April 27th, 2019

Cannon 72-Gun Safe for $749.99 Delivered

Cannon CS72 Executive 72-gun safe vault delivered sale $749.99

We know many of our readers have large firearms collections. If you’ve been collecting guns for a decade or more, chances are you’re running out of room in your gun safe. For guys who need a bigger safe, we’ve found a REALLY BIG GUN SAFE at a great price.

Right now CostCo is offering the Cannon CS72 Executive Series 72-Gun Safe for just $749.99 DELIVERED! That’s a great price for a HUGE safe with 43.8 cubic feet of internal space. This 649-pound behemoth measures 59″H x 45″W x 28″D and weight 696 pounds (over 1/3 of a ton!). This is built strong with 1″ thick composite door, six 1″-diameter locking bolts, and 60-minute fire rating (dual expandable fire seal).

Cannon CS72 Executive 72-gun safe vault delivered sale $749.99

Shipping Included in $749.99 Price!
This $749.99 price includes “Standard shipping via common carrier” to the lower 48 states. The estimated delivery time will be approximately 7 – 10 business days from the time of order. NOTE: This is a great value. You could easily pay $1600 or more for a safe this size from a typical local vendor.

Cannon CS72 Safe Features:

72 Gun capacity — 43.8 Cubic Feet
Exterior dimensions: 59″H x 45″W x 28″D
696-pound weight (0.348 Tons)
60 minute fire rating
UL-Listed Digital lock
Triple hard plate protect lock mechanism
Six 1″-diameter active locking bolts, 14-gauge Steel Body
Dual expandable fire seal — seal expands up 12 times its size
Warranty: Free repair/replacement after Fire, Burglary, or Natural Flood

Comment About Safe Weight:
At 696 pounds, this Cannon CS72 is a HEAVY Safe. That can be a one-time negative when you are moving the safe into your house or shop. However, Big and Heavy is a big plus when it comes to security. Thieves prefer to target safes that can be moved quickly with a dolly or hand cart. Bolt this safe to your floor and it isn’t going anywhere.

Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
November 14th, 2018

Winter Reminder: Check the Batteries in Your GunSafe Keypad

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 of our 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 frustration and an expensive locksmith visit.

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…

Permalink News, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
September 18th, 2018

Buffalo Horizontal Gun Safe — Under Bed or in Vehicle

buffalo under bed vault gun safe horizontal
Now on SALE for $279.00 (20% Off), this horizontal safe normally retails for $346.93.

We like innovative security solutions. The standard “big box” gun safe is not ideal for all situations. Here’s a new gun vault primarily designed for under-bed placement in a house, but it can also be installed in a vehicle. Bolt it to the bed of a pick-up truck or the back of an SUV. The full width is 48″ so it will fit most trucks and many sport/utility vehicles.*

buffalo under bed vault gun safe horizontal

This Buffalo Horizontal Gun Safe offers three cubic feet of storage though it is just 7 inches high. The 46″ W x 26″ D x 5″ H slide-out drawer is secured with a digital lock with back-up key. Under-bed installation keeps your firearms “out of sight but close at hand”. The felt-lined sliding horizontal compartment holds up to 100 pounds of firearms and valuables. This won’t hold a long target rifle, but it’s plenty big enough to hold an AR15 or Shotgun and multiple pistols.

This gun vault features a pry resistant steel door and 14 gauge (2mm thick) steel body. NOTE: This vault is NOT fire rated — it is intended for secure storage and theft prevention only. For added security, we recommend bolting this Buffalo vault to the floor.

Overall External dimensions: 48″ W x 28″ D x 7″ H
Inside Vault dimensions: 46″ W x 26″ D x 5″ H, three cubic feet
Weight as Assembled: 130 pounds


* Vehicle Installation: You need at least 48″ side-to-side clearance and 28″ front-to-back space to fit this vault in a vehicle. While you can lock an SUV, this vault give you an added measure of protection and secures items from view. This vault also ensures compliance with states requiring fireams to be in separate, locked compartments during transport.

