Gun Safe Buying Guide
If you are a gun owner, buying a gun safe should always be on top of your list. For one, states like California will make you liable if these were stolen. While it is easy to think that gun safes are all the same, they are not.
Buying one needs careful consideration because they aren’t made equal. The choice will often depend upon your personal needs. To help you make the right decision, we’ve created a buying guide specifically for gun safes.
Get One That’s Bigger than You Need
When was the last time you bought a gun? If you are an enthusiast, chances are, you have the tendency to buy the latest firearm that’s just been released in the market. The bigger the gun safe, the better, so that this will be able to house your growing collection.
Now, you may be saying that a big one is quite expensive. Lucky for you, that’s the use of the internet. If you find that a bigger one is costly, you can always opt to look for used ones.
But when you think about it, a gun alone could cost over a grand. However, some people refuse to spend a few hundred bucks on a gun safe. It doesn’t make any sense to refrain from buying a quality gun safe when it will be protecting a prized collection.
Spend Extra on Fire-resistant Safe.
While it is true that fire-resistant is not fire-proof, it still offers some sort of protection against residential fire. Did you know that about 380, 000 residential fires occur annually?
Gun safes have different fire-resistant ratings. In a massive fire in Los Alamos area, many homes were destroyed, left in total burn-downs. The gun safes that offered no fire protection were completely damaged including their contents.
Those that had no structural reinforcing on the sheet-rock insulation lost the top half of their contents. In comparison the gun safes with thick, reinforced fire lining had their contents intact at the most.
Some fire lined safes failed because they did not have solid steel walls. They sprung open when heavy beams fell on them.
According to Chris Luchini, one of authors of Rec Gun’s Guide to Gun Safes, fire is of a greater threat to guns than theft. He recommends spending extra money on fire resistant gun safes. But how will you know if a gun safe has a good fire-resistant rating?
Many manufacturers use common sheet rock as fire-lining which is not the best material for fire insulation when used on its own. This crumbles when exposed to heat. However, this could work when mixed together with fiberglass.
Ceramic wool blankets are also commonly used as insulators. These have higher insulation ratings compared to sheet rock.
Most gun safes will meet basic fire protection standards. These can typically withstand a temperature of 1200º F for up to 30 minutes. During these 30 minutes, the temperature inside the safe will not exceed 275 degrees.
Premium gun safes often offer higher fire protection ratings. They can withstand a temperature of 1200º F for up to 100 minutes. Consider your location when choosing a gun safe. Will the fire department be able to get there in a matter of thirty or a hundred minutes?
Get One That Will Protect Firearms against Theft
Guns are expensive that’s why they’re at the risk of being stolen. For this reason, buy a sturdy gun safe. Choose a one that’s made of steel. These are often rated with a gauge number. The smaller the gauge number, the thicker the material.
Ordinary gun safes have a grade of 12 gauge steel. These are light and thieves can easily pry them open. The only advantage to lightweight gun safes is that they’re easy to move around.
You’re always better off with ten gauge steel grade with a thick door. It’s difficult to break into even with the use of a torch or a plasma cutter.
The only drawback to having a better gauge is that these can be quite expensive. They also tend to weigh much more. You will need to hire professionals if you want to move these somewhere else.
Aside from the material of the door and wall, you also need to look into its locking mechanism. Large steel pins are used to lock the door.
Choose a gun safe with larger pins. If you can afford to get once that have several pins on the corners, then do so.
When shopping for a gun safe, explore different kinds and brands. You’ll be surprised how different brands have significant differences.
For example, some would have their special patent that you won’t find in other manufacturers. Others would have these fancy wood interior shelving and a much thicker steel.
If you’re not sure about their quality, you can always find help from the internet. Forums are a great way to connect with gun enthusiasts who may have already used them. There are also websites that recommend gun safes and makes reviews based on their characteristics.
Gun safes are sold in many different stores. You can find these in retail and home improvement stores. However, selection is often limited in these place.
If you want to buy a high-end gun safe, your best bet is to purchase this from a sporting goods store or online. Online purchases most of the time include delivery costs which could give you extra savings.
A gun safe should have thick doors and walls to prevent theft, ideally a steel gauge of at least ten. It should also have adequate fire protection and big enough for a growing collection. If you purchase the right gun safe, it’s a one-time purchase. It should make you feel secure and protect your assets from incidents of fire.