Gun safes and Cases

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  • Rick Sanchez

    Junior Member
    Jul 25, 2020
    60
    C-137
    Being all new to this. What would an experienced responsible person recommend for a gun safe and range carry. I am looking for something inexpensive for now and a few suggestions from the group

    Also, if you guys have any safes or gun cleaning stuff you looking to get rid, sell or donate I would also appreciate it.

    Thank you!
     

    ed bernay

    Member
    Feb 18, 2011
    179
    Depends on what you consider inexpensive. In my opinion, based on what I have read, this is the best deal with regards to a balance between size, security, and price.

    https://www.sturdysafe.com/products/model-2016

    I have two Zanotti safes and a Fort Knox. I bought the Fort Knox years ago which is a good safe in my view. In the past few years, I bought the Zanotti's because I needed the modularity. If I didn't need that feature, I would be buying a big Sturdy safe.

    If you don't have the money for this Sturdy safe now, I recommend you save up for it. Don't buy big box store crap.
     

    Swaim13

    Member
    Jun 11, 2017
    288
    It partially depends on what you have and are using? Long guns or pistols or both? How expensive are they?

    I have hard cases for my bigger expensive rifles and pistols but a soft case is fine as long as you aren't going too far. I have an explorer bag and just bought a savior american classic double rifle bag. Both are good soft cases for long guns. If you want. A decent hard case for the money for rifles, take a look at harbor freight at the Apache 9800 case. For pistols, you can do a soft case but a small hard case isnt too bulky or expensive.

    As for storage at home, the best defense imho is to be as inconspicuous as possible. I have been moving a lot the last eight years so I only have a sheet metal case that I hide and bolt down. It doesn't have a fire rating and isnt a true safe but will keep snatch and grabs off it as well as kids.
     

    K31

    Let's Go Brandon!
    MDS Supporter
    Jan 15, 2006
    32,511
    AA county
    In addition to seconding the link Huckleberry posted, there is one absolute rule of safes:

    Always buy one twice as big as you think you'll need. Always.
     

    Flametamer

    Member
    Mar 6, 2014
    736
    Frederick County
    I have perhaps a bit of a contrarian position on safes. I don't have any irreplaceable firearms; all mine can be easily replaced with $$$. Might take a few months to find a particular item in the condition that I want, but they are available. I have fire insurance and documentation of what is present in my home (in a separate location). I have smoke alarms and residential fire sprinklers and practice good fire prevention practices, all for reasons not related to firearms.

    I'm see no point to spending the $$$$$ for a so-called 'fireproof' safe that provides limited protection to a specified test fire that may or may not be representative of the heat flux and duration from a fire in my home. There are a couple of YouTube videos out there about opening a gun safe after a fire - pretty enlightening to someone who thinks 'fireproof' means no damage to the contents.

    I personally laid hands on several 'fireproof' gun safes in the aftermath of the Paradise CA fire of 2018. Everything inside each of them was seriously damaged or unrecoverable since the fires exceed the intensity, heat flux, and duration of the test fires to which the safes had been tested. If you live in an area with a good, aggressive and well-trained fire department and a short response time, a 'fireproof' safe may protect the contents long enough for the FD to suppress the fire. But purchase good insurance, just in case the FD is out on another fire when your fire occurs.

    That said, there most certainly have been home fires where the 'fireproof' gun safe protected the contents. I have seen several web pages documenting such success stories; so I am not dismissing them as useless. Match the fire rating of the safe to the anticipated worst-case fire event, and you can have a successful outcome. If fire rating > fire exposure, success.

    My goals when storing firearms are: 1) prevent access by the children in my home (our kids are full grown, but their kids are not); 2) lessen the chance of a thief gaining access to firearms; and 3) permit rapid access for selected items for defensive purposes (not everything needs to be accessible in 12.47 seconds).

    Any good-quality gun lock will accomplish #1. By good-quality I mean something better than the cheap cable locks that come with guns...

    There are a lot of pundits that opine on different approaches to accomplish goal #2. It all depends on the certainty one wishes to achieve, since every lock and every safe can be defeated given perseverance, time and tools (and the skill to employ such). After considering a myriad of approaches, I decided to go with concealment as my first line of defense, backed up by storage that is moderately difficult to penetrate (i.e., 10 minutes or so of effort with standard tools). What works for me may not be appropriate for you.

    With respect to goal #3, I employ different methods when children are present than I do when none are present; and that's all I am going to type about this in a public forum.... Match the protection to the hazard, a time-honored approach.
     

    niftyvt

    Active Member
    Aug 21, 2010
    1,891
    Virginia
    I'm see no point to spending the $$$$$ for a so-called 'fireproof' safe that provides limited protection to a specified test fire that may or may not be representative of the heat flux and duration from a fire in my home. There are a couple of YouTube videos out there about opening a gun safe after a fire - pretty enlightening to someone who thinks 'fireproof' means no damage to the contents.
    ...
    My goals when storing firearms are: 1) prevent access by the children in my home (our kids are full grown, but their kids are not); 2) lessen the chance of a thief gaining access to firearms; and 3) permit rapid access for selected items for defensive purposes (not everything needs to be accessible in 12.47 seconds).
    ...

    I am of the same mind with regards to "safes." I put "safes" in quotes because pretty much all of the typical gun "safes" that you see are not safes. They are glorified cabinets with a few layers of dry wall in them as the "fire proofing." ie garbage.

    For me, right now, a simple SecureIT Answer Model 12 cabinet plus insurance works great. And I have a SecureIT Fast Box mounted under the bed to hold my main defense rifle.

