In the gun safe industry, there is a major focus on safety and security. There is no doubt that securing your firearms is an incredibly important responsibility, but does the traditional gun safe offer your firearms a realistic level security from realistic threats? In most cases, the answer is “no”, unfortunately.
To understand why this is the case, it’s critical to understand what level of security gun safes use. The vast majority of gun safes on the market are listed as a Residential Security Container (RSC). This is something the gun safe industry promotes in their marketing, touting it as a high level of security — but what exactly is an RSC? How does it protect your valuables?
Exploring the Questions
To get the RSC certification the safe has to pass a test performed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). The purpose of the test is to open the safe with a 4″ in diameter or greater hole. The test uses hand tools that must be shorter than 18″ and weigh less than 3 pounds. The testers have 5 minutes to open the safe, and if they fail then the safe can be labeled as a Residential Security Container.
UL Class RSC means
5 minute protection from these tools
Classs RSC is a 1970 standard designed to meet 1970 treats. Today thieves use power tools and can open safes in a few minutes. A modern battery powered a circular saw with a carbide blade cuts throuygh RSC gun safes like butter. You can still use an RSC to protect your firearms, but it’s important to understand the actual level of security.
Finding an Answer to the Problem
So what’s the answer to this threat? Stealth is always your biggest ally, no one can break into what they can’t find. The gun safe industry advertises safes as beautiful family heirlooms with images of a big safe in the den next to a fireplace and lazy-boy chair. Displaying your safe for all to see is in-congruent with basic security protocols. Safes should be hidden and always be bolted down.
Class RSC is no longer relevant
The RSC certification is at best an arbitrary safety standard created in the 1970s. Modern high power battery tools available open these safes in minutes. The standard is simply outdated. While an RSC could protect your valuables from a casual smash and grab, it will not hold up against modern power tools or the determined thief.
If you are determined to buy a big heavy safe:
Always choose a safe that is doubled walled with a cement or composite filling between the steel layers. The combination of steel and concrete will defeat most power tools, and give you the best level of home security. A professional thief can break into most safes. What you are paying for is time. The RSC standard gets you 1-3 minutes access from a pro. A good double-walled, filled safe gets you hours or a day.
Tom’s famous SHOT Show presentation
A detailed look at what went wrong with the gun safe industry
Do you Actually Need a Fire-Rated Gun Safe? To answer this question, it helps to first answer a few other questions. Namely, how long does it take for your fire department to respond to a call? Is it a matter of a few minutes or will it take the better part of
What’s in this article Gun safes: from 1850s till nowHow venture capitol killed quality in lieu of profitsWhy security and fire ratings are no longer valid What you need to know Gun Safes are not secure against modern threats Modern gun safe ratings are vastly overstate In the past 10 years we
Gun safe corrosion is a real threat Why there are so many products on the market designed to slow or stop corrosion in a gun safe? Most armorers will tell you if a gun is properly cleaned and oiled it should not rust. Yet in safes, corrosion is a hot topic and
Most gun safes are built to protect against a 1970 threat level. A modern saw will cut right through them
In this video I use an old skill saw and a modern carbide blade. It take about 15 seconds to get it started but then it cuts through a premier US made gun safe like butter.
These saws blades are designed to field cut 1/2 thick rebar on construction sights.
Thicker steel means a more secure safe. WRONG
Whether it is thin 1/16″ or 1/4″ plate, these saw blades go right through it. Thickness of steel is no longer a measure of security.
So what do you do?
You need to look at gun safes as preventing unauthorized access and the casual smash and grab thief. If heavy safes are not more secure, why deal with the hassle of all that weight? The average American moves every 6 years. it will cost you more to move a heavy safes the the price to buy it.
Use lighter smaller modular gun safes. Locate them is places where thieves do not look.
Common Security Misconceptions
What the gun safe industry refuses to acknowledge is that any gun safe can be broken into. They often push the idea that you’re getting greater security because of stickers and labels. The UL rating for security does not consider the use of an inexpensive carbide saw blade. It’s these types of blades that will destroy your safe.
When addressing this issue, another common misconception is that the saw cutting the steel will create smoke. If you’re assuming conveniently placed smoke alarm will scare off a would-be thief, you’re mistaken. The apparent “smoke” is actually not smoke at all. What you’re often seeing when this is demonstrated is the dust from the drywall inside of your safe.
The drywall itself is another security concern that gun owners should be aware of. It is often assumed that the weight from these “safes” is due to the steel. That is incorrect. What you are often getting is thin steel that is then layered with drywall and carpeting. Once a thief has made their way through the steel, the drywall and carpeting are gone in under a minute along with your valuables.
So, how do you solve this problem? With a double, steel-walled cement filled gun safe. These safe have been on the market for some time but are often looked at as unpopular because they “don’t look pretty” and aren’t a showpiece. But the truth is, security should always come first when considering a gun safe. With a gun safe like the TRUE, security is the primary focus. This security is a function of steel and the cement composite.
Even if someone were to cut through the outer steel wall, once the saw blade hits the cement that blade is toast. Furthermore, if someone were to be successful in removing a section of steel, they would then have to work their way through 2.5” of cement and then another wall of steel. You now have time on your side whereas a residential security container disguised as a safe can be cut open in seconds.
To answer this question, it helps to first answer a few other questions. Namely, how long does it take for your fire department to respond to a call? Is it a matter of a few minutes or will it take the better part of an hour? If you are protecting documents, should you consider an actual fire-box that’s designed to protect documents, instead of a safe that’s meant to slow down the heating process? It’s well documented that traditional safes do not perform as they say they do. Are you able to afford a true, poured concrete fire safe? Even if you could, do you really need one?
A good suggestion is to consider response time of your fire department — go ahead and call them, they can tell you how long it takes to get to your house. Pair that with the physics of how fires burn.
In today’s gun safe market, fire-resistance is a ubiquitous marketing tool companies use to sell their gun safes. It’s meant to make customers feel good that in case of a fire their safe would protect their firearms or valuables. The truth is many of these safes would fail miserably in a real fire. How did fire ratings become a false badge of merit?
History of the Fire-Resistant Gun Safe
In the early-mid 19th century fire was a serious problem. In fact, one of the patents for the first fire safe was destroyed in a fire. Back then they were made out of Plaster of Paris, and then cement, as the plaster caused water damage. In both cases, during a fire, the water in the poured fillings would soak up massive amounts of heat energy from the fire, and fill the safe as steam — protecting the contents from a fire.
