Best Gun Safes: Ultimate Guide

These are the best gun safes you should consider buying

best gun safe

Best Gun Safes: Ultimate Guide

Caution – A lot of content heading your way. All you ever need to know before buying a gun safe is listed in this article. To make it easier for you, we’ve broken the article into 5 Parts

Guns have become a part of the American household. Don’t believe us? Survey your neighborhood and you’ll hardly find a family without a firearm. There are reasons why guns have cemented their places in families.

Why Guns Have Become An Important Part Of The American Lifestyle

1. Safety

Most people get a firearm to protect themselves and their families from an unfortunate event like a robbery, burglary, or even an alien attack – who knows. Owning a gun these days has become a lot more about self-defense.

2. Hunting

Guns can bring families together. Never thought about it this way, right? Teaching your kids to hunt or to use a firearm can create a bond between you and your kids as it is a great group activity. It can also establish a sense of respect for you amongst your children.

3. Freedom

If you have ever wondered how it all started, this is the answer. “The right to keep and bear arms” from the Second Amendment of the US Constitution is the regular defense of current gun laws. Ever since the American Revolution of 1776, Americans are allowed to own and use a firearm.

Holding Guns Isn’t Safe

Guns have been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons. The events at Orlando, San Bernardino, Newtown, and Virginia raised alarms with the Americans. The people who were earlier opposed to the gun laws decided to keep them for their own safety.

Being careless with your firearms can put you in danger. While your firearms should be accessible to you at dire times, they should be kept safe and out of reach from everyone at all the other times.

For the curious mind, here is a quick comparison between the gun stats of US and UK.

Best Gun Safe
Sources: 1. CIA World Fact Book 2. UNODC 2012 3. Small Arms Survey 4. Everytown Research (as of 11 November 2015) 5. Gun Violence Archive 6. Home Office, Police Scotland.

Why You Need A Gun Safe

You need a gun safe for when you’re not using it and at times a gun safe can protect you from your very own gun. Depending on your needs, there are different types of gun safes on the market

  1. Heavy Duty Fireproof and Waterproof Gun Safes
  2. Biometric Gun Safes
  3. In-Wall Gun Safes
  4. Hidden Gun Safes
  5. Car Gun Safes
  6. Under Bed Gun Safes
  7. Corner Gun Safes
  8. Truck Gun Safes
  9. Nightstand Gun Safes

For the purpose of this article, we will be focusing on the heavy duty fireproof and waterproof gun safes. These are the heavy duty gun safes which can weigh around 1,000 lbs and can cost you upwards of $1,000.

What are the BEST Gun Safes?
We have taken all the guess work out of choosing the right gun safe. Our detailed reviews with the performance ratings of the best gun safes will save you time and money. 

How To Find The Best Gun Safes

Finding the best gun safes can be one of the hardest things to do. Since there are so many gun safe brands on the market, it could have been difficult to rate them on similarities. For this reason, most of the gun safes on the market today follow a standard rating.

Underwriter’s Laboratories

Just like food has an FDA rating, gun safes have to have an Underwriters’s Laboratories (UL) certification. This is the standard by which you could compare the different safes on the market.

UL has over 120 years of experience and according to its website, it “works with customers and stakeholders to help them navigate market complexity. UL brings clarity and empowers trust to support the responsible design, production, marketing and purchase of the goods, solutions, and innovations of today and tomorrow. We connect people to safer, more secure, more sustainable products, services, experiences, and environments – enabling smarter choices and better lives.”

Depending on your needs and where you live, you should keep certain things in mind before buying a Gun Safe.

1. The available space to put up a gun safe

Gun safes can take up a lot of space. You need to choose a gun safe according to the space available and the guns you’ll be putting in them. As mentioned above, these gun safes can weigh up to 1,000 lbs. You need to make sure your floor can support it.

2. Things You’ll Be Storing In Them

Since this safe will probably be the safest storage place in your house, you might end up storing more than just guns in them. Many people end up storing their electronic devices, jewelry, and important papers in these gun safes.

3. Chances of robbery in your area

You might want to check the robbery rate in your locality before you get a gun safe. If the robbery rates are high in your area, you shouldn’t shy away from buying the best gun safe you can afford. This might end up saving you more money than you invest in this thing.

4. Fire

A fire has got to be one of the biggest reasons people get a safe for their guns and other valuables. This hazard happens too often, so gun safe manufacturers have made fireproof safes. You need to consider this fireproof feature too.

5. Possibility of Floods and Water Damage

While you’re buying a gun safe, you need to let your imagination run wild with everything that could possibly go wrong. It is a known fact firearms can’t handle water. You need a safe which could keep your guns away from water damage.

6. Accessibility

There might be cases where there isn’t a place for you to setup a gun safe at a low key place in your house. You might end up installing it somewhere in your living room or at a place where it can be seen. You need to go for a heavier safe in this case since seeing a safe in your home might tip off potential robbers.

There are two types of gun safes you should know about

  1. Budget Gun Safes (RSC)
  2. True Gun Safes

UL RSC (Residential Security Containers)

best gun safe

Under UL 1037 performance ratings, Underwriter’s Laboratories rates and approves Residential Security Containers (RSC) or 8M10. These are the most common type of gun safes you’ll find on the market.

They might not sound all that safe and secure to you and you’ll be right to think that. These are the things considered by the UL for certifying the RSCs.

Consumer Product & Safety; Guidelines for Suppliers

1. Scope

2. Terms and Definitions

3. Basic principles for addressing consumer product safety

  1. General
  2. Promoting a product safety culture within the organization
  3. Promoting a product safety culture outside the organization
  4. Committing to provide safe products
  5. Continual improvement
  6. Precautionary approach
  7. Sharing of information

4. General Requirement

  1. General
  2. Commitment to providing safe consumer products
  3. Continual improvement
  4. Applicable laws, regulation, and standards
  5. Consumer product identification and traceability
  6. Understanding the role of consumers

5. Safety in design

  1. General
  2. Design specification
  3. Safety considerations in design
  4. Documenting the design specification process

6. Safety in production

  1. Basic principles during production
  2. Production Planning
  3. Full production runs
  4. Post production
  5. Production support

7. Safety in the marketplace

  1. General
  2. Pre-purchase assessment
  3. Proactive data collection and analysis
  4. Ongoing assessment of consumer product conformance
  5. Warranty and servicing
  6. Product incident investigation

The RSC is a new rating which is created for the safes which do not meet the minimum set standards for the UL certified true safes. There are the inexpensive steel cabinet versions of their expensive metal counterparts.

The RSC Safety Standards

According to the RSC safety standards set by the UL, a safe is a residential safety container if it blocks burglary access for five minutes if it is done using a pry bar less than 18 inches long and a hammer weighing less than three pounds.

This is all a steel container have to do to get the RSC badge. The manufacturers, for this reason, spend a lot of time on their doors and locking system and then marketing them. This could be a little discomforting if you had already finalized on a specific RSC.

If you’re looking to keep kids away from your guns or trying to prevent a burglary, RSC is the right choice for you. If ‘smash and grab’ burglaries are a thing in your neighborhood, these containers should take the tension off of your head.

It is to be noted though, if a teenager or a burglar breaks into your house when no one is at home, he could break into the RSC with the same hand tools he used to get into the house. You have to be careful of where you place your safe.


