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  #1  
Old 06-30-2020, 09:29 PM
toro1966 toro1966 is offline
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Recommendation for large gun safe or vault door

Hey folks - been a while since I have been on the forums here. Buying a new place and looking for a large gun safe. Was hoping for recommendations.

Some info that might help:
1 - I am much more a collector of handguns than long guns - so I would prefer something with more shelving than long gun racks.
2 - That said, I would like to be able to hold at least a dozen or so long guns, some with optics.
3 - I would like to keep the budget in the 3-4k range if possible, but might go higher for the right capacity.
4 - Fire retardant and maximum security not necessarily essential. This is because it will also placed inside a basement concrete room with metal ceiling and door. I did think of potentially getting a vault door so if anyone has experience with those, would love to hear about them.

Appreciate any advice. Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 07-01-2020, 10:40 AM
SFC Rick SFC Rick is offline
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Vault door is cheaper. But you can also get some nice capacity safes for storing a LOT of hand guns by arranging your shelves. It's just a matter of what you want in the big scheme of things.
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  #3  
Old 07-01-2020, 02:14 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is offline
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There are some good informational videos on Youtube.

Generally steel and weight are your best friends when it comes to a residential security container or a true safe. Three to four grand gives you some good options. Amsec and Fort Knox come to mind, but there are plenty of quality manufacturers serving the market.

Shopping around and looking at actual floor models. Ask to see the inside of the door. Look at the lock works and bolt setup. Usually all they have to do is take the inside panel off which is usually done very easily. If they will not do it, I would look elsewhere.
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  #4  
Old 07-01-2020, 07:01 PM
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AZ Husker AZ Husker is offline
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As stated above, you can never go too big. I love the idea of a safe room. But with a large safe be certain that your floor can handle the weight.
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  #5  
Old 07-01-2020, 07:45 PM
toro1966 toro1966 is offline
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Thanks for all of the advice! I am really leaning towards a gun vault door. It's definitely more expensive but really does give me some good options. And I really like the idea of having the space for all kinds of things. I have seen a couple of different brands of them. Does anyone have any experience with one of them?
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  #6  
Old 07-03-2020, 11:49 AM
Glasshalfempty Glasshalfempty is offline
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Based on experience..buy twice the safe you think you need. Vault doors can be a good option but may or may not qualify you for insurance rate discounts, etc depending on construction and installation.

I have two American Security safes- both about 20 to 25 years old. Check your local classified and craigslist. Safe technology hasn't evolved a whole lot in the last 20 years and I prefer old style mechanical locks anyway. People always selling safes instead of moving them. If you can pick them up and transport you can pick up some bargains on top shelf safes! Just need good, young, friends w strong backs to assist!

If shopping new be sure to carefully review the delivery options and costs when you shop. Some include shipping with curb side drop only, others include inside installation and placement. It can make a big difference in pricing.
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  #7  
Old 07-22-2020, 05:06 PM
nikerret nikerret is offline
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Vault doors are awesome, but their success is largely dependent on the walls they are attached to. I recommend an in-swing door, if you are going to use it as a panic room or storm shelter.

For gun safes, I prefer more smaller ones than one or two really large ones. Most safes sold are 12-14 gauge steel and very not strong. I hate to see anyone buy something with less than 11 gauge, at a bare minimum, and a preference for 10-gauge as a minimum.

Some good gun safe brands are:
Superior Safe (Regal, minimum, the Naster is much better)
Fort Knox (expensive, but their new Spartan gives a lot of steel, for the money)
Sturdy Safe (a lot of steel, for the money)


On another level are the companies that make real safes (TL-15, TL-30, or TL-30x6):
American Security, AMSEC (Not all of their safes are TL-rated)
Hollon Safe (Not all are TL-rated)
Brown Safe (Most are TL-rated, but that requires the heavy and expensive fireproofing)
Browning (Very few are TL-rated)

If you’re looking at any safe that isn’t rated TL-15, or higher, and they don’t advertise the steel thickness, there’s probably a reason. That reason is usually that it’s very thin. If the safe is TL-15, or higher, they don’t rely on steel thickness to provide security. Their doors and walls are filled with anti-intrusive materials. For example, the Brown Safe HD series uses thicker than average steel, but you have to have their proprietary fireproofing to get it TL-15 rated. Their fireproofing increases the security level. Most RSC’s (Residential Security Containers) use drywall or other similar substances, for fireproofing, that don’t provide any additional security.

