Gun Safe Buyers Guide

We just launched a new section of our website called the Gun Safe Buyers Guide. This is a great place to do some research before your next gun safe purchase.  You’ll find a Q&A section with great answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.  Whether you have a question about a lock type, a fire rating, or you’resimply looking for a glossary of terms, this is a section of GunSafesBlogger.com that you have to check out.  As always, feel free to post a comment or ask a question.  You can find the gun safe buyers guide link located in the yellow bar at the top of this page.

How To Contact Stack-On Safes

Are you trying to contact the Stack On Safe Company?  Did you lose your Stack-On safe key or combination?

You may be wondering “How do I get into my Stack-On Safe?”.   We tend to get a lot of calls when people mistake GunSafes.com for Stack-On Safes. 

To contact Stack-On, click here, or give them a call at 800-323-9601.   They’re located in Illinois so they are on Central Time.

Stack-On

Sentry Home Office Safe Sale

We’re excited to pass along another Sentry Safe Sale!  This time, Sentry is offering a 10% to 15% discount on some of their home and office safes. The following safes are on sale:

X Series Security Safes

  • X031 w/key lock
  • X055 w/electronic lock
  • X075 w/electronic lock
  • X105 w/electronic lock
  • X125 w/electronic lock

EQ Executive Safe

  • EQ5433  All-Shelf Executive Safe w/ UL Group 2 Combination Lock

 

To take a closer look at the sale items, click here.

Sentry Safe

Gun Safe Sale – only three days left!

Only three days left until the Sentry Safe Sale ends on Oct 1, 2010.  Now is a great time to purchase a Sentry Safe !   The discount is $75 – $115 off our already low prices.  These are fire rated gun safes, available in 3 different sizes and 2 different lock styles.  Four way adjustable interior will allow you to remove or add shelving to suit your needs.  Choose from two different paint finishes and your choice of a dial combination lock or electronic lock.  These safes have a ETL fire rating of 30 minutes at temperatures up to 1400°F.  Available in 14 gun, 24 gun, or 36 gun models.  Prices start at $729.95

Check out the sale here.

Sentry Safes

What features do YOU want in a gun safe?

GunSafes.com wants your feedback!  In my opinion, it’s always a good idea to ask for feedback, but more importantly it’s being able to use that feedback for everyone’s benefit!  We want to know what you’re looking for in a gun safe so that we can do our best to find or build the products that our customers want.  Now’s your chance to share your ideas.  So, what’s in YOUR perfect safe?  (feel free to select up to 6 options)

[poll id=”2″]

Sentry Gun Safe Sale Extended!

The sale was due to expire today, but has been extended until Oct 1, 2010.  This is a great opportunity to purchase a Sentry Safe at a $75 – $115 discount.  Whether your looking to store guns or other valuables, the 4-way adjustable interior will allow you to remove or add shelving to accommodate your needs.  Choose from two different paint finishes and your choice of a dial combination lock or electronic lock.  These safes have a ETL fire rating of 30 minutes at temperatures up to 1400°F.  Available in 14 gun, 24 gun, or 36 gun models.  Prices start at $729.95 and the sale ends October 1st, 2010.

Check out the sale here.

Sentry 1459E

I cant open my rhino gun safe. How do I open my safe?

Don’t panic!!  The Gun-Safe-Guru is here to help.  Whether you have a Rhino Safe or a BigHorn safe, read on to find out how to get into your safe.

If you forgot your Rhino Safe combination or you think you are punching it in correctly but it’s not opening, I would contact Rhino Metals technical support.  They can be reached at 800-701-9128.

The first thing that they might ask for is your safes serial number.  This would be handy to have before you call.  You can usually find a safes serial number on the outside back of the safe, towards the bottom.  If you can’t locate this number, Rhino Metals can help you out at 800-701-9128.

If you already know the combination, but you’re having trouble dialing it in, click here for their safe lock manuals.  These are also helpful if you are having any other problems with your electronic or manual dial lock.

