How to Choose the Perfect Long Gun Safe (With Suggestions)

Dan Zimmerman’s Liberty safe via The Truth About Guns

If you live in and love the firearms lifestyle, you assume the same basic responsibility — to keep your firearms away from people (kids, criminals, crazies) who shouldn’t have access to them. A gun safe will do that job for you, but how to choose one? Here are some tips.

Size Matters

I’ve owned a Liberty touchpad-open gun safe in burgundy-and-brass for 20 years now, and it has sat in the corner of my office, quietly doing its job without complaint all that time. The closest modern equivalent is Liberty’s Presidential Series 25 LB-PX25-BUM-BR-M.

I also built a hidden gun room once I ran out of storage in the safe. I erred by not buying enough capacity initially.

Reason: What you don’t plan for — or at least I didn’t — was how much other stuff will wind up in the safe. Yes, I have a bunch of firearms in it, but there’s also all our important car and home documents, some cash, other personal documents, some ammo for the firearms in the safe, and assorted other goodies.

Also, my son and daughter have their firearms in the safe as well because they live in gun-restrictive states. They may never be able to possess their existing semi-auto rifles and shotguns unless they move back to Texas, so I’m holding them indefinitely, maybe a lifetime.

Door organizers can help cut down the clutter handguns can cause, but there’s no substitute for volume.

I’d say the smallest safe most gun owners will look at for their storage needs, depending on their situation, is a 24-gun safe, or more accurately, one that holds 24 long guns.

Keeping Things ‘Safe’

A good safe has to be durable enough to withstand the most common types of attacks: removal and sidewall penetration.

To start with the latter, the Liberty has enough sidewall thickness to satisfy me. It’s 7-gauge solid steel, but I believe a minimum of 10- to 11-gauge steel is satisfactory and a lot more affordable. What you’re trying to buy is enough strength that it’s drill-resistant or can fend off someone trying to puncture the sides with other tools, such as an ax or sledgehammer. Hopefully, you don’t store your acetylene torch in the same place as your safe.

Kodiak 20-Gun Long Safe (KSB5928EX-SO)

Plenty of safes from major makers (Liberty Gun Safe 1776 Series 23 Model Number 1776-23, the Browning Sporter SP15-167418A, and the Kodiak KSB5928EX-SO meet the capacity and side-thickness minimums above and won’t break the bank.

Simple removal is a bigger problem than you might think. If q thief who has targeted you has the means to slide the safe into a pickup bed, then he can open it with more aggressive means at another location.

I had my safe bolted to the floor on a second story. Someone who wants what’s in it has a tough task of tearing it from the floor and getting it down the stairs. Probably too tough a job for most thieves. (Handgun safes should get the same treatment.)

Of course, that usually suggests professional installation. I had mine moved up the stairs by a local installer and bolted into place on delivery. If you plan to put your safe on the ground floor of your home, you really should have it bolted down, or someone can simply winch it into a vehicle and go to work on it elsewhere. Or, if the safe is light enough, the thieves can even use a hand truck to move it out of the building.

A lawyer I know put two 50-gun safes in his garage, both bolted to the floor, side by side. Effectively, they function as a very-difficult-to-remove 100-gun safe. He bought Browning Medallion Series M49T Gun Safes (M49T).

Next, The Closure

So, you’ve got a big-enough safe with walls that are thick enough to withstand attack. It’s bolted down to prevent it from being kidnapped. Now, how about the door?

You don’t want it to be easy to open, so look at how it is constructed in the crucial areas of locking bolts, hinges, and the lock type.

My Liberty has internal hinges that can’t be gotten to from the outside. Also, the steel door itself is as heavy a gauge as the sides, so there’s no flexing or weakness in the front itself. Also, the door is sunk into the safe body, which makes it more difficult to pry on. Before buying your safe, make sure there’s enough body steel under the door-seal lip itself, and that the edge doesn’t have any flex or wiggle.

Then, consider the bolts that fit into the safe’s body at the top, latch side, and bottom. You want as many locking points as feasible behind the door jamb to keep the door face from simply being ripped off.

Next, you’ll need to choose a manual combination lock, an electronic lock, or a biometric lock. Many shooters favor a mechanical lock because, like the argument over red dots and iron sights, they don’t want a lock powered by batteries that can fail.

