November 24th, 2017

Replace Gun Safe Keypad Batteries — Don’t Get Locked Out

If the battery on your safe’s electronic lock is more than a year old, or if it is not giving you the right voltage, replace it today!

safe battery gunsafe sargent greenleaf

Gunsafe safe keypad control battery batteriesThis time of year, many readers are putting their guns away in a safe for the winter. It’s easy to just tuck the guns away and forget about them. But there’s something you should do before you shut the safe door. If you have a safe with an electronic keypad, you should replace the battery every year as a precautionary measure. Trust us, you don’t want to come back in a few months and find that the keypad memory is kaput, and you’re locked out. That can lead to an expensive locksmith visit.

Low Voltage Battery? You May Be Locked Out…
Here’s a true story. I have one safe with a Sargent & Greenleaf (S&G) keypad. A couple years back, in early December, I went to get into the safe. I punched in the correct combination, but all I got was a rapid “beep, beep, beep, beep” after I finished the last combination entry. I tried again to ensure I entered the combination correctly (I did). But again, the locking system responded with multiple rapid beeps indicating something was wrong. And the safe would not open. Now I was worried….

I popped out the battery holder (which slides in from the bottom of the keypad housing on the door). I removed the battery and tested it with a volt-meter. The 12-month-old Duracell 9-volt battery only registered 6.1 volts.

Low voltage was the problem. I went down to the store and got a couple new 9V batteries. I tested the new batteries and both measured 9.4 volts output. I slipped one of the new 9V batteries into the keypad housing, punched in the combination and everything worked OK again. Eureka.

Most electronic locks for safes WILL “remember” the combination for a period of time even when the battery is low (and the keypad’s “brain” should retain the combination when you remove the battery for replacement). However, a dead battery, or extended periods of low voltage can give you problems. Don’t rely on wishful thinking…

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December 26th, 2013

Get Smart: Replace Batteries in Digital Safe Keypads Every Year

Gunsafe safe keypad control battery batteriesHere’s an important reminder for readers who have digital keypad entry systems on their gun safes. If you have a safe with an electronic keypad, you should replace the battery every year as a precautionary measure.

I have one safe with a Sargent & Greenleaf (S&G) keypad. I went to get into the safe yesterday. Punched in the combination, but all I got was a rapid “beep, beep, beep, beep” after I finished the last combination entry. I tried again to ensure I entered the combination correctly (I did). But again, the locking system responded with multiple rapid beeps indicating something was wrong. And the safe would not open. Now I was worried….

I popped out the battery holder (which slides in from the bottom of the keypad housing on the door). I removed the battery and tested it with a volt-meter. The year-old Duracell 9v only registered 6.1 volts.

Low voltage was the problem. I went down to the store and got a couple new 9V batteries. I tested the new batteries and both measured 9.4 volts output. I slipped one of the new 9V batteries into the keypad housing, punched in the combination and everything worked OK again. Eureka.

Most electronic locks for safes WILL “remember” the combination for a period of time even when the battery is low (and the keypad’s “brain” should retain the combination when you remove the battery for replacement). However, a dead battery, or extended periods of low voltage can give you problems. Don’t rely on wishful thinking…

If the battery on your safe is more than a year old, or if it is not giving you the right voltage, replace it today!

My Sargent & Greenleaf (S&G) keypad takes one (1) 9v battery. The version below takes two. Note how the battery compartment slides in from the bottom:

safe battery gunsafe sargent greenleaf
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March 26th, 2009

A Dozen Essential Extras for Your Range Kit

April is just around the corner. Many shooters in the Northern latitudes are getting ready to start their shooting season. That means collecting all the gear they’ll need at the range. It’s easy to forget small, critical items, so we’ve provided a checklist of the small “extras” you should pack before you head out to the range. In addition to rifle, rests, ammo, targets, and cleaning gear, here are a dozen essentials you should include in your range bag.

Shell-holder — Use the shell-holder to gauge if you are getting excessive case expansion from hot loads. If a fired case doesn’t slip into the shell-holder easily, your load is definitely TOO HOT.

Extra earplugs — Always use ear protection when shooting. We bring a 35mm film canister with extra sets of foam earplugs.

Hex wrench or screwdriver for action screws — Action screws can work loose with time. Always bring the appropriate hex wrench or screwdriver whenever you go to the range.

Small wrench for scope rings — Check the tension of your scope base and ring fasteners before you go. Bring along a small Torx wrench for the ring screws (or other tool that fits your fasteners).

Normal and under-sized jags — It is often wise to use one-caliber undersize jags when applying solvent with cotten patches. You should have a couple sizes in your range kit.

Extra batteries — Bring extra batteries for all your electronic gear — which can include chronograph, windmeter, digital camera, GPS etc.

Small notebook and pen or pencil — Use the notebook to record chron data, log group sizes, and make notes about wind and weather conditions.

Adhesive dots — Bring a few sheets of adhesive dots (sold at office supply stores). Use small white or black dots as target pasters. Use larger red or orange dots as aiming points (target centers).

Folding chair or camp stool — This comes in handy if you’re spotting for another shooter, or if you reload away from the firing line.

Water bottle — You can’t shoot well if you’re dehydrated. Bring at least two quarts of water with you and keep a bottle at the bench.

Surveyors’ Tape and wood stakes — You can make inexpensive wind indicators using surveyors’ tape attached to the top of wood stakes.

Small plastic ruler — Use this to measure your group sizes. A transparent (see-through) ruler works best. Rulers are also useful for drawing lines on targets.

This list is not intended to be exclusive. There are many other items you may wish to include. We invite our readers to add other “essentials” to the list. The important thing is to plan ahead, packing your key items before you drive to the range.

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