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Gun safe recommendation

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by photoguy190, Feb 2, 2015.

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  1. photoguy190

    photoguy190 Member

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    I looking for safe recommendations. Here is what I know I want: It HAS to go in the garage, Its either the guns go in a safe in the garage or the guns go. I'm thinking since it will be in the garage I would like a built in plug to get a dehumidifier plugged in. I want it to be manual, no electronic lock to go bad. I looking at a 24-36 gun size. looking to spend less then 750. Anything else that I should look for? Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Dentite

    Dentite Member

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    A few things to consider.

    The "gun safes" that are typically bought for gun storage are not technically "safes" but are classified as "RSC" or Residential Security Container. But I don't get too hung up on semantics. I call my RSC a safe all the time.

    Some general guidelines are:

    Buy a larger one that you think you will need. Think about all the guns you may own at some point (and possible family members...I have two sons) and then make sure you buy one large enough to hold them all plus some extra. Some will say buy twice as large as you think you need.

    Decide what else will go in the safe and plan accordingly for room. For example, many will keep items like binoculars, spotting scopes, camera equipment, etc.

    Decide how important fire rating is and buy accordingly.

    As for power in the safe...you don't need to buy one with an actual outlet. You can run power inside the safe with a hole the same size as the cord you use. Home Depot/Lowes has what you need. Then you can use a power strip and run lightning, dehumidifiers, etc.

    Decide how much break-in resistance you need. If you have 2-3 inexpensive guns to store, it may not make sense to spend $2K on a "safe". Alternatively if you have many valuable guns it makes sense to spend more money on a safe with thicker walls and will slow down thieves more significantly.

    Hope that helps.

    There are others here that really know their stuff and may chime in soon.
     
  3. rogerjames

    rogerjames member

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    At that size and price point, most of your options will generally be similar as far as protection, options go. Best bet is to put it in a corner of the garage and DEFINITELY anchor the safe to the concrete floor. That will at least deter most smash and grab bandits and keep away from kids. If it were me, I would consider concealing the safe so that it is not apparent and readily visible every time the garage is open. No reason to invite curious eyes.
     
  4. Savage99

    Savage99 Member

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    If I get another safe it will be one I can assemble and disassemble myself where I want it and when I want to.

    Such safes are made by Zanotti, Snap Safe, Champion and perhaps others.

    6-easy.jpg
     
  5. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    I spent about $1200 on my safe counting delivery and I think it's actually minimal for my needs. I don't have the opportunity to bolt it down where I live because I'm renting now. When I get to move back to my house it will become more secure. Mine is a "48 gun" safe although getting that many guns inside would be a real trick. They overstate the capacity of all the RSC's I've seen on the market. I'd say a more realistic number would be the 36 guns that you mentioned. So if you actually want to store 36 guns you'll need a safe that is rated to hold more guns than 36. That's just the games they play.

    I didn't get one of the cheapest safes I could find but I definitely didn't go with a true safe either. I tried to balance the value of my gun collection with the value of the safe. I got a good price on the safe I bought and finding one at the price I got may not be easy in the post panic world.

    No RSC is going to stop a determined thief either BTW. There are ways of slowing down the bad guys but if you're not home and they want your stuff they can get it even if you are bolted down and hidden plus having a wall built around your safe.

    There are certainly advantages to owning a RSC of any type. Insurance companies would have to see that you were attempting to prevent theft for example. And it's going to be very hard for curious neighborhood kids to get at your guns preventing most tragic accidents caused by kids

    There should be some formula to calculate how much to spend on your safe based on how much money you have tied up in your guns and other valuables. But I don't know of one.

    One other thing. A garage can be a bad place to store guns and ammo. A cold spell followed by a quick warn front will mean a safe that sweats like Butterbean on a treadmill. If your seal is good you probably won't have terrible problems inside but not all seals are good. You could open the door and find a puddle a few inches deep inside. A powered humidifier is a must in a garage setting and get the biggest one that will fit in your safe. They don't cost much.

    What I have is a Fatboy Jr.. I have been very happy with it and like you I chose to get a non-electronic lock. There's a lot less to go wrong with a mechanical lock. I'd suggest doing lots of homework and listening to the experts on this board. They know what they're talking about. There are a few guys here who are experts.

    Something I've been thinking about is the Liberty SafElert Gun Safe Alarm which monitors humidity and temperature and connects to your home wi-fi system to give you a warning that something is wrong with your safe setup or someone is trying to rob you. It works on batteries so the power line can't be cut except to the entire house of course. I don't know how well they work but I'd like to know.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015
  6. denton

    denton Member

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    From posters who have spent a lot of professional time investigating fires, it appears that actual fire protection is minimal and not worth much expense, regardless of rating.

