Inexpensive, child-proof pistol box?

This is a discussion on Inexpensive, child-proof pistol box? within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am trying to find a cheap pistol box that can keep a child out. If possible, it should also provide reasonably quick access. I ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array Vuva3rae's Avatar
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    Question Inexpensive, child-proof pistol box?

    I am trying to find a cheap pistol box that can keep a child out. If possible, it should also provide reasonably quick access. I don't care about protecting against burglars or anyone with destructive power tools (angle grinder, etc.); the threat model is an inquisitive child with access to the Internet and lots of of time on his hands.

    I agree that children should be taught to respect guns and handle them safely, and that they should be given opportunies to see/touch/handle/try the guns so they don't become tempting, forbidden fruit. However, I see that as an additional layer of safety, not something I want to rely on in itself. I was a "good kid," but God knows if there had been a safe in our house growing up, I would have found a way to open it and handle whatever was inside.

    At first I though any of the cheap, popular brands would do, but then I saw Wired's article (Kids Can Open Gun Safes With Straws and Paper Clips, Researchers Say | Threat Level | Wired.com) about how products from GunVault, Stack-On, Bulldog, and Amsec can be defeated in undetectable ways using straws, paper clips, coat hangers, etc. Some of the boxes will even open if lifted a couple of inches up and dropped. Such products are only adequate if you don't have children and only need a locked container because the law requires it. I suspect that other brands of containers with electronic locks will have similar vulnerabilities. Are there products that are more secure? Is there a certification that actually means something?

    Some people have recommended V-Line or Fort Knox boxes as alternatives. These have mechanical combination locks. However, the Unican/Simplex locks that are used in these products only have 1081 different combinations. A bored child could try them all in three hours (perhaps split across several sessions). Any three-digit (or even four-digit) combination lock would have the same problem.

    A "safe-style," single-dial combination lock could have a much bigger combination space, and therefore not be susceptible to the attach of trying all combinations. They seem like they would take a little longer for me to access, but I'm willing to make that tradeoff. How do I find such a lock (in a safe or padlock) that is secure, i.e., not crackable by an child with Youtube and some free time?

    A key lock is an obvious solution, and it should be possible to find a lock that is not easily pickable by an amateur following Youtube instructions. However, it would require that I keep the key on my person at all times. I'm not sure I can rely on that. A belt-and-suspenders alternative would be to have a combination trigger lock on the gun and then put it inside a key-locked container. Then the child would be able to work on cracking the combination only during the brief periods where the key is available.

    Any better ideas?

    P.S. If this seems a little extreme, it's because it has to convince not only me, but also my wife, who is afraid of guns. Otherwise, no gun for me. :(

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  3. #2
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    I use this model in my car, but I don't have small children and my kids know all about gun safety - Handgun / Personal Safe with Cable [Small Size] | NationwideSafes.com

    Maybe the way to convince your wife is to take her to a local gun store and try out various models. Let her try to open them and develop her own confidence in their reliability and effectiveness.
    Ben

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    I think, therefore I am armed.


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  4. #3
    VIP Member Array Taurahe's Avatar
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    Have you tried educating your wife on firearms ? My ex GF was terrified of them and tried to make me get rid of my guns...hahahahah..... until i took her shooting with a my 22 pistol and rifle...... she still didnt like them, but once she realised they, like all things, required responsibility and common sense, were not something to be terrified of. She also realised i was knowledgable about them and that made her more comfortable as well.

    As far as kids picking locks, i personally think that is a bit far fetched. If you teach them about guns and answer their questions and such, it removes the magical qualities of guns, and if they cant follow do not touch, then a good whipping on the rear end builds character

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    Have a look at these:

    HOMAK HS10036683 Electronic Access Pistol Box, 10 X 3.5 X 7.5 Inch - Amazon.com

    I've used one for years and I have no complaints. It won't keep out a burglar, but it would keep out a child. Or I guess I should say it would keep out anyone who wasn't intent on doing damage to the box simply to gain access to what's inside. I keep my EDC in it when I'm not wearing it and I have no concerns about the kids getting to my pistol.

    And on your thought that a bored child could try random combinations until they got it, I believe that you can use up to 5 or maybe 6 digits in your combination. Plus it locks itself out for something like 15 minutes if you enter the wrong combination in multiple times. So basically, unless they were bored and unattended for months at a time, I don't think they'll be getting in it!
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    VIP Member Array Kennydale's Avatar
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    I got a simple Key lock Steel case from Rugershop for about $15.00 Amazon carries NANO SAFES for about same price (Holds one gun) That Homak safe (TX expat posted) looks to be a bargain.

