Gun Safes: Just How Strong Is Yours?

Gun safes have been on our minds as of late thanks to a recent rush of said safes on the market. Among those recently announced: Winchester’s 150th Anniversary safe and Realtree’s under-the-bed and stackable safe. Just how theft-proof is your safe? Unfortunately for one Missouri gun owner, it wasn’t enough.

A photo found its way onto Facebook recently showing a safe with an admittedly impressive gaping hole in its face. At first the photo was accompanied with the statement that the man who owned the safe in question had been robbed, and a list of contents would follow. After seeing the photo many gun owners undoubtedly began questioning their own storage practices, and for good reason.

The average gun owner either has no actual safe, simply using a cheap lockbox or nothing at all, or uses a safe that simply is not capable of getting the job done. Many upright safes are inexpensively made, and although it is certainly better to  have something rather than nothing it is also worth saving up to buy a truly well-made safe. Even safes you might consider strong are worthless if they’re small or lightweight enough to simply be carried off if they are not bolted down.

In the case of the Facebook poster a few things come clear once you examine the photo, with one thing being first and foremost: the robbers seem to have known what they were after, because they clearly hit his house carrying the necessary tools for the job. It takes time to cut through an upright safe such as this one, which was apparently made by Browning. Interestingly there are a few long guns visible to the left of the ravaged safe. According to the owner those guns were originally inside the safe.

The robbery took place on February 9, 2016 in Smithton, Missouri.

A list of stolen items from inside the safe, from the owner:

My class ring 1996 Smithton
Dads class ring 1957
$1500 cash

Hand guns

Smith & Wesson 38 special revolver
Ser# 13k8384

Smith & Wesson 22 long rifle
Ser# k 8666

High standard supermatic trophy 22lr
Ser# ml34219

Colt DA 38 with what I’m calling a lady’s grip
Very old gun
Ser# 113399 last number unclear

Walther p99qa 9mm
Ser# 500200

Springfield armory xds 9mm


Marlin 22mag Black synthetic stock stainless
Ser# 02296851 aetec 3.8-12 x 49 scope

Winchester model70 22-250 bull barrel
Ser#876987 with
bushnell sportview 5-20×40 Ser#74-5204

Weatherby mark V 257 magnum

Remington model 700 25-06
Ser#b6247947 taco 4-16×40 scope

Winchester model 70 264win mag

Marlin model 740a-emn 30-30
Ser#69139591 bushnell 4×12

Military rifle made in Italy “fat” on but of rifle

Remington speedmaster model 241 22lr

Browning Belgium 22lr

Winchester model63 22lr

Mossberg and sons model 151m-b 22lr

Remington 1100 12 gauge skeet barrel
Ser#m237263v SKEET-B

Stag arms ar with eotech holographic site
Have photo but can’t read ser#

TFB Staffer

TFB Staff, bringing you the latest gun news from around the world for a decade.


  • 12judges

    “…the robbers seem to have known what they were after, because they clearly hit his house carrying the necessary tools for the job.”

    OPSEC people OPSEC!

    • LRB

      yup, loose lips lead to cracked safes apparently.

    • Otm Shooter

      Practice safe SECS….

  • LRB

    Good article, truth be told any safe is “crackable” when crooks are given the time and tools. That being this clearly appears to be some form of an inside job, either someone had been in the home i.e. worker, repair man, cable man, an acquaintance or a friend of a friend because the thieves came armed with the ability to hack that safe. That is not something your average thief is going to do, plus the thieves had a general idea of when the homeowner was gone, this took time to do. Yes not all safes are equal, good point, but these thieves knew what, when and where they wanted to go after and had brought the proper equipment to do so, not your average thief.

    • Budogunner

      Agreed. The real take away here is keeping good records of your inventory and serial numbers, just in case.