Best Budget Friendly Gun Safe – RSC

The only fair way to pick the best gun safe is to compare different models by the same parameters. In this article, we will be picking only the best brands and safes on the market currently and which gives you the best bang for your buck. The parameters we will be considering are –

Parameter / Gun SafeAmerican Security BF6030Liberty Fatboy Jr.Browning M28 Gun SafeWinchester Legacy 53
Security RatingUL 1037 Certified Residential Security ContainerUL 1037 Certified Residential Security ContainerUL 1037 Certified Residential Security ContainerUL 1037 Certified Residential Security Container
Standard Steel, Door Outer Sheet1/2" 5"1 5/16" duo-formed door¼” heat-treated steel outer plate on the door
Standard Steel, Walls Outer Sheet11 gauge11 gauge10 gauge10 gauge
Body WeldsContinuous Continuous Continuous Continuous
Anchor Holes4 Anchor Holes4 Anchor Holes4 Anchor Holes4 Anchor Holes
Door HingesExterior, Right or LeftInterior, Right or LeftExterior, Right or LeftExternal solid steel vault hinges
Door SealsPalusol intumescent seal and silicone sealHeat-activated, expanding Palusol door seal -Double layers of palusol heat expanding door seal
Lock TypesDial (Standard)
Electronic Keypad or Key Lock (Optional)
Dial (Standard)
Electronic Keypad or Key Lock (Optional)
Mechanical (Standard)
Electronic (Optional)
Biometric (Optional)
Mechanical (Standard)
Electronic (Optional)
Lock Rating, Mechanical DialUL 768 Group 2
(Standard)
UL 768 Group 2 (Standard)
UL 768 Group 2 (Standard)
UL 768 Group 2
(Standard)
Lock Rating, Electronic KeypadUL 768 Group 1
(Optional)
UL 768 Group 1
(Optional)
UL 768 Group 1
(Optional)
UL 768 Group 1
(Optional)
Combination Lock ManufacturersAMSEC (Standard)
S&G, La Gard, Kaba Mas (Optional)
S&GS&G (Standard),
S&G, SecuRam (Optional)
S&G
Bolt WorkSheet MetalTwelve Sheet Metal Bolts18 Active Bolts18 2″ solid steel locking bolts
Fire RatingsNo Recognized Rating
(Based on UL 72 Class 350 1 Hour design)
No UL 72 Ratings,
Can last 60-Minutes Under 1200°
No UL 72 Ratings,
Can last 110-Minutes under 1700° (ThermaBlock technology)
No UL 72 Ratings,
Can last 2.5 Hour fire rating at 1400º
Fire Insulation TypePoured "DryLight" Concrete AmalgamatePalusol heat-expanding sealThermaBlock features thicker sheets of fire insulationUL rated fireboard protection
Fire Insulation Thickness1" door, 2" wallsPalusol heat-expanding seal which expands up to 7 times its sizeThermaBlock is the saviour-
Steel Inner Fire Liner16 gauge (0.0598") ---
Made InUSAUSAUSAUSA
Cosmetic FeaturesChrome/brass/black nickel 5 spoke bolt wheel, pull handle, and logo. Polished interior back wall3 spoke bolt wheel, and logo.5 spoke bolt wheel, customisable graphic scene and logo.5 spoke bolt wheel, graphic scene and logo.
Interior Electrical ConnectionsStandardStandardStandardStandard
Price$$$$$$$$$$$
Stars












American Security BF6030

american security bf 6030

American Security or AMSEC is one of the oldest gun safe manufacturing companies in America. Although they source a lot of their material for cheap from China, most of their safes are completely sourced and manufactured in America.

Their BF (Burglary and Fire) fire safes are some of the best RSC certified safes on the market. AMSEC began in the late 1940’s and has since been pioneering and leading the gun safe market in the USA.

1. Security Rating

The BF6030 is a UL 1037 Residential Security Container (RSC) Certified gun safe. This gun safe is made in the USA and the build quality of this safe is hard to beat.

2. Standard Steel, Door Outer Sheet

AMSEC BF6030 has a ½”-Thick Steel Plate Door. The thickness of the steel plays a vital role in protection against burglary. This is one area where you can’t compromise while purchasing a gun safe.

3. Standard Steel, Walls Outer Sheet

AMSEC’s walls have 11 gauges (0.1196″) outer steel shells plus 2″ of concrete amalgamate fireproofing. The HD models have a 2”-Thick Body with 4ga Inner Barrier. This adds a layer of security to the safes.

4. Body Welds

This AMSEC gun safe has continuous body welds. Continuous welds are also the recommended standard for gun safes since they don’t leave any weak spots for the burglars to take advantage of using hand and power tools.

5. Anchor Holes

The BF models come with four pre-cut anchor holes. These anchors holes are all you will ever need irrespective of where you want to get your gun safe installed.

6. Door Hinges

The AMSEC BF gun safe gives you an option of keeping the door hinges on the exterior, right or left. You can make the customization once you finalize where you want the safe to be installed at your place.

7. Door Seals

The AMSEC BF safes come with palusol intumescent seal and silicone seal.

8. Lock Types

BF safes come with an option of lock types. You can choose from a digital, mechanical or the lock-duo redundant locks options.

AMSEC BF Lock Options

9. Lock Rating, Mechanical Dial

The mechanical lock on the AMSEC BF 6030 is UL 768 Group 2 certified. This safe provides the best guard against the burglars and gives you maximum security.

10. Lock Rating, Electronic Keypad

The electronic keypad is UL 768 Group 1 certified and is one of the best electronic locks present on the market.

11. Combination Lock Manufacturers

You can choose from a range of different lock manufacturers. AMSEC makes their own locks but you could also choose from S&G, La Gard, and Kaba Mas.

12. Bolt Work

The bolts used on this RSC gun safe are made from sheet metal.

13. Sheer Pins or Clutch Mechanism

There are no sheer pins or clutch mechanism on this safe.

14. Fire Ratings

Since this is an RSC firearms safe, it has no fire ratings from the UL. Though AMSEC has based this gun safe on UL 72 Class 350 1 Hour design. This is better than not having a fire rating at all.

15. Fire Insulation Type

The AMSEC BF 6030 has a seamless DryLight fill and a 120-Minute Intertek verified fire rating. It also has dual door seals to protect against fire and smoke.

16. Fire Insulation Thickness

Although this is not a UL certified fireproof safe, AMSEC takes fire as a threat seriously. This BF safe has a 1″ door, and 2″ walls.

17. Steel Inner Fire Liner

The AMSEC BF models come with a 16 gauge (0.0598″) and 4 gauge (0.2242″) on the HD models.

18. Made In

The AMSEC BF safes are proudly made in the United States of America. AMSEC leaves no stones unturned in marketing and advertising this fact.

19. Cosmetic Features

The AMSEC MF 6030 is aesthetically appealing. The embossed logo and the American Eagle add to the boldness of the gun safe. You get the option between chrome/brass/black nickel 5 spoke bolt wheel for your firearms safe. The interior back wall is polished to add to the appeal and it improves visibility.

20. Interior Electrical Connections

This gun safe has the option for interior electrical connections.

