Sunday, September 22, 2013

Gun Safe Bleg

Hey All, It is time for Ryan to buy a real gun safe. Looking for some advice, I'll list my criteria below:
-Fairly respectable manufacturer who'll likely be around for awhile with decent customer service. I need to protect our guns, some cash and ancillarry stuff but don't a super safe to beat the kind of burglars who would come after a hundred grand in cash or drugs.
-Mechanical lock.
-Unsure of exact dimensions but one that could hold at least 16 long guns with room for pistols and various other stuff would be nice. I don't have any guns of unusual length so normal height would be fine.
-Finish. It would be nice to have a couple color options so we can get one Wifey likes best.
-Price. The budget is about a grand. There is some flexibility but the budget will also need to pay shipping (if applicable) and get it to my home so a base cost 30% over budget is probably a nonstarter.
 -A modular configuration that could be changed if needed down the road would be nice but is not essential.

So as to specific questions
1) What type of safe would you suggest?
2) Are these general criteria realistic at this price point?
3) Where would you recommend buying one?


Ben C said...

My best results (all 3 times I bought one) were watching my local sporting goods stores for deals for 2-6 months.

Safe 1 (pre move from MI) got me the same safe for much cheaper. This was a Liberty safe. Well made, nice S&G mechanical lock, had no issues with it. My cousin in MI has it now, still works great

Safe 2 (post MN move) is a Cabelas tagged Cannon. I got 50% more safe for my money compared to regular price. This has a S&G electronic lock, have to fiddle with the mechanism to make it unlock reliably. Jiggle the handle back and forth 3-4 times before hitting the code and it opens right up. Upside to this, I can change the combo myself though.

Safe 3 (Cannon tagged Cannon) Pretty much the same as the previous one, minus the lock issues. My little brother and his wife (who is not quite as pro-gun as he is...) have this one and like it quite a bit. This was a Christmas time special, and was cheaper than the last one a couple years later.

I would be happy with another Liberty if they met the price point I was looking for, the Cannon's are OK. I think Liberty makes a nicer safe though.

Archer Garrett said...

A good rule of thumb is 50% more gun capacity than you anticipate you'll need. Though, balancing this with budget is tough. Liberty is a great brand as far as common safes go, without getting into super safes. I'd prefer a smaller liberty to a lesser brand.

I don't like digital locks. But you have kids so faster access to the safe might warrant a digital lock.

That's what works for me.

Ryan said...

Archer, I'll look into the Liberty Safes. That does seem like a good rule to keep in mind. I am planning on some safe overage.

We have a Sentry Safe Home Defender with a digital lock that holds his and hers handguns plus a long gun so the bump in the night immediate access is covered.

Thanks for the info.

Bygdawg said...

I am working on a safe purchase as well. I was planning on getting a safe from Costco when they are on coupon discount but i came across this educational video in a forum.
The video is long but very informative. It made me re-consider the Costco safe somewhat.

Anonymous said...

Ryan, I'll offer a couple thoughts:

1) I use an 8-gun Stack-on gun safe, lag-bolted internally to the frame of my house. It has a mechanical combination, so no batteries or electronics to fail (which I've seen occur many times in my line of work). It won't stop a determined thief with a lot of time on his hands, and there's no fire protection, but it sells for ~$250 & meets my needs.

2) You're likely aware of military DRMO equipment? I see an awful lot of perfectly servicable military safes sent for recycling, simply because they no longer meet DoD specs (XO-7, XO-9 series locks, etc.). Last year in particular, safes equipped with old S&G mechanical locks were finally de-certified for storage of classified materials. Installing new locks costs more than simply buying a new safe, so there are literally THOUSANDS of these units hitting DRMO for sale at the same time. Here again, no fire protection, but these are damn fine safes, and they weigh about 650lbs empty, so your local crack-head-thief is highly unlikely to 'walk-off' with one. It's fun watching people try to break-in to these safes, too. It literally takes d-a-y-s to do so.


Anonymous said...

check out vline safes ... this is what I use... mechanical locks so I never have to worry about batteries being dead when I need to access it in the middle of the night... punch key combo so it can be operated by touch in the dark, varying sizes and styles... has been great for me, I have one pistol box under the bed and one at my desk... other long gun options on their website.

Anonymous said...

No Digital Locks! Redhead safes are similar to Remingtons but less expensive.

3rdman said...

I have a Sentry safe. While it has a digital lock it has a back up key lock. It use a key that is about 6 inches long. So if you go digital make sure there is a key back up. You just never know about someone smashing the digital lock during a break in attempt or an EMP for that fact. Also make sure it is fire rated.

NCGunDude said...

I have a Stack-On double sided cabinet which holds 12 long guns on one side, and shelves on the other. I'm less concerned about burglars, than keeping them out of the hands of my children. Stack-On has a pistol cabinet which mounts on top of the rifle cabinet.

You could go with a locked cabinet like mine single sided, as many as you need, and a high security safe for valuables and fire proofing documents. On the other hand, I have a small Sentry safe for document safety, again not protection against theft. The point is the smaller the high security safe that you need, the less expensive.

NCGunDude said...

Oh, and I also have a couple of Gun Vault pistol safes which provide quick access to pistols while keeping them away from untrusted hands.

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