I'm looking to pick up some security that's better than what I currently have. I had pretty much decided on picking up a BigHorn 7144 safe. I like the size of that safe, and I want something that's an equivalent for storage volume. It's a 6' x 44" safe. Reading here made me reconsider going the RSC route. The Bighorn can be had for $1900, and it looks like going to a well optioned (plated, fireproof, etc) Sturdy would be pushing $4k. That's a big difference, and with a Brown it goes up even higher. Suddenly, my sub $2k purchase has turned into $6k or more. :( I could probably swing $3k for my "gun safe", if I needed to. Sub $2500, though, is where I'd like to be. That's a tough challenge when considering the size I want. My concern is typical smash-n-grab stuff, or random burglary. I don't have any reason to think I make myself a particular target.
I had planned on putting a RSC in the living area of the home (bedroom). ~1100 lbs of weight wouldn't be an issue, I'd like it being out of sight (to casual visitors, anyway), and I like the idea of the temperature control and easy access. However, it's an RSC. If I go with a "real" safe, I'll have no choice but to put the unit in the garage. I live in a surburban area, and my garage faces directly into the street. Given the kids, their friends, summer bicycling, etc...the garage door stays open more than I'd like. :( This would, of course, mean building a facade / fake room / wall around a any garage-dwelling safe. The garage has little / nothing in the way of tools, but my shop (in the backyard) contains torches, plasma cutters, welders, metal cutoff saws, grinders, etc.
My gun collection contains nothing rare or exotic, but I've got several guns. AK's, Saiga 12's, FAL's, a few AR10's, and a variety of 5.56, .22, and 9mm AR's. Then the deer rifles, general purpose shotguns, several Marlin model 60's, 10/22, and pistols. So, nothing exotic, but still...a decent chunk. Consider that shortly I'll be adding some suppressors and SBR / SBS stamps to the collection as well. Nothing that can't be replaced by an insurance check, as opposed to a rare collectible or full-auto specimen.
So, I went hunting forums / sites for used "real" safes. Some of the units I found are below. My question...based on my situation / criteria, what's the best use of my money? Going with the Bighorn in the bedroom, or buying something like one of the units below, and fabbing up an interior I want? Are any of the below good candidates for gun safe conversions, or are they somehow "lacking" in modern advancements that make them more vulnerable than, say, a new Brown? I'm sure the below would be more burglarly resistant than the 10ga Bighorn, but...will they be -a lot- more resistant? I'm just curious of the Bighorn in the house would cover 95% of my likely needs, while being attractive, convenient, and...easy. As opposed ot one of the below units for the possible 5%, at the expense of a lot more headache, PITA, lack of convenience, etc.
FWIW, this is not a "forever" house. We'd like to move in 3-5 years, to something larger on some acreage. At that time, I'm much more likely to consider a full-blown safe purchase, or even building a dedicated gun / shelter room. I'm not going to lie, I like the idea of #'a 1 and 2, 3 if it's big enough, and 4 if it'll clean up and function correctly. Anything aside from #1 would get me a "real" safe, at less than the cost of the new RSC. And, if #1 is a "good" safe, I wouldn't mind spending the extra coin.
"Mosler Safe built between 1899 and 1901 in Chicago. $3,500 OBO. On Wheels. Measurements 75"H x 42"W x 29"D. Walls are 5" thick. Dual doors. Individual compartments with large compartment at bottom. 4 Hour Fire Safe."
"Excellent large Deibold safe, double set of double doors. The safe is a class 150 4 hour fire safe. This safe weighs approximately 4,500 lbs. and is approximately 84" tall by 48" wide by 38" deep."
"TL-20 SAFE. THIS IS A 2 HOUR FIRE RATED SAFE. EQUIPPED WITH HARDPLATE IN THE DOOR AND AN S&G DIAL COMBINATION LOCK. SAFE WEIGHS EASILY 1400LBS. AN AWESOME FEATURE ABOUT THE SAFE IS THAT THE HEAVY DUTY DOOR SLIDES INTO A SIDE COMPARTMENT BUILT INTO THE SIDE OF THE SAFE TO SAVE ROOM WHEN IT'S OPEN."