Permalink Gear Review, New Product No Comments »
July 22nd, 2018

Hang Your Handguns to Conserve Safe Space

hand gun storage solution under shelf handgun hanger coated wire

If you’re looking for a space-saving handgun storage system, consider the Easy Use Gun Hangers from USA GunClub. These vinyl-coated, wire hangers organize handguns below the shelves in your gunsafe, freeing up storage space above the shelves. To use the handgun hangers, simply slide each hanger on the shelf and then slip your pistol’s barrel over the lower rod. Handgun Hangers are intended for guns with an overall length of 10 inches or shorter. They will fit shelves that are at least 11 inches deep and 5/8-1 inch in thickness. Handgun Hangers will hold handguns .22 caliber and up, though the fit is a bit snug on .22s. A four-pack of Handgun Hangers costs $8.99. This product is now Amazon’s #1 Best Seller among handgun storage accessories.

hand gun storage solution under shelf handgun hanger coated wire

WARNING — Always Make Sure Handgun is UNLOADED when using Handgun Hangers!!

hand gun storage solution under shelf handgun hanger coated wireUSA GunClub also offers an Over-Under Hanger that holds two handguns — one above the shelf, and one below. A two-pack of Over-Under Hangers (capable of holding four handguns) costs $7.99. This may be a good solution for you. This Editor personally prefers the standard Handgun Hanger, so I can use the upper surface of the shelf to hold odd-shaped items such as cameras, binoculars, and miscellaneous valuables.

Permalink Handguns, New Product 2 Comments »
March 20th, 2018

Protect Expensive Firearms and Optics with Truck-Vaults

A high-end, full custom Benchrest, F-Class, or PRS rifle can cost upwards of $4500.00. Some top-tier competition and tactical scopes (March, Kahles, Schmidt & Bender) cost $2500-$3600 by themselves. If you’re transporting three or four custom rifles with premium scopes to the range, you could easily be hauling $20,000 worth of firearms. Bring along a Co-Axial rest, spotting scope, rangefinder, Kestrel, and LabRadar chronograph, and that could push the total closer to $25,000. Think about that — your guns and gear could be worth a LOT more more than your vehicle (this Editor drives an 18-year-old wagon worth about $4000).

How do you safeguard a big-money collection of guns (without driving around in a Brinks armored truck)? One of the best storage systems available is the Truck-Vault, built in Washington state. Truck-vaults are custom-fitted, locking storage cabinets that fit in a Pick-up truck bed, SUV, or station wagon. Various designs are available, including a waterproof “Extreme Series.” Both single-drawer and multi-draw layouts are offered with lengths up to 60″ overall, and top-load capacity of 2000 pounds. A variety of interior configurations are available.

For transporting scoped match rifles, we suggest Truck-Vault’s “Magnum Line”, which has two drawers with 10.5″ of vertical clearance. This offers two primary sliding compartments (on roller casters), plus smaller storage boxes where you can keep valuable gear securely out of sight.

Truck-Vault Video Showing Break-In Attempt

Truck-Vaults carry a big price-tag. SUV models start at $1355.00, but expect to pay closer to $2000.00 for a unit with all the bells and whistles. Balance that cost against the value of the all firearms and accessories you are transporting. If you spend much time on the road with a pricey collection of guns, optics, and accessories, a Truck-Vault may be a wise investment. This editor first saw a Truck-Vault on a Chevy Suburban belonging to an Arizona gunsmith who does a lot of work for the military. It was not unusual for him to haul $50,000 worth of Class III weapons. For him, the Truck-Vault was an essential security feature. For more info, visit TruckVault.com or call (800) 967-8107.

Permalink News No Comments »
February 23rd, 2018

Get a 14-Gun Fire-Resistant Safe for $349.00 Delivered

Stack-on stackon 14-gun fire resistant safe vault sale

Could you use a secondary safe for reloading room, workshop, or bedroom? This Stack-On 14-Gun Fire Safe fills the bill. Rated for 14 long guns, this 293-pound safe can realistically hold 8 to 10 rifles. But it can also hold your handguns, rangefinders, cameras, jewelry, and other valuables. Let’s face it, your primary gun safe is probably full so you could use a second safe to hold smaller items. Walmart’s current “Roll-Back” price is just $349.00. And right now Walmart is offering “Free Freight Shipping” — so this Stack-On Safe can be delivered to your residence for no extra charge. Nice.

