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View Full Version : Just another gun safe question.....


Lucky Scott
11-17-2012, 12:02 PM
I have been doing a lot of reading here and one question I never see addressed. If the digital combo fails, what then?
Is there some kind of a back up system ?
Most of the safes I have been looking at have the digital keypad.

At first I ruled them out and just looked for regular combo locks, but in the $500 to $800 price range most of them are digital.

Capybara
11-17-2012, 12:08 PM
I have had a digital for about 15 years, works great, no complaints, much quicker than a mechanical lock.

Quiet
11-17-2012, 12:08 PM
Most safes with electronic keypads have a hidden mechanical over ride key that will unlock the safe.

Librarian
11-17-2012, 12:47 PM
Most safes with electronic keypads have a hidden mechanical over ride key that will unlock the safe.

What do you mean by 'most'?

I'm aware of some brands (or, models within brands) that offer a keyed backup.

Thread moved to the safe forum.

Lucky Scott
11-17-2012, 1:03 PM
Ooooops, sorry. I forgot there was a safe forum here.

Foebia
11-17-2012, 5:23 PM
The bighorn safe for example.. If the lock fails or get crushed, mashed, of button failure it can be replaced w/o drilling. So from what i gather about 90% of failures are not a huge issue. There is a mechanism inside the door that is electronic, if that fails it not gonna be pretty but less than 1% failure.
At least thats what the Rhino guy said on the phone...

xibunkrlilkidsx
11-17-2012, 6:44 PM
Most safes with electronic keypads have a hidden mechanical over ride key that will unlock the safe.
only the cheap ones the you find at some big box store. MOST quality safes do not have a keyback up. because the key it self is a weakspot for a drill attack, you can put pardpins in it but that isnt going to be a full proof stop, IE i can still drill out medeco locks that have those, takes a little longer but i can do it. faster than going for the main safe lock

The bighorn safe for example.. If the lock fails or get crushed, mashed, of button failure it can be replaced w/o drilling. So from what i gather about 90% of failures are not a huge issue. There is a mechanism inside the door that is electronic, if that fails it not gonna be pretty but less than 1% failure.
At least thats what the Rhino guy said on the phone...

You are saying if the LOCK fails, if the LOCK fails you are SOL beacuse it is going to break, more than likely in the locked position which is going to keep it locked. Most MFg locks are spring loaded to were as soon as the bolt work moves back into the locked position the bolt is forced back down to lock it. Unless you get lucyk and it fails with the bolt retracted somehow, never seen that happen. Other wise....it has to be drilled. the Big Horns i have worked on were made cheaper than the basic amsec safes i sell, and these were supposed to be the better safes in their line.

However, if the keypad fails than you can typically try plugging in a new keypad. Sometimes it works if the failure was int he keypad. If not it would have to be drilled

Sunday
11-17-2012, 6:47 PM
Most gun safes are not much more than a fire resistant security cabinet.

JoeJinKY
11-17-2012, 7:06 PM
I like my Patriot Safe. It has a digital lock and a double key lock. You open it wither with ONE key AND the combination, or you use TWO keys.

http://www.patriotsafe.com/Up-to-45-Gun-Safes_c_5.html

The best way to prevent the digital lock from failing is to replace the batteries twice each year (every six months). The "failures" occur when the batteries cannot fully cycle the electromechanical lock, and it dies somewhere in the middle of open and closed. Just keep fresh batteries in the safe lock, and it shouldn't be a problem.



http://www.patriotsafe.com/American-Warrior-Tall-45-gun-safe-2-hour-fire-1880-2011-Tactical-Edition_p_551.html

JoeJinKY
11-17-2012, 7:07 PM
Most gun safes are not much more than a fire resistant security cabinet.

I agree. That is why I am taking steps to make my safe ... SAFE!

Jel
11-24-2012, 4:24 PM
If an EMP caused the lock to fail, would you now be totally SOL? Would you then have to resort to taking a crowbar to the safe and trying to open it that way? This is assuming all your power tools are toast as well.