Today, fires are not nearly as common. Building codes and modern materials are effective at reducing the impact and chance of a fire, however they still happen and should still be taken seriously. The problem is that the original designs (Plaster of Paris) have been replaced by drywall because drywall is cheaper and fire-resistant. You see, making fire resistant safes is somewhat easy, but making fire-resistant gun safes is not. Guns safes are a lot larger and require more material, so manufacturers switched to cheaper materials to boost their bottom lines. The issue however, is drywall, while fire-resistant, is practically useless against a fire because it doesn’t keep the heat out.
Some people might say, “Well, something is better than nothing.” That’s not true. In this case the drywall being used is ineffective and can actually damage your firearms. The materials used in imported drywall are corrosive to your firearms and ammo — this is something we discuss in depth in our corrosion article.
Unless it has some type of poured filling, don’t count on it protecting your guns in a fire.
If you want to upgrade your current gun safe, protect your valuable firearms from damage, or organize your weapons for quick access — the Retrofit kits will help you do that. We have a few different options to fit different needs. All of the kits come with hardware to attach them to the inside of a safe. Specifically, 4 drywall anchors and 4 sheetrock screws.
Retrofit Kit 2
The smallest kit is the Retrofit Kit 2, it’s great for organizing your tactical weapons for quick access or deployment. Sometimes our customers will outfit half of their safe with a Retrofit Kit 2 for their MSRs and keep their lever actions or shotguns in the old half of their safe. The Retrofit Kit 2 uses an injection-molded olefin grid wall, which is rated for the same weight as the steel panel but is much lighter. You will need at least 6″ of space to install the Retrofit Kit 2.
Retrofit Kit 6
If you need more rifle storage then consider the Retrofit Kit 6 which allows you to completely retrofit a safe and store 6 rifles or shotguns. The Retrofit Kit 6 uses the same type of grid as the Retrofit Kit 2, and each grid has a tongue-in-groove design that locks them together on the wall. The Retrofit Kit 6 needs 17.5″ of space in your safe, however, it comes in 3 pieces just under 6″ each so you can break it up as you need to.
If you don’t feel comfortable fastening the grid wall into your safe with screws, the Retrofit Kits are the best option as you can attach them with Velcro, double-sided tape, or a construction adhesive.
If you have a lot of gear, mags, or just need more storage space, take a look at the Steel Retrofit kits. The Steel 6 comes with the components to store 6 rifles and has two panels that give you a lot of space to use accessories.
The biggest kit, for the ultimate upgrade in your existing safe, is our Steel 12. It comes with 2 large panels, both store 6 rifles, and has enough real estate for Metal Storage Trays, Bins, or some Pistol Pegs. The Steel 12 spans a total of 34.5″ wide, but each panel is 17.25″ wide by 36″ tall so you can install them in two areas, or put them together.
The Steel kits also come with hardware to attach them to the inside of your safe, and we recommend using the screws due to the panel weight and potential accessory storage weight.
Do you live in a condo or an apartment? Do you move often? Have to deal with an HOA? If so then a big, heavy gun safe is not the best option for you.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more Americans are renting homes rather than buying. It is also expected that the average American will move 11 times during their life. With many Americans living this on-the-go, ever-moving lifestyle, finding a firearm storage system that not only keeps your guns secure but can also be adaptive to your living situation is crucial.
Proper firearm storage for many living situations can be difficult. Most homeowners association rules block the use of heavy safes in condos and townhomes. With that in mind, SecureIt offers a selection of gun storage solutions to keep your firearms safe, secure, and quickly accessible in a crisis situation.
Consider the Agile line of gun cabinets and the FAST Box line of hidden gun safes. Both of these gun storage solutions provide safety, security, are accepted by HOAs and are easily moved if needed.
The Agile Model 52
With the ability to do everything a traditional gun safe can do, the Agile Model 52 is a lightweight alternative to those unreasonably heavy gun safes.
The Model 52 features knockdown technology which can be very helpful if you move on an annual basis. It allows you to disassemble the entire safe in a matter of minutes. When disassembled it lays flat and compact for discrete and easy moving. Because let’s face it, you don’t want everyone to know what your safe looks like let alone that you have one. Also eliminating the extra expense and hassle of specialized movers. However, if you want to move it fully assembled the 52 is ultralight, weighing in at a 105 pounds. Do keep in mind, the added weight of each firearm. No worries though, grab a friend and you’ll get it done in the same amount of time.
The Fast Box Model 40 & Model 47
These hidden gun storage systems provide secure storage while not sacrificing the element of fast access.
The four button touch keypad allows you to secure your firearm with your own combination. It is discrete and can be mounted under a bed, vertically in a closet, or mounted in a car or truck. The heavy-duty all-welded steel construction makes it durable which is perfect for mobile application. A recessed full piano hinge door, also makes it adaptable for any position. The best part? It weighs less than 50 pounds.
Custom Gun Walls and Retrofitting
Already have a cabinet that your okay with or looking for something that allows for more space to be utilized? Then perhaps retrofitting your existing gun cabinet or building a custom gun wall in a lockable area is more for you!
With a SecureIt Retrofit Kit, you can upgrade a gun cabinet with the CradleGrid system and enjoy the plethora of storage accessories. Alternatively, building a custom gun wall inside a lockable room or closet allows you to store your firearms without having to deal with any large safes or cabinets making it easier to tear down in the event you plan to move in the future.
If living in a condo or apartment is the right choice for you. SecureIt is the smart choice for your secure firearms storage.
Gun safes: from 1850s till now How venture capitol killed quality in lieu of profits Why security and fire ratings are no longer valid
What you need to know
Gun Safes are not secure against modern threats Modern gun safe ratings are vastly overstate
In the past 10 years we have seen wall street investment firms move into the gun safe business. Liberty Safe in owned by an investment firm. in 2018 Canon safe company purchased the larger Stack-on company. This was funded by Wall Street investment money. When gun sales surged in the Obama years, Wall street looked at the safe industry as a growth opportunity. The result is these poplar safe companies are no longer working to make the best product possible for their customers. They are all working to maximize shareholder value. The result is make the cheapest safe you can and sell it for as much as possible.
SHOT Show Presentation
Tom takes you through a detailed look at the gun safe industry and how it failed.
Gun Safe History
The gun safe industry is as American as apple pie and the wild west. Built on thick heavy US steel, glossy paint, and fancy pinstriping. Unfortunately, this industry has lost its heritage. Gone are the days of real American gun safes and the men who built them, the achievers, the men whose word was their bond. The American “modern gun safe” industry is now run by wall street, spreadsheets and analysis reports. This is a brief history and an unfortunate story.
