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Old October 30, 2002, 03:15 AM   #1
ZWolfgang
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Looking at gun safes... considering Rhino, Natl. Security.. any recommendations?

The Rhino safes look like a very well designed and made safe at a very reasonable price... I'm thinkin' about gettin' one and wanted to see what you all have to say about Rhino, National Security, or other recommendations...
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Old October 30, 2002, 04:09 AM   #2
Matt19
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Well, I have a Browning Safe that is fire resistant - I am hesistant to say fireproof, and it has proven its value to me over the years.

Regardless of your selection, I would highly suggest getting one that is fire resistant.

You can also find out who your friends are when you ask them to help you move the thing.
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Old October 30, 2002, 04:46 AM   #3
ZWolfgang
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Matt... the one I'm looking at has 2 layers of 5/8" drywall (double layer of fire-resistance). It's about 60" tall, 30" wide, 24" deep, weighs 750 lbs. and costs $2000 delivered to your curbside. A comparable National Security Safe is about $500 to $700 more than that and the Rhino features seems to equal or better the National Security. There was an article on the Rhinos in SHOOT magazine a few months back... looks like a great safe, but was wondering what others have learned in their research/experience.
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Old October 30, 2002, 10:17 AM   #4
Roadrunner
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Take a look at Liberty Safes. Last year I purchased Liberty's Franklin 35 and haven't regretted my choice. Listed prices start at $1339.

Franklin Model Specs

Fire Protection:
Omega 1200°F/30-minute fire certification
Two layers of 5/8" U.L. Listed fireboard
5/8" U.L. Listed fireboard door panel
Heat-activated, expanding Palusol™ door seal

Security
U.L. Listed for Residential Security
1" thick HiSecurity™ composite door
1" diameter active-locking bolts around sides and top of door
EZ-Glide™ bolt protectors
Cam-drive bolt locking mechanism
10-gauge thick seamless carbon steel body
1 3/8" total body thickness, with both steel and fire protection
Sargent & Greenleaf™ U.L. Listed (Group II) combo/key lock
Fail-Safe™ relocker
Clutch-drive (handle slip) mechanism
Pre-drilled for bolt-down security
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Old October 30, 2002, 10:51 AM   #5
NRA4life
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Safes

ZWolf,

I would check out Graffunder out of LaGrande, Oregon. They are a small safe manufacturer that custom makes all their safes. I believe they are some of the finest safes money can buy. They can be found at graffundersafes.com, I think. Look at their weight, fire ratings and steel thicknesses, very impressive. They will deliver anywhere in WA, I believe. They delivered mine to the Seattle area for an extra $200 about 4 years ago.

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Old October 30, 2002, 11:50 AM   #6
beltloop
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gun safes...u don't have one yet!!!!

A) Get the electronic dial ....WITH A KEY... if possible...manual dial is a pain in the butt! The reason I suggest a key...if you have kids then one day you might want to tell one of em the combination which is fine but one day they might do something pretty stupid!
Even tho they may have the combinatioin with a key lock and locked and you having the only key...well you see where I am going...had my safe and my son knows the combo but he does not have a key...maybe when he is 30...LOL...
B) Get the thickest steel body wall available and the thickest door steel available.
C) Bake sure the floor plate is extra-heavy duty steel AND COMPLETLELY WELDED AROUND THE EDGES...a weak link in this spot; the top is usually one complete body piece.
D) The longer you wait to get a safe the sooner you will be sorry you did not get a safe..

Don't wait...mike

Last edited by beltloop; October 30, 2002 at 04:36 PM.
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Old October 30, 2002, 11:57 AM   #7
sm
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UL rating important, can get info from someone you trust at your insurance company, local locksmith-compare features. TR TL ratings can be easily explained (tool -fire ratings) FWIW electronic dials can be circumvented with a 9 volt battery--ex con taught me this--stick with dials and keys or combo of both.
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Old October 30, 2002, 03:38 PM   #8
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I'd just like to second re1973's comment about electronic dials being bypassed with the aid of a 9 volt battery. I, too, learned about this from a convict (I'm a chaplain at a maximum-security penitentiary), and it's a well-known trick to those "on the inside". For obvious reasons, I won't post how it's done on this public forum, but it's frighteningly easy... As a result, my gun safe now has a standard dial-type lock with key. Slower, perhaps; less convenient, certainly; but a heck of a lot harder for a crook to open in a hurry!

As for fire-resistance rating, etc.: bear in mind that any safe in a normal residence is unlikely to be exposed to prolonged contact with flames, or great heat. The average frame-and-siding house won't burn in any one area for a very long time: within ten to fifteen minutes, the walls will give way, and the burning material will fall away from the safe. Of course, if your safe is in the basement, or on the ground floor of a two-floor building, then it's likely to get covered with burning fragments, and get much, much hotter: but in that case, even the best fire-resistant safe will probably succumb to "heat soak" after an hour or two, unless the fire department can dampen things down before then. Ergo, I don't know if it's worth paying a whole lot for maximum fire protection - this will depend on where and how you site your safe.