21. Colors

You get the option to choose from a plethora of colors for your gun safe. This is the best gun safe when it comes to the colors it is available in.

color options

22. Premium Upgrade Options

The premium upgrade option comes with a dehumidifier rod, a velvet-lined jewelry drawer, an installed LED light kit and a 3-socket power strip with a USB port.

premium upgrade options

23. Storage Cabinets

AMSEC BF 6030 is one of the few gun safes which gives you an option to put in the storage cabinets. These storage cabinets are available in 2-drawer and 4-drawer options. These storage units are finely crafted in solid-wood maple drawer fronts and maple veneer and finished in a rich honey maple stain.

amsec storage cabinets

Pros
  • A wide range of upgrade options available to better suit the gun safe according to you.
  • A wide variety of colors will make sure your firearms safe meets the color of your furniture.
  • Top class customer service and support.
  • Based on UL 72 Class 35 1 hour fire protection standards.
Cons
  • Not UL certified for fire protection.
  • A heavy gun safe which can cause a problem in moving it around.
  • This gun safe is on the expensive side.

Buy on Gunsafes.com

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Liberty Fatboy Jr.

Liberty Safe Fatboy Jr.

Liberty Fatboy Jr. is a wide-body safe which can hold up to 48 guns! Liberty is the largest manufacturers of gun safes. They’re also the number one sellers of residential safes in the US. Liberty Safes has two sister brands; Centurion and National Security. Liberty Safes was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Payson, Utah.

Liberty employs around 500 people. This brand is arguably the most aggressive marketer in the gun safe industry. Their service is top notch and will cater to your queries if you’re facing any problems. Since Liberty is the largest domestic gun safe manufacturer, they’ve invested in modern infrastructure like robots for welding which brings the cost down while maintaining constant build quality.

1. Security Rating

The Liberty Fatboy Jr. is certified as a UL 1037 RSC (burglary classification) or 8M10. This is one the best RSC safes present on the market. Since this is a Liberty safe, you can expect great quality.

2. Standard Steel, Door Outer Sheet

The door thickness is 5″ in total with 1″ composite door front. This Liberty safe has thick door and sides which add to the protection against theft and burglary.

3. Standard Steel, Walls Outer Sheet

The Liberty Fatboy Jr. has 11 gauges of steel which makes it really heavy and tough. The concrete amalgamate is 1-3/8″ Steel and Fireboard. It has 2″ thick steel body in the ceiling.

4. Body Welds

The body weld on this gun safe is continuous. Liberty safes use robots to do the welding on its gun safes. Robot welding makes it efficient to weld together where the steel is prone to be weak. This also gets you the best welding at the cheapest rates.

5. Anchor Holes

The Liberty Fatboy Jr. comes with the convenient four pre-cut anchor holes.

6. Door Hinges

Like many other gun safe companies, Fatboy Jr. gives you the option to place the door hinges according to your convenience. You can select for the door hinges to be placed on the exterior, right or left based on where you will put the gun safe.

7. Door Seals

The best gun safe is the one which gives you the best features at great prices. Fatboy Jr. is one such safe. This safe has a heat-activated, Expanding Palusol™ door seal which will keep the burglars out.

8. Lock Types

Fatboy Jr. gives you two options when it comes to selecting the door lock. You can choose between a mechanical lock and a low profile electronic lock.

lock types for Fatboy Jr.

9. Lock Rating, Mechanical Dial

The mechanical lock on the Fatboy Jr. is certified under UL 768 Group 2. The mechanical lock on this safe is the Sargent & Greenleaf™ 6741 mechanical lock.

10. Lock Rating, Electronic Keypad

The optional electronic keypad lock on this gun safe is from S&G™. You can’t get a better lock than the ones on this vault.

11. Combination Lock Manufacturers

The locks on this safe are UL listed S&G locks. You can choose between the type of locks but there is no option between lock brands.

12. Bolt Work

The Liberty Fatboy Jr. has a defensive barrier of twelve (!) total bolts on all four sides of the door. It doesn’t get any better than this.

13. Sheer Pins or Clutch Mechanism

This safe gun safe has a cam-driven bolt locking mechanism with slip clutch handle.

14. Fire Ratings

Since this is an RSC firearms safe, it has no fire ratings from the UL. Includes Liberty’s 60-minute fire package @1200°F or 83,000 BTUs.

15. Fire Insulation Type

The Fatboy Jr. has a palusol heat-expanding seal which expands up to 7 times its size in a fire at 212°F. You shouldn’t settle for inferior door seals used on cheaper safes.

16. Fire Insulation Thickness

The Liberty Fatboy Jr. has three layers on the ceiling, door jambs, and door with two layers on the walls.

17. Made In

The Fatboy Jr. is made in America. All the materials used in this gun safe are also sourced from within the USA. It is made in the US, keeping the needs of the US customer in mind.

18. Cosmetic Features

The Liberty Safe Fatboy Jr. is a solid looking wide gun safe. This safe has a big Liberty Safe logo displaying the Statue of Liberty on the door. It has a three-spoke bolt wheel on the door with the lock placed right above it.

19. Interior Electrical Connections

This gun safe has the option for interior electrical connections. You can add it while adding add-ons to the safe.

20. Colors

Fatboy Jr. comes in a single color which is the ‘Textured Black / Gray Fabric’. You’re not at loss here since this color looks classy. This safe looks minimal and serious.

21. Premium Upgrade Options

Liberty gives you the option to customize your safe with 39 add-ons. The add-ons have everything from a duster to moisture absorber. It has everything you will ever need for your gun safe.

Pros
  • UL certified burglary classified RSC
  • Uses 11 gauges of steel in outer walls which are industry leading figures.
  • Has a palusol heat-expanding seal to protect against fire.
  • Fire insulating material on the ceiling, door jambs, and door with two layers on the walls
Cons
  • Comes in a single color.
  • No fire proof rating by UL.
  • Fatboy is a wide safe which can take up a lot of space wherever you put it.

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Browning M28 Gun Safe

Browning Medallion M28

Browning was established in 1897. In the same year, it made its first-ever gun. It has since manufactured many types of guns and has entered into the clothing and gun safe business. Browning is a pioneer in every industry it operates in.

Medallion safes are a stalwart in the Browning ProSteel line for good reason. They offer the best mix of security, fire protection and interior convenience — features that have made it a top seller for more than a decade. The Axis interior and DPX door panel secures up to 29 long guns with extra space for

The minimal design and compact size of this safe make it perfect to add to any room. Browning M28 won’t only keep your guns, jewelry, documents and other important items safe, but will make a statement while doing it.

1. Security Rating

The Browning M28 gun safe is UL RSC tool attack certified. This is the best gun safe for you if you don’t want to compromise on customizations while maintaining the security.

2. Standard Steel, Door Outer Sheet

The Medallion M28 safe has a 1 5/16″ duo-formed door. While the thickness of the metal sheets can be a little less in this safe, the protection and solidness are commendable. You don’t have to worry about the material used in making this gun safe.

3. Standard Steel, Walls Outer Sheet

The Medallion firearms safes have a 10 gauge outer steel shell. While all the basic details are laid out by the company, other details can be a little hard to find. We feel there isn’t complete transparency by the company about its products.

4. Body Welds

Just like the other best gun safes, the Browning Medallion gun safes come with continuous welds. This increases the sturdiness and solidness of the vaults. Welding on corners can potentially make a vault prone to attacks by the burglars.

