November 20th, 2017

Bargain Finder 113: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. MidwayUSA — Black Friday SALE Begins Monday 11/20/2017

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week MidwayUSA Black Friday Sale

MidwayUSA is kicking off its Black Friday Sale early. Midway says this is “our biggest sale of the year!”. We can confirm there are dozens of great bargains on quality products. There is also a Sweepstakes with over $1800.00 worth of gear. Hundreds of items are on sale. Here are some of the best MidwayUSA deals we spotted today:

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week MidwayUSA Black Friday Sale

2. EuroOptic.com — Vortex 13% Off & Gift Cards up to $250.00

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week EuroOptic.com Vortex Optics VTX13 Gift Card Black Friday Sale

EuroOptic.com is running a Super Sale on Vortex Optics. Now through December 1st, use promo code VTX13 to receive 13% off ALL Vortex Optics products at EuroOptic.com. Here’s the real incentive — qualifying Razor HD Gen II, Golden Eagle HD, PST, and HST Vortex riflescope purchase will earn you a EuroOptic Gift Card worth up to $250.00. Call today at 570-368-3920, for gift card details. Here are the models qualifying for Gift Card Specials:

Vortex Razor HD Gen II 3-18X and 4.5-27X — $250 Gift Card
Vortex Razor HD Gen II 1-6X and Golden Eagle HD — $100 Gift Card
Vortex Viper PST and Viper HST — $50 Gift Card

3. Whittaker Guns — Howa Lightning 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle, $329.99

With this deal you can get a complete 6.5 Creedmoor Howa 1500 Rifle with HACT 2-Stage Trigger for just $329.99. That’s $88.00 less than the price of a Howa 1500 barreled action by itself! ($418.00 at Brownells). This is a no-frills rifle, but its hard to beat the $329.99 price for a solid, multi-purpose rifle. Use “As-Is” for hunting or drop it into a modular stock for tactical/practical games.

4. Cabela’s — Nikon Laser RangeFinder Binoculars $200 Off

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week cabela's cabelas.com nikon laser rangefinder LRF binoculars

As part of its week-long Black Friday promotion, Cabela’s is offering big discounts on Nikon optics. One truly outstanding deal is the 10x42mm Nikon LaserForce rangefinder binoculars — the price has been slashed $200 from $1199.99 down to $999.99. Yes these highly-rated LRF binocs do sell elsewhere for around $1200. These Nikons offer performance rivaling expensive European rangefinding binoculars (Leica, Swarovski) for hundreds less. Clarity is excellent. Ranging ability is very good. Note: This $999.99 price is good for one week starting Wednesday, 11/22/2017. You have to wait until 11/22 to get the $999.99 price.

READ Field Test of Nikon LaserForce 10×42: “This is a truly remarkable hunting optic, especially when price is taken into consideration ($1199.95 MSRP). With a powerful, full-featured laser rangefinder married to an excellent quality binocular… LaserForce performance is on par with comparable units costing 2-3 times more.” — Tony Martins

5. Dick’s Sporting Goods — Black Friday Gun Safe Sale

Black Friday Gun Safe Deal Dicks sporting goods

Need a Gun Safe? Head down to Dick’s Sporting Goods on Black Friday (11/24/2017). The giant, 64-gun Stack-On Sentinel vault will be marked down from $1499.99 to $699.98, a $800 savings, and a killer deal on a BIG vault! A medium-sized 24-gun safe will sell for just $399.98 — $300 off the regular price. NOTE, if you cannot wait until Black Friday, you can still save with pre-Black Friday sale pricing right now. You’ll pay more than on Black Friday, but there are still some significant savings. For example, right now you can get the Field & Stream Pro 36-gun safe for $699.98, marked down from $899.99. NOTE: The illustrated Sale prices are for BLACK FRIDAY ONLY, 11/24/17.

6. Cabelas.com — Sig Kilo 2200 RangeFinder $349.99

Sig Sauer Kilo 200 Laser Rangefinder LRF Black Friday Cabelas

This Sig Sauer Kilo 2200 is a very good laser rangefinder that performs as well as some other brands costing nearly twice as much. You’ll get performance on par with a Zeiss Victory or Leica CRF for hundreds less. User reports on the Sig Kilo LRF have been very positive. The $349.99 Sale Price is a great deal.

7. Midsouth — Hornady Auto Charge Dispenser, $148.99

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

As a pre-Black Friday promotion, Midsouth Shooters Supply is discounting the Hornady Auto Charge electronic Scale/Dispenser down to $148.99. The Auto Charge is accurate to 0.1 grains of powder and can hold up to 1000 grains of powder in its hopper. As a bonus, if you purchase this Auto Charge this week, Midsouth will provide FREE Shipping on your entire order — including any other items you might buy (HazMat charges extra).

8. Amazon — MTM AC4C Ammo Crate with 4 Ammo Boxes

MTM Ammo Carrier Crate Box

Here’s a very cool product from MTM at a great price. The versatile MTM AC4C Ammo Carrier features four, lockable polymer ammo cans in a fitted, four-slot 23.5” x 11.3” x 7.5” carry crate. This makes it easy to haul four full ammo cans. Actual purchasers have raved: “Moments after I received this storage box set I ordered another. Very well built and great design. Awesome and a steal at the price.” Right now this is on sale at Amazon for just $29.99 with free prime shipping. The system includes four lockable, O-Ring 11.3″ x 7.2″ x 5″ ammo cans (AC30T) for multi-caliber ammo storage. The crate even includes tie-down points for transport in a cart or ATV. NOTE: Earlier this summer this MTM AC4C system sold for $39.99. The current $29.99 price represents a 25% savings! See price chart below.