      • RICH


    • noob

      That’s true. A safe had to be made, which means it can be unmade with time and tools, or a sufficient application of energy. And that is assuming the owner remembers to lock the safe, which according to crime statistics sometimes people neglect to do. In Australia the few shooters who go through the amazingly painful licencing process have to buy safes that are bolted to the floor or weigh more than a certain mass (eg 150kg). Yet firearms theft keeps going up 6% per year according to “Ability of Australian law enforcement authorities to eliminate gun-related violence in the community. 9 April 2015. ISBN 978-1-76010-187-9”

      2.19 Other submitters and witnesses argued that firearm theft plays an important role in the diversion of firearms from the licit market.18 Dr Terry Goldsworthy,Assistant Professor of Criminology at Bond University, noted that the ‘issue of stolen illegal guns is still reasonably concerning to most Australians’:

      “The rate of gun theft in Australia continues to go up by about six per cent per year. We have fairly strong rule of law in Australia, we have fairly rigorous border protection and services. On the basis of that I would think that, if I were a criminal looking to source a weapon that is probably the route I would take.”19

      2.20 The AIC stated that there was an average six per cent increase in the number of firearms reported stolen in the five years from 2004–05 to 2008–0920 and confirmed that theft was a significant source of handguns for illicit purposes:

      “We found that of non-restricted handguns theft contributed 50 per cent of handguns to the overall illicit pool that had been seized and around 30-odd per cent to the restricted handguns. So theft did represent a significant contributor to the illicit handgun market based on the data that was available at the time.”21

      2.23 The ACC described how easily firearm theft can be executed, stating ‘[t]he fact of the matter is that if firearms are not stored properly, yes—they will be readily available for theft’.26 This statement was supported by statistics from the AIC that demonstrated:

      “The main location for firearm theft between 2005–06 and 2008–09 was a private residence, either the house or the garage/shed (76%, n=1,956). Ten percent of incidents involved theft from vehicles (n=246) and eight percent involved business premises (n=217).

      Almost a fifth of thefts from private residences and business premises were aided by the premises not being secured at the time of theft (eg unlocked door or window). Vehicles were particularly vulnerable with over a third (38%) unlocked at the time of the theft.

      Stolen firearms represent a ready source of firearms for the illicit firearm market.”27

      2.24 The AIC continued:

      “Firearms were stolen from an approved firearm safe or other secure receptacle in 58 percent (n=1,493) of reported firearm incidents in 2005–09 (see Figure 6), although not all these receptacles were determined to be secure at the time of the theft (ie unlocked, easily breached or the key was located by the offender). Firearms had been left in vehicles in just under 10 percent (n=236) of incidents and in 11 percent (n=269) of incidents firearms were described as unsecured or in the open.

      Firearms not stored appropriately at the time of the theft comprised almost a fifth (18%) of all reported stolen firearms during 2005–09 (Bricknell 2010).”28

      • randy

        A firearm stored away and can not be stolen is the same thing as a firearm not available when you need it… needs to be ready. I do not see the stolen numbers changing much. It is a failing of the owner.

        • Zebra Dun

          Well, if you have more than four laying about assuming you can draw and fire with your feet also then some are just wasting space.

  • Bob

    What tools would you need to do that? I mean, geez, it must have plenty noisy.

    • Sianmink

      Hard to see, but I’d guess plunge cuts with a circular saw, since it wasn’t torched. It would take some time and a lot of noise, but if you know nobody’s going to be home, you can afford both.

      • Jwedel1231

        Look again, those cuts look an awful lot like an acetylene torch made them. If so, it would be even quieter and quicker to get through that skin.

        • Sianmink

          Might be right, it didn’t look too burnt to me.

          • Jwedel1231

            The cuts look too ‘bubbly’ to me to be a blade cut, and the door itself has residue (the white stuff on the door) that looks like what an acetylene torch leaves.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            That was definitely cut with a torch.

          • Sianmink

            I’m not an expert on torching safes! XD

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Nor am I, ive just cut a lot of plate steel and angle iron.

          • DB

            YUP, at least partially! No doubt….cut too much metal (not safes!) also agree, shoot the SOB’s!!

        • Jakewwa

          Grinding heats up the metal (melt the metal), making it softer to cut.

