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Reasonably Priced Gun Safe...your opinions please!

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by Jeff Sprankle, Apr 4, 2017.

  1. Jeff Sprankle

    Jeff Sprankle Loaded Pockets

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    Hi guys -

    Apologies if this has been discussed before but I couldn't find a thread with my initial search.

    I'm looking to purchase a reasonably priced, but not terribly cheap, floor safe for my firearms. I don't have a huge arsenal but just a few rifles and handguns, plus some other stuff that I'd like to keep safe. I'm less worried about theft as I am about my 8yo and her friends getting curious. I understand and support the education aspect of this but I think it's a good idea to keep these things under lock and key rather than wrapped in a towel under the bed (for example).

    Thank you, in advance, for sharing your experience.
     
  2. lnytunes

    lnytunes Loaded Pockets

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    I'm interested in this as well.
     
  3. LivingUpNorth

    LivingUpNorth Loaded Pockets

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    I bought a Bighorn safe from Costco during a holiday sale for $599 (non sale price is currently $799). It holds 12 long guns if you utilize the shelving; 24 long guns with no shelves. It's pretty decent quality for an entry level safe and much, much better than the steel cabinet/locker style from Stack-On (although those are still better than nothing). It currently holds 4 long guns, 5 pistols and associated magazines, holsters, and some ammo. Still have a fair amount of room for non-firearm valuables, too.

    Edit: I added the battery powered LED lights.

    [​IMG]

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    #3 LivingUpNorth, Apr 4, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
  4. ItsHardToKnow

    ItsHardToKnow Loaded Pockets

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    Have had a couple Winchester, were great for the money.
    Check out local Tractor Supply Co, they'll have deals often on safes

    One suggestion - if it says its a XX gun safe, just know it'll be hard to fit that many in there reasonably.
    Buy larger so you have room to grow and they arent all over each other in the safe.
    Made that mistake already!
     
  5. Adam Ng

    Adam Ng Loaded Pockets

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    I felt the same about kids vs thiefs. I bought Homak 12 Guns Security Cabinet 15 years ago. It has double cylinders locks, enough room for 5 rifles, 6 hand guns, 1000+ rounds of assorted ammos, a truck load of camera gears. I cost me $120 at the time plus $30 for a plug in moisture control stick. I can't see it'll cost you more than $200 now. One caution. I accidentally ran over my only key a while back and it took me 30 Minutes to drill the locks open and put in new ones. A determined thief will probably be faster than that.
    Checked my inventory truck load meant 9 cameras in different formats and 18 lens from 300mm down to 16mm.
     
    Last edited by Adam Ng, Apr 4, 2017
    #5 Adam Ng, Apr 4, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
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  6. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    It would be better if you provided a purchase price range. "Reasonably" is nebulous.
     
  7. Upland1911

    Upland1911 Loaded Pockets

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    Yes, all depends on your budget and what you want from it.

    upland
     
  8. Goob469

    Goob469 Loaded Pockets

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    I've have a StackOn safe (not the sheet metal gun case) and for the money (on sale several years ago for around $400 at Lowe's) it does a good job. Can someone with a pry bar and some time get into it - probably but, it will take some time and make lots of noise.

    I think "consumer grade safes" are like a lot of other things, they are made by 1 or 2 companies and they put everyone's name on them. Either way, because I have out grown my current safe, I have been looking for ways to expand and I came across this site during my search -

    http://gunsafereviewsguy.com/

    They have a lot of good eye opening info. Spoiler Alert - most safes aren't as secure as you would think!
     
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  9. Legend

    Legend Loaded Pockets

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    I second StackOn, I have one of their eighteen gun combination lock safes, like @Goob469 it is a true gun safe not a sheet metal cabinet. I prefer combination locks to the electronic locks simply because I do not want to rely on electronics, and batteries to access my firearms (call me paranoid).
    I would check out your local Farm&Home stores, they typically have simple no frills safes for good prices.
     
