The Firing Line Forums

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old April 1, 2013, 03:25 PM   #1
Mastrogiacomo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 10, 2002
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,073
Ammo safe

Hi folks,

My father recently picked up a safe at Staples. This is the link to show the model we got:

http://www.staples.com/Sentry-Safe-F...product_651875

Anyway, he opened it once and we can't open it again. Thank God the ammo wasn't in it at the time. We live in a condo so he wanted to place my ammo in a fire protected safe down in the storage area. I was game until I saw how hard it was to open. I need to able to get to my ammo without it being a major production, so we're returning it. My question - what ELSE can I get that's reasonably priced and this size? Thank you in advance.

Laura
__________________
"Luctor et Emergo" - Struggle and Emerge

Last edited by Mastrogiacomo; April 1, 2013 at 03:33 PM.
Mastrogiacomo is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 03:37 PM   #2
RamItOne
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 24, 2011
Posts: 976
Why need a safe for your ammo?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mastrogiacomo
I need to able to get to my ammo without it being a major production
will you need it in a hurry for SD? If so no matter how easy it is it will probably take too long for a SD situation.

If the safe is sturdy and seals well then you could be in trouble w/ a fire cooking off rounds inside the safe.
__________________
M&P- the other dark meat

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/pet...rtant/DJyvnHz0
RamItOne is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 03:43 PM   #3
Mastrogiacomo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 10, 2002
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,073
Well I live in a condo and my father had concerns about liability. I do have ammo in the drawer by my night table for self defense. This is to store the amount that I have saved for the range. The safe my father got seemed like a good move but when we tried to open it, neither of us were able to do so. I need something that I can actually access without it turning into a major event. Shouldn't I be able to open an ammo safe fairly easily? If I'm going to the range for a morning of shooting, I don't want to have to get help just to pry it open...

Laura
__________________
"Luctor et Emergo" - Struggle and Emerge
Mastrogiacomo is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 03:51 PM   #4
Lucas McCain
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 7, 2013
Location: Callaway, MN
Posts: 193
Good safe locks have and automatic blocker provision provided. If the safe is say dropped, tipped over, or had the locking mechanism hit sharply with a hammer the auto block is deployed and it will not open. The only way to get it open is to get a qualified and certified lock smith for that particular brand and he will have to drill the lock and get the pin out. There is a lot of paper work with it also. You have to prove you are the owner.
__________________
If you have time to do it twice, then you have time to do it once right and put your name on it
Lucas McCain is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 04:01 PM   #5
Mastrogiacomo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 10, 2002
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,073
My ammo wasn't inside so thankfully that's not a situation I need to worry about. If I had gone with my father, I would asked them to demonstrate how to open it, but coulda, shoulda, woulda...we just need to find another alternative for storage.
__________________
"Luctor et Emergo" - Struggle and Emerge
Mastrogiacomo is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 04:26 PM   #6
new_shooter
Member
 
Join Date: December 18, 2012
Posts: 42
I was just reading some of the reviews I didn't see to many people liking it! Some same d push down on the lid and try unlocking it? I'd look around for a better safe!
new_shooter is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 04:28 PM   #7
new_shooter
Member
 
Join Date: December 18, 2012
Posts: 42
Pop into Lowes see what they got might be better with a front opening safe?
new_shooter is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 04:33 PM   #8
Mastrogiacomo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 10, 2002
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,073
Good suggestions, thank you. Believe me, if I knew this safe opened in such a strange way, I never would have bought it, but my father went out and just chose this himself. I'll try looking at Lowes....
__________________
"Luctor et Emergo" - Struggle and Emerge
Mastrogiacomo is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 04:40 PM   #9
Rford09
Member
 
Join Date: April 8, 2012
Location: Madison, ohio
Posts: 40
I have a couple year old model of this one
http://www.target.com/p/sentry-safe-...1_20&term=Safe

I have had no problems at all with it, and it serves it's purpose 100%

Rob
__________________
Sig-Sauer P229 40Cal, S&W 1911 E-Series 45ACP, S&W sigma series 9mm, Kimber stainless Pro Carry II 45ACP, Ruger SR1911
Rford09 is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 04:46 PM   #10
jaguarxk120
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 28, 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,931
Your link shows a key operated fire box.

