Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum

Recommended Posts

As the collection is steadily growing, it’s time for me to consider a safe. I’m looking for something in the 12 long gun capacity with some shelving for side arms and ammo.

 

Does anyone have some good suggestions? Should I also include a fire-rating in my search? Do these make good safes to include your valuables in as well?

 

I’ve been trying to do my own research, but I also consider the anecdotes of the experiences cowboys and shooters here.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a considerable difference between a gun safe and a vault, in build construction and price.

 

What are you really trying to protect against?  Kids in the house or professional thieves?  Are you trying to protect one of a kind documents? 

 

Where are you going to put it?  Do you need to worry about floor load ratings? 

 

How much money are you looking to spend?

 

As for capacity, if you're looking for a 12-gun safe, buy a 24 or 36-gun safe.

 

Long guns have a tendency to multiply when left alone in dark gun safes.

 

Fort Knox, Liberty, Champion, Browning - all good IMO.

 

I do prefer a dial lock with key for quick access.

  • Like 8
  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Modern gun safes sold around town are only designed to keep out kids and the occasional stupid burglar. If a person wants in a gun safe, it takes just a few minutes with battery grinders/tools or crow bars. The sides and rear of the safes are very thin steel that is easily cut thru, quickly. They will pry the front door, but why bother to cut thru that thick steel when the other sides are thin?

 

You can help slow the thief down. Bolt to floor, preferably in a corner to limit room to use crowbars. Build walls around it to slow them down getting to the thin steel for cutting. Hide the safe. Put cameras on it to show cops pics of them breaking into it is nice afterwards.

 

Safes help, but the thief that is prepared will take your guns. 

 

A safe that is truly fireproof and thiefproof is very very heavy and very very expensive. Normal gunsafes are not either of these.

 

There are a few safe/vault people in ohio. Parker is a gun safe dealer that handles a few brands. Search vault with google if you want higher end more secure(expensive) options.

https://www.parkerssafesandsecurity.com

Edited by Marshall Matt Dillon
  • Thanks 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I was a Spook in the Army and as such was given a  short course on locks including safes.

As a general rule a lock is designed to keep the honest people out.  Any lock or safe can be defeated, The only difference between the good safes(locks) and the bad  is the amount of time that they can withstand forcible entry.

 

I too am looking for some sort of container that would give me some defense against the common thief.  A professional that believes you have something worth his effort will be able to get them given enough time.

 

Maybe your best choice is a cheap cabinet to keep the dust off with a picture album showing the boat wreck and sinking with all of your guns on board.

  • Haha 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I know too many people who have had trouble with electronic locks and had to have them replaced. I have a S & G mechanical lock!

 

Also get a safe bigger than you think you need. They are like magnets and keep attracting more iron! LOL

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Do a search on “bypassing electronic safe locks”. There are a few sites out there showing various methods of opening safes. A few of them are made by self-centered buttholes who like to impress others not even thinking about what harm they are doing. Here’s an example... I found this after buying this exact home safe. 


 

I have a gun safe that I bought at Bass Pro back in 2005. It has a Sargent & Greenleaf mechanical dial locking mechanism. It looks like a Liberty safe but it has a tag on it saying it was made by Granite Security Products. It’s fire rated at 1200 degrees for 30 minutes. There are better ratings out there. 
 

My safe was on sale in 2005 for $425 vs $725+ for similar safes at Bass Pro. THAT is the main reason I selected this one. It was a fire rated safe with a good mechanical lock. 
A lot of safe purveyors will tell you not to buy safes with exterior hinges, like mine and Liberty safes, because “thieves can cut the hinges off and access the safe”. That may be true, if they pack torches along with them. There are other ways to cut into a safe that are readily available in many home garages. A circular saw with a metal cutting blade is easiest. I am not giving thieves clues by saying this. The videos are on YouTube!

 

36F01A12-E467-4722-AC53-4D0385C8FA0A.thumb.jpeg.762e786f005295e00b5de5d10a807873.jpeg

 

That is why a thief will not find any metal cutting blades in my garage. They may or may not find my circular or jig saws but they will not find metal cutting blades. There are none. If I need to cut metal (rare) I buy a blade then give it away or dispose of it. Drill bits are not kept near drills. 
These things are mere hindrances. 
 

I also have a gun cabinet that I keep some of my ammo in mounted to the side of my safe with industrial strength Velcro. Another “mere hindrance” but if a robber shows up with the right metal cutting saw he or she will have to get the gun cabinet away from the gun safe to get the guns. I am not looking forward to getting the cabinet away from the safe when I move in a couple of years. :blink: But I do have a plan. 
 

