View Full Version : Apartment Gun Safe

February 4, 2001, 01:02 AM
I live in an apartment
I have 5 long guns and 6 handguns.
I need a safe for them. I saw on American Shooter a gun safe that can be delivered to my apartment dissassembled that I can assemble to use and dissassembled easily when I move.
Anyone know who...
1)Makes this type of safe?
2)Are they any good?
3)How much do they cost?

February 4, 2001, 07:08 AM
There are no safes that I would recommend for an apartment, they are just too big and heavy to be moving from place to place. I have a low to medium-security Homak steel gun cabinet that I paid less than $200 for that would at least make it a bit harder on a thief (50lbs of bricks in the bottom helps) to help himself. It won't stop someone that really wants your stuff, but it will slow them enough that they will probably look elsewhere for guns.

February 4, 2001, 12:22 PM
Go to search and type in zanotti and look under all catagories.Location and weight should be considered before purchasing, even if it is a modular safe.

Good Guy
February 4, 2001, 02:30 PM
You can find Zanotti at http://www.zanottisafes.com/

I have some info on Zanotti saved to disk, but I'm not sure where it came from. You may find the comments of interest to you.

1:24 PM 12/22/00

My experience with a Zanotti 6-piece safe (long)


To: [email protected]
Subject: My experience with a Zanotti 6-piece safe (long)
From: Hoojy <[email protected]>
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 1998 12:54:03 EST
Sender: [email protected]


As promised, here's a report on the Zanotti 6 piece safe.


Zanotti makes safes that you assemble on-site. For those of us with cramped
places (like closets) where we want to put our safes, or those of us who don't
want to hire furniture movers to haul a safe from the driveway into the house
(most safes are delivered only to the curb - not to your basement) the Zanotti
seems like the perfect answer. I thought so, and ordered one for myself. Was
I smart or gullible? Read on.


I ordered the ZA-II, 72? H x 31? W x 25? D. This one can accommodate as many
as 30 long guns. They also make a ZA-I, which is narrower, and a ZA-III which
is their giant model. I ordered mine in the 6 foot version, which has 3
slide-out drawers (very useful). It also comes in a 5 foot version without

I ordered my safe through a dealer at a local gun show, gave him half the cost
and waited 7 weeks for my safe. When it came, I got in my truck, met the guy
at a gas station and we transferred the four boxes to my truck.

This is when I first realized how HEAVY a safe (even one you assemble on
premises) actually is. One square box held the top and bottom. Manageable.
One box held the drawers. Positively light. One box held the two sides and
all the 3/8" steel pins that hold the safe together. Pretty heavy. And the
last box held the back and the door - with the lock mechanism and bolts
installed. So damn heavy that when the two of us transferred the box from his
truck to mine ( about 20 feet) I thought the weight would pull my hands right
off my wrists. And I am not a small guy.


First big tip: open the two long boxes (one with the two sides, one with the
back and door) outside and bring in the pieces one at a time. Especially if
you have stairs. The sides are quite manageable by one person with a standard
2-wheel dolly (pad it with a blanket) and a strap.

The back is a bit harder, mostly because it’s so tall (6 feet) and wide. I
had to remove the doors to the house in order to wheel it in. If you have 2
or 3 guys carrying it on edge you wouldn’t have to do this. The door is a
back breaker It's ungainly because of the bolts sticking out on the sides.
And the weight is unevenly distributed because the lock mechanism is toward
one end. I recommend turning it upside down so the weight of the lock is down
low -- I’d be afraid of the thing tipping over if it were wheeled around right
side up. This piece is not only ungainly and heavy. It’s tall. So tall that
it’s hard to control the dolly when going down stairs. And I’m 6?2?. You need
a spotter. Trust me on this.


I know a lot about this. I did it three times. The instructions aren’t bad,
just sketchy. After skimming them, I assembled the safe upside down. Idiot.
Actually, the top and bottom pieces both work in either position, and I didn’t
check for the bolt holes which only appear in the floor piece. Okay. Second
time, I got the floor down, put both sides in place, pushed them slightly
apart and manhandled the safe’s back in between them. Put the top on and it’s
time to start driving in the steel pins. They say use a hammer, protecting
the finish with a piece of carpet. I say use a rubber mallet.

