Gun Safe Buying Guide: Part 1 – Understanding the Technology

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Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series about home gun safes. The series will dive into detail about locks, mounting/hardening you safe, increased fire protection, specialty safes and higher-rated safes, and buying used safes. There is a lot of information to consider when buying a safe. Follow along with us as we take a deep dive into this subject.


Why do I need a safe? This is a question that many gun owners ask. In my opinion, the answer is easy. Bad things happen to good people and good guns all the time. Let’s face the facts: Guns: are high in value, relativity compact and easy to convert to cash on the black market. Also, they are susceptible to damage. I have experienced the horror that is a house fire, and I would never wish it on my worst enemy. I have also had a few guns stolen over the years (two were recovered by the police and returned). Even in the unlikely event that you get the guns back, they never return as they were when they were taken. Mine were covered in scratches and dings, and one of them had an evidence mark engraved on it. These sorts of things can and do happen to gun owners.

If you don’t know how much insurance coverage you have on your guns, YOU DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH! Most homeowner policies only cover a small amount, some as low as $500.00, if at all. I’m not giving out legal advice; this is anecdotal data I acquired a number of years ago. My coverage was $2,500.00, and I had an option to up that to $5,000.00 for a few extra dollars a year. Done. The NRA would give me $2,500.00 of coverage if I activated it. Done. If I wanted to cover additional guns, it would cost about 1.2% the value of the gun annually. Most insurance fell somewhere in this price range.

If you have a gun collection, buying a gun safe is a must. It can keep them out of unqualified hands and also help protect your investments.

If you have a gun collection, buying a gun safe is a must. It can keep them out of unqualified hands and also help protect your investments.

It’s important to remember that it’s not all about dollars and cents; my Uncle Jerry was a gunsmith who passed away almost 30 years ago and left me his Union Switch and Signal 1911. I may get a check for it if something happens to it, but that gun is still gone forever. I gave these things some thought and wondered: “How can I self-insure my guns?” A gun safe seemed like a good investment, based on the cost of the safe weighed against its protection from theft and fire. I took some time to make sure I invested in something that would protect my assets.

It is important to understand exactly what a safe gives you. In a sense, a gun safe is a time machine. The better your safe, the more time it will buy you before irreparable damage is done. The harder you make your safe to target by a criminal, more the time it buys you. A crook only has so much time. The better the fire protection your safe provides, the longer your guns remain protected. All fires go out eventually. If either of these threats have more time than your safe can provide you in protection, you lose your guns.

Not All Gun Safes Are Created Equal

In most cases, crooks will be attacking your safe with very basic tools. This can include screwdrivers and sledgehammers.

In many cases, crooks will be attacking your safe with basic (but effective) tools in their quest to crack your safe.

What makes a good safe? Well, that depends on what you’re trying to defeat. Most of the time, when confronted with theft, you’re going to be facing someone who, shall we say, is not an engineer. They will be coming to the event with what they brought, which will not normally include cutting torches and saws capable of real metal cutting. In fact, the number one instrument of crime is a big screwdriver with a flat tip. This is easy to understand once you get the crook’s perspective. I’ve been told a common theme with them is as follows: “If I get stopped by the cops with a crowbar or bolt cutters, I am going to jail. But a screw driver is just for fixing my car.” Also consider that a screwdriver makes a great weapon; it is the number three item used in violent crime, behind guns and knives. Now, add something hard and heavy to hit it with, and this is likely what they will use to attack your safe.

If you’re worried about a fire, consider that the maximum room fire on average will be about 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit, give or take. You can get flashover starting at about 1,600 degrees. This means that you should keep the temperature around your safe as low as possible, and (obviously) keep the duration of any fires as short as possible. It actually takes about eight hours for a house fire to reach a maximum burning temperature of about 2,300 degrees.

So how can I tell which safe is the best one? Shopping for a safe sometimes feels like watching a magic performance: “I know I’m being tricked… I’m just not sure how!” They all seem big, with thick walls and locks with unlimited combinations. You look at the doors and they have bolts that seem to be everywhere. So why is one safe less than $1,000.00 while the same-sized one next to it is $2,500.00? Well, let’s take a look at some of the basics of what makes a safe, a safe.

Some Words Mean More Than Others…

An Underwriters Lab (UL) rating on your safe means that it is held to verifiable standard of protection. Not all safes have this.

An Underwriters Lab (UL) rating on your safe means that it is held to verifiable standard of protection. Not all safes have this.