C1E75A32-EFEF-4363-922B-D62B560383EF.thumb.jpeg.621461ce06f711caea792f59e36c25fd.jpeg

 

I also have handgun safes in strategic locations in my home. Mostly I have these because if the criminal protection laws the Commies in this state have come up with. If you go on line there is another complete &@$wipe that shows his little kids how to defeat handgun safes and videos them going so. If I ever meet that guy someone’s going to jail while someone goes to the hospital. The one type of lock moron-boy doesn’t show being bypassed is the Simplex mechanical lock mechanisms. I bought a handgun safe made by American Security in 1991. My daughter and son-in-law use it to this day. It had a Simplex mechanical lock. These same pistol safes are available today. 
American Security Products American Security Amsec PS1210HD Heavy Duty Pistol Storage Box, Silver https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00MOUOYJ2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_K3RNCRAZFT6TSDE04XWV

 

Good luck in your search. Spring is here. Now seems to be the time stores put gun safes on sale. Not sure why that is but it should be a good time to get a deal on a safe. 
 

Remember: Sargent & Greenleaf and Simplex mechanical locking systems. Screw electronic locks. My opinion. 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Give you the same advice I got. Buy the biggest safe you can afford. They only hold about 1/2 the number of guns claimed.

 

First we tend to call them safes but what they are actually residential security containers. A true safe will have a UL rating for the time in minutes it takes a professional to gain access. The rating will be TL-XX  with XX being the time it took a professional to gain access in minutes. The best rating I have ever seen was a TL-30. The body was in excess of 1 inch of solid steel. and the door was considerably thicker. It weighed over 4 thousand pounds and wasn't all that big. For perspective what you buy in a store will have a body thickness around an 1/8th of an inch. A really really expensive one might have a body thickness of 3/16ths of an inch.

 

Ignore fire ratings they are mostly hype. Same for door thickness. The doors of gun safes are mostly air. What matters is the number of locking bolts. More is always better. Also look at the gap around the door. You want this to be a small as possible so that a pry bar cannot be inserted. External hinges only support the door. There should be lugs on the hinge side of the door to prevent its removal if the hinges are cut.

 

 I bought my gun safe from a locksmith that dealt in them.  Got a great deal on a used safe with a scratch on it. I could care less about the scratch as I have my safe hidden form the casual observer.

 

For important papers put them in a separate fire resistant box that you put inside the safe.

 

 

Burglary Ratings

 

 

Edited by Sedalia Dave
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Was broken into 20 years ago.  The first thing I did was buy a good good safe and an alarm system.  Thieves don't like noise.  Plus, I live in an area  where an alarm call from the security company gets deputies here pretty quick .   

Edited by Yellowhouse Sam # 25171
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, if people want your guns bad enough they'll break in while you're home, tie you up and start smashing your toes with a hammer until you give them the combination. The first defense against gun thieves is to not let others know you have any. And that starts with taking all the Ruger & Smith & Wesson stickers off your pickup truck.

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Safes have two rating systems. Fire and burglary. Most safes are only rated for fire. Thin metal sides and they use drywall/gypsum for fire proofing. A lot of Youtube videos showing how fast they can be broken into.

I bought an American Security rated for fire, 60 minutes and burglary.   $$$$$$$$$

It's bolted to the floor.

And remember if there is a fire most damage is done after the fire is out. The fire seal around the door contracts and then the heat draws mositure nto the safe. You'll have a pile of rust and damaged documents if you don't get them out ASAP.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Sturdy Safe

 

Videos

 

Not as purty, not cheap.

 

Very well made, better than most RSC's, better than my AmSec.

 

No connection other than being a happy customer.

Edited by Howlin Mad Murdock SASS #4037
.
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/16/2021 at 1:50 PM, Sixgun Sheridan said:

Unfortunately, if people want your guns bad enough they'll break in while you're home, tie you up and start smashing your toes with a hammer until you give them the combination. The first defense against gun thieves is to not let others know you have any. And that starts with taking all the Ruger & Smith & Wesson stickers off your pickup truck.

no markings on my pickup save the ones it came with - i agree with this line of thinking , everything else you do is under scrutiny these days as well , do not advertise 

Link to post
Share on other sites

If a safe is advertised as holding 12 guns, rest assured, those 12 guns are gonna have to really love one another.  Kinda like an RV ad that states, "Sleeps 8".

  • Like 1
  • Haha 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Pulp, SASS#28319 said:

If a safe is advertised as holding 12 guns, rest assured, those 12 guns are gonna have to really love one another.  Kinda like an RV ad that states, "Sleeps 8".

