This is a discussion on Gun Safe? within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by mchasal
Rather than adding weight, I think you're better off securely attaching the safe to the floor and/or wall.
Great thought ...
February 14th, 2005 05:59 PM
Great thought but not an option for me.
Originally Posted by mchasal
And it sounds like I should check Liberty out. lol that's a lot more safe than I will ever need F-350.
March 4th, 2005 11:13 PM
Okay I've found a few that are currently way too big for me that are fire resistant and affordable.
My personal favorite thus far is actually not the most expensive one:
This bad boy runs $499 and weighs 350 pounds. Now granted that's not as heavy as we'd all like, but that's still 350 freaking pounds. What I like most about it is that it's basically a gun safe for an apartment. It's slim and trim.
I like this one too
$590 at Academy. Couple hundred pounds heavier, and probably the best value of the lot.
Those are the Cannons. Cannon seems to be winning this war for my sparse money.
I'm also considering one of the Sentry Models. Same $499 price tag as that first Cannon, but it's locally available. The other nice thing about it is I can actually go look at one tomorrow, and I will. Not super heavy either but like I said, that's 300 freaking pounds.
Finally Sentinel actually makes a very interesting offering. I can't find a web page link for it but Lowe's actually sells them by special order. It's the price winner at $485.
Basically all of them offer some degree of fire protection and are a heck of lot better than those curio cabinets I see lots of people using.
March 4th, 2005 11:48 PM
Check out the safes at Gander Mtn. At least the 1 I walked in had several models to look at, $600 being about the cheapest. I got a Sentry from Walmart, just for the fact I don't need lots of protection . Just secure storage.
March 5th, 2005 02:04 AM
From personal experience I can tell you to get the lagest capacity safe you can afford, because believe me, you will fill it up.
My solution to the problem of a group of burglars carrying off the whole safe was to line the bottom (floor) with lead in the form of 1# reloading ingots I cast for reloding. It added IIRC approx 250 # to the safe weight, and gave me a place to store the lead. I also bolted an Ammo cabinet made by sentry to the top of the safe. Filled with loaded ammo the best the BGs could hope for is to tip the whole rig over. but it ain't going no where.
March 5th, 2005 06:43 PM
You know what I have seriously debated if I really do need the fire proofing. I do have a fire proof document safe already. I've noticed most of the non fireproof safes have a recessed floor compartment. That could easily be filled with some heavy stuff.
I took a look at that Cannon model at Academy today. It seems by far to actually be the most safe for the money but it's so darn big compared to the comparable fireproof Sentry model. They both looked pretty sturdy.
All the models I'm looking at hold 10 or 14 long guns and I currently own 3. I'm leaving myself plenty of room believe me.
March 5th, 2005 06:46 PM
I filled half the bottom of my safe with loaded ammo. Heavy and useful.
March 5th, 2005 06:58 PM
That's something for me to think about Rocky. I have seen a lot of safes around $300 that are very secure that I liked but they just weren't fire proof and they were kinda light, most weighing around 280 pounds.
But if I decide I don't really need a fireproof safe, after all my place does have a built in sprinkler system and I doubt the contents of a metal canister would suffer much anyway, spending the difference on some ammo and using that for dead weight might be very prudent.
I already own some 100+ pounds worth of gun "crap" I could stuff in there. I reason the whole thing would weigh enough such that without elaborate planning, it would not be practical for a crook to cart the thing out of there.
The way I look at it, if I put my guns in any kind of vault that weighs 250 pounds or more by itself, and then add all sorts of crap to make it even heaveir, they'll probably take my TV and PCs instead. And really all the safes in any price range above the $150 jobs are pretty much secure unless your crook is a professional safecracker or has an acetylene torch.
See the best thing would be one that I could mount to a floor or a wall, but I can't do that as an apartment dweller.
Do I really need the fire proofing though, that's debatable.
March 6th, 2005 03:42 AM
March 6th, 2005 04:40 AM
I may try it... I had considered getting rid of my fireproof document safe if I got this, but thing is I don't really plan on moving any time in the foreseeable future. I honestly don't think any serious fire would stand up to the sprinkler system I have in this space for very long.
What would be really sweet is that I've noticed a number of these without the fireproof lining have a false bottom. The space seems to be considerably large. I bet you could fit a barbell weight in there, probably a 35 pound one, and then put that false bottom plate on top of it. I wouldn't keep anything I actually might need access to in such a compartment anyway. Add all my miscellaneous supplies and a couple bricks of 7.62x39 and that would be a lot of weight in a hurry.
Another interesting fact about gun safes: they seem to hold their value relatively regardless very well regardless of age. I looked at getting a used one in the local classifieds but you don't really save much money, and that's factoring in that I'm a pretty good negotiator, not the best mind you, but I never pay full price for anything if I can help it.
March 6th, 2005 06:34 AM
Okay here's some interesting information which I will sum up for you all.