9. Brownells — Federal .45 ACP 1000 Rounds $224.50 with Rebate

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week Rebate Federal American Eagle .45 ACP

We love to shoot .45 ACP, but it is expensive to reload compared to smaller calibers. Here’s a great deal for .45 ACP fans. Brownells is selling 1000 rounds of brass-cased Federal American Eagle .45 ACP for $299.80, or just $224.85 after manufacturer’s rebate. NOTE: This Federal 25% Off Rebate applies to other American Eagle brass-cased pistol ammo carried by Brownells including: 25 ACP, 32 ACP, .380 ACP, .38 SPL, .357 Magnum, 9mm Luger, and .40 S&W. American Eagle ammo is reliable and the brass is reloadable. SEE All Rebate-Eligible Ammo.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals, Optics, Reloading 3 Comments »
November 14th, 2017

Consider Bore-Stores for Winter Storage of Fine Firearms

Bore-Store Gun Sacks

Wintertime, the season of cold and damp, is right around the corner. There’s already snow on the ground in some parts of the country. If you want your fine firearms to remain pristine and rust-free through the winter months, it’s wise to protect then while they are stored in a safe. You should protect blued surfaces with a rust-blocker. In addition, we recommend storing guns in protective sleeves. Our take on Bore-Store Gun sleeves is simple: They work great, so buy them and use them — for ALL your valuable firearms.

These thick, synthetic-fleece sacks cushion your guns, preventing nicks and scratches. The breathable fabric wicks away moisture, and the fibers are coating with corrosion inhibitors. I personally use Bore-Stores for in-safe storage with all my guns, and I have never had one of my guns rust inside a Bore-Store, even when I lived a stone’s throw from the ocean.

Bore-Stores are offered in a wide range of sizes, so you can find something to fit everything from a Snub-nosed revolver to a 32″-barrelled 50 BMG. Rifle-size Bore Stores can be purchased for $12.00 – $21.00 from Brownells. For long F-Class or tactical rifles, we recommend the 10″x52″ Scoped Shotgun Bag, Brownells item 132-000-003. You can also order direct from the Bore-Store manufacturer, Big Spring Enterprises, www.BoreStores.com. Big Spring will also craft custom sizes on request.

Consider Military-Style, Triple-Layer Bags for Long-Term Storage
While we prefer Bore-Stores for regularly-used guns, if you have heirloom firearms that will be kept in storage for very long periods without seeing any use, you may want to grease them up and place them in the thin, but rugged three-layer storage bags sold by Brownells. The bags are made from a three-layer laminate of polyester, aluminum, and polyethylene film, with a shiny silver exterior. Though the laminate is thin, the Brownells storage bags are puncture-resistant, and have a 0% moisture transmission rating so moisture can’t get inside. These bags are also resistant to petroleum-based chemicals and they won’t break down even in contact with soil or moisture.

3-layer Brownells storage bagHere’s one VITAL bit of advice for using these bags. Be absolutely sure, before you seal up the bags, that your guns are DRY and that all metal surfaces have been coated with an effective anti-corrosive, such as BoeShield T9 or Eezox. Brownells’ storage bags are inexpensive. A three-pak of 12″x 60″ rifle sacks (item 083-055-003WB) costs just $22.99 — under eight bucks a gun. That’s cheap insurance for rifles and shotguns that may cost thousands of dollars.

Get Your Guns Out of Foam-lined Cases — They Are Rust Magnets
Just about the worst thing you can do in the winter (short of leaving your rifle outside in the rain) is to store firearms in tight, foam-padded cases. The foam in these cases actually collects and retains moisture from the air, acting as the perfect breeding ground for rust.

Foam-lined hard caseRemember, those plastic-shelled cases with foam interiors are for transport, not for long-term storage. Don’t repeat the mistake of a wealthy gun collector I know. He stored four valuable Colt Single Action Army (SAA) revolvers in individual foam-padded cases, and locked these away in his gun safe. A year later, every one of his precious SAAs had rusted, some badly.

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March 23rd, 2017

NRA Home Firearm Safety Course

home gun safety NRA Blog

This article based on story by Jason J. Brown, Editor NRABlog.com
Americans are purchasing firearms at a historic rate, with more than 27 million NICS background checks performed in 2016, the closest indicator of gun sales in the U.S. Gun ownership is a great responsibility, entailing not only a well-formed understanding of the basic rules of gun safety while shooting, but at all times. Gun safety is never more important than inside your own home. Gun safety isn’t just for gun owners — it’s a critical skill for everyone.

The NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program has taught more than 29 million American youth what to do if they find a unsecured gun. Adults should also know how to properly handle a gun, load and unload it, perform basic maintenance, and safely store it so unauthorized persons can’t access it.

NRA’s Home Firearm Safety Course covers safe gun handling and storage fundamentals. The course requires no time on the range, and can be accomplished in as little as four hours. NRA Certified Instructors teach students the NRA three rules of safe gun handling, explore the types and basic function of firearms, and discuss primary causes of firearm-related accidents.

In the Home Firearm Safety Course, students will also learn about gun parts, ammunition, basic gun cleaning and care, and provide hands-on training on how to safely unload select types of guns. Each participant receives the NRA Home Firearm Safety handbook, NRA Gun Safety Rules brochure, Basic Firearm Training Program brochure, and a course completion certificate.

home gun safety NRA Blog

The NRA’s network of more than 128,000 NRA Certified Instructors delivers the Home Firearm Safety Course at locations nationwide. To find a course near you or learn about other NRA Training programs, visit the NRA Training portal.

home gun safety NRA Blog

This story appears courtesy the NRA Blog.

