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Posted: 3/15/2005 8:52:35 AM EST
Buying my first safe this week, a 600+ lb Cannon (Best one for what I have to spend, so please don't turn this into a thread recommending other brands)

Question is: I have the option of electronic keypad lock (for more money) or plain old combination dial.

I like the convenience of the keypad, but the dial just looks more solid.

What say you?

SG
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 8:53:50 AM EST
Mechanical +1
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 8:55:07 AM EST
Gun safe in the dark - Elec

Any other safe - mech
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 8:58:22 AM EST
I didn't think I would like an electronic one untill my buddy got one.

Now, I have one and will never have the dial. Get the electronic one and you won't be sorry
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 8:58:30 AM EST
i have electronic access

i chose it for two reasons

first is speed of access, no contest there

second is combination resetability

both were more important to me than ultra long term reliability
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 9:01:15 AM EST
Which is less tamper proof?

Link Posted: 3/15/2005 9:03:04 AM EST
How do the electronic keypad safes work? Do you have to plug them into an outlet? What if the power goes out? I wouldn't want to get stuck without access to my safe if say a home intruder cut the power and then was attempting to enter my home. Granted, I don't think your home defense weapon should be locked up in a safe anyway, but it would still be nice to know you could access it just in case.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 9:05:04 AM EST
9v batteries.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 9:10:37 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2005 9:11:15 AM EST by ScottS]
I have a Liberty safe, orginally equipped with a S&G mechanical, and I switched it over to a S&G electronic. I ain't ever going back to mechanical. Easier, faster, more positive (harder to screw up) than my mechanical, and it was a cinch to install. Bought it NIB off eBay.

Electronic locks use a 9v battery (or 2, as in the case of mine). My S&G batteries are external to the lock (you pop off the dial face to replace the batteries) so there's never a worry about battery failure stranding your guns in the safe. The LaGard lock I looked at had an internal battery box, but had two terminals on the face so you could apply power if your batteries suddenly went dead.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 9:11:00 AM EST
A gunsafe is likely the last place I'd trust electronics. In fact I seem to remember someone here a while back that was having a bitch of a time getting his electronic safe open because it had fucked up.

I have mechanical on mine and when I'm home I dial in the first two numbers and leave it so that all I have to do is turn it to the next number to open it, which I can do even in the dark if I put pressure on the handle and turn the dial. When I'm getting ready to leave I give the dial a few turns. It's become part of my "things to do before I leave" like making sure I have my C/C weapon, the coffee pot is off, the thermostat is set correctly, etc.

It takes LITTLE effort to reset the safe to what I call "easy open".

I can see and understand the advantages of the electronic keypad, but it's not for me.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 9:24:36 AM EST

Originally Posted By HKocher:
Which is less tamper proof?




They are both the same, unless a safe cracker listens to the tumblers (not likely). No tumblers on an electronic. If you have any insecurities about an electronic lock, get a double door safe.

Yes, I had a S&G mechanical fail. It happens. It would have required the same effort to crack the safe as an electronic failure.

+1 for electronic. After you have opened your safe 15 or 20 times in a day, you will appreciate the speed and ease.

Link Posted: 3/15/2005 9:27:56 AM EST
I swore I'd never have anything but a mechanical lock, I now have an electronic pad on my executive safe. I can't see going back to tumblers.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 9:28:12 AM EST

Originally Posted By fish223:
i have electronic access

i chose it for two reasons

first is speed of access, no contest there

second is combination resetability

both were more important to me than ultra long term reliability



+1

Mine is a Liberty with the elec keypad...it rules. No comparison as far as speed of access.

Dunno about reliability, never had any problems in 5+ years.

Keep fresh 9v batts handy nearby. Battery changes are fairly quick...you could probably change out the batteries and have the safe open in less time than it takes to operate a mech combo.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 9:28:20 AM EST

Originally Posted By iroc409:
9v batteries.



What happens when the batteries die?

I assume there's some way that the thing remebers the combination?

SG
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 9:31:53 AM EST
Curious about something...