Apparently there are two levels of what we commonly call "Gun Safes". One is a Residential Security Container. That's what I am actually going to wind up purchasing. Another is an actual safe.
The difference is that a real safe involves a lot more work and expense. At about the $4000 range you move into this gray area of high end Residential Security Containers and into low end safes.
Now this isn't to say that your $4000 Liberty safe is somehow bad or not worthwhile because it's a Residential Security Container, it's just how they classify the things. It's kind of like how my pickup is classified as a Light Duty truck.
The general consensus seems to be that unless you're building a house from scratch and can put in reinforced walls and the like, you don't really have a "safe". So by "Safe" we mean some serious security I sure as heck can't afford.
Now what's interesting is that there's a UL rating about what is and is not Burglar proof. IT seems it has to be a very heavy safe (750 pounds minimum) with a 1" thick door at the bare minimum to be considered "burglar resistant".
But as we saw in Betty's case, her Cannon fought off two pretty determined crooks.
I read a lot of doom and gloom things about how the kind of safes I'm considering are actually only good for about 10 minutes or less of delay against a professional safe cracker. But then I thought about something. What are the 3 purposes for which one really buys something like this?
1. Keeping guns out of the hands of children and honest people.
2. Keeping guns out of hands of criminals.
3. Keeping guns from being burnt up.
#1. Is actually quite doable even with a very cheap safe. I found that comforting. Really my true purpose here in doing this is not to erect some shield of invincibility around my guns, it's to keep the apartment maintenance guy out of them.
And the other thing is, I have considered I do have 4 kids living next to me. If one of them ever got in here, stole one of my guns, and shot himself or someone else with it, I'd be the one going to jail. Even a very simple gun safe will keep that from happening.
#2. Okay the thing to realize is that criminals operate on a continuum.
Where I'm at, the most lilkely thing to happen is for someone to rush in, grab something, and rush out. I think they're far more likely to grab my TV or my computer than my gun cabinet even if the gun cabinet only weighs 250 pounds.
Basically it takes an incredibly expensive safe to really deter professional thieves. But one thing that's interesting I found is that when people say it only takes 10-15 minutes or less to crack open your typical Sentry safe, they are talking about people using plasma cutters and other very expensive tools.
Okay just for giggles I googled plasma cutter and this is the most low end thing I could find
So you're telling me it takes $1000 worth of heavy expensive tools to overcome my $300-$600 safe? WHY THE BLOODY HECK IS A CROOK WITH THIS KIND OF HARDWARE GOING AFTER MY POOR SELF? Sheesh! I live on a school teacher's salary and I'm ready to shoot somebody if they kick my front door down. I have very little worth stealing and I'm ready to kill your sorry rear end if necessary if you try to come in here and hurt me. I'm hardly a good mark for a theif.
And you know what, if this guy does show up with $1,000+ worth of professional equipment, well I give up. I can't win against that kind of expertise, expense, and effort.
But what the kind of safes I'm looking at will do is keep someone out who's armed with a 12 volt Craftsman drill, a crowbar, etc.
Also heavier is better, but even the heaviest safe I might consider can still be carted off. I'm probably going to achieve optimal results if I can make the whole container weigh some 500 pounds.
#3. Okay the fire proofing is essential if you don't have another layer of fire defense. I do however. I checked it out, and the kind of fire proofing I could get just wouldn't matter. My place would be soaked in water before the fire protection capabilities I can afford ever came into play.
The bottom line is that yes of course the more expensive safe is generally better, but for what I'm considering spending a little creative thinking like using ammo for more dead weight is probably just as good as tieing all the cash up in the safe itself. These are all pretty low end units but they're not the bottom of the barrel either. I'm far better off with any of them than I am now.
You know how the Smith and Wesson model 10 is a better gun than the comparable Rossi model, but really they both do the same thing equally well for all intents and purposes? It's kind of like that. There's not really a world of difference between the $300 safe I am looking at and the $600 safe in terms of the level of true security even if no one would deny the more expensive option is better.
I think I may go with the middle of the road approach. They're all plenty big enough and we've already solved the weight problem.
Now if my situation was different, i.e. I had a lot more scratch to throw down on this or I didn't have a sprinkler system, I'd reconsider of course.
March 13th, 2005 08:06 AM
One thing I learned in my "residential container" search is that most fire liners are wallboard from your local DIY.
My safe is 1350lbs empty. I moved it once, and am seriously considering not moving it again. The problem is I really don't want to replace it, because I really like it. It is also an expensive proposition to replace it with the cost of steel doing what it has done in the past couple years.
July 10th, 2005 12:49 AM
I went with a Sentry fire safe I picked up at Academy for under $550.00. 14 long gun capacity, and a nice strap system on the inside of the door. It does use an electronic keypad, but the batteries are accessible from the outside. Worth a look. One suggestion--look for one with the ability to run a power cord through it for an electronic dehumidifier--I am already tired of revitalizing the dehumidifier I have in the oven.
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