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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I'm currently using a small Sentry safe near the bed and looking for 2 gun safe recommendations.

The first one that I'm looking for is something that's small and quick to open for the bedside.

The second one is a much larger one that can hold rifles, guns, jewelry and papers that I can locate in the garage. I know that it needs to be fire-rated, but thats about all that I'm certain of at the moment.

Any recommendations and model numbers and why you like it would be greatly appreciated.
 
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For a small safe I like the series of small to medium lock boxes that use a key or a simplex combination from R&D Enterprises of Phelan California. I assume they are still i business (800 467-4000) but I have not contacted them recently.
For a big safe I like the modular gun safes from Zanoti Armor in Cedar Falls ,Iowa. I you are going to put your safe in your garage, I would be sure to bolt it to a concrete floor.
 

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I don't have a specific model # or brand recommendation for the big safe, but will tell you to buy bigger than you think you'll need. I made the mistake of not anticipating future purchases, and believing the optimistic sales pitch about how many long guns it held, so wound up with a safe that's a tad too small. :sad: Don't make that same mistake. Remember that rifles with scopes on them may take up more room than expected, thus cutting down on actual capacity.
 

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I echo Fred recomendation to buy a safe 1 size larger than you think you need. I went with the Liberty line of safes, the Lincoln model with the granite exterior. The granite was $150 less than the hi-gloss and, like you, mine was installed in the basement where looks was not really an issue. (not that the granite is not handsome) I am well pleased thus far with my purchase ($1550) make sure you get a "dehumidifier rod" which is actually just a heating element, but necessary. I had mine left on the skid to keep it above the floor in case of minor flooding. Shop around, because once you buy one you are pretty much stuck with it.
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So far, this is what I've gathered from reading the responses and talking to a bunch of friends, it seems that the general consensus is to make sure that I buy at least 1 size bigger than the safe I think I need, a dehumidifying rod is essential and electronic/digital keypads make life significantly easier.

There's also been comments everywhere that I really won't be able to get in as many long guns as the safe folks optimistically think is possible.

Finally, several of the safe companies recommend that essential papers be placed in a Sentry firebox and that box placed inside of the fire-rated gunsafe.
 

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You will discover all sorts of uses for the thing that you didn't anticipate. Jewelry, laptop computers, important papers, cash, ammo, mags, etc.

They all take up space and you'll be glad you bought a bigger one. The guy who installed mine said that about half of his customers buy a bigger one within a couple of years of the initial installation.
 

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Let me add my voice - and experience - to those urging you to buy bigger than you think you need. First, gun safes are like time - your collection will grow to consume whatever you allot for it.

Second, the number of guns stated as the capacity for any given safe is a joke, bordering on fraudulence. It varies as to severity with each maker, but the basic premise is that you have NO bolt guns, NO big scopes, nothing wider than a Winchester 94. IF you do have scopes and bolts (who doesn't?), you will need extra space on at least one side so as not to gouge the other gun or knock your scope.

I don't waste space on ammo (which would require its own safe of equal capacity); I DO use mine for a big firebox of important documents, as well as the back-up of data from my computer. I would also join those recommending the granite finish over the multi-coated acrylic lacquer, gold-plated, triple lock wheeled, game-scened decorated showboats. Unless your safe is the center of attention in a gun room, it does not need to look like a juke box. Save your money for a better safe with better contents.

Oh - DO get the electronic lock. I had mine retro-fitted. Aside from the fact that the tumbler was bad (burr on gear), it was just too hard to see the lines on the tumbler. Also, you can change the combination on an electronic unit - great security feature.

I have a Champion; also looked at Liberty and Cannon. Thought the former too expensive, the latter too cheap (it was probably adequate, but....).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hmmm, what did you think was cheap about the Cannon? I'm trying to find a local distributor on the safe so I can actually see one up close. Their warranty looks quite nice compared to a lot of other companies, but I wonder how much of a factor it really is. i.e. If I'm broken into or there's a fire, I'd think my homeowner's insurance would cover any repairs/replacment of the safe anyway.

On the plus side, the safe is considerably cheaper price-wise than the other companies, but the old adage of "You get what you pay for" is really bothering me since I haven't been able to see one on the showroom floor.
 

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jamng: I bought mine from a local manufacturer direct. Only he and I know the combination. The company is Sun Welding in Simi valley, CA, and I do recommend them.

I suspect their products are not available in NC, as shipping would really drive the cost up. I compared to major brands and preferred this one on the basis of the quality of construction of the safe and the design/layout/quality of the interior. I did go with a fire lining. This company has been in business many years and is not a newcomer, so I was also comfortable with their experience building safes. BTW the S&G lock is the way to go, IMO. I also went with a simple finish - a black "granite" crackle finish. I prefer that anyway to a glossy one. Fancy finishes and gold handles aren't my bag, although some guys like it.

Jim

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: JiminCA on 2001-11-04 19:21 ]</font>
 

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Two things dissuaded me from Cannon safes:

1. Thinner metal and

2. Fewer locking bars (my 35 cu.ft. Champion has more lock bars than the wider 40 cu. ft. Cannon).

There is a reason the safe is cheaper; thinner walls, less insulation, fewer lock bars, or a combination of the foregoing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just looking at the specs. It looks like they're both UL Listed at RSC compliant. Don't know about the number of bolts in the Cannon, I couldn't find that info. Is the RSC compliancy just bs?

Is the Champion safes that you mentioned made by http://www.custom-safes.com?

Thanks.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: jamng on 2001-11-05 20:26 ]</font>
 

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I don’t own this product and, as a personal and professional “rule,” would not ordinarily recommend anything that I have not had experience with. Conversely, I will not dissuade anyone from “trying” the product. This one is intriguing. By the description alone, it appears to have merit by virtue of speed and simplicity of operation. The operating (opening) method is quite similar to the Magna-Trigger Gun Safety.
http://www.bestgunsafe.com/mainframe.htm

On my nightstand at beside rests the Cannon unit filled with a Glock 19, customized S&W 659, 2 spare magazines each. All six magazines contain Corbon 115-grain +P with the Sierra Power Jacket bullet. Additionally, this unit contains a collapsible baton, Benchmade folder, Leatherman Wave multitool, Maglite 2AA flashlight and the Surefire Model 12ZM, 500-Lumen flashlight. I have used the Cannon product for many years without encountering ANY malfunction.
http://www.cannonsafe.com/gallery/quicksafe.html

In my automobile to carry my backup “instruments,” I use the Franzen Armloc Magnum. It is lightweight, has 2 locks, and an LED light housed in the handle. It carries a similar complement as my “nightstand unit.”
http://securecase.com/

If anyone is interested, I will describe several other lockboxes that I own and have in select areas of my home. I am a parent of a young child and I vigorously advocate firearms safety.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: kogatana on 2001-12-24 21:09 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: kogatana on 2001-12-24 21:13 ]</font>
 
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