I'm about to pop for a new gun safe. I would like to make the best informed decision I can before shelling out my hard earned bucks. Is there anywhere on the net that I might get an unbiased opinion or review of the most popular safes on the market? I have read a lot of posts in this forum and to tell the truth, they always come down to pissing matches between a few individuals. I have tried to gleen a little insight out of the posts but after a while I get tired of reading through them. Thanks, Matt.
Find one that pleases you, ther ewill be haters of it, and there will be people that swear by it. No 2 people will agree on anything on here.
Check out Summit,
I think they may have changed them a little,
what ever you do, if it is a safe that many diffent people sell check around for a better price.
It comes down to what you can afford, I think they are all the same, within the different price points. Hell they are probably made by the same company. But any safe is better than no safe and open front door. i wish I could afford a $20k safe, but i can't, so I got a $1500.00 safe. Will it keep a determined thief out, no. Does it give me peace of mind that some teenage kid won't get his hands on my firearms, yup.
Well I'm down to two different safes. One is a Winchester Legacy 53. Top of the line safe made by Granite Security in Ft Worth. The cheapest I have found one is $2500.00. I have a chance to buy one for $2250.00 drive out. There is also a Franklin 50 by Liberty. Same basic size and about $100.00 cheaper. The Winchester to me looks really nice. and seems to be beefier. Just going by looks I'd buy it in a heartbeat. I have also heard that it was skip welded and that can't be good. Just need to make a decision and pull the trigger so to speak.
Good Place To Start
Do your own research. There is a wealth of information in this forum, but you have to weed through opinions and personal agendas. 'Nuff said.
You asked me about this, and my opinion of the Winchester is based on facts. It is a chines made safe, with a tack welded body. It uses Chinese sheetrock for fire insulation as well. This safe is easy to break into, There are much better safes in that price range over the Winchester. Don't buy it, Stay away from Winchester, Cannon, Sentry, and Stack-on. I sell 3 of those 4 brands, and I would not own them. There is your unbiased opinion.
What about Steelwater safes?
Hard to get a truly unbiased opinion but this forum is probably the best place I've found for researching safes. I do trust Snop's opinion though and as he said definitely stay away from that Chinese made Winchester.
I've never heard from anyone who purchased a Steelwater safe (Chinese) but I watched the owner's videos and they seem like a fair value, Liberty offers an American made safe in the same price range that are likely better built though.
I own a Sturdy safe and think it is very well made; I'd buy another without hesitation. There are other quality American made gun safes that I would be happy to own in around the same price range: Summit (Prosteel), Fort Knox, Browning (Prosteel), Higher end Liberties and even Amsec (the American made ones that is ...).
Thanks guys. I apreciate it. I think I'm over analyzing it. I just want the best bang for my buck.
FWIW. I just bought a Liberty Colonial 30 for my home after months of research. It's American made and was the right one for me for the money.
Originally Posted By chewy1010:
What about Steelwater safes?
It's really hard to say what is good, not good, suitable, not suitable, etc. without knowing what you're going to use it for.
It's like asking somebody who makes the best hammer. The answer depends on what you're using it for, and how much you want to spend. Without that information, any other advice is simply a wild guess.
I'm looking around $2500.00 drive out. Benn looking at the Browning Silver Series also. How does it compare to the Liberty Franklin 50 and Lincoln 50?
Are you only going to keep guns in the safe? What would the collection be valued at?
Are you planning on keeping other stuff in the safe? Does this stuff have any value of its own? If so, how much is it worth?
What are the residential crime statistics in your area? Is your home alarmed?
Are you more concerned about burglary, fire, or both? If fire is a concern, what are the fire statistics in your area?
Where are you planning on placing the safe? What type of construction is your home? Does the safe need to go up or down stairs? Are there any size or weight requirements?
It's never really as simple as it seems at first. There is a lot of information needed to make a proper assesment of what you should be (or shouldn't be) looking at. I can run down a list of $2,500 gun safes, and honestly, there's probably not a ton of difference between most of them. However, without all of this information, you can't really get proper advice. You may be able to get by with a lower cost safe. Perhaps one of the "crap" safes will suit your needs fine, or you may need to spend twice what you have budgeted to achieve what you want. Sometimes two safes should be used in place of one.