Do you have the right keys?
jaguarxk120 is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 04:50 PM   #11
Mastrogiacomo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 10, 2002
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,073
We did; the key worked fine and went in without a major ordeal, but we couldn't figure to save our lives how to get the safe to open. I'm inclined to think I'll need to spend at least $200 for a good model.
__________________
"Luctor et Emergo" - Struggle and Emerge
Mastrogiacomo is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 04:53 PM   #12
jaguarxk120
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 28, 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,931
The ad says waterproof, try pressing down on the lid compressing the seal. Then turn the key.
jaguarxk120 is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 05:00 PM   #13
new_shooter
Member
 
Join Date: December 18, 2012
Posts: 42
Would definitely buy the best you can afford not saying more money is better of course look around read reviews etc . Call around and ask questions post up what you decided on!
new_shooter is offline  
Old April 1, 2013, 05:19 PM   #14
Mastrogiacomo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 10, 2002
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,073
Will do...thanks people.
__________________
"Luctor et Emergo" - Struggle and Emerge
Mastrogiacomo is offline  
Old April 2, 2013, 09:15 AM   #15
2ndsojourn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 15, 2013
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 622
If your condo storage area is anything like the ones I've seen, with lockable cages that others can see into, and easily break into, you better get a safe that can be bolted to the floor. A viewable safe is an attraction and carrying device for would-be thieves.
2ndsojourn is offline  
Old April 2, 2013, 11:30 AM   #16
baccusboy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 30, 2011
Posts: 147
This is exactly what you need, and at a heck of a price, too:

http://www.ggstore.us/agstore/commer...Safes&pid=0092
baccusboy is offline  
Old April 2, 2013, 09:13 PM   #17
cloudcroft
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 5, 2006
Location: Galveston, TX
Posts: 561
@ Laura (Mastrogiacomo):

Short response: Your Father's Sentry "fire-safe" should NOT be hard to open! And it's probably NOT defective. :-)


Verbose Mode response:

I have one of those larger black Sentry "Fire Safes" like your Father got (but the one that is NOT waterproof-rated): It fits nicely in my Cobalt S852C Class-B burglary safe (not fire-rated) with space on top of the Sentry (and on the side of it) to put some other stuff. While that "other stuff" is not fire-protected (even if only for 30-minutes) at least it's in a more serious "safe" than most smaller fire-rated "safes" since my Cobalt has a 1/2" steel plate door and 1/4" steel plate body -- the fire-rated "safes" are much thinner steel and not hard to pry open. A Class B burglary safe is harder.

Note: I keep using quotation marks around the word "safe" because really, these all are just RSCs, not REAL safes. Still better than "hiding" stuff under a bed or in a closet. ALL of us should have SOMETHING to use in an effort to secure our stuff, ESPECIALLY guns (and especially nowadays, with guns AND ammo sources drying up) -- not to mention letting criminals have TOO easy a time stealing stuff.

Additionally, I have 7-8 other smaller Sentry Fire "Safes" -- most are the beige #1100 models, but 2 of which are their (gray/black) fire PLUS waterproof models. They ALL have the very same mechanism/simple locks, many use the same key (Sentry has a certain # of keys made for these so there's duplication sometimes) but they were never intended to be a SECURITY safe as they can easily be pried open with a screwdriver -- or easily carried away. Even bolting them down (which you can do as they have places to drill holes) would be a waste of time since they can be pried open. Consequently, they are only meant for SOME fire protection (30-minutes) within a protected/restricted-entry environment. Not for their own security as they have none. :-(

In reality then -- for security purposes -- these small so-called "fire safes" need to be kept inside a larger SECURITY type of safe. And that's exactly what I do...