        • DB

          I definitely agree with Jewedel, that’s a torch cut with too much oxy, but the sides could be a large metal cutting saw. Look at the top of the door jamb, it has the tan residue left like the door from a torch, and I wonder if the JACKASSSES left that red solo cup with their prints on it? I say JACKASSSES because one torching, top and bottom, same time sides cut (don’t look torched, too clean!) Also agree completely with alarms, lock doors and don’t make it easy, thieves/BURGLERS, (not robbery) case jobs and know where the easy hits are, and who is lazy! Finally, people get hurting for money and “commit” crimes on themselves and call insurance and collect, and you’re not pressed for time and don’t worry about alarms, they know what wires to cut without the alarm on so no alarm, and if they have cut line alarm system or not. Can explain fingerprints too! If they want it bad enough, anything short of that bunker (Love That!) they’ll get it a large amount of the time! Take time to make it hard to do! Think….Ill have you five times over if I ain’t home before you know what to do to get me! Another thing, bad guys HATE LIGHTS!! Motion sensors can be fun too for setting things in motion! Don’t just give it too them, make em work, and be paranoid about certain things!!

    • PK

      Electrical circular saw, demo blade, 15 minutes. That’s not a difficult safe to get into, there’s very little metal sandwiching the fiberboard fireproofing, no redundant locking, and a poor design overall.

    • codfilet

      I think it was probably just a cheap 4 1/2″ angle grinder, with the thin cutoff wheels. They were probably through that safe in a matter of a few minutes.

  • kevinp2

    It also helps to have an alarm system monitoring service. When your home is broken into, they will dispatch police. It takes time to break into a safe, and the crooks may not have enough time to do the job.

  • Daniel

    Security is like in onion, it has many layers. Or it least it should. I’m betting this homeowner did NOT have a monitored alarm. Even with the correct tools, it takes time to do a job like that, and with the alarm blaring, most thieves would think twice. Of course, it depends on the LEO response time in your neighborhood, one has to think these things through and cover most of the likely possibilities.

    • kevinp2

      LOL, we said the same thing at the same moment. Great minds think alike 🙂

      • Daniel


    • Jwedel1231

      I think of it more as a parfait. Everyone likes parfaits!

  • Damocles

    If money wasn’t an issue, I’d like to have a a large safe embedded into a wall or floor somewhere for the good stuff, and then a cheap floor mounted safe in plain view, which contained only a Hershey’s Kiss, tube of Preparation H, and a note that just says, “ha ha”…

    • Anomanom

      No, that’s the one with the tear gas rigged to the inside of the door.

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      No you rig that one with a claymore.

      • iksnilol

        Cheaper with a pipe gun battery.

        Also more destructive.

        • TheNotoriousIUD

          Yeah, just make sure the decoy safe is in the garage.

        • wetcorps

          Or a PPSH battery.

          • iksnilol

            That’s beautiful.

            I need a moment (to print it out with a glossy 80’s playboy filter and hang it on my ceiling).

          • Don Ward

            You know somebody has to clean and load all of those. In the Soviet Army in WW2, it’s called the best job ever.

          • noob

            I imagine that after the war members of that unit went on to become professional All-Soviet Thumb Wrestling Champions.

          • n0truscotsman

            I really want to know the story behind this photo!

          • RICH

            REALLY….! ! A GREAT PHOTO.

          • noob

            ww2. The russians outfitted entire infantry regiments with the PPsh-41 giving them unparalleled close range firepower and a stunningly simple logistics chain. They had so many PPSh-41s lying around they decided to make a “poor man’s gunship” for close air support by putting them in the bomb bay of a bomber as seen above and connecting all the triggers to piano wire.

            The results were surprisingly effective – the big drum mags held enough that a burst could rain down vertically into german trenchworks and efficiently cause casualties and the impact area from all those guns was wide enough that it was relatively easy for the pilot to fly over the target at low level and get what they were aiming at.

            Reloading and cleaning them back at the airfield was the hard part.

          • n0truscotsman

            Thanks for the reply.

            That definitely preceded the AC-47, which I thought was technically the first ‘gunship’. I’d hate to be on the receiving end of that thing. Its basically a giant bullet shower.