Because I intended to be in and out of the safe a lot while I had children in the house, and part of my home-defense firearms were in the safe, I was more worried about how slow the manual lock was to operate, so I chose an electronic model that had a six-digit opening sequence.

I’ve had to change the batteries a few times over the years, which I admit is a PITA because the fragile wires under the keypad pulled loose from the connections, but I go several years between vexations caused by the battery updates. YMMV.

As I’ve viewed safe features over the years, I’ve noticed how various biometric opens have come onto the scene. I’ve tried them on quick-access safes and they’ve generally worked. Frankly, I’m not sold on them yet because I’ve been prevented from opening some safes because of a wonky alignment or dirty fingers. But they do offer speed of entry and allow for storing several fingerprints if you want others to have access to the safe.

Corrosion

Thefts and fires that damage firearms do happen, but both issues are sporadic. Rust is not. You simply must take steps to control corrosion inside your safe or you’ll wind up damaging your firearms.

If you think about it, safes will trap moisture inside because their very design makes ventilation difficult. To combat corrosion, you must clean and dry your firearms before putting them away. That wet duck gun can put water into the air in the safe and affect the other items in there.

TTAG has a few articles on the basics herehere, and here, or search the site for “how to clean your guns” to get a full lineup.

Break-Free Gun Collectors’ Preservation Kit

For guns that will be in the safe for extended periods, clean them as you normally would and apply a long-term solution to protect them. You can find several choices at Brownells, but I like the Break-Free Gun Collector’s Preservation Kit and Boeshield’s T-9 Waterproof Lube.

Brownells Gun Socks

Using Brownells Gun Socks will protect your guns from scratches and dings going in and out of the safe, and the cloth is treated with silicone that inhibits rust and the fabric wicks moisture away from metal surfaces. Of course, an in-safe dehumidifier is a good idea, too.

Using adjustable shelving and racks in the safe interior can also help keep corrosion down. By separating the various firearms in the safe, it’s easier to keep track of them and keep them away from each other.

Wrapping Up

I didn’t touch on fire-resistant standards for safes because the makers promote many confusing claims about fire ratings, and a better fire safe adds dollars outside the job of preventing unauthorized access. But, in general, better fire protection means a better safe, so if you’re prepared to spend the dollars for enhanced protection against a gun fire, go for it.

With the advice above, you’ll be on the hook for somewhere around $1100 to $1600 for a big-enough heavy-duty safe with a lock style you prefer and a lifetime warranty, because this purchase will likely be with you for that long. There are both American-made models and foreign units in a color range from matte black to gray to cream white, whichever you prefer.

And you can improve from there. But even if you can’t buy the “best” safe possible, then buy something. Securing your firearms is a responsibility all gun owners should accept. In fact, some states, such as California, mandate criminal penalties for criminal storage of a firearm.

So don’t be “that guy” who didn’t take the right steps to keep the wrong people from getting your guns. Along with your safe, you’ll get some peace of mind along with your new gun storage.

comments

  1. avatar Squiggy81 says:

    I have no safe. I have a room specifically built for firearm storage and reloading. 2 concrete walls and 2 walls and ceiling with concrete board. Steel door to enter with keypad deadbolt. My big mistake was not making it big enough. Hindsight is 20/20, I guess…

  2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Meh, I figure that the job of a safe is to stop a smash-and-grab thief. And in that respect pretty much any safe will do a fine job.

    If a thief is motivated and has several hours, he/she can get into any safe with a simple angle-grinder and/or cutting wheel. (It isn’t that hard to cut sheet steel.)

    As for anchoring a safe to something, I am pretty confident that a steel wedge and 10+ pound sledge hammer can defeat almost any anchoring in very short order — like less than 5 minutes short order. After that the thief can simply hall away the entire safe and break into it at their leisure in another location.

    1. avatar DrewN says:

      A buddy of mine put a knockdown in a closet and framed it in. Took maybe 4 hours from demo to texture. Sure, you could knock out a wall pretty easily and haul it off, but that seems like too much work for most drug addicts who probably don’t have a vehicle or a dolly. That’s probably about the most you can do as an average renter, besides making sure no one knows you have guns by being very discreet coming and going. Home owners have more flexibility to get a proper safe and not just an RSC.

  3. avatar Shik says:

    after a lot of research, I finally settled on a Sturdy safe because I could skip fire protection and buy more steal, which is primarily what I was concerned about. It isn’t as fancy as some, but I love it.