If your safe is beyond repair and needs to be replaced, take a look at the Rhino Safe selection on GunSafes.com.

Sentry Gun Safe SALE

If you’re in the market for a fire rated gun safe, this Sentry safe sale is something you should definitely check out.  With features like a fully adjustable interior, anti-drill steel plate, 6 (or more) locking bolts, matte or high gloss paint finish, and your choice of a digital or combination dial lock, these safes are a great value!  The safes are ETL verified to provide fire protection for 1/2 hour at temperatures up to 1400°F.  They also meet the California Department of Justice standards for firearm safety.  Includes bolt down hardware.  Choose from 14 gun, 24 gun, or 36 gun models.  Sale goes through September 17, 2010 and prices start at $729.95.
Check out the sale here.

Sentry Safe from GunSafes.comInside the Sentry 3659C

Gun Safe Buyers Guide, Part 3 : DELIVERY & INSTALLATION

In this section of the gun safe buyers guide, I’ll focus on the delivery and installation for gun safes.

Q: How are gun safes typically shipped?

A:  Due to their weight, gun safes are shipped via a truck freight carrier.  This is typically a semi-truck (18 wheeler), but it can sometimes come on a smaller box truck (UPS type truck).  The safes are packaged with corner protectors and cardboard and they are bolted down to a wood pallet so the driver can easily move the safe with a pallet jack.  Most curbside deliveries that are over 150 lbs come with a liftgate.  A liftgate is a mechanical lift on the back of the truck that lowers the safe down to the ground level.  If a safe is shipped “curbside”, that means it is left at the curb.  On occasion, if the truck is able to do so, they will lower the safe on the driveway a little closer to the home.  This depends a lot on the driver, the truck, and the slope of the driveway.  Sometimes a large semi-truck just cannot back down a particular driveway.  In that case it will be left at the curb.

Q: How do you move a gun safe into your home?

 A:  There are several methods and I think I’ve heard just about all of them.  I’ll start with the easiest:  Hiring a company to move it in for you.  This service is called “White Glove” and there are usually several levels of service available.  The first level (Bronze) is where the delivery company will wheel the safe into your garage for you.  They drop it off inside your garage which is ideal if that’s where you plan to keep it.  Keep in mind, the pallet will still be attached to the bottom of the safe.  The next level of service (Gold) involves the company bringing the safe inside your home into a room of your choice.  They will also remove the pallet that is bolted to the bottom of the safe.  If the safe is under 900 lbs they can also move the safe up or down two flights of stairs.  Once the gun safe is in place, the movers will take away all the packing debris and leave the it ready to use.  If the delivery is out-of-the-ordinary or requires a lot of assembly time, a Platinum white glove service is also available. 

The next method of delivery is for the “Do-It-Yourself-er”.  By arranging some helpers or friends to move it from the curb into your home, you’ll avoid paying any additional delivery fees.  I’ve heard all kinds of stories about rolling a safe on ping-pong balls or other various methods, but the most popular is to use a pallet jack or furniture dolly.  The pallet jack is a great tool because the safe is already attached to a pallet so the jack easily rolls right under.  The hydraulic lift on the pallet jack can make the move from the curb to your threshold very easy.  Once it’s at your front door (the threshold), you’ll probably want a crew of 3-4 people there to help lift it inside.  A furniture dolly would be helpful here as well. 

A new product that I’m really impressed with is the Shoulder Dolly.  This simple piece of equipment makes it easier and safer to lift heavy objects.  It doesn’t give you “superpowers”, but it can make large and awkward items easier to handle so you can use all your strength without losing your grip.  Keep in mind the weight limit is 800 lbs and you’ll need two capable lifters to move a heavy safe.  The nice thing about this product is that a one-time purchase can be used over and over for several different objects.  I highly recommend using the ShoulderDolly not only for gun safes, but for all your furniture or appliance moving needs.

Shoulder Dolly

Q: Can a safe be mounted to the floor?

