Gun safes are one of those things that I never really thought about much until recently. Since I'll be moving in with my girlfriend shortly, it's time to buy one, and wow, the choices are overwhelming! I was even surprised to see them at Home Depot in the "Tools" section, but I think I'd rather spend a little more and get one from more of a name-brand kind of place than my local lumber/wallboard/tool emporium.
The first question is How Big? I don't own a lot of firearms (yet!), so I don't need a safe big enough to arm a platoon, but I do need one big enough to handle any future purchases.
Then there's What "Level" Do We Buy? Some of these things look sturdy enough to require a small tactical nuke to break in to. The fire rating changes with the level, which is nice to know, but I'm more concerned with things like ease of installation (Reinforce the floor? WHAT!?), ease of opening, and physical security.
Which brings up What Type Of Lock? By this I mean do we want a dial-type lock, or a keypad-type lock? I kind of favor the keypad, but I want to look into if they have a connector for an external battery in case the on-board battery dies. It would be a real bummer to not be able to get into my own safe!
Next is Where Do We Put It? I'm looking at "closet safes", as we have a closet in one of the bedrooms that's not used for much, and it would be out of sight.
I already have a pistol safe that pops open with just a touch of the finger pads (yes, I practice with that just as much as I practice with my pistols!), and I'll keep that in the bedroom with my 45 inside it. I can't be running off to the other bedroom if something goes bump in the night, or the Goblins start prowling around outside. I just hope I never have to use my pistol to fight my way to my shotgun!
And finally, What About Shipping? These things are heavy, and I doubt if I could just slide one in the back of my Jeep to get it home. I'll probably rent a small trailer, and take the girlfriend's "#2 Son" with me. He's a weight-lifter, and helped the other night when we brought all the floor tile home for the kitchen remodel. I was struggling with a single box of tile (ever pick up a box of 12x12 floor tiles?), and was lugging in THREE of them! He's also been to the range with us a few times, knows The Four Rules, and is a damn fine shot with my Kimber.
I found several places that are fairly local, like "Homeland Security Safe Company", and "Patriot Safe Company". Some of the others offer free shipping, but that means somebody has to be home to accept delivery, and I'd really like this to be low-key, as I don't want a big truck pulling up, and all the neighbors seeing a brand-new GUN SAFE being delivered.
Ahhh...decisions, decisions. Next time I go to the range I'll ask the guys there. It's where I bought my little pistol safe, and they always know the answers to my sometimes arcane questions.
Comments are welcome, especially your experiences with gun safes.