5. Anchor Holes

The Meddalion gun safes come with four pre-cut anchor holes. These anchor holes are at the right spots where they don’t compromise the security while increasing the functionality of the gun safe.

6. Door Hinges

The Browning Medallion M28 gun safe gives you an option to customize the location of the door hinges according to your preference. You can have the hinges on the exterior, right or left. The fire protection is available for any option you choose.

7. Door Seals

There isn’t much information about the door seals provided by Browning. Assuming by the kind of technology they use in their safes, we can say the door seals will not be a problem.

8. Lock Types

Browning offers three lock options for their safes. You can choose from mechanical, electronic and biometric locks. All the locks offered by Browning are premium and will stand the test of time.

Browning lock options

9. Lock Rating, Mechanical Dial

The mechanical lock on the Medallion M28 is from S&G and is UL 768 certified. This lock provides the best guard against the burglars and gives you maximum security and ease of mind.

10. Lock Rating, Electronic Keypad

The electronic keypad is also from S&G and is UL 768 certified. The S&G is one of the best electronic locks present on the market.

11. Lock Rating, SecuRam Biometric

The biometric lock on the M28 is by SecuRam. Unlike many other biometric locks, this lock has minimum failures and recognizes your fingerprints without trouble.

12. Bolt Work

The M28 has 18 active bolts in total. They are spread across four sides – top, bottom, left and right.

13. Sheer Pins or Clutch Mechanism

There are no sheer pins or clutch mechanism on this safe.

14. Fire Ratings

Since this is an RSC firearms safe, it has no fire ratings from the UL. The Browning M28 safe can last 110 Minute under 1700°.

Browning RSC safes come with ThermaBlock technology. ThermaBlock features thicker sheets of fire insulation arranged in an interlocking design that minimizes gaps that would allow the internal temperature in the safe to rise during a fire.

15. Fire Insulation Type

ThermaBlock features thicker sheets of fire insulation arranged in an interlocking design that minimizes gaps that would allow the internal temperature in the safe to rise during a fire.

16. Fire Insulation Thickness

Browning is so confident about its ThermaBlock technology, it doesn’t bother to give out the thickness of the material it uses in the safe’s insulation.

17. Steel Inner Fire Liner

ThermaBlock is the savior for all the fire related issues for Browning.

18. Made In

The Browning Medallion M28 safe is built in the United States. It is a company started in US and has since manufactured all its products here.

19. Cosmetic Features

The Browning M28 is has a two tone paint which adds to the aesthetics of the safe. There are many modifications and customizations you can do with the door of this safe. This safe is arguably the most customizable gun safe on the market. You can even customize the graphic scenes on the door panel.

20. Interior Electrical Connections

This gun safe has the provision for interior electrical connections.

21. Colors

You get the option to choose from 11 colors for the Browning Medallion M28 gun safe. The colors are solid and premium looking.

22. Premium Upgrade Options

The Browning safe provides the option for premium upgrades like the barrel racks, drawer, drawer bridge, file drawer, jewelry drawer, pistol rack, dehumidifier, etc.

23. Storage Cabinets

Medallion M28 has a wide range of storage cabinets you can opt for in the add-on section. Browning has a storage cabinet for every purpose. The M28 has DPX Storage System and Axis Shelving which are patented to increase the storage space inside a safe and make the most of the space.

Pros
  • ThermaBlock technology for safety against fire.
  • Has a biometric fingerprint scanner which can add security to the gun safe.
  • Comes in 11 premium looking colors.
  • UL RSC tool attack certified gun safe.
Cons
  • Since this an RSC, it is not UL certified to be fireproof.
  • No specifications regarding the protection against fire.

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Winchester Legacy 53

Winchester Legacy 53

Winchester started in 1866 and has since cemented its name in the gun safe market. Winchester’s image is synonymous with that of the cowboy, the Indian, the lawman, the pioneer, the mesa, the mountains, the desert, and the grandeur of the west. It’s no wonder Winchester is referred to as “The American Legend.”

The famous horse and rider logo symbolize reliability and innovation. Legacy 53 is a no-nonsense gun safe which is great in all the aspects. Winchester safes are one of the most sought-after vaults and have a well-established distribution channel.

1. Security Rating

The Legacy 53 is a certified UL 1037 Residential Security Container or 8M10 certified gun safe. This gun safe is made in the United States and Winchester Safes plans to keep it this way.

2. Standard Steel, Door Outer Sheet

Winchester Safes Legacy 53 has additional ¼” heat-treated steel outer plate on the door for added protection against burglary. There are only a few other gun safes on the market with heater-treated steel outer plate.

3. Standard Steel, Walls Outer Sheet

Legacy 53 has 10 gauges of outer steel shells. Winchester uses thick shell layers in its gun safes. This is far better than the what is provided by other gun safe manufacturers on the market.

4. Body Welds

Winchester uses robots in its manufacturing process. It’s safe has continuous welds which add to the security of the safes. Not using continuous welds make the corners and the welding points of the safes weak which make it robbery-prone.

5. Anchor Holes

The Winchester Legacy 53 comes with four pre-drilled anchor holes for anchoring to floor, preventing tipping for pry leverage or removal of safe by thieves

6. Door Hinges

The Legday 53 has external solid steel vault hinges which allow full fire protection and remove vulnerability of internal hinges, which require holes and weak points in fireboard protection.

7. Door Seals

The best gun safe is the one which takes minutest details like door seals seriously and Legacy 53 is one such safe. Legacy 53 has double layers of palusol heat expanding door seal expands to over 6x its size when subjected to heat, creating a barrier against heat and smoke.

8. Lock Types

The Winchester Legacy 53 gives you an option to choose between a mechanical and an electronic keypad lock.

9. Lock Rating, Mechanical Dial

The mechanical lock on the Legacy 53 is the UL certified S&G lock. This S&G lock has no vulnerable solenoid or key override feature.

10. Lock Rating, Electronic Keypad

The electronic keypad is UL 768 certified against burglary. This lock will stand the test of time and will protect your valuables against unauthorized access.

11. Combination Lock Manufacturers

Both the lock options on this gun safe are by S&G. It is a good choice since the S&G are UL certified and one of the oldest gun safe lock manufacturers.

12. Bolt Work

The Legacy 53 has 18 2″ solid steel locking bolts: 6 deadlocking and 12 actives including top/bottom locking bolts for added pry resistance

13. Sheer Pins or Clutch Mechanism

There is no sheer pins or clutch mechanism on this safe.

14. Fire Ratings

Since this is an RSC firearms safe, it has no fire ratings from the UL. Winchester says it’s safe is proven 2.5 Hour fire rating at 1400º F and they offer a lifetime free replacement in case the gun safe is compromised in a fire.

15. Fire Insulation Type

The Winchester Legacy 53 gun safe has a UL® rated fireboard protection in the ceiling, walls, and door.

16. Fire Insulation Thickness

Composite steel door with an added layer of UL® rated fireboard protection behind the accessory door panel.

17. Steel Inner Fire Liner

Thermal-protective lining in zippered door pockets provides additional protection for sensitive documents.

18. Made In

The Legacy 53 is made by Winchester in the USA. It has invested a big amount in its infrastructure and employs robots as well as humans in its manufacturing process.

