National Gun Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
USN
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey all,

So I've got some guns in my home and while they're secure, I feel like they need to be made more secure with a dedicated safe that can hold at least 12 rifles. All the research I've done indicates that 10 gauge steel is a must for total security, but almost every 10 gauge steel safe I've found has been super expensive (I'd like to spend a maximum of $1,000) or far too large for me to get into my home (doorways are only 30" and no garage). Can anybody give advice or suggestions? Is a $1,000 budget too little for a rifle-sized safe made of 10 gauge steel? If I'm in a safe neighborhood is 10 gauge steel overkill? What do you look for when you're picking out a safe?

EDIT: I've only got a couple rifles that'll take up more than one rifle space, also younger and still buying. I've even stopped buying for the moment since I don't have a safe yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,370 Posts
How many guns do you have with scopes or pistol grips, like ARs? You can count on getting 4 in a 12 gun safe like that. Are you young and still buying, or older and looking to downsize. It is always easier to buy a safe with capacity a lot more than you think you will need.

Call around to local gunsmiths, locksmiths and even some gun clubs looking for a used safe from someone who has upgraded.
How much are your guns worth? Many times $1000? If so, you might want to bigger and heavier. Watch out for brands made in China; even some of the better US brands have their lower end models made offshore and quality of steel can be suspect. If you go with a model with exterior hinges, the door can be removed and you should then be able to get it in your 30" door opening.
If you live in a humid environment, you need to plan for some way to keep humidity low in the safe; whether that is an electric Golden Rod or boxes of desiccant (or in my case BOTH), that might dictate location.

added: I see VA, lots of government; look for a US Gov't surplus safe. Even if it isn't set-up to be a gun safe, a little material from Lowe's can turn it into one and you can get them fairly cheap.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,113 Posts
The most important thing when you are buying a safe is installing home security system, connected to your local PD - in advance.
 

·
RELOAD=More PEW PEW
Joined
·
12,521 Posts
Most safes Rifle or handgun size are strong only on the front side so if you can, get a normal one and bolt it in some kind of niche or better yet, build it around the spot you pick. 2X4, steel mesh, plywood and anythig that will make cutting through harder . That's where half my budget would go. If it's small it'll cost you less.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Siplace

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,370 Posts
The most important thing when you are buying a safe is installing home security system, connected to your local PD - in advance.
I'll disagree - better to invest in peripheral defenses likes dogs, motion lights, thorny bushes under the windows, better locks, etc.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Northtidesix

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,061 Posts
My safe is a job box for tools on a construction site. I have it bolted into the framing of the house from the inside. It is set up like a cabinet. I lined the inside with carpet. It is 24” wide and 24” deep and 48” tall. I even put a light inside. It has two shielded Master Locks. I don’t know what gauge the steel is but it’s tough. If anyone wants to get in it, they better bring some serious tools. It holds about 14 long guns and 8 pistols comfortably.
200C1E36-1F50-4849-8B09-6B68A3BF7BEB.png 771F1333-AE63-4BB5-B6D9-DE560143C003.png
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,580 Posts
Look at Zanotti Armor (made in USA) or Titan safes (made in China) modular safes. Easier to carry and assemble where needed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
178 Posts
I hate to tell you but I can be in that job box with no damage to it in less than 10 seconds. I have and use them on the job site and have lost many a key..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,452 Posts
For your average run of the mill break in and see what is available dirt bag almost any safe will work, I would stay away from Sentry Safes with electronic locks because the combination can be changed using a Slim Jim car door unlocking tool. Takes about 1 minute to crack these safes.

I would also stay away from Stack On. The ones that I have seen are little more than heavy duty gym lockers. Of course I admit that I haven't seen everything.

Beyond that... I will second all the advice you got about getting a bigger safe than you need. Scopes and pistol grips on rifles take up at least two spaces each same for pump shotguns. You will never regret getting a safe bigger than you think you need.

I will also agree that the weak point of a safe is the back or the sides, The doors are almost indestructible but the back and sides can be pealed if the dirt bag knows what he is doing, so locate your safe with its back and sides up against a strong wall and bolt that bad boy down tight. Most dirt bags would have very little idea of how to peal a safe so again for the normal run of the mill dirt bag almost any safe will do to slow him down.

If the guy is a pro and has his tools and time to use them? Keep a list of all the serial numbers of your guns. Don't keep this list in your safe put it somewhere else. The police will appreciate this so that if they happen to recover one of your guns they will know where it came from. Might help with your insurance too. If the guy is a pro, has his tools, has time to use them, you are going to loose your guns no matter what safe you buy. Unless it is a custom build gun room with a vault door but I don't think you want to go that way.

