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  #1  
Old 11-17-2017, 11:43 AM
LW McVay's Avatar
LW McVay LW McVay is offline
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New sub-forum to discuss...safes and storage!

Thanks to US1911 for the suggestion...here ya go!
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  #2  
Old 11-17-2017, 01:40 PM
Oldfut808 Oldfut808 is offline
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Well now that you mention it....
Just a few weeks ago I met up with a locksmith to fix the latch on my gun box.
After he finished, we started talking about guns, of course!

He told me something very surprising which I always suspected...
Electronic safe locks fail.

He said he has worked on many such failed safe locks. He also said it was easy to convert the electronic lock back to the old reliable mechanical dial lock because the "footprint" of the locks are the same and the factory still sells the mechanical locks.
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  #3  
Old 11-17-2017, 02:23 PM
liggett liggett is offline
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Good idea!
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  #4  
Old 11-17-2017, 04:10 PM
HT77 HT77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldfut808 View Post
Well now that you mention it....
Just a few weeks ago I met up with a locksmith to fix the latch on my gun box.
After he finished, we started talking about guns, of course!

He told me something very surprising which I always suspected...
Electronic safe locks fail.

He said he has worked on many such failed safe locks. He also said it was easy to convert the electronic lock back to the old reliable mechanical dial lock because the "footprint" of the locks are the same and the factory still sells the mechanical locks.
Would be interested in knowing the rate of failure compared to mechanical and what the root causes of the failure are.
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  #5  
Old 11-17-2017, 05:42 PM
july19 july19 is offline
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The mechanical locks are time proven to be reliable; they also rarely "break."
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  #6  
Old 11-17-2017, 06:20 PM
scubadad scubadad is offline
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In the real world I am a locksmith so here is my opinion on this.

Mechanical locks are better but slower to open.

Electronic locks are quicker to open but more prone to failure. If you go electronic get a back up key pad ahead of time.

Electronic locks do have 1 advantage. If the bads guys break in and find your safe they will rip off the key pad. No big deal you have a spare. Now if they smash the dial off your combo lock you are calling a locksmith ( we are not cheap LOL) In a perfect world we can put the dial back on or order a new one. On the down side if the spindle is bent then the bill gets a lot bigger.

With safes you get what you pay for. Compare construction and fire ratings before you buy and always buy the next larger size because they shrink when you get it home.
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  #7  
Old 11-17-2017, 06:50 PM
Psy223 Psy223 is offline
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Originally Posted by scubadad View Post
...they shrink when you get it home.
Right on. 14 gun? Yeah right.
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  #8  
Old 11-17-2017, 07:26 PM
wccountryboy wccountryboy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scubadad View Post
In the real world I am a locksmith so here is my opinion on this.

Mechanical locks are better but slower to open.

Electronic locks are quicker to open but more prone to failure.
Professional question for you... my experiance with mechanical locks is scores, perhaps hundereds, of GSA containers over many years. The combinations are set by plastic disks behind the lock, set to correspond with the dial... after using them 2-3 times a day, after a few months, they "wear" for lack of a better term, and "creep" a bit, becoming more difficult to operate.

We work around this by rotating the master safe, which contains combinations for the rest,, and changing combinations every few months....

For the homeowner with one safe, is there a fix for this issue?
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  #9  
Old 11-17-2017, 08:14 PM
557 557 is offline
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I like how the mods bless us with a new sub forum and we get all kinds of great stories and advice, even good questions and yet nobody starts a new thread! Sorry just tickled my funny bone.
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  #10  
Old 11-17-2017, 09:20 PM
US1911 US1911 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LW McVay View Post
Thanks to US1911 for the suggestion...here ya go!
Thanks for the quick action LWMcV!
Quote:
Originally Posted by scubadad View Post
In the real world I am a locksmith
Alrighty then, you’ve come to the right place to field some questions.

Curious to know what the average cost is to replace a failed or damaged lock?
Quote:
Originally Posted by 557 View Post
I like how the mods bless us with a new sub forum and we get all kinds of great stories and advice, even good questions and yet nobody starts a new thread! Sorry just tickled my funny bone.
I recon that is a tad funny, but I suppose this thread is already providing some useful info, so we’re just going to run with it.
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  #11  
Old 11-17-2017, 09:28 PM
The War Wagon The War Wagon is offline
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Thumbs up

Looking forward to some good insight, as one who would like to move up from "Stack-On," to, "safe," someday!
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  #12  
Old 11-18-2017, 08:20 AM
scubadad scubadad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wccountryboy View Post
Professional question for you... my experiance with mechanical locks is scores, perhaps hundereds, of GSA containers over many years. The combinations are set by plastic disks behind the lock, set to correspond with the dial... after using them 2-3 times a day, after a few months, they "wear" for lack of a better term, and "creep" a bit, becoming more difficult to operate.

