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gun safes

joshmb1982joshmb1982 Member Posts: 8,228 ✭✭
edited August 2008 in Ask the Experts
I am looking to buy a gun safe. can any one tell me where to look for the best prices, also, any suggestions as to brand?

appreciate the info.

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    joshmb1982joshmb1982 Member Posts: 8,228 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    i recently purchased a stack on brand gunsafe. while i realize that a 28 gun safe for $700 has got to be around bottem of the barrel for value it was all i could afford i and figure its better then nothing. my question is who makes the best safes? cannon, fort knox, or some other brand? id like to upgrade someday. just wondering what my options are.
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    joshmb1982joshmb1982 Member Posts: 8,228 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Does anyone have a pentagon gun safe? And if so how is the quality and does it have easy access to your rifles. I was thinking of buying the defender model.

    Larry w. Jose
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    joshmb1982joshmb1982 Member Posts: 8,228 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    has anyone seen or heard of pentagon gun safes.
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    joshmb1982joshmb1982 Member Posts: 8,228 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    there are so many fire proof gun safes out there for sale , i want to buy one , but which is a good one to check in to. , fire proof , 20-40 gun capacity . thanks ron .
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    joshmb1982joshmb1982 Member Posts: 8,228 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I know I have asked this before,but. Has anyone heard of Fort Knox or Homeland Security gun safes? I know you all had said Liberty. What I'm looking for is the most securest and the very best fire protection. I was looking into the Pentagone safes but alot of people have said neg responses for that brand. Thanks
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    joshmb1982joshmb1982 Member Posts: 8,228 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    As the neighborhood begins its slow decent...its time to look for a gun safe....Does anyone have any good recommendations...looking for a max. 14 long gun safe...with shelves....
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    joshmb1982joshmb1982 Member Posts: 8,228 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Wondering what is a good gun safe manufacturer and what are some good qualities to look for in a safe,[:)]
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    joshmb1982joshmb1982 Member Posts: 8,228 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Because of a recent fire in my apt building I decided to buy a gun safe for my many guns. Before I would clean them after each use and just lay them in the corner against the wall. Is there anything special I should know about storing longguns for a long period in a locked safe? Should I leave them lightly oiled or wiped down completely? Thanks.
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    joshmb1982joshmb1982 Member Posts: 8,228 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Any recommendations on a large gun safe? Most the people I talk to are trying to sell me the ones they sell. So it is hard to get an honest opinion. The best deal I can tell is through Sportsman Steel safes but unsure of product. Any help????Comments recommendations?
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    joshmb1982joshmb1982 Member Posts: 8,228 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    ANYBODY DEALT WITH STEELWATER SAFE COMPANY OR PATRIOT SAFE COMPANY LOOKING TO BUY 1ST GUN SAFE NEED ADVISE. I WANT A COMPANY AND THERE PRODUCTS 100% AMERICAN MADE.ANY INFO ON THESE 2 COMPANIES:
    WWW.PATRIOTSAFE.COM OUT OF CALIFORNIA AND WWW.STEELWATERGUNSAFE.COM OUT OF THE CAROLINAS
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    joshmb1982joshmb1982 Member Posts: 8,228 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I seem to go on intermittent spurts on this site--kids and sports sometimes keeps me away for much longer than I'd like---but anyway--I have seen a couple of recent post regarding safes. I had an awesome experience on this topic several years ago and had a great conversation with many members on the subject so thought I would submit the archive link so our new members can view it.

    A safe has to be a deterrent on three levels, weight, fire protection and entry protection. I hope the link below helpes those who are seeking an above average safe.

    http://forums.gunbroker.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=319721&SearchTerms=safes

    Regards
    skyman
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    joshmb1982joshmb1982 Member Posts: 8,228 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    So, after reading all the prior posts in the forums, does anybody have any information or experience with the Browning Medallion series gun safe or something similar. I am looking at spending around $2000 for a safe.
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    joshmb1982joshmb1982 Member Posts: 8,228 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Anyone know were i could get a good deal on a fire proof gun safe? I don't want to spend more than $500. Thanks
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    skymanskyman Member Posts: 247 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    reposted from my reply back in 03. Rember, a safe has to be heavy--very heavy or people will take it full--has happned lots here and other places I have visited. It needs to be fire proof--meaning no holes for lights yadayada and air tight--cannot slam the door.

    Here's my old post: Posted - 12/04/2003 : 8:46:51 PM

    I spent five years pricing safes and looking into the bragged up hype of each manufacturer. One thing I found was that there is more hype than truth. Plus--after a company builds their special safe to be fire tested--there is no governing body to oversee that the rest of their safes are built the same way. They spend 10k to test a safe so they build special ones to test then back to the norm on production runs.

