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Old April 4, 2012, 02:08 PM   #1
Ceilingfan124
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Gun Safe Advice Needed

Hey all, new member here who has recently purchased his first firearm! Im ready to go get my second, but before i go do that i want to get a gun safe to protect these items. After a lot of research im not really sure what direction to go in, and i was hoping someone would be nice enough to help push me in the right direction. Here is what im trying to accomplish:

Want ability to hold 6 or so long guns, and have some shelving for other items (handguns, jewlery, documents, etc)

I DO want a safe that will protect me from "smash and grab" thefts. i know some of the kids around here will throw a brick through a sliding door, run directly to master bedroom, and take whatever they can as quick as they can and bounce. i would like to protect my gun(s) and other valuables from this vulnerability.

I DO NOT want to protect myself from professional thieves. I have home insurance that will cover valuable items. If a pro takes my stuff, a salut. i'll get my insurance money and deal with it. but at least i can tell the police i put up a good effort to stop them by having a safe when i file the report. I want to stop a thug with an axe or radial saw, but im not willing to pay thousands of dollars to protect my collection from a team of pro's.

I would like to spend between $500-$1,000 (less the better).

I DO want to protect some documents from fire. i've learned from other threads on this site that "gun safes" and "fire safes" are not the same due to moisture issues. I was considering a fire rated safe, but now im considering putting something like this (for documents) inside a non fire rated gun safe: http://tinyurl.com/8xn2qo7 Any thoughts on this?

I also would prefer a digital lock. i understand the mechanical locks are better and more reliable... but my biggest priority would be the speed in which i can open the safe in case of an emergency... and i dont think mechanical can do that. but if someone else feels different im all ears.

So after thinking about all of this i'm seriously considering these 2 items:

From the low end...

http://tinyurl.com/7nj9jjq or http://tinyurl.com/7eo9gjy

to the high end of http://tinyurl.com/7egpg39

Am i headed in the right direction here? thanks in advance guys, looking forward to discussing.
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Old April 4, 2012, 02:24 PM   #2
oneounceload
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Quote:
I would like to spend between $500-$1,000 (less the better).
You get what you pay for - if you want fire protection for documents, get a safety deposit box at your local bank; otherwise be prepared to pay a lot more than your budget for really good fire protection that isn't just a layer or two of sheetrock - like most safes

You might want to look at AMSEC

and plan to get one that will hold more than 6 long guns - these things tend to multiply in the darkness of a RSC........
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Old April 4, 2012, 02:32 PM   #3
Ceilingfan124
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Quote:
You get what you pay for - if you want fire protection for documents, get a safety deposit box at your local bank; otherwise be prepared to pay a lot more than your budget for really good fire protection that isn't just a layer or two of sheetrock - like most safes
The documents i was thinking about were more things that i would want available to me in the house... passport, ss cards, titles, small amounts of cash... essentially things i dont want to have to drive to the bank for. what do you think about putting a firebox inside the gunsafe? is that a good or bad idea?

Quote:
and plan to get one that will hold more than 6 long guns - these things tend to multiply in the darkness of a RSC........
Haha i hear ya. one thing at a time thou. im comfortable getting something in the 10-14 gun advertised size. if i ever outgrow it, then i can get a high end amsec or something like that.
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Old April 4, 2012, 02:37 PM   #4
Rifleman1776
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That isn't much for a gun safe. But, I got a very good safe from Grizzly at an affordable price. It is not fire rated. Wish it was but that would be more $$$.
Personally, I would shy away from a digital lock because of possible electrical malfunctions. Mechanical locks do take a couple minutes to open. But this is a "safe". And check your homeowners policy, they usually have pretty low limits on coverage for guns. And, some guns are pretty nearly impossible to replace. My passion is traditional style muzzle loaders. I have several custom made rifles that really are irreplaceable.
The model I have has been discontinued but Grizzly is, IMHO, a good source.
http://grizzly.com/
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Old April 4, 2012, 02:39 PM   #5
Ceilingfan124
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Im now looking into amsec more like u suggested... i actually really like this one... http://www.sportco.com/store/pc/Amer...924-p67642.htm

could be a solid middle ground of what i was looking at.
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Old April 4, 2012, 03:58 PM   #6
Ceilingfan124
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That isn't much for a gun safe. But, I got a very good safe from Grizzly at an affordable price. It is not fire rated. Wish it was but that would be more $$$.
Personally, I would shy away from a digital lock because of possible electrical malfunctions. Mechanical locks do take a couple minutes to open. But this is a "safe". And check your homeowners policy, they usually have pretty low limits on coverage for guns. And, some guns are pretty nearly impossible to replace. My passion is traditional style muzzle loaders. I have several custom made rifles that really are irreplaceable.
The model I have has been discontinued but Grizzly is, IMHO, a good source.
http://grizzly.com/
These are all great points. Im going to call my insurance company today and see what kind of limits they have.

i Agree with you about the mechanical lock. But i want to have this in my bedroom, and i want to be able to access the inside quickly in the case of... a breakin for example. id hate to be fiddling with a manual lock when theres an intruder coming at me. thoughts on that?
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Old April 4, 2012, 04:34 PM   #7
Fishing_Cabin
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Im unsure what area you are at, but you may want to ask around to see if there are any businesses that are closing/moving. Reason being is that sometimes a person can get a TL rated safer for cheap or free, just so the business can get it gone.