  4. avatar RV6Driver says:

    Gun safes are pretty useless in the grand scheme of things. A $13 dremmel from harbor freight will cut right through the side in a few minutes.

    Beyond keeping your kids and their friends away from your guns any seasoned criminal would pop a standard safe open in minutes.

    If you’re gonna have a safe at least put it in an area where the sides aren’t exposed and bolt it to the floor. That will at least make it a little more of a “pain in the ass” to pop….

    1. avatar Reason says:

      “A $13 dremmel from harbor freight will cut right through the side in a few minutes.”

      You have never used a Dremel for such a large amount of cutting have you? I am a tool & die maker. Use much better tools than a Dremel. It would take you days with a Dremel. Now a acetylene torch is another story. Once helped get into a very expensive safe after a building fire. One that came out of a bank or something. 30 years ago it was a $6000 safe. We did not really know what we were doing and were in in about 15-20 minutes. If I had to do it again it would be half that.

      1. avatar Rv6driver says:

        Good lord man… I was exaggerating and you’re correct I don’t have experience breaking into safes. Since my internet banter wasn’t sufficient allow me to clarify my statement.

        A criminal with either the sheer will, skill and tools will quickly defeat a common gun safe.

        I hope that’s sufficient for you….

        Jeez man….. I’ll be more careful next time…. 😂😂😂😂

        1. avatar Mad Max says:

          A battery-powered Hilti cutoff/die grinder will get into most safes in about 20 minutes.

          Now, if you also have a good alarm system and a police department that arrives in less than 15 minutes, a properly-installed good quality safe will suffice.

        2. avatar Robroyb says:

          Your ‘dremel tool’ be is what makes reading people’s comments a waste. Why do you make comments from the start that you know nothing about, admittedly after getting called out on it. I just don’t understand that way of commenting, then you blast the guy for calling you out. Ughhh

    2. avatar Owen says:

      That’s what my locksmith friend said. We really normally see what are really “residential security containers” but we call them “safes”. A real safe (like from a bank) is designed and built very differently. He recommended Fort Knox if I did go the residential security container route.

      I agree that for residential, a locked gun cabinet bolted to the wall/floor is just as good of at theft/child-proofing. And bolting it down is a big thing because the longer it takes to get in or move the less likely a “casual” criminal will mess with it. Pros would just cut it open.

      Another thing to note is “fire proof” safes have gypsum etc for fire rating and this gives off the moisture that damages your guns.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Izzat so? Mine is fireproofed, and I’ve been wondering where the moisture was coming from. I have a big can of dryer that needs recycling every 3-4 days, you’re giving me hope that at some point the moisture will eventually be gone. I also have 2 smaller dryers in the safe and a dehumidifier in the closet with them, we are removing water, just don’t know how long it will take to reach “dry”.

        1. I watched a video on gypsum in the safe. It will corrode your mom’s jewelry, too. I took out our old family picture albums because of that. It’s better just on a shelf in a cool dry place. There’s a company that doesn’t use gypsum and it’s stackable with bolts. Don’t remember what the name was. Anybody know?

  5. avatar GS650G says:

    I have two of the inexpensive stack on boxes. I mounted them in closets bolted on two sides to the studs in the walls and removed molding on the bottom to flush them against the walls. the doors open in a direction that makes prying very difficult if not impossible to get any leverage.

    I don’t have the room or a place for a nice 600 lb metal box like that. If I did I would. I think it’s important to have any safe out of sight if possible. If it’s not obvious to people working on your house or curious types there is less chance someone will target it.

    Fire prevention is a think too and my safes don’t have that. But I do have insurance and keep records of what I have.

    While plenty will scoff at my choice you’d be surprised how tough these boxes are and when you start bending on them they become even harder to open. But in any case it beats keeping them under the bed or in a hallway closet unsecured.

  6. avatar Jr says:

    Question for everyone:
    Does anybody have recommendation for an inside-the-wall locking gun cabinet? (doesn’t need to super secure just a basic lock).
    Also has anyone ever seen one that can take advantage of the space in a 2×6 stud wall with 24″ spaced studs? most are for 2×4’s 16″ apart since its most common but those are tiny.
    Thanks

    1. Yes, Tactical Walls, tho they’re not cheap. They fit in between the studs so you don’t have to cut 2×4’s. They look like mirrors or clocks or shelves. They’re nice! I think it’s better than a metal safe that everyone can see. Those are pretty easy to break into if they have a gun to your head and they say “Open up”.