    Interestingly, many employees building safes move from maker to maker which makes things interesting. After 4-5 years of researching I heard/learned some good information.

    I picked four comapanies and started a question and ask campain that lasted several years. Everything I was told about a safe I then took right back to that maker and aksed to be explained. I learned alot--a whole lot.

    Finally--I ended up with a Halls safe from Loomis Ca. Everyone is built custom. Steel is thicker (weight is a deterrent). Only 200.00 dollars to change size from the standard sizes. My previous safe, 500lbs could be easily trucked off by 2-3 big guys--not my new one.

    Bigger item with a Halls is that it is impossible to slam the door on a Halls. The door is that tight. Another big item that I called him on immediately is the door seal--it is rope like on a wood stove. Guess it works on a wood stove--should work on a safe. The other makers have the plastic seal that is supposed to expand--thinking in my mind--plastic melts.

    I know a guy whos huose burnt down with no fire response. In his safe he had guns, money, floppy disc etc. He lost nothing--not even his floppy disc. Ironically--that safe is now on display at Halls in Loomis

    The owner is pretty proud to deal with on the phone but once you get to know him and see the quality of the product you'll be impressed.

    My safe is 72x48x30, all 1/4 body, 3/16 on the door, electronic lock--biggy plus--the gun rack swings out--oh yea--really cool, oak file cabinet drawers. Got it for 4k delivered. They are pricey but it aint gonna burn and it will take the football team to steal it.

    web site is hallssafeco.com

    Give em a look--really nice product

    Regards,
    Skyman
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    MaaloxMaalox Member Posts: 5,155 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    There are a number of quality manufacturers out there. Each manufacturer also has a series of lines that they manufacture to hit a range or price points. I am a fan of Champion safes as I think they are a good value. I ended up purchasing a Fort Knox due to lack of local availability of Champions when I purchased. The Fort Knox is a great safe, but much more secure (and therefore expensive) than the average homeowner needs.

    Liberty is also a good line, Cannon is good but they may be a touch lower on the scale of available options...

    I'm not familiar with who makes the Browning, Harley-Davidson and other branded safes. But some of these look pretty nice also.

    Enjoy what you have purchased. Just bolt it down so no one can take the whole thing with them.
    Regards, MAALOX
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    TooBigTooBig Member Posts: 28,559 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Please watch this video and you might learn a little about Safes
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBhOjWHbD6M
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    skymanskyman Member Posts: 247 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Liberty---they fill them full of water on their back then fire test them--cheap and stamped out in China. Fort KNox brags about their ball bearings in the door---great if you use a small bit--use a big bit and all the ball bearings will fall out. Champion---slam the door and a 1000lb safe will rattle accross the floor. Not air tight at all plus all the holes for lights hot rods etc. Where will the fire go--right in through the holes. Do some in depth checking on the plastice expanding seals on Knox, Liberty, champion etc---look close enough and you will find that it melts at 900 degrees. Double check those expected 1600 degree temps they brag about.

    There are some good safes out there that are not marketed as much as Liberty, Knox, Champion etc. Which by the way are much better than all the other fancy in store marketed ones. But I can assure you after many years of research these don't even make the volkswagon list of safes once you start your homework. Look for a mercedes

    Are the corners brazed or welded? 1600 hundred degree fire protection?? What does braze melt at??? Do some research on the interiors--materials and how they are assembled---ceramic is good till it actually gets hot then you might as well have an acetlyne torch in a full rage out of control burn cause it sucks once it's hot.

    Where are you putting the safe? Outside wall inside wall--where will the burn hot spot be in your home??

    All marketed safes--hundreds if not thousands to alter sizes and interiors. A custom safe maker--couple hundred bucks maybe cause all safes and interiors are custom.

    Remember--a safe must be completely selaed for fire protection, heavier than SH___t so three big guys don't drag it out and away and stainless bolts not chromeolly bolts with a good relocker to keep people out. Actuall only a fool would try to break into a safe through the door---the sign of an idiot trying that move.

    Also---back to champion--glass relocker--don't let your kid slam the door or let your wife hit trhe door with something---brak the glass and your in a hosed status---redrill the door and replace it.

    One of the best gimmicks--internal hinges--can't be cut off. Remember--you aint going through the door--remember all the bolts and the relocker. Hindden hinges means no fire protection in those spots on the inside--there goes your 1600 degree protection.

    I changed sizes 3 times--cost me 200 bucks. What do you use most in your safe---guns or foo foo storage--money keys, jewlery pass ports blah blah--makes difference on what side you have guns or shelfs in relation to your door. Again--your stamped safe makers charge up to 1k -2k for these changes. A custom safe maker will build to your needs including the interior.

