Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Gun Safes

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.


  1. I like my Sentry Safe I got from Lowes for just over $300. I posted about it on the site several times. Go to the site and search for 'sentry' - there's about four articles on various aspects, including specifications.

  2. Thanks for the heads-up. I'll check them out this week.

  3. You might check out this one too:
    After moving my 1000 lb. behemoth Liberty safe more than once, if I ever move again, the safe will stay with the house and I'll buy one of these guys for the new place. Not cheap but the good never are.

  4. Sentry has had problems with their tumblers locking up. I had to have one cut open, and Sentry blew me off on a replacement. And yes, Zanotti is a good one!

  5. The guys at the range don't care for Sentry, either. One of them had a hinge fail, and Sentry basically told him "Sad, too bad", and wouldn't fix it! I'm going to go with the Homeland Security Level V "Closet Safe".

  6. Good information. I need a bigger one, for some reason my collection just keeps getting bigger. :-)

  7. I have my Remington 870, my Marlin 1894, and my newest, a Remington 1100 Tac4. I only "plan" to get one more long gun, a Savage in 308. I hope all 4 fit in this safe!

  8. I've got an American Security safe with a 40 minute fire rating. It's got a dial lock, is small enough to move (350 lbs) and bolts to the floor. Cost was about $600 and I installed it myself.
    Consider getting a rider on your homeowner/renter insurance. There ain't a safe made that will keep a determined thief out. My rider costs 40 bucks a year for $4000 worth of guns.

  9. Thanks for the tip on getting a rider policy! the gf agrees it's an excellent idea, and we'll ask about it after I'm all settled in here.
    BTW...did they give you any hassle about having firearms in your residence?

  10. If you are shopping for a safe I suggest you be sure to get one that has been independently tested by a recognized testing company for the protection you need, that way you have confidence that you get what you pay for. Look for names like UL or ETL who test for fire and or burglar protection. It is also helpful to touch and feel the safe before buying as you can get a much better idea of the quality when you swing the door. Be wary of purchasing over the internet and ending up with your safe sitting on the curb with no way to get it moved into your home. There is lots to think about when purchasing a safe to make sure you get the best solution for your needs, you will likely have the safe for a VERY long time.

  11. Remington most likely has juicy affords from all around the nation, and is using them as leverage.

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