  7. avatar Cooter E Lee says:

    Pro tip to remember combinations:
    Pick a 10 letter word or combination of words
    See:
    https://www.quora.com/What-are-10-letter-words-with-no-repeating-letters
    The first letter is 1, the second is 2, etc etc.
    I have my pins and passwords all written out in plain sight, but unless you worked at Walgreens as a manager in the late 80s, you’re not going to figure it out.

    I built a raised concrete platform with cinder blocks along the wall in an inside corner of the basement. I then hung a piece of metal reinforced plywood on sliding barn door that covers that area, painted to match walls. I’m looking for a kitten playing with yarn throw rug to hang over to help disguise the seams.

    I bought one stack-on manual combination safe (too many horror stories from batteries) from Home Depot and bolted to concrete floor. There is room by it for a second identically sized safe so I can store more, and with my latest Palmetto state armory KS-47 I think it’s time.

  8. avatar Specialist38 says:

    I have a 30 year old browning prosteel and a StackOn Fireproof. The Browning cost 800 dollars 39 years ago. The StackOn was around for 450 for a much larger safe.

    The S&G combination lock on the browning has better feel and precision that the one on the StackOn, which feels cheap.

    If i were buying my first safe I would get a StackOn Fireproof with an electronic lock. I haven’t seen a better price and features for a 24 gun safe with fireproofing.

    While it is my responsibility to prevent careless injury with my guns, it is not my responsibility to keep them theft-proof.

    Someone with a wooden cabinet to keep kids out is no less responsible than someone with a bank vault.

    Just because states require some sort of locked storage doesn’t mean it has to be Fort Knox. I use a safe because I don’t want someone to steal my guns. If I just wanted to keep my kids out, a locked wooden cabinet or chest would suffice.

    The person who breaks into my locked residence and steals my guns is the one responsible for their misuse.

  9. avatar Wiregrass says:

    I bought a Liberty Fat Boy Jr. last year because my collection had grown to point I needed a better storage solution than the Stack On cabinet. Once you start shopping you notice there is quite a variation in quality of construction. After doing my research I definitely went beyond what I initially was considering investing but I am pleased with this safe so far.

  10. avatar SoCalJack says:

    I have a rifle safe in the garage and hidden from street view. I even made a cardboard box with a door to cover it so it blends in with the rest of the garage crap. It’s orientation and location makes it difficult to use long prying tools and it’s anchored to the concrete floor. All my grinding, heavy prying tools and even long extension power cords are locked up. But I also keep a few of my firearms locked up in other places. I even have a decoy lock box, in plain view that a thief can take with him. Am I paranoid/overly-cautious?, yup!

    1. avatar Arizona Free says:

      My wife complained about the old paint tarp I have draped over my safe in the garage. She said it looks like junk piled up and I said it’s called camouflage. She still whines. Not to worry since I have every tool needed to aid in cracking that baby open laying all around that safe. I just can’t win.

  11. avatar Widdler says:

    If man built it, man can break it. Mounted in a tight location helps deter an on the move smash-n-grab, they like easy $. Renters should talk to the landlord before hacking away at the closet (recommended).

  12. avatar Karl says:

    Buy it on sale. I used to sell safes at Big Box and they cycle every 6 to 8 weeks or so. If you collect, minimum should be the Fatboy Jr. 48 Longarms will not fit in a 48 gun safe.

  13. avatar No one of consequence says:

    Re internal organization, I’ve had good luck with Rifle Rods *if* the muzzle isn’t too far from the shelf above; otherwise the rods can bend considerably. I’ve since switched to SecureIt’s rack-and-base system. No real extra capacity in the safe, but it’s more cleanly organized … and no issues re barrel-to-shelf clearance, just move the rack holder to where it’s needed.

  14. avatar James T Matters says:

    Don’t overlook your local manufacturers. Shipping is a big cost on larger safes, and you can sometimes get more safe for less from a local manufacturer. I found one just inside delivery distance, called Drake Safes, here in NC, that was great to work with on interior design specifically for 4 Benchrest rifles plus a few “normal” rifles.

