So I have been looking into some solutions for quality gun safes. The good ones are not cheap, but I am sitting here trying to figure out what I want to do. Many of us keep things other than guns in our safe- things like PMs, documents, etc. Let’s say that you have 25 ounces of silver, 2 ounces of gold, 10 rifles, 2 shotguns, and 5 handguns. That means you easily have $15-40 thousand dollars worth of stuff locked in that safe- and that isn’t even a large collection. The PMs in such a case are worth almost $5,000, before you even begin talking about guns. A good safe is expensive, but can be a lifesaver.

I personally know someone who has far more in his safe than that. He owns a couple of machine guns, and we all know how much those are worth.

In my case, I have a shotgun that was owned by my great grandfather, and it has been in my family for over a century: A Parker Brothers Trojan 20 gauge shotgun, and that gun is worth quite a bit by itself, not to mention the sentimental value.

Since we are about to move, this is a good time to think about getting a new safe. With all of the news about data breaches, I just don’t trust companies to keep data safe. Imagine what a target a safe company’s data is: the get the company’s sales records, which include the safe model number, your name, email address, physical address, and the code/combo needed to open your safe. So any thief now knows that you have a safe, your address, and the combination. Sound like a problem to you? OR does it sound paranoid and far fetched? If a company like LastPass, Norton’s Life Lock, or a major bank can be compromised, so can a safe company. The fewer people who know what my combination is, the better off I am.

I will avoid Liberty for one basic reason- they have shown that they care more for making the government happy than they do about safeguarding their consumers’ confidential information. They sold out one owner, they will sell out others. That goes for any other company that is in possession of the combination for my safe.

I looked at lots of different websites for safes over the past few days. I had a few criteria:

  • Any safe that doesn’t come with a mechanical lock was eliminated. There is just no way to ensure that no one else had a backdoor code that could be compromised.
  • The mechanical lock had to be consumer changeable without voiding the warranty, to eliminate the possibility of a locksmith having the combination. Now I can be sure that my wife and I are the only ones with the combination.
  • There had to be a diamond steel drill plate, to make the safe resistant to drilling out the lock.
  • There had to be some sort of quality relocker, so tampering with the lock mechanism would lock the safe.
  • The locking bolts had to all be live bolts, meaning that they all move in and out to secure the door.
  • It had to have at least a 90 minute fire rating.
  • The manufacturer has to have a dealer within 100 miles of my house.

Those criteria eliminated all of the most common gun safes: Winchester, Liberty, Fort Knox, and all of the other ones that you commonly see in stores. There was one manufacturer that met all of my criteria, and that was the Champion Safe Company. Two of their product lines look good: Champion, and Superior. I’m really intrigued by the Champion Triumph line.

The 50 cubic foot model has dimensions of 42″ x 72.25″ x 30.5″ and the walls are made of 10 gauge steel on the outside and 12 gauge steel inside. It will hold up to 58 long guns, and will be difficult to steal once the 1200 pound safe is bolted to the floor with some hefty hardware. The downside is that this safe costs $6800. However, as I said before, it is cheaper than getting your valuables stolen.

No safe is impenetrable, but I want mine to be difficult enough to get into that it will prevent all but the most well equipped thieves to get into that safe. I am going to take a good, hard look at this safe for my next purchase.

Now, the disclaimer: I don’t advertise, and receive nothing for my reviews or articles. I have no relationship with any products, companies, or vendors that I review here, other than being a customer. If I ever *DO* have a financial interest, I will disclose it. Otherwise, I pay what you would pay. No discounts or other incentives here. I only post these things because I think that my readers would be interested.

Categories: GearPrepping


Beans · September 7, 2023 at 2:46 am

A thing to consider regarding safes is… location, location, location.

Put it some place that’s harder to access than normal, like not in the middle of a family or great room.

Fortify the surroundings to make it harder for some jerk to access the sides or top with power tools. (Watch any video of feds or crooks breaking into marijuana dispensaries and you’ll see big saws and torches being used to access even uber-good safes in next to no time, because the cutters have the ability to get their tools to the safe.)

Make sure the safe is on very secure flooring.

All of this will make even a cheap arse bought-from-box-store 12 gun safe much more secure than that fine uber-good safe in an easily accessible location.

It's just Boris · September 7, 2023 at 4:07 am

For what it’s worth we’ve been very happy with our Zanotti Armor Z2. It’s been with us through three moves now, over about a decade.

It’s missing some of your preferred features, e.g. no fireproofing nor rating for same. But based on what I’ve read and on our use case, that’s not a huge deal for us.

On the other hand, the ability to move it yourself without involving a moving company – it breaks down into six major pieces – is also some peace of mind. As is the increased ability to place it in your preferred location, including in a room where the assembled safe won’t fit through the doorway.

Steve · September 7, 2023 at 9:42 am

My safe is somewhat bigger, but it’s a FireKing, technically a 90 minute data and document safe, not a gun safe. But since the front is split into two doors, it’s really easy to move the shelves from one side to the other, which is good because ammo and PMs can get pretty heavy.

I’m not sure how I’d do it in Florida. Where I live, I built it into a basement wall below grade, then used pine beadboard to put a secret door covering it. But you don’t get to have basements, so I’m not sure how I would go about avoiding it being obvious that there is space unaccounted for between the inside and outside walls.

    WallPhone · September 7, 2023 at 7:47 pm

    Tubular floor safes are also a nice option if you live far enough above the areas water table variations that you don’t need a sump pump. Access is a bit inconvenient, but the fire safety and concealment are best bang for the buck.

    Not exactly comfortable placing or retrieving a rifle down the hatch pointed right back at ya though.

Bad Dancer · September 7, 2023 at 1:19 pm

Thanks for the leg work on this one I hadn’t thought that changing the lock out was a thing the average person could do but the idea is mighty attractive.

Boris thank you as well I saw that safe years ago but never heard from anyone who had one but I very much like the idea of it.

I have a few dent and ding Liberties I got from sales or off the back of trucks over the years that are good enough but would love to build a gun room with a vault door when I can finally get around to building a home. That Champion safe is a mighty fine option as well since I dont see land going down any time soon.

C · September 7, 2023 at 2:35 pm

Currently in the process of building my own. My brother has been in the metal fabrication business for a decade now. He said anybody trying to peel it will need at least an hour with professional tools. Home Depot stuff. 2-3x that long. So far I’m $3400 into it. Trying to find a very good quality safe door to complete it.

Unknownsailor · September 7, 2023 at 7:18 pm

What is commonly available on the market are not really a safe, they are secure containers. A safe can’t be cut into with a die grinder. Think .25″ walls or more, 3 gauge or lower. Yes, very heavy and expensive. 10 gauge is only a tad over an eighth of an inch thick.

When I get around go getting a safe I’m going to build it into a wood box such that it can’t be moved or accessed without making a helluva racket.

More On Safes – Area Ocho · September 7, 2023 at 2:42 pm

[…] is a continuation of my research on gun safes. I finally heard back from another company, Steelwater Gun Safes. This is what they had to say in […]

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