 

Agreed. If they're basic .22s, sure it'll hold 12. But if they're ARs and/or have accessories attached each one is going to take up twice as much room.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Howdy,

A friend of mine bought a safe that came in pieces.

A bottom, top, sides and a door.  He assembled it inside a closet.

First the bottom was attached to the floor.

Next he just didnt let many into that room.

You would think you saw the whole house and miss that little room.

He moved last summer, no idea what he has now.

Put a few plastic bottles of water on top of any safe to cool it during fire.

Best

CR

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know for sure how combo safe locks re made, but when I bought my Champion safe I was told and the literature corroborated, that it could not be drilled as a piece of glass inside would break and render the locking handle inoperative. I removed the inside panel once just to see if anything looked like it should be lubed. The panel isn't held in by anything but gravity in a slot. Once remove, there is very little in there. I didn't see any glass anywhere, so if it's there it must be in the S & G combo lock. I don't know. As stated above, it wouldn't take long with a grinder to cut all the way around the thin frame metal and have the whole door and front  of the safe fall off. Mine is build into a concrete wall, but you still have some of the front exposed.

Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Eyesa Horg said:

I don't know for sure how combo safe locks re made, but when I bought my Champion safe I was told and the literature corroborated, that it could not be drilled as a piece of glass inside would break and render the locking handle inoperative. I removed the inside panel once just to see if anything looked like it should be lubed. The panel isn't held in by anything but gravity in a slot. Once remove, there is very little in there. I didn't see any glass anywhere, so if it's there it must be in the S & G combo lock. I don't know. As stated above, it wouldn't take long with a grinder to cut all the way around the thin frame metal and have the whole door and front  of the safe fall off. Mine is build into a concrete wall, but you still have some of the front exposed.

I was told by a locksmith not to lube your mechanical lock. He said it could literally gum up the works over time. 

  • Thanks 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Chili Ron said:

Howdy,

A friend of mine bought a safe that came in pieces.

A bottom, top, sides and a door.  He assembled it inside a closet.

First the bottom was attached to the floor.

Next he just didnt let many into that room.

You would think you saw the whole house and miss that little room.

He moved last summer, no idea what he has now.

Put a few plastic bottles of water on top of any safe to cool it during fire.

Best

CR

 


probably a zanotti armor safe.   Made in Waterloo Iowa.  Makes moving it in and out a lot easier.  Know someone who had one that was in a fire.  Safe was pretty burned up, but the documents survived.  
 

they go together with pins into welded tubes on the inside so they can not be disassembled without getting inside.  Makes moving a non issue.   The heaviest part is the door and that’s manageable by two guys. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

PR, Thank you for that bit of advice. Everything looked so clean and no rubbing marks, I just left it alone. But, wondered where that piece of glass is.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I read that the majority of house fires last less then and hour.  I store hard to replace legal documents in my gun safe.  My next safe will have a minimum fire rating of one hour.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/23/2021 at 9:55 PM, Howlin Mad Murdock SASS #4037 said:

Sturdy Safe

 

Videos

 

Not as purty, not cheap.

 

Very well made, better than most RSC's, better than my AmSec.

 

No connection other than being a happy customer.

Another vote for Sturdy safes,I love mine

Link to post
Share on other sites

Many safes with external hinges either have fixed bolts that engage pockets in the safe body when door is closed.  If the hinges are cut off you must still unlock the the lock.  I have a circa 1900 double door San Francisco bank safe that weights more than 3000 lbs, that a lock smith friend had in his store until he retired & sold the property.  The only firearms that fit in it are handguns.  I store ammo , powder & primers in it.  It has external hinges.  One door has bolts on hinge & center sides & the other in the hinge side.  The reason it is so heavy is the doors have >1/2" steel.  The top, bottom & sides are a little thinner.  The interior dimensions are 8" less than outside dimensions.  Except for the doors the void between interior & exterior is filled with concrete.  My locksmith friend told me that good safes are designed; so,  they can't be opened by drilling the lock.  He said that to open if combo is lost or lock breaks requires drilling holes in the body where the bolts are located; so, the bolts can be pushed out of body.  Re. electronic locks have two parts.  The part on the outside is only a keypad & battery holder.  The brains & locking mechanism is mounted inside where it can't be accessed wo/opening the door.

P.S. I have Liberty safe with an S&G mechanical lock & 2 with electronic locks.  The antique safe has an electronic lock; because, the original lock is knackered.  It would require a watchmaker to make the worn out parts.  I share others preference for S&G mechanical locks.  However, I like the speed of the electronic locks.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.