Getting a Gun Safe. Opinion Needed

This is a discussion on Getting a Gun Safe. Opinion Needed within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I have a stack-on pistol safe as my bedside safe. It has a keypad on top for quick access and is big enough for my ...

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    Member Array Goat_Herder's Avatar
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    Getting a Gun Safe. Opinion Needed

    I have a stack-on pistol safe as my bedside safe. It has a keypad on top for quick access and is big enough for my HD and CCW. It had worked very well for me. But now, my collection has grown. Other than my HD and CCW, which are kept loaded and in the safe, my other guns are kept in boxes in the closet while ammo is kept in air-tight ammo boxes in a different location. Now my wife is asking me to look for a bigger gun safe for all my stuff and other valuable (jewelry, passports/documents, etc).

    Would this be a good option - http://www.amsecusa.com/Defense_Vault/. It might be cool to mount it to the bottom of the bed. It's got plenty of room for stuff other than guns, too. Or should I go for a smaller stand alone gun safe with fire protection? I might end up spending twice as much, which I don't really want to right now.

    Any thoughts?
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    Member Array ohiorobp's Avatar
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    Getting a Gun Safe. Opinion Needed

    Get an decent stand alone for the others and mount one of these for your HD pistol http://youtu.be/zNgYlOjGvns
    Rob
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    Member Array ezveedub's Avatar
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    If you have the funds and space, get a true gun safe. One bigger than you currently need. You will want fire protection and security for your gun collection, not just a simple small vault. If you do look into getting a safe, check this out.


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    Member Array Daddydon's Avatar
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    GUN SAFES "THE TRUTH" weaponseducation - YouTube
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    Member Array TVille's Avatar
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    Get something a lot bigger than you think you need. Think about your closet. When you started, it was plenty large enough. Now, not so much. Going up in size is much cheaper now than buying another safe later. Get a real, standalone gun safe.

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    Senior Member Array KBSR's Avatar
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    Biggest stand alone you can afford, would be my advice. Everyone I know, including myself, have bought safes, and filled them up over the years, necessitating the purchase of another. Mine is a 32 gun Fort Knox. It's HUGE, but it's full. I could squeeze a few more handguns in, because it comes with the velcro holsters on the inside of the door, but there is no more room for long guns.

    A good safe, is peace of mind. I put off buying a gun safe forever. One year I was getting my stuff together to go quail hunting in the desert (Arizona). My youngest son and I were going, and I had a Remington 870 and a Winchester 1200 that we were going to take, stashed in the back of my closet. Imagine how I felt when I realized that the 870 wasn't to be found, and a full inventory revealed that a Marlin 30/30 was missing as well? LIVID!!!

    I knew who took them, and dealt with that later, but I used this incident to motivate me to go ahead and get the gun safe. I also replaced the 870 with a Benelli M3 Super Eagle (I think it's called), so I traded WAAAAAY up. LOL

    On a related topic, I am the only person on the planet that has the combination to my gun safe. When I was married, this was a topic of great "debate" shall we say. I refused to divulge the combination to my spouse, because to do so, would have rendered my safe, unsafe, and transform it into a high security steel and fireproof gun cabinet. She couldn't memorize ANYTHING, so it would have to be written down, which would result in it being compromised.

    My younger brother, who I trust with my life, has a sealed envelope in his gun safe, that contains the combination to my safe, along with instructions as to how to deal with the contents, should I become incapacitated. It works for me.
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    " But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself... Baa." Col. Dave Grossman on Sheep and Sheepdogs.

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    My personal preference - get a big safe but not TOO big, so you will have to get another. If the burglars who pounded on my safe managed to get in, I'd rather have two safes and let them take half the inventory, and make them work all over again to get into the second. They might not have that time to invest. And I can put the second safe in a different location, even squeeze it in a closet that has a narrower entry. My burglars stopped ransacking the rest of the house when they found the safe. I've also moved my safe three times for new residences, and moving really big ones can be a big PITA. We didn't hire a moving company, we did it all on our own.
    "Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa

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    Senior Member Array KBSR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Betty View Post
    My personal preference - get a big safe but not TOO big, so you will have to get another. If the burglars who pounded on my safe managed to get in, I'd rather have two safes and let them take half the inventory, and make them work all over again to get into the second. They might not have that time to invest. And I can put the second safe in a different location, even squeeze it in a closet that has a narrower entry. My burglars stopped ransacking the rest of the house when they found the safe. I've also moved my safe three times for new residences, and moving really big ones can be a big PITA. We didn't hire a moving company, we did it all on our own.
    I like the way you think Betty. LOL
    " But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself... Baa." Col. Dave Grossman on Sheep and Sheepdogs.

