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Firearms Accessories: Holsters, Safes, Lights & more If it locks up, carries, fits on to or cleans up your firearms, discuss it here.

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  #1  
Old 10-18-2017, 9:46 PM
Cortelli Cortelli is offline
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Default Home Safe for Handguns / Valuables - Burglary first, and Fire second

I am looking for a small (no long guns) safe. Intent is to store multiple handguns, some emergency cash, perhaps some docs / media / jewelry. Value in the safe would probably not be more than $10K - $15K.

My primary concerns are two-fold: burglary, and fire. But I don’t think I need a lot of space for fire-protected items (I’d be unhappy but willing to lose handguns to fire – would like to avoid cash / digital media / small valuables losses if possible and easy to do so).

The safe would need to be located indoors, in a walk-in closet, on a raised floor (no concrete slab). Given my concern over burglary I’d like the safe to be heavy enough to make moving it unwieldy / problematic for a single burglar or a pair of burglars to move, and very difficult for an amateur or less-skilled burglar to crack the safe in my home; recognizing at the same time that skilled and prepared thief can get in most safes that might fit my requirements.

Given my needs and constraints, I am considering a B-rated safe without fire rating, but big enough to store a simple and small fireproof lockbox (that doesn’t offer much in terms of burglary security).

Where is my thinking catastrophically bad / wrong? What am I not considering? Does this make sense or am I being ridiculous?

(Note: I plan on retiring / semi-retiring and leaving CA in the next 5 – 7 years and would be willing to spring at that time – after relocating – for a larger and more significant safe (weight and security / fire protection) – but don’t want or need such a safe in my current location and circumstances, and don't want to spend $$$$ on what I think is a short term preventative measure that will likely be a pain in the *** to move out of state).

Appreciate any critique / advice on the above approach.

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And though I am not actively seeking advice on specific models / brands, I’d certainly appreciate any you might care to share. After a fair bit of internet research, I am considering something like a Gardall B2015 (link: http://www.gardall.com/view-product/b-rated-money-chest) with a simple SentrySafe fireproof cashbox (and maybe some fireproof “socks” as well) to go inside the safe (SentrySafe link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000W8J75E..._t2_B00BTMU8VY)
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  #2  
Old 10-18-2017, 11:12 PM
billped billped is offline
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I would go with hidden vs. heavy though you may find an old jewelers safe that does what you want.

Just remember that the MBR closet and under the bed are the first two places a burglar will check.
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  #3  
Old 10-19-2017, 10:11 AM
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If you want something basic that could be easily hidden how about a V-Line:

http://www.vlineind.com/shop/quick-v...-handgun-safe/
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  #4  
Old 10-19-2017, 2:38 PM
ARBeast ARBeast is offline
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Default B-Rate Cash Safe is perfect

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cortelli View Post
I am looking for a small (no long guns) safe. Intent is to store multiple handguns, some emergency cash, perhaps some docs / media / jewelry. Value in the safe would probably not be more than $10K - $15K.

My primary concerns are two-fold: burglary, and fire. But I don’t think I need a lot of space for fire-protected items (I’d be unhappy but willing to lose handguns to fire – would like to avoid cash / digital media / small valuables losses if possible and easy to do so).

The safe would need to be located indoors, in a walk-in closet, on a raised floor (no concrete slab). Given my concern over burglary I’d like the safe to be heavy enough to make moving it unwieldy / problematic for a single burglar or a pair of burglars to move, and very difficult for an amateur or less-skilled burglar to crack the safe in my home; recognizing at the same time that skilled and prepared thief can get in most safes that might fit my requirements.

Given my needs and constraints, I am considering a B-rated safe without fire rating, but big enough to store a simple and small fireproof lockbox (that doesn’t offer much in terms of burglary security).

Where is my thinking catastrophically bad / wrong? What am I not considering? Does this make sense or am I being ridiculous?

