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In the video above, the GunVault NanoVault 100 was disconnected from its security cord [pic after the jump]. Hence the little hole that provided a perfect place to begin the $29.95 portable safe’s destruction. If the wire loop had been sealed inside the safe, the hole would have been smaller. Less easily/quickly compromised. But make no mistake: someone with a bit more experience in the thievery department than your humble scribe—or your humble scribe with a bit more experience—could have opened the NanoVault 100 within a minute. Easy . . .

So if you think this safe is a safe place to store a handgun in your car while you nip out to the pick up the dry cleaning (remembering that many states require weapons to be under your direct control at all times), think again. In fact, one wonders if the standard-issue manufacturer’s plastic handgun case would be any more (or less) impervious to assault. Maybe GunVault should contact Mattel; removing Barbie packaging requires specialty tools and diehard determination. That bitch has drawn first blood more than once. . .

In any case (so to speak), strapping my now ex-NanoVault onto the Merc’s luggage anchor point on the way to the gun range felt good, and looked right. If I’d been pulled over, the cop would have clocked the Glock’s security theater and instantly known I was transporting my firearm in complete compliance with Rhode Island regs.

But then, I tend to take a number of guns to the range; the idea of half a dozen tethered black NanoVaults in the way back is Alien to me. A far more better bet: strap the NanoVault 100’s tether to the seat rail and hide the box. Discretion is the better part of NanoVault.

The three-number-combo NanoVault 100 is inherently convenient; it’s a relief not to have to jingle all the way to the American Firearms School (I’ve got more keys than a baby grand.) The fact that a barefoot middle-class white guy could prise open the NanoVault in a nano-second (the hyperbole gloves are off) is neither here nor there. I mean, what exactly did you expect for $30? I say the NanoVault 100 is a win—as long as you think of it as a stylish bag with a cheap Chinese lock.

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  1. Sweet, thanks for the info. Great starter vault for IDPA.

    Question is: Where do I store my ammo???

  2. Your Rhode Island transport laws are similar to the laws in New York City- guns locked up in the trunk. BUT where I live 15 minutes out of NYC they want our guns to be carried on your person to and from the range. Our county believes the best way to protect your gun is to have it on you. Huh.

    Can we get some sensible uniform transport regulations so Robert does not have to sully the rearmost cargo area of a perfectly good Merc?

  3. I have some pry bar tools left over from my contractor days (e.g. 10" Molding Lifting Bar, 15" Double End Nail Puller, 14" Wrecking Bar, etc.) that would have that thing destroyed and apart in seconds.

    But… no safe is safe if the thief is given enough time and has the right tools. Locked and tethered the NanoVault 100 is probably perfectly adequate to deter sticky-fingered opportunists and children (although to your point, a locked and tethered plastic case would probably work as well). And that's probably all it needs to do.

  4. Regarding where to store ammo: Lacking a fireproof gun safe, I realized that a metal $16 army surplus ammo can (a small-to-medium 5.56 or 7.62 one…typically available at your local army surplus store or from Northern Tool + Equipment) would offer at least a little more protection than my range bag. Bonus: it even fits inside my range bag.

  5. There are a couple things to remember…First as mentioned the cord hole would have very minimal space for a screwdriver so it would make it harder to start the prying process. Second is if the safe is teathered to the seat post as properly instructed then the thief would not have as much room to manuver the safe around to get good angles to work in a prying tool, this video is a good point but very deceiving…he has all the room to twist and turn and get the angles he needed to pry it open out in an open area (living room floor), which was clearly shown he needed the space for it. Third is most vehicle break ins are a smash and grab situation, if properly hidden under the seat chances are it wont be messed with and it being attatched to the vehicle with a cable will greatly decrease it being messed with. I personally throw a couple grocery bags around it to hide it and if someone were to quicly look under my seat for a quick steal they would only see a bunch of grocery bags maybe a water bottle…to them trash. Great video. Shows that this safe is semi strong.

  6. The Nanovault isn't intended to safeguard the crown jewels so the fact that it could be easily defeated didn't much matter to me. If it keeps kids out of things and discourages the average car burglar a little (without carrying a full-on safe) that is sufficient. I don't expect much more than a tool to comply with the law.

    Having said that, the foam pads they put in those things smells like the backend of an oil refinery. I had the Nanovault in a bedroom closet and you could smell it from the kitchen. I put it outside for a week to let it air out. It is better now — you can only smell it from halfway down the hall. If I am going to use it, I am going to have to replace those pads.

    • Fresh out of the package, I believe it is the stinkiest product that I have ever purchased. It would be hard to overstate the smell. So bad that it is immediately obvious when one is in a house. Step in the door and smell the nanovault.

  7. I agree with a previous poster, That this being tethered to the car is a great advantage. The man in this video may have taken twice as long to break into it whilst working around a seat and cable. The cable loops around the lock receiver, so it cannot be removed by prying (until you foil the lock anyway). I’m betting a robber won’t want to stay at my vehicle breaking into the safe for 6-10 minutes in daylight (the only time my safe has anything in it). A major problem I see is large bolt cutters, they could foil the cable much faster, then take it home to open the safe.

    Side note, from gun vaults website, this clearly looks like the Nano Vault 300, and not the 100. The 100 ($30MSRP) is smaller, with a key lock. The one featured in this video, the 300 ($40MSRP) has a combination lock.

  8. I bought one and I have the exact opposite complaint. To start with, the thing stinks to high heaven when you open the package. If you purchase one, plan to leave it outside in the weather for about a month before you bring it into the house. It will take that long for the stink to disappear.
    Then, to make a long story short, I quickly discovered that it had the cheapest briefcase-type lock I have ever seen. It had problems from the beginning. The combination wheels wobbled side-to-side and it quickly became a question whether I was going to have to carry tools to open the thing. I called their customer support and got a smartaleck response, like the customer was the problem, not the incredibly cheap lock. I quickly decided that I wouldn’t trust it to lock up anything that I wanted to get back using anything less than a pry bar. So I decided not to take their offer of a replacement, because it would only be as lousy as the first one. So I am out thirty bucks, unless someone wants to buy a nanovault that may not open when you want it to. Maybe you can use it for target practice. The steel seemed OK.

  9. The nanovault is, on the surface, a good idea, but I was burglarized, and the intruders it the lock, opened the safe, and left the broken safe for me…I thought that was generous.
    The nanovault is to keep kids away, not burglers. If you want to keep your stuff, don’t put it in a nanovault.

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