Yet another gun-safe thread

Yet another gun-safe thread

This is a discussion on Yet another gun-safe thread within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am currently shopping for a new gunsafe. For reasons I won't get into, all of my guns need to get moved from their current ...

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Thread: Yet another gun-safe thread

  1. #1
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    Yet another gun-safe thread

    I am currently shopping for a new gunsafe. For reasons I won't get into, all of my guns need to get moved from their current location in the next few months, and I am going to need a new place to put them, as the safe they are in now is staying at the old spot.

    I would really like to keep this purchase under $1000 if at all possible, while still getting something decent. My main gun store seems to specialize in Liberty safes, and I could get either their Centurion 30, or Fatboy Jr. for my price range. Of those two I like the Fatboy more, because it would offer me more room for expansion. I could also use one side for my long guns, and the other for pistols and papers and stuff, and have enough room.

    One thing is, both of them are just UL Residential Security Container rated, which means, not very highly. I would like to get something with a higher rating, but I am not sure if my price constrictions will allow for it.

    So, any experience with these safes? Or recommendations on other brands that I should be looking at? Or general safe knowledge that I should know? I also know that I would prefer a combination lock, as opposed to an electric lock. So, for those of you who know more than me about this, which is probably almost everyone, your input is appreciated.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array Herknav's Avatar
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    I went with Bear Safes out of OKC. It's more expensive than what you specified, but their unique locking system and heavier construction were worth it IMO.
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  3. #3
    Member Array mfcmb's Avatar
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    It's hard to get much real protection for $1,000. Sturdy Safe is a good value, and has a fire protection option. Gun Safes : Fire Safe Manufacturer : Sturdy Gun Safe
    In the heat of the moment, what matters is what your body knows -- not what your mind knows.

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    Yeah, I'm starting to realize that a grand doesn't seem to buy all that much protection...
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  5. #5
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    Here, this should help a lot... Gun Safe Buyers' Guide

    A ton of info.
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    Here, this should help a lot... Gun Safe Buyers' Guide

    A ton of info.
    Thanks ret, I have been going off that this morning, as it was one of the first things to pop up when I googled "gun safe comparison."

    It really is a handy resource.

    What I am finding through my online research, is that is it going to take some serious cash to get away from 12 gauge steel and a UL RSC rating. It seems like pretty much everything under two grand is in that category.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    A buddy of mine is a locksmith and he got me in touch with a local guy that had a considerably older AMSEC safe he was interested in selling. This locksmith had installed a high quality digital locking unit on it and I have all of the paperwork for programming it and I re-programmed it. I got it for $800. He said if I were to buy a safe of that size and quality today it would cost me $3,000+.

    Don't overlook the used market in a down economy when people are looking to unload big ticket items for cash. I'd check pawn shops too. I was fortunate that my locksmith buddy knew I was looking for a gun safe and within a few days one of his customers happened to tell him he wanted to sell his. Since this locksmith is an AMSEC certified technician, he was very knowlegable about the safe. Commercially rated for fire and flood, tilt throw bolt, the works. Worked out perfectly for me.
    Know Guns, Know Safety, Know Peace.
    No Guns, No Safety, No Peace.


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BugDude View Post
    A buddy of mine is a locksmith and he got me in touch with a local guy that had a considerably older AMSEC safe he was interested in selling. This locksmith had installed a high quality digital locking unit on it and I have all of the paperwork for programming it and I re-programmed it. I got it for $800. He said if I were to buy a safe of that size and quality today it would cost me $3,000+.

    Don't overlook the used market in a down economy when people are looking to unload big ticket items for cash. I'd check pawn shops too. I was fortunate that my locksmith buddy knew I was looking for a gun safe and within a few days one of his customers happened to tell him he wanted to sell his. Since this locksmith is an AMSEC certified technician, he was very knowlegable about the safe. Commercially rated for fire and flood, tilt throw bolt, the works. Worked out perfectly for me.
    I'm going to be looking for used safes too, but right now am in purely research mode, as I have about two months before I will be buying anything. But it sounds like you found on heckuva deal.

    Someone correct this thinking if it is wrong. But it looks like for now, unless I get a good deal on a used safe, I am going to need to get something UL RSC rated. Almost all of which are 12 gauge steel, until you get up around the 2 grand mark, and then some of them go to 11 gauge, or maybe 10. I would think that the extra grand would be better used paying a rider on renter's insurance for a couple of years, than for that small of a difference in thickness. Does that make sense to anyone besides me? I know that nothing will keep a determined thief out forever, I am just trying to make it as inconvenient as possible.