          • noob

            Apparently the whole gun assembly could be removed from the airplane in one unit and swapped out. The removed gun assembly could be reloaded and cleaned over about 100 man-hours in a separate workshop and then reinstalled.

            The upside was that the impact area was big enough to hit an entire german locomotive from engine to caboose in one pass, but the downside was the airplane had to fly below 800ft to be able to aim the guns and that put them in range of German personal weapons and light machine guns.

            The nickname for this aircraft was “The Fire Hedgehog”.

          • carlcasino

            Love it when some one posts and has actual dates and useful info.

          • Zebra Dun

            Man powered fragmentation weapon.
            All those bullets going down range at the same time must have been inspiring.

    • Mark

      This is the best buyers guide that I have seen:

  • me ohmy

    most annoying thing to a bad guy is a person with minimal welding skills and lots of scrap metal. I can buzz a cheap safe to take a LOOOOONG time to open. like the onion comment..layers of cutting time spent, noise, effort.. all these things make the bad guys look for easier stuff. a junker gun cabinet filled with wood blocks and pipe sections SOUNDS like “guns” they take that first, ESPECIALLY if you cover it with gun brand stickers. best gun safe I ever heard was a repurposed SODA machine…

    who robs a soda machine when there is a “gun safe” nearby?

    • Jwedel1231

      That’s an incredibly good idea.

      • me ohmy

        just make sure your “gun safe” has a few EXTRA junker padlocks placed on there to give the impression of “extra security for the valuables inside”
        then they CAN’T resist the bubba approach to gun security

  • nova3930

    I built mine into our house. 4×8 walk in. Reinforced filled 12″ concrete block walls, capped off with 4″ of reinforced concrete. Door is a Smith Security Safes magnum with 1/2″ of solid steel as the outer skin, thermal relocker, drill plate, etc etc. When I looked at the added cost compared to the overall cost to build the house, there was no reason not to.
    Couple it with external security measures of the house itself plus a monitored alarm, thieves probably aren’t getting anything out of it unless they show up with explosives.
    It doubles as a mighty fine tornado shelter too.

    • me ohmy

      sounds like the ultimate safe room too…

    • 1Grayman

      Bad ass! Cant believe he didn’t have a complete list some where of all the serial #’s.

      • noob

        I bet that if it was me, the complete list would have been in the safe. because I’d do something like that.

        • nova3930

          That’s where mine is but it’s with all our important paperwork. File folders probably aren’t high on the theft list…

    • Ethan

      ^^^ This.
      Buying ginormous pre-made safes only makes sense if you’re not doing new construction. The amount you pay per cubic foot of secured space is RIDICULOUS when compared making reinforced concrete safe room.

      Check out ICFs (Insulated Concrete Forms). They make complex concrete projects (like a safe room) almost 100% DIY friendly.

    • noob

      Hank Pym? is that you?

    • derpmaster

      A buddy of mine did the same. He used a badass safe door from a 1950s bank branch office that he bought surplus. The inside has a lexan panel – the lockwork is all high polish steel and brass. The room inside is 10×20′ and filled with all kinds of fun stuff.

      It’s probably not the absolute most secure thing ever, but it sure is awesome to walk in to, and it would most likely deter 99% of burglars. My only real concern is it probably wouldn’t help that much in case of a fire.

    • Rick5555

      My wife was willing to sacrifice a room in our house to become my Firearms Room. Had the walls reinforced, ventilation system installed, and no windows. The had a Safe Door installed In front of the Safe Door are two doors concealing the safe door. Looks like a linen closet. As well as, we have an alarm system. And two Doberman’s. My male Doberman is professionally trained. To get passed him. You would have to shoot him. He’s even trained to not take food from anyone else. He won’t even take steak from my hand. I have to put it on the ground. Then he inspects it via smelling it to death. I do have decoy safe in the garage covered up Has nothing in it. Just an old safe (A Fort Knox). Fort Knox does make excellent safes.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    I wonder how charred the guns were after that torching?

