View Full Version : Gun safe or gun cabinet-which & why?

February 24, 2002, 03:25 PM
I have a small collection of rifles and handguns. Presently a couple are around the house for defense and one is for carry, it could be anywhere, where ever I happen to lay it down. The rest are in a closet.

I have looked at safes and glass door cabinets. Safes are monsters to move, expensive and I can't enjoy looking at the firearms inside. A cabinet can be locked, easily placed in my home and I can see its contents.

No little kids in the house, safe neighborhood, fur covered early warning device. Is there any reason why a wooden cabinet is less desirable than a safe? I can remember growing up in the fifties and sixties and no one had a safe, I saw lots of guns in glassed in cabinets with locked doors and drawers. Why wouldn't that be sufficient today?

Help me make a decision.

February 24, 2002, 03:31 PM
I can take your guns from glass cabinet in the time it takes to smash the glass. A safe is much more secure. Also there is not such thing as a safe neighborhood. Also a safe has fire protection.

Dan Morris
February 24, 2002, 03:44 PM
Living in a townhouse area, I use the steel safes. While not entirely theft proof. they will slow down someone. Have had them several years and are satisfactory for me.

February 24, 2002, 03:54 PM
My choice would be one of the metal gun cabinet/lockers or a VERY lightweight safe over a good gun safe. I don't currently own a house and until I am in a place where I intend to stay at least semi-perminently weight is a major issue. For now I'll take the lower level of protection for the increased ease come moving day (which seems to come once every year or two).

For you the choice may be different. If I owned a house that I intended to stay in I would go with a good quality safe. It will give you a better level of protection (some are more solid than the safes where we kept the working money, as opposed to the more perminent storage, when I was in banking), plus they give you fire protection.

As nice as the wood cabinets with glass doors are to look at I would strongly avoid these. Yes, they have locks but glass is very easy to break. This seems about as good as no protection. If you do this treat the guns as if they are unprotected and at least use trigger locks so if a BG breaks in and steals your guns at least he probably won't be able to use them against you.

February 24, 2002, 04:08 PM
Yes, way back when they also used radium for glow in the dark dials on watches.
Aesbestos was also used for building insullation.

It is very easy to break into a gun cabinet. You have to go out sooner or later, and your dog may be gone too. A dog will not reliably stop a determined person.

A good gunsafe is very difficult to break into. It is also fireproof and heat resistant. A good one can take over 1000 degrees for 40 minutes to an hour without the contents being damaged. Things happen.

February 24, 2002, 04:11 PM
If you are after a display you can look at and enjoy, build a safe room and install a cabinet in there.

I want my stuff to still be around when I come home. I lock stuff up before I leave. Consider being shot by whatever you left lying around. Someone breaks in for something easy to steal and you surprise them. While they may have been unarmed, you armed them. I do not like laws that say stuff must be locked up, I do it out of common sense.

400 bucks gets you a 250 lb safe. I moved mine up steps and installed it myself. I hid it, I do not recomend putting a safe on display.

Do a search on crime before saying how safe your area is. I live in the sticks and there was a link last week you punched your zip code into and it gave you crimes and percentages for your area. While mine were low, there is still crime.

I see more people lock their doors when they are home due to home invasions and what not. I grew up in an unlocked house, we locked up when we all left or at night. Times have changed. I see a cabinet as window shopping for anyone in your house. A cheap safe may have some shotguns and leveractions in it if you are in the country. A glass cabinet lets them see if there are some pre-ban colts, a bushmaster, or heck an expensive shotgun.

February 24, 2002, 04:45 PM
Unless you will sit next to your fancy cabinet WITH a gun at the ready, you might as well leave your firearms lying on a table.

