The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Gear and Accessories

Thread Tools
Old January 29, 2010, 11:32 PM   #1
Join Date: October 11, 2007
Posts: 15
Does ANYONE make a reliable pistoil safe!!!

I've tried to surf all of my favorite gun forums as well as run a google search. My dad as well as I are looking for a reliable pistol safe that will simply keep the gun out of my nephews hands. I realize that they are not bombproof, but he / we only need to secure the weapon from the hands of my brothers children when they are visiting. He wants to mount it to the side of his headboard or possibly underneath the bed, so he can have access to his revolver should he need it for things that go bump in the night.

I've looked at Gunvault Biometrics, nonbio safes, as well as some others , Locksaf biometric safe, V-line and bioVAULT 2.0. I like the fact that with the biometric safes, all it takes is one finger in the dark... no fumbling with buttons that may lock up if u get too many wrong codes in the heat of a nervous frantic moment. I also like the security of a nonelctronic pushbutton safe as well. I use a biometric Pharmaceutical dispenser at my work which works great, although it likely costs $50k.

After some negative feedback about the Gunvault line of safes, I'm second guessing this company. The others don't seem as speedy or nice with the POP open door or lighted interior that Gunvault offers however. Money aside, doesn't anyone offer a reliable pistol safe that is compact and easy to use? I mean come on. ther's gota be others out there like me that want the same!?

Any help or guidance in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

djans1397 is offline  
Old January 30, 2010, 09:23 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: August 6, 2009
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 2,481
I had as similar issue and went with a simple but sturdy keyed lockbox. While the biometric safes are nice, the affordable priced ones haven't convinced me they are reliable. Being separated from my gun by a dead battery, bengay or a dot of black marker on my finger doesn't sound appealing. Plus today's kids seem much more likely to have watched the Mythbuster episode on "how to defeat cheap biometric locks" then prowling my bedroom with a 4 ft crowbar and an acetylene torch.
I used to love being able to hit hard at 1000 yards. As I get older I find hitting a mini ram at 200 yards with the 22 oddly more satisfying.
mapsjanhere is online now  
Old January 30, 2010, 02:31 PM   #3
Don H
Senior Member
Join Date: May 8, 2000
Location: SLC,Utah
Posts: 2,705
Keyed lockbox. Keep a key on your keyring. When you get home, unlock the box and leave the keys in the lock. When you leave, lock the box and take the keys with you. Or whatever variation thereof suits you.
Don H is offline  
Old January 30, 2010, 03:28 PM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,791
After some negative feedback about the Gunvault line of safes,

Never believe negative feedback that you find randomly on the internet. Until it starts to outnumber positive by 10 to 1 or more, there's really no point in trusting it.
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old January 30, 2010, 03:43 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: January 8, 2010
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 368
I have a 5-button mechanical combination lock gun safe that works great. It's very fast to open, and short of taking a torch and crowbar to it, it will not open unless you know the combination. Mine was made by AMSEC (15 years ago), but it appears that all new AMSEC models have electronic locks, which I wouldn't trust, for the reasons mapsjanhere stated. V-Line does make a Compact Safe that appears to be similar to mine. I'm sure there are similar ones made by other manufacturers.

What I like about the 5-button combination lock is that your combination can be made more-difficult to guess by requiring some of the buttons to be pushed simultaneously. For example, my combination (which is disguised--not my real combination) consists of buttons 4 and 5 pushed simultaneously, followed by buttons 1 and 3 pushed simultaneously. I've practiced to the point that I can enter my combination and open the box in one second (even in the dark).

DogoDon is offline  
Old January 30, 2010, 07:33 PM   #6
Join Date: July 6, 2009
Location: ILLINOIS
Posts: 63
I would go with a larger Sentry Safe this way its fireproof and he can store more than just a few firearms in it..
Derekc294 is offline  
Old January 30, 2010, 07:54 PM   #7
Suwannee Tim
Senior Member
Join Date: June 27, 2009
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 320
I have a Gardall "microwave" safe that I like a lot. You can store more than one gun in it and so far it has proven reliable.
Suwannee Tim is offline  
Old January 30, 2010, 10:07 PM   #8
Join Date: March 24, 2009
Location: Pearl River, NY
Posts: 91
I sell the Perma-vault box. It uses the 5 button mechanical combo like the old Amsec Pistol Packer.
__________________ It's time for a change in NYS.
Expypate is offline  
Old February 15, 2010, 07:38 AM   #9
Join Date: January 14, 2010
Posts: 29
Look at the "FAS1 Quick Access Pistol Safe". I've had mine about 6 months now, and can tell you there isn't a sturdier quick open safe for the money!