The “box of the safe” refers to its sides, back and bottom. The thickness of the metal and seams (or the number of seams) are critical to keeping the box intact. The thickness of steel is measured in gauge: The lower the number, the thicker the steel. In most cases, the door will be the primary area of attack. A thinner seam between the box and the door helps to prevent prying, and reduces the number of leverage points. The bolts keep the door shut and prevent warping in a fire. The lock needs to be resistant to drilling and hammering. The fireboard (that provides the fire protection) should cover all sides, and the more layers of fireboard, the better.

Let me break it to you now: Most, if not all, readers of this article do not own a safe or a vault. Most boxes that people call “safes” are really Residential Security Containers, per Underwriters Labs (UL). RSC (Residential Security Container) (TL-5) Rating is the term for a UL-rated container that is capable of withstanding a beating by one man wielding a screwdriver and a hammer, at a minimum. If you don’t see a UL sticker on the inside of your door, you have no recognized rating. Close to half of all safes sold (including brand names you would recognize) fall into this category. All of the ratings these brands use are based on their self-defined systems. They have no industry-recognized standards that can be compared to other brands.

The next thing to consider is the thickness of steel. As noted above, the gauge of steel used is a measure of thickness. As a rule, thicker steel provides better fire and theft protection. A steel security cabinet will be made from 17-gauge steel, while the better safes out there will be 11 gauge or even thicker. How this steel is used makes all the difference. The best manufacturers will use robotic welding and bend the steel, rather than welding side and top joints. This creates fewer weak joints on the sides and top that can be attacked.

Gun Safes Chart
The thickness of the gauge of steel is an important consideration in what safe you purchase.

The thickness of the gauge of steel is an important consideration in what safe you purchase.


Shown here is a robotic arm folding a composite door. Image courtesy of Liberty Safe.

Shown here is a robotic arm folding a composite door. Image courtesy of Liberty Safe.

Although a closed box would be the safest and strongest, you obviously need to be able to get into it. That is why there is a door, and that door is a potential weak point. The door keeps both thieves and fire out. You want a door with a tight fit, so as to prevent tools being inserted for prying. The safe’s locking bolts should cover all four sides of the box to prevent warping from prying and heat. Check both the size and mounting design when looking at bolts. The seal should expand when heated to form a fireproof seal to keep heat out.

The lock should be UL Listed, and the industry gold standard is Sargent and Greenleaf. The lock should be protected from both punching and drilling. This is done with hard plate and/or ball bearings inserted into the shielding plates. In the future, I plan on devoting a full article to discussing combination locks, electronic key padlocks and biometric locks.


The Risk of Theft

Theft is a far greater risk to the contents of your safe than fire. Each year, the fire protection in America gets better and the likelihood of completely losing your home to fire diminishes. If you can suffer through a story of mine, you will be rewarded with a well-illustrated point. About a year ago, I was visiting my Aunt Sue and Uncle John in Little Rock, Arkansas. They lived in a nice, old, established neighborhood. They informed me that they had recently been the victim of a burglary while they were in Florida. After examining the entry point and outside lighting, I was able to confidently say that the perpetrator was not a stranger to them. I was quite sure that it was someone who had been in their home before. As it turned out, the likely suspect was a hired hand that did some yard work and light maintenance around the home. I’m not trying to portray myself as some kind of Sherlock Holmes, but I was able to spot some things that my detective friends like to call “clues.” First, the lighting on the outside of the home was on a motion sensor, and there was only one approach path (a rear patio enclosure) that would not trigger the light. The entry point was shielded from view to all but one neighbor, who was elderly and hard of sight. They were out of town and had valuable things that were relatively untraceable and easily convertible to cash. These facts could only be known by someone who had been to the property and had inside information on them. It was either such a person, or the luckiest random thief in the history of crime. Occam’s Razor tells us that the simplest answer is usually the correct answer.

I tell the story above to explain why I say that when a safe is attacked, the attacker could likely be someone who has been in your house before, and has seen your safe. The number-one theft prevention technique is minimizing the number of people who know about your safe. Step two is to bolt the safe to the floor and walls so that it cannot be moved to a secondary location.

Fire Facts

There are a few key numbers that you want to keep in mind when looking at a safe’s resistance to fire. The first number is 350° Fahrenheit, which is the temperature at which most wood products will begin to be damaged. The second number is how long the safe will keep the interior below 350° with a 1,200° exterior temperature.