Safes in one form or another have been around since the days of Julius Caesar. The first safes were used centuries ago in many cultures and nations. Egyptian vaults and treasure temples are one example. The Greeks stored a variety of valuables in safes made from bronze. Leaders in the ancient Roman empire created iron and wooden chests to store valuables.
As time went on, safes became increasingly complicated. They were not practical and were frequently cumbersome and difficult to operate. The first safes with swinging doors were manufactured in the 1700s in England.
It wasn’t until 1835 Charles Chubb, an English locksmith patented the first burglar-proof safe. He established a large safe-factory in London. He died in 1845 and was succeeded in the business by his son John. John Chubb patented various improvements in the products and grew the company significantly. Today known as Chubb Locks.
In the US, as any history buff of the mid-1800s and the turn of the century knows, safes have played an important role. Gold was king in the development of business, commerce, and outlaw gangs. But the history of safes extends far beyond Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
“Iron chests” as they were called then, were designed to protect against burglars. They were not fit to protect against fires or other natural disasters.
In the 1820s, Jesse Delano started manufacturing safes in New York City. He created a new way of producing fireproof safes. He coated the wood foundation with a clay and lime, to render it incombustible. It was then lined with thick steel. Jesse is credited with the first US Patent for a fireproof safe design.
The First Gun Safes
The modern gun safe has its roots in the 1850s designs of Silas Herring. He used thick outer steel, plaster, and thin inner steel to create a fireproof gun storage safe. His basic design is still used in fire safes today. Some of the materials and filler have improved to meet modern demands. But for the ultimate in fire protection double walled steel filled with plaster or cement, is still king.
Modern gun safes, unfortunately, no longer use this construction method. Gun safe manufacturers split from the rest of the safe industry in the 1980s.
Are Gun Safes No Longer Fireproof?
Gun safes of today are not built to Herring’s 1850 standards. To reduce costs and speed production, gun safe manufacturers have cut corners in a massive way.
Gun Safe Designs
In the 1970s gun, safe manufacturers dropped the Silas Herring design. They eliminated the thick outer steel; they eliminated the concrete or plaster filler. The thin inner steel became the outside of the safe. They then lined it with drywall and covered that with carpet. They claim the drywall is for fire protection. I believe it was to add weight back into the safes. There is a perception that a heavy safe is a secure safe. Weight has nothing to do with fire protection or security.
Original Silas Herring fire safe design Modern RSC design
We all believe that these modern safes are fireproof. However, per U.L. Laboratories Standard 72, they are not fireproof. Technically, they are not even considered to be true safes.
This move to cheaper materials and designs happened slowly and almost secretly. When the move was made to a single wall, the industry did something a bit sneaky. They no longer met the UL standard for a gun safe. They went to Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and created a new classification. These new cheaper cabinets are classed: RSC – “Residential Security Container”. Notice the classification does not use the word “safe”. UL would not allow the word safe in the classification. Because the RSC containers do not meet the minimum performance standard to be called a safe.
In all fairness, there are still some “real” gun safes made in America. Amsec makes a few U.L. Class TL-30 gun safes and there are some very well made custom safes available.
As technology advances, you would think that gun safe fire ratings would improve. Just the opposite has happened. The industry has completely moved away from fireproof gun safe production. The U.L. RSC classification has nothing to do with fire ratings. There is no fire component to the RSC rating. A sticker on the door that says “Fire Certified” or “Fire Tested” really means nothing. Unless it says “UL-Class 72 350-X”, it is not a certified fireproof safe. The fire rating and tests are created and conducted by the manufacturers. They basically create a test that they can pass then put a sticker on the door that says certified fire resistant.
See “Your gun safe is NOT fireproof! Just ask any fire chief”.
Gun Safe Interiors
Early gun safes were designed for basic Winchesters. Rifles of the day were simple compact with iron sights. There have been many changes since then. In recent years, we have seen great advances in rifle, shotgun, and optics technology. The modern sporting rifle (AR15) is the top-selling rifle in America. These new firearms do not fit into the old gun safe interior designs. The industry has had many years to adapt, but they haven’t.
The gun safe industry has not changed interior design one bit. Why are they so slow and hesitant to adapt?
Military style storage
In 2016 SecureIt introduced CradleGrid to the US consumer market. Cradlegrid technology was developed under contract with US army special forces. It is a simple system by which US military forces store and organize weapons and associated gear.
US Military Force Modernization
In the late 1990’s, the military replaced the traditional battle rifle with the modular M4 and incorporated optics and electronics. While the result was a superior fighting force, there were still problems. Gun racks and storage systems were designed for basic M14s and M16s and the new weapons and gear would not properly fit.
Basic M16 rifle replaced by M4 weapon system SOCOM M4 with SOPMOD Block 1 & 2
The Gulf Wars created a rapid advancement in weapon technology. Things were changing so fast storage designs could not keep up. The armory storage problems came to a head when several Special Forces armories failed basic inspections. Army Special Forces Command (USASFC) put out a solicitation for an arms room assessment program. SecureIt won the contract. They spent the next 18 months working with Special Forces units and command. The task was to identify problems and make recommendations. The result was CradleGrid Technology. A simple easy to use and understand weapon storage platform. Cradlegrid had just one moving part. It can store all weapons in a military armory and provides proper storage for precision rifles with optics. Introduced in 2008 CradleGrid has completely changed the way the military thinks about weapon storage.
The consumer hunting and sports shooting market has gone through similar changes. There has been a broad move to MSR style modular firearms. The basic shape of the rifle has changed. The introduction of affordable quality optics has further complicated storage. Even traditional rifles and shotguns now have scopes or red dots. Will the gun safe industry adapt to these changes? No. It does not look like they have anything in development.
The future of firearms storage has to accommodate the changes in rifle format and optics. The gun safe industry continues to build what they want to build and repeatedly ignore the needs of their customers.
Through the introduction of CradleGrid Technology, SecureIt revolutionized military armories and is doing the same for home firearm storage. With SecureIt now in the leadership position for firearm storage, will the traditional gun safe industry be able to catch up?
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In this video, we compare 3 popular hidden and fast access gun safes
Comparing Hidden Gun Safes
Proper gun storage requires that all firearms be locked in a safe or secured in a cabinet. While this keeps your guns safe, it has the potential to block your access to the firearms in a crisis situation. Here we compare 3 popular products on the market that each tries to address the issue of secure storage vs. fast access: the AMSEC gun safe, BARSKA Biometric gun safe, and the SECUREIT Fast Box Hidden Gun Safe.