As to the mechanical vs electronic combo...I would advise staying with the mechanical. The battery is something else to keep up, and it may die when you least expect it. Just my experience and thoughts.
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Old April 4, 2012, 04:40 PM   #8
SwampYankee
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I bought a SnapSafe and am thrilled with it.

It cost about $800 and went together without any problems. I assembled and moved the entire safe by myself. Bolts to the floor and has excellent fire protection. One of the panels was damaged in transit and the company sent me a replacement in 3 days. I current have 9 rifles and 10 handguns in it, I use it with the rifle rod and handgun hangar kits and it's great. It just can;t be beat.
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Old April 4, 2012, 07:03 PM   #9
sserdlihc
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My only mistake when buying my safe was that I bought one big enough to suit my current needs, not my future needs. Buy bigger if you can.
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Old April 4, 2012, 07:37 PM   #10
Gerry
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sserdlihc, me too! I wish I had more room in my safe and I bought a middle of the range Bighorn from Costco a few years ago. I wish I had bought bigger now. This is like my umpteenth safe, so you'd think I'd know better by now.

While insurance will cover the replacement of commodity items, it will not replace the irreplaceable items you value. Plus keeping firearms away from the bad guys is always a good thing.

Around there you'd think that if the bad guys knew you had firearms it would be a deterrent to them breaking in. Unfortunately if they find out you own firearms here, it's a major attraction for criminals, particularly handguns which are harder for the bad guys to obtain in Canada.
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Old April 4, 2012, 08:05 PM   #11
Sigowner
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Safes in the price range you mention and even double that can be opened with a fire ax in a few minutes! Unless you're talking 7guage or thicker it's a snap for them to get in. If you have not already done so I suggest you investigate exactly what UL does to test a safe that has its UL label applied and the manufacturer flaunts it in their marketing hype. UL uses strictly hand tools, 3-pound hammer, chisel, etc. and the length of the tool can not exceed 18". If these simple tools prevent a 4" hole in 5 minutes time the manufacturer gets the label....that's not protection in my book. Beware fire ratings as well.....manufacturers love to play marketing games with those. Do your homework and do it in depth unless you truly don't care about loss.
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Old April 5, 2012, 03:37 AM   #12
ThorOdinson
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Gun Safes

Couple of points--
1) I did claims investigation for home owners insurance and there were several items totally excluded. Baseball card collections, stamp collections, cash, guns etc. Policies are long, convoluted, and full of hidden exclusions. Almost all insurance companies belong to a database service so you don't get a policy from company A, make a claim, then switch insurance and make a 2nd claim on the same items.
It is often possible to get "declared value" insurance on something like a gun collection. When those people on Antique Roadshow are told they should insure an item for $75,000 that has been in the family for years they no idea what that will cost even for 5 years. Way more than a safe.
2) Most safes under a grand are made of relatively thin steel (12 gauge) and are crimped or bent to make it feel alot thicker. Few are the minimum 3/16 to 1/4" plate steel. Maybe a Browning or Ft Knox but few others.

The last thing to consider is how many temp workers might have access to a list of your treasures maintained by the insurance company. That list and your address would be worth bucks on the black market. Good Luck
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Old April 5, 2012, 08:34 AM   #13
Savage99
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Here is a link to the Snap Safe mentioned above. I did not know of it and its interesting.

http://www.gunsafes.com/SnapSafe-Tit...FYrb4AoddklucQ

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Old April 5, 2012, 08:42 AM   #14
FAS1
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Sounds like you really need 3 different products and like many people you are trying to cover all those needs with one product.

1) I think you need a small fire safe for your papers, etc.
2) You need a quick access handgun safe for home defense.
3) You need a good quality RSC that is in your price range. You will need to spend at your upper level to get something worth buying.

I would buy in the order listed and personally all would have mechanical locks for years of reliability.

Congrats on the new guns!
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Old April 5, 2012, 09:30 AM   #15
oneounceload
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Quote:
i Agree with you about the mechanical lock. But i want to have this in my bedroom, and i want to be able to access the inside quickly in the case of... a breakin for example. id hate to be fiddling with a manual lock when theres an intruder coming at me. thoughts on that?
That's why you have whatever gun you intend to use for HD out of the safe at night and put it away in the morning
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Old April 7, 2012, 09:15 AM   #16
kraigwy
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Want ability to hold 6 or so long guns, and have some shelving for other items (handguns, jewlery, documents, etc)
Then you need a 24-30 gun safe, Trust me, you can never have a "too big" of a safe.