Shown here is a fire test of be performed. Note the smoke coming from safe numbers two and three (from left). Image courtesy of Liberty Safe.

Shown here is a fire test being performed. Note the smoke coming from safe numbers two and three (from left). Image courtesy of Liberty Safe.

This image shows the protected interior of a safe after a serious house fire. Image courtesy of Liberty Safe.

This image shows the protected interior of a safe after a serious house fire. Image courtesy of Liberty Safe.

The first layer of defense is the steel on the outside of the box, which will reflect heat for a given period of time. What’s more important is that the steel will not warp at much higher temperatures, which will preserve the integrity of the safe. This is why bolts all the way around the door are critical to fire protection. The door should have some material between the steel door and steel wall that prevents the heat from licking inside the safe. This can be done with a heat-activated, expanding palusol seal, which is sure to fill any gaps or cracks and is a great option.

Quality safes with have a BTU rating for fire protection. Check the door for ratings and warranty. Image courtesy of Liberty Safe.

Quality safes will have a BTU rating for fire protection. Check the door for ratings and warranty. Image courtesy of Liberty Safe.

It is important that your safe have a door seal that will expand and close up the door gap when heat is applied. Image courtesy of Liberty Safe.

It is important that your safe has a door seal that will expand and close up the door gap when heated. Image courtesy of Liberty Safe.

The next layer of defense is the fireboard, and how it is installed in your safe matters. The fireboard’s purpose is to create a protected cool area in the safe when it is exposed to heat. It also acts as an insulation barrier. The best safes have CNC machines that cut the insulation to a precise pattern to match that specific safe. I’ve actually seen safes from China that had scraps and odd-sized pieces inserted along door jambs of the safe. I’ve seen gaps that you could put two fingers in along the top walls and floor of some of those same safes. A word of caution here: Most fire safes have a lock only to prevent pilfering. Whether it’s a combination lock or a simple key lock, you are only buying fire protection if there is no UL listing specifically for the residential security container certification.

Shown is a composite safe door with bent seams and waterjet-cut fireboard that fits tight. This helps protect the interior during a fire. Image courtesy of Liberty Safe.

Shown is a composite safe door with bent seams and waterjet-cut fireboard that exhibits a tight fit. This helps protect the interior during a fire. Image courtesy of Liberty Safe.

What’s In A Name?

It seems like everyone is selling gun safes these days: Local farm and home stores, big-box retailers, wholesale clubs, Amazon and sporting goods stores. I’ve seen countless brand names applied to safes. I mean, Jon Deere makes a fine tractor, but what do they know about gun safes? The sad truth is that plenty of companies, for a small royalty fee, will allow their name to be applied to junk imported here. I will recommend a few boxes you should check before buying a safe.

Is it UL listed?

How thick is the steel?

What brand of lock do they use, and how do they protect it from being drilled or punched?

What is the fire protection rating?

How many seams are welded?

What is the warranty?

Was it made in America?

As I began preparing for this series, I discovered just how much I didn’t know about gun safes. I have owned four different safes, and I am in the process of ordering my fifth, which I decided to acquire based on information I learned while preparing for this article. The safe that I have chosen is the FatBoy by Liberty Safes. It’s not the cheapest safe by any means, and it’s also not the most expensive, but I believe it will offer me the best protection for my guns against theft and fire for the money. Also, another word of advice. AAlways buy one size bigger than what you need today. The number one complaint from new safe owners is “I wish I had a bigger safe.”

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  • Ashleyt December 13, 2017, 1:14 am

    Nice post with great information about best gun safe . it will help me to buy best gun safe . thanks a lot

  • Edward Blocker October 29, 2017, 4:54 pm

    can anyone suggest me best gun safe to buy in 2017?

    • Rich T January 25, 2019, 3:53 pm

      Depends on the size you need and your budget. Researching safes for quite a while, check Sturdy Safes. Probably one of the best gun safes available and have tons of customer testimonials. Superior Safes and Summit Safes are also highly recommended. Good luck!

  • SteveInCC June 12, 2017, 1:44 pm

    I’m trying to decide on a safe for my mobile home, where excessive weight is a consideration. Intend to store both long guns and pistols, along with other valuables while traveling.
    Anchoring the safe is probably not going to be as effective either.

  • F Miller December 8, 2016, 5:51 pm

    I think that for me buying multiple 20 – 25 gun safes makes more sense than one large one. Easier to move and if one fails or is broken into the other might still be intact.