BARSKA: Quick Access Biometric Rifle Safe-While it is not advertised as a hidden gun safe, it can be placed in a closet. This is a small vertical-only gun safe, available on Amazon for $279.
The BARSKA simply fails and what it says it will do. The box depth is less than 6”. This severely limits the type of rifles you can store. The BARSKA will not store an AR15 or any rifle or shotgun with a pistol grip.
Any rifle with a scope will also not fit. Your only option is to carefully place the rifle sideways in the safe and lean it against the back. In this scenario, the scope is hitting the safe’s metal wall and the capacity has been drastically reduced from the stated 4 guns to just 1 gun.
Summary: Rating: Fail
Street Price $279.00
Fails on stated capacity
Will not store any type of modern sporting rifle or shotgun
Does not consider rifles with scope
Not really a hidden gun safe
We were very disappointed in the BARSKA. It simply does not do what it claims. BARSKA shows an image on their site of a safe with the door open and an AR 15 inside. This is deceptive and misleading as the door could not be closed and locked.
AMSEC Home Defense VaultThis is a horizontal (under a bed) hidden gun safe, available on Amazon for $399.
The AMSEC is an under bed gun safe with a drawer system. It is a very well-made all-steel welded construction. It is designed specifically to mount underneath a bed. What you notice right away when opening the safe, is that the lock mechanism is loud. The lock beeps and opening the lock bar makes a loud “clank”.
This safe drawer, where the firearm sits, is 43” long. While that will store most tactical shotguns or an AR15, you may struggle to fit more traditional shotguns. Anything over 43” will not fit.
The AMSEC can only be used in a horizontal under the bed configuration. This is a one-dimensional product.
The position and type of lock make this impossible to open quickly in an emergency situation. You will have to get out of bed, down on all fours in the dark and try to open the lock. It may be difficult to see and the loud beeping from the lock can give away your position to an intruder, putting your safety at a much greater risk.
Summary: Rating C
Street price: $399.00
Solid quality construction: stores 1, possibly 2 rifles under 43”
Only one use, designed specifically for under bed/horizontal use
Fast access in a crisis situation is not possible
Lock and door operation extremely loud which can give away your position
SecureIt: Fast Box: Fast Access Hidden Gun Safe Heavy-duty secure gun safe in two lengths for flexible and fast access to a secure firearm. Available on Gunsafes.com for $285 – $295
The Fast Box hidden gun safe is available in two sizes (Model 40: 40” long / Model 47: 47” long) allowing unlimited uses in key location according to your firearm type and storage needs.
Both Fast Box models can be used in either a horizontal or vertical orientation. The Model 40 is designed for tactical weapons and small shotguns where space is limited. The Model 47 will hold any rifle or shotgun up to 46 1/2” long. At 13” deep, the Fast Box will hold rifles and shotguns with optics and magazines. Vertically, there is room for 2 rifles, a few handguns, and extra ammunition.
Right away you notice the lock makes virtually no noise and opening the box is fast and quiet. Construction is rock solid, the box was designed to meet DOD AR190-11 and OPNAV 5313-c military security requirements. The basic model (model 47) includes hardware to mount to a steel bed frame (no drilling required). There are mounting holes in the top and bottom to allow bolting to wood frames or to the floor.
Both Fast Boxes can be used vertically (Vertical Kit required) to properly store two long guns with scope attached
The vertical kit consists of two cradles and one base unit (stores two firearms).
Fast Boxes are also compatible with most CraddelGrid accessories so you can easily add storage for handguns, ammo or other valuables.
With the purchase of the quick release tie-down strap kit ($9.95), the gun safes can be used in mobile vehicle applications. The Model 40 is primarily used for Law Enforcement mobile applications and includes the quick release tie-down straps.
Fast Box Hidden Gun Safes can be bolted together in a locker format if you have multiple firearms you want to be locked and stored together. This application style is popular among SWAT teams and other rapid response security force units.
Summary: Rating A
Street Price Model 40 $285.00 | Model 47 $295.00
All Welded heavy gauge steel construction
Fits all firearms with attached optics up to 5” thermal imaging scopes
Can be used vertically or horizontally
Can be used in mobile vehicle applications
Provides fast and quiet access
Wide variety of accessories available
All 3 safes were well made.
The BARSKA fails at a very basic level. I do not think it was designed by a gun owner since it will not store what it claims it can store and it would be difficult to hide.
The AMSEC is a solid under-the-bed hidden gun safe for long guns under 43”, however, it does not allow for fast access and is too loud when unlocking.
The FAST BOX provides secure and hidden storage of the widest variety of firearms and is the only product that offers quiet fast access in a crisis situation. The ability to adapt to vertical or horizontal applications is also unique and makes the SecureIt Fast Box adaptable to almost any situation – vertical, horizontal, and mobile.
When you compare the facts it’s easy to see why the SecureIt Fast Box is the market leader in small fast access and hidden gun safes. SecureIt is also the only company that offers a “Buy-It-Back” Guarantee.
Firearms should be locked when not in use. All 3 of these products will achieve this at some level but we believe the Fast Box wins in every comparison. Regardless of what gun safe you use, the number one take away here is – All firearms must be locked. Please be responsible.
Why there are so many products on the market designed to slow or stop corrosion in a gun safe?
Most armorers will tell you if a gun is properly cleaned and oiled it should not rust.
Yet in safes, corrosion is a hot topic and they sell millions of dollars in products to stop it.
Excerpt from SHOT Show presentation.
Gun safes and rust
why do guns rust so fast in gun safes?
Modern gun safes are built with a thin steel shell, lined with gypsum board (drywall) and then carpeted. To understand the corrosion issues you have to look at the chemicals contained in these materials and how they react.
Formaldehyde is used in drywall manufacturing. It is a dispersing agent used in drywall slurry. These dispersing agents are called sulfonated naphthalene-formaldehyde condensates. As the term implies, these formulations involve a combination of formaldehyde and naphthalene. The agents vaporize in your safe, creating a potentially caustic environment for metal and wood. Museums ban the use of formaldehyde in areas where artifacts are stored. Formaldehyde is also in the adhesive used to attach the carpet interior in most safes.
Sandvik laboratory test results for CH2O (formaldehyde) and carbon steel: corrosion rate over 1.0 mm/year. ~ Serious corrosion. The material is not usable.
Elemental Sulfur: S
Sulfur is found in drywall particularly from China. Sulfur reacts with trace amounts of water (humidity) to form hydrogen sulfide and sulfuric acid.
