weeks ago and they had a Cannon gun safe 72inch tall and 36 inch wide with 30 min fireproofing. Then the interior corner wall was broken and falling forward revealing 1/4 inch piece of sheetrock....my opinion here is that there is no way that 1/4 inch was going to do anything against fire but add a little sound proofing to the gun safe. I really was shocked.
You will find similar quality in the Liberty Centurian Line. (that saved too much money on really thin steel. Last time I checked it was only 14 gauge)
Sentry has good fireproofing but they really make the steel too thin. (Cans of green beans have thicker steel)
I do sell gun safes at my website www.valuesafes.com I don't sell the lesser quality because they normally only make you "feel" secure and I would rather suggest a nice strong closet with some dead bolts. Because its going to be just as fire resistant and can't be carried off.
Better to wait and save a little more money and get something that will last for decades like a Hollon, Browning, Amsec, or something.
But before I leave this subject. STAY AWAY FROM internal hinges. Test any gun safes ie: Liberty by feeling on the hinge side with the door open and you will feel NO fireproof material of any kind!!! Its a shock when I discovered that because they they brag about the fireproofing so much. Last time I cooked supper a metal pan on the stove wasn't much of a fireproof material.
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Old September 24, 2010, 10:36 PM   #19
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Tractor Supply has 24 gun cannon safes for $599.00. I looked at them and they are very nice for the money. The fire rating is 1400 degrees F for 30 minutes. I don't know how long the sale is on the regular price is $699.
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Old September 24, 2010, 11:28 PM   #20
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gilmorez,

Many of your safes on that link (under "gun safes") are of the very same construction as you were trash-talking. For example, among other "lesser brands" you sell, Sentry and Stack-On are two of them...so get real.

Besides, in a given price range most "safes" are pretty much the same...same thickness of steel, same fire-rating, same fire material and so on, regardless of brand. Meaning, $600 (just picking an arbitrary price) will get you pretty much the same thing regardless of the brand as differences would be minor. So you go for getting the size of safe you need for the best price -- including shipping!

As for fire-proofing, it's not always needed. One of my safes is a Class B safe with zero fire-proofing, but it's harder to get into because the steel is thicker (1/4" plate steel walls and 1/2" plate steel door). But I DO use those Sentry Fire Chests inside (waterproof or non-waterproof versions) for at least SOME fire-proofing for the contents inside. And if I wanted to (but don't), I could always line it with several layers of fireboard just like the Liberty (and most other brand) safes have.

Finally, although we are using the word "safe," we are actually talking about "RSCs" since most of us can't afford what are true SAFES in reality. Even Ft. Knox makes RSCs, albeit certainly higher-end ones. So for us, Liberty, Browning, Cannon, Winchester -- and yes, even Stack-ON & Sentry -- are what our budgets allow.

IMO, what might be a big difference among various brand RSCs is a particular brand's WARRANTY, so that aspect may separate otherwise so-very-similar products.

No matter how "easy" they are to get into, RSCs are certainly better than school P.E. locker "gun cabinets" or worse, what most people use: "Hiding places" like a closet or under their beds.

Last edited by cloudcroft; September 24, 2010 at 11:37 PM.
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Old September 26, 2010, 12:10 PM   #21
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Check the big box stores models with the mfg website. Most likely they have had them oem'ed for there stores. They may or may not offer the same features and warranty. You might want to read this as well.
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Old October 3, 2010, 11:10 PM   #22
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I second the stack-on 10 gun safe... I have had good luck with mine, and it was $350.
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Old October 4, 2010, 03:19 PM   #23
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If you're looking for a budget safe along the lines of a "Stack-On", then you might want to check a used office supply store for storage cabinets. I found a 2 foot by 2 foot by 6 foot high model for $60. Three partitions -- tall door on one side for rifles, four foot door on right side with shelves for handguns and supplies, two filing cabinets on right side bottom that I use for ammo. Pretty heavy steel and all doors lock. More sturdy than a Stack-On -- but no fire protection. Will keep kids and smash-and-grab thieves out.
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