Talk to me about safes...

Talk to me about safes...

This is a discussion on Talk to me about safes... within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Well, I have finally decided that I absolutely need a safe ASAP and I had a few questions. 1. I want to have my safe ...

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Thread: Talk to me about safes...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array wht06rado's Avatar
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    Talk to me about safes...

    Well, I have finally decided that I absolutely need a safe ASAP and I had a few questions.

    1. I want to have my safe in my bedroom so that I can keep my HD shotgun close by and be able to get to it quickly. We are moving soon and our bedroom may be on the second floor of a townhouse. So my question is, how heavy is too heavy to have up stairs?

    2. What do I need to do to set up my safe. Do I need to build a platform for it to sit on? I can't drill holes in the floor, but I may be able to drill into some studs to mount it to the wall.

    3. Dehumidifier? Is the golden rod the best way to go?

    The safe that I am looking at is the Gun Vault 5900. (Gun Vault - San Bernardino, CA) GunVault - Gun Safe 5900

    I was also looking at this one as well:Sam's Club - SentrySafe 14 gun G4311-1 Electronic Safe

    So what do you guys think? Suggestions? Comments?
    “They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security” Benjamin Franklin
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  2. #2
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    My Sentry safe weighs a bit over 300lbs. It's movable for me with a two-wheeler--barely. I don't know what fun it would be to put upstairs. You will want something for a base like plywood especially for carpeted floors. You would alos do well to anchor it to the wall if nothing else because the door on mine is pretty heavy as well, and when it opens, the whole caboodle will want to come forward and crush you. Mine's anchored to the floor and wall and it's been moved three times. The floor anchors won't leave a trace on carpeted floors once removed--trust me. If they do, you can trim the frayed ends and cover up any evidence easily enough. $400 or less on a safe will get you a good one with manual combination and six locking lugs with no exposed hinges just like I have. IMO--no need in Fort Knox here, and fire rated also. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array wht06rado's Avatar
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    Is the only concern about putting a safe upstairs getting it up there? I am just afraid of a safe coming through the floor. lol. Unfortunately there's no carpet to help cover up the holes, it's all hardwood.
    “They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security” Benjamin Franklin
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Array Pitmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wht06rado View Post
    Is the only concern about putting a safe upstairs getting it up there? I am just afraid of a safe coming through the floor. lol. Unfortunately there's no carpet to help cover up the holes, it's all hardwood.
    I doubt if a safe could go through the floor of a townhouse. It would take a lot more force than a stationary safe to break the boards in the ceiling. The main thing is to spread/distribute the weight on the floor. You could do this by putting 2'x4', 1" plywood sheet that extends beyond the sides to help distribute the weight.

    In addition to the safe weight don't forget the the gun and ammo weight.
    Pitmaster

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  5. #5
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Two guys and a fridge dolly should be not much of a problem. One step at a time. 16" OC framing should be good enough for a few hundred pounds as a 24" wide safe minimum would span two joists easily, and since it would be backed against a wall, all the better for support. Should be no problems. An 800 pounder might be questionable but would likely span more joists. Don't see getting that upstairs very easily though. Since you've got hardwood floors, the safe would be easily slid around on a piece of cardboard.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array wht06rado's Avatar
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    So I am thinking that I should just get the safe that I really want and just put it downstairs. I could just get a small 'gun locker' to keep my shotgun in and just put it in the safe downstairs when we leave town. That would leave me access to at least one or two handguns and my shotgun in the bedroom.

    Now I'm thinking about getting this one from Bass Pro Shops:
    RedHead Theftguard 12/24 Fire Safe

    I can pick it up locally and save about $200 on the shipping.

    What do you guys think about this safe?
    “They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security” Benjamin Franklin
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  7. #7
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wht06rado View Post
    Well, I have finally decided that I absolutely need a safe ASAP and I had a few questions.
    Questions:

    1. Do you want it safe and immovable, or do you merely want to briefly withstand a beating on the box? Not all boxes can do this. Not all are really "safes."

