The Firing Line Forums

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old August 12, 2012, 03:20 PM   #1
revance
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 18, 2007
Posts: 305
3rd GunVault died in 4 years... I'm DONE

I'm done with GunVaults... I have now had 3 fail on me in less than 4 years.

First one was a multi-deluxe that went crazy flashing its light when nobody was pressing the buttons and locked itself out. I figured out that it only happened when it was plugged in, so I continued using it on battery power (mistake, more on this one later) .

Second one was a microvault where the keypad stopped working. Sometimes they would work, sometimes they wouldn't, sometimes you would get half way through your code and they would stop working. This happened 13 months after purchase. I emailed GunVault and never got a response.

Next the cable that attaches the motor to the spring in my multi-deluxe broke... what a RIDICULOUS design.

Last, ANOTHER microvault that was purchased a little after my first one (about 15 months old) had the same thing happen. Buttons no longer work. This one stopped working while I was in PA. I was visiting my grandfather in a VA hospital (federal property) and locked it in my car... sadly I didn't bring a key with me so I was left without a pistol for the rest of the trip and my drive home.

I am DONE messing with these things. I have owned 3 in 4 years and all 3 have broken. I would recommend NOBODY trust their lives to these things.

NOTE: Both MicroVaults have the new style buttons.
revance is offline  
Old August 13, 2012, 09:49 AM   #2
FAS1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 9, 2010
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 270
There are some pretty good options available that don't use electronics of any kind and have proven reliable over many years of service. A mechanical push-button lock is used on all these and there are several brands/designs to choose from.

Fort Knox
V-Line
Shotlock
FAS1 Safe

I like electronics and gadgets as much as most guys, but not for my HD gun storage. I want to feel confident in it every time and for me I just don't feel comfortable with electronics for this application.
__________________
Glenn

FAS1 SAFE, LLC
FAS1 is offline  
Old August 13, 2012, 09:58 AM   #3
spacecoast
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2009
Location: Sunshine and Keystone States
Posts: 4,152
I have one of these inexpensive Homak pistol boxes and have been very pleased with it. The first set of batteries has lasted almost 3 years and it works every time.

http://www.amazon.com/HOMAK-HS100366...KKK/ref=sr_1_2
spacecoast is offline  
Old August 13, 2012, 12:15 PM   #4
revance
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 18, 2007
Posts: 305
Another strike against GunVault is that I bought my 2 micros months apart. Yet they both came with the same key. Now that mine is dead, I will post my key # after I get home. We can see how many of us share the same key.
revance is offline  
Old August 13, 2012, 06:59 PM   #5
dave9969
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 5, 2012
Location: South Florida
Posts: 199
a suggestion
this is what I use and I really like it for a bedside gun safe.
http://www.harborfreight.com/electro...afe-45891.html

it has 2 keys included and its digital keypad
I have owned mine for a year now, and other than preemptively replacing the AA battery, its been flawless.

Its large enough for any pistol, and ammo with accessories. No it will not stop a determined thief but nothing will. It will save your neighbors kids life though when they come in and do the things kids do.
dave9969 is offline  
Old August 13, 2012, 07:16 PM   #6
itman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 30, 2005
Posts: 199
I had one for 2 months. I almost could not get my guns out of it. I took it back and got $$$ back.
itman is offline  
Old August 13, 2012, 08:53 PM   #7
45_auto
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 21, 2011
Location: Southern Louisiana
Posts: 645
The first set of batteries I put in mine lasted a year. 2nd set lasted about 6 months. 3rd set lasted about a month. After that it started going through a set about every 2 weeks. Alkaline Energizers, not cheap stuff. It's been sitting on a shelf in the garage collecting dust for about 10 years, you can have it if you want to pay for shipping.
45_auto is offline  
Old August 13, 2012, 09:15 PM   #8
revance
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 18, 2007
Posts: 305
Dave9969:

I have one of those... I wouldn't trust it for anything. I bought it because we were fostering and DCS required you keep your ammo locked separate from guns. I threw a couple boxes of ammo in it so we appeared to be compliant (luckily they didn't know what those 6 ammo cans on top of it were).

It can be opened by lifting it up a couple inches and dropping it on a hard surface (so make sure your's is bolted down). The problem is that all of those super cheap electronic safes use the same design (complete carbon copy) and they use the cheapest solenoid they can find. Cheap solenoids don't exert much force, so they have to use a VERY light spring to hold the plunger up. Dropping it causes the inertia of the plunger to push it down enough to open it. I originally wondered why they didn't just flip it around so gravity held it in the locked position and then I realized the solenoid wasn't even strong enough to pull the weight of the plunger.

I also decided after watching videos here:
http://www.thesidebar.org/insecurity/?p=793 (this is the guy who showed his 3 year old how to do these things and made a video of it that has been circulating around).

Some of the cracks require having intimate knowledge of that particular safe... others are just knowing the carbon copy design of cheap safes and finding a hole to get to the solenoid.

I decided to try my luck against my HF safe. In less than 5 minutes I cracked it with nothing more than a ball point pen and a paper clip. I used the pen to push one of the LEDS back (not board mounted). I tried this first because I feared removing the keypad would damage it. I then slipped a paper clip through the hole and found the solenoid in a matter of moments. BAM! Open in a few minutes without even opening it up first to familiarize myself with the design. I just had to know the carbon copy design used in pretty much all Chinese safes. I highly recommend watching the videos and then take a try at cracking your safe. You will be surprised at how easy it is.

I don't mean to sound snobby, but especially after these issues with the GunVaults, I'm done wasting money on cheap stuff. Particularly when my life may depend on it.
revance is offline  
Old August 13, 2012, 09:35 PM   #9
ohen cepel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 1999
Location: Where they send me
Posts: 1,013
I also had a Gun Vault.

Now, I like the V Line stuff, or better yet the Knox Pistol Box. The Knox would be my first choice by a long shot.
__________________
He who dares wins.

NRA Life Benefactor Member
ohen cepel is offline  
Old August 13, 2012, 09:40 PM   #10
revance
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 18, 2007
Posts: 305
The Knox pistol box is the one I am leaning towards. They look pretty nice.

Only a little over 1000 combinations, but I can always lock the entire thing up when its not at my bedside.
revance is offline  
Old August 14, 2012, 05:37 AM   #11
Single Six
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 31, 2010
Location: N.C.
Posts: 1,522
Quote: "I am DONE messing with these things...I would recommend NOBODY trust their lives to these things." Funny, I've said the exact same thing, except that I was referring to the Sig P220....Anyhow, I never bought a GunVault, and this thread makes me kinda glad I didn't. I use a small safe with a keypad door, bought at Office Depot for a lot less than a GunVault. Works fine.
__________________
Seen on a bumper sticker: "Exercise. Eat right. Take vitamins. Die anyway."
Single Six is offline  
Old August 14, 2012, 09:04 AM   #12
FAS1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 9, 2010
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 270
Be sure and bolt it to something solid if you keep your HD gun in there so the whole box can't just walk away. The heavier boxes when bolted down could buy you enough time that a thief gives up for something easier to grab.

Here's mine: FAS1 Safe Video
__________________
Glenn

FAS1 SAFE, LLC
FAS1 is offline  
Reply

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 04:09 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.08225 seconds with 7 queries