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    Member Array Goat_Herder's Avatar
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    Good advises all around. I will re-think my safe strategy. I still think that the Under-The-Bed-Pull-Out safe is pretty cool. But I don't think it will fit my need of storing a growing collection.

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    Senior Member Array Lotus222's Avatar
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    Get one that holds at least 14. I recently built shelving in the back of my smallish 14 gun safe for ammo. Now it can hold about 8 long guns and several handguns. When I need more room, I'm just going to invest in another safe. Plus, if you have multiple safes, you can keep them in multiple areas of the house (like one up stairs and one down stairs).

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goat_Herder View Post
    Would this be a good option - http://www.amsecusa.com/Defense_Vault/.
    Well, at 74 lbs, it isn't going to be all that stout. Uncertain which Stack-On variant you have, but many of those aren't all that stout either. Consider the quality, durability and thickness of the steel used on the construction, let alone the locking/hinging mechanisms. Imagine how simple or tough it would be to get into that unit with, say, an axe, hammer, prybar.

    IMO, there's a reason for distinguishing between gun lockers and safes.

    For some good reading on the basic differences and key features to consider when looking at a safe, check: Gun Safe Buyers Guide @ 6mmbr.com.

    Or should I go for a smaller stand alone gun safe with fire protection? I might end up spending twice as much, which I don't really want to right now.
    Depends on your needs.

    Myself, I'd suggest going with a larger, heavier free-standing unit suitable for long guns, something you can bolt to the foundation, something that even if were ripped from the foundation couldn't easily be carted away. Which, IMO, would mean a safe of at least 1000 lbs, something with 1/4" steel minimum all the way around, fireproofing if you need it, manual as opposed to electronic locks. It's nice to have a handguns-only "mini" safe or locker nearby for when sleeping. Not that such things will keep anyone out if burgled while you're away, so I don't think much of them for ongoing storage when not in use. That's the purpose of a larger safe.

    My choice: A ~1000+ lb standing safe that's suitable for long guns and handguns, bolted to foundation in a more-difficult to access area of the home; and a ~300+ lb floor safe that's just for handguns, wallet while around the house or sleeping, electronic or biometric lock for speed of access. Both hidden from casual view (visitors).
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    The under bed thing does look neat. That would be more for an HD shotgun or something than for use as an actual "safe" though. As mentioned above - a safe is really just a security container. If you can fit it into a closet and bolt it to the floor and/or wall studs - it's good enough. Someone who is a professional, or knows that you have a safe and where it is, or came prepared - will be able to get into any safe out there. A 2 stroke cutoff saw and a crowbar and hammer could get into almost anything.

    I suggest thinking of where you would like to put it in the house - and then taking some measurements. You'll want a little wiggle room for getting it into place. External hinges are nice because they allow the door to open 180+ degrees - and they allow the door to be removed when you're relocating the safe. I get my door off with a deflated basketball, bicycle pump, and a hand truck. Works like a charm. My door weighs ~250 pounds.

    Something vertical with shelves is good. This would fill up in about 2 weeks: Purchase the Stack-On 14 Gun Safe, FS-14-MG-C for less at Walmart.com. Save money. Live better.

    This one has a bit more room. Get the Stack-On 24 Gun Fire Resistant Safe, FS-24-MG-C at an always low price from Walmart.com. Save money. Live better.

    It's much better to have too much room in a safe, than to be cramped. Rifles and shotguns banging around, squeezed together....no fun.

    Austin

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    Member Array DaveInEdmonds's Avatar
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    What you really need to do is get yourself down to Enumclaw and visit Northwest Safe Company- Gun Safes Sales and Moving - Home Page. Tell them what you're looking for, what you can spend and they will help you out. When I went in, I told them my criteria and got a better safe than I expected for less than I expected to pay. It was an excellent buying experience.
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    Here's a TON of info...everything to know about buying a safe.
    Gun Safe Buyers' Guide

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    I will add that you should have professionals move it in. I was planning on some friends moving in my Liberty 50 some gun safe into my house using beer powered brute force. Lucky for me my wife was able to negotiate free installation into the price. When I saw real professionals move it in without even scratching my hardwood floors I was glad I didn't try to do it myself.

    And of course mine is packed full. Looking for a second one now.
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