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Buying a Safe... what lessons have you to share?

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Buying a Safe... what lessons have you to share?

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Old 02-27-2016, 06:05 PM
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Default Buying a Safe... what lessons have you to share?

I'm about to purchase a gun safe. I have about 12 long guns and a few handguns. I think I want to get a mechanical combination lock and figure I need to get more volume than I think. I don't really want to spend more than about 1500$ and think I have found a Liberty Fatboy Jr that is a 64 gun that meets my criteria. With all that said, let the wisdom and experience flow freely so that I might learn from you guys.
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Old 02-27-2016, 06:26 PM
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The Liberty FB sounds really good at 1500.00! You definitely need to err on the side of more volume, no matter what the brand is they way over-state the max volume. I got a 24 gun safe and it will not hold near that many long guns, especially scoped guns! Check out gunsafes.com free shipping and no taxes if it's out of state. Academy wanted 200.00 for delivery, five miles away! Gunsafes is if I remember right in Utah. Shipped free to SE Texas!
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Old 02-27-2016, 07:25 PM
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I bought my last one from Tractor Supply, it's the tall Cannon. It was around $800 if I remember right, I really like it for the price. I would definitely get the electronic lock over the mechanical. Our Browning safe with a mechanical gave us nothing but trouble, multiple trips by a locksmith to finally fix it.
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Old 02-28-2016, 02:48 PM
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I have a fatboy jr, and you'll like it. Buy the biggest and best you can afford. my fatboy jr has an electronic lock, no issue with it. I also have a cannon 24 gun safe with a mechanial lock and no issues with it either. Both are great. The problem with buying is a safe is when you see you have extra room you'll fill it up... then need another safe.... haha
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Old 02-28-2016, 04:28 PM
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Get bigger than you think you will need. Tractor Supply has some good deals on gun safes as mentioned above.
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Old 02-28-2016, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Bocajnala View Post
I have a fatboy jr, and you'll like it. Buy the biggest and best you can afford. my fatboy jr has an electronic lock, no issue with it. I also have a cannon 24 gun safe with a mechanial lock and no issues with it either. Both are great. The problem with buying is a safe is when you see you have extra room you'll fill it up... then need another safe.... haha
-Jake
So true! The first one I've had for a long time was one built by a friend of my Dad that holds 12 long guns in a straight line across it's width. It has a covered, welded padlock area that houses a heavy padlock that is only accessed by the key in the bottom. The bottom half then drops down and off to allow the top half to be removed so the door can be opened. The Cannon I bought a number of years ago to put another 12+ long guns and hand guns in was from Cabelas. It has an electronic lock and then a mechanical spinner to release the deadbolts and open the door. It has been foolproof and was a little under $1000, including delivery, and that was a big reason I bought it from them.

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Old 02-28-2016, 07:10 PM
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I have a 30+ year old Browning safe with a good mechanical lock that still functions flawlessly. My only regret is I didn't buy the fancy design model back then as the extra cost spread over 30+ years is really minimal (less than $5/year).

I'm glad you guys had good luck with Cannon. I bought a Cannon with an electrical lock 2-3 years ago and the gears messed up around a year into it. I called Cannon and their warranty is only good for a year. I got in under the wire (the Cannon rep was cool) and they sent out a local locksmith who was very good at what he does. I shot the breeze with him while he worked and he showed me the problems with the mechanical design of the door lockers, etc. on the Cannon. He told me he could get the door fixed again but he highly recommended I then sell the safe and buy a Liberty.

He explained the quality that Liberty and a couple more expensive safes put into their safes and door mechanisms and showed me why they were better (quality, size and fit of door mechanisms, etc.). He fixes all safe models and said most gun safe companies are using different suppliers now and only a few are made in America with the quality control that works and lasts well.

IMHO, I think you made a very wise decision on buying that Liberty.
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Old 02-28-2016, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Arjuna View Post
I'm about to purchase a gun safe. I have about 12 long guns and a few handguns. I think I want to get a mechanical combination lock and figure I need to get more volume than I think. I don't really want to spend more than about 1500$ and think I have found a Liberty Fatboy Jr that is a 64 gun that meets my criteria. With all that said, let the wisdom and experience flow freely so that I might learn from you guys.
not sure if the fatboy is a fire safe but i would get a fire rated safe for sure !
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Old 02-28-2016, 09:15 PM
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Sometimes having multiple smaller safes rather than one extra large safe is an advantage. They're easier to move - one at a time - but if a thief is stealing the whole safe, they have to break TWO free, and moving slow with one is a lot faster than moving a little bit faster with two (breaking one out, moving it, loading it, breaking the other out, moving it, loading it). Cracking two locks is slower than cracking one, cutting into two doors is slower than cutting into one too.

However, one BIG safe is often cheaper than two small ones.

You're on the right track, however - most safes don't functionally hold anywhere near their rated capacity, unless you're nothing more than a collector of shotguns. If you need anything out of the safe, or own scoped rifles, you'll spend most of your in-safe time lifting guns in and out to get to something in the back row. A 64gun safe for 12 long guns either means you have a boat load of handguns, or are probably buying too big.

My set up right now, right or wrong, time will tell for me, seems to be working well for us. There's no safe big enough to house all of our guns, short of a vault room, so we are stuck with multiple safes. I'd never buy a 12 gun, but I think I'll buy more 36-48gun safes before I buy another 64 gun. For long guns, I basically cut the capacity in half, but I throw a lazy susan inside. This lets me have equal access, easy and fast access, to ever gun in the safe. Handguns pack pretty tightly if you add shelving top to bottom.

What safe you buy depends what you want to ask it to do. $1500 for a 64 gun will keep out the guy that broke in to steal your TV. The guy that came for your guns will get them. A fire in your house - or the water & chemicals from the firemen that show up to put it out - will get in.

The best safe you can buy is made of paper. Insure the firearms for full value and you'll have better odds of ending up on top if something happens than if you rely upon ANY steel safe.

Be smart about your investing here, as Einstein once said, "it's all relative" - wrapping a $1500 shell around 12 nagants and mossy 500's and a few H&R 22lr revolvers doesn't make a lot of sense, you could replace all of them for less than the cost of the safe. Wrapping a $1500 shell around $200,000 worth of rifles and revolvers doesn't make much sense either, there's simply too much at stake.
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Old 02-29-2016, 02:21 AM
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I bought mine about 25 years a go. It is a liberty with mechanical dial com. It is a 30 gun model and holds 30 guns but I put mine in by how much I use them. All the scoped rifles go along the out side walls and all the non scoped guns go back to back down the center.

Do not rely on those moisture absorbing packs you can put in the dryer, You will get tired of drying them out and they stop working.
]BUY a good Golden Rod.
I bought the 36 inch model a year after I got fed up with the packets. Installed it in the back of the safe fed the wire out and plugged it in. Never noticed a increase in electric bill, open the safe and get a pleasant odder of Hopps #9, gun oil and warmth.


It is so nice and warm in the safe I keep all my primers in it.

I also suggest you put it on a concrete floor and bolt it in place. Mine was sat in place holes marked and safe moved so holes could be drilled with a hammer drill then double inserts pounded in place.
Sat safe back in place and bolted it down. It isn't going any place till those # 8 bolts are removed.

Last edited by alleyyooper; 02-29-2016 at 02:24 AM.
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