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Old 08-09-2007, 04:12 PM   #1
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Any tips on gun safes?

It's time to start locking them up in a safe and secured spot, and the choices out there for gun enthusiasts is as varied as the number of trigger options on the P99. Does anyone have any advice on gun safes -- from brands to sizes to fireproof options to ... whatever else is important to keep them looking great and functioning perfectly. Thanks in advance for your expertise.
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Old 08-10-2007, 02:32 PM   #2
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Well first off, buying a gun safe is, like a lot of things in life, a compromise. A true gun safe is very heavy and expensive. What most people buy is actually a RSC (residential security container). A true gun safe offers the most protection from theft & fire, while the RSC is a compromise between security and cost.

What you need is dependent on size & weight constraints, the size of your gun collection, the value of your gun collection, the ratio of handguns to long guns, your gun safe/RSC budget, etc. Only you can make that decision based upon your needs.

I think there are two common mistakes people make with gun safes/RSC's.
First off, people wait too long to buy one. I've been told that way too many first time buyers are buying after they've been burglarized.

Second. you should buy as much safe or RSC as you can afford - both in terms of quality & size. Gun buyers tend to fill up a gun safe/RSC very quickly and wish they had a bigger one. I believe you should always buy a larger one than you think you need - so you want be sorry later. They're also a great place to store other valuables, such as jewelry, cameras, camcorders, cash, etc.

I bought an RSC because of my budget, size need, and weight constraints. The best deal for me I found was at Academy Sports. Don't know if there is one near you, but here's a link to the one I bought.
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Old 08-10-2007, 02:36 PM   #3
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Check out Costcos, they even have in-home delivery, all name brands. I would suggest you bolt it to the ground and place a devise like a Golden Rod in it. I keep all handguns in their own gun rug.

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Old 08-10-2007, 04:06 PM   #4
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I have a gunvault for 1 gun, and want to get a safe soon - but yea, most people compromise. I don't wanna spend $1000+ for one of those damn heavy things NO ONE will ever move. That's a lot of money - especially when your wife makes U pay for your gunsafe out of your gun buying budget
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Old 08-11-2007, 11:58 AM   #5
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Try this website for all kinds of things to look for in a safe:
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Old 08-12-2007, 03:06 AM   #6
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It would probably help if we had some of the criteria that you need the safe to meet (i.e. size, weight, price range, etc.). Some of the things that I'd keep in mind when buying one are listed below:

1) Where do you intend to place it? If you intend to place it upstairs, weight can be a critical issue because someone has to actually move it there (or from there if you relocate). Also when placing the safe, you should to consider things like which side the door opens towards. It may sound minor, but I've seen people lose a lot of space in a room because they want to put the safe in a corner and when the safe door would open it swings into a piece of furniture so the piece has to be moved. -I know Fort Knox offers safes that can be made with their hinges on either the left or right side. Other companies may offer that option as well.

2) Are your tools secured? It may sounds funny but unless you're being hit by a professional thief, the typical smash and grab guys won't bring a lot in the way of tools. That means if they want to defeat your safe, they're going to be looking for what you have available that may be able to punch it.

3) How much fire protection do you need? While some people will say the maximum, it is worth noting that most residential fires are over in 30 minutes and do not exceed 1200 degrees. That said, some of the safes on the market are geared more towards industrial fires which can last considerably longer and achieve much higher temperatures. -Personally, I would not recommend skimping on fire protection, but I can definitely see that some people consider spending extra money for say 90 minutes at 1800 degrees as not the best choice when you are unlikely to face that scenario.

4) Do not expect truth in advertising... Some of the companies are not exactly the most honest when it comes to the features that their safes have. There are other issues, but an important one is how they determine that a particular is an 8 gun safe or a 14 gun safe or more. Generally speaking, do not look at a layout that says it can handle X number of long guns and expect it to handle that. Often, the companies are using the slimmest long gun they can find and stacking 8 of them in there. I've seen some layouts that would be lucky to accommodate half of the advertised number for an assortment of rifles and shotguns. Different guns have different dimensions and don't always fit nicely side by side with each other.

These are just some things to consider. I'm sure others will have additional thoughts or tips...
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Old 08-14-2007, 03:11 PM   #7
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This is kinda hard to talk about because you DON'T want to reveal to the whole world what kind of safe you have and where it's located. Not everyone on every forum is a "good guy".
Having said that, I bought my safe from Sportsman's Guide and I am very happy with it. In my area most gun thefts are the "smash-and-grab" drug addict/user who needs some quick cash to satisfy his habit, and the normal, incompetent, illegal alien gang banger. So I didn't see the point in buying a gun safe that cost a gazillion dollars. I will say that my gun safe filled up VERY rapidly, so the guys that say buy the biggest one you can afford are dead on. The number of guns advertised for my safe was pretty accurate and I have some fairly wide rifles. I don't think it's essential to get a very heavy safe either as far as it's actual weight is concerned. Once it gets filled with rifles and handguns, all that steel is gonna weigh a LOT anyway.
Fire prevention I wasn't concerned about. I have house insurance that covers all my stuff, and none of them are irreplaceable. BTW...the fire protection that is installed in gun safes is nothing more than drywall. So you are paying big $$$ for something that is realtively cheap.


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Last edited by Deputy; 08-15-2007 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:22 PM   #8
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These are all great posts and suggestions; thanks one and all. I started the thread because a) I'm at the point where I need to get a good safe, and b) it seems to be something that we don't talk enough about. If everyone keeps them locked up, there would likely be far fewer guns in the hands of the crooks and bad guys ... and that would be a good thing, indeed. The website suggested by delorean was particularly helpful -- well worth checking out.

All I need to do now is go out and make a selection. Let's see: a new Walther, or a gun safe ...
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Old 08-15-2007, 05:20 PM   #9
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I dont have one, but have read a bit - so here's a couple suggestions i've read from others -

1. Hinges on inner door vs outside the door... neither is really more secure. Yes, outside hinges can be cut, but door integrity isn't related to where the hinges are.

2. Many safes have really thick doors, but thinner sides. Installing into a place where the sides of the safe cannot be cut is best. (IE, in a tight closet.)

3. Bolt it to the floor. Then bolt it some more. Dont make it easy just to remove the whole safe. Again, if it's built into part of the room (closet, etc) then it's harder just to pull it out.

4. Worst place for a safe is sitting proudly in your living room. Dont display it as furniture - hide the thing from visitors.

5. Dont tell anyone you have a safe.

6. When taking it into the house, have it wrapped somehow. Dont let the neighborhood see a safe. Cover the sides in cardboard/paper, make it look like a refrigerator, for example.

7. If you move it yourself, be aware that if you drop a 1200lb safe - it can literally KILL YOU by crushing you to death.

8. If you have it moved up/down stairs, make sure the stairs themselves can support a 1200lb safe, plus the 4-6 people helping to move it. Older barebones basement stairs could literally collapse under 2500lbs of safe + people.

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Old 08-29-2007, 11:31 PM   #10
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That's all excellent advice, Thorn and the rest of you who took the time to post. Thanks for sharing -- good information for all forum members.

One of my main concerns in getting a safe is the need to obtain one that's a) large enough for continued growth, and b) not so heavy that it will sink through the floor. Lugging the things around is no small chore, either; just getting it from the store into the house looks like a three-beer job! But better safe (groan) than sorry.

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