Pyrite (iron sulfide) also known as “fool’s gold” is a very common mineral. It is present in the gypsum mined to make drywall. There are small amounts in gypsum in the U.S. and much larger amounts in gypsum mined in China. The pyrite ends up in the drywall. While this is not a big deal when it comes to home construction, you do not want it in your gun safe. Pyrite (Iron sulfide) reacts with oxygen and water to form iron and sulfur in the forms of iron oxide-hydroxide (rust) and sulfuric acids.
Sulfuric acid is particularly aggressive when it comes to corroding metal.
Ferrooxidans – Bacteria
This is a type of bacteria that eats metal. It lives on the pyrite in the drywall. It is this bacterium that breaks down pyrite into iron hydroxide and sulfur-based acids. However, it doesn’t stop there. Ferrooxidans will consume many other metals. Ferrooxidan bacterium is used in mining operations to strip metals in low-grade ore.
Does your gun safes every smell lick sulfur? Next time you open a safe, see if you detect a slight earthy or sulfur smell. It’s there and gets stronger the longer the door has been closed. I have noticed it, particularly in cheap safes on the sales floor in some big-box sport discount stores. That smell is the above processes in action and it will cause gun rust very quickly.
As you can see, there is very good reason for all the corrosion control products in the safe industry. Modern gypsum (drywall) based gun safes are corrosive.
Why use drywall? It is cheap, easy to use and heavy. The weight is important. The gun safe industry wants their safes to be heavy. People think that heavy safes are “safer”. However, it’s smoke and mirrors designed to hide the fact that the industry has moved away from traditional safe designs. Modern gun safes are built to the UL Class RSC standard and are not, according to UL, a true safe.
So how did we get here?
How did the gun safe industry end up producing a product that can destroy the very item it is designed to protect?
It started in the late 1970s. Up until then, gun safes were based on the original design of Silas Herring. He used a sandwich design of thick outer steel, thin inner steel, and plaster or cement in the middle. This has been the standard fireproof safe design for over 100 years. In the 1980s the gun safe market started growing and as demand for safes grew, a bunch of new companies entered the market. To reduce costs and speed production, these new producers dropped the original Silas Herring design in favor of cheaper, lighter materials.
They eliminated the thick outer steel. They eliminated the plaster or cement filler. The thin inner steel cabinet became the outside steel box. They lined this thin walled box with drywall then carpeted over it. This is the modern gun safe.
When these changes occurred UL (Underwriters Laboratories) created a new classification. Class RSC–Residential Security Container. The RSC is the standard gun safe sold in most stores throughout America.
If you have purchased a gun safe made after 1980 it is most likely a UL Class RSC. It is drywall based and subject to all the corrosion issues above. Your best defense against corrosion is still well-cleaned and well-lubricated firearms. It is important to open the door regularly and let your safe air out. This will reduce the corrosive sulfur compound buildup. Dehumidifiers slow the process by lowering humidity, but they don’t stop it.
Removal of corrosive materials.
The interior of a gun safe can be removed and replaced with safer materials. Products like SBI Micore-300 can be used to replace the drywall. However, this is an extensive modification and will take some time and skill to properly fit and install the new fire board.
How do you avoid all this? Do not buy a gun safe with drywall or carpeting. That eliminates just about every safe sold in America. Otherwise, Ft. Knox, Browning, American Security, and a few boutique producers offer safe models with the Herring double walled steel design. These models do offer some security and modest fire protection, and the inner steel will provide good corrosion protection. These safes start at around $10,000and go up to 20K+.
This brings up the following questions. Why buy a gun safe?
Why buy a gun safe?
The data suggests that common UL Class RSC safes offer little in the way of security or fire protection.
So what do you do? How do you protect your investment?
Shy of spending north of , consider steel cabinets. They are just as secure, and most likely offer the same fire protection of a big heavy drywall based UL – RSC gun safe.
There are other advantages of eliminating the drywall from gun cabinets. Weight, going lighter is better. It is easier and certainly gives you more flexibility in how and where you store and secure your firearms.
Consider SecureIt Tactical Model 52. This gun cabinet that will provide a strong theft deterrent, is lightweight and easily concealable. Perhaps best of all, it won’t corrode and destroy the very things its meant to protect.
The all steel design of our gun cabinets is far safer for your firearms in terms of corrosion. Smaller steel gun cabinets can be located throughout a home, allowing you fast access to locked firearms in a crisis situation.
Smaller lighter modular cabinets can be secured anywhere in a home, condo, cabin or RV. Modular cabinets can bolt together and expand to meet growing needs.
Firearms storage is going to change. The gun safe industry produces and markets a product based on the illusion of security. Their stated gun capacity is outright deception. They are not fireproof and the materials used inside a safe promote gun corrosion. You can fool some of the people some of the time. Eventually, it all catches up. That is what is happening now.
SecureIt is the leading supplier of weapon storage systems to the US Government. We have revolutionized military armory function. We want to do the same for home firearms storage. SecureIt has taken the leadership position in modern firearms storage, and things will change quickly over the next few years.
What’s in this article Gun safes: from 1850s till nowHow venture capitol killed quality in lieu of profitsWhy security and fire ratings are no longer valid What you need to know Gun Safes are not secure against modern threats Modern gun safe ratings are vastly overstate In the past 10 years we
SHOT Show 2017 – Tom takes aim at the gun safe industry exposing it for what it really is. In this presentation from the SHOT show, Tom goes through all the ways the gun safe industry manipulates the facts and distorts the truth about safes and gun storage. When you understand the
Gun safe corrosion is a real threat Why there are so many products on the market designed to slow or stop corrosion in a gun safe? Most armorers will tell you if a gun is properly cleaned and oiled it should not rust. Yet in safes, corrosion is a hot topic and
The gun safe industry misleads consumers with deceptive ratings and bogus certifications
In this video, learn about gun safes, the gun safe industry, ratings and UL certifications. Gun safes are marketed and sold on security perceptions, not on hard facts and actual certifications. We try to present accurate and informative material to allow you to make an educated decision based on facts and not on preconception and emotion.
Breaking down UL Gun Safe Certifications
The first thing I want you to look at is UL-listing. Most gun safes are built to UL – RSC Certification. Manufacturers use UL listings as a selling point, but what does the”RSC” rating actually mean? UL-listed RSC also called “8M10” stands for “Residential Security Container”. This does not sound very secure and for good reason. These are not Gun Safes. This rating was created for a family of products that do not meet the minimum standards for a UL Certified Safe. The RSC Standard was designed for inexpensive steel cabinets. The RSC certification requires that they block access for five minutes using a pry bar less than 18 inches long and a hammer weighing less than three pounds. That’s it. This is a 1950’s threat level. Modern thieves are going to come in with high-powered battery operated tools and cut into an RSC certified gun cabinet in less than 5 minutes. In the Video below I just about cut the whole side off of an RSC safe in less than 15 minutes using a tool for Harbor freight.