19. Cosmetic Features

This Winchester safe is not meant to blend in. It will stand out with its solid rugged look no matter where you put in your house The Legacy 53 has a five spoke bolt wheel under the Winchester and the mechanical lock. The gun safe has a graphic scene just under the company logo to add to the aesthetics.

20. Interior Electrical Connections

This gun safe comes with a bright white motion-sensing LED light kit as an option and power docking system provides (2) 110v outlets and (2) USB pass-throughs as standard features.

21. Colors

This gun safe offers three subtle colors to choose from. Gunmetal, black, and saddle brown are the three colors you can choose from.

22. Premium Upgrade Options

The Legacy 53 comes with an option to add accessories to make the safe more functional. The list includes an essential kit (contains dehumidifier, cordless light, hygrometer, bolt down kit), siliva gel, magnetic barrel rest, automatic cordless light, hygrometer, pistol rack, and stealth entry light.

Pros
  • UL certified RSC gun safe.
  • UL® rated fireboard protection in the ceiling, walls, and door
  • Double layers of palusol heat expanding door seal.
  • External solid steel vault hinges which allow full fire protection.
Cons
  • Limited premium upgrade options.
  • Not UL certified for being fire proof.
  • The Winchester Legacy 53 has a blocky and retro look.

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Don’t Be Fooled By These Factors While Buying An RSC

1. The Number of Bolts

Manufacturing companies are obsessed with the number of bolts they use in their RSCs. Little does the potential customer know, the number of bolts in an RSC doesn’t matter. Increasing the number of bolts won’t add to the security of the safe.

2. The Size of Bolts

Did we tell you how obsessed companies are with their bolts? They also try to advertise the size of their bolts. For the bolts and such little details to matter, they must be supported by a strong enough door and door frame.

Residential Security Containers

Pros

  1. Cheap – RSCs can be a lot cheaper than the UL rated true safes. Although different brands might cost different, they all have the same RSC rating and provide you with the same protection against threats.
  2. Light Weight – Residential security containers can a lot lighter than a true safe. It can be a pro for people who move around and are constantly shifting houses for their jobs or better opportunities.
  3. Same Appearance – RSCs and true safes look the same. Someone who doesn’t have a lot of knowledge about gun safes won’t be able to tell the difference between the two. The solid look of the RSCs is enough to keep unwanted hand away from it.

Cons

  1. Easy To Break – As the name suggests, RSCs are containers. They aren’t good at standing against burglars or someone who knows his way through the safes. A person with hand tools can break into the safe in around five minutes.
  2. No Chances Against Power Tools – If someone has a power hand tool like a fire torch, he can break into the container in under five minutes. The door is the strongest part of the container, but the burglars use the sides to break in. It is always suggested to place the safe in a place where only its door is accessible and its sides are covered with a wall.
  3. Too Much Bling – There are many different kinds of RSCs present on the market in different price ranges, but the only difference between them is the type of paint used, the material used on the inside and other things which don’t add to the safety of the RSC directly.

Apart from these brands, there are other Non-RSC certified safes present on the market. If you were planning to buy one of them, you’d be better off buying a tool box, a gun cabinet or building yourself your own metal box and pray every day that no one tries to break into it.


True Gun Safes

Underwriter’s Laboratories Rates steel containers as Gun Safes under its UL 687 performance ratings. Under UL 687, true gun safes have ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘D’, ‘E’ and ‘F’ ratings. All these ratings have different standards the safes have to meet. These are –

1. B Rated Protection Level – Features

  • 1/2 inch solid steel door
  • 1/4 inch thick solid steel body construction
  • Flush door frame design with overbuilt spread resistant door frame
  • 1-inch laminated, interlocked & double-welded door jamb
  • U. L. approved high-security Group 2 lock
  • Ball bearing hard plate
  • Double anchor locking bolt carriage design
  • 1-inch thick hardened chrome locking bolts with anti-drive resistance
  • Five active and passive relocking devices
  • Four 5/8 inch base anchor holes

2. C Rated Protection Level – Features

  • C rated safes have all the standard features of the B rated safes plus the following features –
  • 1-inch solid steel door
  • 1/2 inch thick solid steel body construction
  • Ball and roller bearing hinges

3. E Rated Protection Level – Features

  • E Rated (TL-15) gun safes have all the features of the previous protection levels plus the following features –
  • 1 1/2 inch solid steel
  • 1-inch thick solid steel body construction
  • Chip carbide hard plate

4. F Rated Protection Level – Features

F Rated Safes gain a quarter inch of Ballistic Armor in the door. This armor functions as a hard plate for the entire front area of the safe. F Rated safes have all the features of the previous protection levels plus the following features –

  • 1/4 of additional Ballistic Armor on door

UL also lists safe with further ratings for its ‘True’ Gun Safes

1. TL – 15, TL – 30

TL – 15 is the measure of attack a gun safe can resist against hand tools like hammers, pliers etc. The ’15’ in the name stands for 15 minutes. The TL – 15 rates gun safes can stand for 15 minutes against hand tools.

Similarly, the TL – 30 safes can stand 30 minutes of attacks using hand tools. These extra 30 minutes are added by the manufacturer by using heavier materials in building the safe. Although, this will also add to the price tag of the safes.

2. TRTL – 15, TRTL – 30

TRTL gun safes can also handle power tools like torches, etc. This is the main difference which separates the TRTL and TL gun safes. This small difference isn’t so small for the manufacturers. They have to take a completely different approach while constructing these safes.

It is no surprise the TRTL safes cost more than the TL safes. If you can afford the TRTL gun safes, you should totally go for these. This is the best gun safe on the market money can buy. Your search for the ultimate gun safe will end forever.


Fire Ratings

Fire ratings is another important factor you need to consider while looking for a gun safe. Underwriter’s Laboratories gives out fireproof safe ratings under its UL 72 class. We can understand there might be a little too many classes, but they’re important since you don’t shop around for safes often and you need to buy the best gun safe on the market in the first go.

Furthermore, there are three sub-ratings under UL 72 which categorizes your gun safes.

gun safes fire ratings

Fireproof Duration

Each gun safe has its own fireproof duration associated with it. No gun safe is fireproof for an unlimited time when exposed to fire. The time durations under UL 72 are 30 minutes, one hour, two hours, three hours or four hours.

For example – A gun safe can have a UL 72 Class 350 – 1 rating. This means the safe is fire-protected for an hour. Similarly, Class 350 – 2, 3 mean the safes are protected for two and three hours respectively when exposed to fire.

An interesting thing to note here is, although these are the fireproof durations of the gun safes, these safes are tested for around 80 hours during the certification process.

Tests Under UL 72 Ratings

There are four tests which are performed before any safe is given a UL 72 rating –

  1. Fire Endurance Test – All of these test are self-explanatory. This is the standard fire test where the safe can be exposed to fire for up to 80 hours,
  2. Fire and Impact Test – Under this test the safe is impact-tested by dropping it from 30 feet. The safe is thrown from the third story of a building to check if it holds up. A safe is impact tested because in the case of a fire break out, the ceiling or beams might fall on top of the safe.
  3. Explosion Hazard Test – Since the safes are sealed tight, there can be possibilities of pressure building up inside them in instances of fire. To avoid an explosion, the safe is put through the explosion hazard test.
  4. Combined Explosion and Impact Test – In this test, the safes are put through the explosion and impact test simultaneously.