    EDIT: And those f-cking a-sholes need to be shot if they get caught.

  • Hudson

    A Gunsmith friend told me years ago, that he kept anything that could get into a safe in his safe, drill bits, cutoff saw blades, cutting torch tips, etc.

  • Jakewwa

    These are NOT “safes”. These are Residential Security Containers (RSC). The keyword is “container”. They are just boxed sheet metal, with/out some fire protection. If you are really concerned about security, get a TL-15/30/30x and a home alarm system.

    • noob

      also where the safe is located is important too:

      NSW Police suggested that firearm thefts in rural areas could be attributed to a number of factors including attitudes toward firearms, storage and geographic isolation:

      “In some areas of Australia, of course, the attitude to gun ownership and security of guns is different from the attitude of people in metropolitan Sydney, for example. I understand, having lived and worked in rural areas in New South Wales, the reasons for that. That does not mean, however, that the storage requirements should be any less in those areas because, at times, you will see hobby farmers who have safe storage areas in sheds away from the main dwelling. They may not be resident on the premises for weeks or months, and they will then return and find that their firearms have been stolen. We would receive a report, but it might be weeks or months later. That is a problem. The location of the safe storage area away from main dwelling houses is a problem. Often they are in storage sheds stored with angle grinders and other implements that can open the storage areas. We see that regularly.”32

      “Ability of Australian law enforcement authorities to eliminate gun-related violence in the community. 9 April 2015. ISBN 978-1-76010-187-9”

    • ^- +100 to this comment. These composite doors LOOK super thick and strong but it’s just a thin layer of sheet metal (11 gauge or thinner usually) and can be cut right through as shown in the picture. If you want something better try one with a plate door on it. Of course the sides of the safe are still rolled steel that can be cut just like the front of this was.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Ive posted this link before but my brother builds safes that look like furniture….

    • rob in katy

      Well, I missed it last time 🙂 Our house has no open wall area for a safe, I may look into this. I was looking at a but that would have to be out i the barn. May do a lighter one out there for non-fireams.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        The advantage to the bench safe is it doesn’t look like a safe at all. It’s actually a functional hand made nice piece of furniture. My mom has one in the living room next to the fireplace with a rug on it where the dogs hang out haha.

      • ElectroWiz

        FYI, Sturdy Safes are rock solid safes. I can honestly travel away from home and not worry one bit that my safe would be opened like a can of sardines. Best investment ever, aside from my divorce. 🙂

    • Cymond

      I looked at it last time. Aside from the price, it’s not really my aesthetic. They’re all hide, fur, and leather covered. Is your brother in Texas, by any chance?

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Haha, yeah in Dallas where those motifs are very popular.
        While the hides and everything are all real and hand stitched its not my particular style either. But ive seen them up close and they are very well made.

        • Cymond

          I’m sure they are quality, they look very nice. And I’m sure they’re worth the money, but I would feel silly spending that much to protect 2 AR-15s, 2 polymer 9mm pistols, and a bunch of 22s.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Yeah, its definitely a niche market for a certain type of gun owner.
            Whenever the issue of safes comes up I like to give shout to my brothers company.

  • Silverado

    Even if you’re home or not…job #1 is to keep them OUT OF THE HOUSE at all times. Secure your home against a home invasion (there’s been books written on the subject) alarms, deadbolts, security doors & windows, change your exterior doors to swing out to open eliminating the boot to open option, barrier plant hedges with thorny plants like Barberry under windows, motion lights, a big dog that loves his family and hates everyone else comes in handy too. As for safes I’d have one out in the open and have another one hidden. The hidden one would contain the valuables while the one in plain sight would be rigged with a death ray upon opening…unless you knew the secret password (just kidding although it would be…effective). Google up “diversion safes” for even more great ideas. Good luck…

  • C. Her

    My Cabela’s 650lb+ safe was purchased mainly for fire protection for personal documents, pictures, heirlooms and jewellery. As a bonus they keep my firearms that are NOT used for self defense away from my kids. If a thief wants it that bad they’ll get it. My guns are just toys and are protected with insurance plans.