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    Stack-On Key Lock Portable Security Case

    I know you mentioned Stack-On, but here's what I got from a local gun shop for $30...it holds my Glock 17, 2 spare mags, and room for cash or small valuables...stays in my nightstand. I have a curious 3 year old and an 8 month old, so this is where my EDC stays when its not on me...might get one for the car sometime too...and there is no way myself with a crowbar is getting into this thing if it's locked, let alone my 3 year old, who knows already not to touch any gun unless Daddy or Mommy are with him.

    Stack-On | Products | Portable Security Case with Key Lock

    9-80191.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vuva3rae View Post

    Some people have recommended V-Line or Fort Knox boxes as alternatives. These have mechanical combination locks. However, the Unican/Simplex locks that are used in these products only have 1081 different combinations. A bored child could try them all in three hours (perhaps split across several sessions). Any three-digit (or even four-digit) combination lock would have the same problem.

    I don't know how bored my sons would have to be to punched 5 buttons for 3 hours

    Plus the Fort Knox safes locks have to be cleared after a wrong code is put in. What age of kids are you trying to prevent accessing you guns?

    Plus try doing picking a simple master lock using instructions you found on youtube, you'll be surprised that it isn't easy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taurahe View Post
    If you teach them about guns and answer their questions and such, it removes the magical qualities of guns, and if they can't follow do not touch, then a good whipping on the rear end builds character.
    It would have been nice if you'd given us a specific age or a general age. Something to go on. You said he's got internet access and lots of time on his hands.

    OK you're new here and I don't know you like I feel I know some of the folks here. That said I'm pretty old school about alot of stuff. When I was a kid there were no computers or internet. I had my bike and my Tonka Trucks. They were over a foot long too.

    If your kid is old enough to get bored he's old enough to do chores. Inside or outside there's always chores need doing. Give him chores and just maybe teach him something. Life ain't a free ride. The sooner you instill that in kids the better off you'll all be. This ain't me preaching, this is experience talking.

    As Taurahe so eloquently put it spanking a bottom now and then when it's needed get's a kid's attention right now.
    I got spanked when I was bad. Overall I turned out pretty good. I've never been arrested or spent a night in jail.

    I also heard the word NO about a kazillion times before I turned 10. Sometimes it seemed like I was in trouble all the time. After awhile stuff started sinking in. I heard NO less often. As I got older I just knew better not to fool with my Dad's stuff or my Mom's. Punishment, when meted out in the proper dose will build character. Wait too long and you might be visiting your kid in jail or worse...

    Don't read anything sideways as to what I've said here. It wasn't written to offend the OP. Just one old guy's experience.
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    Senior Member Array Fausty's Avatar
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    Another vote for Gunvault. Mine was $100. Just big enough for a 1911 and a spare mag. Fits under the front seat of my truck. My girlfriend has a very curious 7 yr old daughter. The very safest place my pistol can be is on my body in its holster, but if I can't have for some reason, it sits in that little box, safe from her hands.

    It may cost a little more money, but I can pop it open quick, without light or a key, and it's very nice when I have to stay in hotels. I have to leave the gun behind when I entertain customers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crews View Post
    Another vote for Gunvault. Mine was $100. Just big enough for a 1911 and a spare mag. Fits under the front seat of my truck. My girlfriend has a very curious 7 yr old daughter. The very safest place my pistol can be is on my body in its holster, but if I can't have for some reason, it sits in that little box, safe from her hands.

    It may cost a little more money, but I can pop it open quick, without light or a key, and it's very nice when I have to stay in hotels. I have to leave the gun behind when I entertain customers.



    Gotta ask.....are you lap dancing them or what?
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    You can't have impossible to get into and fast to access. Just isn't possible. The best solution would be to have one of the small safes as have been shown here that the gun stays in when you're in the area. When you leave instead of just leaving the firearm in that small safe place it in something more sturdy. You mentioned something along those lines, and I believe that's the only real answer to the question.

    Well there is the other... My lovely wife was opposed to me buying a gun once upon a time. I laughed as I told the salesman my wife said I couldn't buy it as he rang me up. (Granted she wasn't opposed to having guns in the house in general. I've never not had firearms. But this was a step that she didn't want to take... oh well I guess.)
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  14. #13
    Member Array Crews's Avatar
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    Nope. I do visit corporate offices with no gun policies and there's always alcohol involved with dinner. So the gun stays behind, in the Gunvault with the supplied cable locked to something solid.

  15. #14
    Member Array MBRIDER's Avatar
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    i went with this one. thickest steel on the market for a pistol box that I could fine. weighs 24 pounds.

    Still fits in my night stand drawer.

    Fort Knox Pistol Box | FTK-PB | Original Handgun Safe 26% Off!
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    Someone has already mentioned the stack-on safe. I use one of their models for carrying by EDC through the lost state of Illinois. It is inexpensive, made out of heavy duty steel, and has a quick combination and opens pretty fast. good luck

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