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Gun Safe Suggestions

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#1 Koopa

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 01:35 PM

I'm thinking of treating myself to a safe for my birthday. I currently do not have one. I know the golden rule of buying safes - get a bigger safe than you think you need.  The problem is my home is small - space is limited.  Anyone feel free to chime in and help me pick a safe.

 

Requirements I've already identified:

  • 4 long guns
  • 4 handguns
  • Space for file of important documents (birth certificates, passports, car titles, wills, etc.).

The requirements I need help with:

  • Space for ammo? Does this need to be in a safe?
  • Fire rating?
  • Water rating?
  • Steel gauge?
  • Lock type?
  • Favorite brand?

Please help me flesh out this list with some more specifics. Thank you!!



#2 wwilkins

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 05:18 PM

Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to this purchase,  but I would go as bigger as you can( and can afford). They used some magical dream number of capacity, which never washes out to be accurate unless your side job is packing trucks at UPS.  Check the weight if you are going to move it down stairs, I highly would recommend buying beer for the friends who come help you with the project.    

 

I do not secure ammo in the same place as the rifles, or shotgun.   Personal preferences, but that would not be feasible for me, I use a storage locker with a pad lock to secure the ammo.  

 

I have a small office safe for the documents, just in case some burglar tries to blow torch his way through the larger gun safes, on my professional side we see pros attacking the safes through the sides or back because they are weaker and usually a lot thinner, or dragging the entire thing out of the house or garage.   Separate the valuables would be my recommendation.    


Edited by wwilkins, 19 September 2016 - 05:32 PM.

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#3 B3dlam

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 05:54 PM

You also need to consider where you will place it as if you are putting it inside your house you have to ensure the floor is rated for the weight of the safe whereas if you put it on a cement pad in the garage you could use a heavier safe. 


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#4 pira114

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 07:43 PM

And if you have stairs, just pay the extra money to have it moved. Trust me

#5 Geist

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 01:39 AM

I don't own one yet, but I've been looking into a similar type of safe and the secureittactical.com safes look pretty interesting and I'll probably pick one of theirs up when I finally decide to drop the coin.

 

Also if you haven't watched this video it's a pretty good run down on safes:



#6 DStevenson

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 04:37 AM

I don't have a "safe" per se... more of a lockable locker.  Heck, now I'm questioning my ammo storage.  I have a huge lockable footlocker I'll be moving it into but it will be maxing it out.

The gun locker is just a simple Stack-On locker, and I wouldn't expect it hold on for more than 30 seconds in a break in, though my intent was to finish my reloading room which would have doubled as a secure room.

 

I'm not in any position for a full on safe right now, I'll be follow the thread closely for advice.


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#7 Koopa

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 10:27 AM

Thank you for all the comments, guys! I didn't consider the strength of the floor. It will be on the second floor so weight will be a consideration. I'd definitely get a professional to move it. Hopefully the fact that its on the second floor will discourage a burglar from taking the whole thing.

 

 

They used some magical dream number of capacity, which never washes out to be accurate unless your side job is packing trucks at UPS. 

As a matter of fact, my side job is loading trucks at UPS =)  But point taken - I'd rather have the safe's contents organized and accessible. 

 

 

I know that growing up, my dad had to play tetris to get all his guns to fit in the safe. And eventually he got so many guns, he had to leave some of them unsecured. That's a great problem to have!



#8 pira114

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 11:02 AM

The gun locker is just a simple Stack-On locker, and I wouldn't expect it hold on for more than 30 seconds


Be careful with those. I used one for years without problems, then one day it just wouldn't unlock. Seems the locking mechanism came loose from the actual door. The good news is that a drill took all of one minute to drill out the lock and allow access. Shortly after, I bought a real safe. An hour after that, I learned the value of paying a mover to bring it upstairs.
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#9 mackguy

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 11:09 AM

Yeah, safe capacity is a bit like tent capacity.. There may physically be the volume to hold that number but you wouldn't want to try it.

I think I have well under half my safe's capacity and it seems "full". 

 

Virtually all of the "quick" methods of people breaking into substantial safes seem to be related to pushing it over onto its back, so making it difficult to move, and in a space where getting pry bars etc to it is difficult will help.

 

One of the things I came to figure out with secure storage is that anything can be broken into eventually, so what you're doing is delaying that.  A "stack-on" type might take 30 sec to break into, a low-end "vault" type (what I have) maybe a couple of minutes if someone knows what they're doing, and a high end vault may take several minutes or more.  Considering "vault" type safes run from something like I have for <$500 to $20k+ there's a big range.

 

Now considering the above the question is who are you trying to keep out and how long do you need to delay them?

 

In my case

A) I have an ADT system, so hopefully someone breaking into the home triggers the alarm, at which point I think there's 30 or 60 seconds to disarm before the alarm actually sounds.  By the time alarm sounds, ADT calls to check on me, calls the local PD etc and so on, probably at least 5-10min best case for response, so a criminal might have 5-10min "undisturbed" in my home.

 

Since I'm not expecting Danny Ocean to be planning the break-in I figure once the alarm is sounded most common burglars would look around and grab what's quick and easy.. TV, XBOX, etc.  

 

So B) I also have safe(s) in somewhat concealed, non-conventional places

 

Also 

 

C) Hope for the best but plan for the worst.. make sure you have an inventory with serial #'s in case anything does get stolen, you can properly report it.  