  • Pete Sheppard

    Recently there was an article that described where the thief tipped the safe over and cut through the bottom (apparently much thinner than the walls) with a torch.

  • Don Ward

    See, it’s situations like this why I always have Nick Nolte hiding up in the rafters of my house.

  • Don Ward

    See. This is why I always just keep a Gary Busey hiding up in the rafters of my house.

  • Dual sport

    “It takes time to cut through an upright safe such as this one”

    Nope. Thirty minutes or less. I don’t care which gun safe company you purchase it from. This is easily demonstrated, on your safe. Lol.

  • USMC03Vet

    HEAT 2?

  • RICH

    Safes are like ‘locks’ they keep the honest people out. Don’t be fooled into a ‘false sense of security’ just because you have a safe. Bolt it to the floor with as many bolts as you can possibly use ! A friend was recent burglarized….. his ‘safe’ ( un bolted) was rolled through his home into the garage. Destroying all of the tiles through the living room and kitchen on the way. It was loaded into the back of his Mercedes SUV….. the keys were hanging by the interior garage-to-residence door….. and driven off in his own…. stolen… vehicle ! ! The vehicle was recovered however the safe, its contents ( w/ 2 Perrazzi shotguns) were never found ! JUST A WORD TO THE WISE ! Buy the strongest safe you can possibly afford and bolt it down ! I depreciated my safe over a few years as i ran a home buisness. I still have the safe after a 1,400 mile move and almost 30 years !

  • Joe DiAntonio

    One thing I have learned in the past with my safe stored in the garage is NOT to Brag & show off what items that you have in it to any other persons even neighbors because talk travels.

  • Marcus D.

    The total values of my “collection” (such as it is) is far less than the cost of a high end safe or the cost of the insurance deductible.

    • Cymond

      I’m in the same boat. Most of my guns are old rimfires and such, although I do have a few decent ones. Still, the whole collection is probably worth less than 5k.

      Also, we’re currently renting. We keep planning to buy a house, and plans keep changing. We’ve moved 5 times in 5 years. Moving is hard enough without dragging around a safe that weighs several hundred pounds.

  • jerry young

    that’s why the only gun I post pictures online of is the tattoo on my shoulder

  • Is this the one where I buy one of those surplus 20′-40 shipping containers, dig a hole in my back yard and bury it, then connect it in some way to the basement?

  • Bonzaipilot

    I just want to know why The cost of a good browning A bolt costs the same as one of their safes. Looks to me like the A bolt is a better investment though

  • bruce Cambell

    besides taking many of the steps already mentioned by other users, inexpensive home video surveillance systems can be had for a few hundred bucks and set up to alert you by email of any movement around your safe. These systems are pretty hard to defeat without a bunch of extra effort. .. as for the smash and grab thieves, I like to keep a small document safe in my closet. The safe is filled with rocks, carefully tucked in with the rocks are a few small glass stink bomb vials. Shake the safe too hard and they will start to break open. A nice little stinky surprise.

  • smartacus

    It happened to me 5 years ago.
    They cleaned out my entire gun cabinet.
    including a Hungarian hex-receiver Mosin-Nagant that was ripped off a dead VC in ‘Nam
    and my irreplaceable FÉG SA-85M

  • uisconfruzed

    Keep your quality safe tucked away, not easily spotted. Get a $100 Walmart safe, put it in your closet or garage & place several pieces of steel pipe in it.
    Bad guys can pick it up, hear there’s long steel in it and run off to open it.

  • jeff

    An alarm would have closed the gap on the time the thieves had. Layered security has it’s advantages.

  • scaatylobo

    ALARMS and cameras are also a GREAT take away from this entry.
    IF your alarm system is properly set up with a back up,there will be VERY,VERY little time to enter the house,let alone that safe.
    My estimate for police response is no longer than 5 minutes,AND your key holder should be there before that.

    • BigFED

      @scaatylobo – Bud, you are drinking too much of the manufacturers kool-aid if you believe any claimed response time. There are real world instances where response times can be measured using a sun dial or even a calendar and not a stop watch!!!