These residential security containers are being sold as safes. They make them big and heavy and spend a lot of time talking about the doors and the locking systems. This is to give you a perceived level of security. Thieves, however, ignore the doors and locks and simply cut a big hole in the side. The hard truth about “gun safes” with the RSC certification is that they offer no better security than a basic gun cabinet and you are paying for a lot of useless weight and marketing.
Fire rated gun safes
Are they really fireproof?
Looking at the stickers on two safes, one says 45-minute fire rating and one says 60 minutes fire certified. What does that actually mean? The answer is somewhat vague and unknown. These types of fire ratings are created by the gun safe manufacturers with no oversight. Each manufacturer has their own system. In the case of the Chinese safe, this is just a sticker and there is no testing done it all. UL Laboratories certifies safes with three standard class ratings. UL Class 350-1, UL Class 350-2 and UL Class 350-3. If your safe does not have a UL class 350 certification then it is not fireproof.
I encourage you to do your own research. There have been several articles written on the subject. The data suggests that whether guns survive a fire in a safe, gun cabinet or wooden box has more to do with how the fire burns than the actual rating of the container that they’re stored in. RSC containers are being sold and advertised as fire-rated gun safes but per UL standards they’re not safes at all. They do not meet the minimum standard to be called a safe and the fire ratings are not independently verified. You’re buying a big, big heavy cabinet with a perception of security.
True fire rated safe.
The construction of most traditional gun safes is a container made from 11 to 16 gauge steel lined with drywall and covered with carpeting. To achieve a true fire safe rating, you need a 10GA steel container with a steel inner wall that is filled with a specific material – see image above.
Drywall is used in RSC containers because it’s heavy and cheap.
Despite the low-cost drywall is a poor choice for gun safes. Drywall contains formaldehyde used as a dispersing agent. Formaldehyde is very corrosive to steel, nickel, and copper increasing corrosion in a gun very quickly. You’ve also got bacteria in drywall. Almost all the drywall that comes out of China contains a bacteria called Acidithiobacillus. It doesn’t affect people, it eats iron and produces sulfuric acid. Have you ever noticed a sulfur smell when you open the safe door? That’s from bacteria and formaldehyde eating the metal in your guns.
UL Laboratories will not give RSC – Residential Security Containers a fire rating because they don’t meet the basic fireproof standards. These gun cabinets are using materials that are detrimental to the long-term health of firearms. They are sold based on a myth that if you put your guns in a thousand pound gorilla they’re going to be safer than if they were stored in a steel cabinet. The data just doesn’t support their claims on fire rating and security and they use materials that promote corrosion of your firearms.
The excessive weight and special bars and locks on the doors of traditional safes are promoted as a perception of security. The Model 52 is our ultra-light gun safe made of 14-gauge steel with patented Dedlock system. It ships flat and you assemble it with eight bolts. This patented system is as rigid and strong as any welded cabinet.
SecureIt Model 52 – Lightweight gun cabinet
The Model 52 Gun Cabinet is based on years of experience building weapon cabinets and armories for military units all over the world. We make no false or exaggerated claims to fire and security ratings. Our cabinets are as secure as any common gun safe sold in stores across the country but without the ridiculous weight.
The Model 52 gives you a lightweight, secure cabinet that will provide proper storage for 6 rifles, handguns and a lot of gear. You can use multiple units throughout your home, to provide discreet security and fast access in a crisis situation.
The average American moves every seven years. The Model 52 gun cabinet breaks down and moves with you very easily. SecureIt has designed modern cabinets to meet your modern lifestyle. Things are getting lighter, and easier to use, you don’t need to saddle yourself with a huge, heavy safe. Take some time to educate yourself so you can make an intelligent firearm storage decision and perhaps not end up with a thousand pound gorilla in the room.
Safes in one form or another have been around since the days of Julius Cesar. While sometimes disputed, Jesse Delano is credited with the first fireproof safe design patented in 1826. The modern gun safe has its roots in the 1850s designs of Silas Herring. He used plaster and steel to create a fire rated gun storage safe. What’s interesting and disappointing is that the gun safes of today are not built to standards anywhere near Herring’s 1850 design. Price and profit pressures have caused the whole industry to move away from true fire rated safes. The majority of what are commonly called and sold as “Gun Safes” are actually UL (Underwriter’s Laboratories) listed as “RSC” or “Residential Security Containers” and are not actual safes. This includes the “safes” available at all the big chain with popular brand names including “Liberty,” “Winchester”, “Browning,” etc. Yes, you may have guessed it. The industry did not want to build to the UL Safe classification standard so they created a new standard, RSC – “Residential Security Container”.
An RSC rated container (gun cabinet) will resist forced opening for up to five minutes by an attacker using simple, non-powered hand tools. We’re talking screwdrivers, hammers (must be less than 3lbs), and pry bars (must be less than 18″ long). RSC containers are not rated against any attack by power tools of any kind, or any attack lasting longer than five minutes. This is security designed for 1850’s threat level. Today, a high powered battery operated grinder with a cutoff wheel can cut a “gun safe” (Residential Security Container) in half in less than 15 minutes. A small portable plasma cutter will do the job in under 3 minutes. People assume that because it weighs 1000 lbs it must be secure.
RSC Certified gun safes are not fireproof. Not at all.</>
The only consistent, reliable and independent fire rating is the UL fireproof safe class rating. The lowest rating is “Class 350 1-hour” The ratings go up to 4 hours (Class 350-4). Unfortunately, there are no RSC gun safes that meet this rating as the materials and construction required to offer this kind of protection are deemed too expensive by the gun safe industry. The fire rating or “fire certified” sticker on the door of an RSC means very little as each gun safe (RSC) manufacturer creates their own standards and fire tests. If a safe does not have a UL class 350 fire rating then it is not a fire safe. It is a thin steel box lined with drywall and covered with some carpeting. The Drywall makes the safe real heavy and “feel” secure. It is not. Talk to firefighters. “Gun safes” (RCSs) rarely ever survive a real fire. go to: Gun Safe: Understanding Ratings and Certifications for more information
Guns Safes and Corrosion
There are a lot of products on the market designed to slow the process of your guns rusting in a “gun safe”. There is a good reason for these products. Drywall or Gypsum board used in RSCs contain several chemicals that are highly corrosive to your guns. Formaldehyde is used as a dispersing agent in drywall production and is highly corrosive to steel. See: https://www.pharosproject.net/blog/show/44/formaldehyde-additives-drywall
Safes imported from China use drywall that contains additional threats to your guns. The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) and other agencies have found high levels of pyrite (FeS2) which gives off carbon disulfide, carbonyl sulfide, and hydrogen sulfide — all of which are corrosive to firearms. 100% of the problem drywall coming from China also tested positive for the bacteria Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, which lives in pyrite deposits. These bacteria consume iron and sulfur producing highly corrosive sulfuric acid. Have you ever noticed a mild sulfur smell when you open a Chinese import safe? There are many concerns about drywall from China please see: Chinese Drywall to learn more.
