Gun Safe Options Under $1000

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For those that like to hunt, target shoot, or carry a gun for self defense; a safe becomes a necessity at some point. There are so many gun safe options on the market that the choice can be difficult at times. I’m not saying I know everything about safes, but one thing I have figured out over the last twenty years of being a gun owner is to get the biggest one you can afford.

stack on gun safeI originally started with a stack on gun safe that my in-laws had bought me one year as a Christmas gift. It was my first safe and I was happy to have it. Being light and inexpensive was both a positive and a negative for the little cabinet. Luckily it had holes pre-drilled so that we could bolt it into the studs of a wall. Unfortunately it could also be pried open very easily with a crowbar, so it had to be well hidden.

About 6 years later I upgraded to a Sentry 14 gun safe that I had bought at Walmart for 329 dollars, I don’t think they even make them anymore. It was heavier at just under 200 pounds, pre-drilled to bolt to the floor and the hinges were recessed: which made it harder to get into. I wasn’t a big fan of the lack of fire rating and the fact that you could barely fit 6 long rifles into a 14 gun gun safe.

We searched for something with more of a fire rating, weighed around 500 lbs, had a large capacity, a manual locking mechanism, and fit into our budget. We were surprised to find that the locking mechanism was probably the hardest criteria to satisfy; it seems most of the manual large capacity safes were all well over $1500. For the price range we were looking in; electronic locks were the norm for safes below $1000.

Stack-On 24-Gun Combination Gun Safe: $660.67
  • Lowes 24 gun safe1400° F 30 minute rating
  • 2-way locking with 3 – 1″ steel live action locking bolts
  • 2 dead bolts for 5 locking points
  • Safe holds 24 firearms up to 54″ tall
  • Exterior Height (Inches) 55
  • Exterior Width (Inches) 29.25
  • Exterior Depth (Inches) 19
  • Combination Lock
  • Weight 418 lbs
RedHead® 18 Gun Fire-Resistant Gun Safe: $899
  • shoppingTextured Charcoal finish with unique graphics
  • 1200, 45 minute fire protection rating,
  • 3-spoke handle
  • combination lock
  • Safe Holds 18/9 Guns
  • 12-gauge steel body with 1/2″ of insulation
  • Body measures 58″ x 30″ x 20″ for 20 cubic feet of storage space
  • Duo-Plus interior
  • Weight: 455 lbs
Cabela’s Woodsman 25 Gun Safe by Liberty: $979.99
  • Cabelas 2540-minute fire rating at 1200 degrees
  • Secure locking bolts
  • Steel gussets for added pry protection
  • 11-gauge
  • two-piece roll-form bodies
  • Combination Lock
  • 60.5″H x 30″W x 25″D
  • Weight: 485 lbs
Stack-On 36-Gun Electronic Lock, Matte Black: $997.64
  • walmart 36 inch60 minute rating at 1400 degrees
  • Four-way locking
  • 1.5″ steel live-action ten-locking bolt points
  • Hardened steel plate behind the lock
  • Electronic Lock
  • Time-out period after 3 incorrect attempts (trouble key included)
  • Batteries included and easily accessible from front of safe
  • Drill-resistant, hardened-steel plate behind lock
  • Weight: 545.0 lbs
RedHead® Fire-Resistant 25-Gun Safe: $999.99
  • shopping (1)Holds 18 rifles and shotguns
  • 45 minutes of 1,200° fire protection
  • Two layers of 1/2″ insulation
  • 12-gauge steel body
  • 2-way lock bolts
  • Force Deflector™ locking system
  • 1″ formed door
  • 3-spoke handle
  • Weight: 515 lbs
Sentry Safe 26-Gun Capacity Safe: $999.99
  • Home depot 26 gun safeETL verified 30 minutes at 1400 degrees
  • UL listed type 1 electronic lock
  • UL listed residential security container
  • Full door back organizer
  • UL listed residential security container
  • 2.5 mm all steel construction
  • 12 extra-large, 3-way locking bolts
  • Weight: 531.6 lbs
Field & Stream Pro 40 + 8 Gun Fire Safe: $999.99
  • Field And Stream30 minutes at 1400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Four number electronic lock
  • Internal lock reset button
  • Drill-resistant
  • Hardened steel plate behind lock
  • Recessed door is pry resistant
  • Five spoke spin handle in chrome
  • External hinges
  • Weight: 545 lbs
Cannon Gun Safe, 48 Gun Capacity: $999.99
  • Cannon 48 Gun SafeFire rating of 1,200° F for 30 minutes
  • Type 1 LED-lighted UL® electronic lock
  • Three layers of extra-hard 60+ RC steel hard-plate
  • Inner Height – 57-3/8 in.
  • Inner Length – 18-3/4 in.
  • Inner Width – 38-1/2 in.
  • Built-in media box provides 2 outlets and 2 USB ports inside the safe
  • Weight 570 lb.

