Buying a safe- questions

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Motomom34, May 15, 2017.

  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Any input/ suggestions would be appreciated. If one wanted to buy a gun safe where would one start? I have a friend that bought a pistol safe, then another then a small stand up safe and is now going big. Gun safes are not cheap and my friend can afford to up-grade whenever they choose but if someone wanted to buy one how would they go about making the correct decision and hopefully buying one that would fit your needs. What about storing valuables inside a safe with your guns?

    I started to take a quiz on Liberty Safe and their questions were more than I had thought of. Liberty Safes - QUESTION #1: SECURITY LEVEL I had never thought to store my other stuff in a safe and never thought of mixing guns and valuables. They have home safes and gun safes, can you store weapons in a home safe? Then also they have safes that depend on how long it will be in a fire. One would hope help would arrive soon but in some instances that may be hard to predict.

    We had a thread on electronic vs. manual safes Some Safe Information About Safes. | Survival Monkey Forums and I know I would chose a manual because that seems like a better way. I know that electronic locks are good but I prefer the old fashion method. Buying a safe is an investment so I really want to get it correct but there are lots of different things one needs to consider. I swear it is easier to buy a car.
    Ganado, Legion489, Tully Mars and 4 others like this.
  2. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    My criteria for a gun safe is how many guns do I want to store in it and then verify that when they say 20 long-arms, that doesn't mean stacked against each other , marring the finish and it doesn't mean they tumble out when the door is opened. The second criteria is weight, heavier is better because thieves can't carry it away. Most quality safes can be gotten into with a determined person with proper tools but it should take a while even with a torch. Fire resistance is good but not so much, if you store ammunition inside because, however fireproof they are, they still become n oven when enough heat is applied. Safe crackers are mostly found in movies but most gun safes can be gotten into with chisels, wedges, hammers, and diamond wire saws. A steel wedge and a six pound hammer is a lot of mechanical advantage, especially if you have a while to work with it and not be too concerned with the noise.
    Ganado, Motomom34, Tully Mars and 5 others like this.
  3. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    I'm pretty much of the opinion that any safe your floor can support is too light.
    I like the ones with the 30" thick doors...

    That being said, ordinary gun safes can be carted away by brute force with five or six guys.
    Usually they put down a bunch of golfballs to make moving them easier.

    Whatever safe you get, if it's large enough scrounge up a few cubic feet of old tire weights. It's amazing what a little dead weight can do to to discourage thieves.

    Lead weighs 709 lbs per cubic foot.

    I had enough room, so I stacked in 4 cubic feet of gold at 1,206 lbs per cubic foot.

    Much better!

    Floor's holding up ok for now, but the concrete does feel a little springy.
    oldawg, Ganado, Legion489 and 9 others like this.
  4. Tempstar

    Tempstar Old and crochety Site Supporter+

    Money can be saved by buying a lighter safe and bolting to the wall or floor. A former employer had a 2600# safe stolen one night and we still don't know how. A few 3/8" lag bolts would have stopped the theft. As to fire resistant, I have seen several safes from house fires and nothing inside survived. Paper turns to charcoal and guns get so hot I'd never fire it again. None of those fires went on for 2 hours that most "fire resistant" safes are rated for.
    Ganado, Brokor, sec_monkey and 3 others like this.
  5. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Many safes have thick doors that are actually made from relatively thin steel that been folded to look impressive. A thinner looking solid steel is much stronger. Also pay attention to how wide the gap is between the door and the frame. You want it to be as thin as possible so prying tools can't be used against the lip of the door. Here is a decent video that goes into details:

    The real question is the purpose of the safe. Is it to keep the kids out or an honest man honest? If so then any locking gun cabinet is probably just fine. If it's to protect against criminals then as others have mentioned to bolt it down and go with stronger construction. There are no inexpensive safes I am aware of that will keep a prepared criminal out for more than a few minutes. A further question is what else you plan to store in the safe and if it will need fire protection..
    Ganado, sec_monkey, Motomom34 and 2 others like this.
  6. Bishop

