View Full Version : Gunvault Minivault?

March 24, 2001, 10:04 AM
I need a box that will keep my Glock safe from my kids. Ya know I don't want them scratchin the damn thing up. ;) You know how destructive kids are? :) Seriously, I need it for quick access also. I have been looking at the Gunvault series. Any opinions? Does anyone know the history of their reliability? Thank you for your posts.

March 24, 2001, 05:02 PM
I don't know about the gunvault but I do have a Mossberg Instant Access.

It is quick, convenient, easy to use, bolted to the night stand and is where I put my daily carry guns for the evening.

I have three pistols in it most of the time, a .40 a 9mm and a .380 (my carry).

Double Naught Spy
March 24, 2001, 06:49 PM
I also have a Mossberg. They are a little more expensive (about double), but mine fits nicely in a drawer whereas the Gunvault would not. Layered, I can fit at least three guns in my Mossberg, but they have to be removed in a sequenced order - No biggie, I put the gun I normally want on top. The neat thing is that I can access the guns simply by opening the drawer, do the combination, and the top pops open. You could not do that with a gun vault.

If you are looking for a quick access vault to physically mount on top of a desk, bedstand, or shelf, the gunvault has the definite advantage of height. A gunvault would probably be better in cabinets as well. You can put bigger/boxier things in it. For a drawer, I think the Mossberg is the way to go.

March 25, 2001, 07:15 AM
I own a GunVault MultiVault and I have never regretted my purchase. It's great: quick access, safe from non-welcome pryers. I think the best part is the fact that you don't have to look at the safe in order to open it. Just feel for the hand indentation and press your combination. Don't have to fumble for keys or for combinations, etc, etc, etc...

I got mine from eBay, much MUCH cheaper than local retailers and online. Look for a guy who goes by [email protected] or something like that. He's pretty reliable and he has a lot of gun stuff available.

You can mount this safe on a hard surface or you can hide it. I personally would not put it in a desk or anything like that. I have mine hidden away from view but in a good location where I can have very quick access to it should I need to. As far as reliability goes, I've never had a problem with it. I've only had it for one year but I'm still good with it. Should the batteries run out you have a key backup so it can be reverted back to a normal key safe. You won't regret the purchase. Unless, of course, you have a WHOLE LOT than you'll just be better off with a modified walk-in closet :D

March 25, 2001, 09:56 AM
I have a Multivault and think it`s great. There is one problem I see tho. The batteries are mounted on top of the guns, if they leak, it could ruin your whole day!

I ran a wire and put an external power supply to eliminate this problem. The newer ones have this as an option.

Bill Daniel
March 26, 2001, 08:12 PM
I have the Gun Vault Minivault for my wife's pistol. Great safe storage! Fast,easy eyeless entry. Change the batteries each year and leakage should never be a problem.
I mounted her's to the floor of her closet so her clothes hide it. A friend of mine mounted his to the bed slats under his bed. It is upside down but he can simply roll over in bed reach under and open it with out getting up.
All the best,
Bill Daniel
Life Member NRA

March 27, 2001, 03:59 AM
I would not buy another MiniVault.

My wife's drains the batteries every few months with next-to-zero usage. Replacing the batteries is a pain, since you have to reprogram the code each time, which is not intuitive and easily forgotten when there are 3-4 months in between.

It looks like someone could get into it pretty easily with a screwdriver. Haven't tried that though.

As soon as my son starts walking, I'll be looking at handgunsafe.com

March 27, 2001, 06:56 AM
I just recently bought a V-Line Top Draw pistol safe from Cabela's. It is 9" X 12" X 3.5" so it will easily fit my Ruger Blackhawk and a couple more if I wanted to. It fits in my desk drawer just right. It has a 5 button Simplex lock that is all mechanical, ie. no batteries. The combination can be set so that more than one button has to be pressed at the same time to make it much harder to guess the combo. It cost $99.99. I think it is a great deal.

March 28, 2001, 12:37 PM
I think you got a lemon... I haven't had to replace my batteries since I got it last May. I know its not long but I open the safe to admire/play at least 3-5 times a day and up to 50 times to practice quick retrieval. No problems. That and I doubt a screwdriver that's thin enough to get into the crack and through the inner indentation would be strong enough to retain its shape and pry the door open.

My opinion...

March 28, 2001, 03:46 PM
I just got a Multivault after researching this issue and am pleased as punch. I don't know what batteries you are using, but they recommend Duracell (no rechargeables and no 9V batteries instead of the 8-AA batteries in the holder). In independent testing, I read that the batteries lasted 19 months. Did you try calling the big red 800 number on the help card...they were practically begging you to call if you needed any help or had any questions.