After weighing our options, we decided on the Cannon; which was actually $899 when we bought it. It was the heaviest; had the most capacity and the better options. It did not make sense for us to buy one of the smaller safes with the combination mechanism and almost half the capacity.

ImageWithin several months the electronic lock started to be an issue; we were going through a new 9 volt battery weekly. We called Cannon and they offered to replace the lock for us; but after discussing it over; we decided to replace the electronics with a manual combination lock.

It’s amazing how simple these things are on the inside after removing the fire protection. After about a hour, we had what we wanted originally; a large, heavy, fire rated safe with a spin dial.

It cost us 250 to replace it, so our total out of pocket was right around 1150; which was much cheaper than the other options we had looked at.

One thing I found while researching; it is really difficult to compare fire ratings between different manufacturers because they all do their testing differently. I have a friend that owns a gun shop even tell me that some companies will do their testing with their safes laying on their backs; how many people install their gun-safes in that manner?

Make sure to keep an eye out during holiday sales, especially black Friday. Dicks was offering this for $799 just a couple moths ago. If I had not bought the Cannon already, I would have been severely tempted.

pDSP1-19717566v750

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You put a lot of time and money into your collection, so protect your arsenal with the Sentinel® 64 Gun Fire Safe. 3 live action locking bolts and 2 deadbolts keep the door shut tight, while the electronic lock prevents unwanted access by intruders. The interior features a plush interior with barrel rests to keep your firearms from scratches or damage. The Sentinel® 64 Gun Fire Safe includes an electronic personal safe.

FEATURES:

  • 64-gun fire safe and personal safe
  • Manufacturer’s Limited Lifetime Guarantee and Limited Five Year Warranty
  • Model: FSS-64-BH-E
  • Stack-On

64 GUN FIRE RESISTANT SAFE:

  • Stores up to 64 firearms
  • ETL Fire Rated at 1400° for 30 minutes
  • 3 live action locking bolts and 2 deadbolts
  • Door storage
  • Carpeted barrel rests
  • Tan plush interior
  • 3-spoked rubberized handles
  • Electronic lock with key access
  • Dimensions: W 40″ x D 25″ x H 55″
  • Weight: 520 lbs.

PERSONAL SAFE:

  • Solid steel construction
  • Electronic lock with backup key override
  • Easy to read keypad and low battery light
  • Time-out period after 3 incorrect combination attempts
  • 2 steel live action locking bolts
  • Pry-resistant door
  • Concealed hinges
  • 1 removable shelf
  • Foam padded bottom and shelf
  • Dimensions: W 13 3/16″ x D 9 13/16″ x H 9 3/16″
  • Weight: 26.31 lbs.

Stay safe in the woods.

2 COMMENTS

  1. About locks someone (a sales guy) once told me that no matter what brand gun safe you buy, look for an S&G lock. Fellow went so far as to say, don’t care where ya buy it, just do yourself a favor and follow this advice.

    Turns out to be true, I have 3 pals with “rooms” full of safes, all of them have trouble with the locks except for the S&G locks.

  2. I’ve been reading up regarding fireproof gun safes. Obviously there are many opinions and factors that weigh into the decision.
    Personally, I like to live by the old saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”, but for the eggs in there, there are many options.
    Wonderboard, Gypsum, multiple layers of 5/8″ sheetrock, and firecaulk surrounding or even encapsulating the safe. Also, location. Closets are good on the exterior of the house, and would be better suited on a lower level as heat rises, but has it’s downsides as it’s easier for burglary, even if the thing weighs 700#.
    The closet option is obvious, but also because it creates the airgap with 5 of the 6 sides. And firefighters have said they’ve opened closets where the doors are burned halfway down, singed clothing on top, nothing on bottom. I’ve also seen this while working for cleaning and restoration. I’ve also caused many fires as an electrician(j/k, I hope).
    One FF thought it’d be a good idea to run PVC through the attic and a resi sprinkler to the safe room. If I were doing it, I’d probably research which kinds of steel are most durable temperature-wise, and run a 1/2″ hardline to that room, possibly on the exterior of the home, and of course, insulated/protected. And of course, bolting the heck out of it.
    I must have this imaginary vision that if I had a safe on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th floor ect./, and the fire rose up, it’d take out the center of the house before the corners, assuming it doesn’t start at the corners. Then I’d watch my safe fall to the ground out the side of the home.

    The topic also had me thinking, why do so many house layouts have the garage(where chemicals/solvents/flammables are stored) above the Master bedrooms ? The most valuable items are likely there, and right next door with the kids, along with the most capable humans to help other’s manage escape.
    Living rooms rarely sit on garages, at least in my corner of the U.S. .

    Ideally, It’d be great(fun)to build an option where an outdoor hardlined sprinkler were run on the other side of the safe wall, with parallel rods(maybe thick rebar) bonded to the sprinkler line at several points, running vertically, which in turn was fastened to the wall the safe is bolted to.

    In any case(heh heh), I think it’s time to relocate my chemicals in my garage, and safety up the area.
    It’s amazing what some low cost low-voltage devices can save/alert you from.