Motion sensor silent alarm is a good idea. If even a pro trips this then it will reduce the time he has to operate. Pealing a safe takes a little bit of time.

You also want at least a 60 minute fire rating. It is not just dirt bags that a good safe can protect your guns from.

I have two safes. A Winchester that I got off of Tractor Supply [ More on this later ] and a Browning Pro Steel Gold series. I use the Winchester for my guns and the Browning for my ammo. These two are bolted together and tucked into a corner of my basement. They are also set up on four rails made of 1 5/8 inch strut channel that is heavily bolted into the floor. I cut extra holes in the bottom of the safes and each safe is bolted to the rails in 8 places through an extra steel 1/4 plate that I put in the bottom of each safe. For a home security system and motion system... Sorry it's a public forum.... No comment.

Before a dirt bag can get to the side of the Winchester he has to go through the Browning then move all the ammo out of the way go through the Browning again and then he has access to the Winchester.

All in all I found getting the Winchester from Tractor Supply a really good experience and I recommend you give them a look. Winchester is a quality safe IMHO. The part I liked was how easy it was to get the safe home and installed. Tractor Supply hooked me up with a professional safe mover. For $125 he went to the store picked up the safe in his truck and brought it to my house. He used a power dolly to take the safe into the basement and back to where I wanted it to be. I already had the slab poured and the rails bolted into the concrete. He set the safe exactly where I wanted it, lined up perfectly and square. I never had to move it at all which was nice because it weighs about 500 pounds empty.

Tractor Supply has a lot of different manufactures safes. They carry Liberty which is a quality safe, Winchester, Mesa and other brands... Worth a look. https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/c...ageView:grid&minPrice:&maxPrice:&pageSize:20&
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,061 Posts
I hate to tell you but I can be in that job box with no damage to it in less than 10 seconds. I have and use them on the job site and have lost many a key..[/QUOTE

Id like to see that. The steel is thick and the locks are covered except for the bottom. Lots of thieves have tried to get into these type of boxes and failed or gave up after a serious attempt. Given time and serious tools, any safe can be defeated. Most breaking are basically a smash and grab. They break in and go to the master bedroom for the jewelry box. Form there they pull out the dresser draws and check a few of the classic hiding places. They are in the house for less than 10 minutes. Even if you have an alarm they know that the police are about 10 minutes away. The idea for them is to grab and go before they get caught. In the country where the cops are an hour or more away, it’s a bit different.
My brother is out in PA. and the police are the state police, no local police. He go broke into and the almost angelic youth threw cheese from the refrigerator onto the deck to get the golden retriever outside. He then went to the master bedroom and loaded a AR, a Ithaca 37 and 4- handguns into a blanket and rolled them up.
My Brother called the police and they took the report. He wasn’t satisfied with this and he was taking it personal. He started driving around and asking people who were walking their dogs or doing yard work. One neighbor about a mile away said he saw the guy who lived around the corner carrying a blue blanket with something in it. The next day that neighbor called my brother to say that someone was shooting back in the woods. A police search turned up the shotgun with the stock cut off, hidden in some bushes behind the kids house. The troopers called my brother and at 3 am excersised a search warrant. Bingo! Lots of electronic equipment and apparently stolen stuff that the parents said they didn’t know about and he was a good kid. The kid had sold 2 of the handguns for drugs but he told the police who he sold them to. They found the AR in the woods by an abandoned barn.
The court made him pay for the stock on the Ithaca. He was given probation because his parents said he was a good kid and never got into trouble before. The “kid” was 17 at the time. My brother now has a large jewelers safe but it won’t hold a fraction of his guns.
Bottom line is that if they want to get in they will and all you can do is your best to make it difficult for them.
 

·
RELOAD=More PEW PEW
Joined
·
12,521 Posts
My best security is the fact that I'm always home and even I don't know when I will not be here it's never the same even groceries it's never the same day.
If they want to rob you, peoples who are after big stuff and guns, those peoples will have a time sheet they will spot your house for days before they go, they're looking for a pattern the length of time you're not there.

Edit: or it's simply someone you know
 
  • Like
Reactions: Siplace

·
Grand Imperial Poobah
Joined
·
23,457 Posts
The most important thing when you are buying a safe is installing home security system, connected to your local PD - in advance.
I'll disagree - better to invest in peripheral defenses likes dogs, motion lights, thorny bushes under the windows, better locks, etc.