 A:  Most of the time, yes!  In fact most manufacturers pre-drill the mounting holes and recommend that you bolt the safe into the floor.  Sometimes the mounting hardware is included as well.  If not, the bolts can be picked up at your local hardware store.  Even if you are mounting the safe in the garage or basement and you have a concrete floor there are lag bolts that you can use.  The advantage to mounting your safe is that it won’t tip over and it adds another level of security by making it harder for someone to break-in.  The best way to pry into a safe is by tipping it on its side, so eliminating that method of entry is ideal.

Q: What do I need to know about the delivery before ordering a safe?

A:  First of all, you’ll want to take good measurements of all the doors that the safe will be going through.  Compare those measurements to the dimensions of the safe.  The most important specification of the safe is probably the depth because a safe can be tipped on it’s side which makes the depth the widest measurement when going through a door.  You also want to check if the specification given includes the handle and hinge.  Most of the time the safe is shipped with the handle inside the safe to keep it from getting damaged, but you’ll still want to account for the hinge that protrudes from the safe body.

You’ll also want to plan the best route for the safe to go through your home to its final destination.  Is it easier to go through the front door, around the back, or through the garage?  Make sure to mention at the time of the order if you have a steep or gravel driveway, a section of grass to roll over, a fence, or any other obstacles.  This way the delivery company will make sure to bring the appropriate equipment the first time.  It’s also a good idea to think of a possible “backup plan” in case they’re not able to get the safe where you wish.  If the safe won’t fit or is too hard to maneuver into the location you choose, give them a secondary location to put the safe.

Q: I live in a rural area or have a long or unusual driveway.  What are my options?

A:  These deliveries are determined on a case-by-case basis depending on several factors.  It would be best to contact a gun safe account rep to talk to them about your particular situation before ordering the safe.  They can determine the best way to get the safe delivered.  If it’s not suitable for a truck to drive down your driveway, you may need to pick it up at the end of the driveway or at a delivery terminal in your city.  You can reach a GunSafes.com rep to talk about the different options at 800-540-1695 ext 401.

Gun Safe Buyers Guide, Part 2 : FIRE RATINGS

More Q&A with the Gun-Safe-Guru.  This part of the gun safe buyers guide will focus specifically on the fire ratings for gun safes.

Q: Can you explain a gun safe fire rating?

A:  The fire rating is the amount of time a safe can endure a certain temperature while keeping the internal temperature below 350 degrees.  Paper begins to char at a temperature of just 400° F.  For this reason, most manufacturers choose 350° as the maximum internal temperature the contents of a safe can reach for the period of time that they specify for each safe.  During testing, safes are heated to a given temperature, usually between 1200° F – 1400° F, for up to four hours then cooled naturally. In order to pass the fire test, the safe’s contents must at no time during the test go above 350° F. This ensures that important paper documents will not be destroyed by the intense heat of a fire.  Some home and office safes are made specifically to hold media (cd’s, data drives, etc) and so their internal temperature must remain below 125° F because media tends to melt at a much lower temperature.  If you’re planning on storing any kind of media in your gun safe, we recommend putting a separate media safe inside your gun safe. 

Q: What amount of fire protection do I need?

A:  There are many factors that you should consider when choosing a fire rated safe.  Most safes fire ratings start at 30 minutes and as more fire insulation is added, the amount of time a safe can withstand a certain temperature is increased.  Consumer gun safe fire ratings top out at about 2.5 hours.  When deciding how much fire protection you need, ask yourself a few of these common questions:  

  • How far away is my home from a fire department?
  • Am I putting this safe inside the home or in a basement?
  • Do I have a lot of trees, brush, and other natural fuels near my home?
  • Am I in an area of high fire danger?
  • Can insurance replace the items that are in my safe or are they irreplaceable? 

There are many sources of information for this subject on the Internet, but most of what I’ve found points out that the average house fire burns for 27 minutes at 1100° F.   If your particular situation puts you in a better or worse scenario than the “average”, you’re going to want to pick a fire rating based on that information. 