  15. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

    For a very cheap and ugly option, get a Homak or similar bargain brand sheet metal “safe” and assemble it caulking the joints liberally with liquid nails construction adhesive to make it a pain for anyone to get a prybar between the pieces. When assembled, secure it to a stud or other structural support with lag screws. Won’t impress a professional theif, but should deter the amateurs.

  16. avatar Imayeti says:

    I so envy you all. To me it appears the money has to weigh as much as the safe you buy with it. Best I can do is to stay ahead of my grand-daughters ability to open what I store my meager collection in.

    1. avatar Widdler says:

      Some years ago (on a tight budget) I wanted a safe for just that reason, keeping the kids out. So for a few hundred $ I got a stack-on. Made in China (I know) thin sheet metal (I know) but it was heavy enough, had a combo lock and after mounting in the closet it worked. Gave us peace of mind, i’ve upgraded since of course but it was our first safe and did its job. We still have it, still use it. Mostly paperwork and electronics now, but I keep a backup handgun with mags in there.

  17. avatar James T Matters says:

    My suggestion is to sit down and total up the value of all the guns that SHOULD be in a safe. Don’t forget ti include scopes and triggers etc… Then think about how much you would have to spend to replace them all.
    Makes the safe buying decision pretty easy… Don’t spend $2500 to protect $1800 worth of guns.
    But don’t spend $500 to protect $10,000 worth.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Yeah, but that is kind of the crux of the problem. When you start looking at safes that will resist long enough to make a difference, the prices are $4000 and up, so it seems. That is a pretty big bite.

      I have never had a safe. By the time I started buying guns, the kids were old enough to be responsible. They are now moved on, and there are no grandchildren on the horizon. Nonetheless, there is a bill now pending in the California Legislature (sure to pass with a supermajority and an anti-gun governor) that will require ALL firearms to be secured with a California approved device whenever you leave your house unattended. That means cable locks or a safe. PITA!

      1. avatar James T Matters says:

        Ugh, California. I got out of there back in 2002 when the gettin was good.
        Do some more searching for local safe makers. There should be a few that will make you a 1/4″ thick unit for under $2,500 that will hold quite a few long guns. No, they don’t have the national brand name, but they’re usually stronger and cheaper. Also look for recessed edges to stop prybars…

        Good hunting!

      2. avatar Matt says:

        How are they going to prove this… in a court of law. The only way would be to get into your home while you weren’t there. This is a tack on charge so you plead out on something else.

        Keep your mouth shut and never talk to police and you have a high chance of beating this.

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          They will tack it on pretty much only when a minor gets a hold of it and someone gets hurt. If your guns are stolen in a burglary, yo just say they all had cable locks. Of course, all of the “approved” cable locks are easily removed with a modest sized bolt cutter. But just because a law will accomplish pretty much nothing (since it is already a crime if a child gets a hold of a loaded firearm) has never been a reason not to just do “something.”

  18. avatar LarryinTX says:

    If that’s yours in the pictures, mine is bigger. About 5 years ago cost $1100 installed and bolted down, in a closet where it barely fits, removing it after breaking it loose would require a hand truck, you cannot get enough people to it in order to move the 600 lbs empty, probably over 800 as is now. Then it has to go through 4 x 90 degree turns before it is out the door where you can start pushing it up the hill to the street. There is a strong possibility you would have to accomplish all this while under fire, and in less than the local police’s 5-minute response time. If you succeed, all that’s left is that there is only one way out of the neighborhood, a narrow, hilly, and 1.25 mile long road terminating with only 2 directions to go. Suffice to say, I am not real concerned. Lots of jewelry, significant gold, and a bunch of important papers.

    Speaking of papers, let me make a recommendation! Last October we got real close to the bottom floor flooding. Of all our worries, the important papers in our safe were not among them, since we had enough foresight to spent around $20 when we bought the safe to puck up a large plastic waterproof box (general purpose), and stuffing all papers into it, and then it into the safe.

    I was not real worried for 60+ years without a safe, but once it’s there it does seem like a good use of $1100.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I would differ in one way; Once installed, this safe became part of the house, it will not move. Along with a 16′ table and chairs to seat 22 people, which I’ll never have another house large enough to fit.

