Electronic gun safe failure

This is a discussion on Electronic gun safe failure within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have a 21 gun safe from BassPro. One of their RedHead safes. It's been great and I have no legitimate complaints. I could nitpick ...

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 33
Like Tree6Likes

Thread: Electronic gun safe failure

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array RKM's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    1,825

    Electronic gun safe failure

    I have a 21 gun safe from BassPro. One of their RedHead safes. It's been great and I have no legitimate complaints. I could nitpick it if I wanted but there is really nothing to complain about for a budget safe. Despite my thread title, it has NOT failed. It works perfectly.

    However, I got to thinking about, what if the electronic keypad fails? And I don't mean the battery, but the electronics themselves. I was not supplied any kind of key and there doesn't appear to be anywhere to insert a key in case the electronics do fail. What do you do then? I guess call a lock smith. But is there anything I can do myself? I know these safes aren't completely "break in" proof. I have it mainly for fire protection and as a common house burglar deterrent. I think you could get into it, but not quickly.

    I'd just like to know in case of emergency. I'd think there has to be some kind of mechanical "back up".

  2. Remove Ads

  3. #2
    Member Array GetSmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    341
    That's a tough one. If it fails you would have to call out a locksmith to get in UNLESS you wanted to break in and destroy it. Sounds silly but I got a good ol mechanical turn dial because I feared a failure at the worst time or an EMP/Solar Storm bringing down all electronics.

    I sleep with my safe unlocked. Put my car keys and wallet in there so I remember to lock it up in the morning. In your case I would have tools on hand to open it if the lock failed durring a SHTF event. It would not be quick but could be done with the right tools.
    ctr likes this.

  4. #3
    VIP Member Array Thunder71's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    2,535
    Supposedly the electronic locks that do not have a back door built in are more reliable... that's just what I've heard, I have no experience personally. All my electronic ones have a back door (key), which I prefer, I guess.

    Locksmith or big hammer...

  5. #4
    Ex Member Array CaveJohnson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    329
    That fingerprint/button press one I read about in Handguns magazine seems ideal, if the scanner fails you press the buttons. If both fail, you have a key.
    ArmyMan likes this.

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    26,530
    Quote Originally Posted by RKM View Post
    However, I got to thinking about, what if the electronic keypad fails? And I don't mean the battery, but the electronics themselves.
    Well, anything mechanical isn't foolproof. IMO, battery failure and "soft" electronics are the main reason I don't do electronic locks on a safe. But then, even a safe's manual lock and other mechanicals can cease to operate properly, though IMO it's far less likely to occur than the battery or chips.

    You places your bet and takes your chances, based on the info available and your own tolerance for things.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Array dV8r's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    810
    LEARN something today so you can TEACH something tomorrow.
    Dominus Vobiscum <))>(
    Where is the wisdom that we have lost in knowledge?" T.S. Elliot

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    7,289
    About the second link above... some "Gun Vault" brand safes did that... they supposedly fixed it.

    Most any lock but a combination lock with multiple bolts can be pretty easily defeated... Locks keep honest people out.

    Tubular keyed locks have been defeated with bic pens. Many keyed locks can be picked pretty quickly. Gun safes are, at best, a deterrent. The more you spend, the more deterrence...
    Rats!
    It could be worse!
    I suppose

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array rammerjammer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Posts
    3,409
    I wouldn't trust a safe with an electronic keypad or other electronic means of securing it. I would only want a safe with a key or old school spinner combination. Less chance of Murphy messing up one of those.
    ctr likes this.
    "Was there no end to the conspiracy of irrational prejudice against Red Ryder and his peacemaker?"

    Revolvers, “more elegant weapons for a more civilized age.”

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array Thunder71's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    2,535
    I agree, which is why my 'quick access safe' is a V-Line Top Draw.

    Quote Originally Posted by rammerjammer View Post
    I wouldn't trust a safe with an electronic keypad or other electronic means of securing it. I would only want a safe with a key or old school spinner combination. Less chance of Murphy messing up one of those.

  11. #10
    Senior Moderator
    Array pgrass101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    13,475
    I don't trust electronic locks, that's why I have mechanical ones.
    ctr likes this.
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

  12. #11
    Moderator
    Array gasmitty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    10,315
    As I've posted many times, the digital electronic lock on my Liberty safe failed less than a month after I got the safe. Liberty sent me a replacement keypad, but the thing was brain dead. They arranged for a local locksmith to come out and replace the lock with the classic S+G tumbler/dial type, and by cosmic coincidence I was able to get the electronic one unlocked the night before he arrived. Replacement was thus straightforward and the nice enamel finish on my safe door didn't get mucked up by drilling. Coincidentally, a friend at work bought a safe around the same time, suffered the same electronic lock failure, but wasn't as lucky as I was. His lock had to be drilled out.

    Depending on the safe, drilling the lock out isn't challenging, it just takes a long time. You need to know where to drill, and then you need a good supply of carbide drills, and a mag-base drill is awfully handy when you've got a few hours of drilling ahead of you.
    Smitty
    NRA Endowment Member

  13. #12
    VIP Member
    Array ctr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Shenandoah Valley in Virginia
    Posts
    2,329
    My first safe had an electronic lock. I became concerned about the longevity of the lock after several years. Traded for a larger safe with a mechanical tumbler lock. It could fail sure, but not too likely. S&G locks are made in the US. Solid.