Here's a couple of pics with my G19. It's a sturdy little safe with a simplex type lock. It has a gas piston that pops the door open for fast access with a nylon holster. I don't know what pistols fit the holster, but my G 19 & 17 fit just fine. . Buy the way, it's made right here in the USA!

When I bought mine the guy was offering 25% off if you ordered a safe with a posted coupon code. I don't know if the code is still good, but here it is :

Coupon Code: MM0908ILJO

markman is offline  
Old February 26, 2010, 10:38 PM   #10
Join Date: February 22, 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 40
Home pistol ready safe

Here is what I have bolted to my bed frame (have two of these). It has a system of mounting plates which can be bolted to a car floorboard or trunk and can be disconnected and mounted back where you want it for home use. I bought them years ago, just a week before it was banned for sale in Calif. (also kept the dated receipts).
The rational is that the gun is kept in a separate locked container and the ammo or mag is also in a "separate locked container". So, when you enter the combo the top door opens and also it allows access to a mag located in the "separate" container next to the gun well. Works for me. I have not had the stones to try it in a car in Kalif. too many rogue LOE's out there for me.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg CIMG0469.jpg (144.8 KB, 179 views)
File Type: jpg CIMG0470.jpg (174.7 KB, 141 views)
a1bigtuna is offline  
Old February 26, 2010, 10:45 PM   #11
Shane Tuttle
Join Date: November 28, 2005
Location: Montana
Posts: 8,651
Originally Posted by chicagomustangclub
I would go with a larger Sentry Safe this way its fireproof and he can store more than just a few firearms in it..
Your safe isn't fireproof.
If it were up to me, the word "got" would be deleted from the English language.

Posting and YOU:
Shane Tuttle is offline  
Old February 26, 2010, 10:56 PM   #12
Join Date: February 22, 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 40
Yep, that safe is not fireproof, but I do not know how to get into one of my big theft/fire safes from my bed in time to be in time for whatever is happening. So, like it just like it like that, well, I am not fire proof either, so if there is a fire, will take my gun and go watch the fire.

Last edited by a1bigtuna; February 26, 2010 at 11:08 PM.
a1bigtuna is offline  
Old February 26, 2010, 11:08 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: October 19, 2007
Location: St Paul, Minnesota
Posts: 369
I would go with a larger Sentry Safe this way its fireproof and he can store more than just a few firearms in it..
I would not recommend this!
It is the perfect size, but it is a constant battle to keep the humidity down inside of it (I believe the reason it is "fireproof" is that the insulation is full of water, kinda like a wet sponge).
I made this mistake a couple of years ago and haven't gotten around to replacing it with something better yet.
I keep 2 dishes full of Drierite desiccant (probably at least a pound of the stuff) and once it's full (after about a month or two) the humidity goes up to about 75% very quickly.
I'm actually thinking of tearing the plastic liner out of the safe and removing all the insulation.
Give your opponents one hundred dollars worth of steak, and you shall receive one trillion dollars worth of pork.
-Proverb of The US Congress
EastSideRich is offline  
Old February 26, 2010, 11:11 PM   #14
Join Date: February 22, 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 40
Yes, understand your thinking, have had these two for some 15 or so years and no rust on any weapon in either of them. Live about 1 mile from the ocean so there is humidity, but never have had a problem. I do not let the gun sit on that foam, there is a cloth, silicon coated, on the bottom.
a1bigtuna is offline  
Old March 1, 2010, 11:37 PM   #15
Join Date: November 26, 2009
Posts: 33
I have 3 GunVaults and have been very pleased with them. I'm surprised you have seen a lot of bad reviews.
PM for a deal if you're looking for a Gun Safe I'll hook TFL members up!
JStetson is offline  
Old March 2, 2010, 11:15 AM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: November 28, 2005
Location: St. Charles, MO
Posts: 496
I'm a fan of anything that uses the Simplex mechanical locks. Quick access, no batteries, and just about as reliable as it gets. It's a very sound design that has been around for many, many years.

I'm actually thinking of tearing the plastic liner out of the safe and removing all the insulation.
Do that, and all you'll have left is the metal shell, which is only slightly stronger than a soda can.
a1abdj is offline  
Old March 2, 2010, 11:22 AM   #17
The Tourist
Junior member
Join Date: June 20, 2005
Posts: 2,348
I read a magazine article once on defining the difference between "cover" and "concealment." Think of it this way, there could be a million dollars in unmarked bills hidden in an old rusty car with a flat tire, and very few people would even remember seeing the entire car.

For our old home, I had a friend who is a cabinet maker build me a very beautiful shadow box. It was constructed with a hollow space for a Glock 23 and a few spare magazines.

