View Full Version : Building my own gun safe (Need Help)

November 18, 2008, 12:43 AM
After posting this in the GDF I realized that this was the place I should ask. I am one of the guilty that keep my guns under my bed, in my closet, and my basement. Here's the thing, I don't want to shell out the $1500+ to get one to hold all of my guns. I want any and all suggestions on the best way to build a BG resistant safe, does not have to be fire resistant. Be it freestanding, wall mounted, or turning a closet into its own gun safe. Any suggestions would be appreciated (stop short of the underground bunker, that will come later). Looking to spend <$350.

November 18, 2008, 01:26 AM
There are some inexpensive ways to harden a closet, but you're not going to get anywhere near burglary resistant with your budget.

For a typical closet some 3/4" plywood on the inside, a solid core (or commercial steel) door, and a few deadbolts would be a good start.

November 18, 2008, 02:10 AM
If you take a small closet and install a exterior steel security door with steel frame and deadbolts you'll have additional security. You can even overlay the walls and ceiling with fire resistant sheetrock for a degree of fire safety. If you have a medium size closet you can frame up an additional wall inside the interior door and install the steel door there, making a closet in a closet. A big part of your security would be keeping it all hidden,

Even if all you do is mount a solid core exterior door and deadbolt you would be better off than hiding your guns under your bed.

November 18, 2008, 10:15 AM
A friend of mine used a part of his basement to build a walk in safe. He sectioned off one room with cinder blocks and concrete, then had a local safe company install a safe access door into the frame for $800, it's the biggest safe I've seen other than whats in the banks.

November 18, 2008, 10:23 AM
You can also do this...less than $350 and you can do it yourself!

Inexpensive DIY Safe (http://gizmodo.com/5091654/14+pound-lego-safe-is-guarded-by-305-billion-codes)

Sorry, couldn't resist. :D

Wyo Big Bore
November 18, 2008, 10:36 AM
I've built a number of them into homes that I have built in the basement and I think that is the best idea. You could buy the block and morter and do it yourself.

November 18, 2008, 10:38 AM
$279 plus tax and a couple of locks


November 18, 2008, 10:49 AM
I thought I had hit the jackpot a couple weeks ago. My wife said my mom had a couple of safes in her basement she no longer wanted and asked if I wanted them. I could not remember any safes in my mom's basement, but said sure.

Turns out one is basically a sheet metal box with a combination style lock on it, and the other is a small fire resistant chest. O well.

November 18, 2008, 11:27 AM
This was close to what I was looking for, maybe a little larger. But seriously, I do like the ideas that some of the posters had about building one out of block in my basement. I already have a bomb shelterdown there, all I have to do is get a steel door and steel door frame. I know that, do to the size of the area, I would need a pretty massive dehumidifyer. Would also need to build some sort of shelving system I might even put the bunks back in it with a box of MREs just in case.

November 18, 2008, 01:40 PM
Heh, I think I might make one of those just for fun - then I can make a 1911 out of Legos and put it in there.

Anyway, FWIW, I considered building something in my basement as well, but decided on a locked firearms closet with a few gun safes.

I ended up using a walk-in closet in my home-office. I bolted the safes to the floor, upgraded the closet door and installed a deadbolt and lockable doorknob on it to keep kids and curious guests out. The key, as a previous poster mentioned, is concealment. At first glance, it looks like nothing more than another closet. In reality, it offers two time-sucking deterrents if a thief wants to get in - a deadbolted solid door and substantial immobile safes. More time = more likelihood the thief will move on.

November 18, 2008, 03:18 PM
ive been thinking of building the basement walk in safe too.....except building it in such a way that its hidden, along with a steel door, recessed hinges and deadbolts. Sheetrock the inside for some fire protection......rebar in the blocks, if someone knew it was there sure they could eventually get in it, but hidden well and kept a secret it would do everything you need. Im guessing you could get out for alot less than $1000 unless you go with a fancy steel safe door (i dont know how much they are).

November 18, 2008, 04:31 PM
If I was to go the easier route with just gun cabinets, do you think that the StackOn brand is ok. Its the cheapest our there I think. I hear that they are not hard for a criminal to get into but they keep kids out. I might be willing to go a little better and get a Sentry. Any thoughts on this idea, if I were to bolt these to the floor?