I will agree with having a home security system. A security system puts the criminal on a clock to get out and escape before the cops arrive, leaving less time to work on a safe. Besides having a monitored security system, we also have security cameras and five dogs. Criminals are not the brightest people on the planet, but they know to pick the easy targets and not ones where they will end up in prison, dead or wishing they were dead. Criminals don't like alarm systems, cameras or dogs, which is why we have all three.

As for having a safe, I suggest having a place to put it, where it is out of the way and out of sight. A hidden safe slows down a criminal and makes it harder for them to get your firearms. Also, have the safe securely bolted to the floor.

Last but not least, get safe with a very high fire resistance rating, more firearms are lost to home fires than criminals.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,882 Posts
This is absolutely the best site about safes that you can possibly read. Almost too much information.

But get started before you buy a safe.

Gun Safe Review Guy

Some points to consider:

- Most safes worth buying ARE pricey. You not only get what you pay for but in some instances, the safes on the floor of most retail outlets and gun shows are so poorly made, you DON'T get what you pay for.

- Fire ratings on most of those safes are not worth the paper they are printed on.

- Most such safes can be broken into in under a minute. In one story I read, the thieves broke into a guy's garage, used HIS tools and broke into the safe, stealing all of his guns, etc. in short order.

Far more detail at the link.

Also, the video Speed posted above is worth the time to watch and learn from.

If you do decide to buy a used safe, know your stuff.

With all of that said, though, if money is an obstacle, do get something less pricey because it will slow down a low-rent druggie who is looking for an easy score. Even the cruddy lock boxes are going to keep your guns secure from all but the most determined or experienced thieves. They'll keep your stuff secure, too, from your kids and your snoopy relatives. (Kids are a unique proposition, of course.)

Let us know what you end up with and why.

--Wag--
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,452 Posts
I will add one thing about home security systems. If you get a system do not advertise it, We have seen the signs on houses. " This house is protected by ADT Security. " These may frighten off a novice dirt bag, but for a dedicated dirt bag all this does is tell him what he has to do to get past your security system. Oh it's an ADT that means if I do this to the thing-a-ma-jig then it will shut off. Same with all security systems. The only security system that I know of that is UN-breakable is Ft. Knox. Lots of gold there I hear. Also lots of soldiers with lots of guns [ and tanks ] and crazy MFers with high powered rifles on the roof tops 24-7-365.

On the other hand a sign may frighten away the majority of dirt bags. So.... If you do go with ADT then get a sign that says. " This house protected by Honeywell Security. " or who ever. Any one BUT ADT. Lying to a dirt bag is perfectly acceptable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,370 Posts
I will add one thing about home security systems. If you get a system do not advertise it, We have seen the signs on houses. " This house is protected by ADT Security. " These may frighten off a novice dirt bag, but for a dedicated dirt bag all this does is tell him what he has to do to get past your security system. Oh it's an ADT that means if I do this to the thing-a-ma-jig then it will shut off. Same with all security systems. The only security system that I know of that is UN-breakable is Ft. Knox. Lots of gold there I hear. Also lots of soldiers with lots of guns [ and tanks ] and crazy MFers with high powered rifles on the roof tops 24-7-365.

On the other hand a sign may frighten away the majority of dirt bags. So.... If you do go with ADT then get a sign that says. " This house protected by Honeywell Security. " or who ever. Any one BUT ADT. Lying to a dirt bag is perfectly acceptable.
Here ya go:

When we Americans think of gold, the first place that comes to mind is the United States Bullion Depository known as Fort Knox. It is here that the largest portion of our official gold reserves is stored. But there is one place in the U.S. that stores even more gold than Fort Knox. That place is the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York The Federal Reserve Bank of New York holds only a small fraction of the United States gold reserves, but it does hold the largest amount of gold stored anywhere in the world. Over 200 million troy ounces of gold, much of it belonging to foreign countries, are currently being held at the bank.
When the main vault at the bank first opened, the Secret Service used 45 armored cars to move the initial deposits of gold through the streets of New York. 150 policemen lined the streets and stood guard at strategic points as the armored cars drove by. Secret Service agents were everywhere and riflemen watched from the rooftops above. They hauled over 700 tons of gold, silver, and paper currency to the bank.
The Main Gold Vault Opened in 1924, there is no other vault in the world quite like it, and it’s located right in the center of busy lower Manhattan. The main gold vault lies some 80 feet below the surrounding streets. The vault was actually excavated before the building was built around it. It is situated on the island’s bedrock which was considered stable enough to support the weight of all the gold that was to be stored inside.
And the main vault has no doors.


