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Well, I just moved to Houston and need to buy a gun safe. Does anybody have any opinions? I know to get one that's fire rated, but after reading about the fire ratings, they're all done differently and comparing ratings between brands is more akin to comparing apples to organes. ANybody ever bolted theres to the floor? What does it take and how hard is it?
 

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Goose.

There are tons of different safes out there. The minimum I would purchase is a safe rated for 3000 degrees for 30 minutes of sxposure. I also would aslo only buy one with internal hinges rather than external. My self I use a gun safe for all my valuable fire arms and paperwork and use a less expensive "gun locker" for the inexpensive/utility guns.
And yes you can bolt them to the floor in most cases. Both my safe and gun locker are bolted to the floor. I use four 5/16 lag bolts three inches long with double washers to bolt them down to the floor. My locker also has two through the back to secure it to a stud in the wall. Most safes have a couple holes drilled through the floor for anchor bolts. Just shim the safe level and place the bolts.
If you are going to place the safe on concrete, placing bags full of shot on the bottom to add extra weight is a good idea.
I helped a relative put in a safe in their basement and it took five men to lower it down a flight of stairs with a dolly. Once in place, we put another 100 lbs of shot in the bottom of it. Needless to say the weight of the safe, added 100 lbs of shot and their guns the weight is over 700 lbs on the low end. I don't believe the average thief would be able to do much to it. I dread ever having to move it again.
Also now would be a good time to review your insurance coverage and make any adjustments.
Have fun shopping.

Hntr
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Shouldn't have a problem finding a dealer in Houston. The "Liberty Safe" brand is pretty good in my opinion and those may be rebranded as something else as well. Look for an Underwriters Laboratory sticker on it so that it has been tested for claimed fire resistance, etc.

You'll most likely have a house with a concrete slab so bolting it down should not be an issue. The dealer can likely install it for a reasonable fee; well worth it for dealing with something that heavy.
 

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Goose,
We have had our Cannon safe for over 25 years it is not as pretty as the one now but it does its job.
You may wish to consider de-humidifier for whichever safe you purchase since you are in Huston.
Phil
 

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I don't have much of an opinion about brands of safes, but I do have some advice about getting one. Be very careful about having one shipped to you. I got screwed. The shipping charge generally covers the cost of having a truck drive the safe to your address. Taking the safe into your house is not included. In fact, it generally does not even include taking the safe off of the truck. I guess they figure a lot of people have fork lifts at home.

I ordered a safe from Midway USA, and paid a considerable amount for shipping. After the shipper picked up the safe from the manufacturer, they sent me a letter, telling me how much extra I would have to pay to have the safe delivered in a truck with a lift gate. I called them, and talked to them about delivering into the house (it was a big safe and I am a small guy). The shipper first wanted to charge an unreasonable amount of money to have a second guy in the truck the whole day. Then I started talking specifics about taking it into the basement level, which can only be reached through the yard. The shipper eventually refused to do it. I called Midway USA to cancel the order, and they refunded some of my money. They charged me a 20% restocking fee (a substantial amount of money on a gun safe). When I complained that they didn't tell me about all this extra shipping hassle, they informed me that it appeared in a pop-up window on their web site, and that it was my own fault for using a modern web browser that contains a pop-up blocker.

Needless to say, I have had a grudge against Midway USA ever since. But more importantly, I only buy items that large locally now.
 

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I will agree with UnCruel..... buy your safe from someone local. Recently, my buddy bought a nice safe
from a local gun shop that we do most of our business with. They delivered the safe, and put it where
he wanted it. Plus, he got an extra discount cuz the safe had a scratch and a small ding from shipping.
He got a great deal.... good luck
 

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If you want one with a digital keypad that is cheap, harbor freight has a business cabinet for $250 mail order with removable shelves. Of course the $600 safes rated for 1400 at 1/2 an hour at the gun shops are much better built.
 

