View Full Version : Gun safe questions

March 13, 2009, 09:13 PM
I am in the market for a safe. Would like pro and con on different locking devices. Regular tumbler or electronic locks. What if the battery goes dead on a electronic lock, how do you get into the safe? Also what about the ones with key slot in the tumbler doesn't that defeat the whole idea?


March 13, 2009, 10:07 PM
The electric and combination are both more for ease of access. They both have the keys so in case the battery dies or you forget the combo, you can stash the key somewhere clever and still get in (just with a little more hassle).

March 14, 2009, 07:27 AM
Depends on the safe, but some electric models have an exterior spot to touch with a 9 volt battery in case of failure.
The key is a fail safe measure, that I would keep in my safe deposit box.
Some electronic safes have the battery under the push buttons, for the same effect.
Personally I would chose the tumbler.

March 14, 2009, 09:41 AM
Mechanical locks (dial) tend to be a bit slower and more difficult to use, but are also more reliable. A locksmith is needed to change the combination.

Electronic locks are faster and easier to use, but less reliable. You can change your own combination.

Most good quality electronic locks have the battery mounted behind the keypad for easy replacement when the batteries are dead and the safe won't open. Quality locks also do not have key backups.

There is a price to pay for the convenience of electronic locks. More likely than not, the lock will fail eventually, and you will be looking at the expense of drilling the safe, repairing the door, and installing a new lock. In some cases, this cost can exceed what you paid for the safe.

March 14, 2009, 09:41 AM

I have a manual locking type with the key in the dial (or tumbler if you prefer).

All the key does is lock the dial to prevent its turning. It doesn't open the safe. If you forget the combo, you're SOL and it's locksmith time.

I don't think I've seen one where there is a key to bypass the manual combo lock.

Never messed with the electric locks, so it may be the case there.

guns and more
March 14, 2009, 10:25 AM
I have the electronic lock and paid extra for it. I love it. Yes, old schoolers prefer dials, but did they ever open one in the dark? Or while someone is kicking in the door? I unlock and lock mine every day, it takes 3 seconds. I'd never leave it open if I had to dial it every time. The battery is good for 7 yrs., I'll change it in a couple of years more.
I suppose there is a chance of a problem with the electronic lock, but I wouldn't have mine any other way.

March 14, 2009, 05:03 PM
I do not favor electronic gun safe locks. The electronics will age and be unusable at some point down the road, leaving you with a unworkable lock. The manual dial type takes a bit longer to open but will last for many decades.

March 15, 2009, 05:09 AM
g & m, the safe is locked when I'm not home. I'm armed where ever I am.

March 15, 2009, 05:15 AM
Good suggestions here, and you might want to perform a search for this topic, since this is a lot more info.

Size, fire ratings, floor limits vs. safe weights, hinge locations, and probably most important, peoples experiences with particular brands. Best of luck.

Some people get rid of their safety deposit boxes and get a small fire rated box to place in their safe.

March 20, 2009, 01:52 PM
the best safe out there is the fort knox vault safe key on tumbler,i own one expensive but well worth it,your weapons are your life check them out at a lock and key shop or go on line.

Bike Effects
March 21, 2009, 12:06 AM
So am I. I found this and will read it thoroughly.


March 21, 2009, 01:14 AM
I took the best of both worlds combo and dial. I can lock the dial in the open position and use the keypad as a day safe then when I want security unlock and spin the dial now you have to do both to get in. 1" plate door and 1/4" sidewall plate then 1/2" 2300 degree ceramic and Paulseal sealing gasket. It's the Defender Ironman


March 21, 2009, 10:45 AM
So am I. I found this and will read it thoroughly.


It's a good start, but not 100% accurate. I think whoever wrote it made an honest attempt to interview those that "know" about safes, and got a few that didn't know as much as they thought they knew.