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Old May 21, 2005, 09:27 PM   #1
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Buying a safe.

As my collection has grown to just-a-bit-beyond-trivial proportions, I've decided to invest in a gun safe. However, they're so darn expensive I've got a lot of questions before I take the plunge.

First off, I think I only need a "small" safe which in the future may need to accomodate ~5 rifles, ~5 handguns. I live in a single story, 1600 sq' ft house on the far edge of a mid-sized town (low low crime). No basement - crawlspace only. I'm single, so I have plenty of room to spare.

Right now, I'm eyeballing the HC1854. It's a horizontal model which has a wooden exterior which makes it look a little like a hamper. It ain't cheap. I've seen it listed as high as $1600, with some variance below that.

First up : I can get a comparable model for a heckuva lot less if I give up the "camouflage" factor (heck, they sell them just down the road from me at Farm and Fleet) and go vertical. There's quite a wide selection in fact. I'm wondering - is this little bit of "hidden' security worth it, or is it all just in my mind?

Second : Where to place it? I've got a fairly sizable walkin closet in the master bedroom where I could easily seclude it. I've also got a couple of spare rooms with much smaller closets where I could probably stash a small one as well.

Third : Is it worth mounting the thing to the floor? I don't totally relish the thought of drilling some huge-ass holes in the floor, but if it boosts the security factor by 50% or something, it's probably worth it. Is it kosher to mount the safe on a wooden floor, or are we talking concrete only?

Fourth : Gun storage. All the shots I see show guns just sitting there in the safe. Is that normal, or will I still need to keep them (particularly pistols) in cases?

Thanks for any advice!
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Old May 21, 2005, 10:34 PM   #2
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that is a very cool and discrete safe. i'm actually going through all this myself too. i ended up just going to outdoor world and getting a redhead 11/22 safe. it was the least expensive ($550) and lightest (<400lb) safe that was fire rated for the normal 1300deg/32min situation. 4-bolt too which isn't all that bad. it is anchorable but i think i might be moving around with it, if i can get the help i'd like to bring it down with me for my last semester at college, since i'm a member of a range down there anyway. right now it's just clogging the family garage, guns still all in my closet. if you have the money i would say that horizontal one is pretty snazzy though, it would draw far less attention than an obvious safe. if you distress the wood a little (tastefully) you might even be able to just have it panned off as an old family trunk rather than a new addition. not sure which would be less attractive to the curious, but at least you have the option. anyway, hope you figure it out and sorry i'm not much good yet. once i get mine set up i'll let you know what i think if you're still working on it.
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Old May 22, 2005, 07:00 AM   #3
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Let's have 5 long guns and 5 handguns! need at least a safe with 40 gun capacity to hold all the stuff you will be buying in the future.
I am no longer a member of this forum. Bye!
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Old May 22, 2005, 11:11 AM   #4
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You might want to look at Liberty Safes for a slightly less expensive solution.

Their "Centurion" models are the entry-level safe with a 1200/30min rating. These have 4 bolts on one side and will generally resist 98% of home burglaries. You get the added benefit of a lifetime replacement and repair and a flexible interior. I've looked at one here locally for $649 and they're not bad. This would give you some room to grow your collection.

Bolting a safe to the floor is a good idea, especially if it stores items that can be damaged -- imagine what would happen to unsecured guns if thieves tried to tip your safe over to attack the bottom. All those scratched and dinged up guns! Usually this involves a lag bolt into the wood flooring, ideally right into a foor joist running underneath the wooden subfloor.

Concealed safes are nice, however remember the BGs may just ransack the place and discover it in the process. Placing it in a closet may be fine, however use a dehumidifier or at least the humidity absorbing crystals to keep rust down.

Lots of folks keep just the gun in the safe. Others keep the guns in their factory boxes. Still others use some kind of rack - vinyl coated wire racks or the foam Hyscore holders. This is a personal decision depending on how "ready" you want a gun to be and other factors.
BillCA in CA (Unfortunately)
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Old May 22, 2005, 11:16 AM   #5
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this is the best deal for a 36" wide safe there is hands down. dont even bother looking anymore.....
HEE with the most toys dies happiest
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Old May 22, 2005, 03:45 PM   #6
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doesn't average shipping cost of ~150 offset the savings there?
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