On one hand, OMG! Why in the world would TTAG republish a YouTube video that tells bad guys how to break into a gun safe? On the other hand, the only cure for bad safe information is good safe information. And c’mon folks. Anyone who thinks a sub-$100 gun safe offers impregnability needs a wake-up call. Especially if they haven’t properly schooled their children on gun safety. When it comes to protecting your guns, use the same strategy as you use to protect your family: layers. Vigilance, sturdy windows and doors, home alarm, dog, etc. Oh and location, location, location. While the antis rightly lambasted our good friends guns.com for their article on hiding guns around the house (since 404’ed), there’s nothing wrong with hiding your gun safe. Or safes. More on that later . . .

38 Responses to How to Defeat Stack-On Gun Safes

  1. I can buy a real safe for about $100 at Wal-Mart with an old fashioned manual dial instead of these defective junk safes.

    • $100 will not get you a “safe”. That will get you a RSC (residential security cabinet) that could be defeated really easily with tools. At a minimum I’d advise people to get at least a B-rated safe. TL-15 and above are pretty expensive and hefty.

        • Depends on the size… and how close to $100 we’re talking. Not all RSC’s are made the same. A UL rated RSC is not like the stack-ons. My family is locksmiths so I can get wholesale prices. I’ll probably inherit some awesome safes someday.

    • It’s not real and it’s not a safe. This is another instance of Walmart being a bottom feeder trying to maximize profit for a minimum of investment. If you purchased your firearms at Walmart then, maybe this is the box you need. If you bought some high quality firearms then re-think the situation.
      I have a Liberty a Fort Knox and an el cheapo Cannon, there is no comparison between the first two and the Cannon. A friend of mine in NM had purchased a Walmart special for his house. First he anchored it between the two car garage stalls ’cause it looked good and made for easy access. Well the thieves agreed, they used his splitting maul and beat the steel between the base (the anchors made this easier) after beating the box and splitting it away from the base they simply lifted it off and took all his rifles plus a couple pistols he had. Gun safes are designed for a specific purpose that be keeping your firearms from the wrong folks. The first two are anchored into the floor in my garage and are surrounded by either a wall or a couple layers of sheetrock. I think about the location of these safes and insure they are away from most wood and will incur minimum in the event of a fire. A few years back I had a break-in while living in Phoenix, AZ they took my electronics gear a watch and anything else they could grab. The thieves completely ignored the Liberty safe anchored in my dining room it must have been to much trouble and was not even touched. Firearms as a rule are expensive and I had long ago learned the if anything goes missing the cops treat it like it is your fault. If the thieves succeed in opening your quality safe take photo’s and sue the insurance company and the local police force as you have take proper preventative measures.

  2. Publishing this type of info is a public service. It forces manufacturers to put out better products.

    • While it may be a PSA, it does not mean it will make mfg make a better product.

      You are not getting anything better at a $100 price point.

  3. If I “had” (boating accidents suck) guns they would be stored in Stack On gun lockers, why because I would need to use a very small space, and my extra income would probably be needed to spend on ammo and range time.

  4. I’ve got a stack-on that I consider my “Locker” for the most part. Unfortunately I have to be mobile as I’ve gotta move around alot, and can’t afford to move a safe all over the place. Good news is, my house is never unattended and everybody in it knows how to use firearms so we’re good to go.

    • This is my situation. I will probably get a safe when I get to where I am going this month. I plan on staying a few years in one place so it does make sense.

    • Not impressed with the Stack-on I can open one in a few minutes with a splitting maul. Check out a “jobbox” or Greenlee tool box from a big box hardware store, hidden padlocks and heavy steel construction make them a better option. If you have a firearms safe think about the location and it’s surroundings. A Stack-on box under a table or surrounded by lots of wood can make a pretty good safe. The JOB BOX items are a lot tougher and make harder for thieves.
      I used to install elevators for a living imagine what if have for tools? A Stack-on box cannot withstand the force from a 48″ crowbar and a hydraulic portapower jack you can pry the door off. The “Jobbox” items are a lot harder too open with hidden padlocks and heavy steel exterior. Think about your situation before plunking down money for a safe. I’d buy a Walmart safe for my Walmart purchases.

  5. I use my stack on for ammo now, but it was plenty good enough to store my first few guns. I only upgraded once I started getting NFA stuff.

  6. There is no such thing as an unpickable lock or a 100% secure safe. This is why education is critical.

  7. Damn I resisted the urge to get a cheapie stack on. Phew.

    Although like the idea of picking up one for real cheap now, just as an ammo locker.