We lived there for +15 years, entertained numerous guests, most of them avid gun guys, and not one--not one--ever wanted me to open that hidden safe. In fact, no one ever commented on it as a thing of beauty.

I wonder if we put too much value on armor-plating, and not enough thought to alternative ideas.
The Tourist is offline  
Old March 9, 2010, 10:06 PM   #18
Junior Member
Join Date: March 8, 2010
Posts: 5
Well, I just ordered the gunvault today directly from gunvault.
I've read all the posts about their customer service and and their equipment failures but I still like their simple design and wanted to give it a shot. Plus I have not seen any negative posts concerning the biometric/fingerprint portion of the safe, so why not...
When I called today, they answered the phone right away and was pleasantly surprised how friendly they were. They answered my questions concerning the defect issues and told me that the new models were much better and the old issues were history.
Also since I worked near the gunvault location I asked if I could come by to pick up to save on shipping and they were very receptive of the idea.
I will be be picking it up tomorrow...we'll see how the new design is and how well it works.
I will add to this post on any new findings.
foofoo11 is offline  
Old March 10, 2010, 08:18 AM   #19
Senior Member
Join Date: October 14, 2009
Location: Sunshine and Keystone States
Posts: 4,229
I have an inexpensive Homak pistol safe and I have been very happy with it for the 5 months or so that I've had it. It has a simple keypad, works every time and if I should somehow let the batteries run down (which I won't) it has external battery terminals for a temporary 9V power source.
spacecoast is offline  
Old March 11, 2010, 01:38 AM   #20
Junior Member
Join Date: March 8, 2010
Posts: 5
I went to gunvault's facility to pick up my order today and was very impressed with their new facility and their setup.
I brought the unit home and secured it as instructed. While setting up the bimetric portion, I tested it many times opening and closing and I was impressed how well it worked.
I programmed different fingers and tested it and I have to say, it worked like a charm, recognizing the programmed fingers and refjecting the ones that was not.
Well, I guess the bottom line, my first impression is acceptable and am pleased with the purchase. I will keep testing the unit to see if my impression of the unit remains the same.
foofoo11 is offline  
Old March 14, 2010, 02:36 PM   #21
Join Date: January 11, 2008
Location: MI
Posts: 24
Fort Knox pistol box

I also have a v-line, but much prefer the Fort Knox.
RckyMtnHigh is offline  
Old March 17, 2010, 10:16 AM   #22
Senior Member
Join Date: April 17, 2006
Location: Grand Prairie, TX
Posts: 694
Originally Posted by peetzakilla
Never believe negative feedback that you find randomly on the internet. Until it starts to outnumber positive by 10 to 1 or more, there's really no point in trusting it.
You don't have to trust me, but I photographed and documented my GunVault troubles and would present it to the OP for consideration...

That metal cable is a poor design, plain and simple. Stick to something mechanical - it will cost more, but at least you can count on it to work (at least more so than the poorly conceived electronic variants).

In the interest of full disclosure, I did fabricate my on fix that is still working a few years later:

I do not, however, rely on my GunVault - I have plenty of other options if immediate need for a firearm arises (I do not have any children, so that is a luxury still available).

I have noticed that my GunVault occasionally does not open after I punch in the combination - it clicks, but remains locked. A second try (usually preceded by a spirited tap on the door) opens it right up. I am not sure (or really concerned) with why this happens - perhaps my batteries need replacement, or the door may be sticking for some known reason.
Syntax360 is offline  
Old March 22, 2010, 03:31 PM   #23
Uncle Ben
Senior Member
Join Date: January 31, 2008
Location: Southern California
Posts: 400
I use a small electronic safe that I can program any # combination that I want. It offers quick access and has not failed to open after the last few years of use, and it has been opened many many times on the same battery. Now that I mention it, I should probably go ahead and change the battery soon before it does die on my.

Someone on here suggested once to just change the batteries in your electronic safe every 6 months, the same time that you change your smoke alarm batteries.
Lazy + Complacent = DISARMED
*FIGHT to keep your guns & join the NRA. Contact your representatives about 2A issues at and to be kept up to date on the current issues visit
Uncle Ben is offline  
Old March 27, 2010, 09:02 PM   #24
Senior Member
Join Date: April 30, 2005
Posts: 199
After some negative feedback about the Gunvault line of safes,

Never believe negative feedback that you find randomly on the internet. Until it starts to outnumber positive by 10 to 1 or more, there's really no point in trusting it.
Let me add a negative Feedback for Gun vault. After 1.5 months mine did not open reliably even with the Key!!!!!!

I returned it.

I walked into my fav. Gun store and they sold me a stack on draw safe. And I love it!!! It is cheaper but I can get my guns out!!
itman is offline  

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:48 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2015 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13242 seconds with 8 queries