Permalink News 1 Comment »
February 2nd, 2017

Concealment Furniture from TacticalWalls.com

concealment table tactical walls RFID card

TacticalWalls.com, producers of home security/concealment products, has introduced a new line of furniture with hidden gun storage. Tactical Walls’ new Coffee Table, End Table, and Night Stand provide “hidden in plain sight” solutions for defensive firearms. These tables all feature a clandestine metal gun compartment that can be instantly accessed via RFID card.

At first glance, the TacticalWalls tables appear to be nothing more than quality wood furniture pieces. (Each unit is made from hardwood and crafted in Shenandoah, Virginia.) But what’s special are the remote-activated hidden gun bays. By swiping a pre-programmed RFID card supplied with each unit, the hidden compartment underneath the table-top is unlocked, giving instant access to your handgun, shotgun, or rifle.

concealment table tactical walls RFID card

These products are nicely crafted, and RFID access is a smart use of modern technology. However, the TacticalWall tables are pretty expensive. The Coffee Table (49″L x 24″W x 19″H) costs $795.00! That will buy a pretty big gun safe. The two smaller units, the Night Table (above left, 23″L x 23″W x 31″H) and End Table (above right, 23″L x 23″W x 25″H) each cost $495.00. For that kind of money you have a variety of gun storage choices. Still, this could be a nice “instant access” bedroom option. You could keep your pistol right at your bedside, close at hand, but still completely secure.

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November 23rd, 2016

Check Out Cabela’s Killer Black Friday Deals

Cabelas Black Friday Sale Kilo Sig RCBS ChargeMaster Liberty Safe, Vortex Scope

We got our hands on the Cabela’s Black Friday Sales flyer. We found some deals so good we just had to pass them along. Get an RCBS ChargeMaster for $200 (after $75.00 mail-in Rebate). How about a Sig Kilo 2000 Laser Rangefinder for $349.99 (regularly $499.99)? Or a big, 30-Gun Liberty Safe for $999.99 (this is an excellent safe for the price — your Editor owns a Liberty). How about a Tipton Gun Vise for $59.99 (regularly $99.99). Many Nikon optics are on sale, and you’ll also find many excellent deals on rifles and shotguns from Remington, Ruger, Savage, Beretta, Browning and other major gun-makers.

These deals are available starting tomorrow (online) and on Friday (in-store). The in-store Black Friday Sale begins 11/25 at 5:00 am, while the Online Black Friday Sale begins 11/24 at 12:01 am. For a limited time, you may also be able to get Free Shipping on orders over $99.00 with code “6THANKS” (not valid on firearms and some sale items).

CLICK HERE to See All Cabela’s Black Friday Bargains (3-Page Flyer Scan)

Cabelas Black Friday Sale Kilo Sig RCBS ChargeMaster Liberty Safe, Vortex Scope

Cabelas Black Friday Sale Kilo Sig RCBS ChargeMaster Liberty Safe, Vortex Scope

Permalink Hot Deals, Hunting/Varminting No Comments »
January 25th, 2016

Bargain Finder 19: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we have launched a “Deals of the Week” feature. Every Monday morning we offer our Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Amazon — Howard Leight Electronic Muffs (Best Seller)

Accurateshooters deals of week Electronic Leight Howard Ear Muffs Safety

Every shooter should own a pair of Electronic muffs — they are great when you are doing spotting duties or are working near the firing line. They allow you to hear ordinary conversations while still providing vital hearing protection. Right now Amazon.com has the Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Muffs on sale for just $36.30. These NRR 22 muffs are currently Amazon’s #1 seller in the category. NOTE: For regular, sustained shooting we recommend muffs and/or earplugs with a higher NRR rating.

2. Grafs.com — Magnetospeed Sporter $179.99

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

If you have been waiting to get a Magnetospeed… wait no longer. Priced at just $179.99 at Grafs.com, the Magnetospeed Sporter model costs less than half as much as Magnetospeed’s V3 models. This chronograph attaches directly to your barrel so you don’t have to go downrange to position tripods and set up skyscreens. For most people the Sporter Model contains all the features they need. Using Magnetspeed’s XFR adapter (sold separately), data can be transferred easily from the display module to your mobile device. READ Magnetospeed Sporter Review.

3. Cabelas.com — Rock Chucker Supreme Reloading Kit

Deals of Week RCBS Rock Chucker Supreme Kit

Everything you see above can be yours for just $225.00, after manufacturer’s rebate. Right now, Cabela’s is selling the Rock Chucker Supreme Master Reloading Kit for $300.00. That’s a good deal as this Reloading Kit sells elsewhere for up to $360.00. But he’s the real incentive — if you spend $300.00 on RCBS products in 2016, RCBS will send you a $75.00 rebate. That reduces your net cost to just $225.00 for the entire Kit.

4. Brownells — Hornady 17 HMR Ammo, $12.79 per box

Deal of Week 17 MHR Hornady ammo ammunition

If you have ever shopped for 17 HMR ammunition, you know it rarely goes on sale (it’s the law of supply and demand). Right now, as part of its “Red, White and Boom” ammo promo, Brownells.com is offering first-quality Hornady brand 17 HMR ammo for $12.79 per 50-count box. We’ve seen ammo this sell in gunshops for $16.50 per box. Stock up now for the spring varmint season.

5. CDNN Sports — Savage 93R17 for $219.99

Deal of Week Savage 17 MHR 93R17

No more excuses — you can add a 17 HMR to your collection for under $220.00. We think everyone should own a 17 HMR rifle. The 17 HMR is the perfect cartridge for dispatching ground squirrels and other small varmints. The round shoots faster and flatter than a .22 LR, and delivers more energy. This week CDNN Sports is offering the Savage 93R17 for just $219.99. This little rifle can provide years of service in the varmint fields, and the 93R17 is also a good youth training rifle.

