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Old February 4, 2011, 09:30 AM   #1
TheJ
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Opinions on Gun Safes Please

I currently have less then a dozen hand guns (but that will likely change a little for the positive very soon ) and have been using several smaller non firearm rated safes to store my weapons. I have however, been long thinking about getting an actual fire arm rated safe to help protect against theft, fire and kids. I'm no high roller and my space is currently limited.
So my requirements are such:
  • < $1000
  • < 22" Deep
  • < 33" Wide
  • < 72" Tall
  • Some fire protection
  • Decent theft protection
  • Electronic lock
  • Convertible/ can add shelves

So far in my research the best I can come up with is a "GSGX-822" by Stack-On.


Would appreciate any thoughts opinions or suggestions anyone may have on this.


Edit: also found a deal on a Stack-On HGS-1024E for $1K shipped... It is UL listed as well...
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Last edited by TheJ; February 5, 2011 at 09:55 AM.
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Old February 4, 2011, 10:11 AM   #2
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Make sure whatever size you get, you can place in the location you want. Many folks like to use a portion of a bedroom closet. If the door way is too narrow, you run into issues, etc. Residential Security Containers (which is what they are technically called), will usually do a decent job against the smash and grab type, but a determined pro can get into most of them fairly easily. If it is humid where you live, think about your placement, the installation of a Golden Rod or similar, bolting it to the walls/floor etc.

The main thing is to figure out your size and DOUBLE it - you'll be surprised how fast you run out of room, especially when momma wants her "good" jewelry in there, titles and deeds, etc........
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Old February 4, 2011, 10:30 AM   #3
TheJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oneounceload
Make sure whatever size you get, you can place in the location you want. Many folks like to use a portion of a bedroom closet. If the door way is too narrow, you run into issues, etc. Residential Security Containers (which is what they are technically called), will usually do a decent job against the smash and grab type, but a determined pro can get into most of them fairly easily. If it is humid where you live, think about your placement, the installation of a Golden Rod or similar, bolting it to the walls/floor etc.

The main thing is to figure out your size and DOUBLE it - you'll be surprised how fast you run out of room, especially when momma wants her "good" jewelry in there, titles and deeds, etc........
Location requirement is the reason for the sizes I listed so luckily I am thinking about that. I do realize that all and can do in regards theft prevention is try to discourage the best I can. Price and practicality are limiting factors. I do appreciate your comments.
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Old February 4, 2011, 11:12 AM   #4
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Stack On and Sentry safes certainly fall within your budget, but I prefer safes that use UL rated locks. Some of these safes do not have a UL RSC rating, because the non rated locks that they use are easily bypassed.

Almost everything you're going to find in this price range will be Chinese. That in itself is not a problem, so long as you are looking closely at what you're planning on buying. Some Chinese safes are built better than others, just like US made safes.

Most of these safes will also use gypsum board for insulation. This will give you some protection, but do not take the manufacturers for their word and start storing irreplaceable items inside the safe. Same goes for burglary.
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Old February 4, 2011, 01:09 PM   #5
TheJ
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Thank you for the info. I understand that there are always limits and that my price range is a big limiting factor.
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Old February 4, 2011, 02:57 PM   #6
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I like Sportsmans Steel safes. They are reasonably priced.
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Old February 4, 2011, 03:05 PM   #7
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Granite safe are fairly well regarded - they make Winchester branded safes.
Sportsman steel is good too.
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Old February 4, 2011, 03:08 PM   #8
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I decided that I didn't care about fire/theft protection from a safe because my HomeOwners insurance covers my firearms up to $5,000 anyways. I figure that in a theft or a fire I will be making a claim anyways so there wasn't any point to buying an expensive safe.