We know some of our readers still don’t own a gun safe, even a small one. We’ll now there’s no excuse. Here’s a very good deal on a Stack-On gun vault at WalMart. This 14-gun safe can’t compare to a large, heavy-gauge $1500+ safe, but it will be worlds better than storing your firearms under the bed or in a closet. Priced at just $349.00 on sale, this is a very good value — plus the shipping is FREE!

Measuring 55″ tall x 20.3″ wide x 19.0″ deep, this Stack-On safe is rated for 14 long guns up to 54″ tall. Assembled safe weight is 293 pounds. This safe is fire-rated up to 30 minutes up to 1400 degrees. It is small enough that you can move it into place with a dolly. Then we strongly recommend you sink anchors and bolt the safe in place.

CLICK HERE to Go to Product Description Page

Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals 1 Comment »
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…

Permalink Tech Tip No Comments »
June 21st, 2017

Get a 22-Gun Safe for Under $350.00 at Wally World

Walmart gun safe $344 Stack-On

We know some of our readers still don’t own a gun safe, even a small one. We’ll now there’s no excuse. Here’s a killer deal on a Stack-On gun vault at WalMart. This 22-gun safe can’t compare to a large, heavy-gauge $1500+ safe, but it will be worlds better than storing your firearms under the bed or in a closet. Bottom line, your firearms need to be locked up when not in use. Priced at just $344.97 this is a great deal. And the shipping charge is just another $9.99.

Measuring 55″ tall x 26.8″ wide x 17.6″ deep, this Stack-On safe is rated for 22 long guns up to 54″ tall. In reality, you’ll be lucky to fit a 13-14 scoped rifles comfortably in this safe, but that’s enough for many guys. This is also a good “second safe” for your loading room or bedroom.

CLICK HERE to Go to Product Description Page

Permalink Gear Review, Hot Deals No Comments »
December 3rd, 2016

Let There Be Light — Efficient LED Lighting for Gun Safes

Gun safe ropelight led string light vault

It’s December, time to decorate your Christmas tree with sparkling lights. Maybe you should do the same thing with your gun safe…

Few, if any, gun safes come with adequate factory-installed lighting. Even if you have overhead lamps in the room where your safe resides, you’ll still find that the inside of your safe is dark, making it difficult to find small items. By adding interior lighting to your gun safe, you’ll lessen the chance of “bumping and grinding” your precious firearms as you move them in and out of the safe.

Here is a simple, do-it-yourself project that costs very little money. String LED lighting is now available at low cost. Called “rope lights” or “string lights”, these are strings of LEDs in lengths of plastic tubing. Gunsafe vendors sell strings for up to $35.00 per coil, but you can buy the same products at discount chains for under $5.00. Brian J. from Virginia reports: “I just went to Wally World’s Christmas clearance section and picked up two strands of Rope Lights for $3.50 each!” He then installed the strings behind the shelves of his gunsafe, as you can see in the photos.

Gun safe ropelight led string light vault

LED string lights draw very little electrical power and have a very long life-span so you can leave your Rope Lights running continuously in winter. In addition to illumination, LED strings will provide some warming of the air in the safe, which helps prevent rust by raising the dew point. We still recommend that you use a GoldenRod or similar warming unit, placed at the bottom of your safe, plus desiccant packs to actually absorb moisture.

As you can see, Rope Lights provide a great lighting solution that illuminates even the small dark corners of internal shelving units. Rope Lights are easy to install. Just string the lights behind your shelves. Most safes come with a pre-drilled hole in the bottom for a dehumidifier. Just slip your Rope Light power cord through this hole and plug it into the wall.

Gun Safe Buyers’ Guide
For more tips on how to illuminate your safe and protect its contents from rust and corrosion, read our Gun Safe Buyers’ Guide. The most comprehensive Gun Safe Resource on the web, this article covers a multitude of topics including lock selection (electronic vs. manual dial), fire-proofing, door hinge design, water-proofing, wall construction, rust prevention, handgun storage options, and gun safe installation.