You pay a quite a bit of money for a good gunsafe and you would expect it to last, well, a lifetime right?

Would you expect the electronic locks to last a lifetime?

I seriously don't know.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 9:33:30 AM EST
Im happy with my electric keypad. how will these hold up when the red chinese drop an electromagnetic pulse bomb on us?


-HS
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 9:39:21 AM EST
+ ELECTRIC!!
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 9:41:34 AM EST

Originally Posted By ScaryGuy:

Originally Posted By iroc409:
9v batteries.



What happens when the batteries die?

I assume there's some way that the thing remebers the combination?

SG



Yes, it remembers the combo.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 9:49:49 AM EST
Combination
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 9:52:10 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2005 9:52:59 AM EST by Admiral_Crunch]
One possible consideration on electronics -- I have seen pushbutton keypads that have had the same code for years. As a result, the numbers in the code wear or become marked in such a way that you can tell which buttons get pushed a lot and which don't. Of course, this was on an access door to an office, and it got used 30 times a day. If you plan on using your keypad a lot, you may want to change your code number every couple of years to prevent uneven wear.

That said, I would much prefer an electronic lock.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 9:58:36 AM EST
Electronic all the way.

1) ease of entry - speedy, in the dark, and without looking if you can remember sequence by feel
most electronic combo locks have tactile raised bottons

2) batteries change from the outside and the lock remembers the combo if you take out the battery

3) settable combo. I've changed mine on occasion and a mechanical lock requires a locksmith...who would also know it after setting it for you

Link Posted: 3/15/2005 9:58:46 AM EST
Has everyone been watching 24? 3 words: Electro Magnetic Pulse
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 10:05:47 AM EST
what type of keypad is on the electronic lock and how many digits do you have to press to open it?
Assume it's a 10 digit pad and 4 digit code.

All someone has to do is dust for prints, at most only 4 keys on the keypad will have gobs of fingerprint goo on them, as you never use the other 6. Congratulations, you've just narrowed down for your would be theif 24 possible combinations to the safe: 4 possibilities for the first digit x 3 for the second x 2 for the third x 1 for the last = 24 permutations.

A mechanical lock has 100 x 100 x 100 possible combinations, least mine does, that's 1,000,000 possible combinations, they'll never find it by pure guessing.

Not so secure anymore is it?
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 10:06:21 AM EST

Originally Posted By -Absolut-:
Has everyone been watching 24? 3 words: Electro Magnetic Pulse



Has everyone been watching this thread? 1 words : Don't put all of your shit in your safe
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 10:10:30 AM EST

Originally Posted By -Absolut-:
Has everyone been watching 24? 2 words: Electromagnetic Pulse

Link Posted: 3/15/2005 10:17:49 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2005 10:18:28 AM EST by quijanos]
6 digit code on 10 numbers = 10mil possible combo's

getting prints off of raised (tactile) buttons will be a trick
plus I usually feel my combo (for practice) and rarely look at it, so infact I'm feeling around all the bottons regularly.

getting into it a few times a day is alot easier than a manual mechanical combo

BTW I have a Cannon
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 10:18:12 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2005 10:49:50 AM EST by Agent7]
What happens if a theif smashes the electronic lock assembly witha big fooking hammer?? WTF you gonna do then to get in your safe? I'm just asking because I really have no idea. My safe is mechanical.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 10:20:26 AM EST

Originally Posted By Agent7:
What happens if a theif smashes the electronic lock assembly witha big fooking hammer?? WTF you gonna do then to get in your safe? I'm just asking because I really have no idea. My safe is mechanical?



expensive house call from lock smith....



-HS
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 10:20:44 AM EST
Since I work in the armored car industry I work with locks quite a bit, both electronic, and dial. Kaba Mas is a leading lock manufacturer, and makes a good product. The main advantage of electronic locks are controlled access with multiple users, and a audit trail on who has accessed it. Reliability is not an advantage of an electronic lock, not at this point of the game, and certainly not with the cheap electronic locks put on gun safes. A good electronic lock will cost as much as some of the safes on the market, think about it. A cheap electronic lock will not be reliable, and is a easy target for any ex-con with rudimentary jail house training. Here are some "testimonials":

www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=137906
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 10:20:50 AM EST

Originally Posted By FourStringSlinger:

Originally Posted By ScaryGuy:

Originally Posted By iroc409:
9v batteries.