  • Joe December 6, 2016, 1:30 pm

    That drywall you are calling “fireboard” is not cut with a waterjet. Besides the fact that water would destroy it, angular cuts are clearly visible. Drywall is commany used in safes and effective, but why such blatant dishonesty?

    Cannon safes are generally the best value, read reviews on the electronic lock you are buying, but keep in mind they are fairly easy to replace or retrofit a dial lock. Like anything else, you get what you pay for.

    • Liberty Safe June 9, 2017, 3:42 pm

      Hi Joe, our fire-board is absolutely cut with water jets; manufactured and cut in the USA. We cut them right in our plant in Payson, UT. This allows us have precision cuts in the fire-board enabling us to get tighter tolerances when installing and fitting into tight places where other safe companies have to leave it out.

  • Cole Wyatt December 6, 2016, 9:42 am

    I own a small gunsmithing buisness I run out of my shop behind my house. My insurance provider told me that to fully insure my clients firearms, that I would need at least a TL-15 rated safe. TL stands for tool attack, 15 for the time it takes to professionals with tools to make entry. I ended up with a Brown Safe that is TL30 rated. No it is not cheap, but I had to look at it as an investment. 1 inch steel body with 1.5 inches of steel in the door. I can’t recommend enough the Brown safe company

  • Billy December 5, 2016, 2:57 pm

    Check out Graffunder steel not measured in gage it’s quater inch half inch inch or inch and a half . Heavy enough you’ll need a pallett jack to move it which would pull the anchors right out of your concrete. Do your homework and go big or go home cuz you will fill it

    • Rich T January 25, 2019, 3:59 pm

      Graffunder is the best of the best, and usually out of most people’s budget. A decent RSC can be purchased to protect firearms and keep them out of the hands of the unintended without having to take a mortgage out for a safe. Sturdy, Summit, and Superior safes should be on one’s short list of considerations.

  • steve Sutter December 5, 2016, 2:00 pm


  • Richard Williams November 30, 2016, 6:12 am

    Thanks for sharing with us your informative article series.

  • Chris November 14, 2016, 12:12 pm

    “Why do I need a safe?” Somehow you managed to miss a huge one. “I don’t want my kids or their friends to shoot themselves (or me).” Not sure how you do a five part series on gun safes and ignore this very common reason to buy a gun safe. I have guns in my house to protect my family if we are there when criminals attack. Fire? Theft? I can afford to replace them. Can’t say the same for an innocent life. Gun safety will be something my kids are taught, but assuming they are able to understand these concepts before they are old enough to pull a trigger is wishful thinking.

    • R. Johnson June 5, 2017, 9:32 pm

      Part 1 first caption:
      “If you have a gun collection, buying a gun safe is a must. It can keep them out of unqualified hands and also help protect your investments.”

  • lewis newland October 17, 2016, 7:36 pm

    I got a Centurion and it’s made in China I did not check when I brought it and got it home I almost took it back but it is heavy it is home. And I called and they gave a great review and now I see they should made in the USA. Are these safes GOOD!

    • Ken Kelley October 18, 2016, 6:18 am

      Hi Lewis! I cannot say anything about the safe you mentioned as I have not seen one of that brand. My wife and I have shopped for a safe for a couple of months and almost purchased one that was on sale however the store did not have any in stock! That one was the first one we considered simply because of the price. After shopping extensively and doing research on our own we found a Liberty Safe Store and chose a Fat Boy Jr. The reasons were (in this order) the warranty (visit Liberty’s site and see), made in the USA, price (It happened to be on sale and Liberty gives a rebate to Military and First Responders), and delivery fee ($150 where others wanted $250 to $475 just to bring it to the house and set it in the garage). I recommend you visit a Liberty Safe store or a big box store that handles Liberty Safes and take a look in person. Before you do, knock on the door of your safe then go knock on the door of a Liberty Safe. I suspect you will notice a difference! Are Liberty Safes expensive? Let me ask this….. How expensive are the valuables you intend to protect and does your current cover the contents as well as the safe itself? I am happy that I found a Liberty Safe store!

      • Richard Kelly December 5, 2016, 4:01 pm

        Love your advice! I have a Stack-On safe that I bought on sale at an Air Force Exchange gun store for approx $300 on sale. What is your opinion of that brand? My purpose for buying it was to secure my firearms and keep em out of sight from those eyes that have no business seeing them, especially children who may be visiting our house and wander off out of the sight of their parents who should be keeping them under control.