We work around this by rotating the master safe, which contains combinations for the rest,, and changing combinations every few months....

For the homeowner with one safe, is there a fix for this issue?
Get a better quality safe. You get what you pay for. Most of you 1.5-2k cabelas safes are crap.

We all walk past the high dollar safes and go to the 1k liberty thinking its a good one. the same size in a premium brand will be 2500. Look at the details. thicker metal. reinforcements behind the locking lugs better quality mechanicals. longer fire rating.

Check you tube for videos on prying open safes. It's an eye opener. Then go back and look at the safes in the store you will see the differences.

For a large safe of good quality you will spend almost as a new Wilson combat 1911.
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  #13  
Old 11-18-2017, 12:58 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is online now
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I would always ask the salespeople to take the inner door panel off.

This is easy for them to do. Then you can see the lockwork and the reinforcing of the locking bolts. This can be pretty interesting. If they will not do it I would walk away.
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  #14  
Old 11-18-2017, 01:59 PM
scubadad scubadad is offline
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The reinforcement you are looking for are is in the body of the safe. on cheaper units all you get is the exterior sheet metal folded over.
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  #15  
Old 11-18-2017, 03:01 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is online now
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The reinforcing will be in the body of the safe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scubadad View Post
The reinforcement you are looking for are is in the body of the safe. on cheaper units all you get is the exterior sheet metal folded over.
But the better units will also have reinforcing in the interior of the door on the bolt ways.
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  #16  
Old 11-19-2017, 08:29 AM
wccountryboy wccountryboy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scubadad View Post
Get a better quality safe. You get what you pay for. Most of you 1.5-2k cabelas safes are crap.
The locks I've seen issues with over the years aren't mine, they're on GSA containers...
Do they (and if so, whom) make locking components that aren't prone to wear with heavy use?
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  #17  
Old 11-19-2017, 09:44 AM
Busa Dave Busa Dave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scubadad View Post
Get a better quality safe. You get what you pay for. Most of you 1.5-2k cabelas safes are crap.

We all walk past the high dollar safes and go to the 1k liberty thinking its a good one. the same size in a premium brand will be 2500. Look at the details. thicker metal. reinforcements behind the locking lugs better quality mechanicals. longer fire rating.

Check you tube for videos on prying open safes. It's an eye opener. Then go back and look at the safes in the store you will see the differences.

For a large safe of good quality you will spend almost as a new Wilson combat 1911.
Good comment. Just bought another National Safe Magnum 50. Thought about a Graffunder (monster weighed 5400lbs) but not many folks work on them in the DFW area just in case it was needed. Do like the way they make each one a little different to keep someone from getting the drawing to try and exploit it during a break in.
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  #18  
Old 12-17-2017, 07:32 AM
noshow noshow is offline
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Thank you for this Forum!

I am trying to decide between mechanical and electronic locks and have some questions:

What needs to be done if a mechanical dial is smashed by an intruder? Will I need a locksmith in order to reopen my safe?

What can be done to prevent an electronic "lock out" in the event of an EMP?
I am trying to determine the least costly and most timely approach to re-entry.
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  #19  
Old 12-17-2017, 08:28 AM
Sure1 Sure1 is offline
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I bought a Cannon 48 gun safe 8yrs ago with a cheap electronic (not S&G) lock. Heard all the stories of the electronic locks failing. I religiously change the battery yearly and so far no problems.I also heard if the lock goes my safe is junk and has to be cut open. I have to look into a better S&G lock for it if it would work with my safe.
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  #20  
Old 12-17-2017, 01:53 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is online now
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I had a locksmith out to my place a while back.

He said that they get quite a bit of business from people that have had electronic locks go bad on them, particularly in dusty environments.
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  #21  
Old 12-17-2017, 02:09 PM
7.62Kolectr 7.62Kolectr is offline
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My 25yr old Liberty Washington series is still dead nuts on the numbers. Miss the dial by one number and it won't open. 1400lbs empty and still better than they are made today.
Anything electronic can and will fail. I don't recall reading about a dial not working? In fact I've seen 100yr old bank safes still work fine.
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  #22  
Old 12-17-2017, 02:47 PM
Busa Dave Busa Dave is offline
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I use the S&G electronic on all of my safes except for the oldest one and have never had a issue over the years. If it fails no big deal folks that sell and service my safes are less than 4 miles away.
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