Other Disadvantages of Gun Safes.
They are very big, very heavy and once in place cannot be easily moved. They are also big and heavy. Did I tell you they were heavy? …You get the picture. In our modern, mobile society where people move on average every 6.6 years (US Census Bureau) does it make sense to own a 1200lb metal box full of drywall?
If you live in a condominium or town-home owning a heavy old safe is probably not allowed by your HOA.
The Industries “Little White Lie”.
This gun safe, rated for 29 guns can not efficiently store 11 modern rifles Gun safe capacity is a lie.
Gun Safe Capacity
When a safe manufacturer offers a gun safe (RSC) and claims a capacity of 30 guns what are they telling you. Keep in mind the RSC will not hold 30 guns, not even close. Either they are not very bright or they think their customers aren’t very bright. The VP of national sales for one of America’s largest safe manufacturers told me it was the “industry’s little white lie”. It seems all safe manufacturers state their capacity based on how many gun slots they can fit in the safe, regardless of how many guns actually fit. In our product testing, using safes from several different manufacturers, we found the actual capacity for traditional guns is about half of what the manufacturers claim. When you add in modern sporting rifles that capacity drops even further. We purchased a 29 gun Steelwater gun safe and were only able to fit 11 modern rifles and at that point, they were packed in and hitting each other. Gun safe capacity is a sham.
Gun Safe Are Too Deep
Manufacturers all focus on making real heavy complex doors and lock systems in an effort to make you think the cabinet is secure. These doors are so heavy that the cabinet has to be deep. Deep enough to offset the weight of the door so when it is opened the cabinet does not tip over. This depth is counterproductive to proper gun storage. You end up with guns packed in and you have to dig through to get to the rifles stored way in the back.
Please note: a thief ignores the door and just cuts through the thin steel on the side or back of the RSC.
Gun Safe Interiors
Gun safe interior design has never changed.
American gun ownership has changed dramatically and the safe industry refuses to address it. The number one rifle sold in America is an AR15 and most shooters now have some sort of scope or optic on every rifle and shotgun. The gun safe industry not only failed to anticipate these market changes they appear to have buried their heads in the sand and refuse to even acknowledge that there has been any type of change. Gun safes simply do not have the ability to properly store modern rifles.
This is the typical safe interior. Even with stripped down Henry rifles you will not fit guns in every slot, there simply is not enough room for the stocks. AR platform rifles will not fit well at all and there is no room for optics of any kind.
Why does a whole industry fail to address a big market change? It almost appears like all gun safe manufacturers are in a big game of chicken. They all produce basically the same product and are all afraid of being the first one to be different. In most industries manufacturers actively look for points of difference. But not with “gun safes” (RSC containers). It is very unusual and not in the best interest of the consumer. These manufacturers and products are dinosaurs and perhaps, soon be extinct.
We see this as a complete lack of respect for the firearms they store, and their customers who shell out big money expecting secure fireproof storage yet really only have a steel box with some drywall and fancy paint. The only advances in gun safe manufacturing in the last 100 years has been the move to cheaper materials, lower standards, and misleading certifications.
So do you need a so-called “gun safe” or RSC?
The answer is probably no.
If you think you will sleep better knowing that your rifles and stored in a big 1200 lb. gorilla in your basement, then it may be the right product. You have to understand, however, that the security against both theft and fire is really smoke and mirrors. The whole industry is built around a false perception that because these things weigh 1200lbs, it must be safe and secure.
When you consider that these so-called “gun safes” (RSC) are no more secure than a simple steel cabinet and fire ratings (which do not meet even the most basic UL Certification) are simply made up by manufacturers, you have to really question the decision.
They are very difficult and expensive to move.
They are corrosive to your guns by design.
They do not properly store precision rifles.
Older homes may not support the weight and you certainly would not put a safe in an upstairs location.
So what do you do?
There are several very inexpensive steel gun cabinets on the market. Products like Stack-On will store guns, however, they have very basic locking and the interiors that mimic guns safes so you will struggle with the same inefficient and damaging storage issues.
This year SecureIt introduced the Model 52 Ultralight gun cabinet with CradleGrid Technology. The first in a series of modern modular gun storage cabinets and provides proper storage for 6 rifles, handguns, and a lot of gear. The Model 52 is manufactured out of the same steel as many traditional gun safes (RSC) but doesn’t have the ridiculous weight, or the corrosive interior.
Patented CradleGrid Technology was developed under contract with US Army Special Forces. The modular system provides simple, adjustable, proper storage for rifles, shotguns, and handguns and allows you to organize and store firearms along with associated gear.
In our modern, mobile and fast-paced society why tether yourself to a 1200lb gorilla? It will be parked somewhere in your life and eventually left behind somewhere. Otherwise, It will require a great deal of work, time or money every time it must be moved. It provides no additional security over much lighter and easier to deal with cabinets and the materials used in its construction can be corrosive and detrimental to firearms.
Knowledge and Education is Power
Take the time to learn as much as you can before you spend your money. Here are links to articles that we have found to be informative and accurate.
Every year at SHOT Show, the safe manufacturers set up elaborate booths with fancy lighting and comfortable chairs. Sales reps in sharp company logo-wear standby, eager to share information as to what’s new with their safes and company.
But what is really new? It seems that the only new things each year are paint finish, graphics, and maybe a new lock. The truth is that the real guts of a gun safe have not changed. This has been going on for decades. The safe industry is stuck in a vortex of old world wild-west shows and 1950 gangster movies.
Modern Sporting Rifles
There has been a broad shift in firearm purchasing to newer, modular, tactical-style shotguns and sporting rifles. The AR15 is the number one selling rifle in America.
American Gun ownership has changed and the safe industry refuses to address it
The safe industry has not only ignored this, it appears they have buried their heads in the sand in hopes that it all just goes away so they can get back to their 1950s – 70s plush carpeting and Winchester John Wayne commemorative rifles. When you look at proper storage, modern sporting rifles are radically different from traditional firearms, so not upgrading to accommodate them only harms the firearm owners.