    Whenever we (wife and I) get around to building our planned home addition I am going all out just because I can. I plan to have the foundation guys pour in reinforced concrete walls for a vault in the basement and then I will have an actual UL listed TL 15 or 30 composite safe inside the vault plus a few of the large SecureIT ammo cabinets to store ammo and accessories. Safe will most likely be used and I will build out the interior using SecureITs system (I really like it) myself.

    So, OP to answer your question. Check out SecureIT for simple home storage. For range transport I just use little soft cases for handguns that get stuffed into my range bag and I have a Pelican Mobile Armory soft case hard case combo that I use for travel and range time for long guns. The hard case only comes out for air travel or long distance when I need to stay in a hotel and I use the soft case by itself for 99% of my range trips. Basically any soft case will work for range trips. If you want to be 100% law compliant remember to have little locks that you can secure the zipper with.

    If you could provide more details we could be more specific. Things like budget, what you have in your collection (long gun count, hand gun count), accessories you want to store (optics, ammo for example) etc.

    And remember, whatever your get. . .bolt it down! Doesnt have to be into concrete. A few lag bolts into the floor and into wall studs will work. Example: when I moved recently I easily moved a stack on cabinet that was COMPLETELY full of ammo (well over 300 pounds) with a cheap hand truck all by myself.
     

    HoCoShooter

    Active Member
    Feb 25, 2009
    3,517
    Howard County
    What are people’s thoughts on stack-on cabinets?

    I honestly don't think stack-on makes anything you can't get into with a large flathead and a hammer. If you're looking at their ~500.00 stuff, you might as well get a Jobox / construction container, as you'll get the same security but 3x the space. Either one is openable in 30 seconds with an axe or prybar anyhow.

    For an actual safe, I would suggest you take a look at Superior / Champion. They are hard to beat bang for the buckwise if you want a solid, decent looking made in America safe. For pure security for your dollar, Sturdy is the way to go, imo.
     

    SkiPatrolDude

    Active Member
    Oct 24, 2017
    2,331
    Timonium-Lutherville
    Something to consider is the quality of the fireboard in the safe. You definitely want a desiccant and/or a dehumidifier in there at all times. Do a google search for guns rusting in a safe...it can get real bad.
     

    Huckleberry

    Making Libs Cry Since '80
    MDS Supporter
    Oct 19, 2007
    19,601
    Severn
    Is there a similar review article about bedside gun storage safes? I have a big safe in my basement but I need to get a small storage safe for my living area where I can store one handgun and some loaded magazines. Thanks.

    Cal68

    Sorry but that link is all I have on safes.

    From experience most of the biometric bed side pistol vaults can be compromised and opened very easily.
     

    rbird7282

    Active Member
    Dec 6, 2012
    13,914
    Is there a similar review article about bedside gun storage safes? I have a big safe in my basement but I need to get a small storage safe for my living area where I can store one handgun and some loaded magazines. Thanks.

    Cal68


    Fort Knox pistol boxes are good. Lots of people here have them. Uses a Simplex lock, no biometrics.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     

    FAS1

    Junior Member
    Jan 30, 2015
    10
    Is there a similar review article about bedside gun storage safes? I have a big safe in my basement but I need to get a small storage safe for my living area where I can store one handgun and some loaded magazines. Thanks.

    Cal68


    Here's a few. For for speed, reliability and durability consider one that uses the Simplex mechanical pushbutton lock.


    https://gunsafereviewsguy.com/buyers-guide/best-small-gun-safe/


    https://www.gunmann.com/handgun-safes/

    https://securehandgunsinvehicles.com/?fbclid=IwAR34ieqf_VLfvBssEpRoZvHarcBIHlRFcXatJzcb-WnGD1w8O6zMTPOsxQg
     

    sundazes

    Hot Fudge
    MDS Supporter
    Nov 13, 2006
    15,194
    Arkham
    Something to consider is the quality of the fireboard in the safe. You definitely want a desiccant and/or a dehumidifier in there at all times. Do a google search for guns rusting in a safe...it can get real bad.

    That depends on the location of the safe. If it is an air conditioned space, you should be fine. Mine has been in my basement of 2 houses now and no problems in 20 years. Both spaces were air conditioned.
     

    ToolAA

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Jun 17, 2016
    8,567
    God's Country
    In addition to seconding the link Huckleberry posted, there is one absolute rule of safes:

    Always buy one twice as big as you think you'll need. Always.

    OK I didn't follow that advice....I found out the hard way.

    What about the second safe? I brought 3x the size of the first safe and it's full.

    Maybe we should upgrade the recommendations to new safe buyers to the following:

    "Always buy one 4 times bigger than you think you will need...Always"
     

    Sleepy

    Member
    Jan 19, 2013
    130
    Truth is a Stack-On is better than no safe. If you have limited funds buy the best thing you can afford and upgrade as soon as you can.

    The first safe I bought was a high end Stack-On(still shitty though) it was child proof but only somewhat resistant to a burgler or a teen ager. Then every time I purchased a gun I put that same amount away to save for a good safe. In almost no time I had bought a decent safe.
     

    Cal68

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Oct 4, 2014
    1,481
    Montgomery County
    Sorry but that link is all I have on safes.

    From experience most of the biometric bed side pistol vaults can be compromised and opened very easily.

    Fort Knox pistol boxes are good. Lots of people here have them. Uses a Simplex lock, no biometrics.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


    Thanks all. I will check the recommendations and get a bedside type safe for my family/living area.

    Cal68
     

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