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Best gun safe?

Safes security gun safe

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#1 Corbin

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 12:37 AM

I've been in the market to upgrade my gun safe for a while now. For the last couple years, I've been trying to accumilate info on various models. Looking at reviews, features, cost, warranties and general information on gun safes has (so far) led me to focus on two brands that are available for $2,000 or so. Those would be Fort Knox and Liberty safes. The Fort Knox safes are more expensive, with their cheapest model (that I found) being about two grand.







Thoughts, suggestions, observations?

Edited by Corbin, 14 April 2012 - 12:44 AM.

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#2 yakdung

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 12:43 AM


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#3 Mullet Man

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 01:01 AM

Sturdy safes are nice, priced very competetively with THICK steel, K.I.S.S. locking mechanisms and built in California. They get alot of great reviews and the only downside anybody can knock them about is outside appearance. They arent built pretty, they are built tough.
One day soon, i'll have one.

$2k would net a decent sized Sturdy safe, delivered.

Edited by Mullet Man, 14 April 2012 - 01:04 AM.

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#4 Corbin

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 02:02 AM

I was thinking about the "fat boy" model, by Liberty. There's a "tactical" model I've seen too, but I'm not sure who makes that one.
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#5 KevinInNM

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 02:06 AM

I bet you don't buy guns from a locksmith, so I'd suggest you don't buy a safe from a gun store. A lot of the companies that sell primarily gun safes are selling you a drywall box covered with sheet metal and a really nice paint job. Often with impressive but fake "bolts" that don't actually do anything. Unless you are buying it primarily as furniture don't pay big bucks for a nice paint job. You want to buy a steel or steel and concrete safe with a UL rated lock and a UL rating of RSC at the very least.

I don't sell safes, but I would still suggest you buy your safe from someone who has a factory trained tech on their staff and has sold and serviced commercial safes for at least 10 years. It might be really helpful if they are reasonably local as it is really difficult to ship the 1000+ pound safe you bolted to your slab somewhere when the lock breaks with all your guns inside.

For vicinity $2000 I'd look at the amsec BF6032, though I'd probably spend the extra money to get a bigger safe.

Ratings:

An RSC rating means it can keep one guy out for 5 minutes who has a hammer and a screwdriver. If it can't do that why are you buying it? If you are trying to keep your guns safe from your preteen kids there are cheaper ways to do that.

A TL rating means the safe is a far more serious obstacle. No crackhead or tweaker is going to open a TL rated safe. Though they might force YOU to open it for them, that's why you carry in the house. They also cost a lot unless you can buy a used safe. Which is something you should look into, as a used safe is typically just fine. For example, a used GSA class 5 container is much tougher than a commercial RSC (class 5 has a "forced entry" rating in minutes on the data plate.) A used commercial TL15 or TL30 is also going to be vastly more secure then you can get from a new safe for the same money. However, have any used safe inspected and combo changed by someone who knows what they are doing before you put anything in it.

#6 Corbin

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 02:19 AM

Thanks for the info Keven. By the way, we spent some time last summer in Albuquerque. Great place. Loved the tram up the mountain.
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#7 6500rpm

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 04:48 AM

I own a large liberty that I'm really happy with. They have an outlet in my area as well as going on sale periodically at Cabellas. That said, I was a bit suprised. I went with Acorn stick on pistol holders on the door-the fabric is stretched and stapled to fire rated dry wall material. I removed and used a spray adheasive to keep from sagging. it also gave me a good look at the locking internals and knowing that if I were determined to break in I bet I could. It's a strong deterrant, but if you had 20 min of time and were willing to make some noise that doors coming open. Mine was in the 2k range so it's not the bottom line. Great for fire protection, keeping kids and would be theives out but if someone knows you have guns and was determined they can do it by cutting through the sheet metal on just about any safe it can be done.

#8 YOT

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 08:43 AM

The more important thing is to put the safe in an area that deprives pry point leverage and fasten it to the wall AND floor. If they can't get it into a position to pry it open, they quickly move on.
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#9 yakdung

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 08:46 AM

I would think a portable Oxy- Acetylene cutting torch would have no problem cutting into most of these safes.
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#10 Captain Hero

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 10:19 AM

liberty's are nice. but i like cannon just as much. but the fort knox is prolly my favorite. i just cant afford one.