"Very large and heavy plate steel safe. Combination lock works smoothly. Outside Dimensions: 42.5"w x 28"d x 67.5" tall. Overall Inside Dimensions: 40" x 26" x 61" with shelf, the lower edge of which is 10" from the inside top. Rust is light surface rust only.Firebrick would have to be added to actually make the safe fireproof, but it is beefy enough to resist most home blazes. It is quite heavy - surely over two ton based on the difficulty I had lifting it with a Bobcat. There is a lifting hook centered on the top of the safe."
"Jewelry Safe Globe, Very well built old gun safe. 5ft tall"
"Large safe - Former gun safe. Appx. 5' high x 4' wide x 3.5' deep. 1920's Deibold bank safe. "
If you know for sure you are going to move, I'd buy something like the Dakota safe that is modular and will be an easy install now. Make sure you have insurance (Collectables Insurance is very reasonable). Then, after you move, buy something with a TL30 or greater rating, assuming you have anything worth stealing. Try calling George at WorldWide Safe and Vault in Miami. A used WW-6536 can be had for around $3900 installed in an 'easy' location. http://www.worldwidesafe.com/prodTL30.htm
My thoughts, from looking at those safes you posted, is that while they are cheaper that a lot of new options, the security of locks leaves something to be desired. Many folks have installed safes in garages without issue, be aware of visibility from street and put something in front if necessary.
Don't forget to factor in the cost of building an interior and shipping / setting those real safes.
Many Hive Members have set safes in garages and finish it off with a cabinet or something over the top. Alternatively, paint it to blend with the garage, making it less visible from the street.
If you go with the plate safe, you might want to remove the lifting lug.
#1 - Priced too high.
#2 - Data safe. Great for fire. Really good price.
#3 - I'd need to see a photo of the tag, but I bet it's a T-20, and not a TL-20. The T rating is a tamper rating, similar to an RSC rating. The difference being that a T-20 is for 20 minutes, whereas the RSC rating is for 5 minutes.
#4 - Probably a former ATM safe. Excelent safe, and the steel is worth more than the asking price. If this was used for an ATM, there would be multiple large holes. Make sure they were patched properly (good welding and proper thickness - 1" plate).
#5 - Not a jeweler's safe. Not even a great fire safe. May possibly contain asbestos. Price is OK.
#6 - Not a bank safe. Antique cast iron fire safe. Price is OK.
FWIF, I like #4. That hulking bastard is worth at least a grand. Scuff it up, roll on some epoxy alkyd and you have a REAL save, damn near good as new.
Set it in the garage. Like I said earlier - you can't just yank that loose and toss it in the back of a pickup truck.
It can be moved later if you relocate, assuming you have a plan.
where did you find those at? I really like number 2.
I like #2 and #4. I'm not sure what a "data safe" is. Is there some reason that wouldn't be a good gun safe? Any reason, aside from size, to choose one over the other? Prices are similar, both are about 6 hours away. Is there any reason I can't lay a safe on it's back for transport?
I am not an expert on safes but I think it would be alright to place one on the back side to transport. If it were me I would be tempted to securely strap it in standing up but 6 hours is a long drive and you want it well secured.
I can not answer your question on what a data safe is but I suspect safe#2 would work well as a gun safe provided the combination works properly.
Where did you find these safes at? Do they list used safes like this often?
If you have a place that can handle the weight and don't mind spending some big money for shipping, #2 looks like a great deal to me. A UL listed 4 hour-150F data safe has the keep the contents less than 150F with less than 85% humidity for the duration of the test; furnace temperature will reach around 2000F and then shut off and allowed to cool which could take days. Although they'd never say you can do it, that would likely be the safest place to store powder and ammo in your house if a fire were to occur.