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I don't know what your security needs are but Sam's Club has the best "cheap" gun safe you can buy. Your average burglar won't be able to get into it and it's only about $600.00
 

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This is timely. I've realized that is finally time for me to buy a safe, even though I have no idea where I will put it. Unfortunately it looks like mine will have to go into the garage. I just realized that I can camouflage the safe by building a plywood or wall board box around it. Sucks, I'd much rather have it in the house.
 

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When shopping for a gun safe, especially on line, read the entire ad as often delivery means dropping the gun safe off in your driveway. It's up to you to figure a way to move it into that spare bedroom closet on the second floor. Some of the ads have prices that will make you immediately reach for the phone and pull out the plastic. I finally had to settle for a local purchase while my gunshop was offering gun safes on sale. Even then, it cost me a bit extra for the safe to be moved into my first floor living room.
 

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I don't think I would waste my money on a fire rated safe, not after seeing what happened to my neighbor this past spring. He had 5 safes in the house. The best was on the ground floor against an outside frame wall on a lean to style addition to a large log house. A faulty refrigerator, only 6 days old, is the suspected culprit in starting the fire. The fireman somehow tipped that safe onto it's back when the frame wall had disintegrated enough for access and kept it constantly hosed down. I cut the bottom off the safe soon after the fire and the only survivor was a S&W K22 that was mostly down in the water that came in around the door as they hosed it. Everything else was absolutely destroyed. Granted, it was a very hot fire of a log house that was totally involved, 2000deg the fire marshal told us, but none of us were very impressed. It was a very expensive safe with the highest rating available. I restored the K22 and gave it to the owner for Christmas, which was pretty fun. This guy lost $116,000 in firearms and is not planning on getting any more fire rated safes as he rebuilds his gun collection. Seems a waste of money. Maybe they'd be ok on a frame house that doesn't burn completely. You put ANY gun safe in a basement and burn a house totally down around it and nothing, and I mean nothing will survive, no matter what anyone tells you.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Depends how much fuel you would have, as it was explained to me. Frame house has mostly hollow walls filled with insulation. Log cabin? The entire thing is fuel, 8, 10, 12 inches thick or more.

Not sure what would help in that instance. Something to consider, though, if you have that type of house. Safes in a smaller outbuilding?

Agree with your comments re: the basement. Can't see having one buried in hot coals and anything survive.
 

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Was down in Spring at Carter's Country the other day checking out some safes. I would agree with the poster that recommended Sam's Club safes. Gander Mountain will ship for free at one time, not sure if it's still applicable? At this point I will probably just get a good safe and worry about the fire rated stuff later. I just need something to keep things a bit more secure.
 

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Trouble is, even if you place the safe on an upper floor, it will probably end up in the basement in a bad fire. A garage might be an idea if it is bolted down.

If you want to be depressed about gun safes, watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBhOjWHbD6M
Very interesting video. I bet they can't get my $300 el Cheapo open that fast, but then my Rottie/Black and Tan mix would be opening them while they were opening my safe. About like the security system a guy came by trying to sell. I called Bo to me and asked if his system could get police out faster than 2.1 seconds it takes Bo to cross my yard?
Safes are like padlocks the are there to keep honest people honest, not to keep crooks out.
 

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My family has used old, upright freezers as safes for 3 generations! Just re-do the power cord to use as an interior light & dehumidifer. Most have door locks already! My uncle had a house fire & found his freezer still had frozen meat in it. That's how it all started!! By the way, it fools EVERYONE!! All our hunting buddies have done the same thing, thru the years. Just call your local used appliance store or, check with Goodwill or other thrift shops.
 

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My family has used old, upright freezers as safes for 3 generations! Just re-do the power cord to use as an interior light & dehumidifer. Most have door locks already! My uncle had a house fire & found his freezer still had frozen meat in it. That's how it all started!! By the way, it fools EVERYONE!! All our hunting buddies have done the same thing, thru the years. Just call your local used appliance store or, check with Goodwill or other thrift shops.
Great idea if you want to be anal put a hasp and lock on it for added security...
 
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