This is one of the reasons I always suggest dealing locally with a true security professional. They know their area, and with all of this information they can point you towards a suitable solution.
Matbe a few coins and/or jewelry. Depends on the safe I get really and how much extra room I have.
The value of the firearms is probably over $10000 not including sentimental value.
Fairly low crime rates. Mainly going for slowing a burglar down. House does have a monitored alarm.
On the first floor. Ordinary brick vaneer construction.
Less than 1/2 mile from the fire station in a small city 100,000 population. BTW I am a firman with the fire dept here.
Going in a spare bedroom down the hall.
Although it certainly doesn't hurt to have more than you need, you could probably get by with a less expensive safe.
You're in an area with a low crime rate, and you have an alarm. Most residential burglars aren't messing with safes at all, and with an alarm, wouldn't have the time even if they wanted. From a burglary perspective alone, I don't see any reason to buy anything fancy.
Fire also doesn't seem to be as big of an issue as it could be. I'll usually tell people to not rely on their gun safes for any significant fire protection. None of the safes perform as well as the manufacturers lead you to believe, and the success stories that you hear exist mostly due to luck. I think gun safes with cast fills provide the best protection, just like the vast majority of the commercial safes on the market that are constructed the same way. There aren't many manufacturers that build gun safes with cast fills. Brown, Graffunder, AMSEC, and a non branded version that I sell are the only that I'm aware of. The Brown and Graffunders will be outside of your budget. The smaller AMSECs will be within your budget, as would the B rates that I sell.
Have you looked locally? What is available nearby?
If you do not have anything available locally, then you may be limited to buying online. The Steelwaters that you mentioned may be "crap" to others, but I think it would do most of what you're looking for a safe to do. The only advice that I will add regarding the imported safes, is that you should only buy one using a UL listed lock. The safe does not need to have the UL RSC rating itself, but the lock should be rated.
For 10k... it should be no big deal to have an extra rider added to your insurance policy.
In a large fire everything is toast. There is no RSC level safe that can't be cut apart in minutes.
Just sayin'.... A safe is great but make sure you've got insurance too.
Good info guys, thanks. I do have a few safes available localy. The Liberty line is available as well as the Winchesters. The Winchesters looked really nice to me but I've about convinced myself to pass on them. There is a Winchester Legacy 53 available locally that I was getting a pretty good deal on. $2250 out the door. Semms a customer ordered it and paid $300 down but then changed his mind. The dealer passed the $300 on to me. There is a Liberty Fatboy available at Gander Mountain for $1999. I'm sure I can get it cheaper else where. There is also a Liberty Franklin 50 locally for $2195. Seriously I had been contemplating the Legacy 53 and the Franklin 50. Now I have been looking at the Browning Silver Series at a little more than I wanted to spend at $2700 but haven't found one locally.
I mentioned the Sportsman Steel safes a while back but read some reviews warning to stay away from them. Said the customer service was crappy. I am only about an hour away from the showroom in Houston so I could deal with crappy customer service and would be able to hand pick a safe. I heard the safes themselves are decent but a lot of people haven't heard of them before and the ones that did gave them a mediocre rating.
To be honest I really like the safes with bolts on all 4 sides of the door. Don't know why. Everytime I think I'll settle it once and for all and buy a Franklin 50 I realize there are no bolts on the bottom. Sticks in my craw for some reason. I probaly don't need bolts all the way around the door but it is nice to know they are there.
I have had guns stolen before. Probably $6-7000 worth in 1991 money. It hurts a lot. Worth way more in sentimental value than dollars. One was given to me by my dad for a high school graduation present and 1 was his so you can imagine the hurt and anger I felt. I DO NOT want to live through that again.
Sorry for the long winded post. I'm just trying to make the most informed decision I can. It's a big deal to me.
I'm a pretty big fan of Liberty, despite the few negative things I have to say about them, because they have great customer service.
Being that close to Houston, you should have just about every major manufacturer represented. Nothing beats getting a chance to look at anything you would consider in person. Even if it's an hour drive, you could probably hit several dealers in one trip. Most of the manufacturers offer a dealer locator on their website.
As far as dealers go, I would see if they are a real safe company as opposed to a retailer. If they handle their own deliveries, and have their own techs, then you know that any potential problems down the road will be easier to handle.
