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Old July 27, 2012, 09:02 PM   #1
Buffalo Wing
Join Date: December 5, 2009
Location: TX - Stationed at JBSA
Posts: 93
Gun Safe for an Apartment

Hey everyone,

I've just moved into my own apartment and need some advice on getting a proper gun safe for my growing collection. I've been searching through old threads here for an hour or so and found a lot of useful information, but I'm having a hard time deciding what I actually need in a safe. Here's some basic info about what I need and what I already know:

1. The safe CANNOT be too heavy. I realize this is a huge restriction and may end up making my decision for me. However, I'm in the second floor of my building and the Air Force will undoubtedly see fit to move me again, so I need to be able to move this safe around (when empty).

2. That said, my greatest concern is burglary. I definitely don't want a safe someone could carry out if they tried (so heavy, but not too heavy... you start to see my difficulty finding what I want). My AF job will keep me away from the apartment for long shifts.

3. Fire rating isn't a huge worry. I want to keep some valuable papers (passport, legal documents, official paperwork, etc.) in the safe but I'd have no problem buying a separate, smaller safe for the documents that I would keep in the larger safe to gain some added fire protection for them. As I said earlier, weight is a huge concern and fire is down the line on my list of concerns (my guns are all insured - I'd rather deal with replacing them from a fire than knowing they were stolen and could be being used in a crime).

4. Size is important - I don't want to run out of room too quickly. I have 6 long guns and 6 handguns right now with some definite plans for expansion. I'm thinking a 10-14 long gun safe, roughly, should cover all of the guns I want/will be able to purchase for a while.

5. Price isn't the end of the world but I am on a budget to an extent. I don't really have $2k to drop on a safe, but I have no problem paying for a good one within my price range.

6. I've done some searching through manufacturers and it seems like Liberty and American Security keep coming to the top of my list. So has Fort Knox, although a quick look at their prices vs. what I've heard for Liberty or AmSec has me slightly turned off. I've also found Browning's models and pricing to be attractive, but should I be worried about quality/security compared to a dedicated safe manufacturer? Are there any other manufacturers I should really be taking into consideration?

Thanks everyone! That was a pretty big info dump from me. I figure it makes more sense to put it all up there instead of telling people I'd already though about things when replies start coming in. Also, if anyone knows good gun stores or other places to find gun safes in the area, I'm stationed at Whiteman AFB in MO and would appreciate hearing some locals' thoughts on where to do some shopping for this.

Last edited by Buffalo Wing; July 27, 2012 at 09:21 PM.
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Old July 27, 2012, 10:35 PM   #2
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What about Sentry? A little cheaper and a little lighter..........

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Old July 28, 2012, 09:40 AM   #3
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Location: St. Charles, MO
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I'd take a look at Zanotti, as it sounds like it would meet most of your requirements.

It's a modular safe that comes in pieces, and bolts together. This eliminates the weight issue when moving, and allows you to get a larger safe that may not normally fit into a smaller area.
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Old July 28, 2012, 08:32 PM   #4
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Location: Reno, NV
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Fort knox is the only manufacturer out of the three you mentioned that doesn't have an account with big retail box store company's. What that means for a consumer is higher quality control. Every gun safe with residential security listing from underwriters laboratory is going to have an external relocker. Fort knox has an extra remote relocker. Gun safes are normally built with type x Sheetrock. Fort knox uses a higher grade c series insulation. Amsec uses a concrete composite in their BF series gun safes. Fort knox has a nicer mechanical design than their competitors in my opinion. A 30" wide gun safe should be plenty of room for you to grow but you may be fine with less. The sad truth is the majority of sales on safes of all kind are in low budget gun safes. Fort knox doesn't seem to want any part of it.
Gun Safe Sales and Security Consulting

Last edited by solidheart; July 28, 2012 at 09:41 PM. Reason: Add to editing
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Old July 28, 2012, 09:54 PM   #5
Buffalo Wing
Join Date: December 5, 2009
Location: TX - Stationed at JBSA
Posts: 93
Thanks for the thoughts guys! It sounds like Fort Knox would be nice but maybe a little beyond what I'm looking for...

The Sentry looks nice, would it be as able to hold up to a smash-and-grab attempt as, say, an AmSec, a Liberty, or a nicer Browning or Winchester model?

As for the Zanotti, that sounds a little odd - I'll definitely look into it. The first though that springs to mind, though, is that it would be easier for a thief to cut through.
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Old July 29, 2012, 11:28 AM   #6
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wow, just on the side, this looks to be just about what I'M looking for too!

holds 5 rifles, I figure once I move, at 72lbs, a buddy and I could manhandle it down the stairs.

Thanks for answering my questions on long-gun gunsafes before I started a thread!

*EDIT* I think I'm gonna commandeer this thread:
We have a kid on the way, and I'm prepping our apartment for him. I've always been one for keeping a loaded gun nearby, but now I have to worry about a child and firearms. I figure I'll safe my long guns and ammo, but want my pistol accessible, loaded and ready to go. What are y'all's recommendations on fast access/biometric safes?

My requirements are:
1. Will hold a full frame pistol with 2 mags
2. SECURE. I do not want anyone aside from myself and my wife to be able to open it.
3. Rapid access, preferably keyless. I really don't want to put a trigger lock on my pistol and have to fumble for keys in the dark, or load it, etc. Too many steps.
3. affordable (this is negotiable. I prefer quality and security)

Last edited by insomni; July 29, 2012 at 11:35 AM.
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