  14. #13
    Distinguished Member Array RKM's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    1,825
    Quote Originally Posted by GetSmith View Post
    That's a tough one. If it fails you would have to call out a locksmith to get in UNLESS you wanted to break in and destroy it. Sounds silly but I got a good ol mechanical turn dial because I feared a failure at the worst time or an EMP/Solar Storm bringing down all electronics.

    I sleep with my safe unlocked. Put my car keys and wallet in there so I remember to lock it up in the morning. In your case I would have tools on hand to open it if the lock failed durring a SHTF event. It would not be quick but could be done with the right tools.
    The solar storm thing is kind of what I was getting at. Solar storms are supposed to be at peak in 2013 and NASA says they're supposed to be pretty serious and possibly cause blackouts, however, it will destroy ANYTHING electronic, including even flashlights. I didn't want to sound like a loon. I'm fairly confident in the electronic pad working otherwise other than the battery dying. I'd honestly prefer a mechanical lock for various reasons, but I was in desperate need of something and this seemed like a great deal. I've heard very little of failures of the electronics, but, I know that it's possible.

    I was just hoping there was a way to bypass it and gain access to the safe. I want my firearms to be safe, but I want to know how to bypass it's security if I need to. There almost HAS to be a way. And a way without the use of any other electronic tools. I've heard that some locksmiths may have a universal keypad that can connect to anything with an electronic lock, bypass and operate the lock, or something along those lines. This would be fine, however, I'd like a method without using any electronics, so that rules out drills. Big hammers and pry bars are basically the only thing I can think of. And this is the type of situation where damaging the safe is the last thing I'm worried about.

    If this happened tomorrow and I could call a lock smith, then whatever, it's no big deal. But my loony toon idea of solar flares is what I'm concerned with. Far fetched, maybe, but still a concern.

    I've heard of "bouncing" an electronic safe, but I'm not sure if the bouncing part some how triggers an electrical signal or it's a mechanical failure from the bouncing.

    It's such a slim chance that this will ever happen, but once I thought about it, it really started to bug me. There is NEVER a time that all of my firearms are locked in the safe. At least one is always on me or with me. So that's a good thing.

    Like I said, the safe has been reliable since I bought it about 8 months ago. For the price I paid I love it. Secure enough for a common house burglar and relatively firesafe. I'm not concerned about somebody breaking in and breaking it open, I'm sure it's secure enough for that. I'm just wondering HOW secure is it? Is cracking it possible with some effort? If I spent a few hours on it, could I get into it if I needed to? A common house burglar won't stick around that long.

    I apologize if I sound crazy.

  15. #14
    Distinguished Member Array RKM's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    1,825
    I read the FAQ's on the website of the manufacture website. They said you can covert from a mechanical to a electrical keypad if you contact your local safe technician. I emailed them and asked if I can convert from electrical to mechanical. When I bought it I want mechanical, but I didn't think about the possible repercussions of an electrical keypad. I just bought what was at the store.

    I also took the inner section of the door apart and can see exact where I'd need to drill, if drilling is an option.

    Hopefully, nothing ever goes wrong with it :)

  16. #15
    Moderator
    Array gasmitty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    10,315
    Quote Originally Posted by RKM View Post
    I'm fairly confident in the electronic pad working otherwise other than the battery dying. I'd honestly prefer a mechanical lock for various reasons, but I was in desperate need of something and this seemed like a great deal. I've heard very little of failures of the electronics, but, I know that it's possible.

    I was just hoping there was a way to bypass it and gain access to the safe. I want my firearms to be safe, but I want to know how to bypass it's security if I need to. There almost HAS to be a way. And a way without the use of any other electronic tools. I've heard that some locksmiths may have a universal keypad that can connect to anything with an electronic lock, bypass and operate the lock, or something along those lines. This would be fine, however, I'd like a method without using any electronics, so that rules out drills. Big hammers and pry bars are basically the only thing I can think of. And this is the type of situation where damaging the safe is the last thing I'm worried about.
    You don't sound crazy.

    My experience (detailed in a previous post) was one in which a new keypad didn't change a thing... the electronics 'downstream' of the keypad was what failed. At least on my safe (and that of my friend who had the same thing happen to him), there is no "back door." The electronic lock and the mechanical lock both do the same thing - they ultimately move a steel rod in and out of the door's bolting mechanism. No "universal keypad" or anything of the sort will cause that rod or pin to move if the electrical part which moves it (think solenoid) has failed.

    According to a safe pro, the floor of a safe is its most vulnerable spot, which is why a safe should always be bolted to the floor or a substantial framing member. Tip the safe over and use a sledgehammer the safe floor - that's your "back door" if the lights go out.
    Smitty
    NRA Endowment Member

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Search tags for this page

cannon gun safe electronic lock failure
,
cannon gun safe won't open
,
cannon safe electronic lock failure
,
gun safe electronic lock failure
,
gun safe won't open
,
red head safe
,
redhead gun safe
,
redhead gun safe manual
,

redhead gun safe won't open

,
redhead safe manual
,

redhead safe won't open

,

what happens if electronic lock on safe out

Click on a term to search for related topics.