    Bishop Monkey+++

    Depending on what your trying to keep safe could get a 16 gun safe and a fire proof documents safe keep one inside the other
    oldawg, BlueDuck, sec_monkey and 4 others like this.
  7. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    All that we have posted doesn't actually help Mrs, motomom34 at all, what we need to know is how she intends to secure it while living where she does, that she is going to need to move it some day, and that no matter how good a safe she can afford, there will be limits to how much safe she can have where she is living. After we help her with those questions, then she can look at the recommendations we have offerd and go from there!
    Ganado, Brokor, sec_monkey and 3 others like this.
  8. Pax Mentis

    Pax Mentis Philosopher King |RIP 11-4-2017

    I am afraid it isn't the room that would keep me from using nearly 2 1/2 tons of gold as ballast.
    Ganado, sec_monkey, Legion489 and 2 others like this.
  9. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Don't know if this will help or may fall under cache?
    Pretty sure these 8" deep in dirt are fireproof.

    Tempstar, Dont, Motomom34 and 3 others like this.
  10. DarkLight

    DarkLight Live Long and Prosper - On Hiatus Site Supporter

    Reality was the wakeup call from that dream for me...
    Motomom34, Ura-Ki and Gator 45/70 like this.
  11. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Gun safes or vaults are like firearms, buy once-cry once. I would strongly urge you to get the very best you can afford. You mentioned your friend has no problem up grading to a larger, perhaps nicer safe. Will he/she be willing to cut you a deal on one they no longer use? Start there, and if I remember, you mentioned you belonged to or were a regular at a gun range. Most all gun ranges have a post it board. Put the word out on those, use your cell # (or a work # if that is allowed) but use your ex's first name in your ad. That way you aren't telling the world that the buyer is a female, or make up some story how you are buying it for your spouse/BF. Just protects you a bit.

    Living where you do currently weight will be somewhat of a concern, but shouldn't be too much as I doubt you are looking for a 30 gun safe. If you can, get one a bit larger than you think you'll need. You never know when you will add to your collection and it's nice to have enough room that you aren't banging the crap outta your long guns like @Seacowboys mentioned. Personally I prefer the fire resistant safes. Like @Tempstar mentioned nothing is truly fireproof, but the delay could make a difference especially if you have a smaller fireproof document safe inside your larger safe for important papers like we do. Birth and death records, titles, deeds, marriage or divorce papers, cash and PMs are all kept in our safes along with thumb drives of info.

    You've already said you prefer the dial type locks so we don't need to go into that. Secure your safe to both the floor and wall if possible. Find a good location and hide a copy of the combination. I know a man that has his written on a scrap of paper and that paper is inside of a light fixture in his Mother's ceiling. No, she does not know it's there. AFAIK I am the only one who knows. You should do something like that using a non family member, but obviously someone you trust 100% and it should be stored off site. Be sure you buy a Goldenrod or one of the rechargeable dehumidifiers. They are well worth the money. @3M-TA3 had some good tips in his reply about the fit of the door, ect.
    Hope this helps.

    5 Factors to Consider When Buying a Safe | Cannon Safe

    Gun Safes & Pistol Vaults

    Liberty Safes - Safe Series GoldenRod Original Dehumidifier: Sports & Outdoors
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  12. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Your local security store.
    The security store here has a higher end gun safe in front show room that is beat all to hell.
    They had a customer buy it years ago, moved down by roswell.
    Then 6 cracking heads broke in while the people were on vacation and beat on this safe all night, for hours until the neighbors saw a van, shandy looking weirdos and could hear pounding on something inside the next morning so they called the police.
    The safe was so trashed a professional safe cracker had to come open it.

    The crack heads around here are even less cosmopolitan so I just have a $100 gun safe I up armored today.
    After seeing this I think I will make a post on it.
    oldawg, Ganado, sec_monkey and 2 others like this.
  13. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I can just about guarantee it won't be big enough, you will find more stuff that needs locking up every time you turn around even if you don't acquire another gun. Also, just because the ad says 15 guns, you can count on that being an overstatement unless ALL of them are thin like single shot break-open guns. A couple bolt action rifles will queer the do in a right proper hurry.
  14. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    You all have giving me so many things I did not think of. @Ura-Ki is correct, I am in a rental and will be for a bit so any safe I get will have to be easy to move. But- I live in rentals and as most rentals are, the landlord is allowed to inspect your home. Many leases that I read stated that the landlord can enter the property at anytime they choose. It really sucks. I do not believe our stuff would be gone through but some things you want safe. You want them locked up and it is no ones business what is in there. I am looking for kid protection, snoop protection, bad guy and fire. Fireproofing is moving further down the list because sounds like your firearm coming out after a fire in the same shape it was put in pre-fire is maybe less then 50%.

