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Discussion Starter #1
Has anybody ever had a gun safe that the bad guys were able to get in? I watched a demonstration video on YouTube and two guys using pry bars pried the door open, of what looked like a strong safe, in approximately two minutes! Kind of shook my confidence. Is it possible to get a good safe for around a $1000? I have 7 rifles, 3 shotguns, and 7 handguns.

Jim
 

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I think I saw that same video. Kind-of scarey huh? Theives broke into my Church quite a number of years back, and used a crowbar to open the safe. We didn't have a security system then, so the guy just put it in the open and went to town on it until he get the money.

If someone wants it bad enough, there is no way to stop them, just to make it less likely. Get a security system, get a dog, get a lock on the door where the guns are, get window bars, and get insurance.

I don't know much about safes, so I can't comment on that part.
 

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No gun safe made will keep out a pro forever. That said, they aren't meant to, but to make the job too noisy and time-consuming for the average housebreaker to tackle, which almost all of them will do. Of course, some are better than others. Even the light-gauge lockable "gun safes" sold at places like WalMart are better than nothing, and will work splendidly when it comes to the neighborhood n'er-do-well teen.

The best "gun safe" I know of is a big Mosler floor safe a friend of mine bought out of an old bank. That baby is some unit, with a foot-thick door studded all the way around with 2" locking bolts. He literally designed and built one room of his house around it! The best thing a thief will be able to do with it is demolish the side of the house, hoist the safe out with a crane, and cart if off to somewhere with a cutting torch -- and he'd better have plenty of free time to proceed from there!
 

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My opinion is.... get insurance, get insurance and then make sure you have good insurance. No safe, as already stated, will keep your guns absolutely "safe" and perhaps, just as importantly no safe will safeguard your guns in a catastrophic fire. I have a friend who lost pretty much every gun, secured in a high quality safe, from a fire. A typical Insurance policy (homeowners) does not cover much in the way of value of guns. If you have any kind of collection, you more than likely need a rider on your policy. Money paid by your insurance company will not replace every special firearm, but no money will replace NO firearms, for sure.
 

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As an agent I can say insurance is a must and I can give you lots of first hand examples of why. After that the next best thing is a foot of steel reinforced concrete for walls, floor and ceiling and a vault door. I'm seeing more and more high end homes built with vault rooms for guns and other valuables. I'll have to make that a priority when I build my own home. :D If the cash involved for that type of set up is not possible hiding them in a secret compartment is also an option. I saw one a while ago where the door in was a built in bookshelf conceiling a space under a staircase. The latch that locked the book case in place was well hidden and unless I had been shown I would never have known it was there. Same goes for a burglar. They typically don't have the time they need to do a detailed search and just end up snagging what they can find quickly. Under the bed, in the master closet, these places don't count as hidden. also they rarely poke thier head up in a crawl space unless you come home and catch them in the act and then they hide up there till you go to sleep 8(
 

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Safe security

Good afternoon. There are lots of good safes around in the $1000 - $1200 range. Sam's Club had one a while back, and there are several that have combination locks with 1/4 inch doors and thick walls. Fire ratings cost lots more, but they are worth the protection. Used safes are a good deal. I have one, and should have gotten both of them, that are dealer type safes. It has no interior and is not showy. It has a flat finish paint job, not glossy and pretty. But, I got it for $800 and it is huge! Look around and you will find one. DennyMac
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
With most of the gun safes, a combination lock or a digital lock is standard. The digital (electronic) has a chip and internally stored numbers to open the safe in the event you lose your numbers; I was told you could call Customer Support and they give you the numbers to open your safe. Isn't this inherently unsafe? With today's technology, I would think that any enterprising thief could get their hands on a way to hack an electronic gun safe.

Also, any thoughts on the location of the safe, the garage vs the house?

Jim
 

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I am not a theft, but an engineer. I currently have 3 gun safes, they cost a lot, they are anchored to the foundation wall and the basement floor. I can open any of these safes in a few minutes with some basic tools. The key is to have good insurance. Then put of some video cameras facing the safe and the door, have these images recorded to a computer or a VCR some where else in the house.

The best to have is a good record of your weapons and your reloading gear, include serial numbers and pictures. Hide this list some where in your house.

Then call your insurance company and get replacement coverage.


Jerry
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Jerry and others,

Thanks for the good advice. For some reason I thought a safe was more secure than it actually is. I have Homeowners insurance but I haven't listed my guns individually . So good protection=good safe, good insurance, and good records.

Jim
 

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Put you guns records on paper and if you can put them on a data CD, pictures help a lot, then stick them in your freezer under neath stuff. I have a copy in both of our freezers.

Jerry
 

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You will be able to get what you need for the said price of around $1000. I wouldn't worry over the youtube videos. You can find bad things other people say or do about anything you can imagine in the world. I have to agree Sam's Club sells a nice priced fire rated safe.
 

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> Isn't this inherently unsafe?

Yes, you find this in some alarm systems such as the older 49-1000 Radio Shack use to sell.

I decided to buy a fairly expensive and heavy fire safe with a combo lock to store the long guns and ammo and use a cheap digital safe to keep my handguns handy.
 