There have been various independent studies done on the subject of gun safes surviving a fire and it has been noted, whether the guns survive a fire in a gun safe, RSC or a wooden box has more to do with how the fire burns rather than the UL rating of the container.

Fire Ratings and RSCs

UL doesn’t give any RSC container a UL 72 rating since they don’t meet it’s fireproof rating guidelines. The manufacturers of the RSCs self-certify the safes to be fireproof and then go ahead marketing and promoting them.

fake fire ratings
The image of the left is a UL 72 rated fire safe while the picture on the right is from a self-certified RSC manufacturer.

Fire Rated Safes To Look Out For

true gun safe fireproof

Most gun safes including RSCs are made from 11 to 16 gauge steel lined with drywall and covered with carpeting. You need a minimum 10GA steel container with silver inner wall to achieve the UL 72 fireproof rating. This fireproof rated container is filled with a special material to insulate the container.

RSC manufacturers use drywall because it is heavy and cheap. While it can be of a benefit to the supplier, it is no use for the buyer. The biggest negative is, the drywall can permanently damage your guns.

Drywall uses formaldehyde as a dispersing agent. Formaldehyde can be corrosive to steel, nickel, and copper, increasing the corrosion in guns at a rapid pace. The bad news doesn’t end here. You’ve also got a bacteria in your drywall.

Most of the drywalls coming out of China have a bacteria called Acidithiobacillus. While it doesn’t affect humans, it eats iron and produces sulfuric acid. Ever noticed the sulphur smell when you open a gun safe? That’s this bacteria at play and that bacteria is slowly but surely eating away your guns.

There are many gun safes on the market which don’t have a UL 350 certification, in this case, your gun safes won’t stand fire. Gun safes imported from other countries, especially China, can have fake stickers. Buy your safes from a trusted source with verified ratings.

While buying a gun safe, don’t let the perception of a heavy and bulky storage container fool you. The size of the container doesn’t always directly relate to the safety and security it provides. Check for the material used in making the gun safes.


Best Gun Safe – True Gun Safes

We will be going with the same parameters we used for evaluating the RSCs because not a lot changes when it comes to the features of the gun safes. Only the testing by the Underwriter’s Laboratories and the thickness of the material used in the construction of the gun safes changes. The parameters we will be considering for comparison are –

Parameter / Gun SafeAmerican Security RF703620X6Mesa MTLF5524
Security RatingUL 687 Certified TL-30 Gun SafeUL 687 Certified TL-30 Gun Safe
Standard Steel, Door Outer Sheet6” 2-3/4"
Standard Steel, Walls Outer Sheet3” defense barrier of inner and outer steel plates3-1/2"
Body WeldsContinuous Continuous
Anchor Holes4 Anchor Holes4 Anchor Holes
Door HingesExterior, Right or LeftExterior, Right or Left
Door Seals2 Stage Dual fire seals with silicone seal on door jamb & expandable Palusol™ seal on the doorPalusol intumescent seal and silicone seal
Lock Types7 Lock Options
3 - Dial
4 - Electronic Keypad or Key Lock
Dial (Standard)
Lock Rating, Mechanical DialUL 768 Group 2
(Standard)
UL 768 Group 2 (Standard)
Lock Rating, Electronic KeypadUL 768 Group 1
(Optional)
NA
Combination Lock ManufacturersAMSEC (Standard)
S&G, La Gard, Kaba Mas (Optional)
Mesa Safes
Bolt WorkSheet Metal1-1/2" diameter chrome plated solid steel locking bolts
Sheer Pins or Clutch MechanismNoCam-driven bolt locking mechanism with slip clutch handle
Fire RatingsNot UL 72 Class Certified,
Can last 120 minutes at 1850˚
U.L. Rated Class 350°F factory 2-hour fire rating
Fire Insulation Type120-Minute Intertek verifiedPalusol heat-expanding seal
Fire Insulation ThicknessDual door seals to protect against fire and smokeHigh-density fire resistant composite material with nuggets and steel fibers
Steel Inner Fire Liner6" Door and 3" Inner and Outer Steel Plates3 ½" thick body enclosing high-density fire-resistant material
Made InUSAUSA
Cosmetic FeaturesChrome/brass/black nickel 5 spoke bolt wheel, pull handle, and logo. Polished interior back wall3 spoke bolt wheel, mechanical lock and logo
Interior Electrical ConnectionsStandardStandard
Price$$$$$
Stars






American Security RF703620X6

american security RF703620X20

It is no surprise American Security is featured for the second time in this list. Since it is one of the oldest gun safe manufacturers in America, they have a complete range of firearms safes to meet their customer needs.

Their RF703620X20 gun safe is one of the best true gun safes on the market which provides all round protection from fire and burglary. This true gun safe is sourced and manufactured in the United States of America.

1. Security Rating

The RF703620X20 is a UL 687 TL-30 certified true gun safe. This is as good at it gets when it comes to buying the best gun safe money can buy.

2. Standard Steel, Door Outer Sheet

In AMSEC RF703620X20, the overall thickness of the door is 6” and is constructed with a 3” defense barrier of outer and inner steel plates creating a single structure enclosing a unique, high-density fire and burglary resistant composite material.

3. Standard Steel, Walls Outer Sheet

AMSEC’s walls are constructed with a 3” defense barrier of inner and outer steel plates enclosing a unique interlocking heavy duty steel barrier, 12,000 PSI high-strength concrete, and a high-density high-strength ceramic matrix.

4. Body Welds

This AMSEC gun safe has continuous body welds. Continuous welds are also the recommended standard for gun safes since they don’t leave any weak spots for the burglars to take advantage of using hand and power tools.

5. Anchor Holes

The BF models come with four pre-cut anchor holes and one pre-cut electrical access hole. These anchors holes are all you will ever need irrespective of where you want to get your gun safe installed.

6. Door Hinges

The AMSEC BF gun safe gives you an option of keeping the door hinges on the exterior, right or left. You can make the customization once you finalize where you want the safe to be installed at your place.

7. Door Seals

The AMSEC BF safes come with 2 Stage Dual fire seals with silicone seal on door jamb and expandable Palusol™ seal on the door.

8. Lock Types

BF safes come with an option of lock types. This safe also has one the highest number of gun safe lock options. You have an option to choose from seven locks –

  • Mechanical Lock
  • Electronic Lock ESL5
  • Electronic Lock ESL10XL
  • Mechanical Lock S&G 6630
  • Electronic Lock ESL20XL
  • Electronic Lock S&G 6120
  • LP Redundant (Chrome Only)

9. Lock Rating, Mechanical Dial

The mechanical lock on the AMSEC BF 6030 is UL 768 Group 2 certified. This safe provides the best guard against the burglars and gives you maximum security.

10. Lock Rating, Electronic Keypad

The electronic keypad is UL 768 Group 1 certified and is one of the best electronic locks present on the market.

11. Combination Lock Manufacturers

You can choose from a range of different lock manufacturers. AMSEC makes their own locks but you could also choose from S&G, ESL, and LP Redundant.

12. Bolt Work

The bolts used on this RSC gun safe are made from sheet metal.

13. Sheer Pins or Clutch Mechanism

There is no sheer pins or clutch mechanism on this safe.

14. Fire Ratings

Although this is a true gun safe, AMSEC didn’t apply for a UL 78 fireproof certification to cut costs and make this safe cheaper for its customers. AMSEC has proven its gun safe to be fireproof for 120 minutes at 1850˚.