    Decide on the level of deterrence you want. In my case, I spent enough to keep my grandkids out of mischief and to deter casual thieves. That doesn't work for everyone, but it's the level of protection and expense that works for me. Well, that and a 1911 handy while I'm sleeping, plus a wife who as trouble sleeping and has shown the capacity to draw a weapon when she needs one.
     
  7. RustyShackelford

    RustyShackelford member

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    Safes....

    I don't own a pile of firearms or have a need for a gun safe.
    If I did, Id look at the Browning Black Label series. :cool:
    Browning is a gun industry leader in safes & shooting sports accessories.
    24/36 gun sizes seems like a lot but Browning might have a larger safe for it.
    Even if I had more room & $$$ I doubt Id own or use more than 15/25 weapons right now.

    Rusty
    www.browning.com
     
  8. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    My BIL had a garage fire and he kept guns in it. I don't know the brand but it was a good late model. Some of the old pistols hanging inside the door and rifles close to the wall lost some blueing but most were fine. Those not in the safe were pretty bad.
     
  9. Teachu2

    Teachu2 Member

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  10. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Those requirements may be difficult to meet in the same RSC (aka gun safe).

    Manufacturers are notorious for exaggerating the capacity of their safes. They must use over/under shotguns and/or lever actions without scopes on them to determine the capacity.

    Count on a long gun capacity of 50 to 70 percent of rated capacity unless you want to stack them in there like cord wood.

    I agree with the mechanical lock. Less to go wrong, no batteries to replace.
     
  11. Teachu2

    Teachu2 Member

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    You can increase the fire rating in a garage safe - and the security - by building a closet around the safe. Use metal studs and a couple of layers of 5/8 drywall, and a solid core or steel door. Add a couple of layers of drywall behind it before you bolt it down.
     
  12. photoguy190

    photoguy190 Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions. I will be planing on making a cabinet around it, I wood work in the garage a lot with the door open and I don't want the world to know its there. It will blend right in with all my others. I plan on putting a golden rod in to keep the humidity down. I only own 5 long guns at the moment and 4 pistols. So the 24-36 is my sized up, I don't ever see myself own more then 10-15 long gun and maybe 10 pistols. I'm just looking to keep kids and casual thieves out.
     
  13. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    After I get my addition done I will also be purchasing a better safe.

    There is a dealer in Atlanta that deals in vintage safes and I think I will go that route. I could get a single door unit that I would modify myself for gun storage. It would be able to hold 10 long guns plus a few handguns. It will have a fire rating higher than any RSC, be twice to three times as heavy and cost the same or less.

    Only a little travel time on my end. I have the means to load and unload a 4 ton object though.
     
  14. zorro45

    zorro45 Member

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    Gunsafe

    I just picked one up, 16 gun model, labelled Field and Stream from Dick's on sale for $500. It looks suspiciously like the one I have in my pantry for keeping adult beverages away from teenagers made by SentrySafe. The front door and top are pretty thick but the back wall and sides were easily drilled through to add additional fixation bolts. If I really cared about extremely valuable guns I would need a better one, but this fits the bill and it fits perfectly into a closet. I had to lower it down the cellar stairs using a truck to lower it, it was quite heavy. I have to say I am not crazy about the garage idea, but I'm sure you have thought it through. The problem with my garage is it contains a lot of heavy pry bars, sledges, large heavy axes, etc. which could easily get into just about anything, and I don't want to put a steel job box in there just to hold these things.
     
  15. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    I don't have much need for any more firearms than that either. I think about 20 is close to right for me. If I happen to have more they tend to just lay around and not get fired. I don't see the point of that. But I do have other things to put in the safe. Dang ammo is so expensive now I keep it in the safe and I'm talking .22 ammo. I guess I keep all my ammo except 7.62 x 39 in the safe. I could lose a lot of money if a thief grabbed the right ammo box (the one filled with my .22 target ammo). At $200 plus a brick for Tenex it doesn't take much to make me want to keep it in my safe not to mention the other ammo that has gone up so much in price that it is easily more valuable than some of my guns. An ammo box filled with target .223 or .45 carry ammo or .40 carry ammo or something like that can easily hold several hundred dollars worth. Toss in a few old pieces of jewelry, my deed, and other papers and I didn't find it a bit hard to fill my "48 gun" capacity safe. I could hang a bunch of handguns on the door I guess but I have mags, speed loaders, etc. there now and it all adds up. Ammo is always the biggest expense for shooting IMO. It is if you actually shoot anyway. A gun collector might not think the same as I do.
     
  16. Paul Kersey

    Paul Kersey Member

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    I'm very happy with the Ft. Knox (2) and Cannon (1) brands. Ft. Knox is really well made. All were ordered from A.G English in Oklahoma.
     