6. Natchez — CCI Blazer 9mm ammo, $9.99 for 50 Rounds

Deal of Week Hornady CCI Blazer 9mm Luger pistol ammo

This is the best price we’ve found this week on newly-manufactured 9mm pistol ammunition. And this is quality, CCI made-in-USA ammo with reloadable, brass casings. We have used this CCI-made Blazer 9mm ammo in Sig, HK, and Glock pistols and it performed very well. This stuff won’t last long at this price (less than $0.20 per round). If you need 9mm practice ammo, order soon.

7. Walmart — 48-gun Stack-on Gun Safe

Deal of Week Walmart Stack-on Gun Safe 48 Gun Fire Safe

If you need a big safe to hold lots of guns, here’s a large-capacity Stack-On Safe that’s rated for 48 long-guns. Measuring 59″ high and a full 43″ wide, this safe is much bigger than the typical safes you find at CostCo and Sam’s Club. This safe is discounted $202 right now with “Rollback” pricing. One verified safe purchaser states: “The safe interior is nice for the price. Outside finish is great. All in all this is a GREAT value after looking at safes twice this price.”

8. Brownells.com — Hornady Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine, $49.99

AccurateShooter Deal Week Sale Bargain Hornady Sonic Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine Lock Load

Yes, you can get a name-brand Ultrasonic cleaning machine for under fifty bucks. This Hornady Lock-N-Load Sonic Cleaner, which sells elsewhere for $75-$85, is available at Brownells.com this week for just $49.99. This cleaning machine holds up to 200 .223 Remington cases, or 100 .308 Winchester cases.

Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals 2 Comments »
December 15th, 2015

Modular Gunsafes — the Bolt-Together Zanotti Safe

Zanotti take-down gunsafes

We bolt together bridges and pre-fab houses, so why not gunsafes? It fact there is a modular safe the ships in pieces and bolts together on site. Modular design allows a big, full-size safe to be transported much more easily than a conventional safe (that might weigh 1200 pounds or more). The Zanotti modular safe arrives in sections, none weighing more than 170 pounds. It is assembled in place, then can be dis-assembled when you need to move. The Zanotti is also well-suited for a gun-owner who lives in an apartment up many flights of stairs.

Zanotti Gun safeZanotti Armor safes are ideal for gun owners who need to move frequently or who live in a location where it is difficult to position a conventional safe. Zanotti safes arrive in three or four discrete shipping boxes. The safe is assembled by the owner, on site, in six steps. The heaviest component is the door, weighing 110 pounds in the 16-gun ZAI safe, and 175 pounds in the largest 52-gun ZAIII model. Five safe models are offered, ranging from 350 to 925 pounds assembled weight, without interior. Zanotti safes are popular with military personnel and others whose jobs force them to re-locate often. The safe can be assembled in under 30 minutes with no tools other than a hammer, and all you need is a hand dolly to move any component.

Guns Magazine reports: “The panels are interlocked by 3/8 inch, nickel-plated steel “L” shaped pins that slip into steel tubing sections welded to the interior surfaces of the panels. The slip fit is held to a tolerance of .003 inch, and the safes are completely assembled and hand-fitted at the factory to insure the panels will align properly. The body is made from 1/8 inch and 3/16 inch steel; the door from 3/16 inch steel; the locking bolts are 3/4 inch steel.” This is heavier gauge steel than you’ll find on most conventional gun safes.

Zanotti offers many deluxe interiors including a system of roll-out sliding drawers in the bottom of the safe. We think the sliding drawers are ideal for storing handguns and expensive items such as cameras and binoculars that you want to keep out of plain view. Mark Zanotti, the innovative creator of these modular safes, can also customize any interior to suit the customer’s particular needs.

Editor’s Note: For most applications, a conventional safe is still the best choice. Bolted in place, a conventional safe with welded walls will provide the best security and a conventional safe can provide increased fire protection. Zanotti safes do not employ a separate layer of sheet-rock or ceramic fire lining. The Zanotti is a special product for gun-owners with special needs. The units are well-made and Zanotti offers many nice custom interior features that you won’t find even on much more expensive conventional safes.

To learn more about gunsafe features and fire-proofing, read our Gunsafe Buyers’ Guide.

Permalink Gear Review 3 Comments »
June 29th, 2015

Fine Furniture for Firearms — Sliding-Top Table Vault

gunsafe table furniture vault hidden storage

Here’s something that will teach unwanted guests some “table manners”. We’ve seen handguns hidden in books, and stowed behind faux baseboard vents, but this hand-crafted, slide-open table takes the cake. We doubt that anyone could sit down at this table and suspect that a shotgun, scoped rifle, two pistols and a knife were stored securely inside. There’s an arsenal hiding in there!

To access the guns under the sliding table-top, first you flip down a wood trap-door on the side. That exposes a key-lock which unlatches the interleaved left and right table segments. These slide open horizontally on metal tracks, exposing the full arsenal underneath. This “table vault” is a very clever design, built with fine craftsmanship. You can purchase this table from the maker for $1499.00.

gunsafe table furniture vault hidden storage

Table Description
This table has a secret latch which pops down. Behind it is a deadbolt (or Kevo enabled Bluetooth lock). Once unlocked the table slides open toe reveal your valuables and/or guns. The table comes with a piece of blank white foam you can customize for whatever you would like to put inside.