There are pieces welded on to the floor, top and sides that look like the
knuckles of the hinges on a door and frame. They’re supposed to line up and
mate, then you whack these big pins in to hold them together. I had a lot of
trouble getting the knuckles on one side to line up properly. Same with the
top. I thought the thing was poorly made, until I saw that one of the two
sides hadn’t fully seated to the floor. It was raised up about 1/8? - and
that was enough to throw everything off. So I had to pull all the pins I’d
already whacked in, lift off the top, separate the back from the side that
wasn’t seated, rock the side until it seated, and move on to the third attempt
at assembly.


The pins went in more easily when everything was properly lined up. Not
easily, MORE easily. You still have to lube each one with Vaseline or white
grease (I used grease). And there are still a few where the rubber mallet
isn’t enough. I used a small maul to get the stubborn ones to work. (BIG
TIP: Wear hearing protection when you’re whacking those pins. Until just
about the last pin the entire safe jangles with each whack. It sounds
incredibly cheesy - not at all solid - and astoundingly loud. Remember,
you’re inside the damn thing and your ears will take a pounding. I put on my
Peltors and felt a lot better.)

Once the last couple of pins go in, the jangling stops and the safe is solid
as a.....well, as a safe.


This was not a one man operation. And they give you absolutely no hints on
how to do this. The thing is, here’s this extremely heavy door, and you have
to raise it up so the pins protruding down from the door’s half of each hinge
can seat down into the frame’s half of each hinge. The door needs to be
raised, precisely positioned, then lowered straight down. Three strong guys
could do it with a lot of swearing. I did it with a few blocks of wood, my
wife and daughter. And a lot of swearing. Basically, I built a stack of
small wood blocks and shims and rocked the door up onto it. My daughter lined
up the bottom hinge and I lined up the top one. Then we tapped the door into
alignment, I took the weight on my foot (wear steel toed boots if you do it
this way) and had my wife knock out shims one at a time until the hinge pins
gently settled into place.


Once the door is on you’re supposed install the interior - the gun rack,
drawers, shelves, etc. Which is when I learned that you can’t install (or
pull out) the drawers unless the door can swing FULLY open. They never
mention that in the assembly instructions. I ended up turning the #$%$#^& safe
90 degrees and moving it against a different wall so that the door had room to
swing open. Thank God I hadn’t bolted it to the floor yet.


Overall, I’m quite pleased with the assembled safe. It’s big, solid, and
attractive in a boxy, looming sort of way. The finish is a lightly textured
enamel. I didn’t get a hernia (although I made every attempt), but I did
aggravate an old elbow injury. The rack holds all of my long guns, with room
for a few new acquisitions, while the drawers neatly hold the handguns and
spare magazines. The top shelf has room for several dozen boxes of shells,
and there was room on top of the safe for a case of Federal match loads,
shotgun cleaning rods, shooting muffs and targets.


Since writing this I’ve installed hanging hooks on the door’s interior
pegboard, so 9 pistols can hang there, freeing up a drawer. And, of course,
I’m down to only one free slot inside the safe. When they say buy a bigger
safe than you think you need, they’re right. Especially if you have a CR FFL
and can order guns by mail on a whim.

February 4, 2001, 03:03 PM
Here is an idea for your consideration if your safe is narrow enough to be moved through a doorway. Have four 9/16" (or whatever size you want) holes drilled in the bottom of your safe. Get three 3/4" sheets of plywood cut into square greater than the width of the doorway in which the safe is located. Put the safe on top of the three sheets of plywood stacked together. Drill screw holes into the wood at each corner through the holes in the bottom of the safe. Now bolt the safe down on the plywood sheets using screws, e.g., 1/2" x 2". To make it better screw sheet metal down on top of the exposed plywood. I think this would slow a thief as well.

February 10, 2001, 12:43 AM
The Homak gun cabinets are good quality. They can be fastened to a wall or floor. I have mine inside a locked closet. The Sportsmans Guide (http://www.sportsmansguide.com) carries a number of models.

ohen cepel
February 11, 2001, 12:09 PM
Truck Vault makes an under bed storage container.
I wouldn't call it a safe. However, if fastened under the bed the bad guys would have to find it, move the bed and then tear it from the floor. Too much time for most thugs.

Put enough weight in it and I think it would be a great option.

Also, it doesn't weigh a ton.

Good luck with it,

February 12, 2001, 06:53 PM
The safe you are talking about on American Shooter can be found here.

Dont know much about it but good luck