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They keep your most precious valuables safe. They protect your children. They're tough as nails, and in some cases can withstand fires and floods.
If you own a firearm, you stand to benefit from buying a gun safe.
Of course, it's easier said than done. The best gun safe for you is not the best for your friend. You need to know how to buy a gun safe before you start shopping around.
Join us for a quick gun safe guide before you finalize your purchase.
The big question to ask yourself when setting out to buy a gun safe is this: what do you need it for?
If you're a gun enthusiast, you need a safe place to keep your precious armory. If you're a government employee, you need a location to store your duty weapon. The types of firearms you own and the purposes they serve will inform your decision.
Plus, a gun safe usually doubles as a storage place for valuables. Most gun safes have ample room for your firearms and ammunition, in addition to sensitive documents.
Further, you have to decide what features matter to you. If you just need a simple solution to lock up your firearm, you might be able to save some money. But if you're worried about fires or floods, you'll need to shell out more dough.
You'll need a place to put it, too. Safes are not easy to move, so you'll need a pathway for someone to install it.
The first consideration is what type of gun you intend to store. Everything from the AR-15 to the Mosin Nagant varies wildly in barrel length. Proper clearance for all your firearms is a must.
Plus, you have to consider if you plan to purchase other firearms down the line. Shotguns, carbines, and even long pistol-variant firearms need a taller height.
You may only own a pistol as a service weapon, and don't plan to upgrade your armory. In that case, the average pistol cabinet will serve you well.
Most safes come in a form factor that you can fit through the average doorway. But depending on where you plan to put the safe, the hassle of getting it there might not be worth it. If the only place you can put it is in the attic, you'll be out of luck.
As a general rule, it's good to buy a larger safe than you currently need--if you can afford it. Who knows, you might decide to buy more guns in the future. It would be incredibly unfortunate to have to make such an expensive purchase again.
Not all gun safes are equal. Some come with cheap, thin metal. They have joint-welded edges, making them vulnerable to anyone with shop tools.
If you want this safe to last to the end of time, you'll want top-grade steel. This is more expensive, but it's an investment that will last multiple generations. It will prove near impossible to crack.
That said, the average thief won't come equipped with power tools. While a cheaper safe might cave to your average hand drill, the burglar that breaks into your house won't be bringing on. Sometimes, a safe serves best as a deterrent rather than an impenetrable security solution.
Many safes come with some form of anti-tamper mechanism. For example, a safe may feature a re-locker mechanism. In the event someone attempts to drill into the safe, the re-locker seals it off and adds hours of time needed before the safe will open again.
The best gun safes require very little gun safe care. They can function flawlessly for decades with little to no maintenance.
House fires can get up to 600 degrees. While that may not melt your guns, it will char their wooden components and render them useless. Your precious documents will disappear in a flash, too.
The best gun safe for most people is one that does double duty. Look for a safe that includes a separate upper or lower shelf where you can keep documents. Be sure that you keep your ammunition and cleaning supplies separate, to avoid staining the documents with gun oil.
In some cases, safes don't fireproof the entire construction. They have a fire-proof lining in only one of the drawers, saving you money instead of having a full-fireproof safe.
If you live in an area prone to flooding, the same applies. Watertight safes will keep everything safe and sound.
There are a lot of little features that could make a big difference in the sort of safe you buy.
For example, you may want a digital lock. They're a lot easier to operate, compared to the standard combination locks. No need to worry that you'll lock yourself out since they'll have a physical override mechanism.
Further, you can improve your storage solutions. Some safes maximize the internal space, such as including door-mounted storage pockets.
If you own a lot of scopes, you might want to invest in a safe with a rotary storage rack. You can include an internal light so you can see the contents in any lighting situation.
Now that you know how to buy a gun safe, go out and get one. Make sure you take into consideration everything mentioned above: size, build quality, and fire/water protection. Buy a cheap safe as a means to keep guns away from children, or a big, expensive one that you can hand down to them when they grow up.
Not sure where to start? Check out Action Armory's selection of safes and safe add-ons. You're sure to find the right safe for you, and the customer service will be glad to assist.