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  10. nosuchagency

    nosuchagency Loaded Pockets

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    I went the Costco route as well. unfortunately, I have a habit of moving every 4-5 years in past couple decades and factoring in i'm not through yet, went with a cannon safari weighing in @ just under 500 lbs (still bolted to pallet for next set of movers, lol). i'm not much of a long arm guy so i'm doing ok right now. commend you on putting forth effort to further become a responsible gun owner.
     
  11. Jeff Sprankle

    Jeff Sprankle Loaded Pockets

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    Good point. To me, reasonably priced means getting a decent quality floor safe for somewhere around $500 - $700. I know there are some cheaper than that and, all things being equal, cheaper is better. But, as we know, all things aren't equal. But, I'm not looking to spend more than around $700/$800.

    Thanks for the clarifying questions.
     
  12. Safetyfast

    Safetyfast Loaded Pockets

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    I bought a Cannon at Tractor Supply. They always have specials on their safes on Black Friday.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  13. nosuchagency

    nosuchagency Loaded Pockets

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    if at all possible, scrape together enough to budget for one with a built in outlet so you can run a goldenrod. otherwise, a couple eva dry 500's at top and bottom ought'a do nicely as long as you remember to charge them every week.
     
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  14. Telstar

    Telstar Loaded Pockets

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    I look at it like this: Bad guys can cut into a safe with a sawzall in about 8 minutes. That said, it doesn't really make any sense to me to have a 900 pound safe when a 150 pound cabinet will do the same job. I use steel cabinets from [Secure IT] firearms storage systems. If a burglar does not have cutting tools, you are fine if they do, it doesn't really matter what kind of safe you have, they'll get into it. Save some money, save your back and save your floor. Get a cabinet
     
  15. DCBman

    DCBman Loaded Pockets

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    Purchasing a gun safe is something you should think through carefully. Because full sized safes are large and HEAVY you need to keep a couple things in mind...

    1. Once you place it, you're probably unlikely to move it or get rid of it. Plan on having it 'forever'.

    2. Because of #1 above, you should buy a safe which not only addresses your immediate needs, but also your long range needs.

    Your immediate needs are to secure your firearms from children, but as time passes (and your collection grows) those needs will change. The three principle foundations of safes are:

    a. Security
    b. Fire (the one consideration many people forget)
    c. Growth

    Obviously, being able to handle future growth is a big consideration because most don't want to run out of room and have to buy another safe (or two). So size the safe accordingly.

    You can find all sorts of videos on the internet about the resilience (or lack thereof) to break-in and theft. Consequently, you should always get a safe with locking cross bolts in not only the side jamb, but also the top and bottom (minimally 3-5 side, 3 top and 3 bottom). Most thieves can open a lesser safe in under 60 seconds (without explosives). The other thing to remember with a safe from a security perspective is to ALWAYS make sure it is bolted down to whatever floor you set it on. If you set the safe on a floor made of something other than concrete, bolting it down can be fairly involved requiring backing blocks or steel plate below the floor also. Keep this in mind when considering locations. The first thing thief's usually do is flip a safe on it's back to open it (gives them the best leverage, and is where the safe is most vulnerable). Secure bolting down will deter this...and delay thieves.

    The one consideration most people forget when considering a safe is fire rating. Most safes are rated in minutes at a certain (fire) temperature. Fire rating is what really separates the men from the boys in the safe world, and this is where you will see the biggest variation in price also. A 60 minute safe is going to cost nearly 2x as much as a 15 minute safe. And, if you think about it, how many fires have you seen get completely extinguished in 15 minutes? Not many, right? The fire rating on a safe basically equates to how well the safe is insulated. Just because items don't catch on fire inside the safe doesn't mean they aren't irreparably damaged. Your guns may not burn (in a cheaper safe), but imagine the damage if they're exposed to 1,000 degrees for any length of time. The same is true for valuable documents. A longer fire rating at higher temps will provide a better defense against this damage.