Dimensions and Features
Outside: 55.5″ long x 33.5″ wide x 31″ high
Interior: 42” long x 29” wide by 3.25” deep
– Customizable Color (paint or stain) (American Walnut shown)
– Seats 6 (standard size chairs)
– Standard keyed deadbolt or Kevo Bluetooth lock ($299.00 Extra for Kevo)

Permalink New Product 12 Comments »
May 20th, 2015

NEW Rapid-Access RFID Wall-Mounted Vent Safe

Secret Quick Vent Safe valuables handgun safe RFID

Here’s a smart new product that offers security with rapid access, using RFID (radio frequency identification) technology. The NRA Quick Vent Safe holds a handgun, keys, flashlight, or valuables. Using a coded RFID fob or card, you can instantly open the Vent Safe with a wave of your hand.

Secret Quick Vent Safe valuables handgun safe RFID

(more…)

Permalink New Product, News 2 Comments »
October 19th, 2014

Hornady Handgun Safe Opens with RFID Signal

RAPID Safe Handgun box RFID radio IdentificationImagine this — your “home security” handgun is stored safely and securely near your bedside. But with the simple swipe of a keyfob, card, or wristband, you have instant access to the gun. Sound like science fiction? Well, this is real. Hornady’s new RAPID Safe uses RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology to allow instantaneous access to a firearm using either a special card, an RFID bracelet, or a special keyfob. In addition, the safe can be opened using a programmed keypad or a traditional key lock.

Brownells.com already has this new product in stock. Watch the video to see how the RAPID Safe works. The system runs with 110 volt AC power or internal battery pack. This short video shows various opening modes:

Open your safe in the blink of an eye. Simply place the included RFID bracelet, card, or key fob over the reader, and the RAPiD™ safe springs open to present your handgun.

RAPID Safe Handgun box RFID radio Identification

Permalink Handguns, New Product 2 Comments »
June 14th, 2014

Wireless Sensor Measures Temp and Humidity Inside Gun Safe

Golden rod hygrometer wireless sensorHere’s a smart new product that monitors the temperature and humidity inside your gun safe — with a convenient LCD display unit located on the outside of the safe. You don’t need to string wires or cut a small hole in your safe — there are two separate components, one inside and one outside. The sensor unit (on the inside) communicates wirelessly with the display unit (on the outside).

The new GoldenRod Wireless Hygrometer was designed to display the temp/humidity in your safe without the need to open the safe. NOTE: the wireless LCD display can show BOTH in-vault AND in-room humidity and temperature levels. You can attach the display to the vault door with its built-in magnet, or simply place the display unit on top of the safe using the handy flip-out kickstand. The unit costs just $20.89 at Amazon.com.

Golden rod hygrometer wireless sensor

Golden rod hygrometer wireless sensor
Golden rod hygrometer wireless sensor

GoldenRod Wireless Hygrometer Specifications and Features:

  • Measures In-Vault and In-Room humidity from 20% to 95%.
  • Measures In-Vault temperature range from 14°F to 122°F.
  • Measures In-Room temperature range from -4°F to 158°F.
  • Records Min/Max temperature and humidity history.
Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Gear Review, New Product 1 Comment »
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
Permalink Tech Tip 1 Comment »
December 7th, 2013

Electronic vs. Dial Locks on Gunsafes

gunsafe gun safeGunsafes can be fitted with either an electronic keypad-style lock, or a conventional dial lock. In our Gunsafe Buyer’s Guide, we explain the important features of both dial and electronic lock systems. Many safe-makers will tell you that consumers prefer electronic locks for convenience. On the other hand, most of the locksmiths we’ve polled believe that the “old-fashioned” dial locks, such as the Sargent & Greenleaf model 6730, will be more reliable in the long run.

Here is the opinion of RFB from Michigan. He is a professional locksmith with over two decades of experience servicing locks and safes of all brands and types:

What a Professional Locksmith Says:
For the convenience of quick opening, the electronic locks can’t be beat. However, for endurance and years of trouble-free use, the electronics can’t compare with the dial lock.

I’ve earned my living, the past 22 years, servicing locks of all types. This includes opening safes that can’t otherwise be opened. I do warranty work for several safe manufacturers (including Liberty). What I’ve learned in all those years is that manual dial locks have very few problems. The most common is a loose dial ring which can shift either left or right, which will result in the index point being in the wrong place for proper tumbler alignment. This is simple to fix.

Electronic locks, however, can have all kinds of issues, and none (except bad key-pad) are easy to fix, and when one goes bad, it must be drilled into to open it. IMO, it’s not a matter of ‘if’ an electronic lock will ultimately fail, but a matter of ‘when’ it will fail. Over the past 10 years or so, since electronics have become more and more prevalent, I’ve had to drill open bad electronic locks vs. bad manual dial locks on a ratio of about 20-1.

My professional opinion is to get the manual dial lock, unless you’ve got a good friend who is a locksmith/safecracker.

How Secure is Your Lock?
RFB tells us that both dial and electronic locks offer good security, provided it’s a good quality lock made by LaGard, Sargent & Greenleaf, Amsec, or Kaba/Ilco. However, RFB warns that “Some of the ‘cheaper’ locks (both manual and electronic) however, are very simple to bypass.

An electronic lock that’s glued or ‘stuck’ to the door with double-sided tape, and has its ‘brain’ on the outside of the lock in the same housing as the keypad, and merely sends power to an inner solenoid via a pair of wires through the door, is a thief’s best friend. The good ones have the brain inside the safe, inaccessible from the outside.