A lot of companies like to share how wide their door is. This is irrelevant, if it’s just filled with air or drywall. The better companies will give you the inner and outer steel thicknesses. The vast majority of RSC’s put the thickest steel on the outside. Ft. Knox deviates from this by using the thickest steel on the inner side of the door.

My favorite safes, for RSC’s, have a plate in the outside edge, instead of a formed edge.
Formed edges:


-Cutaway


Plate edges:

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  #8  
Old 07-30-2020, 11:24 PM
1911Momo 1911Momo is offline
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There’s not a gun safe built and affordable to the casual consumer that I wouldn’t be in in about 15 minutes. Sure, an impressive looking safe might keep your casual meth head from getting in, but it ain’t stopping anyone that wants in. Only thing that could slow me down is a bank vault rated door. Then I’m attacking the surrounding structure.

In conclusion, get something that keeps your kids out. Any real thief will get in to anything they want to.
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  #9  
Old 07-30-2020, 11:25 PM
1911Momo 1911Momo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikerret View Post
Vault doors are awesome, but their success is largely dependent on the walls they are attached to. I recommend an in-swing door, if you are going to use it as a panic room or storm shelter.

For gun safes, I prefer more smaller ones than one or two really large ones. Most safes sold are 12-14 gauge steel and very not strong. I hate to see anyone buy something with less than 11 gauge, at a bare minimum, and a preference for 10-gauge as a minimum.

Some good gun safe brands are:
Superior Safe (Regal, minimum, the Naster is much better)
Fort Knox (expensive, but their new Spartan gives a lot of steel, for the money)
Sturdy Safe (a lot of steel, for the money)


On another level are the companies that make real safes (TL-15, TL-30, or TL-30x6):
American Security, AMSEC (Not all of their safes are TL-rated)
Hollon Safe (Not all are TL-rated)
Brown Safe (Most are TL-rated, but that requires the heavy and expensive fireproofing)
Browning (Very few are TL-rated)

If youíre looking at any safe that isnít rated TL-15, or higher, and they donít advertise the steel thickness, thereís probably a reason. That reason is usually that itís very thin. If the safe is TL-15, or higher, they donít rely on steel thickness to provide security. Their doors and walls are filled with anti-intrusive materials. For example, the Brown Safe HD series uses thicker than average steel, but you have to have their proprietary fireproofing to get it TL-15 rated. Their fireproofing increases the security level. Most RSCís (Residential Security Containers) use drywall or other similar substances, for fireproofing, that donít provide any additional security.

A lot of companies like to share how wide their door is. This is irrelevant, if itís just filled with air or drywall. The better companies will give you the inner and outer steel thicknesses. The vast majority of RSCís put the thickest steel on the outside. Ft. Knox deviates from this by using the thickest steel on the inner side of the door.

My favorite safes, for RSCís, have a plate in the outside edge, instead of a formed edge.
Formed edges:


-Cutaway


Plate edges:

Doors are nice. Look great. But Iím not going through the door.
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  #10  
Old 07-31-2020, 01:10 AM
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Flight Medic Flight Medic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1911Momo View Post
Thereís not a gun safe built and affordable to the casual consumer that I wouldnít be in in about 15 minutes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1911Momo View Post
Doors are nice. Look great. But Iím not going through the door.
Err...what exactly is it you do for a living again??
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  #11  
Old 07-31-2020, 07:33 AM
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STORM2 STORM2 is offline
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If you put valuables or data in a container, regardless of the container size, shape or weight time is the only true measure of security. Ask yourself if you had unlimited access to any/all tools how long would it take you to get in? In the classified material world security is measured in points. Two armed guards 24/7 gets lots of points. Locks, doors and other perimeters get points. The various layers of fences, guards, doors, locks and other security features are added up and the resulting number determines what material can be stored inside. The secret is layers creating time barriers. 50 flights of stairs will certainly deter lazy bad guys. Alarms, dogs, folks at home add up. Great safes behind hollow back doors or sliding patio doors create a place for the bad guy to enter, use your tools to work on your great safe. Be sure your safe will not move with a dolly in your garage! It should weigh more than your refrigerator if possible. Multiple smaller safes secured in place will provide time points and reduce total exposure.
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  #12  
Old Today, 07:58 AM
SFC Rick SFC Rick is offline
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It's a game...I have security and alerts, animals, and it's always a little pressure to break into a safe under gunfire. Though the comical expressions and video footage of the break-ins after they realize those bullets have their names on them will be enjoyable on Youtube. There is no 100% surefire way to guarantee protection, it's the game that makes it worth the effort. Like placing the cheese on the rat trap.
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