Gun Safes

MTorWY

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Joined
Feb 22, 2017
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WY and MT
Hey everyone, I’m looking to buy my first gun safe. Looking back I only see one thread on them anywhere.

Does anyone have any suggestions? There are so many options anymore that I don’t even know where to start.

I know @Big Fin went with the Steelhead modular safes. Any reviews on these?

Thanks everyone.
 

44hunter45

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Aug 14, 2019
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North Idaho
I use SteelWater safes. US Company, made in China to their specs. They had the best fire rating that I found. At their price point I was able to buy a bigger model. I'm saving for my second one for ammo storage.
 

SD_Prairie_Goat

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Mar 18, 2019
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SE SD
Really depends what you are aiming for, and what your price range is.

Few important items to note when it comes to buying a gun safe:
  • fire rating is very subjective and each manufacturer will test their safe differently without an industry standard indicating how to test safes. Don't get too hung up on them

  • Wall thickness isn't the same as steel thickness. Many will claim 2" thick steel walls. Really that is 12gauge steel outer layer with two layers of gypsum (Drywall) for insulation

  • If you want security beyond a big looking safe, you need to be beyond 12 gauge steel thickness. at 12ga a fireman's ax can punch though the safe in a couple swings

  • Most safes have the box made in China and assembled in the US. Almost all safes in Scheels come from the same box factory in China

  • Most stores don't offer delivery.... And if they do it is only a curb drop and you're responsible for getting it from the street curb into your house.


Ask as many questions as you'd like. Used to help sell safes for my Ex's folks so I picked up a fair amount of details on safes overall. Happy to help.
 

VikingsGuy

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Aug 2, 2017
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Twin Cities
+1 for the advice that gun safes hold about a third the number of guns they are advertised for, so go as big as you can.

Make sure you like the locking interface - be that finger, numerical, key, whatever - as this will be the part of the safe you interface with the most. I have two safes with similar construction quality, but one has a standard touch-tone phone keypad layout and the other one has a weird 2-row format. For the life of me, I always have trouble quickly entering the access code into the second. I hate the thing.

Take fire ratings and theft-proof promises with a grain of salt. Any halfway decent safe will stop a smash and grab, but only big expensive institutional safes will be even the slightest barrier to a thief in your home with a battery-operated angle grinder and 5-10 minutes to work. In the broad range of safes between a smash and grab resistant safe and actual full blown "safes", there is little value in arguing gauges and construction type.
 
Last edited:

Nutrioso

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Jul 30, 2015
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Gilroy, California
Also think about the types of guns you will store. Many safes allow for a limited number of longer guns to accomodate a top shelf. That is fine for most rifles and break-open shotguns, but if you have pump or semi-auto shotguns, target guns with 32 “ barrels, or longer muzzle loaders you may need more slots that allow the barrels to extend beyond the upper shelf.
 

buckbull

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Jan 19, 2014
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581
I have 2 heavy fire rated safes I bought when I was a young man. After moving them 4 times in the last 30 years I would not recommend buying heavy safes. As mentioned above, these heavy safes give a person a false sense of security in case of fire or theft.

I would recommend something lighter and configurable. I really like the safes by secureit (minus the price tag).
 

Hem

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May 20, 2009
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Three Forks, Mt
I have 2 heavy fire rated safes I bought when I was a young man. After moving them 4 times in the last 30 years I would not recommend buying heavy safes. As mentioned above, these heavy safes give a person a false sense of security in case of fire or theft.

I would recommend something lighter and configurable. I really like the safes by secureit (minus the price tag).
Yeah, I had a 500lb Browning safe which I loved but after moving it twice by myself with a dolly(and mashing fingers) I let her go.
 

rwc101

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Feb 9, 2019
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WY
I bought a "Kodiak 30 gun" safe (if 20 of them are pistols) from Murdochs a few months ago. I'm sure it will deter intermediate level thieves. Not great for really long guns with the stupid shelf you can't remove without breaking out a saw.
 

Scott85

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Nov 22, 2018
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cooltopia

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Jan 17, 2022
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Figure out the minimum size you want and then spend as much as you can on the next size up.
 

Ben Lamb

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Aug 6, 2010
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Cedar, MI
And for the love of all that is holy, go look at the safe that has your interest in in person, or at least other offerings from that company so you can judge fit, finish & quality of build.
 

VikingsGuy

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Twin Cities
That’s pretty interesting. Sounds like nothing will survive a full on house fire according to that. I figured fire ratings were pretty solid.
I am not aware of any retail fire safe that is rated to sit in your basement through a full-on house fire and leave you with working guns at the end (and don't forget all the water in the basement from the firemen. They are rated in 30 minutes or 60 minutes type standards. So maybe if the fire is somewhere near and the fire is put out quickly you may have a chance.
 
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