What happens when the batteries die?

I assume there's some way that the thing remebers the combination?

SG



Yes, it remembers the combo.


I change the 2 9V batteries once a year on a S&G lock they would go longer then that but I have never tested to find out. You know it is time to change them when the chirps change to a higher frequency. I am in and out 2-3 times a day.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 10:20:55 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2005 10:23:43 AM EST by quijanos]

Originally Posted By Agent7:
What happens if a theif smashes the electronic lock assembly witha big fooking hammer?? WTF you gonna do then to get in your safe? I'm just asking because I really have no idea. My safe is mechanical?




Originally Posted By HillBillySasquatch:
expensive house call from lock smith....
-HS



Bullshit on the expensive house call. Hillbilly obviously doesn't own a Cannon.

Call manufacturer. Cannon will replace it for free if there is a attempted break-in.
Its called researching the warranty. IIRC, they will also replace it after a fire. Its in their gurantee and why I will ALWAYS buy and recommend Cannon

Link Posted: 3/15/2005 10:23:33 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2005 10:40:11 AM EST by green-grizzly]

Originally Posted By AssaultRifler:
what type of keypad is on the electronic lock and how many digits do you have to press to open it?
Assume it's a 10 digit pad and 4 digit code.

All someone has to do is dust for prints, at most only 4 keys on the keypad will have gobs of fingerprint goo on them, as you never use the other 6. Congratulations, you've just narrowed down for your would be theif 24 possible combinations to the safe: 4 possibilities for the first digit x 3 for the second x 2 for the third x 1 for the last = 24 permutations.

A mechanical lock has 100 x 100 x 100 possible combinations, least mine does, that's 1,000,000 possible combinations, they'll never find it by pure guessing.

Not so secure anymore is it?


My safe code has 6 digits. I can reset it if periodically to avoid the fingerprint problem you mention. If you try my safe's combination three times and get it wrong each time, it will shut down for some period of time (15 minutes?). So even if the fingerprinting trick worked and I didn't reset my safe periodically, we have 720 possible combinations, and it would take 60 solid hours to try all of the permutations.

I am in and out of my safe all the time, so I appreciate the speed of the keypad.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 10:27:32 AM EST
I don't wear tin foil hats, and I don't have mechanical locks on my safes.



Link Posted: 3/15/2005 10:28:21 AM EST

Originally Posted By Ekie:
A cheap electronic lock will not be reliable, and is a easy target for any ex-con with rudimentary jail house training. Here are some "testimonials":

www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=137906



Yikes, that thread is an eye opener.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 10:37:40 AM EST

Electronic locks are great for quick access to one or two house guns.

But, because EMP is a real threat, mechanical locks are the only option for safes with SHTF guns. I just don't see your safe company sending out a locksmith on horseback.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 10:44:30 AM EST

Originally Posted By HKocher:

Originally Posted By Ekie:
A cheap electronic lock will not be reliable, and is a easy target for any ex-con with rudimentary jail house training. Here are some "testimonials":

www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=137906



Yikes, that thread is an eye opener.



No kidding. Apparantly, electronic keypad safes can be easily defeated with a 9v battery (according to that thread). They don't say exactly how though...
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 10:47:23 AM EST
Sounds like time for another thread.

If it can be defeated by a 9v battery I'd like to know.

My house alarm would be my primary security.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 10:54:35 AM EST

Originally Posted By green-grizzly:

Originally Posted By AssaultRifler:
what type of keypad is on the electronic lock and how many digits do you have to press to open it?
Assume it's a 10 digit pad and 4 digit code.

All someone has to do is dust for prints, at most only 4 keys on the keypad will have gobs of fingerprint goo on them, as you never use the other 6. Congratulations, you've just narrowed down for your would be theif 24 possible combinations to the safe: 4 possibilities for the first digit x 3 for the second x 2 for the third x 1 for the last = 24 permutations.