  17. cuervo

    cuervo Member

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    Depending on where you live, you may want to buy a second golden rod and have one on each side of the center divider.

    If you build a cabinet around it, put a lock on that as well. Someone doing a smash-and-grab may skip a locked cabinet and pickup anything visible just to get out quickly.
     
  18. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    Dear OP -

    This topic comes up no less than 5 times per week. Search is your friend.

    There should be a sticky if not already.

    You're not going to get anything new manufacture that is a "safe" in your price range. It's just going to be a thin steel box that looks like a safe.

    Good luck .
     
  19. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    How does that help him? By making him feel inferior? Cheap? Poor? It hardly makes sense to spend $20,000 on a "safe" when you're putting $500 worth of guns in it. Not everyone has a collection of 75 antique firearms worth a million bucks. If they do they probably have better things to do than to post on this board because they will need lots of cash to buy that stuff and there are other uses for "lots of cash" like vacations, etc.. I bet you don't even own your own armored car to haul your guns to the range with you. ;)
     
  20. lxd55

    lxd55 Member

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    inferior? it is the truth. photoguy he best thing you can do is google gun safes and watch every you boob about it. there is not really a whole lot to knowbut you will understand fire protection and lock placement steel v sheet metal, tolerance of door openings........................................................

    then make a decision. 2 hours and you will know it.
     
  21. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    It's also the truth that he won't be able to buy a "safe" for anywhere near the price of his budget. If he doesn't want to spend more than that I think that's his business and it doesn't do any good to berate him for not choosing to spend a fortune on something he doesn't want.

    Do you drive a Mercedes S550? If not you haven't spent enough on your car. I wouldn't be caught dead riding in anything less of course. And I live in the Taj Mahal. Actually I use it for my garage. I added on a real house in the back.

    The guy has a budget. Telling him what he can buy with that is not "a real safe" does him absolutely no good at all. He's not going to spend 10X as much as his budget just because someone on a board tells him he's not getting "a real safe". I sure as heck wouldn't. I see this on every board on the net. Someone always has to put someone's choice down because they don't spend enough. Not all of us have multi-million dollar budgets for "a real safe".

    Instead of telling him what he isn't getting how about helping him spend his money the best way. And that doesn't include saying "you need to spend way, way more". To be honest it gets really old seeing people with more money than others slamming those that don't have as much. I could take out a second mortgage and finance "a real safe" but it would be worth far more than the guns inside. How does that make sense? And yes some people absolutely do it to try to make people feel inferior. There are various terms to describe people like that but I don't need to repeat them. You know what they are.

    I'm not rich. I'm not poor. I can afford lots of nice things but I don't think "any" of us can buy whatever we want whenever we want. If that was true you'd be using the Taj Mahal as your garage.

    The topic is "how to best spend the budgeted amount on a rsc". It isn't "you aren't spending near enough and you should really sell all you own and make your entire house a "safe". I won't be responding to anything but the actual topic from now on. Please do the same and that means not saying "you aren't spending enough".
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015
  22. red rick

    red rick Member

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    In your price range , Tractor Supply has a Winchester for $650 .

    I would also buy a room sized dehumidifier for the garage and bolt 4x4's to the floor and bolt the safe on top of them , to keep the safe off the floor .
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
  23. Fossil4Life

    Fossil4Life Member

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  24. dcloco

    dcloco Member

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    Make sure that you bolt the safe to concrete and wall.

    I like the Canon safes - because of the price point. If you think you need a 24 gun safe, buy a 36 or 48...don't kid yourself.

    Pay attention to the fire degree rating AND the time period tested at.

    You can upgrade any of the safes by adding a layer of cement board to the interior. Easily doubles/triples the fire rating. The carpet currently in the safe is fire resistant, continue to use it.

    Items in safes "cook". To help the safe further, put two layers of 1/2" sheetrock on top and sides of the OUTSIDE of the safe. Do this, ESPECIALLY, if the safe has a living area/roof/etc above the safe.
     
  25. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    I said what I said because the OP was obviously uniformed and thinks he can get a "safe" for under $750. It's just not likely... and this topic is discussed ad naseum... type in "safe" and you get a 10000 hits.

    The starting point is understanding that price range gets one a thin steel box that offers almost no protection. Better off to hide the small collection, or buy some plywood and a padlock and hasp and build a box for $50 in materials. A plywood box would offer nearly the same level of protection as a $500 thin steel box to any determined thief.

    Or - I've picked up a few steel truck tool boxes used in the $50 range. One of these would work in a pinch while a person saves his $

    Then save $ for a year, and buy a better mousetrap in the $1500 range.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2015
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