No amateur can ‘manipulate’ either a good manual or electronic lock. Both give you a theoretical one million possible combinations. I say ‘theoretical’ because there are many combinations that cannot, or should not, be used. You wouldn’t set your combo on a dial lock to 01-01-01 etc., nor would you set an electronic to 1-1-1-1-1-1, or 1-2-3-4-5-6.”

Tips for Dial Locks
RFB notes that “The speed, and ease of use, of a manual dial lock can be improved upon, simply by having your combo reset using certain guidelines. Avoid high numbers above 50. Having a 1st number in the 40s, 2nd number anywhere from 0-25, and 3rd number between 25 and 35 will cut dialing time in half, without compromisuing security. (For mechanical reasons I won’t get into here, the 3rd number of a good manual dial lock cannot — or should not — be set to any number between 95 & 20).”

Tips for Electronic Locks
Electronic locks can have the combination changed by the user much more easily than dial locks. But, RFB explains: “That can be a double-edged sword. More than a few times I’ve had to drill open a safe with an electronic lock that has had the combo changed incorrectly by the user, resulting in an unknown number that nobody can determine. Also, don’t forget that electronic locks have a ‘wrong-number lock-out’. I would NOT rely on the normal quickness of an electronic 6-number combo in an emergency situation. If for any reason (panic etc.) you punch in the wrong number several times, the lock will shut down for a 5-minute ‘penalty’.

LaGard electronic locks all come from the assembly line set to 1-2-3-4-5-6. Most safe companies (Granite-Winchester is one) leave it at that, and either the retailer or the end user must reset it. My local Walmart store had those same Winchester safes on display, and one day I was in the sporting goods section near the safe display, and another customer asked the Walmart employee if she could open the safe so he could look inside. She said “no, sorry, I don’t have the combination handy”. I walked over, never said a word… just punched in 1-2-3-4-5-6, turned the handle opening the door, and walked away… again not saying a word. They both just looked at me… dumbfounded that I could open it like that.

To get the most life out of that LaGard [or other electronic lock], you should change the battery at least once a year, whether it needs it or not. Low voltage won’t necessarily shut down the lock, but using it in a low voltage situation is bad for the electronics, and eventually will cause lock failure. C’mon, how much does a 9-volt Duracell cost? A few bucks is a good investment.”

IMPORTANT: If you do nothing else to maintain your digital-lock safe, replace the battery every year. And get a fresh battery (with a release date) from the store — don’t just pull a battery out of a storage bin, even if it’s never been used. Old batteries can degrade, even when in storage.

Safe Warranties — What is NOT Covered
RFB cautions that “With most gunsafes the ‘free repair/replacement’ warranty covers the lock only… not the door of the safe, which will have some holes drilled through it to remove that bad lock. The only proper way to repair those holes is to weld them. I don’t know about you, but most of my customers don’t like welding done inside their home, and the safe must be moved outside. Warranties typically won’t cover that moving cost if your safe is in a difficult to move outside location. Trust me, I’ve been there, done that.”

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December 3rd, 2013

Bookcases With Secret Storage Compartments for Valuables

Everyone should secure their firearms and valuables in a safe place. For most folks, that means getting the biggest, heaviest gun safe they can afford. There is another school of thought, namely “hiding in plain sight”. The theory here is that you hide valuables inside common, every-day items that would not attract the attention of thieves. A hollowed-out hardback book is a classic example.

Well here’s the “book safe” idea carried one better — an entire full-size book cabinet fitted with hidden storage. Some clever wood-workers have come up with custom-crafted cabinets with secret compartments. We first saw one of these cabinets on Glocktalk some months ago, and now matthew [at] archangelwoodworks.com has created a large, elaborate wooden bookcase that contains multiple secret compartments. The patent-pending QLine SafeGuard Shelving System “is available in your choice of wood or custom colors. Dimensions can be altered to suit your needs. Shelving or compartments are customizable for your specific application.” QLine Design also offers media centers and coffee tables with secret compartments. Watch the video to see a half-dozen secret shelves, drawers and vertical compartments built into the QLine SafeGuard bookcase. Watch all the way through — it gets more and more amazing….

Video Reveals Secret Compartments — Check it Out

Credit Steve of the Firearm Blog for finding this YouTube Video.

Smaller, Custom Cabinet with Secret Compartments
If you’d like to see a smaller cabinet with hidden compartments, check out Hidden in Plain Sight thread from 2012 on Glocktalk. That thread features a custom oak cabinet with a lock-secured secret shelf on the top and two hidden compartments on either side, with slide-out vertical drawers. We like the idea of hiding locks under movable wood covers — for an added measure of security.

Secret Storage Cabinet

Secret Storage Cabinet

EDITOR’S COMMENT: We still recommend a heavy, steel-walled quality gun safe for storage of firearms. A wood cabinet offers no fire protection, and “hidden in plain sight” systems are only useful until thieves get wise to the gambit. Still, clever engineering (and impressive word-working) went into the cabinets shown above. This style of cabinet could be a good option for storing smaller items such as knives, cameras, watches, and laptop computers if your regular gunsafe is already full to the brim.

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November 8th, 2013

Innovative Modular 60" x 22" Gunsafe Latches Together

snapsafe gunsafeGenerally you want the biggest, heaviest gunsafe you can afford. However, for many gun owners, a 1000+ pound behemoth is impractical. For those who relocate frequently for their jobs, or who live up many flights of stairs, it is more practical to have a safe that breaks down into separate pieces for storage. In our Guide to Gunsafes, we reviewed the Zanotti Safe, a quality modular safe that breaks down into smaller, lighter components. Now there is a new type of modular safe that is more affordable than the Zanotti. Snapsafe’s Titan safe ships in three (3) flat boxes. Simply unpack the components and assemble the 330-lb. Titan on-site in about 30 minutes without tools.