15. Fire Insulation Type

The AMSEC RF703620X20 has a seamless 120-Minute Intertek verified fire rating. It also has dual door seals to protect against fire and smoke.

16. Fire Insulation Thickness

Although this is not a UL certified fireproof safe, AMSEC takes fire as a threat seriously. This safe is constructed with a 3” defense barrier of inner and outer steel plates enclosing a unique interlocking heavy duty steel barrier.

17. Steel Inner Fire Liner

The overall thickness of the door is 6” and is constructed with a 3” defense barrier of outer and inner steel plates.

18. Made In

The AMSEC RF703620X20 gun safe is proudly made in the United States of America. AMSEC leaves no stones unturned in marketing and advertising this fact.

19. Cosmetic Features

The AMSEC MF 6030 is aesthetically appealing. The embossed logo and the American Eagle add to the boldness of the gun safe. You get the option between chrome/brass/black nickel 5 spoke bolt wheel for your firearms safe. The interior back wall is polished to add to the appeal and it improves visibility. It also has a handle to make it easier to open the heavy steel door.

20. Interior Electrical Connections

This gun safe has the option for interior electrical connections.

21. Colors

You get the option to choose from four colors for your gun safe.

22. Premium Upgrade Options

The premium upgrade option comes with a dehumidifier rod, a velvet-lined jewelry drawer, an installed LED light kit and a 3-socket power strip with a USB port.

23. Storage Cabinets

AMSEC RF703620X20 is one of the few gun safes which gives you an option to put in the storage cabinets. These storage cabinets are available in 2-drawer and 4-drawer options. These storage units are finely crafted in solid-wood maple drawer fronts and maple veneer and finished in a rich honey maple stain.

amsec storage cabinets

Pros
  • AMSEC is a trusted brand in budget and true gun safes.
  • Gives you a choice to choose from seven lock options.
  • UL 687 TL-30 certified true gun safe.
  • 2 Stage Dual fire seals with silicone seal on door jamb and expandable Palusol™ seal on the door.
Cons
  • AMSEC stands for quality, and it comes with a price.
  • AMSEC didn’t apply for a UL 78 certification to save costs.

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Mesa MTLF5524

mesa gun safe

Mesa Safe Company was founded in 1981 by a locksmith who had been legally breaking into the safes of other people for his lifetime. George L. Vicente, the founder, understood what the gun safes on the market lacked and improvised on them with his company.

Mesa Safes will appeal to a different kind of a customer. The Mesa MTFL5524 is a TL certified gun safe but at a fraction of the cost at which its competitors are priced. The only difference being, you wouldn’t be able to store your long guns in this safe. If you own smaller guns or use your safes to store other valuables like jewelry, important papers, electronic devices, you shouldn’t look any further.

1. Security Rating

The Mesa MTFL5524 is a certified TL-30 gun safe under UL 687. It is a commercial grade safe to keep your valuables safe.

2. Standard Steel, Door Outer Sheet

The door is constructed with a 2-3/4″ defense barrier of outer and inner steel plates creating a single structure enclosing a unique, high-density fire and burglary resistant composite material. The reinforced drill resistant door frame protects the door and each individual bolt chamber from severe side attacks.

3. Standard Steel, Walls Outer Sheet

The formed body has a total protective thickness of 3-1/2″ enclosing a high-density fire resistant composite material with nuggets and steel fibers.

4. Body Welds

The body weld on this Mesa Safe is continuous. The continuous body welds don’t leave any weak edges or joints on the gun safe which could be used by the burglars to break in.

5. Anchor Holes

The Mesa MTFL5524 comes with the convenient four pre-cut anchor holes.

6. Door Hinges

The door hinges on the Mesa MTFL5524 are on the outside. They are all steel which adds security and provides easy & smooth door operation.

7. Door Seals

The Mesa MTLF5524 safe comes with palusol intumescent seal and silicone seal.

8. Lock Types

The MTLF5524 comes with a U.L. listed group 2 combination lock. A massive drill shattering hard plate and 2 punch-activated relocking systems protect the lock.

9. Lock Rating, Mechanical Dial

The mechanical lock on the Fatboy Jr. is certified under UL 768 Group 2.

10. Lock Rating, Electronic Keypad

This Mesa Safe doesn’t have the option for an electronic safe. The company acknowledges electronic keypads need more servicing than the mechanical ones and only uses the mechanical dial.

11. Combination Lock Manufacturers

The locks on this safe are UL listed and manufactured by Mesa Safes.

12. Bolt Work

This gun safe has a massive 1-1/2″ diameter chrome plated solid steel locking bolts, each bolt moves deep into the body’s protected bolt chambers.

13. Sheer Pins or Clutch Mechanism

This safe gun safe has a cam-driven bolt locking mechanism with slip clutch handle.

14. Fire Ratings

The Mesa MTFL5524 has a U.L. Rated Class 350°F factory 2-hour fire rating, tested in temperatures up to 1825°F.

15. Fire Insulation Type

MTLF5524 is an all-round fire protected safe with a high-density fire resistant composite material with nuggets and steel fibers.

16. Fire Insulation Thickness

This Mesa Safe has a 3 ½” thick body enclosing high-density fire-resistant material.

17. Made In

The Mesa Safe company was established in the USA and has since manufactured all its safes in America.

18. Cosmetic Features

The Liberty Safe Fatboy Jr. is a solid looking no-nonsense gun safe. This safe has a small logo on the upper left corner of the safe. It has a three-spoke bolt wheel under the mechanical lock placed on a steel sheet on the door.

19. Interior Electrical Connections

This gun safe doesn’t provide the option for interior electrical connections.

20. Colors

The Mesa MTFL5524 comes in a single color, i.e ‘buff cream’. This color is meant to make the safe blend in its surroundings and not stand out.

21. Premium Upgrade Options

This is a no-nonsense safe and hence doesn’t give you a lot of options to upgrade. Although, this gun safe does have the option to adjust the pre-fitted shelves according to your needs.

Pros
  • A great safe if you’ll be storing other valuables like jewelry, documents, etc.
  • A budget friendly option when it comes to the true gun safe range.
  • TL-30 gun safe under UL 687
  • U.L. Rated Class 350°F factory 2-hour fire rating.
Cons
  • A retro design which might not be a right fit for your designer condo.
  • This gun safe is not for you if you have long guns.
  • No color option.

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON


True Gun Safes

Pros

  1. UL 687 Certified Safes Can Also Be RSC – It is possible for the UL 687 certified ‘true’ gun safes to be RSC certified as well. Although all the true gun safes can easily pass through the RSC certification, most of the manufacturers don’t apply for it to save costs.
  2. Safest Option – There is no other safe on the market which can provide more security to your valuables than the true gun safes.
  3. Prolonged Protection Against Power Tools – The true gun safes have the option of security against power tools and can save your valuable for longer time durations as compared to the RSCs.

Cons

  1. Expensive – There is no doubt true gun safes are more expensive than the RSCs. Heavier material is used in its construction which leads to a rise in its price. In most cases, the higher the ratings, the higher the price.
  2. Heavy – The true gun safes are much heavier than the RSCs. This makes it harder to move them around. It’ll probably be kept in the same place where you install it. The heavier materials used in its construction makes it heavier.
  3. Different Types of Safes – Even after spending big sums on a true gun safe, you don’t get complete security. There are burglary or fire safes, the safes with both burglary and fire protection aren’t good at any.