    2. Are you willing to have a large, proper safe for the valuables, and a smaller, well-anchored unit for night-time storage of your defensive pistol(s)?

    3. Does it need to guard against fire? Are you willing to bet your home's fire will be merely average, or would you want beyond-average resistance to damage in a fire?

    Whatever you do, anchor the safe well, to the foundation if you're able.

    IMO, a box doesn't become safe until it surpasses 1/4" steel plate on all sides, at minimum, and thr construction using that material is very important. It's movable if it's anything less than 1000 lbs and not anchored to something immovable. But that's just me.

    Consider American Security (AMSEC). They've got units of varying strength, though all are of good quality. They've got various sizes, so you can stick with the one mfr. on both the secure safe and the quick-access unit for pistols.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Array MR D's Avatar
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    if you are going to have a separate "safe" downstairs (as in more professional - harder to break into) then I would recommend something like a stack-on 8 gun cabinet - I did the same kind of thing - big safe in another area -

    this allows me to keep HD shotgun, AR and a handgun and ready ammo (loaded mags etc) close at hand - and when leaving securing firearms move them to the real safe...

    I keep the stack on bolted to floor and two walls in a closet and installed a "golden rod for humidity control....

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array BigEFan's Avatar
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    Stack-On and Sentry are not great security safes. They will keep the kids away from the guns and might deter a teenager who breaks into your house but a crook with a prybar will get in and it will take less than 15 minutes.

    For the size you are looking at, I would go with this cannon from Bud's, that includes delivery. Cannon is a pretty good safe and Betty, one of the Admin has had an attempted break in. The Bad Guys could not get in and Cannon eventually repaired the damage they did to her safe.

    BTW, the RedHead I believe is made by the same company that makes the Browning Safes. The TheftGuard Line are pretty decent safes.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Array wht06rado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Questions:

    1. Do you want it safe and immovable, or do you merely want to briefly withstand a beating on the box? Not all boxes can do this. Not all are really "safes."

    2. Are you willing to have a large, proper safe for the valuables, and a smaller, well-anchored unit for night-time storage of your defensive pistol(s)?

    3. Does it need to guard against fire? Are you willing to bet your home's fire will be merely average, or would you want beyond-average resistance to damage in a fire?
    1. I want something immovable, but at the same time I am military and I do move around a lot. So, nothing over about 500lbs I think.

    2. Yes, that is exactly what I am thinking.

    3. Yes, but budget is still a consideration. $900 is my limit.
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  11. #11
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    I have two safes a Cannon and a Stack-On.

    A. Once you get your safe it certainly is best not to "advertise" it in your community, as it might be a magnet for a BG to "visit" you one day. Discard your safe packaging material (or address labels) away from where you live. You wouldn't want to give the waste management guys any ideas.
    B. Regarding putting a safe upstairs, I'd hate to be in on that task, especially if it is as big as mine are. If it gets away from you going up stairs it's going to be serious. Someone makes a safe that is delivered to you in parts, you could bring the parts upstairs and assemble it in place. Sorry I don't remember the company name.
    C. I have one safe sitting on a hardwood floor, I could see a great risk in it ruining the floor as I put it in place. We tilted the safe back on a piece of carpet, and put some pipes under it and rolled it on the hardwood floor right to the spot I needed, then tilted it back and removed the pipes. Didn't the Egyptians or someone do that with stones long ago?
    D. Both of my safes are fire-resistant and that was important to me.
    E. Anchoring a safe is great, but neither of mine are bolted down, both are big, full of stuff and extra heavy. BG's will be at the ER needing hernia repairs and back surgery dealing with these two safes. I work out of my house, we have an alarm, etc, etc, so my risk for break-in is possible, but I think pretty low.
    F. I live in a humid state, and don't use a humidifier or dessicant in my safe. I've had the Cannon for about 15 years? No sign of any problem. My safes are inside the environment of my house and it's usually about <30% in here. If my safes were in a basement or garage then yes, I'd consider something to counteract humidity.
    G. I hope this helps......don't lose your combination.
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    E. Anchoring a safe is great, but neither of mine are bolted down, both are big, full of stuff and extra heavy. BG's will be at the ER needing hernia repairs and back surgery dealing with these two safes. I work out of my house, we have an alarm, etc, etc, so my risk for break-in is possible, but I think pretty low.
    Good point. Layered defenses are just as important when considering a safe.