I would think a portable Oxy- Acetylene cutting torch would have no problem cutting into most of these safes.


i agree. i have one on my work truck. mine is a victor with a 0 tip. i dont think the safe would have a chance. but not everybody can tote these around very easy.

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#11 MolonLabe

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 10:19 AM


I found this video pretty interesting
Skip to 2:30 or so

Edited by MolonLabe, 14 April 2012 - 10:57 AM.

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#12 yakdung

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 10:35 AM

liberty's are nice. but i like cannon just as much. but the fort knox is prolly my favorite. i just cant afford one.


I would think a portable Oxy- Acetylene cutting torch would have no problem cutting into most of these safes.


i agree. i have one on my work truck. mine is a victor with a 0 tip. i dont think the safe would have a chance. but not everybody can tote these around very easy.

I'll bet these small cylinders could punch a good size hole:
http://www.amazon.co...e/dp/B000LSPJHK
This portable plasma cutter with an internal air compressor running on 110V current and could probably do the trick:
http://www.hobartwel.../airforce250ci/
Most of the demonstrations shown on the safe manufactures websites always discuss prying. Cutting can be a real threat as well.

Edited by yakdung, 14 April 2012 - 10:40 AM.

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#13 WhiskeyMinion

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 10:36 AM

Liberty is good but stay away from the fatboy series. They are paper thin

I would think a portable Oxy- Acetylene cutting torch would have no problem cutting into most of these safes.


That's why I filled mine with black powder. It's going to be a very bad day for anyone torching/cutting my safe
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#14 yakdung

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 10:49 AM

Liberty is good but stay away from the fatboy series. They are paper thin


I would think a portable Oxy- Acetylene cutting torch would have no problem cutting into most of these safes.


That's why I filled mine with black powder. It's going to be a very bad day for anyone torching/cutting my safe

Small hole and flood the safe with water. I would bet that a cut from a plasma cutter would not be a problem. But then again, I'm not in the business of trying.

Edited by yakdung, 14 April 2012 - 10:54 AM.

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#15 MolonLabe

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 10:54 AM

Small hole and flood the safe with water.

It' already full of powder....
Sorry Dave, I'm afraid you can't do that...

#16 yakdung

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 11:07 AM


Small hole and flood the safe with water.

It' already full of powder....
Sorry Dave, I'm afraid you can't do that...

If it is a fireproof safe, the sheet rock between the flame will insulate the internals of the safe from heat.

Edited by yakdung, 14 April 2012 - 11:08 AM.

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#17 armalite_ar50

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 12:13 PM

Vandergraff for a "safe"

everything else is pretty much a fire box with a better door.

That said I have a liberty but I bought it back in the day and didn't know to much about safes then.

Also BOLT THAT FUCKER DOWN and keep it out of sight.

By that I mean not some place where it can't be seen through a window or when your front door is open.
Out of sight out of mind.
One more thing when it's delivered DON'T have A1 LOCK company truck pulling up to your front door and dropping it off.
I made sure it was a plain truck and the safe was covered. Nothing like saying " I have something of value"

If it's covered you can claim it's a fridge or a freezer.

Edited by armalite_ar50, 14 April 2012 - 09:32 PM.

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#18 Guns Are Great

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 01:06 PM

Great thread! Very informative!

#19 JAG

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 01:12 PM

I didn't like any of the offerings commercially and I am paranoid so here is mine. It is tucked away somewhere in these hills in the backround on my ranch.
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#20 yakdung

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 01:24 PM

Watch the very informative video in post #11. Listen to what the gentleman says @08:17 & @ 09:03.

"If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing." ~ B. Franklin


#21 Shandlanos

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 01:32 PM

You might be surprised how quickly those little portable OA rigs run out of gas when you're doing some heavy cutting. 5 cubic feet of acetylene and 10 Ft^3 of oxygen burn up in no time. I have a 225 Ft^3 acetylene tank and 280 Ft^3 oxygen tank for my home welding rig - not terribly portable. It'd be tough, with even a reasonably thick safe, to cut through enough steel to remove any valuables before running out of gas using portable tanks.

Some thieves also realize that using fire to steal things readily damaged by fire is stupid. "Oooooh, I found $10k in the safe. It was paper money... Shit."
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#22 KevinInNM

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 04:39 PM

I would think a portable Oxy- Acetylene cutting torch would have no problem cutting into most of these safes.

Yup. UL rated TLTR safes not so much. That's why a used jewlers safe can be a great deal. Still won't be cheap, moving a 3 ton safe never is, but it can cost far less then it would for a new safe.