Q: Why do safe manufacturers perform different fire tests?

A:  Unlike the fuel standards we have at gas stations or the electric ratings we have on appliances, there is no governing body when it comes to fire ratings on safes.  Because of this, many safe manufacturers can make bogus claims, but if you ask the tough questions and do your research you can usually sniff out a phony safe.  Some good questions to ask when researching a fire safe:

  • What is being used as the fire insulation?  Fireboard or composite material?
  • How many layers of fire insulation and on how many sides?
  • What is the warranty and does it cover fire damage?
  • Does the safe manufacturer have any BBB complaints? 

Q: What is a Palusol door seal?

A:  A Palusol door seal is a brand of intumescent door seal that is used to prevent smoke and heat from getting inside the safe.  Some manufacturers use Palusol, others use a generic brand, but they all work using the same concept.  When the seal is heated up from a nearby fire, the intumescent seal expands and seals the safe door shut.  This can also keep some water out, but it doesn’t make the safe waterproof. 

Gun Safe Buyers Guide, Part 1 : LOCKS

Time for a little Q & A with the Gun-Safe-Guru.  We’ll break up this gun safe buyers guide into several parts.  Feel free to post questions at the bottom of this article or email me:  josh(at)gunsafesblogger.com

Q: Should I choose an electronic lock or combination dial lock?

A:  This is a personal preference, but I will list the pros and cons for both the electronic lock and the manual dial lock.  Most safe companies offer a choice of a dial or e-lock, but a few manufacturers like Winchester and Mesa only offer the safe with an electronic lock.  As far as security is concerned, often times both the electronic lock and combination lock carry the same Group II or Group I security rating.

Pros for the electronic lock:  Quick and easy access.  Change the combination at any time.  Easier to see under dim light. Door automatically locks when it is closed

Cons:  Possibility of electronic failure (although very rare).  Having to change the batteries (at least once a year).  Shorter life span (typically 10-15 years)

Pros for the combination lock:  No electronic parts, no batteries to replace.  More durable & longer lasting

Cons:  Turning the dial back and forth can be time consuming, especially if don’t land exactly on the right numbers.  Harder to see the numbers under dim light.  Door doesn’t automatically lock when closed, you need to spin the dial.  Be sure to spin the dial every time you close your safe door!

One thing to keep in mind about the e-lock:  Be sure to change your combination every once in a while otherwise the keypad will wear down, showing the numbers that you use most.

Q: If I buy a safe with an electronic lock and the battery dies, how do I get into the safe?

A:  You don’t need to get into the safe to change the battery.  Simply replace the battery located inside the keypad and your safe will be ready to open.  Most electronic locks feature a low battery alert that will notify you that the battery needs to be changed so you can avoid this problem all together. 

Q:  Can I determine the combination on a manual dial lock?

A:  The combination dial locks come with a predetermined code from the factory.  In some instances the combination can be changed, but that will need to be done by a certified locksmith.  This can be one advantage to choosing an electronic lock.

Q:  Can you explain the “lockout” feature on electronic locks?

A:   Most quality electronic locks have an automatic lock-out feature.  This feature disables the lock for a period of time (usually 15 to 20 minutes) if someone enters three or four incorrect combinations consecutively.  This safeguard keeps thiefs from trying several different combinations in a short period of time.

Q:  Do any of these full size gun safes have a key backup?

A:  Surprisingly enough, most full size gun safes do NOT have a key backup.  There are a few exceptions.  Rather than list them all here, just give me a call at 800-540-1695 ext 208 or email me:   josh (at) gunsafesblogger.com

How to open a Sentry Safe

Whether you inherited it or purchased it brand new, you may be asking the question; How do I open a Sentry Safe?  GunSafeGuru threw together a quick Q&A to answer your gun safe questions.

Q:  I lost my Sentry combination; how do I open my Sentry Safe?

A:  The best thing to do in this case is to go to Sentry’s lost combination website.  From this site you can download all necessary information needed to fax or mail in your combination request form.

