Friday, February 20, 2009

Gun Safes

I was looking into my safe a while back and wondering how I was going to fit gun in there. The idea that I might need another safe crossed my mind... Maybe I need a better safe.

Gun Safes are a recurring topic on all the gun forums. Even many of us "old" timers who can remember when high security was a lockable glass front cabinet now have as good a safe as we can afford. The questions usually revolve around fire-protection, capacity, resistance to forced entry (the reason for any safe), and cost. Secondary concerns to most include weight and the related ease of installation (or removal for those who move often) while remaining resistant to illicit removal. For some, the ability to hide the safe for aesthetic reasons is also important.

Fire-protection is something that has been discussed ad naseum. It seems that every brother and his cousin has a differing opinion as to the relevance of fire protection, the time a safe must be resistant to what temperature to be effective, and whether all that will matter in a fire with the fire-fighters pouring thousands of gallons of water on the flames and your safe! I suggest reading and re-reading the manufacturer's specifications to understand what you can expect from any given model.

Where that safe will be in your home has got to be important as well. Currently, my safe is on the second story of my home. If we have a catastrophic fire it will likely drop 2 stories to the basement. That alone can't be good for the guns inside. Having the gun safe "pre-positioned" in the basement isn't a good option either as no home's sump pump can handle the amount of water put on the fire. Likely the basement will become a large pool, at least for a while. With the safe on an upper story the contents have some small chance of surviving the firemen's shower. Those who are able to set their safe on a ground level slab might have the problem licked.

You can never have too much capacity, ok, you can but many of us underestimate how big a safe we need. Some of the layouts don't allow packing our particular firearms that tightly together or for but so many longer than average guns. I've yet to meet anyone with a safe who says they wish they had bought a smaller model. Most do wish for a larger safe. The larger safe might not be easy or easy enough for the owner to move but it is more cost effective than two or more safes. So how big?

Well, my first safe was a Treadwell horizontal or chest type. It came with a rack for 12 long guns and has some room at one end for the storage of additional items. I have my handguns, in plastic storage cases factory issue or otherwise as necessary, stacked there. I had guns resting on the racks between other guns to up my capacity but this wasn't ideal.

There's one other practical matter as well. How do you tell your wife that you've accumulated so many guns that the gun safe she bought you that was "big enough for me for the rest of my life" or some such is too small and that you need a second safe? How do you justify that rather large purchase given that you may not be discussing your hobby with your partner. Unfortunate, yes, but uncommon? No. I don't have any ideas about that. Maybe you should just give up and confine yourself to but so many guns...

Here are some Safe/Vault manufacturers/brands

You might also like to watch this video from Rogue Safe Company...

And this excellent post at

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