Gun safe interior photos by Brian J., used with permission.
Permalink Gear Review, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
January 14th, 2016

Hornady Mfg. Acquires SnapSafe, Maker of Modular Safes

SnapSafe Modular vault gunsafe safe Hornady

Need a gun safe? Well now there’s a modular vault option from “Big Red”, Hornady Manufacturing. Hornady has acquired SnapSafe, manufacturer of modular safes. Delivered in sections and assembled on site, SnapSafe vaults combine steel-walled security with ease of mobility and installation. The heaviest segment of a SnapSafe is typically under 100 pounds so one adult male can lift and move the safe sections up stairs (or anywhere else). SnapSafe vaults feature 9-gauge steel walls, 8 chrome steel 3/4″ locking bolts, and a one hour (2,300°) fire rating.

SnapSafe modular gun vaults are delivered on a pallet right to your door and can be assembled in minutes. The assembly process is illustrated in the video above. Basically the safe bolts together — it’s a bit like assembling an IKEA cabinet. In addition to conventional safes, SnapSafe also manufactures lock boxes and auxiliary safes that can be stored in trunks, under beds, or in walls. SnapSafe products will be on display at booth #2119 at Shot Show, January 19-22. For more information on SnapSafe products, visit www.Snapsafe.com.

SnapSafe Modular vault gunsafe safe Hornady

Permalink New Product, News 1 Comment »
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 4 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 »
March 2nd, 2015

BedBunker — Sleep on Top of Your Gun Collection

Bedbunker gun safeHere’s a firearms storage vault with an unique, “stealth” design. The “BedBunker” from Heracles Research Corp., provides secure storage for up to 32 rifles and 70 pistols, in side-by-side locked steel compartments. BedBunker modular safes are designed to replace the box spring under twin, queen, or king size mattresses and are compatible with most standard bed frames. The BedBunker is equipped with eight 1″-diameter threaded legs for height and leveling adjustments. NOTE, the weight of the BedBunker is supported by the eight metal legs, NOT by the bed frame.

Bedbunker gun safePros and Cons of BedBunker Design
The patented, under-mattress design of the BedBunker has many benefits. Number 1, the safe is in a “stealth” location that thieves may ignore completely. The best gun safe is one that doesn’t call attention to itself. Second, an installed Bedbunker is very large, very heavy, and very difficult to move. Third, Bedbunkers take up no extra floor space, since they fit within the “footprint” of your bedframe.

What are the negatives? First, BedBunkers are very expensive. The $6070.00 Cal-King-size BedBunker is more than twice as expensive as a typical gunsafe of equal (1500 lb.) weight. The lighter weight “LT” Bedbunker Queen is more affordable at $1998.00, but the $5470.00 price of the regular Queen Double-safe unit will easily buy you two (2) large conventional, floor-standing safes.

Standard Queen-size Bedbunker System with Key Locks
Bedbunker gun safe

We also have concerns about the standard Bedbunker locking system. We don’t think the key locks are as secure as a typical UL Group II (or better) safe lock and we don’t think the vertical lift doors (with small cross-bolts) would withstand a pry-bar attack as well as a premium gun safe equipped with multiple, large-diameter cross-bolts on all door sides.

Bedbunker Vault Systems — More Security, More Money
If you want higher level of security, Bedbunker does offer super-deluxe horizontal safes with combination locks and twelve 1″-diameter cross-bolts. But the Queen Size Bedbunker with combo locks and cross-bolts costs a whole lot more: $9470.00. (NOTE: There is currently a $1000 off promotion on this Queen unit, giving a net cost of $8470.00).

Cal King Bedbunker with Combination Locks and Vault Doors. Click to Zoom.
bedbunker1502

For more information, visit www.bedgunsafe.com, or call Heracles Research Corp. of Spokane, WA, at (509) 624-2555.

