Choosing a basic, low cost, gun safe. Recommendations.

WiscoHoundsman

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 27, 2021
Messages
128
Location
SW Wisconsin
For the fire ratings, don't trust them. See my post above. In several hundred home fires the only papers that survived were in a floor safe that was in concrete.

A Fire rated box in a fire rated safe will help, but if your entire home burns, the entire contents will be destroyed.

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Question for those that have seen burnt homes. I have a concrete room under my stoop. What are the odds the safes contents would make it theough? Concrete all the way around but an opening to get into our mechanical room. Wood on the top that was used for form work when pouring the stoop cap, and the floor trusses sit on the top of the wall on one side. I would likely put the safe in a corner up against two concrete walls.

Any advice would be appreciated. Debating on how much fire rating/ safe level to get when looking at liberty safes.
 

SoloWilderness

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Apr 5, 2013
Messages
291
Location
Pine, CO
I'm looking for a first gun safe. We have a small home with not much room. I have maybe five or six long guns at the moment and a half dozen handguns.

Primarily, I need a gun safe for these reasons, possibly in order of importance to me:

1. Just keeping guns inaccessible to my kids or their friends or anyone else in the house. (1b. I'd like to store some personal papers and things like that in there as well.)

2. Keeping the guns organized and in one spot

3. Theft protection.

4. Fire protection.

To keep guns out of reach, a simple metal cabinet would suffice. Yeah, a crowbar would take 10 seconds and no fire security...

A $500-750 gun safe isn't much to write home about. The 12I-gun Pro Vault on sale for $549 at Cabela's has some poor reviews...

The Cabela's safe pictures also is 750 and a 34-gun safe... Like appealing.

I know. Buy one twice as big as needed. Get electronic and manual locks...

What's the minimum you'd have to spend too get where I should be?
I have the pro vault as a secondary safe (think bedroom closet safe for the 12 gauge and a handgun). Calling it a 12 gun safe is a stretch. It's not bad, but it's definitely not what I would chose for a primary safe. I have a Liberty that I got on sale at Cabela's for 750ish on sale for my primary, it's basic, but it works, haven't had any issues with it. Has document pouches and pistol sling on the door. Go with the biggest one you can afford and fit in your place. You'll be able to lock up ammo, etc. as well
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2017
Messages
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NZ
Question for those that have seen burnt homes. I have a concrete room under my stoop. What are the odds the safes contents would make it theough? Concrete all the way around but an opening to get into our mechanical room. Wood on the top that was used for form work when pouring the stoop cap, and the floor trusses sit on the top of the wall on one side. I would likely put the safe in a corner up against two concrete walls.

Any advice would be appreciated. Debating on how much fire rating/ safe level to get when looking at liberty safes.
Floor safes often are the most fire resistant due to being sunk into the foundation. The biggest risk they get is being flooded after the fire as the water collects where they usually are. Any kind of papers, etc. in a safe should be in some ziploc or water resistant bags to be safe.

A concrete room under the house would likely have good heat protection, but it just varies so much as a fire in a house is too unpredictable. I've seen some and really you won't know the damage until after it is out and again much damage is from the water and smoke all over and not the heat of the fire. If the room is low in the house it will likely get flooded and this can ruin safe contents as the safe is not going to be water tight.

I think Amsec make the best gun safes at a reasonable price and are actually highly burglar resistant with decent fire protection if you step up in models. The BF series are very tough and the average burglar isn't going to get into them. They also use a poured fire insulation that is like a lightweight concrete in the hollow walls. Not only is this much better fire protection than typical gypsum board construction, but also gives more burglary resistance against side and top attacks.

When putting the safe in your room it is a good idea to do as you want in a corner with the walls protecting at least two sides. To go further, put the safe so that the opening edge of the door is near a wall and not away from it. This makes it harder to get prying tools into the door to work as the wall nearby keeps them from being used without hitting it.

A few more things:

- Don't store your ammo/powder in the safe!
- Bolt down your safe. If you think it's too heavy to move, I assure you it isn't. Someone got it in there and I've seen safes stolen that you wouldn't think possible.
- If you have an alarm system, install a smoke/heat alarm right above the safe. If someone starts working on the safe with power tools the smoke created can set off the smoke alarm and get attention.
 
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