    2. That’s mine in the top photo and it weighs 1300 lbs.

  19. avatar Porridgeweasel says:

    I’ve got a fireproof/waterproof safe. I had to reinforce some stairs to get it into place. When we were all done, I removed the reinforcements. It will not leave my home without that reinforcement being done again.
    I too wish I had purchased a bigger safe than I initially purchased.

  20. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Any safe can be defeated, if thieves are willing to use enough brute force.

    Some mentioned ox-acetylene burning torches. Those threats can be defeated by stripping the paint job off the outside of the safe and welding some 16 gauge stainless steel to the outside of the steel box. Leave no gaps; weld up the corners where the 16 gauge stainless meets at the edges.

    OK, so that defeats a gas axe. Someone can still get in easily and quickly – if they’re willing to step up to dangerous, brute-force attacks like a burning bar. Light up a burning bar, and you can defeat almost any wall/container in front of you – I don’t care if it’s made of 1/2″ thick stainless or 6 inches of concrete. Choose the right burning bar, haul in a large O2 bottle, and you’ll defeat it. The two little issues are a) trying not to burn the room/building down around you and b) cutting the safe in such a way that you don’t incinerate the contents while you’re opening the safe.

    The best measure, I decided recently, was to have more than one gun safe. Putting all of one’s guns into one box means that there’s a larger payoff for defeating one box. Having multiple boxes means that the effort has to be expended again and again and again to get everything.

    1. avatar DrewN says:

      Multiple small boxes also makes moving a lot easier. I even used to break guns down and put the pieces in different safes, just as a FU. I also kept seldom used bolts and bcgs in a shoebox in my wife’s closet. It would take quite awhile to steal a working firearm.

    2. avatar Killtron says:

      I agree. Rather than shell out for some huge 50 gun safe, it is easier to just buy a 20-30 gun safe and then buy another once you fill up the first one. It cost about the same and it will take twice as long to chop them open. It’s also easier to move them.

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        The “easier to move them” is another, very important point I failed to mention.

        Once you get above the 60x30x26 (or so), 950 to 1100 lbs safe, you’re really going to need help to move it.

        I can move a 1,000 lbs safe by myself, with some thought and preparation. Golf balls or 1.5″ diameter round wood rods make moving such a safe fairly easy.

        Moving one of those big, 40 to 60 gun monsters would require help, and if I have to hire movers to help me move it, then I’ve just punched a hole in my “security by obscurity” right there – someone not only knows I have a lot of guns, they also know exactly where they are.

    3. avatar carbon says:

      Not so fast. Le Gas Axe has many tricks up its sleeve that have been lost to popular memory.

      https://forum.millerwelds.com/forum/welding-discussions/16407-any-suggestions-on-how-to-cut-40mm-stainless-steel

      Or, a plasma cutter or big electric grinder.

      To get real protection, you gotta spend $2-15k, according to this guy, who seems to know what he’s talking about: https://gunsafereviewsguy.com/buyers-guide/

      1. avatar Pelvicpunch says:

        I was going to poat the same link. If your really gonna commit to security, you need a big safe, and i dont mean necissarily volume. The AMSEC RF series (really just a commercial, TL-30×6 safe with gun interior) is a good starting point. They weigh over 3000 lbs, can be bolted down, dont rely on thin sheet metal and drywall (they have a special concrete aggregate) and have well designed bolt work. The B series safes from Grauffendur are the same style of construction jusylt with more steel and less special concrete.
        Now, most people dont want to shell out 12 grand for a safe and if thats the case, a Sturdy Safe will just about beat any drywall and abeet metal box from Costco or even a safe store.
        Sturdy Safe’s fireproofing is bullshit though, so dont waste the money, no Palusol in the door and they use fireproof insulation, which wont calcify in a fire and release the moisture needed to combat the temps like gypsum board or firerock concrete (like real safes have)

      2. avatar Matt says:

        dat guy suggesting a sawzall lololol

        1. avatar carbon says:

          Errrr, I’m saying an angle grinder with a cutoff disk. Maybe you don’t know about them? Knife meet butter at about 11:05 in this vid:

        2. avatar Matt says:

          No no no, in the link above on the miller forums some dude suggested cutting 40mm of stainless with a sawzall.