Instead I just bought a cheapo one to keep the kids out.
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Old February 4, 2011, 05:11 PM   #9
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Have one and it's a good choice. Just be sure to bolt it down correctly. It will stop the punks and most opportunists but a pro looking to score guns with enough time will get in. Oh and don't do what my next door neighbor did. Bought a big browning gun vault bolted it on his shop floor(were he keeps his cleaning and loading bench) and then stores his welding cart with all his welding tools including cutting head right next to it.
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Old February 5, 2011, 07:50 AM   #10
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That safe looks a lot like the Chinese made Steelwater safe so I wonder if Stack-On is just re-branding it. a1abdj will probably know if these are made by the same company.

I know the Steelwater safes are in the same price range as that Stack On. Steelwater also has a 9ga body version that is a slightly better Chinese made safe (almost an oxymoron). Of course, you have to remember with Chinese made safes comes Chinese made sheet rock which likely will contain sulfur.

The one referenced below is the 9ga body version but it's a few hundred over your price range. You can get the cheaper 12ga version for 1000 but in my opinion, you'd do better with a 1000 dollar reinforcing a closet.

http://www.steelwatergunsafes.com/pr...products_id=43

I really think you should save a little bit more and get a much better quality safe. The non-firelined Sturdy 27Wx23Dx60H is another 400 dollars but has a 7ga body, an incredibly strong door, far superior materials and components, free delivery, a great lifetime warranty and of course is American made. You can buy a few sheets of drywall to encase the safe on the outside, get some boiler gasket for the door seal and some ceramic fiber panels to insulate the door and you'll have better fire protection then what's offered on those Chinese safes. AMSEC, Summit and Liberty also make better American made safes for a little above your price range if you can find a good sale.
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Old February 5, 2011, 09:58 AM   #11
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Thanks for the responses. On an aside, I also found a deal on a Stack-On HGS-1024E for $1K shipped (that's with tax and in home delivery)... It is UL listed as well...

Any thoughts?
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Old February 5, 2011, 12:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
...stores his welding cart with all his welding tools including cutting head right next to it.
I pointed this out to a friend.
He now locks up his cutting tips and carbide saw blades along with the guns.

We know no home safe is proof against a determined and knowledgable thief, but there is no reason to make it easier for him.
I live in town and can hope that the burglar alarm will rush him enough that he does not have time to amass the equipment to break into a common safe.
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Old February 5, 2011, 12:22 PM   #13
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safe

I would not buy a safe with an electronic lock only a mechanical one. The electronic locks do fail and often especially the chinese ones. Have had a Cannon safe with mechanical lock for over 30 years, never a problem, same humidity rod also.

Link

http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/...s-on-gunsafes/
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Old February 5, 2011, 03:04 PM   #14
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I'm a fan of Liberty, but these will be above the budget - though may find one right around it.

Concur with the sentiment that you should have a mechanical lock (or at least the ability to open mechanically if the electronics fail)
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Old February 5, 2011, 03:07 PM   #15
Adirondack
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I agree with Ronbo1, electronic locks are very likely to fail within the first 10 years as with most any electronic device but a good mechanical lock will last many generations.

I have no knowledge of that gun safe TheJ. I read their brochure and they never said what the body thickness is so likely it's the minimum allowed for the RSC rating or 12ga. The brochure also didn't say where it is made so it's likely made in China. If 1000 is the absolute ceiling to spend, then as Ronbo1 suggests you might want to also look at Cannon and maybe Dakota safes too. Cannon safes have a recessed door and pretty tight tolerances and I think they are made in Mexico of American components. Dakota safes are pretty easy to move around since they can be disassembled, they also have a dry insulation for fire protection which won't release steam that can damage the finish on your guns; I think they are made in the US but I don't know for sure.
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Old February 5, 2011, 07:03 PM   #16
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Quote:
That safe looks a lot like the Chinese made Steelwater safe so I wonder if Stack-On is just re-branding it. a1abdj will probably know if these are made by the same company.
Sometimes it's difficult to know who's making what, and other times it's pretty obvious. There are a handful of Chinese manufacturers that build safes. In a similar fashion to US based companies, some of them have extensive experience building security products, and others were companies that built other sheet steel products and expanded into the gun safe business.