  8. i recently purchased a 8 gun stack on safe (full size model, not the ones shown). Hopefully they are made a little sturdier than these ones.

    • As far as I know, Stack-On doesn’t make anything that even rates the RSC label. The lock might be marginally better, but it’s still a thin sheet metal box.

  9. My stack-on rifle locker is just for powder storage.
    I was considering one of the models shown for in car storage when needed.
    Guess I’ll keep looking.
    Wow.

  10. There is a reason that these are <$100 and similar sized boxes are $250 and up from Ft. Knox, Amsec, and others.

  11. Locks, as always, are 100% effective against honest people. If your StackOn isn’t hidden/attached, they will just carry it away to work on it at their leisure. As far as defeating the locks, a sheet metal cabinet requires only a crowbar and some muscle.

  12. …wow! Seeing some of these weak points will have me looking at my safe for similar deficiencies.

  13. A foolproof system doesn’t take into account the ingenuity of fools. Every safe can be defeated…the question is, how long can you delay someone so that the risk of getting caught isn’t worth the time needed to break in…

  14. Slow day TTAG? These videos have been around a while. But thanks for reminding me.
    Still looking at big boys. I like the steel water safes. They have YouTube videos of attempts to break in from hinge attacks to the locks.

  15. Im a working locksmith and that video is doing an injustice to that style locking box.
    Notice I didn’t say safe.
    Anyone who’s looking at these in my store.
    I tell my customers these aren’t safes.
    They are deterrents to small children, invited guests and prying fingers.
    At no time do I use the word SAFE.
    Burglars do not finesse locking boxes as that guy did.
    They just pry them open and go about their business or just carry it away and open them at a later date.
    Anyone who thinks a $100 box is a safe and secure item.
    Is a fool.

  16. These lockboxes are good for what they are, but electronic combination locks just totally suck. I’ve opened up a couple of them by smacking them the “right” way, tripping the solenoid. No combination required.

    Electronic locks are fast but completely insecure. Manual tumbler locks are slow but a bit more secure. And nothing is completely secure.

  17. great, now i have to assume my child will make shims and know exactly where to pick a lock mechanism.

    i bet hes selling rocks and pimping hoes now too. damn kids these days. learned it on youtube and from miley cyrus i bet.

    bad manufacturing sucks, but safety should start with good parenting.

    that being said, im a firm believer of you get what you pay for.

  18. Stackons are more for keeping the kiddies and the party guests out.
    I don’t consider them sufficient for anything else.

  19. Most home burglaries are opportunistic crimes committed by local teens prowling. They break a window or kick a door if no one is home. They don’t bring power tools or have any know-how. Mostly they’re looking for small valuables: pills, cash, smart phones, jewelry and unsecured handguns. Things they can stuff in their pockets.

    They make their get away on foot or bike and have no way to haul a big steel gun locker full of rifles and shotguns with them. At best they may invest 10 or 15 minutes prying at the door with a screwdriver (their typical all purpose entry tool) before giving up and running off.

    If the crook is a real pro, nothing will keep them out. All you can do is make it more work than it’s worth.

  20. The stack on container they worked first in the video can be opened readily with NO TOOLS WHATSOEVER. Drop it nose first (i.e., the side with the key “lock” on it) on a hard surface. A six inch drop will do it. The spring loaded latch will drop down and release the loop in the lid. The “good” news is this method won’t work if you actually attached the safe to something (e.g. bolted it to the inside of your trunk).

  21. Rule of thumb make it not worth the effort for the crook.
    I have a pair of 60 gun safes, a Liberty and a Fort Knox both anchored into the floor in the garage. Both have the best fire liners offered at the time. The back of each is up against the wall and anchored they cannot be moved w/o lots of effort. These are both high quality safe’s and will stop most general home invasions. If you wish to remove the items inside then be prepared to spend a few hours getting them open. Downside I might come home or since my neighbor works for the local police expect to see them first. I do not worry about most of my firearms because it will take longer in opening a safe than the value returned. National Security, Liberty, Fort Knox, Browning, Cannon and even Winchester all make a quality safe just ignore the cheap offering and look for quality.;

  22. For a pistol safe I’ll only consider the Locksaf biometric and the Fort Knox FTK-PB Pistol Box. Stack-ons are just China made junk with no thought into security what so ever.

  23. If I “had” (boating accidents suck) guns they would be stored in Stack On gun lockers, why because I would need to use a very small space, and my extra income would probably be needed to spend on ammo and range time.

  24. According to my opinion a scope does not make a better shot or shooters. learning to shoot should start with iron sites learning the basics is what makes a good marksmen and hunter. We should have some information about best value gun safe

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