  21. avatar Derek says:

    I’m gonna go a completely different direction, lol. I am currently building a wood gun cabinet, with a glass door. Max fill would be 12 long guns & ~12 hand guns. It wont be bolted to the ground, or even have a lock. 🙂
    Yes, I’m serious. It’s costing me 7-8 hundo, making it out of oak & birch. It will have a gun carousel, and (internally) spin on a lazy susan, so I can easily access all my guns…which for long guns, I’ll currently only fill if half way.
    Originally I was thinking big steel safe, but I like my guns, I think they look cool, and I want to see them. I have spent several hours watching youtube video’s on how easy it is to open up a standard gun safe…it’s laughable. If you have a fire, if the heat and smoke doesn’t destroy your items, the fireman’s hose will. Your boned either way.

    1. avatar James Matters says:

      You sound like Pelosi. 1 35 foot ladder will defeat a 30 foot wall, so why bother with a wall…

      1. avatar Derek says:

        No. I would prefer to not even have them come into my home. A few months after I bought my house, it was burglarized (back in 2011). Since then I’ve focused on deterrence. Got a dog. Put security stickers on every door and window. Installed motion lights. Installed over half a dozen security camera’s. Replaced the old garage door, with one that doesn’t have windows in it, so they don’t know if anyone’s home. Put longer screws in the door hinges & lock plate. Not exactly seeing your Pelosi connection…

        1. avatar James T Matters says:

          Good for you! Here’s a tip not many know about… If you have a garage door opener, thieves can work a wire over the top of the door and snag the manual over-ride; usually a rope with a handle.. Take that off to prevent them from gaining access in seconds.

      2. avatar Dale from Kansas says:

        Instead of taking off the manual override, run a small zip tie through the mechanism. Makes it impossible to open with a wire from the outside but if you’re inside and need to use the override, give it a good downward yank and you’ll snap it.

  22. avatar GS650G says:

    I’ve seen a gun room made from cinder block filled with concrete and rebar. Steel door. Poured concrete ceiling with rebar. Still had 5 safes inside.
    Of course it was a 500k collection including several class3 items.

    1. avatar Widdler says:

      The first floor of my house is all cinder block, every time I go down there my head tells me “with some internal work, I got 700sqf of VAULT!”

  23. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    I am a locksmith. Have been for over 45 years. I sell my customers what they need. Not what they want.
    Now for myself since Im not worried about theft. All I use is a good size StackOn gun box. Secured to the wall and bolted to the floor. For my rifles 4 to 6 inch long bolts into the sub flooring (concrete).
    Hand guns are in 4 different smaller 2 hour fire rated safes with relockers.
    The weakest part of any safe is the box itself. Only an idiot tries to force open a door on a decently made 10 gauge or better box. If you have the time you can get into almost anything. Have an alarm system use it!!!!
    The better the box. The more time your buying.
    I can get any safe made. Given enough time.
    But my only real concern is to secure my guns.
    Not theft. If someone wants to stay in my home after the 30 seconds it takes for the alarm to go off and the 15 to 20 minutes it takes for the cops to come.
    Well I guess my guns might be gone some day.
    Best made gun safes in my opinion. Almost any Liberty safe. One of if not the best boxes there is today.
    This might sound dumb and it is in a way. Spending more for a safe then my guns total value. Might not make much sense to some. Sure doesn’t to me. But that’s another story and article someday.

  24. avatar Trampled Under Foot says:

    What the author quoted in cost would be about right for a quality deer rifle and scope. So if that was the only firearm you own you broke even. More firearms. Money ahead. Worked a 1000 + burglaries. No one with a decent safe lost a weapon. Quality gun safe, or be scared every time you go to work.

  25. avatar Robert A says:

    Zanotti Armor. Easy to assemble and break down, you can get the safes to fit just about anywhere. No need for safe movers, taking down walls/frames, etc. 100% made in the USA.

    1. avatar Cletus says:

      I second Zanotti Armor. I bought one back when I lived in an apartment after the maintenance guys took some of my guns, including a P7M8. I knew I’d be moving, so it made the most sense. I need another one since the first one is full.

  26. avatar Killtron says:

    As some here have noted, most ‘Safes’ are really a Residential Security Container (RSC) and even the UL listed ones only have to withstand a few minutes of being attacked with light hand tools.

    Besides doing your homework and buying one with an adequate thickness of steel, the biggest way you can help yourself is to bolt your ‘safe’ in a confined space so it is harder to attack. The fastest way into most of them is to flop them onto the door and chop them open with an axe.