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Why the Freezer? It is one of the most insulated things in your home. If you use the one in your frig and you live in most American homes, during a structural fire the frig will drop to the basement and be relatively un burned condition. If you have a deep freeze, it is better insulated. Plus how many common theives are going to steal your TV dinners when there are TVs, Stereos, and Gun Safes in your home?

As that I lived in Alberta for a few years and keep a home in Quebec, don't put your gun record where you keep your beer. Most of the other things do apply in Canada, except the provincial police will want to know about any weapons that they can't get records on.

Jerry
 

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Like I posted earlier, buying an old, upright freezer and converting it to a gun safe is almost perfect! My uncle owned a fire cleanup business and almost always, the freezers & fridge were the least damaged interiors. Most times, the food in the freezers was still frozen, or partially frozen! Just keep the cord to run an interior light & dehumidifier. The units with factory door locks are the best. Or, just buy the lock kit from an appliance store & install yourself. Check you cragslist for upright freezers, most are under $100.00.
 

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Again, a gun safe is not a gun safe if it protects the gun from one hazard (theft) and exposes it to another hazard (rust). This amounts to storing guns in a safe that is not design to function as a gun safe.


F. Guffey
 

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Most important, bolt the safe down to the floor and/or wall(s), preferably concrete. If I saw the same video, key to their easy opening of the safe was being able to dump it on its side, and back, and working relatively comfortably to get to it. Mine is bolted down in a corner to both concrete walls and the floor. Also, the opening side of the door, opposite the hinges, is towards the wall. That makes for a cramped space to try and use a crow bar and/or a sledge hammer to bang into things. It's a bit uncomfortable for me also to put things in and out of the safe, but, such is life. The other safe, on the opposite side of the room, opens the other way. But I'm lucky, I live in the tropics and my whole house is reinforced concrete. Risk of fire still exists, furnishings and paint can burn, but it is really minimal.
 

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Yes you do live an a warm area. A few years back a friend of mine bought a really high end gun safe. He thought that he could get a couple of friends and a appliance dolly and move it in to his house. This is how you loose friends. Most appliances don't have any weight at the top of the appliance, safes on the other hand are just heavy.

This safe had a mechanical combination lock, required a key, was fire proof and was very heavy duty. He had to find the right place in his house to set this so it would be on top of a fandation wall. He didn't want to put in the basement because it would require block and tackle with some heavy planks to get it into the basement and he would probably need a safe moving company to get it out.

He kept his guns in the safe, his wifes jewelry, his single cask bourbon and a few other things. He thought that his safe was a real bear to open so when he made short trips to the mall it would live it unlocked. One day he came home, the TV and the stereo were moved to the door, but not gone, then he looked in his office where his safe was and it was open and everything in it was gone. So he immediately had a security system put in, his insurance paid him for the replacement costs of pretty much every thing except the bourbon

Then within 3 months he was moving to a nicer neighborhood. When he has his gun safe, his security ssystem, but now he had windows with locks on them, dead bolt locks. PLus now he keeps his safe locked unless he needs to get into it.

So a safe isn't safe unless you keep it locked. I home most of the time, have a noisy dog, carry a gun and maybe I could do more, but I do more than a lot of people. BTW my safes are bolted to the foundation walls, they are set on high density fire bricks then bolted to the floor. Why the bricks? So it isn't on the floor where it could be damp. I do that with my water heater also.

A gun safe really just slows people down, it won't stop a pro, but if you live in an area where pros are, you need to move.

Jerry
 

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Gun Safes! Well, I can give you a good idea how fast I can get into your Fort Knox or other gun safe. It requires 1 skill saw and blade, reverse the blade and it will cut right on through the sides, back or top of that safe, like opening a can of tuna. The SAFE part is the front door on a Fort Knox Safe. So unless you fortify the sides with 1/4 or 3/8 inch steel plate (welded into place) your high dollar Fort Knox Safe is really NOT a "safe place" for your important papers or guns etc. Time wise, I can get into yor safe in less than 10 minutes with the tools I just mentioned. I know a man who had a Big Safe in his home and he owns a gunstore too. The people that broke into his house used an axe to open up the side of his safe like a can of beans!!!

I have a de-humidifier in my Fort Knox Safe but that still will not keep your guns from rusting over time ok.

Now what I did was take everthing out of that new safe when it arrived and placed copper sheets up the sides, back and top of that safe........this stops anyone from using a torch on the safe. Next came the placing of the 3/8's thick checker plate, which was welded in place. Cut & Fit, starting at the bottom of the safe and place the sides on top (one at a time of course) of the new floor steel, one at a time naturally. This is some heavy stuff and will take an extra person or two to assist. The last piece to go in was the top steel and tacked into placae....then welded up. We increased the weight of this safe by over twice in weight. It woud take a 1-ton truck just to carry it empty and that would no doubt Max it out payload wise. This added bit of security that I did to our safe will keep out the kid type thiefs but NOT a PROFESSONAL SAFE CRACKER understand. The combinations on must of these safes are a piece of cake for a Pro to get passed.
 
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