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The Gun Safe thread

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:04 pm
by Weetabix
Someone mentioned needing a new safe. I sort of searched to see if there was a thread for this, but I couldn't find one during my distractable search. So, I thought I'd start one.

Background: Right now, I just have 3 StackOn cabinets. They've served me adequately. I don't have lots of valuable stuff. But I have an aggregate of stuff, some of which is worth protecting.

My parameters: It needs to go in the basement, so weight and size are controlling factors. I've gotten fridges and freezers in and out as a size limit reference. I plan to contact a safe moving company to tell me about what weight they think will go down the stairs, though I haven't done that. If I can get document-level fire protection, that would be nice, but it's not crucial. Price is a factor. Keeping a determined burglar out is not a factor. I'd like to discourage a burglar who is above the smash and grab level but I know I'm not going to stop a bank safe cracker.

My main questions are about brands:
- Are there any manufacturers I should definitely avoid because they are junk?
- Are there any manufacturers that have good price to performance ratios?
- Which manufacturers are great but charge you an arm and a leg for more than most guys need?
- What did you buy? Did you love it or hate it? Would you buy it again? If not, what would you buy instead?

For instance, Liberty Safes advertise heavily and seem great, but are quite spendy. Bass Pro has a fairly wide range of safes that mostly seem to have gun makers' names on them. I don't know if Red Head safes are crappy or decent or great. My general impression is that StackOn is low end, but I don't know if it's lower end than would serve my needs. Maybe the market is at a commodity level, and only features matter. I just don't know.

If anyone else is looking for a safe and has different criteria, feel free to throw that in the mix. This could end up being a resource thread for future needs.

Fire away!

ETA: Just found this site: Gun Safe Reviews Guy, but I haven't dug through it much. Post better links if you have them.

Re: The Gun Safe thread

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:12 pm
by First Shirt
I've got a Cannon safe, and with some mods, it holds 21 long guns, and 12 handguns. It's also proof against 1250 degrees for 90 minutes, so some of The Boss's jewelry, and a lot of irreplaceable documents are in there, as well.

Re: The Gun Safe thread

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:28 pm
by Weetabix
I guess that's another question I have - fire rating for paper vs. guns. I believe paper is 350 degF before charring, but I don't know what internal temperature they rate for firearms. I was planning on researching that, too. I'm OK having separate safes for paper vs firearms if necessary. One for both would be better, but it will all boil (ha) down to total cost of 1 vs. 2.

Re: The Gun Safe thread

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:36 am
by randy
I've made this a sticky to help keep it easily found for future reference.

Re: The Gun Safe thread

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:10 am
by Weetabix
Some things I've learned about gun safes so far:
- For security, you want at least a UL RSC rated safe. Most don't have that. But it only means it takes one person 5 minutes to break in with hand tools. Hate to think how little time lesser ones take.
- A B construction safe is better, but it gets expensive.
- Most gun safe makers go for features to differentiate themselves from others rather than going for security or better fire protection. Think whizbang gimmicky features.
- Sturdy Safes apparently go for more security than whizbang
- Weight matters
- Secure it to the wall or floor no matter how good it is. Easier to open when knocked over.
- Hide your good safe (even thought it's pretty) and have a decoy safe with cheap guns that's easier to find.
- Best to have 12 ga or thicker walls.
- Have a rated lock
- It might be best not to have ALL your valuables in one place. If someone gets in, they get everything.
- American Security, Sturdy, and some of the upper level Liberty Safes seem to be the easiest to find so far with all of that.

- Adding fire rating increases the cost a lot. Might be cheaper to put a sprinkler head over it. I'm thinking about a secured pex loop that, when it burns through, it sprays the safe. Then I have more money for more guns. :D

Re: The Gun Safe thread

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:22 am
by First Shirt
A friend used to put a pound of FFg black powder at the most likely places to torch his safe. When I pointed out that it would ruin his guns, he said "Yeah, but think what it'll do to the a$$hole with the torch!"

Re: The Gun Safe thread

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:40 am
by Weetabix
They did say don't store ammo in with the guns because it will ruin them in a fire. ;)

Re: The Gun Safe thread

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:40 am
by evan price
I've had great success with Liberty. A Fat Boy is on my list for upgrading from my smaller Liberty.
Look for perimeter locking bars on all four sides.
Make sure you anchor the safe securely.

Re: The Gun Safe thread

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:03 pm
by Langenator
I've got a Graffunder B16 that I bought in 2006. (The current model # for this safe is B6040.)

Anything by Graffunder is probably going to be overkill. Graffunder makes actual safes, not Residential Security Containers. Main body outer steel is 1/4" thick; outside of the door is 1/2". Thing weighs almost a ton (1890 lbs.)

Oh, and the 'B Rate' is their low end. ... eapon.html

OTOH, the likelihood of unauthorized persons spiriting it away from my house is quite small

Re: The Gun Safe thread

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:24 pm
by Weetabix
I had an opportunity to buy an old safe from a defunct gun store recently - 2,000 lbs, $500. Can't remember the dimensions, but pretty big. I literally had no where to put it except the yard. Floor strengths prohibited 1st floor storage. Stair strength and access prevented basement storage. Tiny garage prevented garage storage. It really sucked that I had to pass.

Weetabix wept.