A mechanical lock has 100 x 100 x 100 possible combinations, least mine does, that's 1,000,000 possible combinations, they'll never find it by pure guessing.

Not so secure anymore is it?


My safe code has 6 digits. I can reset it if periodically to avoid the fingerprint problem you mention. If you try my safe's combination three times and get it wrong each time, it will shut down for some period of time (15 minutes?). So even if the fingerprinting trick worked and I didn't reset my safe periodically, we have 720 possible combinations, and it would take 60 solid hours to try all of the permutations.

I am in and out of my safe all the time, so I appreciate the speed of the keypad.



Yeah, 6 is better than 4, I didn't know how many digits the typical gun safe took. I did a quick google and immeidately found a gun safe with a 4 digit code. Actually it would take 59H 45min + however many seconds to go thru all 720 combinations
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 10:56:52 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2005 10:57:28 AM EST by Robert2011]

After reading that thread...maybe an EMP will open your electronic safe
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 10:57:50 AM EST

Originally Posted By -Absolut-:
Has everyone been watching 24? 3 words: Electro Magnetic Pulse

lol. Expected some paranoiac to post that right at the beginning!
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 11:00:40 AM EST
Gun safes are not going to serve to keep a professional away from your toys, just the occasional punk. There are many ways of defeating a steel box without going through the door...
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 11:03:20 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2005 11:04:26 AM EST by AssaultRifler]

Originally Posted By quijanos:
6 digit code on 10 numbers = 10mil possible combo's

getting prints off of raised (tactile) buttons will be a trick
plus I usually feel my combo (for practice) and rarely look at it, so infact I'm feeling around all the bottons regularly.

getting into it a few times a day is alot easier than a manual mechanical combo

BTW I have a Cannon




6 digits would give you a max of 1,000,000 combinations, digits 000000-999,999

The fingerprint trick eliminates 4 or more of those 10 digits so in essence you have a 6 digit key pad, not 10 for guessing purposes, so that would give you 6x5x4x3x2x1 = 720 combinations *IF* someone knew which 4 keys were not being used for the combination.

Now lets say you have a 6 digit code with 1 digit repeating, e.g. 123345, this is more interesting, you'd have 5x5x4x3x2x1 =600 possible combinations to try, assuming you eleminated 5 of the digits up front because they didnt have fingerprint goo on them.

A 6 digit combination with a triple repeating digit would be 4x4x4x3x2x1

A 6 digit combination with 2 sets of repeating digits, e.g. 112234 would have 4x4x3x3x2x1 possible combinations, again if you knew which keys on the keypad were not part of the combination.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 11:04:46 AM EST
Remembering back for about the last year or so, it seems whenever there has been a question posted about having a problem with a gunsafe it has involved the electronic lock on one. I can remember at least several threads about these. Due to that, I bought a safe with a mechanical lock.

IMHO, I would opt for the mechanical lock as opposed to the electronic one and after having read those posts about how to open the electronic lock with the 9 volt battery, that just confirms my choice even more.

For a faster access there are some of those small boxes with the keypads that allow a handgun or two to be accessed farily quickly but kept away from kids. A friend of mine has one and has had no problems with it. Maybe that would be a good option for one needing fast access.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 11:09:00 AM EST
To add to the thread, a trick for rotary dial locks, least for me, is to dial the combination lock with my left hand. When I start with the left hand my natural tendency is to rotate the dial counter clockwise which is correct. If I start with my right hand I want to start by turning the dial clock wise which will never work. Weird.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 11:11:15 AM EST

Originally Posted By NewbHunter:
Apparantly, electronic keypad safes can be easily defeated with a 9v battery (according to that thread). They don't say exactly how though...



One would think that info would find its way back to the safe manufacturers, and they would take steps to counter the technique.