    A safe buys you time, that's all, as all safes can be broken into, given enough time.

    So. If you're going to have a 100 lb "safe" then you should consider that anyone could simply carry it right out the door. Even with a 1500 lb unit, it simply needs a suitable hand truck, then away it goes.

    Don't believe it? I watched my installer float the dang thing around the floor with two fingers, once it was on the hand truck he brought. Point is: with the right tools, it's simply not as difficult as some hypothesize, even for one person. Granted, he needed a stout lift gate, but between those two tools [gate, hand truck], that's all he needed for DIY movement and installation/removal. My installer didn't get a hernia nor need hospital time. He simply got a little bigger, that week, from schlepping two dozen safes from here to there, by himself. The right tools are a great thing, and they can make child's play out of doing this with even a great, heavy safe.

    Bolting it down buys time. Having an alert 4-legged friend on-guard buys time. Having a monitored alarm system with police response buys time. Without any of those, a thief could sit in the house for as long as necessary to simply remove the safe, to be opened elsewhere.

    Best defense: A heavy safe in a hard-to-access area (ie, down the stairs in a basement, stuffed into a corner), bolted to the foundation, contents insured, inside a home protected by a monitored alarm system, with alert 4-legged friends and a homeowner trained in firearms. And even then, there are no guarantees. Most folks will have less than all these features, due to cost, layout of the home, frequent moves, living in an upstairs apartment, whatever.

    If you've still got questions about how simple it is to open many of the lighter, more-common "safes" sold today, particularly when accessible and not anchored, check this video prior to your purchase: Security On Sale.

    Less buys you less time, security. Which is fine. Just know what you're getting and adjust your expectations accordingly.

    A secure "cage" for the long guns that's anchored to the building, plus a smaller pistols unit, is fine so long as you insure the contents. Bought used, if you hunt around, you could easily get a couple of units for less than $1000 that would serve the need. Might take a bit of driving or delivery by a trucking company, but going for a used unit can be an effective way to knock 50-80% off the cost of the safe.
    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).
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Array wht06rado's Avatar
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    Wow, that video is pretty crazy. Thanks for the post's guys! I am thinking of the floor plan both here and at our next possible location and I can put the safe in a corner in both places. It should fit in the large closet on the first floor in our next place. Which I was thinking I could even change out the door knob to a locking one on the closet to atleast keep people who don't need to see my safe from seeing it. I.E. mantenance men. That video deffinately makes me want to bolt down my safe in a corner and add a few layers of protection.

    One more question: For those of you who have your safe bolted to the wall, did your safe come with holes pre-drilled? Or did you drill your own in the back of it?
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Array walvord's Avatar
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    I just got my 24 gun safe a few months ago and had a company that specializes in safe moving deliver it to my house and set it up. It wasn't cheap, but they did the "heavy lifting" and I didn't have to. I had it put in the basement and achored to the floor. That baby isn't going anywhere and there was no muss or fuss in getting it in the house. IMHO, that is the way to go. I wouldn't want it going up or down any stairs as they could collapse on you - not good. My safe probably weights about 600-800 lbs. The installers used shims to level it so when the door is open, it stays put right where it is. That would be my advice.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Array wht06rado's Avatar
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    "A man only needs two guns......a short one and a long one" <--- quote by my wife, and oh how wrong she is!

    I just saw your signature ppkheat. It sounds like our wives have a lot in common! Haha. I don't know that they will ever understand! Haha.
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