The pamphlet says (and I have confirmed) that you have 90 seconds of reserve power to change batteries - plenty of time in my book. The reserve power also addresses some early problems they had with the code resetting by banging on the outside of the case and interrupting power. Maybe you have an older version that doesn't have this feature. In addition, programming takes all of 30 seconds: hold the reset button until it beeps, enter code, hold the reset button until it beeps again, enter code again, hold the reset button until it beeps again, hear the confirmation beeps. For older versions, programming is truly a pain in the ***.

I doubt that you can pry apart a Mini or Multivault with a screw driver. The hinge is heavy duty and runs the entire length of the box, while the locking mechanism is heavy duty.

Regarding leakage, the battery holder holds the batteries right side up in a contained plastic dish. I fail to see how a battery would release enough liquid to overflow the dish.

Multivault has 531,441 possible combinations (1 to 4 buttons per entry, and 3 to 6 entries per code). Handgunsafe has a Simplex lock - exactly 1081 possible combinations and easy to hack. I like the fact that the Simplex lock is mechanical, but if you assume 5-10 seconds per test entry, it would take inside of 1 hour to hack the lock. Not my idea of a safe safe (pun intended). If you go to Google.com and search "Simplex lock hack", you'll see what I mean.

By the way, I got my Multivault on http://www.gunbroker.com for $159 + 10 shipping, and got it in 7 days. I think the Minivault is $139 + 8 shipping. Can't beat that price anywhere I looked.

[Edited by Cruzer on 03-28-2001 at 04:23 PM]

March 30, 2001, 01:23 AM
Not to be nit-picky but there's about 12(I think) different finger combinations you can make per entry. It's not just limited to one finger at a time. You can do all sorts of combos.
Think of your fingers as index=1, middle=2, etc. etc.
you can have 1 by itself or 1+2 or 1+3 or 1+4 or 1+2+3+4 all together...
Total you have 12 possible finger combinations for 6 maximum entries makes it 12 x 12 x 12 x 12 x 12 x 12 and if I did the math right it comes to 2,985,984 combinations. :eek:
Cool, huh? No way someone is going to sit there and try all of them. :D

Such a cool safe...

March 30, 2001, 11:08 AM
Sorry CSOs Rock, you can be nit-picky, but you also need to be right when you are nit-picky. :)

Each combination has 15 possibilities:


Thats a total of 11.4 million possible combinations :eek:
I had assumed a 2 button maximum (9 possible combinations per entry), because practically speaking,

1) Few people ever use three or four button entries
2) Three button and four button entries are a pain to remember in a six entry combination
3) Few people will even ever use a pinky alone or more than a four entry combination (that takes time to do)

So....there are 11.4 million POSSIBLE combinations, but practically speaking, if a user can find 9 possibilities they are comfortable with per entry, they can be comfortable that they are protected by 531,441 possible random combinations. I am an engineer, not a scientist or mathematician, so theory is less interesting to me than whether or not someone will actually behave that way. I have hacked Simplex locks for fun and believe me, few people go beyond 3 button-single push cominations (leaving me a whopping 125 tries before I can get in), although theoretically they have 2,162 possible combinations.

BTW, most people use easy combinations they can remember. Consequently, most hackers start at the easy end, and work their way towards the more difficult end. For a good combination, use at least one 3-button entry and you will in-fact be undefeatable.

[Edited by Cruzer on 03-30-2001 at 11:55 AM]

March 30, 2001, 11:38 AM

I have three of them.

March 30, 2001, 08:19 PM
Anybody tried this brand? I am looking around for something
to hold one or two guns, and this was recommended. I recall reading in a thread somewhere recently that someone found that one of these brands of vaults would short circuit with a hard thump and you could just punch in the standard factory code after that to open it. But I don't remember which brand they had problems with.

March 30, 2001, 08:48 PM
Aegis is at http://www.aegisindustries.com

As you see, Aegis uses a Simplex lock, which I would recommend against.

A year or two ago, someone reported that banging on a Gunvault would interrupt power and result in the combination being reset to 1,2,3,4 (factory default). The new generation of Gunvaults has a capacitor to fix this problem. In addition, if you have this problem with the first generation safes, you can easily fix it by going to Radio Shack and buying a 2200 mF capacitor and soldering it to the battery terminal (89 cents).

March 30, 2001, 09:52 PM

Thanks for the feedback. What don't you like about the Simplex lock?


March 30, 2001, 10:38 PM

Its mostly my paranoia (aren't all of us on this board paranoid to a degree?). Anyway, the short reason is that Simplex locks are easily hacked (they have only 1,081 combinations if you use single buttons, and another 1,081 if you also use two button combinations). Two button combinations aren't that easy on a Simplex, particularly when you are nervous. That leaves you with 1,081 combinations, which on average could take only 1-2 hours to hack. A simple three "wheel" combination box has 1,000 combinations, so the Simplex lock is no miracle of modern technology. When I was in college, my friends and I would have fun hacking into the campus buildings at night (they used Simplex locks). Just my NSHO.