  • BigFED

    I find it amusing that many are announcing “I have this…, safe or vault with a commercial grade door and all these other high dollar options”. I have enough safe to keep out all but the most determined common, door kicker thief. A thousand pounds, bolted to the floor! When I asked for an insurance rider on my guns, the quote from three different companies was nearly as much as the worth of the guns. I don’t have any really “high grade” stuff, all everyday brands/models. The safe alone cost more than my most valuable firearm. Alarms aren’t worth chit! By the time there is a response, everything is over. So what if one has a video of the event? It doesn’t ANYTHING to “prevent” theft and almost nothing towards recovering the firearms since they have already been fenced. With my two LARGE dogs, I have plenty of immediate deterrent and we are seldom ever gone from the house long enough for anyone to use the obvious time and effort to do what was done to the safe in the picture!

    AND the BIG thing is, SOMEONE HAD to know what the owner had and how it is was stored!!! The average residential burglar is NOT wandering around with a gasoline powered saw capable of cutting steel/concrete slung over their shoulder. If one has a bunch of guns, keep your yap shut!!!

    Whoever did the job on the safe that is pictured KNEW in advance what they were going to do and what was needed to get it done!!!

  • bob100

    Do have a gun safe and also a cheap but effective alarm system run via a cell based call out unit. Deciding who to have it call out to is the hard part. You can buy a monitor service or have it call you.

    You know how it is with cell calls though, a lot of times you don’t get the call or for some reason it does not get through. For that reason I would also have a outside alarm bell that goes off and is loud and tell the neighbors if they here it to call police.

    My neighbors have one of these and it has gone off and I have called cops, was false alarm apparently but….

    Then there is the well hidden real safe and the cheap “bait” safe set out in plain view but do you really want to have any safe in plain view? Inviting any person who sees it to setup a robbery? No not really. I would place the bait safe in a closet and the real safe in a more well hidden area that has a fail safe alarm system that calls out and that trips the outside alarm.

    That cheap outside alarm going off will limit the burglars inside time to a few minutes of quick grab and run. Can’t afford an alarm? Buy an alarm system keypad and screw it to the outside wall at your front door, burglars or any one else seeing it will just “assume” you have an alarm system. Simple things can keep the burglars looking elsewhere for more of an easy target.

    There is any number of ways for people to find out where you live if you have guns. Things such as that NRA sticker on your car signaling any one driving behind you that you probably have a house full of guns and they could easily just follow you home. Same for that NRA hat they send you, do you walk all over town wearing it, do you wear it at work? Really? I advise you to toss that in the trash and now you know why.

    Turn the tables and think like a thief and try to figure out how you could find hints that people might have guns at home then be sure you are not dropping easy signals all over town that you are a gun owner/burglary target.

    • BigFED

      Many, many, many years ago, I was a Deputy with a rural (redundant) Kansas county sheriffs office. One evening, dispatch gave us an alarm call for a doctors house that was in the remotest part of the county. My partner and I were making plans (we were the ONLY unit that could respond) on what we were going to do when we got there. We knew the doctor was out of town (he called to make sure we knew before he left) so we were REALLY surprised when we were still almost a mile away and we could see his house on one of the few hills all lit up! As we got closer, we could see about a dozen cars and trucks in the front yard and drive way and probably 20 people (including a couple of ladies) also standing around the same area, all armed, mostly with shotguns, a couple of rifles and one S&W Model 19 (.357Mag). What we (and the sheriffs dispatcher) didn’t know was that the doctor had paid the alarm company to set another drop in the closest neighbors house. When that alarm went of, that neighbor called another neighbor and they called another… You get the idea. It seems like while the BGs were concentrating on finding the drugs, cash and other good stuff, they weren’t paying any attention to things out front. When the BGs finally came out of the house, they were greeted by all those ARMED neighbors that had coasted up to the house. When the BGs hit the yard and all those car/truck lights came on, well… things got a lot more intense for those thugs!