It is not uncommon for one foreign manufacturer to build products that are rebranded by several US companies. In some cases it's the exact same safe. In others, safes are built to spec for the company that is buying them.

Quote:
version that is a slightly better Chinese made safe (almost an oxymoron).
There are some fairly high quality products coming out of China. If a US company orders junk, they get junk. If they order high end, they get high end.

Quote:
Of course, you have to remember with Chinese made safes comes Chinese made sheet rock which likely will contain sulfur.
This problem isn't nearly as bad as it once was.

Quote:
Dakota safes are pretty easy to move around since they can be disassembled, they also have a dry insulation for fire protection which won't release steam that can damage the finish on your guns; I think they are made in the US but I don't know for sure.
I believe they are Chinese as well.
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Old February 5, 2011, 08:30 PM   #17
TheJ
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Thank you for your help.

I sincerely appreciate all your responses. . They are quite helpful.
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Old February 6, 2011, 02:55 PM   #18
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I have a Heritage Safe Co. brand safe. It is U.S. made and they offer many sizes and interior options to choose from, along with different price and fire protection levels. I searched many long hours and without spending more than my budget allowed, this company offered the most for my money. Take your time and find what suits your needs and you may have to up your budget a little maybe and you will be happy with end result. Good Luck, Coop204.
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Old February 10, 2011, 10:49 AM   #19
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Gun Safes

Check out many stores and sites and compare. (for pricing purposes>) If you are near a Cabela's store, check out their offerings. I bought a Cabela's "classic" 23 cubic foot, on sale for $950.00, $850.00 after a $100.00 coupon, reg $999.99. (store price only) This is manufactured and warranted by Liberty Safe. They also have a couple of other lines they sell under their brand. They also carry a Liberty line below the Classic model called the woodsman. I recommend a UL certified safe. They will withstand attempted break ins as well as fire. and Liberty as well as others, warrant the safe for damage from attempted break ins and fire. You can view these on their web site or on the manufactures sites. Shop carefully and get what you need the first time, and as was said earlier get one bigger than you currently need.
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Old February 10, 2011, 01:17 PM   #20
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Quote:
I recommend a UL certified safe. They will withstand attempted break ins as well as fire.
Just worth pointing out:

Many gun safes have a UL RSC rating. This is not a burglary rating, it is a tamper rating. RSC is short for Residential Security Container. Even UL does not call them safes.

There are gun safes on the market with UL burglary ratings. My opinion is that the RSC label means very little if nothing at all. I wouldn't give this rating, or lack thereof, much weight when it comes to safe shopping.

There is also no gun safe on the market, that I am aware of, that has a UL fire rating. Some safes use UL listed materials, and others have stickers that look just like the UL RSC label to make it look as if it's one in the same.

In short, most gun safes are not the wonder boxes that many of the manufacturers make them out to be. They do offer limited burglary protection, and limited fire protection, but not to the extent the manufacturers lead you to believe (in most cases).
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Old February 25, 2011, 02:04 AM   #21
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Gun Safes

Don't throw your money away on a cheap chinese safe, which is the case with 99% of gun safes on the market today!!! Most of the the name brand safes on the market today are either completly made china or made of chinese parts that are assembled in the U.S. and then said to be made in the U.S.A.
I spent a lot of time researching the web and seeing in person, the different top name brands of gun safes on the market today and was very picky in chosing a top quality American made gun safe. I chose a Sturdy safe over the rest for some very simple reasons, 100% true American made, Built like a tank, true fire liner, no carpet on the inside to cover up a junk product, construction and thickness, true supported deadbolts and not some unsupported chrome plated junk deadbolts.
Sturdy safes customer service was excellent!!! The only thing that pis### me off is the wife won't let me spend more money on another Sturdy safe.....
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Old February 25, 2011, 11:44 AM   #22
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Quote:
Don't throw your money away on a cheap chinese safe, which is the case with 99% of gun safes on the market today!!! Most of the the name brand safes on the market today are either completly made china or made of chinese parts that are assembled in the U.S. and then said to be made in the U.S.A.
Not much truth here at all.