Permalink New Product 4 Comments »
November 28th, 2014

Word to the Wise — Replace Gun Safe Keypad Batteries

Gunsafe safe keypad control battery batteriesGot a gunsafe with an electronic keypad? Is the battery more than a year old? Then you should replace it right away. Don’t procrastinate!

Here’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.

Here’s a true story. I have one safe with a Sargent & Greenleaf (S&G) keypad. Last December, I went to get into the safe. 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 4 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 »
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.”

Permalink - Articles, Tech Tip 12 Comments »
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.

Permalink - Videos, Gear Review No Comments »
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.

Permalink New Product 4 Comments »
June 11th, 2013

NSSF Provides Information on Secure Firearms Storage

In order to promote safe and secure firearms storage, the National Shooting Sportz Foundation (NSSF) has launched its S.A.F.E. Summer Campaign. S.A.F.E. stands for:

  • Secure your firearms when not in use.
  • Aware of those around you who should not have unauthorized access to guns.
  • Focus on your responsibility as a firearm owner.
  • Educate yourself and others about safe firearm handling and storage.

NSSF has pledged $1 million to provide firearms safety kits (with a gun lock) to gun owners nationwide. Several lock-distribution events will be announced in the coming weeks. Safety information will be provided through social media and the Project ChildSafe website. NSSF reminds us that firearms owners have many ways to safely store their firearms when not in use. Here are some of your options:

Gun Storage Safety Info NSSF AccurateShooter.com

Permalink News, Tech Tip No Comments »
May 28th, 2013

Liberty Safe Offers Wireless Monitoring Device for Gun Safes

Liberty Safe has just introduced the SAFELERT wireless monitoring system. This will notify the safe owner instantaneously if the safe is moved, if the safe door is opened, or if there is a notable change in safe temperature or humidity. Liberty’s SAFELERT is small, battery-powered sensing device placed inside your safe (easily hidden out of view). When something happens to your safe (e.g. movement, door opening, humidity change etc.) the device detects the activity and sends alerts (via texts or emails) directly to the safe’s owner.

liberty safe safelert wireless monitor

The SAFELERT works wirelessly via your home or business network. You just need a WiFi router plus at least one networked device (computer, tablet etc.) on the system. If you can open an internet browser page and enter a few numbers, you can get the SAFELERT running in minutes. Communicating via the web-based elertus.com service, SAFELERT monitors your safe and immediately sends you (and up to 4 recipients) alerts when the “triggers” are activated by tampering, door opening, or temp/humidity changes (inside the safe). The SAFELERT also sends a message if its batteries run low or if your WIFI connection fails (hourly network checks). You can “test-drive” the system via Liberty’s SAFELERT demo page. Log in to set a trigger type and receive a simulated alert message.

liberty safe safelert wireless monitor

liberty safe safelert wireless monitorBy now you may be wondering — “what’s this high-tech gadget going to set me back?” Liberty’s SAFELERT Costs $199.00 and there is an ongoing service charge to maintain continuous monitoring. Annual fees are:
3 Years at $39.95/year; 2 Years at $49.95/year; 1 Year at $59.95/year.

As an extra incentive, Liberty is currently offering the first month of monitoring for free.

Optional Antenna for Enhanced WIFI Reception
In most cases, SAFELERT will function well with your wireless router (WiFi system) without a separate antenna. But for situations where WiFi network reception is weak, Liberty includes an antenna to enhance SAFELERT’s reception range. The antenna is placed on the exterior top/side of the safe, with a wire connecting it to the SAFELERT device hidden inside the safe.

Only as Secure as Your WiFi Connection
Writing in the Firearm Blog, Richard Johnson points out some issues with any WiFi-Based security system: “The system … connects to the internet via your home WiFi connection. Therein lies the point of failure. If thieves are breaking into your home, they might first hit your phone/cable connection which will prevent the SAFELERT from contacting you. A workaround would be to have a MiFi or similar device that connects to the internet via cell signal.” We should add that the elertus.com service does promise to check your WiFi connection every hour and send you a message if the WiFi connection drops. But a lot can happen in an hour….

Permalink New Product 4 Comments »