Q:  I lost my Sentry Safe Key; how do I open my safe?

A:  Don’t worry, replacement keys can be ordered direct from Sentry.  This link will bring you to Sentry’s website where you can order replacement keys by telephone, mail, or online.

Q:  Where can I find my Sentry Serial Number?

A:  The serial number is typically found on the front of the door, lower right corner on a small sticker; the right outside wall of your safe; or under the keypad/dial on the front of safe.

Q:  Can Sentry store my combination?

A:  YES!  Simply go to Sentry’s  combination registration page to create an account and store your Sentry combination on their website.

Q:  How do I dial the combination lock on a Sentry Safe?

A:  To download a manual with specific instructions on how to dial your Sentry combination lock, click here.

Q:  How do I register my Sentry Safe?

A:  Click here to register a Sentry Safe and create a user account with access to your combination online.

Q:  I need to replace my Sentry Safe.  Where can I buy one?

A:  For a ton of gun safe information, advice from industry experts, and the best prices on the web, the GunSafeGuru recommends GunSafes.com for all you Sentry Safe needs.

Gun Safe Info

I found this article useful for anyone looking to purchase a gun safe, wall safe, or home/office safe, so I wanted to pass it on. 

Click here for the hub page titled “Safes: Advice from an Industry Expert”           

It goes over some different types of safes and the different delivery methods available.      Enjoy  🙂

4th Of July Gun Safe SALE

Two of our most popular gun safes on sale for a limited time!

The Rhino Safe Company’s Bighorn 5928EC and Bighorn 24ECC both offer a 30 minute fire rating, 4 sided bolt protection, a U.L. listed electronic lock, a re-locker, fully adjustable interior, and a limited lifetime warranty!   At $799.95 and $899.95, these fire rated safes are hard to beat which is why we give them the label of “best bang for the buck”.

Take a look at our gun safe sales here.

BigHorn 24Ecc from GunSafes.comBigHorn 5928EC at GunSafes.com

How do I get into my safe if the battery dies?

I’m asked this question all the time:  “How do I change the battery on an electronic lock?”.  With electronic locks becoming more and more popular, this question often comes up when people are researching which style of lock to buy.  Electronic locks offer a much quicker method of getting into a safe and also give you the ability to easily change your combination at any time.  However, in order to supply the e-lock with power you’ll need to supply a battery.  When the battery dies, how do you get into the safe?  Many small home/office safes and handgun safes offer a backup key that allows you to get inside to change the batteries.  So what about getting into a full size gun safe that doesn’t have a key backup?

The great thing about electronic locks is that you don’t have to get into the safe to change the batteries.  The battery compartment is located inside the keypad on a full size gun safe.  Another nice feature is that the lock will warn you when your battery is low, either with an audible alert or a low battery light. 

While there are many other reasons for choosing an electronic lock or a manual dial lock, the battery issue shouldn’t be one of them.  As long as you replace the battery when you are alerted to do so, a dead battery won’t keep you from your valuables.

NEW ConsoleVault for 2010, Nissan owners rejoice

The Console Vault has been a popular addition to many gun safe owners vehicles.  This one-of-a-kind product is as easy to install as it is to use.  By using your existing console, the ConsoleVault keeps your valuables, hand guns, and other small items secured without using up any additional space in your SUV or truck.  Once installed, the vault can be easily opened by your choice of a key or a combination.

As popular as console vaults are on GunSafes.com, Nissan was not one of the trucks included in the ConsoleVault lineup….until now.  New for 2010, the Nissan Titan model 1022 is designed to fit all factory consoles from 2004-2010 .

In designing the Titan model, ConsoleVault took advantage of the generous size of the center floor-mount factory console and provided a high security, easy to operate storage vault that allows for ample storage with very simple 5 minute installation. Remove three screws, drop the vault into place and we provide modified screws to complete the job.

Considered by many Nissan Titan owners as the “ultimate accessory”.

Click here for the best price on the web