February 24, 2002, 04:49 PM
As stated above a Gun Cabnet is easy entry and a Gun Safe is not! Plus you also get Fire Protection for your Guns and other valuables that you may decide to store in there.
My safe weighed in at 1000Lbs. the people I bought it from charged me $150. to put it in my basement, money well spent ;)
I also had to support the basement steps to take the weight so it isn't going to go back up again without that support :eek:

If you can afford to do so, Get the Gun Safe you will be a lot better off, and anyway when you want to spend time with your guns you will be spending more Quality time with them because you Had to open the safe to enjoy them ;)

Get the SAFE, You won't regret it !:)

Just my thoughts and I hope it helps :)

The Terminator
February 24, 2002, 06:20 PM
I vote for the safe. I also can keep a couple of cameras, a camcorder, and other stuff locked away. It is the best gun money that I have ever spent. Now days, some guns cost as much as a good safe.

February 24, 2002, 06:43 PM

I have one too. Lefty with the B.O.S.S. .In .338 WinMag.

Most accurate rifle I own.....and I love tang safeties on hunting rifles.......whoops....off topic.

I also hunt with my Redhawk .44 mag.

Dan Morris
February 24, 2002, 07:16 PM
Follow up, Safes I have are screwed into the floor with 3" screws...
high dollar neighborhood....people are changing daily! Ole days
of unlocked doors and trust.....sad but true.....are going away. I unlock and wipe over my toys once a week........usually after a range trip.

February 24, 2002, 07:20 PM
If you own your home, or are a longterm renter, no question -- gun safe. Those lockable cabinets can be popped with a large screwdriver. My Browning safe is fire resistant, too, so it stores more than guns. Piece of mind for when I'm away at work, on vacation, or have young'uns visiting.

February 24, 2002, 07:30 PM
Check out http://www.zanottiarmor.com

They offer gun safes which are assembled from individual panels which interconnect with internal steel pins. Fully assembled, they weigh as much as traditional welded safes, yet you can disassemble them if you need to move. <p>

I have had one for about eight years and have been very happy with it. I was able to transport mine from where the delivery truck dropped it off outside my house to my basement all by myself (although the door was pretty darn heavy).<p>

Zanotti claims that it takes as the same time/effort/tools to break into one of their safes as a welded safe. I don't know if that's true, but it sure seems a lot more secure than a metal gun cabinet.<p>

James K
February 24, 2002, 07:56 PM
There is an answer to the weight and space problem. An outfit called Zanotti makes modular safes that can be assembled anywhere you want (like inside a closet) and the pieces are light enough to be handled by one reasonably strong person. There are several different sizes. The drawback is that due to the way they go together, they have no fire resistant material, plus the metal is not as thick as on some other safes, although still plenty sturdy.

Check http://www.zanottiarmor.com/ for info.


February 24, 2002, 08:52 PM
Safe for 2 reasons...
Better security & my state requires it ;)

February 24, 2002, 09:06 PM
California. What a joke as far as gunowners rights.

No offense, but they've gone off the deep end...........I'd bail out.

February 24, 2002, 10:27 PM
I have young ones in the house and use an electronic keypad safe.

The safe is bolted to the shelf from the inside so the safe has to be open to remove the bolts. Quick three numbers ( i've practiced in the dark, after first keypunch the dig readout lights up) and i have one of my three loaded and ready handguns in my hand. Bought it used on e-bay and was my best investment for safety and security.

February 25, 2002, 01:23 AM
I lived in an apartment on the second floor and was not allowed to put in gun safe due to weight restrictions. I ended up purchasing a nice unit from "Stack-On" which holds 8 rifles. I also purchased the pistol cabinet which bolts to the top and has 3 interior shelves which hold my pistols and some optics, etc. The lockers are secured to the studs in the wall via a total of 8 bolts with 2 more than go into the flooring. It isn't fire proof but it's better than a cabinet. If you want my gear you are going to have to work at it! If you are interested in more storage space Stack-On makes several different models of varying sizes and prices. http://www.stack-on.com/ (Stack-On)

CZ Gunner
March 1, 2002, 03:39 PM
I recommend keeping a weapon of choice available on each floor of your dwelling, for emergencies. The rest should be locked-up for reasons stated above.

335 was right on ... I can smash and grap your guns in an instant. (Not to mention fire, etc.)

One other point, with a safe, you can also lock-up your expensive jewelry or cameras, etc. when on vacation, etc.

A good investment!

CZ Gunner
March 1, 2002, 03:39 PM
ooops .. sorry for double post. Editing text out of this post.