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Old October 6, 2013, 10:17 AM   #1
celem
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Are Small Commercial Gun Safes actually worthless?

Recently I have had concerns about my firearms security in home and vehicle. This also applies to when I have house guests, especially when they include children. I don't have space in my home for one of those large gun safes. As a result I have been looking into smaller gun safes, vaults, strong boxes, etc., both for the house and the vehicle. One brand that I was considering for the vehicle was the GunVault products recommended by my local range instructor. For the house one device that I have been considering is the Pistol Rack by www.LockingGunRacks.com.

While researching on-line I stumbled across an alarming report that was published in Forbes Magazine that is giving me second thoughts about most, if not all of these products. For anyone considering any similar purchase I encourage you to read the article at THE-FORBES-LINK as well as the author's website. The videos, especially via the author's site are alarming in how easily these vaults are defeated with paper clips, vibration or screwdrivers. Criminals make it their business to know about such defects and I now consider the mass market security devices to be fairly worthless.

It also seems that even the Project ChildSafe lock that the police hand out (I have some) is also worthless for anything other than child deterrence as there are some easy adult ways to defeat them. The disclosed methods appear to exceed a child's capability but would certainly not defeat any thief who was aware of the deficiencies.

It seems that the defects outlined by the Forbes article center on the biometric locks but if you have looked at the flimsy cabinet lock used to secure the key lock versions you won't be impressed. This type of cabinet lock can be easily pried open with a screwdriver and, with enough of a gap, even with your bare hands.

On one forum I read a post buy someone that secured a Sentry Fire Safe to the floorboard in his vehicle and that seemed promising until I saw that some models can be opened in 2-seconds with a screwdriver or even a penny. Sentry does appear to have modified the lock mechanism in their current product line so possibly they are now more secure now.

My dilemma is that now I don't know of a viable commercially available option. The most secure option that I have found, thus far, would be to add a cable or chain to a steel military ammo box with a quality padlock. There is an Instructable that shows how to add a padlock to an ammo box at http://www.instructables.com/id/Ammu...ster-Lock-Box/.

The Pistol Rack by www.LockingGunRacks.com still looks viable for the house, but a bit pricy.
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Old October 6, 2013, 10:54 AM   #2
Sierra280
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"Man cannot create a cypher which man cannot decypher."

Every safe is defeatable, but if your main concern is keeping guns out of the hands of house guests (especially children), then most should work just fine. Even something as simple as a coated cable that runs up where the magazine fits and out the chamber, 1 cable could be run through all your guns, then pad locked. So long as your house guests don't have bolt cutters you'll be alright.
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Old October 6, 2013, 11:15 AM   #3
celem
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Reason for small safe

Re - "if your main concern is keeping guns out of the hands of house guests (especially children), then most should work just fine"...

I agree with what you say regarding children, especially within the home, however I want to thwart theft as well and, as I said, "Criminals make it their business to know about such defects" and I certainly want any gun locking system to more difficult to defeat than are these mass market systems. I drive a pickup truck and the locked steel military ammo can secured in the behind the seat area looks like the most secure solution. Likewise, such a can could be securely bolted to a closet floor. Any thief that can break into my vehicle is likely to also have a tool or screwdriver that can pop open one of these gunvaults. The locked steel military ammo would seem to more secure and would require significantly more time to get open. Thieves tend to want to act fast so as to avoid discovery. Any system can be defeated but adding to the time required for defeat improves the odds that such an attempt will be abandoned.
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Old October 6, 2013, 12:02 PM   #4
musher
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Quote:
Thieves tend to want to act fast so as to avoid discovery. Any system can be defeated but adding to the time required for defeat improves the odds that such an attempt will be abandoned.
And this, I think is the most important point. Whatever you do for security should be thought about in layers. Each layer is not impenetrable, but adds the total time required to defeat the whole system.

Your lock box can be defeated, so you hide it. Now you've added to the time requirement. Maybe in the home, you hide it behind another locked door. More time. Add an alarm system, etc.

In your vehicle, the same principle applies. Of course, if you make it too hard, maybe they just take the car!

Having said that, I'd probably avoid a box that has youtube lessons showing how it can be opened with a penny.
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Old October 6, 2013, 01:05 PM   #5
Garycw
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Are Small Commercial Gun Safes actually worthless?

I've never understood the security of a safe that could be picked up and carried away. Even if it took two people to carry. I prefer a safe in the 1500-2000lb range. Pretty hard to rock or vibrate. Or at least bolted to or through the floor with the security bolts that the heads snap off when torqued down tight. I've also never trusted a safe that was opened with electronic keypad only or key only.
Once looked at a John TANN 32 cu. ft. Jewlers Safe with a 30x6 rating. That's a 30 minute protection on six sides from cutting torch. At a mere 10,000lb till i found it would take a specialized safe moving company 150 miles away at a cost of $1500 to move 5 miles into a garage.
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Old October 6, 2013, 01:16 PM   #6
jimbob86
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Musher has it: Any safe can be defeated, but defeating them takes time and or tools, which the theif may or may not have. Improve your odds of keeping your stuff by adding to the requiremnt in terms of tool, time, and information needed to take it from you.

Quote:
It also seems that even the Project ChildSafe lock that the police hand out (I have some) is also worthless for anything other than child deterrence as there are some easy adult ways to defeat them. The disclosed methods appear to exceed a child's capability but would certainly not defeat any thief who was aware of the deficiencies.
I've cut the cable locks off my kids' .22's several times ...... when they lose the key, usually ....... it takes 2 seconds and the Leatherman on my belt.

Trigger locks take longer, and I have to find a couple pair of large vice-grips ......
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Old October 6, 2013, 04:53 PM   #7
kln4
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In the last month from online police reports it was reported two full size gun safes were removed to the residences, the first report stated 15 guns and the second was 9 guns. Apparently the thieves pulled up into the driveway got the garage door open, backed in, removed the gunsafe from the second floor using some type of dolly, load the safe into the van and drove of. According to one witness they saw 3 men and thought they were "doing work" in the house. The time was between 9am and 9:30 am on a Tuesday morning.

When thieves hit a house they seem to have some prior knowledge of the house and they wait until the owners are gone, usually to work.

Gun safes are a disaster waiting to happen, they're like big advertisements say "here I am".
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Old October 6, 2013, 05:26 PM   #8
celem
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A more secure vehicle unit

The Tuffy product seems to be much more secure - of course it costs more.

http://www.tuffyproducts.com/p-455-c...bles-tote.aspx
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