The capacity “Little White Lie”
Why do safe manufacturers all tell the same “little white lie”.
It’s called “capacity”. We see safes advertised in stores and on the web claiming a gun capacity of 25, 40 or 60, when in fact it is all but impossible to fit anywhere near that many guns in the safe. Have you ever seen a sales or marketing photo of a safe with more than a 20% of its stated capacity used? For that matter, it is rare to see images of safes with their doors open at all.
This is a typical gun safe marketing or sales photo. This gun safe is rated to store 54 guns. If you look closely at the image you will see that there are 8 rifles shown in the safe. Now they are not using the center section for guns, however, try to imagine this safe with 54 rifles. There is simply no way you will fit that many. Now if you throw some AR platform firearms in the mix you will not likely get more than 14 or 15 guns in the safe.
The real nuts-and-bolts of a gun safe is the interior. It’s where you will be placing and securing your most valued firearms. So why do most manufacturers show only images of their safes with the doors closed?
It is to hide a few simple facts. For the most part, all safe interiors are the same. There is no chance that you will fit the stated amount of guns in the safe. They all have new and improved models yet in reality, there has been nothing exciting and new in the safe world for 50 years.
Enter SecureIt Tactical
SecureIt® Tactical is the leading supplier of weapon storage systems to the US military. We have entered the consumer hunting and sport shooting market bringing our years of military storage experience. The patented Tactical Weapon Storage Platform known as CradleGrid Technology was developed under contract with US Army Special Forces. CradleGrid provides proper military style storage for both tactical and traditional rifles, shotguns and pistols.
Upgrade your gun safe
SecureIt patented gun safe retrofit kits allow you to upgrade your gun storage cabinet or safe to properly store tactical and modern sporting rifles and shotguns. Each kit features a grid, cradles, an assortment of firearm storage components and is designed to address a wide variety of applications at affordable price points.
What is proper military storage?
With SecureIt’s retrofit kits, all firearms are stored so they cannot come into contact with each other. There is proper standoff so mounted scopes are free and clear of the walls. Firearms with scopes can be stored with the scopes facing in or out. The preferred method is to store firearms with the scopes in towards the back panel of the safe.
The ability to remove a firearm from the safe without having to remove other weapons or gear. All other safes require you to remove several firearms to get to the ones in the back. This creates a situation where you are setting rifles on the floor, or leaning them against the wall to free up your hands to grab the next gun. If you have high-end optics or do not want to lose zero, this can develop into a bad situation.
The SecureIt Tactical Gun safe applies proven military weapon storage principles to create a modern, adaptable, fire-rated gun safe.
Clean and neat storage for firearms and gear, at a glance you know everything is there.
SecureIt’s line of products has the ability to store gear with the associated rifles. The steel louvered, safe back panel grid is compatible with a wide range of storage bins, trays, and shelves. Gear and parts associated with a specific weapon can be stored with that weapon. For example – A Remington 870 is stored using the cradle and lower saddles. Behind the shotgun are bins to store the chokes, a sling and cleaning brushes. All parts and supplies associated with the firearm are stored with it. This makes use and maintenance very easy and organized.
Why is this important?
Having proper storage and organization means you are safe and prepared. All firearms are stored in a ready to use condition. Optics and free and clear and will maintain “0”. Your gear is stored and organized in a logical fashion with associated firearms.
If you have made an investment into modern military style sporting and precision rifles, how you store them is critical to long-term performance, safety and value. It is time to move to modern storage.
I am very disappointed in the small quick access biometric rifle safe by Barska, it fails at its most basic function. It does not do what it claims it can do.
The biggest issue we have with this gun safe is the depth. The door is about two inches thick but it is recessed into the cabinet yielding about five and a half inches of usable internal space. The net result is a lack of adequate space for rifles or shotguns.
This gun safe will not hold rifles or shotguns with a pistol grip!
Although the safe is marketed as a four capacity rifle cabinet, We could not fit 4 long guns.
The BARSKA door would not close when trying to store this rifle with a low profile scope.
There’s no way to close the door. I even experimented by taking the internal panel off the door to see if I could make it work but the gun still interferes with the locking mechanism on the door. Since the door does not close your only option would be to turn the gun sideways, but now you’re only storing one gun. This is sold as a 4 gun safe.
The biggest issue with the BARSKA is the depth.
Can not handle scopes or optics!
Rifles with scopes or optics do not fit in the BARSKA, it hits the back of the safe and you can’t shut the door. I used my Marlin as an example with a scope that is pretty tight to the barrel and doesn’t have a huge offset. Then I tried storing an AR 15, it has to go in sideways it is not supported properly. It was very difficult to balance the firearm in the safe. You would not be able to store any additional firearms with the one awkwardly placed AR15. You can not fit two rifles with scopes in the safe without damaging your gun or your scope. If you’ve got stripped down old Winchester Model 94 you might get four in but any modern firearm or combination of firearms is just not going to work. The construction quality of the product is OK, it just fails horribly at storing firearms. Five and a half inches of usable space is simply not enough.
The Fast Box is 13 inches deep with internal usable space of twelve and a half inches. Vertical Fast Boxes use the CradleGrid System to properly store two long guns with scope/optics attached ( up to 5″ thermal imaging scope) for proper and accessible storage. Originally designed for law enforcement applications, the Fast Box stores any length firearm up to 45.5″ in length with accessories attached. For example, this safe properly stores an AR 15 with optic and magazine. You can lock the gun in a fully ready to roll fashion and it’s still quickly accessible ( popular with Rapid Response and Reaction Teams). What it gives you is proper storage for any two long guns with optics attached in a fast access locked safe. You get proper storage for the stated number of rifles. The Fast Box secures any two rifles with any size optic. You even have room above to store handguns and ammo.
The Fast Box Model 47 properly stores both a Marlin and an AR Super SAS with scopes attached.
The BARSKA is about the same price as the Fast Box but they advertise it as a four-gun safe. You are not going to fit four guns in it. You can fit one maybe two and at that point, anything with a pistol grip or a scope is going to bang into each other. They’re not going to fit properly. So when you’re looking at small gun safes you’ve got a decision to make and it’s one of reality versus myth.
Added Value: The Fast Box can be used horizontally mounted under a bed and on a closet shelf.
Vertically the Fat Box it gives you unlimited options to store any two firearms with a lot of flexibility at a very affordable price. The safe is fully seamed welded heavy gauge steel with full-length piano hinge door with three points hardened steel locking system.