    Halls, Visalia if they are still around and a couple of small guys on the East coast are far superior to Liberty, Champion, Fort Knox, Amsec etc.

    Please take some time and really research what you are buying--I bought a family heirloom that protects my belongings and will be around for decades. 4k was a small price to pay for the level of security I got. Also--for those of you with lots of long guns---I have a 26 gun tray that compltley swings out of my safe for easy access--very nice. As opposed to my father who has to competley empty his safe to get the gun out of the back.
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    BigLoop22BigLoop22 Member Posts: 620 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    skyman,

    Thanks for the education. I have had a few of the same thoughts about the holes for "goldenrods", etc..[:I]

    The URL for Hall's is actually:

    http://www.hallsafe.com/contact.html

    ...well, that link bypasses the "Flash" introduction page (friendlier for dialup!).[;)]
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    HLOUIE2HLOUIE2 Member Posts: 127 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I always enjoy the topics that involve safes as I inspected safes for about 20 years for several manufacturers in the Los Angeles area. As Skyman said, weight should be one of the primany attributes of a safe.

    He is wrong, however, about there not being any agencies that fire test and then continue to retest and reinspect safes for fire resistance. Just to mention two ETL and Underwriters Laboratories. Both of these are good solid organizations that can be trusted to do a good job. I've always thought it interesting that so much concentration is put on fire safes since a burglary is a much greater threat in this country.

    Additionally UL does breakin testing of safes using trained technicians who really know how to get into a safe. At the time I worked for them the common burglary ratings were time lag 15 and time lag 30. The 15 and 30 represented the minutes that a safe could stand an attack from a trained professional using essentially hand tools.

    Every once in a while safe manufacturers loose a combination or it's written down wrong. How do you suppose they get into a safe that has been accidentally locked? Frequently they have personel that can do the ear to the door and listen for the tumblers trick. This is of course after the picked the dial lock. When that doesn't work they drill a hole in the back of the safe and use a tool called a spy that resets the combination after popping out the safety plug. Both of these approaches can and ahve been used in the field.

    In general you should admit that you probably can't afford anything good enough to be truly burglary proof. If you've ever worked with steel plate you'll know what a cutting wheel well do to it. No matter how well designed the safe, 1/4 or 3/16 steel is just not adequate to keep a determined person out. It does work for neighborhood kids and snatch and grab types.

    What should you look for in a safe? The thickest walls and door you can afford. A mechanical or electronic recognized by UL, a mechanical relocking device, a floating hard plate made of brazed carbide chips in a copper matrix, and a recessed door. Remimber most serious attacks will not be through the door. The weakest point of protection is typically the side walls.

    What can you do to make a safe into solid protection. Bolt it to the floor and try to remimber that any safe is just a delaying mechanism. As much as it upsets many people, you also need a monitored alarm system. Just the sound of one makes bad people want to leave the area quickly. Hlouie
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    Don McManusDon McManus Member Posts: 23,551 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have an American Security safe, and purchased it because it was actually manufactured in the U.S. They are typically a bit more expensive than imports, but then again, AS has to pay a living wage to an American Worker.

    American built safes are becoming harder and harder to find, and it would be a shame to lose the few that are still here.

    http://www.amsecusa.com/
    Freedom and a submissive populace cannot co-exist.

    Brad Steele
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    skymanskyman Member Posts: 247 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    HLOUIE2--great feedback--thanks. To clarify my position on UL--yes they do a great job doing what they do. The problem is the safe maker---they will build a safe to be fire tested but when they return to the shop there is no governing body to ensure they build the safe to the spec that was tested.

    The rest of your commnets are great info. I will add though that I have seen a safe where the perp spent 2 hours trying to go through a 3/8 door with an 8 in angle grinder--didn't make it and is now doing time. Again--through the door---he deserves the pokey.

    I hate the thought of bolting to the floor cause you have holes in your safe resulting in fire entry. An option to that is raise the safe 3/8 of an in---bolt 2 inch angel iron to the floor trapping the safe behind it. Again a slowing mechanism but if your safe is 2500 lbs empty--figure 3k full you are going to make someone work pretty hard.

    Thanks for your imput

    By the way---great video posted above. That could have been easily done on my AMSEC. Couldn't get in that way on the halls--lots of other ways but not that way--cool vid.
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    HLOUIE2HLOUIE2 Member Posts: 127 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Skyman, unless UL has changed in the last seven years after the testing at their lab they do unannounced inspections to be sure that the original design is being followed. That is the real value of the UL label...it is not just a one time test, it's continous insepctions based on production levels but at least four times per year. Hlouie
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    laogailaogai Member Posts: 309 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    personally i have benefitted by reading this post and appreciate the input given.
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