  • Gary August 15, 2016, 10:10 am

    I have a beautiful FN safe I bought almost 20 years ago. It is the second prettiest piece of furniture I own, even my wife loves the beautiful auto finish black paint, and all the gold trim on it.
    When I bought it, it was the heaviest safe for its size I could find. It had the longest burn protection at the highest temp as well. Some had nice digital locks for quick entry, This one had the drill and punch proof Sargent and Greenleaf Locking Dial lock on it. The gun shop I bought it at has not carried them in abought 10 years because they say they cost to much and people won’t spend the money.
    Two pieces of advice. Use a Good Car Wax on your safe at least once a year and it will look great forever!
    Second, hire a professional mover to bring it home!! I had six neighbors, we spent 4 hours and broke two BIG ropes pulling it through the front door of my house. Once in, it pulled my carpet up like it was never nailed down! And left a big fold in it as it stretched it too! (PS> take a look at the door, and see if it lifts off its hinges. Hint, the safe is as heavy as a dead horse, but Most of that weight is the Door!! Lift it off if at all possible before you try to move it.)
    I have never regretted paying what I did for my safe, it gives me peace of mind. I just wish I could find a second one..this one got pretty tight abought ten years ago. You will be shocked at what “HAS to go in the safe” once you own one! Ask your wife..she will tell you! Cameras, family photo albums, letters, titles, Rx’s get the idea. I could easily fill a second one with just that kind of stuff!
    Buy quality and buy BIG! You won’t regret it! Just reinforce your floor before you do. Better safe than sorry! No pun intended..i don’t think. 🙂

  • Matt July 11, 2016, 10:05 am

    I bough a liberty fat boy and I don’t regret a single penny spent on it. I wish I could have had this article to accompany me in my safe buying venture. The only thing I would say is it is not as deep as you expect but it is a fantastic safe, the fit and finish is excellent and to me was worth buying.

  • dhconner July 5, 2016, 1:45 am

    What you know about welding I could put simply: little or nothing. I worked for the company that built the St. Louis Arch, and is now owned by Chicago Bridge and Iron. I was certified in 9 processes and all positions except 5 G. My ID number, 39, is on structures all over the world, mostly water towers, bulk dry tanks, and bridges. Every piece that goes out the door has had a ramdom X-ray done on it, and I NEVER FAILED AN X-ray OR A TEST-TO-DESTRUCTION. To begin with, the metal welding rods or wire is made of is of much higher purity than the parent metal to be welded, often double or triple vacuum melted to ensure quality. Second, proper technique is of the utmost importance, being certain to get each leg of the weld equal and with the correct amount of time on weld. Even at several thousand Degrees, time is required to get the correct flow and penetration, which is generally about `1/50th of an inch, although some machines will practically dig a trench for the puddle to flow into. Things have changed much in 40 years, and for the better. Cleaner and better shielding gases, improved rod coatings, smoother and more stable current – a host of things. The one thing that hasn’t changed is the welder’s determination to make the weld as near to perfect as possible. A welder has to have the hand & eye co-ordination of a surgeon, and to recognize an error or problem almost instantly. This crap that comes out of China looks, for the most part, like it was welded by a drunken monkey. Variances in weld height, straightness, leg equality, correctly filled ends of welds to eliminate stress risers – I would be ashamed to put my number to that garbage. In fact, I wouldn’t. I’d get a gouge, cut it out and do it again, the right way. And I’ve told more than one employer I won’t make the scribbled welds they’ll settle for – I value my pride and integrity far too much to be associated with that BS. “You’ve got my address. Mail my check. I don’t need this BS and I am outa here”. In exactly those words. Weak welds ?? Horse shit. Only an idiot would make one intentionally, the unschooled or improperly taught in ignorance, and only a cretin would buy a product that exhibited any welding fault what so ever. Lincoln Electric publishes a fundamental tome for about $40, or a little more. It’s not a comic book. It is large, thick, and has no “editor’s filler” to increase it’s size. Buy it. Read it. Read it again. And again, and again. Then you’ll begin to understand, and ye,s it takes several readings to absorb even half of what’s there. But you will the know something about welding, and not go whacko again with “weak welds”. One other thing – avoid like the plague the “RedHead” brand sold by ProBass. Mine is 5 years old, something has failed in the locking mechanism, and I can’t get in it. Fort Knox are the best, and accordingly priced. $2,000 seems like a lot of money, but you add up scopes, rifles, rings, bases, handguns, shotguns, ammunition, magazines, and all the rest of it, to say nothing of the custom work you have had done by a Master Gunsmiths at Cylinder and Slide. That 2 grand isn’t all that much, is it? Didn’t think so.