#23 KevinInNM

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 04:44 PM

This portable plasma cutter with an internal air compressor running on 110V current and could probably do the trick:

I talked to the guys who did the work on my GSA containers and it isn't as easy as it looks to open a well constructed safe. They have used plasma cutters to open damaged safes and you get reflow of the thick steel into the cut. It took a lot longer than they expected.

For a sheet metal "gun safe", sure. But a fire axe or a sawzall works fine on them.

Edited by KevinInNM, 14 April 2012 - 04:44 PM.


#24 preparehandbook

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 05:42 PM

The best gun safe I ever owned was a large surplus electrical junction box.

I mounted it in the garage, plumbed in big empty conduits and put "DANGER HIGH VOLTAGE" stickers on it and an ABUS padlock.

When my place was broken into the ripped from the wall the small locker style safe I had in my den that held bulk ammo. they ransacked everything, they completely ignored the faux junction box.
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#25 sunnybean

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 09:19 PM

Sturdy.
'TonyRumore', on 16 Nov 2011 - 9:42 PM, said:
...and you have to be a complete dorkwad or mall ninja to run around hunting with a mag fed gun, pulling the fucking mag out every shot and dicking around loading a shell and jamming it back in the gun when you can just stuff one in the tube. Even with multiple mags, it's a serious pain in the ass and takes two hands. That's a major drawback when hunting since you need to keep one hand on the gun and the other on your beer............

Tony

#26 armalite_ar50

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 09:35 PM

Again bolt that thing down Strobo32 had his whole safe taken ( about 30K of NFA )
and another 10 K in parts/guns.

To date the insurance has paid 5K and he has NOT recovered any of his belongings.

Do a search and you'll see he admitted to it NOT being bolted down.

Edited by armalite_ar50, 14 April 2012 - 09:35 PM.


#27 Clay

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 09:48 PM

IMO buy the best safe you can afford.

Put it in the house as out of site as possible.

Find a reputable mover for the safe if you require one. Moving companies are one of those places that seem to have high turn over types. If nothing else, the fewer people who know, the better.

Make sure you bolt it down.

Make sure where ever you put it is hard to get to the sides, and back. They are typically the most vunerable.

Make sure where ever you put it makes it VERY hard to put a pry bar in use on the side that opens. Putting the safe in a corner, with the side that opens close to one of the corner walls makes it all but impossible to use a pry bar long enough to actually do much.

To be honest, it doesnt really matter what kind of safe you have. Any "normal" safe (or security locker is more like is), ie liberty styles, will only keep out a modest thief. But, even with the best safe, if they know its there, and they want it, they will get it.
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#28 Long Shot

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 10:07 PM

IMO buy the best safe you can afford.

Put it in the house as out of site as possible.

Find a reputable mover for the safe if you require one. Moving companies are one of those places that seem to have high turn over types. If nothing else, the fewer people who know, the better.

Make sure you bolt it down.

Make sure where ever you put it is hard to get to the sides, and back. They are typically the most vunerable.

Make sure where ever you put it makes it VERY hard to put a pry bar in use on the side that opens. Putting the safe in a corner, with the side that opens close to one of the corner walls makes it all but impossible to use a pry bar long enough to actually do much.

To be honest, it doesnt really matter what kind of safe you have. Any "normal" safe (or security locker is more like is), ie liberty styles, will only keep out a modest thief. But, even with the best safe, if they know its there, and they want it, they will get it.


None will be anything " proof " fire, theft, flood, whatever. More like resistant.

I have the biggest liberty available and it's full. I would say get a big one whatever you decide on.

Another option is a vault door and build a gun room.

#29 fffpatriot

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 11:04 PM

I like the idea of a Zanotti safe, being able to disassemble it and take it with you if you had to relocate (and in a hurry!).
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#30 HarvKY

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 03:20 AM

Related question.....

Im interested in the construction of a small gun safe "room"
It would be in the the corner of our concrete block basement which is underground (also surrounded by lots of rock as it took some dynamite to start building).

Would just rebar or steel reinforced block walls with a steel frame and locking door(s) by a safe company be GTG? I believe the ceilings are concrete slabs (unsure of size or the exact maaterial makeup)

Also, I've watched Craigs a little bit for any type salvage doors/setup from a business or other that might be applicable - no luck. Any ideas?

TIA
Harv
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