Watch video to see how the SnapSafe Titan clamps together with steel latches:

The SnapSafe™ Titan holds 10 rifles, weighs 330 lbs. assembled, and measures 60” H x 22” W x 17.5”. Side panels are 1/8″ steel and the door is 3/16”steel secured by eight 3/4″ live locking bolts. SnapSafe claims that its patented “Latch Wall Assembly” can be stronger than conventional welded construction. The safe does have some nice security features, including a Sargent & Greenleaf® digital lock, and spring-loaded relocker. We are pleased to see the safe comes with fire-sealing gaskets lining the door frame. These gaskets, combined with ceramic wool blankets in the walls provide a claimed one hour of fire protection against temperatures up to 2300ºF.

SnapSafe sells its Titan 10-Gun safe on SnapSafe.com for $899.00 (without shipping). The same safe is currently on sale at Midsouth Shooters Supply for $956.42 as a dropship item. Depending on your location, it may be less expensive to buy the SnapSafe from MidSouth.

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July 28th, 2013

New Dual-Access Safe Lock: Electronic Keypad with Dial Override

We are often asked, “Which is better for a gun safe — an electronic lock or a dial lock?” We actually like both kinds of locks — depending on the application. We review the pros and cons of both electronic and mechanical locks in our comprehensive Gun Safe Buyers Guide. A digital keypad lock provides quick entry, while a quality, commercial-grade dial lock can deliver decades of reliable service, with no worries about dead batteries or worn-out keypads.

New Dual-Access Electronic + Dial Locking System
Until recently you had to choose one or the other — Electronic Lock or Dial Lock. But imagine if you could have the best of both worlds — keypad speed plus dial lock dependability. Well Cannon Safe has finally made that possible. Cannon is now offering a Dual-Access Combination Lock on its higher-end safes (Armory Series, Cannon Series, Commander Series). Cannon is currently the only safe company with a combined digital/mechanical lock system. Cannon’s new EMP dual-access lock offers rapid access, simplicity and day-to-day security of an electronic lock backed up by the assurance of a manual (rotary dial) combination lock.

gunsafe lock cannon safe emp dual access dial lock keypad

Watch Demo of EMP Dual-Access Lock on Cannon Safe

gunsafe lock cannon safe emp dual access dial lock keypadNOTE: The EMP dual-access lock is NOT available as an upgrade to older safes (yet). It is currently available with new Armory Series, Cannon Series, and Commander Series Cannon-made safes.

Cannon Safe’s President, Aaron Baker, declares: “Cannon’s EMP lock is the cutting edge of high security lock technology. It allows the … ease and security of a Type 1 high security lock with the peace of mind of a mechanical override, all of this rolled into the ultimate UL Type 1 rating. This is a huge step forward for safes and for the experience a safe owner will have in the future.” To learn more about the EMP Safe Locking System, visit www.cannonsafe.com.

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April 15th, 2013

Superior’s Super-Sized Safe — For Really BIG Gun Collections

Bigger is Better?
Yes, size matters — at least when it comes to gun safes. Is your current safe bursting at the seams with your ever-growing firearms collection? Perhaps you need a little more vertical clearance for your Lahti L-39 or favorite Punt Gun? Well Superior Safe Co. has a solution for you — a humongous safe that stands 10-feet tall and weighs more than a pick-up truck. For reference, the young man in the picture, Greg from Pyramyd Air, is an honest 6’3″ tall.

Sized Right — For a 7-Footer
Now if you’re not an NBA center, the lock placement on this jumbo safe is not very practical. We note that the keypad is a good foot above Greg’s head, making access somewhat difficult for the “vertically challenged” customer. We’re not sure what Superior Safe hand in mind there — unless this mega-safe was really created for Shaquille O’Neal or Yao Ming. Still, Americans love big stuff — big cars, big houses, and, of course, big guns. At least if you purchase one of these monsters, you’ll have the peace of mind that a smash-and-grab thief can’t roll it away on a hand dolly. Superior Safe, which displayed this yellow giant at last year’s NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits, explains that this is a “custom model” not on the normal price list — face it, if you need to ask about the price, you can’t afford it. Joking aside, if you really need this kind of capacity for a firearms collection (with a punt gun or Lahti), you’d be wise to consider a custom walk-in vault, built into a room in your house. (Safe photo courtesy Pyramyd Air.)

What is a Punt Gun?
A punt gun is an extremely large shotgun used in the 19th and early 20th centuries for shooting large numbers of waterfowl for commercial harvesting operations and private sport. Punt guns could have bore diameters exceeding 2 inches (51 mm) and fire over a pound of shot at a time. A single shot could kill over 50 waterfowl resting on the water’s surface. Punt guns were too big to hold so they were often mounted directly on the punts (boats) used for hunting, hence their name. Generally the gun was fixed to the punt, requiring the hunter to manuever the entire boat to aim the gun. Firing the gun often propelled the punt backwards from recoil. Sometimes fleets of punt gun-boats were used together. In the United States, this practice depleted stocks of wild waterfowl and by the 1860s most states had banned the practice. In the United Kingdom, a 1995 survey showed fewer than 50 active punt guns still in use. UK law limits punt guns to a bore diameter of 1.75 inches (1 1/8 pounder). Learn more at Wikipedia.com.

Lahti L-39 photo, courtesy Gordon Greene, originally appeared in The Gun Zone.