      As we pulled in to a “reserved” place the folks had left for us, we saw three guys all spread eagled out with their hands on the top side of a pickup truck bed! Each BG had one of the Doctors neighbors standing behind him with a shotgun tucked in the BGs crotch!!! Never saw any thug SO HAPPY to see the police as those three!!! Since there were three thugs, we could only safely transport one at a time to the jail about 35 miles from where we were. No problem. We used an old Kansas law allowing police officers to summon civilians to the aid of a sworn officer/deputy and swore in 7 other neighbors (three people + thug) per car, no trucks. To close for comfort and not many crew cabs back then). My partner and I frisked the three, picked the guy who seemed to be the leader to go in our squad. Only one small problem, Back then, most of us only carried a single pair of handcuffs! So two of the “deputized” neighbors rode literally SHOTGUN with my partner. Handcuffed thug number two rode rode with three of the neighbors in one of the neighbors cars and I rode with the one thug we didn’t have cuffs for along with two neighbors in another car. We had ourselves a little 80-85 mph parade Eastbound I-70 for several miles. All went well except that one thug peed himself in the neighbors car. Neighbor was NOT happy about that!

      • bob100

        OMG, this is literally the coolest thing I have ever heard concerning this subject. Thanks for posting it. I bet all these people will talk about this for the rest of their lives…. including the BG’s

      • Wynter

        Great story, I worked “rural” law enforcement for awhile myself and due to long response times it’s absolutely imperative that folks in those areas to be prepared to protect themselves. I’ve seen those “phone trees” used in rural areas a lot for everything from school notifications to weather warnings but the system that doc and his neighbors had set up is the best of them all!

  • randy

    For years I lost chickens to meat eating animals until I finally figured out chicken coops must be built to keep hungry beast out not keep chickens in……I build custom safes….I have never built one from stainless…your best bet for stopping a torch. …but grinder will cut one of those open as easy as carbon steel. Given time tools and desire any safe can be open…any. Every home needs a safe f or a dozen reasons……not a boat….not a jet ski….not a motorcycle….not even a vacation. Stop thinking you need anything before you get a safe……2 is even better with the second one being the one nobody but u knows of.

  • GreginVA

    The only good thing I have seen the ATF do is pass out a free note book for recording all of the important info for your firearms. ( many gun shops have them ) Write down all of the serial numbers, model and description of the guns and store the book in a separate location from the guns. If you are a victim of theft you can had it to the police I case they recover your property. It never a bad idea to have pictures not only of the guns but all valuables in your house and store them off site I case of a fire. You have a much better chance of your homeowners policy paying off on that 120 inch tv if you have a pic of in in the man cave.

  • cwolf

    My sister had an old walk-in safe in her 14th floor office left over from a previous tenant, so she locked it to prevent any accidents.

    After a long holiday week-end she arrived to find the safe gone. She was happy because otherwise it would have cost thousands to have it removed.

    The point being that people are fascinated by safes and they imagine all kinds of treasure must be inside.

    Or a friend went on vacation and the BG spent 2 days beating his safe open with a sledge hammer. He only had a few sheets of stamps inside.

    So, if you’re going to have a safe (realizing all the issues with rust, etc.), it’s best to hide it and not show it off or tell people about it.

    • ozzallos .

      The moral of the story is apparently to only hide the worthless crap in safes just to give the burglar something to fixate on.

  • Mike Lashewitz

    Awful lot of guns for such a small safe. . . .

    Safes, like door locks, are there to keep honest people honest.

  • Zebra Dun

    Mine is susceptible to a determined person with a hammer, crowbar and a little knowledge.
    It is meant more as an impediment to casual break in.
    It’s first line of defense is me with a gun.

  • Dan Clay

    I have tried to tell people how vulnerable these safes are and most of the time they don’t listen. Once people know when you are home and when you are away the only other piece of info they need to steal the safe is its location. With some very common power tools and a few things from any hardware store you can take the safe or crack it in place like this picture. It can be done in 15 minutes maybe less depending on the situation. I hate thieves. Just remember most of your neighbors are good or stuff would be happening to you all the time.