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Posted: 5/24/2002 8:15:53 AM EDT
I'm asking, not telling.  Feedback would be appreciated.  I've outgrown mine, and am selling it to my brother.  Locally I have Cannon, Champion, and the dreaded Liberty to choose from....

Link Posted: 5/24/2002 5:00:25 PM EDT
threefiftynone, I don't know much about safes, so I'm really just giving you a BTT.  I don't have much need for a safe to store my half-way functioning AR, a broken Kel-Tec, and an old Mosin Nagant, but I've looked at them many times just out of curiosity.  The best looking one for the price that I've seen is Heritage.  I noticed you're in NC.  If you're anywhere near Rutherfordton (it's SE of Asheville), you might want to check-out Toney's Guns.  He has a couple of $1,500 safes in stock, and he highly recommends the ones from Heritage.  I even heard him recommend them before he started carrying them.z
Link Posted: 5/24/2002 5:06:51 PM EDT
and the dreaded Liberty to choose from....
View Quote

That's generally a highly regarded brand.  ?????
Link Posted: 5/24/2002 5:11:38 PM EDT
I am also in the market for a new safe.  Mine is 60H x 26W x 22D I think.  I am looking to add another one the same size.

Every company I talk to, just bad mouths the other.

It is really frustating.  I know that there is a new company coming to town that is based in Anahiem CA.  I know that does not help you much, but there are a lot of us looking.

We need to do LEGP Ar15 SAFE!!!
Link Posted: 5/24/2002 5:26:51 PM EDT
Maybe just a little out of your way but, if I was going to buy a safe I would buy this one [url]www.bearsafes.com[/url] I don't have one but, a friend of mine has one.
Link Posted: 5/24/2002 5:26:53 PM EDT
Anything up in the $1500 price range should be a good sturdy safe. There is the Heritage, Winchester and bunch of other ones. I noticed that Cabela's had a nice one in their last catalog. I imagine any of these will serve well. Just get the one that has the features you want.
Link Posted: 5/24/2002 6:36:57 PM EDT
I bought a Heritage and am completely satisfied with it. I wouldn't hesitate buying another one.
Link Posted: 5/24/2002 6:47:46 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/24/2002 6:48:01 PM EDT
... Chicks dig my [b]Liberty[/b] "Presidential"
Link Posted: 5/24/2002 9:42:27 PM EDT
I posted this on another site a while ago ... enjoy!

Gun Safe Information

This is what I have learned while researching the purchase of my first gun safe.  I plan to use it to protect a few firearms and various household valuables.

Gun safes come in two basic varieties – burglary and combination.  Combination safes combine burglary and fire protection.  Fire protection is accomplished via a lining of either a poured concrete amalgamate material (retained with either 16 gauge inner or outer cladding) or sheets of heat resistant fireboard similar to sheetrock.  Fire resistance is measured by temperature and length of time.  Some are certified by rating agencies such as U.L using a fire classification system.  For instance, their 350 degree certification means that the interior temperature remains below 350 degrees when exposed to an exterior fire at 1700 degrees for one hour with less than a 275 degree rise in internal temperature.  Various other tests are required for this, to include explosion hazard and impact.  Better safes use the heavier concrete amalgamate material.  Fire protection is also dependent on a tight fitting door and strips of heat activated material that look like thick tape that line the interior door frame.  In a fire these strips expand to seal the door against the frame.  A 1 hour 1700 degree fire rating is the minimum for a good gun safe, and is accomplished with 1.5 to 2" of fire resistant material.  Intelligent placement of the safe is also very important (away from flammables, near exterior walls, etc.).

A safe will only delay a determined thief, so the most important protective factor is to have it alarmed with a motion sensor or other device so a thief cannot work undisturbed.  After this you need to keep an attacker out of your safe for the couple minutes they might have in a smash and grab raid with the alarm triggered.  A basic safe can provide this protection for a reasonable price.  More expensive safes provide increased peace of mind or are for higher value items or collections or for locations where police response time is a problem.  Insurance companies provide price breaks for some customers that carry riders for high value items if they have a certain rated safe.

Construction ratings specify what a safe is made of but are not lab tested for performance.  B rated safes have a minimum ½” steel doors and no minimum body thickness.  C rated safes have a minimum 1” steel door and ½” steel body thickness.

Performance ratings measure how long a safe is certified to resist attacks with specific kinds of tools.  U.L. has a residential security rating that specifies that a safe must resist attack with common hand tools for 5 minutes, to include time spent removing the goodies.  Hmm …  More stringent ratings range from TL-15 (15 minutes with hand tools and portable mechanical and electrical tools) up to TXTL-60 (to include cutting torches and explosives).  The vast majority of residential gun safes do not carry a rating above U.L. residential security because of the expense and the fact that the higher level ratings are more for commercial safes.