    Probably the biggest name in gun safes is Liberty (they make probably 90% of the box store branded safes). Other names include Mosler, Hamilton and a select few others (these are generally commercial grade safes).

    Bottom line; remember a safe is usually a once in a lifetime purchase. Guns and documents are valuable. As the old saying goes "Buy once, cry once", and it really holds true when it comes to safes.

    BTW...the term "floor safe" here is not really accurate. A true "floor safe" is actually built into a floor (usually reinforced concrete) and flush with the floor surface. What you are referring to is an 'upright' safe.

    Hope this helps.

    P.S. I've actually built major vaults for national banks in the US in my career so I've got a little background in their construction. Most of these vaults/safes are constructed in place and not one self-contained unit. Their actual construction would surprise many, and they're not what most people think they are.
     
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  16. DCBman

    DCBman Loaded Pockets

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    Actually, most 'bad-guys' won't be carrying a sawzall at all (hey that rhymes) unless they are specifically targeting you and your safe. They'll uses a large pry bar more often...and open the safe in less than 60 seconds (not 8 minutes). I disagree that the type and quality of a safe doesn't matter (see post above). It very much does matter.

    It is true that any safe can be opened...eventually. Some are just considerably more difficult to break into than others. I can pretty much assure you that a bad-guy won't get into one of my safes without hardened steel grade cutting equipment, torches and hydraulic equipment. None of these items are very portable or discreet (which is part of the deterrent). Plus, by the time a bad-guy (or guys, plural, more likely) manages to open one, they will have almost certainly destroyed anything of value inside of it...making the effort pointless (again, part of the deterrent and strategy). At the same time, they will have exposed themselves to apprehension due to a significantly longer dwell time at the location...not to mention the noise. It ain't gonna be quiet, easy or fast and it's going to take a big truck to haul all the gear. All part of the deterrent. Is it possible? Maybe. Is it worth the risk and effort? Most likely not.

    Fire is probably a more realistic threat.

    YMMV.
     
    #16 DCBman, Apr 6, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
  17. Blackheart

    Blackheart Loaded Pockets

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    I did notice one model of safe that comes disassembled (like Ikea flat-boxed furniture) so it can be more easily moved. As I recall, it was rated fairly high in terms of security and fire protection.
     
  18. Jeff Sprankle

    Jeff Sprankle Loaded Pockets

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    This is great information. For me and my situation, cost is a big factor. But, size is also. I live in Houston and we have no basements here so any safe would have to reside on the first floor. Second floor would be an option but due to the weight, I would worry about reinforcing the floor and that's a bigger job than I can tackle. On my first floor, there aren't that many places where a large safe could go. My wife doesn't consider it appropriate for the living room so that leaves the kitchen, dining room and office. The office is the likely candidate but it's a small room.
     
  19. Blackheart

    Blackheart Loaded Pockets

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    I've got a coat closet under the staircase to the second floor (with unused space behind it). My plan is to cut out a chunk of wall at the back of the closet and put the safe there, covering it up with a door made from wainscoting. Not exactly convenient, but probably pretty secure. A burglar would have to find it before even thinking about getting into it (removing the whole thing is probably out of the question).
     
    Last edited by Blackheart, Apr 6, 2017
    #19 Blackheart, Apr 6, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
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  20. LivingUpNorth

    LivingUpNorth Loaded Pockets

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    I don't think you'll have to worry about the weight if you stick around the 400-600lb range, especially since that weight is distributed around the entire footprint of the safe itself. The bigger worry would be moving it upstairs without hurting yourself/someone else and/or damaging your house in the process. There are safe moving companies that do this for a living, but that could add a couple hundred dollars to the overall cost.
    We took the door off of my safe (about 80lbs itself) and started to move the safe body upstairs on a dolly, but it felt super risky right off the bat, so we changed plans and kept it in the guest room on the first floor.


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