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August 23rd, 2012

Pendleton Safes Offers Free Shipping through October 15

Pendleton round safe

Pendleton round safeIf you live out in the country, far away from a major safe manufacturer or distributor, you know that shipping fees can significantly increase the complete, installed cost of a large gun safe. Here’s an offer that could save you hundreds of dollars on a large, high-capacity safe.

Now through October 15, 2012, Pendleton Safes (of of Loganville, GA) is offering FREE Shipping on all safe orders shipped to the lower 48 United States. This offer is available on any size safe, and is available directly to the public. For complete details, visit www.pendletonsafes.com, email info [at] pendletonsafes.com, or call 770-466-6181.

About Pendleton Safes
Pendleton Safes is an American manufacture of custom-built gun safes. Pendleton has pioneered some noteworthy design features. Pendleton specializes in cylindrical safes with curved walls. This design resists attacks, and it also allows the safe to be fitted with a permanent carousel-style gun storage system (see photo on right). The carousel provides fast access to your firearms — up to 40 long guns and 54 pistols in the largest Pendleton safes. Pendleton can even equip safes with motor-driven carousels. Built-in LED lighting is also available. We strongly recommend equipping any safe you own with interior lighting.

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February 13th, 2012

New Rapid-Access Under-Desk Handgun Safe from GunVault

Here’s smart new product for someone who wants to keep a handgun safely secured, but quickly accessible under a desk at home or at a business. The new SpeedVault (from GunVault) is a drop-down safe that can be mounted under a desk or in various concealed locations. The handgun is cradled in a a holster-like protective foam lined interior. The SpeedVault offers a combination of covert placement and fast, reliable access.

The SpeedVault is constructed of tamper-proof, 18-gauge steel and available in digital lock or biometric finger print scanner. An activation button triggers a spring-loaded door that not only has a high-strength lock mechanism, but also performs reliably, time after time. Foolproof security is ensured with an audio and LED low battery indicator to help guard against direct tampering and unexpected power loss. Mounting hardware is included. The SpeedVault comes in two models, the SV 500 (with standard lock) for $199.99, and the SVB 500 (with fingerprint lock system) for $319.99. Dimensions are the same for both units: Width: 3.5″ W x 6.5″ front to back x 13″ top to bottom.

Fingerprint-Reading Biometrics (SVB Model Only)
The higher-priced SpeedVault Bio handgun safe uses biometrics, specifically fingerprint recognition, to access the safe contents rapidly. A high-performance algorithm is used to achieve speedy identification of enrolled fingerprints and at the same time has a very low False Reject Rate (FRR). The self-learning algorithm adds new details to the fingerprint templates each time a user touches the fingerprint sensor, reducing the chance of FRR. The system can handle up to 120 fingerprint templates.

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February 27th, 2011

New Cannon Commander Safe Has the ‘Right Stuff’

Cannon Safe has a new series of gunsafes with many smart features that we wish were found on ALL premium safes. There are many other quality safes out there, but we were pleased to see how Cannon equips its new Commander Series Safes. Whether you end up with a Cannon safe or not, if you are shopping for large gun safes, check to see whether it offers these important features found in the Cannon Commanders:

Reinforced Steel Frame
Cannon Commanders has a 5.75″ double-steel composite door, double-steel reinforced door frame, multiple re-lockers and 1.5″ active-locking bolts on the top, side and bottom of the door. Each safe is predrilled for floor bolting.

High-Quality Lock
Too many gunsafes have cheap digital locks that can fail unpredictably. We recommend that all gunsafes have commercial grade rotary (mechanical), or digital locks. On Cannon’s Commander safes, contents are accessed with a commercial grade Type 1 electronic lock that is backlit and protected with three layers of extra-hard 60+ RC steel hard-plate. You can also order a mechanical lock if you prefer. A good commercial-grade mechanical lock, maintained properly, will last a couple lifetimes.

Door Seal that Expands with Heat
A good door seal is really important in the “real world” ability of a safe to protect its contents during a fire. Many other safes claim fire-protection because they have some sheet rock panels inside, but they lack critical door-sealing. The Commander Series has an Intertek-ETL verified fire rating of 1200° F for 90 minutes and features a triple fin intumescent cold smoke expandable seal and heat-activated door seal that expands when exposed to heat.

Internal Power and Computer Hook-ups
A state-of-the-art internal power supply system with two 110 power outlets, USB port and RJ45 Ethernet connection keep computers and other electronics charged and connected. An electric dehumidifier is available as an option.

Built-In LED Lighting
In our Gun Safe Buyers’ Guide, we recommend the use of efficient LED light clusters. Cannon has gone this one better, with multidirectional LED lights that activate when the door is opened and shut off when closed, providing a bright clear view of the safe’s contents.

Versatile Door Storage System
Many safe owners like to use the door for rapid access to handguns, knives, Maglites, tools, and other security gear. The Cannon Commander Safes ship with a custom door panel organizer that holds dozens of handguns and accessories.

Cannon Commander Safes are offered in two models and six colors (gloss black, matte black, gray, white, tan, dark red, and green). Cannon offers a lifetime, hassle-free, zero-cost warranty. If a Cannon safe is ever damaged due to a fire, natural flood, or burglary Cannon will cover all costs to repair or replace the safe, even if the owner is not the original purchaser. (Contents are not covered).

Model: Commander CO43
Factory-Direct Price: $3,149.21
Weight:1457 lbs.
Dimensions:72”x40”x28” (depth includes dial and handle)
Gun Capacity: 36 (actual capacity can vary depending on gun size)

Model: Commander CO54
Factory-Direct Price: $3,519.81
Weight:1672 lbs.
Dimensions:72”x50”x28” (depth includes dial and handle)
Gun Capacity: 48 (actual capacity can vary depending on gun size)

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