Burglary protection is accomplished through wall thickness, door thickness, lock protection, and relocking devices.  Note that the following dimensions refer to steel thickness only and do not include fire protective material thickness.
Link Posted: 5/24/2002 9:45:24 PM EDT

Most low-end gun safes use 3/16” or 1/8” steel for the walls.  Consensus is that someone with a sledge hammer or maul could smash their way in in a couple of minutes, or possibly use a sawsall or other powered tool to just open up the safe like a can.  ¼” high tensile steel wall thickness is the minimum for a serious gun safe.

Door thickness can range from 3/16” steel up to several inches.  The door and frame need to be strong enough to resist pry attacks with either hand tools or a hydraulic spreader.  ½” high tensile steel door thickness is the minimum for a serious gun safe.

Lock protection is important.  Almost every safe manufacturer uses Sergeant & Greenleaf combination locks.  One option is to have a key-locked dial to prevent someone trying to guess the combination or use a listening device.  You can change the lock’s combination yourself with a kit the manufacturer will sell you for $20 or so.  Key locking dials cost a few bucks more.  Electronic keypad locks are an option, but depend on a battery (which can be charged from the outside if drained).  A hardened plate and/or a ball bearing plate should protect the lock.  If anyone tries to drill through the ball bearings will get caught in and shatter the drill bits.

The lock should drive 3 or more 1-inch bolts into the frame on either side of the door.  Upper and lower bolts are more for show.  Most low-end gun safes have large numbers of very shiny bolts.  Anti drive mechanisms resist interference with the bolt mechanism.

Relocking devices activate when the safe is tampered with.  They are connected to spring loaded bolts that lock into the doorframe if the safe is tampered with.  Glass plate relockers activate if the safe is pushed over or dropped (although these can break during shipment – most now use alternatives).  Thermal relockers activate if the interior temperature increases due to a torch attack.  There are other types of relocking mechanisms.  A good gun safe will have several.

Miscellaneous features include the ability to bolt the safe down (very important) and aesthetic options such as gloss paint job, pin striping, and the kind of handle on the front.  The larger safes can have the interior configured to your wishes when ordered.

A good method of comparing raw protection is to compare safes based on weight per cubic foot.  Most low-end combination gun safes that you can purchase locally weigh 800 lbs. in the 30 cubic foot range.  A good gun safe will weigh twice that.

My research suggests the following tiers in terms of protection:

Excellent – Brown Safe Manufacturing, Graffunder Safe LLC

Good – American Security

Moderate – Fort Knox, Liberty, Sun Welding, National Security, Heritage Safe, Browning

Poor – Sentry

All the manufacturers have web sites and a couple allow you to order direct.  I got much better pricing this way (and no local sales tax!) as compared to buying locally, even though I have to pay the freight.  Note that these general ratings are based on web research and conversations with a couple of companies, not personal or expert experience.  I have ordered a Graffunder for delivery at the end of January, so please solicit the board for specific knowledge others might have.  I have received it since then and am very happy with it, although I wish it had more than one anchor hole in the bottom.  Would like 2 anchors, plus a hole for a goldenrod cord.
Link Posted: 5/24/2002 9:45:58 PM EDT

One piece of consistent advice I see is to get the biggest safe that you can possibly afford, as you will grow into it.  This is a one-time purchase that will hopefully last decades, so look at the price as an additional, very affordable insurance policy spread over 30 years or more.

What does a good gun safe cost?  A Graffunder or Brown B-rated safe in the 40 cubic foot interior space range will weigh about 2300 lbs. and cost about $3500.  Delivery from the left coast to Alabama is about $600.

Perhaps the most important protection, however, is unseen, in the alarm system that covers the safe and home, and passive, in the sense that you should remain discreet about telling others about valuables in your home.

Link Posted: 5/25/2002 1:31:00 AM EDT

I know it's over $1500, but again - buy as big as you can!  I don't have lots of guns, but you start putting ammo and mags in the thing, and it fills quick!  This is the biggest Champion makes.

Good luck
Link Posted: 5/25/2002 5:52:33 AM EDT
how right you are !! i have the biggest Fort Knox made, it is FULL !! & when i first got it, not even a year ago, it looked so empty after i put all my "stuff" in it, now less than a year later, i am considering another one !! this one is FULL !!

as for security, i made my own, if a certain button is not pressed wythin 15 seconds after opening the safe a very loud siren goes off.......
Link Posted: 5/25/2002 6:11:07 AM EDT
any idea where to find a good used safe?  where do all of the outgrown safes end up?  
i am in p.b. county, but not responsible for any pregnant chads. [:)]
Link Posted: 5/25/2002 6:29:23 AM EDT
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