I imagine that's probably what happened. Early electronic safes are vulnerable to some kind of shorting out trick or something, and revisions were made in later designs to combat the method. If all or most electronic gunsafes are still vulnerable, you'd think there would be a shitstorm like the bic-pen-defeated tubular locks.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 11:12:33 AM EST

Originally Posted By NewbHunter:

Originally Posted By HKocher:

Originally Posted By Ekie:
A cheap electronic lock will not be reliable, and is a easy target for any ex-con with rudimentary jail house training. Here are some "testimonials":

www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=137906



Yikes, that thread is an eye opener.



No kidding. Apparantly, electronic keypad safes can be easily defeated with a 9v battery (according to that thread). They don't say exactly how though...



I'm sorry, but I guess I'm a cynic. A post on any internet forum by an anonymous poster with no offer of proof other than "I've seen it" and "Trust me, a con told me." just won't make me run out and change the lock on my safe. (But, then, I've been known to disbelieve e-mail chain letters and other urban legends, too.)

Neither will worries about EMP or fingerprint goo left behind by diabolical Mission Impossible-types.

Guess I'm really living on the edge...
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 11:19:13 AM EST

Originally Posted By ScottS:

Originally Posted By NewbHunter:

Originally Posted By HKocher:

Originally Posted By Ekie:
A cheap electronic lock will not be reliable, and is a easy target for any ex-con with rudimentary jail house training. Here are some "testimonials":

www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=137906



Yikes, that thread is an eye opener.



No kidding. Apparantly, electronic keypad safes can be easily defeated with a 9v battery (according to that thread). They don't say exactly how though...



I'm sorry, but I guess I'm a cynic. A post on any internet forum by an anonymous poster with no offer of proof other than "I've seen it" and "Trust me, a con told me." just won't make me run out and change the lock on my safe. (But, then, I've been known to disbelieve e-mail chain letters and other urban legends, too.)

Neither will worries about EMP or fingerprint goo left behind by diabolical Mission Impossible-types.

Guess I'm really living on the edge...



+2
No shit. If someone wants to show me how to do it I'll give you choice of whats inside. BTW its already open anyway, right?

A billion post counts a month doesn't make your word gospel

Link Posted: 3/15/2005 11:30:36 AM EST
I'm going to buy a new safe soon. Mine now is 500lbs I want to get one over 1000lbs and it will be a S&G mech for sure.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 12:29:49 PM EST
remeber google is our friend

Breaking into a electronic safe is not a easy task. Shorting them out won't work and i doubt if it ever did..

My computer programming and electronic hacking side is coming out. Assuming you can get access to the actual electronics, the processor and resistor type stuff you can break into a safe if you know what your doing. First the only thing you need to do is figure out the circuit path to the unlocking mechanism apply some voltage and the safe is open. But how does one do that and what is needed. You need equipment capable of reading CMOS or other type of memory chips, then you hook test probes to the chip with a little trial and error you figure out the circuit path. Or read the memory were the safe's code is stored assuming its not encrypted and judging by the price of the locks i doubt it is or if it is, i doubt its above 56 bit encryption which a computer could break in a couple of hours .

Now this type of setup will only work on one of type of lock, So one needs to figure out the circuit design for each type of lock. Time to do this a couple of hours to weeks depending on how complicated the design is.

Don't believe just look at the XBOX it deploys encryption and electronic lock outs much like electronic locks but it was defeated in less than a month with just wiring around the electronic and encryption lock outs, so you can load Linux and play stolen games

What keeps people from doing this to safes? One simple can't get to the electronics without destroying the safes. A good electronic safe lock only has the keypad on the outside. The electronics are on the inside out of reach...

Oh mechanical safes can be broken into by a good Safe Manipulator in less than an hour http://www.pitt.edu/utimes/issues/34/020502/09.html

If a thief sees a safe he or she just takes the entire thing with them. One needs to bolt safes to the wall and or floor.

Safes only buy time and time is not a thief's friend...

And depending on the wieght of a safe to stop some one Don't thiefs have stollen things allot heavier than a 1000lb plus safe. We were broken into once at work they stole all 27 55 gallon scrap drums of copper and brass along with 15,000lbs of copper and brass bar stock
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