    • Jim Dandy December 5, 2016, 5:50 pm

      Wow, I wish I could be as cool as you.

    • Oaf December 6, 2016, 1:30 am

      And what exactly does your extensively long diatribe, bragging about your supposedly impeccable welding skills, have to do with the article?

      • Dwb June 23, 2020, 5:43 am

        i think the guy that’s bragging on his welding is a frigging bigot and a damn idiot

    • Jonny5 December 31, 2016, 4:10 am

      I am now wet at the tip.

    • Tony January 22, 2017, 3:43 am

      Well No. 39, Iam not just a , wait a second”, I understand exactly why you took the time to explain what you have and exactly what it was you were pointing out, it had every thing to do with this subject and it is very helpful to know some one whom has such past knowledge and experience and please except my hand shake for the quality you have undertaken in life, as I read after yours posted here, some could take a learning of mankind and protecting those we may never know or could be our own children under those welds. The thousands and thousands of miles of continuous welds and rivets that hold our nation together as well around the world are seamless and should never be tainted apon by any one.
      This being said and having been dealt with now, finding that happy medium of security and fire resistance is a difficult one for our home and family.. Fort Knox are a very nice brand, I have been interested in looks and nostalgia such as Rhino how ever it does come down to TL and RSC and if I want all that cool rivet and extra corner looks, I can add it my self and repaint it after I get the base unit home. LOL I don’t have a cool number ,, and it truly is a very cool thing, I just am a small horse farmer 100% disabled vet person whom understands what it takes to be apart of and what it takes to loose it all and to still stand up proudly and I will still do it again to day, tomorrow and any time that Iam needed or requested to be there.
      Every maker of safes no matter what name is applied, makes a lesser model and maximum model, for their business, and it is our job to read though all the candidates writings and videos to find the one or several safes that will be best for our selves. I have a feeling of a 72x42x30 in the $900.00 to $1,200.00 range, modifying the inside door edges with solid stock, opening the back of the door up and reinforcing the door sliding pins from bending tin actuators with 1/4″ every thing possible or larger rods or what ever I feel will be helpful to my family’s safety from,, people whom feel it is necessary to do wrong,,,,,,,,, child’s wild one time party when the parents are away that 1 time in their trusted life ,,,,,,,,,,, the airplane that scared the squirrel that the dog chases knocking over a table and the lantern that every one said would be fine while they went out front is now burning down your house,,,,,, these are what I need a safe for , it is real, it is life, no one should slam any one ever for wanting to help.
      I volunteer at our small school doing the recesses k-8, I take safety VERY serious, when you explain to a kindergartener that you are not there to get them into trouble but to help them learn together and that I am watching for not only injuries and who done what but I am mostly watching out for whom may be coming on to the grounds and it is for them that Iam there, not so much as for the students. And the students get it, they truly see it, respect it and understand it with out influence. Kindergarten or 8th or a senior graduating.
      So now that I have said about one thousandth of my life to the world, can I get a cool as you shout out too cause our children IS our future and safety , security IS why we are all here NOW, not latter after the game or Iam to tired right now while playing candy crush.
      National security, Fort Knox, Winchester, so many more, they all are diamonds in the rough, just as our children are, Pick your tumblers, arrange the shelving, beef up the week points so THEY feel safer 🙂

  • Corby miller June 28, 2016, 7:12 am

    I own a Liberty Fat Boy and I love it, I know several friends with Liberties too. They are very well made and reliable. Keep in mind when buying a safe, they hold 1/3 – 1/2 the guns they say they do if you have bolts, slings and scopes on your guns. A 48 gun safe really holds about 20-25 long guns.

  • John Payne June 27, 2016, 9:23 pm

    I agree with the first comment… Sturdy Safe. Very well made and excellent fireproofing. Not fancy or pretty but it does what it is made for.

  • Robert. June 27, 2016, 5:59 pm

    Sturdy safes!! best quality for the money on the planet! I can’t say enough good things about them. Made in Calif. by a christian family. look at them on utube, price them, you won’t be disappointed. Best safe I have ever owned!

