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Member Georgia Carry
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to buy a safe to store a few pistols. Need only 1.0 to 1.3 cubic feet of space. Prefer one under $200.

I've seen a few reviews of some, and to read reviews where people say they broken into them within a few seconds or minutes convinced me to not buy those particular ones.

Don't need one that can be bolted to the floor. I'm not too concerned with someone breaking into my home and stealing the safe. I'm more concerned with someone breaking into my home while I'm away and getting access to my guns to use against me when I get back home.
 

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If you are looking for a single or double pistol safe you might try searching for pistol vault or similar. If you need 1'x1'x1' or so, you might do better searching for a small cash or deposit style safe. Typically pistol safes are small bolt-down 16-10 gauge metal boxes and gun safes are 350+ lb units starting at 50" tall or so.

IMHO, having a small safe and not bolting it down is the same as putting a large neon sign on everything in the safe that says "STEAL ME". You'd do better to find or make good hiding places including fake registers, cleaning supply boxes, etc rather than spending cash on a small safe you do not intend to bolt down. $5 in hardware and 20 minutes of work is worth it to secure a $200 safe and $1k in guns, ammo, and valuables. Even if you are renting, you have at most $10 and 20 minutes of patching and touch-up when you move out. There are dozens of stories on this forum on how even large safes were damaged, opened, or removed because they were not bolted down.
 

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Member Georgia Carry
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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Lawyer and Gun Activist
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The model you linked to is a "fire safe". So it's not really rated for burglary, but of course it will stop some thieves and slow down others-- make them take more time and make more noise than they would want to.

At 160 lbs, it's pretty heavy. But two guys could muscle it out of your house easy enough.

I've used Sentry brand fire safes before. I think they're OK for home storage of handguns. When my brother's Sentry fire safe had the lock stop working and we had to break into it, it only took a minute with a hammer, a big screwdriver, and a pry-bar. But it did make some noise. This was a small safe that weighed about 50 lbs empty, so it would have been easy for thieves to steal and break-into later in a place where nobody will notice noise.
 

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A lot of fire safes get their magic from lots of water in their insulation.
That means put your gun in a zip lock before it goes in the safe or it will rust.
There's other ways to soak up the moisture if the zip lock is not appealing.
 

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Water in the insulation?

But water is a good conductor of heat-- not an insulator of it.

And wouldn't heated water create steam that would burst the metal shell of the safe open?

The Sentry safe I busted open had what looked like drywall / gypsum board material in it. A powdery stuff only loosely held together, like chalk.
 

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Heat of vaporization gives the short term protection. Then the steam offers some (relative) help.

page 169
http://books.google.com/books?id=oI...#v=onepage&q=fire safe wet insulation&f=false

Affordable small safes with an hour or two of fire protection use insulation containing a significant amount of water. I saw a Sentrysafe recommended which prompted this note about water.

Bottom line, a lot of safes are not secure from break-in at all, especially those touted with a fire rating. A good strong safe is not necessarily designed for fire protection. A beer can opener will get you into a Sentrysafe without much delay.
 
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