Worth Mentioning

SecureIt Model 52

SecureIt model 52

SecureIt is a known brand name when it comes to firearms storage. SecureIt calls itself an intelligent firearms storage company and also manufactures tactical firearm storage units to the military. You can rest assured this company knows what it is doing since it is associated with the army.

SecureIt is very upfront with its products and doesn’t hide the fact none of its products are UL certified or tested. At the same time, their products use superior materials than the ones certified by the Underwriter’s Laboratories. Not applying for these certifications and tests save a lot of money for the company and its customers while not compromising 1% on its security features.

The SecureIt Model 52 comes with a Patented KnockDown technology allows the Model 52 to deliver disassembled (see video below) for efficient transportation/store-ability. It assembles in minutes with a wrench and minimal effort. All assembly is internal and therefore inaccessible when locked.

The SecureIt Model 52 is a tuff looking gun safe which has incredible functionality at fraction of a cost and weight as compared to the other gun safes present on the market. This company also provides a number of videos explaining its products, how to assemble them and how they’re different from other gun safes.

CradleGrid Technology

The SecureIt Model 52 comes with the CradleGrid technology. At first, it might look like this gun safe can only handle long guns. This might turn away the people who have smaller guns and who also want to store other things like electronic devices, papers, etc. in the gun safe. The CradleGrid technology solves this problem.

CradleGrid technology allows you to set up your cabinet to meet your needs. In the Military, they refer to the system as the “Tetris Rack” because they start at the bottom and build the storage they need, or the Lego rack, like Legos you can build what ever you need.The Model 52 is compatible with all CradleGrid accessories. You have the freedom to create your own custom solution.

SecureIt-Model-52-variations

Benefits:

  • CradleGrid system adjusts on the fly to store any long gun – no tools necessary
  • Stores any style firearm with scope attached; no need to re-zero
  • Straight-line access ­allows you to reach each firearm without moving others
  • Organizational awareness improves visual inventory
  • Accessories adjust on louvered grid for unlimited configurations
  • Ideal size for home and office
  • Easy to assemble
  • Built tough with commercial-grade 14-gauge steel
  • Allows the Model 52 to be shipped or stored flat in sections and assembled on the spot in minutes with a single wrench and minimal effort. All assembly is internal and, therefore, inaccessible when locked.

Specifications of the SecureIt Model 52 –

  • 52″h x 20″w x 15″d
  • Heavy-duty steel construction
  • Recessed, full piano hinge swing door with 3-point locking system
  • Keypad control panel
  • Includes back panel grid and 12 cradles
  • 3 interlocking stock bases (2 firearms per base)
  • Stores any 6 firearms up to 50″ in length

SecureIt is so confident of its product, it has a 90-day money back guarantee. If you think the product doesn’t meet your needs or isn’t up to the mark, all you need to do is to get in touch with the company and they’ll give you a refund.

Pros
  • The cheapest gun safe on the list.
  • Ultra light gun safe you can move around in your home.
  • CradleGrid system to adjust your gun safe storage as per your needs.
  • Built with commercial-grade 14-gauge steel
Cons
  • SecureIt doesn’t apply for any type of UL certification to save its customers money.
  • No customization option for the gun safe or lock type option.
  • Being light weight can play to its disadvantage as burglars can carry it away.

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Old or Used Gun Safes

Buying a new gun safe, whether an RSC or UL 687 true gun safe, can burn a hole in your pocket. To be honest, not everyone can afford a gun safe. While saying this we acknowledge most people need a safe to keep their valuable secure.

If you don’t have the budget for a gun safe, you can look for used gun safes from a lock and safe dealer in your locality. You can get a good bargain from your local dealer for the same safes you will get at significantly higher prices.

Since you’re buying a used safe, there are chances the previous owner modified the safe according to his needs. the only thing you need to take care of is they should fit your taller guns as these old safes might not be built to store taller guns.

You can save up to $5,000 on a used gun safe. The biggest plus is, you won’t have to compromise on a lot while buying a used firearm safe. You can get an RCS or a true gun safe in an optimal condition from a safe dealer or online.

Since you’re buying an old gun safe, the previous owner could have adjusted the racks according to himself. In this case, you might have to build your own gun racks. There is also a probability that the safes will either be empty or will have simple wooden shelves.

It is always a good idea to look for valid warranties while buying a used gun safe. Keep in account the cost for delivery and installation of these safes. They might cost you a little more to set up as compared to the new safes.

If you’re consulting a local safe dealer, make sure they are a member of the Safe & Vault Association (SAVTA) and/or National Safeman’s Organisation (NSO). You can find these businesses online or in the yellow pages.

4 Additional Things To Keep In Mind While Deciding Between RSC or a True Safe

1. UL 768 Rated Group 1 or 2 Combination Lock

Every aspect of a gun safe is rated. While all the true safes come with a UL 768 rated lock, this is not the case with the RSCs. Gun safes with non-rated locks could save you a few bucks but we wouldn’t suggest you save money in this department.

Go for mechanical safes while buying a gun safe. The best gun safe will always come pre-installed with a mechanical lock. Electronic locks can be a trouble and the mechanical ones, if properly serviced, will last you a lifetime.

2. Continuous Welds

Continuous welds can add to the safety and toughness of a safe. All true safes are required by the UL rules to have continuous welds, this is not so with the RSCs. The welding spots can add weak spots on the safes and even a simple hand tool like a hammer can get the better of the safes.

3. Country of Manufacture

Country of manufacture has to be one of the biggest factors in deciding which safe to buy. The best gun safe will be the one manufactured in America. There are gun safes which are imported from China. These Chinese safes can save you a lot of money but will put you at a risk of losing your valuables.

4. Modular Gun Safes

Modular gun safes can be assembled, disassembled and reassembled. An average American moves seven times throughout his lifetime. Modular gun safes are the best fit if you find yourself moving houses often.


Conclusion

It is okay if you got overwhelmed reading all the information in this article regarding gun safes. The UL ratings can get a little confusing at times. The main factor on which your buying decision should depend is your usage.

What kind of things are you going to store in this gun safe? Will there be only guns or will you be storing other valuables like jewelry and important papers in it as well? What type and how many guns do you own? Are you planning to buy more guns in the future? If yes, what types of guns will you be buying?

The biggest question of all is, what is your budget? What type of neighborhood do you live in? Are burglaries common in your area? When was the last time a fire broke out in your neighborhood? Is your house equipped with measures to stop the fire in case it breaks out?

If you’re like most people, you won’t be buying gun safes often. Chances are you will only buy a single gun safe for your house in a lifetime. So you need to make sure it is the best gun safe on the market which money can buy.

We have listed all the different kinds of guns safes you should know about before making the buying decision. If you plan to store only your smaller guns and important documents and electronics, you’re better going with the Mesa Safe.

On the other hand, if you do happen to own larger guns and your main purpose of buying the gun safe is to store guns, the SecureIt Model 52 is a perfect choice. This gun safe is also incredibly cheap as compared to the other gun safes on this list.


If you have questions about any gun safe or want help buying one, drop your queries in the comment’s section below and we’ll be happy to help.

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