I stack these small Sentry "fire safes" (more like "fire chests" if you will, as they are poor excuses for "safes") up on one side of my larger "safe" and the other side has vertical room for my 5-6 long guns. I choose "gun safes" (RSCs, as mentioned) on the amount (thickness) of steel used in them rather than its fire-rating because the latter type most often use very thin steel with the fire-stuff sandwiched between the thin steel. I'm more interested in SECURITY (reasonably priced, that is, I'm not rich, AND not TOO heavy for me to move by myself) -- how hard they are to get into - over fire protection, so I go with what are classed as "security-safes" (actually, they're all called RSCs) instead of fire-rated models. To make up for them not having any fire-rating, however, I chose these small Sentry fire-safes to give SOME fire-protection to my smaller items. Plus, since the larger safe has no fire-rating, there is more ROOM inside it compared to a fire-rated safe with the same external footprint. Whatever, my "safe" money $$ goes to buy more steel. Fire-protection is secondary (to me). Besides, I have Renter's Insurance, but at least I ALSO do my part to protect my stuff, too. We all should.

Anyway, I use the small Sentry "fire-safes" for ammo, handguns, important papers, sterling silverware, small electronic devices (etc.) storage.

IMO, the WISE way to use these small Sentry "fire safes" -- since they offer almost ZERO security -- it to spend your money on a larger safe that is more secure (made with as thick steel as you can afford, with NO fire protection, you get more of a "real" safe/RSC that way) and then use the Sentry "fire-safes" inside it.

I have NEVER had any trouble opening ANY of these Sentry "safes" except the times I tried to use the wrong key (as I have several of these safes, I have quite a few keys although (as mentioned earlier, some are duplicates) so something's definitely wrong with your Father's (if he is using the right key)! Well...MAYBE something's wrong with it -- see below.

And, of course, in a fire these Sentry fire safes are designed to have the lid "weld" itself closed, so you have to cut it open (destroy the "safe"). But that's how they're designed and is to be expected -- they aren't intended to be reusable after a fire as they "sacrifice themselves" to protect their contents. I've seen a video on how well they DO protect their contents and live up to their specifications. Impressive...

So IMO, your Father didn't make a mistake getting one as his reasoning was sound, but he does need to realize that they weren't meant to protect against criminals/forced-entry, just fire. It's not a security safe.

And yes, they SHOULD not lock themselves closed as their "locks" are just a simple latch, that's all! Only meant to keep the lid closed if you turn it over. Nothing more. ;-)

Either his was defective, or something else is wrong. I do NOT think it's defective. On some of these -- IIRC it's usually the waterproof ones only -- you need to PRESS DOWN on the lid to close and open them (due to the gasket) and if you don't it MAY be hard to use the key to lock/open them, but only mildly hard. That's just a design feature, not a defect. Try SITTING on the lid and then use the key to open it. That might work if it's the gasket needing compressing.

As for the other non-water-rated models, you have no such compression gasket since they are NOT meant to be waterproof -- the lids just solidly fuse to the body in a fire.

So, the model Sentry your Father got at Staples IS a waterproof model so it DOES have the waterproofing gasket I was talking about, so the problem may be as simple as that: Just press down hard on the lid when closing and opening, since in most cases it's "operator-error" when it comes to safes, not defective products. And that's true of so many other things, too. ;-)

I remember the time I tried to open my Cobalt safe (after a very long time since I last did it) and KNEW I had the right combination, but could NOT get it open! After about 15 minutes trying, I discovered that I FORGOT the FOURTH step: To turn the dial to the right after the last number was selected. Once I did that, it opened. Not the safe's fault, just mine, forgetting the proper dialing sequence of a S&G Type II combination lock!

Don't write-off these Sentry "fire safes" as they CAN be useful, even considering their limitations.

Good luck...

Last edited by cloudcroft; April 2, 2013 at 09:52 PM.
cloudcroft 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 06:13 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 0.11201 seconds with 9 queries