    Contrary to the authors thinking, door hinges are not a valid method of attack. The locking bolts on a good RSC will secure the door even if the hinges are removed.

    There is a huge difference between a real ‘Safe’ and a RSC. They have to withstand attacks from better tools for longer, but are obviously much heavier and more expensive.

    I think for most people a good RSC backed up by sufficient insurance is fine. If you have important documents that you rarely need, get a Safe Deposit Box at the bank.

  27. avatar Enuf says:

    I’m using three Stack-On assemble yourself steel gun cabinets. I do not think of them as safes, of course they are not safes. They are there to keep the honest and the stupid from temptation. They are inside a large closet with a lock on the door, and there’s nothing special about that door. Each is lag bolted to the wall studs. One in the back for the older stuff. One in the front for the two Mossbergs and the two AR’s.

    On top of the one in the front is the pistol “safe”, that one came assembled. Uses a digital code or a hidden key. Holds loaded handguns and keys to the two long gun cabinets.

    If I could afford a real safe I’d buy one. Or better still convert a room into a walk-in safe, you can buy safe doors for that. Inside that room I’d place steel gun cabinets. But I’m not loaded down with loose $100 bills …. so ….

    I do know someone who built his own gun-safe room. Must have five or six large gun safes in there, plus other furnishings. Hidden entry too, you have to know it is there. Very clever work, I was impressed.

    Wish I had that kind of money. I’d own more toys!!!

  28. avatar Cletus says:

    If you go to thehighroad dot org and look for Safe threads that A1ABDJ and CB900F have commented on they are rather enlightening. Besides the differences between a RSC and a TL15 or a TL30 Safe, most people really don’t understand the fire ratings and what they mean. Which isn’t much, since many RSC use drywall for fire insulation.

  29. avatar RedBaron says:

    Guaranteed that all of these are not TRUE safes. So please call them what they are. Lockboxes. Nothing more.

  30. avatar Robert A says:

    The fire ratings are pretty much nonsense, as stated above really just drywall. I don’t put credibility into “waterproof” ratings either, manly just gimmicks to sell. I have insurance for fire/flooding. Mainly concerned about keeping them out of the hands of the kids and home break ins where they just take anything not tied down. Most RSCs serve this purpose pretty well.

    And i would stay away from any electronic locks. They will fail…….

    1. avatar Widdler says:

      Good point, my first safe was a dial and it’s never failed. The other is digital and I had to use the backup key a couple times, dials take a little longer but work. Not sure how the new bio fingerprint deals are, nobody I know is willing to get one.

  31. avatar Matt o says:

    Once I realized my collection was worth as much as both my wife’s and my car put together I decided a decent safe was necessary. My advice, buy on sale. I got mine on Black Friday and saved several hundred. Take delivery into account, unless you think you can get that 500+ pound box into your basement. Some delivery is curbside and some is to wherever you want. Make sure you know what they’re offering. Sometimes delivery is free, that can be worth hundreds. A safe will actually hold half to 2/3 as many guns as they claim it will, assuming they’re not ass handguns.

  32. avatar Tony says:

    This article is laughably wrong on a number of points.

    Internal hinges aren’t more secure, ther’re Garbage.

    More bolts aren’t more secure, they’re decoration.

    Fireproof safes aren’t more secure, they’re (mostly) garbage.

    The author should be ashamed to be offering such uninformed opinions.

  33. avatar Matt says:

    I’ve posted it before and I’ll post it again. Craiglist is an excellent way to get a used TL rated or high fire rated safe for next to nothing.

    I found a 4hr fire rated safe that weighed 3000lbs for $950 delivered in my driveway. I’ve read a true 4hr fire rating is roughly equivalent to TL-20+. When I didn’t buy it within two weeks, I was told make any reasonable offer. I probably could have gotten it for $500 delivered. S&G dial combinations are extremely easy to change with a $10 change tool (once the safe is open of course).

    Often times you are doing the person a favor buying it. Think about what a pain in the ass it is to get someone to take a couch for free, not think about trying to get rid of a 3000lb safe.

    1. avatar Biff says:

      I need to look into this. I would like to get a real safe and this looks like the best way to do it. I also want to escape IL, so I’ll probably hold off for awhile. Moving a RSC is bad enough. If I buy something heavier, I’m going to have to pay a specialist with a stair crawler to get it out of the basement.

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