Another factor: if you plan on moving the safe at some point, it's a heck of a lot easier to move two smaller safes than one big safe! I've bought two 25-gun units, and placed them in different rooms, so that if a fire happens, one may be unaffected by it. Also, this allows me to segregate my firearms by type, length, etc. If I have to move them, it's not too difficult to get one 700-pound safe onto a dolly and push it around. However, a 35-50 gun safe, weighing over 1,000 pounds, and much longer and wider, is a real swine to get through narrow interior doorways.
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Old October 30, 2002, 04:23 PM   #9
MikeK
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I bought a Champion safe the same size as yours last year - $1500 including tax and a goldenrod, delivered inside my house. Deleivery was ~ $200, safe was $1200.

The vendor talked me out of an electronic lock. Said they break down. Rarely has problems with manual locks. preacherman's post was another eye-opener. Another more far-fetched reason against electronics is an Electromagnetic bomb. I may not have the terminology right on that, but it can basicly fry all electronics in a wide area. There was a post on this and safe locks on TFL sometime in the past 18 months.

It really doesn't take me long to open the manual lock. Daily practice.
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Old October 30, 2002, 04:24 PM   #10
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Check out Champion safes.

I looked at Browning, Liberty, Cannon and a few others and decided Champion was the most cost-effective. I HAD a manual dial, which had a bur on the gears and was a royal PITA.

Had them replace it with a keypad, which I could at least read and is fairly reliable. Never heard about a magic bypass w/a 9-volt battery, however....
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Old October 30, 2002, 04:48 PM   #11
sm
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Don't know if The Preacherman has seen the bypass done, I have, and won't post. ('sides the BG's already know how)

Key pad being electronic failed, locksmith shows up from company and his helper (ex -con) grins, and in the bat of an eye --wallah --opened safe. The owner immediatley changed to key/dial combo system.

[side note: con was expunged of all wrongdoing, framed for a breech of security in a security mfg business, locksmith whom hired him is responsible for appeal and catching correct culprits, so though he spent 6 mos of grief, this guy is not really a "con" per se and has had all rights and privelidges restored]
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Old October 30, 2002, 05:45 PM   #12
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AmSec (American Security) make good, value-packed safes. I bought their 6022 model, and upgraded the lock to a Sargent & Greenleaf keyed combination. They shipped it with the standard lock, and had to pay for a locksmith to come to my home and replace it. Was quite hilarious, took the guy 4 hours as it wasn't exactly a "swap the parts" kind of job. He was disgusted with the original lock, said it was a real joke and was astonished that they would sell such a POS. Obviously it was a price-point issue...

Very happy with mine.

Watch out for safes lined with drywall. In a fire they work by releasing steam to keep the temperature inside the safe down. Think what high temp. steam would do to your guns...

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Old October 30, 2002, 06:11 PM   #13
ZWolfgang
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Almost every high end safe or any with any degree of fire protection will have at least 1/2" of "UL Listed Fireboard", if not two 1/2" or two 5/8" sheets of it. This includes the safes sold under the big name firearms companies. So just how bad can that really be?
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Old October 30, 2002, 06:23 PM   #14
Glorf
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Quote:
[E]lectronic dials can be circumvented with a 9 volt battery.…
Uh … Exactly how easy is this to do?

I just bought a safe with an electronic key-pad lock. Operating on a nine-volt battery, the safe can be unlocked (by the combination) with the battery but remains locked without it.

~Glorf
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Old October 30, 2002, 06:32 PM   #15
Brandon French
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How does this 9 volt battery work

My guess is that you use the battery to short out the system and then it resets to factory. Are these safes that easy to open, and if so, why in the hell would the factory sell them? I would like to know for obvious reason, and no Im not a crook.

Brandon
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Old October 30, 2002, 06:56 PM   #16
Glorf
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Hmm … The manual says the lock on my safe cannot be “reset” even by the factory. If I forget the new combination, the lock must be destroyed to open the safe. The implication is that there is no non-destructive way to open the safe without the combination.

Of course, if a thief wants my guns badly enough, he will find a way to steal them. Hopefully, the safe will provide protection from casual burglars, unauthorized guests, children, etc.

~Glorf
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Old October 30, 2002, 07:04 PM   #17
sm
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Please Respect the fact I will NOT share what I have seen and what Preacher was told. Being a Public forum, I think it is not wise for the security of others.

I mentioned this solely for a heads up for those that have or consider this type of mechanism for new purchase.

It also may fall under Forum Policies (4):
---
4) As we can never convey a philosophy through a few rules, we reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to edit or delete posts and/or to revoke Membership. No Second Chances; No Argument; No Trial; No Way. At best you will receive one warning.
---

The philosophy being, not a good idea to plant the seed of illegal activities into someone's mind.
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Old October 30, 2002, 07:23 PM   #18
Glorf
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Re1973, I appreciate your sentiment, though it sounds like the criminals already know how to do this. Anyway, I don’t have enough information to make a judgement … so I’ll default to the same reason I use to justify not locking my steering-wheel bar.