    Does anyone have input on an Browning, Winchester, or Liberty safes?
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    My locksmith buddy (who happens to also be a gunsmith and FFL) also told me another advantage to buying a used safe from an individual is that the sale of a new safe above a certain size is required to be reported by the seller to the FBI and they record who bought it, what they bought, and when. Now I haven't verified this anywhere and I don't know how I would...so it is heresay at best. With all of the homeland security stuff that is being done that is supposedly in our best interest, it isn't outside the realm of possibility. Something else to think about anyway.

    PS. If the agents are reading this, all I have is some revolvers and pea shooters...nothing to see here folks. Just a country boy that likes to put holes in paper targets and bowling pins.
    Know Guns, Know Safety, Know Peace.
    No Guns, No Safety, No Peace.


    Guns are like sex and air...its no big deal until YOU can't get any.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    My thought is that the safe should not be the only thing in your security (or fire protection) plan. If you have good physical security that will keep bad guys out or keep them from being able to have time to break the safe, then you could have less of a safe. If you have sprinklers or a fire alarm or a good close local FD you might pick less of a fire rating.


    I bought a Liberty when I stumbled into a good deal at a gunshow and my only advice is to get as big as you can afford, and bigger than you think you'll need.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superhouse 15 View Post
    My thought is that the safe should not be the only thing in your security (or fire protection) plan. If you have good physical security that will keep bad guys out or keep them from being able to have time to break the safe, then you could have less of a safe. If you have sprinklers or a fire alarm or a good close local FD you might pick less of a fire rating.


    I bought a Liberty when I stumbled into a good deal at a gunshow and my only advice is to get as big as you can afford, and bigger than you think you'll need.
    I'm about to shift from barracks dwelling, to apartment dwelling, so I am going to be kind of limited. But the good news on that, is that in a quality apartment place, people would hear all the ruckus, and complain, and then the desk would realize maintenance isn't there.

    My two top choices both leave me plenty of room, even going off the idea of cut the number of long guns the maker says in half, and that is how many will fit, plan.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array varob's Avatar
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    Like you, when it came time for a gun safe, I thought I could get what I wanted for around a grand, but quickly realized $1000 wasn't going to meet my needs. So, after doing a little homework, I ended up with a Liberty Safe. The Lincoln model 25.

    It turns out that with sales tax and delivery, we ended up spending around $2300. Over twice my budget, but well worth It.
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    Living in an apartment may limit you as far as safe sizes, strictly from the weight aspect. My medium-sized Liberty safe weighs around 850 pounds... that'll be a bear getting up or down stairs, and might possibly stall a small elevator.

    Leaving aside the weight and handling aspect, for reasons of economy I'll offer my standard "safe advice": call a safe installation company and moving/storage companies in your area. Safes are heavy and are frequently left behind when someone is moving on their own dime. A friend scored an enormous horizontal safe (like you might find in a town clerk's office) from a moving & storage outfit for little more than the cost of delivering it to his garage, about $250. If you're squeezing nickels it might be worth looking into. A professional (= licensed & bonded) locksmith/installer can change the combo for you.
    Smitty
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Living in an apartment may limit you as far as safe sizes, strictly from the weight aspect. My medium-sized Liberty safe weighs around 850 pounds... that'll be a bear getting up or down stairs, and might possibly stall a small elevator.

    Leaving aside the weight and handling aspect, for reasons of economy I'll offer my standard "safe advice": call a safe installation company and moving/storage companies in your area. Safes are heavy and are frequently left behind when someone is moving on their own dime. A friend scored an enormous horizontal safe (like you might find in a town clerk's office) from a moving & storage outfit for little more than the cost of delivering it to his garage, about $250. If you're squeezing nickels it might be worth looking into. A professional (= licensed & bonded) locksmith/installer can change the combo for you.
    Thats some pretty solid advice. I have considered the moving aspects. I spent a summer being a professional mover, so I know how big of a pain it is. But, I also learned the tricks of the trade as far as moving gunsafes goes. And I have a feeling I am going to have to throw in some pizza and beers to add to the costs for my friends.

    The problem with safes that are light enough to easily move, is that they can be easily moved by others. The problems with heavy safes, well, I don't think I need to explain that. I also know for sure that the safe will need to get moved again in a year or two.

    And as far as the cost goes, it would be really awesome if I had more flexible fundage. And a safe is high on my priority list, but I am about to have to furnish my own place on my own for the first time since college (and all that stuff is long gone), and I don't really want to have an awesome safe, and eat dinner sitting on the floor for a couple of months.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

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