    • coltlvr June 27, 2016, 8:24 pm

      What safe are your commenting about?

      • Kevin July 18, 2016, 1:29 pm

        “Sturdy Safes” That is the name of the company he is referring.

        • Jim December 5, 2016, 6:31 pm

          And Yes, They are really well made. As one commenter said, they are not the prettiest safe but they are built like a tank with tight fitting doors and heavy materials.

  • Beachhawk June 27, 2016, 3:44 pm

    I wish someone would build a narrow safe, set up exclusively for handguns, for condo and apartment dwellers who have limited space for a safe.

    • Dan Colestock December 6, 2016, 5:17 pm

      Sam’s Club sells a tall, narrow Sentinel 12-Gun Executive Fire-Resistant Safe with Dial Combination Lock, Item #795917 that should meet your apartment needs, they were marked down to $279.00 on Black Friday
      For our home I recently bought a larger safe from Sam’s Club, I would like to read knowledgeable opinions on its quality:
      Stack-On 35-Gun Fire/Waterproof Safe – Item #743181 Model #TDS35GPES $499.00
      ETL Fire rating of 60 minutes at up to 1400°F, waterproof rating of up to 2 feet of water for 72 hours
      Electronic lock (3-8 digits), eight locking bolts (five 1.5″ live action and three 1″ deadbolts)
      Door storage and 4 adjustable shelves to securely store handguns, ammo, paperwork, other valuables
      29.25″ D x 25.5″ W x 59″ H, 562 lbs.

  • Beachhawk June 27, 2016, 3:40 pm

    I live in a condo, so I have limited space for a safe. My gun collection consists mostly of handguns. I really wish someone would make a narrow safe set up exclusively for handguns. I’m sure that other condo and apartment dwellers would be happy to buy one.

  • Mark June 27, 2016, 2:59 pm

    I have two Champion Crown series safes and love em. They are big, heavy and would at least slow down some zombies. I’m very happy with the Champion safes and the service I got from my dealer. I had two much smaller Liberty units before the Champions and they were fine also I just needed something much larger with the current political climate being what it is…… Time to fill em up!!

  • Safeman June 27, 2016, 11:28 am

    I sold safes for 15 years and when deciding what brand to sell I chose the one with the best price per pound. That turns out to be American Security safes. This company makes bank vaults so they know how to make gun safes as well. I compared them to Liberty safes, which is a very good safe, and American Security has better fire protection and the comparable sized safes weigh more than Liberty. Take a look before you buy. As a footnote, a safe cost about what a person would spend for one nice handgun or long gun. Protect them all with a good quality gun safe.

  • Mike June 27, 2016, 9:33 am

    Yep bigger is better, always plan for more than you expect. Liberty builds an excellent affordable safe and they stand behind their product. One note on locks, electronic is nice but when the SHTF and you find your batteries dead or electronics fried by an EMP you will have wished you had a good Sargent & Greenleaf dial lock! Liberty can send you a conversion kit for about $99 to relieve the anxiety, a good locksmith can put it in in less than 30 min.

  • Cole Wyatt June 27, 2016, 9:21 am

    I have seen several so called “safes” that have been exposed to fire and roughly half failed to keep the contents safe. Keep in mind most of these fires were extinguished within 15-20 minutes. Some reached flashover conditions and some did not. We have also seen so many of the big box store safes that have been opened with simply tools in minutes. Just keep in mind that you get what you pay for. When I chose my personal gun safe, I went with Graffunder Safe and Vault. Yes it was expensive but I looked at it as an investment rather than a purchase. And it is something that I can pass down to my children.

  • DanMiller June 27, 2016, 7:32 am

    Great information! Keep articles coming! I need another safe, a real safe! One I can count on to protect my investments! Thanks!

  • DRAINO June 16, 2016, 2:10 pm

    I have a Fatboy and I LOVE IT!!! Only problem is, I wish I had a bigger one or another one. Unfortunately, this was the largest gun capacity gun safe that I could find made in America from a reputable company like Liberty Safes. And one other thing to consider on the rated gun capacity….they don’t really take mounted optics into consideration when figuring how many guns can fit in a given safe. Scopes take up a lot of room in a safe. Another good reason to buy bigger than you think you will need. But there is no second guessing the decision to buy one. Get it now if you don’t have one!!!! But buy good and buy BIG!! Buy a Fatboy!! lol

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