 

Also, like most others have said I do not store ammo with the guns, except what's in the magazines for my "carry" guns.  Ammo is in a whole separate area of the house, again somewhat concealed.  



#10 wwilkins

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 03:38 PM

I agree with the above post regarding _  Mackguy " One of the things I came to figure out with secure storage is that anything can be broken into eventually, so what you're doing is delaying that.  A "stack-on" type might take 30 sec to break into, a low-end "vault" type (what I have) maybe a couple of minutes if someone knows what they're doing, and a high end vault may take several minutes or more".  

 

Therefore, I try to apply a multi layered defense to gaining access to the house, visibility of the house,alarm system, dogs,  fortifying the house points of entry and egress etc, etc.  I tried to use some forethought into the existing floor plan, and then built a home defense strategy on the storage of the firearms around what I had to work with.   I include an extra measures to deterring access to the items in the safe, but try to be realistic as far as a home plan which includes my wife and child.  You can have an awesome plan which can be routinely defeated or weakened by your own family members.  You lock  the door, but they dont lock the doors type of thing.  

 

Avoid single points of failure, I added a cage around the area where the gun safe is, THE WIFE...does not go in there and then forget to lock that area.  That adds another lay which must be breached before gaining access the safe, it becomes the gear locker area which can be secured.   Add up all the preventive measures buys you addition time, but it is not a guarantee as a permanent deterrent.  Hope your family engages all the layers of defenses, but plan for a minimum known measures which are in place and actively engaged 100%.  My approach, my opinion, hope it helps.     


Edited by wwilkins, 20 September 2016 - 04:59 PM.

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#11 wwilkins

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 04:09 PM

Anybody using a dummy decoy safe?  

 

I thought of this after the last post, decoy safe.    I have a cheap gun safe with bio-metric fingerprint lock in the mud room, cant miss it if you walk through the house.    It looks the part; but contains nothing useful in the damm thing, but I hope the burglar takes a shot at that first before moving on.  Too much, OK... I will put my aluminum foil deflector beanie back on.  

 

Truth is, it was the first plan attempting at securing weapons, a plan which was routinely weakened by the other family members entering the house, side door often left unlocked,before going to a digital deadbolt lock.  Huge change in the family habits after the install due to the easy of use.   4 digit code.  I only regret building the cabinets around it and cant relocate now.    Good news, it still serves some purpose even though its empty.  


Edited by wwilkins, 20 September 2016 - 04:52 PM.

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#12 mackguy

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 10:49 AM

Anybody using a dummy decoy safe?  

 

I thought of this after the last post, decoy safe.    I have a cheap gun safe with bio-metric fingerprint lock in the mud room, cant miss it if you walk through the house.    It looks the part; but contains nothing useful in the damm thing, but I hope the burglar takes a shot at that first before moving on.  Too much, OK... I will put my aluminum foil deflector beanie back on.  

 

Truth is, it was the first plan attempting at securing weapons, a plan which was routinely weakened by the other family members entering the house, side door often left unlocked,before going to a digital deadbolt lock.  Huge change in the family habits after the install due to the easy of use.   4 digit code.  I only regret building the cabinets around it and cant relocate now.    Good news, it still serves some purpose even though its empty.  

 

Better still, put a decoy gun in the decoy safe.. Unloaded but realistic looking "airsoft".. 



#13 Koopa

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 08:05 PM

Yes, I try to make my home as hardened as possible. It is a rental so I am limited in terms of the modifications I can make. It came equipped with alarm hardware but I need to check in to the pricing for the monitoring service. Like I said the place is small so it wouldn't take a burglar very long to find a safe, even if it's hidden. I'm just buying time with any security feature. Hopefully the bad guy gives up after a few minutes and moves on to an easier target.

#14 mackguy

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 08:08 AM

Things always work in compromises... A small space should be easier to secure.  

We have a "sprawling" 3,000 sqft house all on one floor.  It's great from a livability standpoint, but it also means everything is at ground level.  4 exterior doors (two of which are double doors, that are mostly glass), plus the garage, and door there.  Lots of windows, though most are "casement" style and relatively narrow.  The cost of sensors for all windows would be prohibitive so we just have the doors covered, and motion sensors.  But the problem with motion sensors is with the 1 story house I can't have them active when we're in the house.

 

At our previous house the most obvious point of entry was the basement, and I had that covered with motion sensors, but no motion on the upper floors.

 

I've been thinking of trying to get some of that shatter-resistant window film but trying to cover the volume of our windows would be expensive.



#15 pira114

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 04:04 PM

You could start with one window. No law saying you gotta cover every window at once. Pick the windows you think are most likely going to be targeted for access to your home, and cover them first. More as budgets allow.

As for safes, I'm not very educated in specific brands and whatnot. My goal was to keep my kid's friends out when they're over and we're not home, and keep the opportunistic burglar out. I figured if someone with the skill set and motivation wanted into my safe, no safe I could ever afford would stop them. So I bought a big heavy floor model on sale at the local tractor supply. I like it. Would have liked bigger, but wasn't in the budget.

#16 zaynkarim

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Posted 08 September 2019 - 12:43 PM

Whatever you do, do not buy Chinese made crap! I learned that the hard way.

I bought a Fort Knox safe from New York and got it shipped to me a couple years ago and it is mint.

 







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