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Posted: 5/1/2009 6:18:56 PM EST
I have been looking at gun safes lately and wanted some input from everyone about what features they find useful. I only have about $1200 to spend, but I have been reading that a 1 Hour @ 1200°F rated safe is a good rating for a safe inside the house on the first floor. I heard somewhere (no data to back it up) that the average house fire is 20-30 min, and I wanted to be sure that I surpassed those numbers.

Also, what are the thoughts for and/or against the electric locks? The electric locks are nice (and fast), but what if they fail?

When they say 1 Hour @ 1200°F fire, what does the actual interior temperature get up to at the end of the 1 hour? I was wondering if flash media and CD/DVD media would still survive?

I have been looking at the Winchester Legacy model 22 safe.

Link Posted: 5/1/2009 6:56:59 PM EST
Check out Cannon Safes. If you get a digital key pad make sure it has the dial also. You can get a good Cannon for around $700.00
Link Posted: 5/1/2009 6:58:27 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/1/2009 6:58:41 PM EST
Thats a pretty fancy safe...and a good one.....its fire rated for that temp for one hour......most important of all, no matter what safe you get....BOLT IT TO THE FLOOR...with really long bolts.

Happy Trails!
Link Posted: 5/1/2009 7:45:19 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/2/2009 7:28:59 AM EST
+1 on bolting it to the floor. Try to go on the hometown forums for recommendations on any local safe shops where you might be able to haggle on the price by a few hundred, get free shipping and/or some other free accesories.

I specifically looked for external hinges when I bought my safe, so I can swing the door open all the way without having to worry about damaging the safe. If you have a decent safe with bolts on all four sides, the external hinges don't retract from security at all. I doubt humidity will be an issue in Nevada unlike it is in the gulf coast, so I don't think a dry rod will be useful for you.

If you go with a dial lock, go with a reputable maker such as Sargent and Greenleaf (sp?). I personalliy don't mind having a slow dial lock, because I'll always have a gun handy. I've seen a few electronic locks thave give you the ability to place a 9v batttery against two terminals for emergency energization.

As for preventing heat damage inside the safe for CDs and the such, you could put them inside another insulated box within your safe. It won't make it melt proof, but it'll help.

Buy as much safe as you can, because you'll find things to stuff into it (like more guns ) Good luck!
Link Posted: 5/2/2009 8:12:00 AM EST
Originally Posted By Sparco:
I have been looking at gun safes lately[/url]

if you can swing a little bit extra...


Link Posted: 5/2/2009 8:15:57 AM EST

also see this valuable new addition to our ARFCOM world:

Armory >> Safes & Home Security

Link Posted: 5/2/2009 9:15:34 AM EST
I put a fireproof document safe inside my big fire rated gun safe that holds CD's, flash drives, papers, etc. My Fort Knox is 1300 lbs. empty and built with 1680 degrees for 90 minute fire protection. I figure a big metal object like a safe is going to take a long time to cool down even if it only reaches a super high temp for a few minutes in a fire so I went with the upgrade on the fire protection.

Like others have said, bolt it down! Even if it is a very large & heavy safe. This can't be stressed enough. In addition to bolting it down I also installed mine where you can't easily get to the sides or top. If someone was to try and get in they would almost surely have to go through the front which is the toughest part. I was also paranoid enough to pay cash and bring the safe home and install it myself so the salesman wouldn't know where it was going.

And finally the obligatory "buy a bigger safe than you think you will ever fill" statement.
Link Posted: 5/2/2009 9:19:58 AM EST
Not sure where you are in NV, but if it is Vegas, check out las vegas safe and knife on Rainbow north of Sahara.

They stock AmSec safes, and they have a great ding and dent section. I picked up a $1,300 safe for $700 because it had a minor blemish on the front.

Link Posted: 5/2/2009 2:47:55 PM EST
Ft. Knox or Liberty for my money.
Link Posted: 5/2/2009 4:39:03 PM EST
Not sure if all Cannon's are like this, but I looked at a $700 30inch wide Cannon that was at a Tractor Supply. Truthfully, it left alot to be desired. It had an electronic lock, and the little electric plug inside the safe, but the door was not "tight" and the seal around the door looked like it belonged on a screen door, not a safe. I would rather spend a few more dollars and get something nicer. My brother has a 30 inch RedHead safe from BassPro. It has the Electronic lock, no electric plug and you have to drill your own hole for the humidifier. The door is "tight" and the seal is a real seal. Personally, I think that I am going with a Liberty when I buy later this month.
Link Posted: 5/2/2009 5:31:13 PM EST
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
Originally Posted By Sparco:
I have been looking at gun safes lately[/url]

if you can swing a little bit extra...


Good suggestion.

Take a peek at http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1041855&highlight=safe


Link Posted: 5/3/2009 10:30:53 AM EST
Thanks for all the replies guys. Yes, I do plan on bolting it down. I have a small crawl space under where I am planning on putting the safe. I plan on using some 1/4in plate squares (4inx4in) as my 'washers' on the bottom side of the floor.

I check out the NVHTF every once in a while, but most talk seems to be for the south side of the state. I am up north.

Thanks for the link to the Sturdy Safe company, I will check them out. Their Gun Safe Tips link looks to have a lot of good information; I will study up. Also, thanks for the link to the Armory » Safes & Home Security right here on AR15.com. I looked for a forum like that before I posted here in survival and didn't find anything. Thanks again.

I am up north so I am going to check out Cabela's, Scheel's, and The Safe Place all in the Reno/Sparks general area, before I start looking out of the area as I suspect the shipping costs might hurt.

Link Posted: 5/4/2009 7:30:56 PM EST
Originally Posted By ar-jedi:
Originally Posted By Sparco:
I have been looking at gun safes lately[/url]

if you can swing a little bit extra...


Do you actually own a Sturdy Safe? I have been doing some research and you are right, they do seem to make a very good safe. If you have one, did you get the 3 "of 2300° Ceramic Wool & 1000° High Temp Glass upgrade?

I keep most of my valuable documents in Sentry brand "fire proof" lock boxes like you can buy at Wal-Mart, which I suspect will do very little against a raging house fire, and they can be easily stolen. I really want to upgrade to a well rated fire resistant safe to give me that preparedness peace of mind that comes with knowing a house fire won't take everything.
Link Posted: 6/18/2009 5:28:04 AM EST
I just found this thread but I will add that I also took the step of tying our home security system to the safe. Simply add a small hole in the back of the safe and run the wires to either a motion detector or door contact. If the safe is ripped from the wall, the wires will come disconected and set off the alarm... or ... pry the door open and the alarm will go off.

Sure , it only helps if you have a home security system but if you have one it is easy to do and our house had unused zones so my gun safes have their own dedicated zones. Very important for me as I have a safe bolted down in the garage which is just too easy to get access to compared to a safe in a basement.
Link Posted: 6/18/2009 10:38:33 AM EST
I bought a Libery Lincoln series 35 gun safe used here in Vegas for $900. This thing is in really nice shape. 930# empty, holds almost everything I have. Found it on craigslist.
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