November 18, 2008, 06:12 PM
If I was to go the easier route with just gun cabinets, do you think that the StackOn brand is ok.

I've got one of these (the pistol cabinet) that I use in my place of business.

Depends on how paranoid you are really. My opinion? I think they are fine if they are kept out of plain sight and behind a secured door, as in a locked closet or vault. They work perfectly to keep kids out.

The only issue is a thief with too much time on his hands or one that comes back later with the right tools to get to your guns. But how likely is that to happen in your neck of the woods?

November 18, 2008, 11:03 PM
I'm not sure how likely it is for my home to get broken into. I think it would be pretty easy to break in. I don't have an alarm. I have two dogs. Crime hasn't been an issue, but I never want to jinx myself by saying it could never happen. Have had my car broken into. Would a Sentry be a good alternative. It is more like a safe than a gun cabinet. I believe it is about 200lbs. I used my old roommates and it was pretty good. It only held 8 long guns but you could fit many more than that.

November 19, 2008, 05:19 PM
Many gun owners spend thousands of dollars on guns but then when it comes time to find something to store them in, they want to go cheap. Gun safes come in many different sizes, fire ratings, and gauges of steel. The Stackon's and the Sentry's are usually lower end type safes that are found in the big box stores and are basically gun lockers. Low gauge steel, less than an hour fire rating, and no features that would really keep a burglar out. If you want something that is inexpensive, but still offers some nice features check out the Mutual MS-5922 gun safe (http://www.safeandvaultstore.com/product/mutual-ms-5922-gun-safe&item=786). Remember to bolt any safe you buy down to the floor. If you don't, it is an easy way for the burglar to remove the safe from your home and than break into it later as time allows. Any safe can be broken into no matter what, it is just a matter of time but hopefully you will frustrate them enough to make them leave. Also you are more likely to have a fire than a burglary so you don't want to forget about the fire rating.

November 19, 2008, 05:40 PM
Problem with safes is that you need to get into 6-7k range before you can get one that will stop a professional burgler. Your best bet is to get one of those cheap metal cabinet types and hid it. I'll keep out smash and grabbers.

Someone posted ideas for making a reinforced room based off police evidence room specs. 2X4 walls, glued and nailed together, with crossbeams set every 18 inches, Wrap the walls with chain link fence and glue drywall. I think the 2x4s were joined with rebar too.

November 19, 2008, 06:16 PM
Cortjestir; ROFLMAO But seriously if you build one in a closet make sure that you weld the hinge pins so they can't be drifted out:eek: and make sure you put some type of anti-moisture device like a golden rod in it. I had a moisture problem with mine until I got a dehumidifier for it.

Superhouse 15
November 19, 2008, 06:37 PM
No seriously...

I had an article, that I can't find, of a guy who got an old drink machine for free for hauling it away, got a bunch of scrap wood and carpet for free, sold the refrigeration parts on Ebay, and used the money to replace the lock assembly. He got some cheap LED lights from an old bar sign or something to light up the front and made it into a gun safe. At the end he had a profit of a couple of dollars from the sale of the guts of the machine. Hides in plain sight, theft resistant super lock, too heavy to lift away easily, and basically for free. If I can locate the article, he had a step-by-step with lots of pics.

November 19, 2008, 07:41 PM
Most of the bad guys do not like basements because there is no way out.

You can finish off a section or a wall three feet from a outside wall like a very narrow hallway.
Put a hidden door on it, maybe a section of removable paneling held in place with magnets.
That could be your lockup. Secure the firearms with cable locks to the concrete wall.

The idea is if they can't find it, they can't take it. Just an idea.
Tom F.

November 19, 2008, 07:57 PM
Superhouse 15,

That would be sweet!

Superhouse 15
November 22, 2008, 07:30 PM
I found this:

My Google is strong, I'm not a member there or anything.

November 22, 2008, 08:04 PM
Nothing you could slap together for $350 will be more secure than an elcheapo safe like a sentury.

White Rice
November 23, 2008, 03:24 PM
For those of you thinking about building a walk in vault, be sure to plan for 3 things.

1. Humidity and lots of it.
2. A door that cannot under any circumstances lock you into the room.
3. A fresh air supply and telephone access for your survival when you mess up #2.