(Note: I plan on retiring / semi-retiring and leaving CA in the next 5 – 7 years and would be willing to spring at that time – after relocating – for a larger and more significant safe (weight and security / fire protection) – but don’t want or need such a safe in my current location and circumstances, and don't want to spend $$$$ on what I think is a short term preventative measure that will likely be a pain in the *** to move out of state).

Appreciate any critique / advice on the above approach.

.
.
.
.

And though I am not actively seeking advice on specific models / brands, I’d certainly appreciate any you might care to share. After a fair bit of internet research, I am considering something like a Gardall B2015 (link: http://www.gardall.com/view-product/b-rated-money-chest) with a simple SentrySafe fireproof cashbox (and maybe some fireproof “socks” as well) to go inside the safe (SentrySafe link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000W8J75E..._t2_B00BTMU8VY)


I found one much cheaper than the Gardall with the same specs: https://www.amazon.com/Stealth-Burgl...=burglary+safe

Looks nice with good reviews! Cheers! No fire rating but I've heard of people just buying a fire chest from sentry or first alert and putting inside these B-Rate Safes, seem to work well for a cheap price
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  #5  
Old 10-21-2017, 5:59 PM
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zinfull zinfull is offline
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What is the body of the safe made out of? The door is 1/2" plate at 20#/sq ft and the whole weight is 51#.
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  #6  
Old 10-21-2017, 10:49 PM
Cortelli Cortelli is offline
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Thank you all for your thoughts (including those who PM'd).

It turns out it is an incredibly frustrating process looking for a safe that meets my idiosyncratic needs. Again - looking for a safe with burglary protection better than an RSC rating or, forgetting about ratings, at least clearly better than a typical RSC-type safe in terms of burglar defense; large enough to hold a small fire-resistant container plus multiple handguns, but no need for long gun storage; heavy enough to make it very difficult for one guy to carry away but not so heavy it can't be stored on a raised-floor (non-slab) foundation (which means anchoring is less promising, too).

I've been looking at a dozen manufacturers / brands (some of which share the same manufacturer) -- and one thing is very common: trying hard to not be clear about specs around things like steel thickness (other than the door), additional security features (re-lockers, hardened lock plates, etc.). Going to have to be calling and emailing on Monday.

Tough haul. I'll post again with what I've found when complete for the benefit of others. Right now, it looks like I'm funneling towards a Hollon or a Gardall model.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zinfull View Post
What is the body of the safe made out of? The door is 1/2" plate at 20#/sq ft and the whole weight is 51#.
Is this directed at the Gardall model I posted? That one is 1/2" plate door and 1/4" body and the total weight is 161 lbs. I'm still looking at that model, and also looking at some Hollon models, but it seems to be pretty thin pickings outside those two. I'm also planning on cruising locksmiths for used safes to see what might be available.
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  #7  
Old 10-23-2017, 2:47 PM
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zinfull zinfull is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ARBeast View Post
I found one much cheaper than the Gardall with the same specs: https://www.amazon.com/Stealth-Burgl...=burglary+safe

Looks nice with good reviews! Cheers! No fire rating but I've heard of people just buying a fire chest from sentry or first alert and putting inside these B-Rate Safes, seem to work well for a cheap price
This is the one I was referring to about the side thickness.
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  #8  
Old 10-23-2017, 4:14 PM
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Frozenguy Frozenguy is online now
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If I may suggest: This is a perfect application for AVIS. Increase the effectiveness of your safe significantly for a fraction of the cost of the safe. You'll know immediately via text and/or email if your safe is moved, anyone attempts to break in, or if there is a fire.
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  #9  
Old 10-24-2017, 1:06 PM
Cortelli Cortelli is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frozenguy View Post
If I may suggest: This is a perfect application for AVIS. Increase the effectiveness of your safe significantly for a fraction of the cost of the safe. You'll know immediately via text and/or email if your safe is moved, anyone attempts to break in, or if there is a fire.
I've seen your thread before as you were developing the product -- looks awesome! Well done. I do have some concerns around WiFi connectivity in my home given my router and safe location, but I do need a repeater or range extender in any event, so maybe this is the push I needed).
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  #10  
Old 11-21-2017, 4:59 PM
Cortelli Cortelli is offline
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I did a lot of internet research on safes for this, and I contacted manufacturers and retailers. I also visited several locksmiths / used safe sellers. The biggest challenge was getting accurate specs on safe construction -- not specific mechanisms, or location of re-locking devices, etc. – just basic “what gauge / thickness of steel in the body of the safe?” “What generic pry resistance is there?” sorts of questions.

