• We are now running on a new, and hopefully much-improved, server. In addition we are also on new forum software. Any move entails a lot of technical details and I suspect we will encounter a few issues as the new server goes live. Please be patient with us. It will be worth it! :) Please help by posting all issues here.
  • If you are having trouble seeing the forum then you may need to clear your browser's DNS cache. Click here for instructions on how to do that
  • Please review the Forum Rules frequently as we are constantly trying to improve the forum for our members and visitors.

Selecting a Gun Safe!

outdoorsforyou

New member
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Messages
1
Gun safes are both expensive and potentially complicated, so I have been doing quite a bit of research prior to picking up one.

Mostly, I have been checking out this article on gun safes that buyer benchmark put together and I had a couple questions.

They mentioned that some doors can appear really thick, only to be filled mostly with insulation. IE the actual steel gauge is quite thin versus some other safes. Do you folks know what gauge is actually required? I assume a 12 gauge steel wall would be more than sufficient, unless you were trying to prevent torch cutting or high end tools from cutting into the safe.

Additionally, I always assumed (wrongfully) that gun safes are fire proof. However, it seems that most can only last roughly an hour or so from the heat before the inside components get destroyed. I was going to use the safe to store documents and such, but it looks like I may pick up a fireproof document safe for that dedicated purpose.

Anyone have any success in picking out a decent safe, with around a grand budget?

Thank ou!
 

eye95

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2010
Messages
12,918
Location
Fairborn, Ohio, USA
I advise my customers to buy a fire box for their documents and put them in a gun safe.

Example: Assuming the fire box and the safe are both rated at 1400 degrees for 30 minutes, then the inside of the gun safe has to get to 1400 degrees for 30 minutes before the documents are damaged. That ain’t happening.
 

Firearms Iinstuctor

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2011
Messages
3,056
Location
northern wis
Also just as important is the placement.

I placed mine in the basement built reinforced walls, door with added fire protection then downed sized the door way so one would have to tear the wall out to remove them from the room.

That is if they could get them loose of their anchors. They would also have a hard time using any type of pry bar. on them due to their location in the reinforced room.

I also recommend a couple of smaller safes to one big one. So if they force one they only get what is that one.

Time is the critical matter the more time one forces them to use the less they well get.

Any thing can be defeated.

Most burglars are the break-in and grab types.

Reinforcing and adding fire protection to the area the safe is in can be simple and relatively inexpensive if you can do the work your self.
 

cloudcroft

Campaign Veteran
Joined
Jan 13, 2007
Messages
1,847
Location
El Paso, TX
@ outdoorsforyou:

I do what eye said: Put my serious $$$$ into thicker steel, not fire protection.

Consequently, I have a "Sturdy Safe" (Model 2419) and a smaller Class B burglary safe ("Cobalt" S852C).

Sturdy Safes are American-made and probably the best "safe" (RSC really) value for the money, period: Even the $4K Liberty Presidential 25 I used to have would be EASIER (less time, too) to break into than my $1470 (when I bought it Summer of 2015) Sturdy Safe. Look at their YouTube videos re: forced enttry: I though the one where the fork lift tried to pry the door open (forget soem guy with a crowbar) was quite interesting. Sadly though, the 2419's price seemed to go up ~ $200 every time I visited their site so I went ahead (2015) and got one before they went up in price again (and they have). :)

Neither have any fire-rating (but you can get a Surdy Safe WITH fire rating, IIRC), they just provide SECURITY: THICKER STEEL! The fire protection -- if you want that -- side is provided by 8 small Sentry "fire safes" (clam-shell chests) stacked up inside (from Walmart, Home Depot, etc.). Most are the standard ones -- they only protect from fire -- but 2 are "waterproof" models (with rubber gaskets added) for important papers and such. These fire-safes have zero security (even if bolted down the lock pops open with little effort and a screwdriver) -- so get a serious steel "safe" (aka: "RSC") to store the fire-safes in.

Don't waste time, effort and $$$ on typical "safes" (again, they're really RSCs) found @ Big Box stores (Walmart, Home Depot, sports stores, Cabelas, etc.) and online everywhere: They may be fire-rated, but have thin sheet-metal steel and are EASY to get into. Get thicker steel (Sturdy Safe!) and the cheap Sentry-branded (or equivalent) fire-safes -- that combination is the simplest but WAY more effective (and smarter) solution as it's the best use of your money...at least for those of us who aren't your average bear (and living in Jellystone Park).
:)
 
Last edited:

since9

Campaign Veteran
Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Messages
6,791
Location
Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
My Winchester handgun safe cost $35 in 2009. I affixed it to the studs using a very serious set of lag screws. I also distributed the interior load by using three successively larger case-hardened washers beneath the head of the lag screw on the inside of the safe.

If you're going to spend a grand on a gun safe, I would consider putting it in a hidden room. A friend of mine made a closet just a little bit smaller -- just enough smaller to accommodate his gun safe, accessible not from inside the closet, but rather, from inside the living room, behind a bookcase that looks, acts, and feels as if it's screwed into the wall... Until you release the hidden catch. Then it slides nicely sideways.

He built the hidden room himself for "about $140 in materials." The gun safe was put in place before he finished the room, so one would have to rip out studs and wallboard to remove the safe. That's if they ever even find it.
 
Top