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Posted: 11/19/2001 2:31:42 PM EDT
Hi - I plan to start looking into a gun safe shortly. I'm looking for one of those big jobbies: 1/2 ton of "don't open me" metal. Ft. Knox, Cannon, etc. I've been doing some research on the 'net and there are a lot of manufacturers and options. I would appreciate any insights/experience people have with regards to making a purchase such as this.

Eventually I'll have 60+ rifles plus pistols (my dad's collection), so I know that 1 case won't hold them all, but I can start small. Right now, I'm just looking for some assistance on what to look out for, what feature are/are not important, and who's got good deals.

TIA,

- Snacko
Link Posted: 11/19/2001 2:35:34 PM EDT
All I know is that you should buy the biggest safe you possibly can. That way you won't be forced to buy another as soon. You'll end up saving money and hassle later on. I know a guy that has 6 safes because he started off with the smaller ones. He could have had 2 or 3 very big ones instead.
Link Posted: 11/19/2001 2:35:44 PM EDT
Ft. Knox Liberty, National Security ar the best for fire/finish.

Amsec, Pella and all the others for adequate.

Get the fireliner, don't go bigger than 30" as you and a couple of buddies won't be able to move the thing.

You can get 10 30" safes down your steps into your basement but you can't get 1 40" safe down.
Link Posted: 11/19/2001 3:03:45 PM EDT
External hinges should be first on your list as they allow (1) the fireliner to cover the entire interior of the safe (gets external temperature hot in the hinge area if they're internal), (2) they open past 90°, and (3) you can lift the door off the pins and cut the weight of the safe in half for moving.

The hinges only carry the weight of the door and are not part of the safe's security system.

I'd also get the electronic lock. Fast to open in a hurry if you need to and easier to remember than wheel combinations.

Don't think you're going to be real secure, however, safes only look that way. Can enter most easily with a large axe thru the sides. 1/2" plate door means diddley: how thick are the sides, back, and top?

Up to you, but I'd not pay extra for 15 coats of hand rubbed candy apple red paint or mink lining .

-- Chuck
Link Posted: 11/19/2001 3:40:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/19/2001 3:35:47 PM EDT by MickeyMouse]
Link Posted: 11/19/2001 3:55:39 PM EDT
I second getting as much safe as you can afford. Better to have multiple big safes than multiple little safes, and bigger safes aren't much more than smaller ones from most manufacturers.

I'm personally going to go with Ft. Knox Executive 7241 (72x41x27). I'd also suggest getting a good home alarm system to make sure the crooks have a limited amount of time to either snag the safe or break into it.

God Bless Texas
Link Posted: 11/19/2001 7:02:13 PM EDT
I was told the following by a safe dealer when I was shopping for a safe. I don't know if it is true or not but I am passing it along. Was told that a fire proof safe works well in protecting it's contents during a fire up to it's fire rating as long as the safe does not come in contact with ice cold water from a fire hose. Was told that the door seal on some fire proof safes (don't know which ones) would rupture when the ice cold water hit the red hot safe exterior. When this happenned, the hot air inside the safe would draw in the ice cold water. The ice cold water coming in contact with contents inside the safe that were hot would cause damage to the contents because of the sudden severe temperature change. Maybe this had something to do with external vs. internal hinges too. Again, I don't know if this is true, how hot is hot, if this is typical or atypical, but you may want to check into this a bit.
Link Posted: 11/20/2001 5:40:57 AM EDT
Thanks to all that have replied. I appreciate the information and I'll take it with me when I go shopping.

David_Hineline: good point about size. Although I would like to get the biggest one possible given my collection, I think there are some practical size issues to consider. Not sure if the safe will go in the basement or on the garage (bolted down), but it must be movable by something less than The Hulk ;-)

Chuck: thanks for the information on hinges and electronic lock. I'll look for those options. Are the electronic locks powered by battery or a wall socket? What happens when you loose power? Backup system?

MickyM: I'm more interested in safety rather than buy a new piece of furniture. I would just rather have it work well :-) I hear what you are saying about security, and barring having a 24hr guard standing watch, you can only assume a certain level of security with these safe. But I guess for the money, they are the best security you can get.

GBT: yes, I agree - a good home alarm system is a great addition to a safe. A must for me.

Marty: interesting info on the cold water. To be safe, I'll try to place the unit somewhere that might not be in the direct line of fire, if that's possible.

Thanks all - if anyone one has add'l info, please pass it on :-)

- Snacko
Link Posted: 11/20/2001 6:17:16 AM EDT
Have you ever thought about buying just the door and frame? You could then use steal reinforced concrete to make a walk in gun vault. But don't forget to pour the top.
Link Posted: 11/20/2001 6:38:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2001 6:30:49 AM EDT by Snacko]
Hi Bully - yes, I have considered that, and it may be a way to go when I have the option in my house that I am building, but right now given my home (apt) I don't have that ability.

- Snacko
Link Posted: 11/20/2001 4:02:41 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/22/2001 12:45:47 AM EDT
Don't know if they're still on sale, but SAMS had firelined, external hinged, sizeable safes for sale recently. Their prices are usually very good.

Tate
Link Posted: 11/22/2001 7:39:21 AM EDT
I would recomend a Champion Crown 50. Holds alot of guns and is built like a Fort_Knox. But it is not as expensive. I think around $2500 as opposed to $3500+ for a fort knox.

Longer fire rating than cannon, more locking lugs, bigger locking lugs, and wieghs alot more.

You can get the Triumph series for less than
that. Still very good.

Check out http://www.thesafewarehouse.com

-Chuck

Link Posted: 11/22/2001 9:39:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MickeyMouse:

www.a-1locksafes.com/gunsafe.html

www.cannonsafe.com/

Kermit Swifts EXCELLENT safe site! Make this your very FIRST stop!! Kinda slow but well worth the wait!!

www.swiftsafes.com./





fixin urls....
Link Posted: 11/22/2001 10:30:16 AM EDT
I would agree about the Champion. Excellent fire protection and overall construction. Saw some at the Houston gun show last weekend for about $1800 for the largest made...
Link Posted: 11/22/2001 10:53:14 AM EDT
What do you guys think about adding one of these alarm system triggered pepper spray dispensers to the safe room. How well do these things work? http://www.stopthecrime.com/index.html
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