Term
11-27-2012, 2:34 AM
If an EMP caused the lock to fail, would you now be totally SOL? Would you then have to resort to taking a crowbar to the safe and trying to open it that way? This is assuming all your power tools are toast as well.

That is why I'm converting mine to a mechanical combination lock asp.
I dont care what anyone says, with electronics its not a matter of if it will fail, its a matter of when it will fail. A good combo lock will last a hundred years.

FYI I called Rhino and asked if they would change it for me , and they said they couldn't.
They were very helpful and told me what to look for and that I could get the best deal for it on eBay.

La Gard Mechanical Group 2 combination lock.

Update : tried to install the lock from the link I posted earlier and the spindle
was to short. ( seller claimed it was new and it wasn't ,spindle was cut):mad:
make sure spindle length is min. 4 inches.

NytWolf
11-27-2012, 9:56 AM
I have been doing a lot of reading here and one question I never see addressed. If the digital combo fails, what then?
Is there some kind of a back up system ?
Most of the safes I have been looking at have the digital keypad.

At first I ruled them out and just looked for regular combo locks, but in the $500 to $800 price range most of them are digital.

If the digital lock fails, you replace it with a new one. It's not that hard to do. The chances of it failing is actually pretty small. If it does fail, most likely there's already a recall on the lock and you just didn't know about it. Overall, the lock manufacturers have pretty good warranties even if the safe itself is a crappy one.

If an EMP caused the lock to fail, would you now be totally SOL? Would you then have to resort to taking a crowbar to the safe and trying to open it that way? This is assuming all your power tools are toast as well.

When I'm home, my safe is unlocked and ready to go. If an EMP fries all electronics, my safe would be already unlocked. If I'm not already home when the EMP hits, my chances of getting home would be very close to nil. But my chances of getting home is still greater than an EMP actually hitting, so I'm not worried about the digital lock.

xibunkrlilkidsx
11-27-2012, 1:30 PM
That is why I'm converting mine to a mechanical combination lock asp.
I dont care what anyone says, with electronics its not a matter of if it will fail, its a matter of when it will fail. A good combo lock will last a hundred years.

FYI I called Rhino and asked if they would change it for me , and they said they couldn't.
They were very helpful and told me what to look for and that I could get the best deal for it on eBay.

La Gard Mechanical Group 2 combination lock.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/safe-combination-lock-La-Gard-/140891626719?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20cdcb9cdf

WITH MAITENENCE! i can not stress this enough. your mechanical locks need to have a servicing every few years.They are mechanical mechanisms like your car engine that need a cleaning and re lubrication from time to time.They are far more durable locks than electronic but they wont survive abuse, spinning the dial quickly either direction is a really good way to damage a fly and lock it up, lack of maitenece causing the grease to dry and make it difficult to open.

Cnynrat
11-27-2012, 1:33 PM
How difficult is it to change a safe over from an electronic lock to a mechanical lock? Is that something that can be done by someone with reasonable mechanical skills?

If it makes a difference, I've got an AMSEC.

xibunkrlilkidsx
11-27-2012, 8:08 PM
How difficult is it to change a safe over from an electronic lock to a mechanical lock? Is that something that can be done by someone with reasonable mechanical skills?

If it makes a difference, I've got an AMSEC.
It isnt terribly difficult. just need to make sure you cut the spindle to the proper length, which is done by installing it fully. marking it than taking it out and cutting it. And make sure that the dial ring is centered properly or the dial will drag on it. As long as the holes for the electonic lock are drilled to close tot he same dimensions the dial ring is cut to. Sometimes they elec locks are off a bit and you ahve to do some filing on the dial ring to get it centered.

Ub3rD0rk
11-27-2012, 8:27 PM
I have 3 American Security safes that all came with combination locks. Two of the safes hold complete ready to shoot guns. The other holds my current projects that have the ability to fire. I am in and out of my unfinished projects safe many times a day an thought it would be much easier if that safe had a digital touch pad. I found a new AMSEC digital pad on eBay for a steal and ordered it. Without ever working on a safe in my life it took a grand total of 20 minutes to change out the lock. This was over a year ago and I have never had an issue with it.