    So is storing ammo in your safe with firearms good or bad? I do like the idea of putting my smaller safe that holds the good stuff in a gun safe. Double layer of storage is good IMO.
  15. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    I store some in my safe to make sure it's handy and also it adds some weight, but there is no way I could get all of it in there - at least I couldn't before I became a Barry Sanders supporter and turned all my guns into a peace sculpture.
  16. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter+++

    Have a friend who had his safe in an out building, he lives on a farm. Thieves took that large safe and carried out through a pasture, through a field fence and loaded it into a truck. He lost gun's that had been his great grandfathers plus gold and silver coins he had inherited. Sheriff caught the stoner's, however he never recovered anything that was in the safe.. He didn't think that it was necessary to have it tied into concrete living out in the country..
  17. BlueDuck

    BlueDuck Monkey+++

    The criminal mind will out perform your budget. Just get the biggest and best you can afford.
    sec_monkey likes this.
  18. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Renting woes. You *could* go with the most expensive you can afford, and the heaviest, too. This means you will have to pay to have it moved also. The suggestions here are very good, and you can get some pretty solid safes which aren't super heavy and lag them down correctly into solid wall studs and especially to the floor. Most folks choose a corner and mount it flush so it will limit the area a thief can grab. One trick is to affix steel angle iron along the wall to limit their ability to jam a crow bar between the safe and the wall, using strong lag bolts of course. But, if you're anything like me, a security system will benefit you, too. Dogs are fantastic, and good neighbors help a great deal. I would mount it in the corner of a sturdy closet with a solid door that has industrial grade hinges and a high security lock and deadbolt. Less room for them to dig around and work, too.

    You're either going to have to go super heavy and big and deal with the potential moving problem in the future, or go lighter and accommodate your needs as best you can. Home "owners" have the fortune to place a huge safe once and be done with it.
  19. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    No safe that is worthwhile is easy to move;)
    That being said, if you buy new, delivery and set up are included 99.9% of the time. The next time you move
    1) Make sure your son and his friends eat their wheaties.
    2) Pay someone to move it for you. MANY places that sell gun safes will be more than glad to give you the # of the folks they use, or they will for a fee, move it for you.

    All the more reason to have a safe.

    A few boxes are fine, but I prefer a separate vault or safe if you will for ammo.
    All of my stuff is custom built by a certain welder/machinist.;)
    I've no idea what your exact situation is, but I would suggest something like a smaller gang box or a couple of larger GI ammo cans for ammo. A layer of fire protection can be added to the gang box by using sheet rock or gypsum board that has the proper fire rating. I did this for my firearm safes and vaults. A gang box is designed to be harder to get into, and set up for a padlock. They can be bolted to a floor pretty easily. Same for ammo cans. For a short time in the past I lived in a condo in Lakewood. Included was a garage with a small lockable storage. I kept the bulk of my ammo in that room in ammo cans covered up with Christmas decorations and the like. Never had a problem. If your situation is similar you might think on something like that.

    Double layers are good.
    A small fireproof safe inside your fire resistant gun safe is the way to go for your important papers, PMs ect. IMHO.

    Trinity 36 in. Job Site Box, Gray-TXKPGR-0502 - The Home Depot
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
  20. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Not much I can add but here goes...

    1. You are truly limited since you are in a rental. It all depends on how much you want to spend and how much weight the floor of your rental can hold and if you are prepared to go through the hassle of moving it when you depart.

    2. Recommendation: tell no one you have a safe and stick it someplace out of sight. A burglar has to be prepared to tackle a safe either with manpower (to move and take it) or tools to open it.

    3. No matter how big a safe you buy it will not be big enough...

    Personally, I don't store bulk ammo in my safe. Ammo can be replaced more readily than documents, laptops, firearms, and etc. but it does add weight if that is what you need. Having said that, I do keep 6 each 30 round magazines loaded for the AR and 4 each Glock 9mm mags loaded and in the safe...just for a rainy day.
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