It’s about deterrence, not security.

~Glorf
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Old October 30, 2002, 07:38 PM   #19
sm
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Glorf , thanks.

At least someone will not get info they shouldn't from me, from TFL.
Yeah, deterences--keeps an honest man honest...

growing up we didn't lock the doors, and the ignition was left "on" didn't need a key to start the engine, and no the car doors were not locked.

Had a safe once cost 20k "used", guys tried to get in one weekend, unsucessful, still cost abundle and time to repair the damageto the safe itself. Contents ok, insurance company "real happy" we had the features we did. Oh Ins paid to repair safe.
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Old October 30, 2002, 08:58 PM   #20
Brandon French
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Must I come out and say it?

I have one of these safes with the digital lock. I just want to know that Im not an easy target for criminals. I dont care to practice safe cracking, I just want to know that I got the best bang for my buck. When I got the safe the dealer told me that there was no way for the safe to be opened unless the factory did it. Was he pulling my leg?

Brandon
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Old October 30, 2002, 09:27 PM   #21
Preacherman
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Hi, Brandon. Yes, the dealer was pulling your leg. It's really easy for a knowledgeable felon to use a 9v. battery to bypass your keypad. Like re1973, I won't post details on this forum - no sense in letting a lurker find out how to do it - but it's well-known among "experienced" burglars. I would strongly suggest that you change your lock for a Sargent & Greenleaf dial-and-key combination.

FWIW, members of this forum may not know this, but convicts spend a lot of time teaching each other new tricks in prison. After all, they don't have much else to do with their time! I've seen the following, and tend to see one or more on a weekly basis:

- Unarmed combat training, with emphasis on disarming cops, resisting arrest, defeating handcuffing attempts, and turning police batons against their owners;

- Breaking and entering techniques, including how to defeat most common alarm systems (NEVER trust the $99 "special offer" alarms sold via TV commercials! - a child can bypass them);

- How to defeat most safe locking systems, especially the electronic variety;

- Preferred weapons, including the use of firearms, with emphasis on a "use-it-and-lose-it" approach (including how to prevent a weapon being traced back to you by the cops);

- Courtroom tactics and tricks, including referrals to lawyers who are "on their side" (and judging from the comments I've overheard, and/or had passed on to me by "snitches", there are some lawyers whose life is spent getting criminals - whom they know to be guilty - off their charges, by fabricating evidence, lying, and bribing court officials);

- General "street-wise" tactics;

- Gang interactions (including alliances between gangs that one might expect to hate one anothers' guts, but which will co-operate under certain conditions and circumstances, to the detriment of the public and LE officers).

It would amaze most of you to know how "street-smart" many hardened criminals are. If there was ever an utterly convincing argument for RKBA and CCW, I could give it - based solely on what convicted criminals have told me, directly or indirectly! Leaves a nasty taste in the mouth...
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Old October 30, 2002, 09:45 PM   #22
Brandon French
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Thanks preacherman

I did not want to leave the impression that I had interest on lock picking. You answered my question.

Thanks

Brandon
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Old October 31, 2002, 10:33 AM   #23
Kentucky Rifle
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HOLY ****!!!

I had NO IDEA, and the safe dealer didn't tell me. As one safe has filled up, I need to buy another. I just figured those lighted buttons would be easier for ME. I didn't know that those same buttons would make it easier for the BAD GUY!!

Sheesh! He should have TOLD me. He just lost a sale.

Thanks guys,

KR
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Old October 31, 2002, 03:20 PM   #24
buzz_knox
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I never heard about the 9v trick before buying my safe either. Is there any way to (pardon the pun) safeguard the system against such a tactic without replacing the lock?
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Old October 31, 2002, 03:43 PM   #25
sm
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buzz_knox:
No

The best IMO is the system using both a dial and key. On the key part one can get a key that is long -but the actual portion that fits into lock will come off and be hidden or placed in pocket. Easy to reassemble, kinda like a cylindrical pocket knife . This comes into play for "day use", the dial is left alone , key lock the safe. One can easily re-insert key to gain entry. This is good if one is home, but when away for extended periods, enable both systems. Perps have been known to 'spin the dial" (habit I guess or rookies) and enable by mistake both systems. Say you run to the store, walk the dog for a short period. Safe is locked, key in your pocket. Got kids? CCW on hip, and/or one in the safe, quick to get with key. This is why I like this system.

I'm told the Iranians have the best system. Safe guy told me they do not use dials-period. The really secure systems use a "set"of"keys. Two or MORE, each party has to be present, like a safe deposit set-up. No one person can gain entry , all have to be present.- Just thought I'd throw that in.
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