The only way into the vault is through a 10-foot long tunnel that is cut into a 90-ton steel cylinder that revolves in a 140-ton steel and concrete frame. In order to gain access into the vault, the cylinder has to be rotated 90 degrees after first unlocking a series of time and combination locks.
You can view an artist’s rendering of how the vault works in the March 1931 issue of Popular Mechanics magazine (page 459).
New York Federal Reserve Bank Gold Vault

Best home unit I have personally seen was in a friend's house in Brooklyn growing up. It was a walk-in vault the previous owners had built in the basement encased in solid steel-reinforced concrete. My friend's dad was then using it as a wine storage vault. Heavy plate steel door, was also originally designed as a bomb shelter for the 50s Cold War.
 

·
Live Free
Joined
·
3,354 Posts
Buy the best gun safe you can afford and avoid electronics in the lock mechanism. Buy a safe 50% bigger than your expected need; you will always need more room. The average crud ball that breaks in is not going to waste time on a safe, but will grab whatever they think will give a bit of cash; typically looking for drug money. Semi sophisticated crudballs will be slowed by a reasonable safe and will take everything else that is not valuable. If a real pro hits your house it is because he already knows it is worth it typically, and will be quite well prepared to handle most safes; this is a good reason not to share info about quantity and quality of firearms you own on the web or in person or even here on NGF!
Trusting in a monitored alarm system is a fools errand at best. If you really must have a system, avoid any company or product you see advertised on TV (ADT, Ring...)! You have to realize that if your alarm goes off it sends signals to an alarm monitoring office where the operator will first attempt to contact your residence before dispatching police. Police consider residential burg alarms in any metropolitan area their last priority unless it is a distress signal implying there is someone on the premesis during the break in. Police have been known to take an hour or more to respond to burglar alarms; they get there in time to make a report...if they get out of the car. ADT is known for real crappy minimal coverage systems that are easily defeated and are the cause of many false alarms due to hurry up shoddy installations and poor quality motion sensors. You might get a better response time in a more rural setting, but you need to know the monitoring station will likely not be local. You want a good alarm? Get a good dog!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,921 Posts
I would say to also check you're fire rating. Some safes have little or no fire protection. I think at least 40 minutes of rated fire protection or more. Scopes and slings are space killers. Always get the biggest one you can get and then some. If it's easy for you to get it in, it's equally easy for them to get it out. Most burglaries are grab and run, so as you long as you make it hard and time consuming, you should be ahead of the game. If you want to add weight to make it harder to move you might consider throwing two or three 50 pound weight plates in the bottom, or 4 plates would be that much better if you can fit them. Lagging it to the wall and or floor can only help you and slow them down. The only thing worse for a burglar not having enough is running into the armed home owner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,422 Posts
Most gun safes will stop the average burglar who is there for a quick smash and grab that wants your jewelry, laptop etc. The ones who are going to take the time to get into your safe are the ones who know you have a gun safe to begin with. Much of the security you need will depend on where you live, if you have neighbors and if you can trust them as well. If you live in a city, town or burbs where lots of other people are chances are thieves wont take the time to cut through your safe with power tools or even remove the whole safe but in a rural setting with no neighbors that threat is very real if you're not home for extended periods of time. It's easy to get in most all gun safes with some basic tools where noise isn't a factor. There was a guy around here that had his entire safe removed that was bolted to the floor and they simply cut the floor around the safe and took the whole thing.
As far as fire rating that's mostly a joke. Unless the safes are air tight the smoke will ruin your guns quicker than the fire and will make them rust quicker and worse than salt water. I have seen guns come out of 4 fires in the past several years and 3 of those fires never even touched the safes. The guns were rusted junk that were beyond repair or would cost more to repair than their worth. Most safes i have seen have some sort of vent, hole for power cords etc so i don't think any are air tight.
With all that said pick a safe that can't be easily breached like in the sentry video above and place it where it can't simply be removed, tipped over etc and breached within 5-10 minutes and you should e good for the majority of scenarios. ....but nothing will be 100% fool proof.
The home security is a great idea as well even if it's just some cheap cameras that store the data electronically offsite, notify you via your phone or something similar. This way if you do have them stolen you can possibly nail them and maybe get them back. Large loud dogs are a big added plus.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top