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Old January 3, 2011, 11:56 PM   #1
north1
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gun safe conundrum

I know, I know it has been covered allot. I my defense I searched this site and others and haven't found a situation particular to mine.

This will be my first gun safe. Have seen alot of them in various places (stores, friends, etc). One thing everyone says they hate is having to empty the safe to get out a particular gun. Any configurations address this better than others?

Location: I live over five miles from a rural fire department in the middle of nowhere. Nearest neighbor is one mile away in one direction and 3+ miles in the other 3. If I was home when the fire started the soonest they could get here is maybe 30 minutes. Obviously if the whole family was away the whole house would go and fire may not be noticed for hours. So is a "fire rated" safe even worth it?

Another possiblity is to place safe in my shop which is a insulated steel framed building kept at 50 degrees year round. It has solid concrete floors and I could use a tractor and loader to get it most of the way in. Bolting it down using concrete anchors would be a breeze. Problem is I have a portable oxy-act torch there which probably would not be a good place to also have a safe.

Garage is out of question as I live in North Dakota with -40 degree winters and 100 degree summers. Just too much temperature flucuation to not have safe in a temperature controlled environment.

As I see it the best place for safe would be upstairs in the portion of my house that has trussed floor joists, or in the finished basement. If in basement I think a safe with humidity control would be important as it can get rather humid there in the summers.

Safes considered: Sturdy, Pendleton, Amsec or Liberty. Nothing but chinese made stuff locally. Would either have to order online or drive 200+ miles to get something of quality. Believe me I have looked locally and nothing but walmart stuff is available.

Well, I think that covers it. Any and all info would be greatly appreciated. Lots of real knowledgable folks on here, so this is the place to get the straight answer. Chime in with anything you think I may have overlooked.
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Old January 4, 2011, 12:22 AM   #2
dreamweaver
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just my opinion and experience;
the shop would be the easiest to install in. the full size safes run about 800 pounds, so you need a skid steer or bobcat with forks to move it around.
most online sites quote a price that includes lift gate drop off. so you need to be able to move it from the driveway.
i put a liberty centurion in the basement. it took two chainfalls, some creative rigging and a bobcat as the deadman. took 3 hors.
i put a second one in the barn. 15 minutes from truck to placement.
cold is not an issue, humidity is. get a save that has a dehumidifier or buy a golden rod and wire it in.
fire ratings don't mean a heckuva lot if the safe is in the basement or steel barn. the safe wont be engulfed in flames for long, if at all. better to look at the waterproof safes for when the fire dept fills your basement with water!
jmho
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Old January 4, 2011, 09:07 AM   #3
Jim Watson
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Quote:
Problem is I have a portable oxy-act torch there which probably would not be a good place to also have a safe.
A friend had the same problem with a safe in his shop.
He dealt with it by locking his cutting torch tip and his carbide saw blade in the safe along with the guns.
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Old January 10, 2011, 11:25 PM   #4
FireForged
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In reading what you have posted..My first question is what is the average humidity level of the shop? Most shops do not have HVAC systems that are correct for their size which means humidity can easily be a issue.
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Old January 11, 2011, 01:16 AM   #5
north1
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The shop is good pretty darn good for humidity. The safe would go in an offfice area which is electric heat(rest of shop is propane forced air. One problem with the shop is that is 1/4 mile from my house, which would not be ideal for quick access to guns.
Garage is unattached from house and I know humidity would be a big problem. When we get large temp swings the vehicles in the garage fog up and condensed water will form and drip off them. Other storage building for my farm machinery act the same way if they are not heated. Equipment fuel tanks get frost forming on them and then melt and drip when temp warms up again.
Man, this whole decision making process is pain in the butt. Its not only the brand of safe but the best location. Wish something was available locally so I could at least take a good look at it and transport it myself. Am a little leary ordering something and trying to have it delivered.
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Old January 11, 2011, 06:25 AM   #6
Adirondack
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North1, I live in Northern NY on the border of Canada. It sounds like your weather if very similar to mine. I ended up putting my gun safe in my unattached garage and it's been there for three years now without any rust or other problems (I do have a security system, locks and good neighbors.)

I ended up using a sacrificial anode approach to help reduce the chance of rusting and so far it has worked well. I don't use heaters in my gun safe just desiccant mostly because I shoot year round and don't want condensation to form on my guns from putting a cold gun back into a warm safe.
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Old January 11, 2011, 11:33 AM   #7
north1
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Adirondack, I am very interested in your approach. When you say sacrificial annode do you mean literally like used in a water heater? Would love to here exactly how you achieve this. Also how much desiccant do you use in what size of safe and what brand of safe. (your probably thinking-damn this guys going to ask for the kitchen sink next

If this works for you in a similar climate it should darn well work for me. I would say you would probably experience even more humidity where you live. I'm landlocked in the geographical center of north america so most moisture comes from quick temp changes in the form of condensation.
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Old January 11, 2011, 07:39 PM   #8
Adirondack
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North1,

What I did was use aluminum plates to shim up my safe on the concrete floor in my garage. I then used self tapping screws to attach the plates electrically to the safe and so far it's worked really well. During the winter months, I usually have at least 1 inch deep of a mixture of salt and slush on the garage floor so I knew it would be almost impossible to keep the safe away from the corrosive mix so I decided to try using the anodes to control what corrodes. This is not the best application since the structure isn't completely buried in earth or submerged in water but I figured it would work best when the conditions are worst and that appears to be what has happened. Magnesium and Zinc are better metals to use for anodes with steel but there are certain aluminum alloys designed for use as anodes.

For the desiccant, I've just been buying those closet dehumidifier packs you can buy at Walmart for around 3 or 4 bucks:

http://www.castlewholesalers.com/WIL...ier-6-7oz.html

The closet desiccant packs are nice because it's easy to see when all of the crystals are gone and you just have liquid left but I do have an Eva Dry as backup. Someone did monitor the humidity in their gun safe over a period of time and the desiccant kept the humidity at around 40 to 50% which is the ideal level for me. Edit: I missed the size and safe brand question, size 36Wx27Dx60H Sturdy Safe.
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Last edited by Adirondack; January 11, 2011 at 08:19 PM.
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Old January 12, 2011, 12:13 AM   #9
jcvibby
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If you were to buy a quality $1000 safe, not only will you be able to have it for the rest of your life, but bolt it to the floor and nobody will be able to get into it.
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Old January 12, 2011, 12:47 AM   #10
north1
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Thanks adirondack, I will certainly use this trick when I get my safe. Ingenuity certainly is the mother of invention.
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Old January 12, 2011, 11:11 PM   #11
kayak45
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Storage problem

To get at everything, think of using you door back for several guns. It cuts down on the interior footprint, but you can get to the door stuff and the first line of the back stuff.!
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