Chinese safes, and most other Chinese products can be placed into three categories: The first is cheap Chinese crap, designed and built by the Chinese, to meet a low price point. The second is better Chinese products, designed and built by the Chinese, designed to be a better quality item. The third is a US designed and specified product, built and imported for a US company. This last option can range from low end to high end depending on what the importer is looking for.

I sell some very well built Chinese safes. In fact, the vast majority of the well built safes that I sell are imported from all over the world. Most of the best safes on the market are not US made. The most expensive safes, with the highest ratings, are not made in the US.

Chinese safes do not make up 99% of the gun safe market by any stretch.

There are several manufacturers that sell Chinese safes with their name attached. Some manufacturers assemble Chinese parts. Some manufacturers have their safes assembled in Mexico. Where a safe comes from has no impact on how it's built. How the safe is built is what has an impact on it's quality. I assure you that there are Chinese, Mexicans, Italians, French, Canadian, etc, etc, that can build a steel box just as good as any American. Safes are not high technology.

Some safes companies lie. I would not do business with any company who intentionally misprepresents their products. There are companies who claim they are selling US made safes when they are not.

I also don't like hearing people complain about Chinese safes, when they own many other Chinese items. I can't tell you how many times people approach me at a gun show, complain about imported safes, and everything that they are wearing (and every gun they have with them) is imported.
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Old February 25, 2011, 12:06 PM   #23
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I will throw my hat in on the Liberty safes as well. A bit more procier than others, but their quality in my opinion is unmatched.
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Old February 26, 2011, 03:19 PM   #24
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Thanks again for all the input. I have special ordered the Stack-On HGS-1024 combination (not electronic) unit from Lowe's. Realizing I have to make lots of trade offs, I think at the price point it seems to be a good option for me balancing price/capacity/fire/security/dimension/etc.

After I get it in and use it a bit I'll come back and let you know my thoughts.
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Old March 3, 2011, 11:13 PM   #25
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Quote:
Don't throw your money away on a cheap chinese safe, which is the case with 99% of gun safes on the market today!!! Most of the the name brand safes on the market today are either completly made china or made of chinese parts that are assembled in the U.S. and then said to be made in the U.S.A.
Not much truth here at all.

Chinese safes, and most other Chinese products can be placed into three categories: The first is cheap Chinese crap, designed and built by the Chinese, to meet a low price point. The second is better Chinese products, designed and built by the Chinese, designed to be a better quality item. The third is a US designed and specified product, built and imported for a US company. This last option can range from low end to high end depending on what the importer is looking for.

I sell some very well built Chinese safes. In fact, the vast majority of the well built safes that I sell are imported from all over the world. Most of the best safes on the market are not US made. The most expensive safes, with the highest ratings, are not made in the US.

Chinese safes do not make up 99% of the gun safe market by any stretch.

There are several manufacturers that sell Chinese safes with their name attached. Some manufacturers assemble Chinese parts. Some manufacturers have their safes assembled in Mexico. Where a safe comes from has no impact on how it's built. How the safe is built is what has an impact on it's quality. I assure you that there are Chinese, Mexicans, Italians, French, Canadian, etc, etc, that can build a steel box just as good as any American. Safes are not high technology.

Some safes companies lie. I would not do business with any company who intentionally misprepresents their products. There are companies who claim they are selling US made safes when they are not.

I also don't like hearing people complain about Chinese safes, when they own many other Chinese items. I can't tell you how many times people approach me at a gun show, complain about imported safes, and everything that they are wearing (and every gun they have with them) is imported.

After looking at your website I was not impressed by the safes you sell. My sturdy safe is far superior!!!! Buy American, buy a sturdy safe!!!!
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