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Old July 19, 2011, 02:29 PM   #1
Pond, James Pond
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Gun safes: which sort is best?

I live in Europe and over here a gun licence holder is required to have a gun safe at home for secure storage.

My question is which type is best, from a security point of view. I would hate to have any of my stuff stolen, but a gun falling into the wrong hands is a rather disturbing thought.

I am considering two types: both long enough to hold shotties. The difference lies in how they are closed.

One has a digital key pad that you enter a code into. This is slightly cheaper than the other model I am considering which simply has a key, albeit a decent one, with several cylinders/tumblers, whatever the term is for locks.

They are not high end models: those are too epensive, but they are decent.

I understand that neither is Fort Knox, and someone with the skills could break in, but which is harder to crack?

Only answers based on experience please!!
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Old July 19, 2011, 03:02 PM   #2
Kevin Rohrer
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I have had a relatively inexpensive Treadlock key-locked safe for >30 years.
Any safe that is too big and heavy to carry outside and resists the attention of a crowbar is fine.

Placement is also important. If you have a basement, put it there. Burglars seldom enter thru a basement and never go there to look or valuables, because there is nothing for them there.
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Old July 20, 2011, 05:48 AM   #3
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Uh ones that lock lol. Sorry couldnt help it
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Old July 20, 2011, 07:29 PM   #4
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In the States, UL (Underwriter's Laboratory) has developed many of the testing standards used for rating locks and safes. The highest rating for a safe that they give is TXTL60 which is a safe that won't be breached within 60 minutes using a varity of tools included 8 ounces of nitroglycerin.

Most gun safes sold in the states, however; have a UL RSC (Residential Security Container) rating which is completely worthless IMO. There are some RSC that are nearly impossible to break open without a torch or power tools (Sturdy Safe as example) and there are others that can be popped open with just a sledge hammer in less than 3 minutes (Costco's Chinese made Winchester RSC).

Similarly, UL rates locking mechanisms with the combination lock standard being UL 768. There are good quality electronic locks but generally speaking, a good quality mechanical combination lock made by a respected manufacturer such as one made by S&G will be more reliable over it's lifetime and are usually a better choice in most applications.

I know some Europian countries and Japan have similar testing bodies and standards so you might want to do some research if UL ratings aren't available. From what I've read and heard, UL has the toughest and most respected standards in the industry so do a side by side comparison on equivalent ratings.

Here's a link to read up on some UL safe testing standards and criteria ... good luck.
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Old July 20, 2011, 11:25 PM   #5
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I know some Europian countries and Japan have similar testing bodies and standards so you might want to do some research if UL ratings aren't available
Look into this. I have very limited knowledge regarding these ratings, and what I do know is directly related to the burglary and fire protection the safe itself offers.

In your case, you're mostly interested in the locks. Here in the US, UL also rates locks. I would imagine that there is a rating system for locks in Europe as well. Aside from how the box is built, the lock is the most important part of the system. If the electronic lock can be bounced open, or the key lock can be easily picked, or if either can be punched, then they aren't going to do you much good.

Then again, you may see US made locks on some of the safes over there. If that is the case, make sure they carry a UL rating (group 1, or group 2).
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Old July 21, 2011, 05:15 PM   #6
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Pick out the largest model of safe you think you will ever need---then buy the next largest size !!!! Do not go cheap---buy the best your budget can afford. My safe for the past 30 years has been a "treadlock"----fort knox is another top choice.


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Old July 21, 2011, 05:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by GURU1911 View Post
Pick out the largest model of safe you think you will ever need---then buy the next largest size !!!! Do not go cheap---buy the best your budget can afford. My safe for the past 30 years has been a "treadlock"----fort knox is another top choice.

This is so true! I bought a Pendleton with capacity for 30 long guns and 20 or so handguns and I thought at the time it was more than I needed. Wrong! Now looking at building a room instead of just a safe.
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Old July 27, 2011, 04:19 PM   #8
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Depending on what your budget is, you can actually get a decent safe for a very affordable price from a variety of different manufacturers like AMSEC, CANNON, LIBERTY, BROWNING or MESA SAFE. It's all up to you as they vary in price, but they all provide excellent protection and security. It also depends on how many firearms you decide on storing, and like the others mentioned above, keep in mind about the future. You may have only 2 or 3 firearms you want stored, but if you know your collection will continue to rise, you should opt for a larger capacity gun safe because this is a LONG-TERM investment, not just something you can replace later down the road especially since Gun Safes can range from $500 - $5,000 dollars depending on the size and its security features. A lot to think about, but a lot of selections to choose from.
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