Gun Safe Security is only a Perception
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.
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 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 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 then 3lbs), and pry bars (must be less then 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 hour (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 fire fighters. “gun safes” (RCSs) rarely ever survive a real fire.
go to:Gun Safe: Understanding Ratings and Certifications for more information
There are a lot of products on the market designed to slow the process of your guns rusting in a “gun safe”. There is good reason for these products. Drywall or Gypsum board used in RSCs contain several chemicals that are highly corrosive to you 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 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 form china please see: Chinese Drywall to learn more.
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.
This gun safe, rated for 29 guns can not efficiently store 11 modern rifles Gun safe capacity is a lie.
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 manufactures told me it was the “industries little white lie”. It seems all safe manufactures 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 claimes. 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.
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 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 not room for optics of any kind.
You can upgrade gun safe interiors to SecureIt CradleGrid Technology: Gun safe upgrade kits
“They’ve buried their heads in the sand”
Why does a whole industry fail to address a big market change? It almost appears like all gun safe manufactures 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.
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 then 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.
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 CraddleGrid Technology. The first in a series of modern modular gun storage cabinets and provides proper storage for 6 rifles, handguns and lot of gear. The Model 52 is manufactured out of the same 14 GA steel as many traditional gun safes (RSC) but doesn’t have the ridicules weight or the corrosive interior.
Patented CraddleGrid 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.
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 stand by, 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.
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.
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.
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 not 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.
This year SecureIt® Tactical, leading supplier of weapon storage systems to the US military introduced the MILSPEC Tactical Gun Safe and the MILSPEC Safe Upgrade Kits. The MILSPEC Tactical Gun Safe clearly addresses the needs of the modern sportsman. The patented Tactical Weapon Storage Platform with CradleGrid Technology, developed under contract with US Army Special Forces, provides proper military style storage for both tactical and traditional rifles, shotguns and pistols. The retrofit kit allows you to easily convert your current safe to modern standards.
Tactical Gun Safe
The MILSPEC Tactical Gun Safe features our patented MILSPEC weapon storage platform using CradleGrid technology and provides proper storage for all AR platform firearms, precision rifles with optics and loads of gear.
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 are designed to address a wide variety of applications at affordable price points.
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 forearms 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 loose 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.
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.
Then American sportsman has moved to modern firearms. It is time to move to modern storage.