Yea. That's just the thing. I don't really know what I'm looking at. I saw the Liberty's in person as well as the Winchester. The Winchester seems pretty nice to me but it was on a solid floor and the Liberty was on a pallet. First impressions mean a lot and the Liberty being on a pallet made it seem inferior although I'm pretty sure that's not the cas. Sounds stupid but that's how I saw it.
a!abdj, look at their website and tell me what you think.
Everything I have read on this board (and I have literally read every thread that hasn't been archived, along with some of the archived stuff) has positive things to say about Liberty customer service. Also, from what I have read, the Liberty safes are inherently more secure than the Granite safes because of the welding you mentioned.
For the money you're wanting to spend, you're going to get 10-11 gauge construction. It sounds like this is sufficient for your needs. The only way I know for you to get thicker steel is to look for used commercial safes or go with a Sturdy safe without the fire lining.
The Liberty Franklin 50 has an INTERIOR volume of 30 cubic feet
. 11ga steel, $2700 delivered curbside before rebate.
A similarly INTERIOR
sized AmSec BF safe will be more expensive for sure:
AmSec BF7240 for $3499 +s/h = 27 cubic feet interior. Shipping to my zip code = $632
One of the experts here will have to remind us how thick the steel walls are on this safe, since AmSec doesn't want to disclose it on their website or on this retailer's website. FYI, I think the "concrete" fill on the AmSec BF series is only designed for fire protection and offers little additional security. I'm not trying to bad mouth it - I'm just want you to know the facts. Again, one of the experts can clarify this for us.
Sturdy Products of similar INTERIOR
size (7ga steel):
3627 non-fire-lined, 29.47 cubic feet, $1941 curbside
4824-6 fire-lined, 30.26 cubic feet, $3979 curbside
Notice that fire lining significantly decreases interior volume in safes (the only exception I know of is Brown Safes, but they are out of your price range). Many safes are advertised with Exterior
volume (e.g. that AmSec safe is advertised as a 42 cubic foot safe).
Hope this helps
I don't really know what I'm looking at.
Granted there are some things that you won't understand if you do not know what you're looking at, but if you beat on the side and it sounds like a tin can, you're dealing with a tin can.
First impressions mean a lot and the Liberty being on a pallet made it seem inferior although I'm pretty sure that's not the cas. Sounds stupid but that's how I saw it.
All safes ship on a pallet. Chinese safes tend to have junk pallets or steel skids which are a safety risk when displaying the safe. This is probably why the Winchester was flat on the floor and the Liberty was not.
a!abdj, look at their website and tell me what you think.
The Steelwater site?
One of the experts here will have to remind us how thick the steel walls are on this safe, since AmSec doesn't want to disclose it on their website or on this retailer's website.
1/8" outer wall, "concrete", and a thin gauge inner wall. It's either 14 or 16 gauge (filing cabinet type thickness).
The Zykan B rates that I sell (the generic labels) are 1/8" outer wall, "concrete", and 1/8" inner wall for a total of 1/4" of steel. The door has multiple layers that add up to 1/2" worth of steel. They run less than the AMSECs, and although you don't get the good looks, I believe you get better security.
I think the "concrete" fill on the AmSec BF series is only designed for fire protection and offers little additional security.
The fill will in fact provide additional burglary protection, although it is not the same type of high density fill used in the burglary rated safes. I can go into further detail if anybody wants to know, but in short, anything that is stiff between two layers of steel will provide significantly more structure than a single layer of steel or two layers of steel with something soft between them. Even a gypsum lined safe is much more secure with an interior liner.
Many safes are advertised with Exterior volume
This is correct, and it's a big peeve of mine. I can save it for a future rant
no. look at the sportsman steel safe site.
no. look at the sportsman steel safe site.
Part of being in the security business involves the trust of those you do business with. I have seen so many negative things about this company, that I wouldn't trust them. I wouldn't believe what they say. I wouldn't count on them to keep their word.
For that reason alone, I would steer clear. I'm sure they have several pleased customers as well, but you really have to try hard to get the amount of negative customer feedback that they have.
As far as the safes they build, they are so/so in terms of quality.
Your probably right. Just tempting being so close. Thanks