I was looking for a safe that wasn’t primarily for guns, but would also serve to secure several handguns – a safe primarily for emergency or “earthquake cash”, some additional small valuables, and some data or important papers as needed. No long gun storage here, which takes it outside of many posters’ needs. I live in a suburb, with a ~5 min fire response, so I didn’t feel I needed a fireproof / fire-resistant safe, even if I had fire-resistant needs – a firestorm like the North Bay / Santa Rosa fires will doom me, but we do what we can within our constraints. I figured I’d buy a relatively cheap fire-resistant box that could survive a short-lived fire, and tuck that into the safe I was looking for. My primary interest was in a safe that would resist a determined amateur thief. I wanted a safe that one couldn’t easily carry off, and that one couldn’t spend 5-10 minutes on with only the safe-cracking tools in my garage.

I looked at / researched safes from a number of manufacturers, some out of business now, including: Stack-On, Sentry Safe, Mesa, Gardall, Hollon, AmSec, Adesco, Hayman, Bluedot, and Sovereign. Tracking down accurate info, particularly around body security, is often really challenging.

Many “safes” advertised as gun safes are really security cabinets – locking mechanism, with a secure door, but open to pretty simple attacks on sides / top / back. Some have as thin as 16 gauge steel as a body, which can be opened pretty easily by an inexperienced thief with access to typical garage tools in a few minutes. Make no mistake: ANY locking box / security cabinet is better than nothing, and may very well deter any smash-and-grab or tweeker burglar who wants to grab what’s available and get out pretty quickly – and kudos to anyone who makes the effort to secure his / her firearms in any sort of security cabinet. That’s a good thing.

I found my own personal sweet spot in looking at both Hollon and Gardall safes. Hollon was attractive because it is an American company who manufactures in the USA, and offered “b-rated” safes. But I didn’t get a response when I asked about body construction details, and it became apparent (by checking external v internal dimensions across websites) that Hollon’s “b-rated” safes / money chests had at most 1/8” steel plate for the body of their safes (this is approx. 11 / 12 gauge steel). That’s a fine deterrent for the casual thief, and roughly what my bedside Sentry Safe pistol safe / anti-kid container offers. Again – no disrespect / criticism here, just not quite what I was looking for.

I ended up where I started with this post – I elected to purchase a Gardall money chest. It has ½” plate door, and a ¼” steel body; 5 locking bolts; an S&G Group II mechanical lock; locking bar against hinge attacks; drill resistant hard plate over the locking mechanism; and a relocking device in the lock and an independent re-locking device. It comes with 4 pre-drilled anchor holes. It comes in sizes large enough to accommodate a simple (Sentry Safe) fire-resistant box, heavy enough to make it hard to carry away easily if not bolted down, and small enough to fit in numerous spots in the house. It’ll find a spot in my home that won’t be the first (or fourth . . .) spot a thief would look, and it will be bolted down even if only in wood studs. I’m looking at adding an AVIS-lite unit (search @Frozenguy posts), and I’ll feel pretty comfortable storing the cash, jewelry, other valuables, and handguns I want with an expectation that I’ll have *enough* fire and burglary security to rest easy.

If I weren’t planning on moving in the next five – seven years, I’d be looking at different options in a much larger / heavier / sturdier safe, but for my near-term needs, in a package that I can move if need be, I’m reasonably happy with the option I settled on and the protection it provides for my needs.

A long-winded post, but thought I’d share what I learned as part of my search should others have any questions. Best of luck to you all in finding the right solution for your needs.
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