Besides wanting to make sure you have enough to hold future guns, you don't want to unload the safe to get to a rifle in the back.

Ask me how I know this.
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Old April 7, 2012, 10:00 AM   #17
mitchntx
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Try using Craigslist in your area. I found mine and it was 1/3 the cost of a new one.

I paid to have it moved ... they used golf balls to roll it around. No expensive equipment ... just golf balls.
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Old April 7, 2012, 06:56 PM   #18
Rifleman1776
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I was in a gun shop yesterday that has a big inventory of gun safes. I'll agree, the lower priced ones could be broken into with an axe and the locks with a screwdriver. But, my Grizzly, I'm sure would easily withstand that kind of assualt.
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Old April 7, 2012, 10:24 PM   #19
Toolman
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When I bought my first safe, I just got what I needed at the time.....I should've bought one 3X what I needed. You will be amazed at what goes in there.

That said, before I bought the 1st safe, I checked my local gun shops to see what they used, and bought based on that.

The best advice I can give is get the best you can afford because any safe is better than nothing. Then you can upgrade when your needs demand.

If you can keep the perps out for 2-hours, they may get tired, ruin their tools or scared that somebody will be home soon. It may help also if you build the safe(s) into a closet or something that you can shut the doors on so people can't see them. Makes them harder to remove when they're bolted down, bolted against the wall & framed in. A BIG dog also helps.

Just my$0.02 worth, but do something.
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Old April 18, 2012, 11:01 AM   #20
Psychbiker
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Be patient and Craigslist or Ebay safes.

I found a 1950s safe I think identical to this one



Class A fire protection which beats any of these $2k gun safes. Got it for $375 and found a friend with a large 5,000lb lift gate truck. Safe weighs around 1,500lbs. Not gonna be tipped over and stolen. It's only T-20 so a pro probably can get inside in about 10 minutes but the best T30 jewelry safe is only 30 min from drilling anyway.
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Old April 18, 2012, 11:15 AM   #21
dab102999
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Two things I have learned in life it that a gun safe and pole building can never be "big enough"
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Old April 18, 2012, 01:03 PM   #22
Grant D
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I have a 12 gun safe that cost about $1,000.00. I have a small enclave in my hall that the safe fits in perfectly so you can't get to the sides of it, and it's bolted to the floor.It also has the dial lock,I don't trust the elctronic ones,my buddy had a problem with his. And ya... I should have gotten a bigger one,cause it's overflowing now! lol
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Old May 2, 2012, 04:35 AM   #23
Darto
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I paid $350 month ago for a Stackon 16 gun safe (bought at Dick's), regularly $400 on sale, mechanical lock, weights 200 lbs. Bolted to wall studs with many 3" long size 12 screws, its going to take thousands of pounds of force to remove it. It takes a long breaker bar to have enough force to screw these large screws all the way into the studs when mounting.

If I couldn't place it flush with the wall (baseboards moldings would prevent this for instance), then slide a thin wood board behind the safe between safe and wall before screwing it to the wall. This also prevents crowbars between wall and safe.
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Old January 18, 2014, 04:13 PM   #24
Bear1949
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I just put my STURDY SAFE into its new home. I couldn't be happier. I got the 6 ft high safe, 4 gauge walls, insulated with 2300F fire insulation (not that crappy drywall), interior liner. It weighs about 1100 pounds. VERY nicely made! The quality of welding is FAR superior to any other gun safe I looked at--especially that Chinese garbage that so many "name brand" companies use. STURDY SAFES are made in the USA from all-American materials. I didn't buy it just because it's American-made, though. Its quality is obviously superior to others and competitive or lower prices than the "name brands". I was surprised at how fast it arrived, especially in the unusually severe winter weather we have been having this year. I was also impressed with how well the safe was secured on the pallet and how well it was padded. No scratches, dings, nothing--it arrived in as good a condition as it left the factory. The instructions for setting a new combination, etc. were very clear. I especially appreciated the short videos on STURDY SAFE's web site, which show you how to do small things (like how easy it is to get an 1100 pound safe off the pallet, etc.). Here's one strong vote for STURDY SAFE!
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Old January 25, 2014, 08:51 AM   #25
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I agree with FAS1. I have a 12 gun locker (I wouldn't call it a safe) that is secured to the wall studs and anchored to the concrete floor. It is also hidden behind a false panel. My home defense pistol is in an electronic keypad lockbox (in case the grandkids visit) in my nightstand. I have a fire resistant document box, inside a Pelikan case to protect against water and smoke, hidden in a storage area. I didn't buy the case for that purpose, I already had it. Finally, my guns are insured through my NRA protection program, instead of an additional rider on my homeowners insurance.
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