New for 2017: Winchester Defender Safes

Winchester Defender 44

Winchester Safes announced a new line of tactical safes called the Defender. There are four sizes of safe in this line: the Defender 17, Defender 25, Defender 34 and Defender 44. The numbers do not correspond to the number of gun placements inside the lock box, rather to the rounded internal size of the safe as measured in cubic feet. On the small end, the internal space is 16.7 cubic feet. The top end size is almost 44 cubic feet.

Some of the features common to the Winchester Safes line include:

  • electronic lock – Winchester Safes claims the lock is EMP resistant, though I imagine if that is ever put to the test we might have larger problems than trying to get warranty work. A mechanical lock is available.
  • 12 ga steel body, 1/4″ heat treated steel front
  • recessed door, reinforced steel jambs, anti-pry tabs
  • fire protection rating of 60 minutes @ 1,400˚ F
  • powdercoated finish of black or desert tan
  • reinforced steel top shelf
  • rubber coated barrel rests
  • motion sensing red LED light kit
  • PALS webbing on inside of door for pouches or accessories
  • two internal 110v outlets and two USB power outlets
  • pricing runs from $1,500 – $2,989 on the company website
  • lifetime replacement guarantee for damage from fire or burglary

Note: The use of the word “safe” in this article is for the common meaning meaning of the word – a locked metal box. It is not used to mean refer to the technical definition of a safe with a specific level of protection. I’ve written about the differences in safes previously, and the vast majority of gun safes do not approach the same level of protection that a technical safe does. Even so, I maintain that a common gun safe is an excellent tool for keeping out kids, house guests and the typical smash and grab type of thief.





Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is http://www.gunsholstersandgear.com/.


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  • Sunshine_Shooter

    A gun ‘safe’ (RSC) might be the one thing I don’t think would look better in FDE. Not that it looks bad, but the whole point of FDE kinda falls apart on an item I bolt to my floor and walls.

    • True, but tan color started from a big box store paint sample. Or so the legend goes that the first Coyote Brown came from the Ralph Lauren paint.

      • RetroG

        When I was working in a office furniture factory back in the 70s, we had a color we nicknamed Seattle beige. Rumor was some paint place in Seattle mixed up all the leftover, rejects, etc., and sold the resulting unattractive color paint to us. Funny thing, it looks a lot like FDE.

  • I like the fence around the top. Like many I put stuff on the top of my safe, and at least once a year I am knocking that stuff down either behind the safe or behind the shelves that are next to the safe.

    Not a big fan of the red LEDs though.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      The red leds are REALLY stupid. I know some genius had the idea of red won’t kill your night vision for that home intruder scenario where you have time to go to your safe, select an appropriate gun, and then go solo clear your house… that marketing person for some reason notbeing laughed out of the room while pitching that.

      White leds and I may have actually considered one of these, need a new safe.

      • USMC03Vet

        Sometimes I like to role play Marko Ramius from Red October and the red lighting is a must!

      • Nashvone

        But….but, you still have to go to your ammo safe to load your weapon. Safety rules! Keep the ammo separate from the fire arm!

  • A.WChuck

    “I’ve written about the differences in safes previously, and the vast majority of gun safes do not approach the same level of protection that a technical safe does. Even so, I maintain that a common gun safe is an excellent tool for keeping out kids, house guests and the typical smash and grab type of thief.”

    THANK YOU for adding this to the post. It is important to understand the benefits and limitations of a typical RSC.

    • USMC03Vet

      Every time I read the “it’s not a safe. It’s a residential security container”. It reminds me of the guy that always has to mention that in other parts of the world it’s called football.

  • Calavera

    “Even so, I maintain that a common gun safe is an excellent tool for keeping out kids, house guests and the typical smash and grab type of thief.”
    ===================================
    Amen to that. I found mine at the local Tractor Supply store, on sale for $375. Slightly larger than a grandfather clock. 18 months later, a broad daylight front door forced entry burglary resulted in property loss of over $7K, but the perps didn’t waste time monkeying with the gun safe. Didn’t even spin the dial or work the lever. That $375 investment saved me thousands in rifles, shotguns, and pistols.

  • Mike N.

    IMO you should buy a cheapie or a more serious safe, most > $1k safes don’t offer anything over a cheapie, or are sufficient secure compared to real safes, to justify the cost differential. For example, the same company (Granite) sells a Winchester safe that goes for around $600 at big box stores, and for the stated purpose in the last paragraph, should be fine. If you want a more serious safe, an Amsec BF series is within reach if you can swing the price of one of these, or you can get something like this, which offers a lot more metal and insulation for the same kind of money these Winchester safes costs, albeit without all the bling:
    http://www.zykansafe.com/brategunsafes.html

  • GaryOlson

    A tactical safe without rails, keymod or mlok attachment slots, or BUIS…Not tactical. I’ll take a look when a bipod, scope, and ambidextrous dials are standard equipment.

    • Stuki Moi

      I was wondering what it takes to make a metal box “tactical.”

      And if being so, makes it illegal in California. It’s black, and can hold more than 10 rounds of ammo, after all….

      • noob

        I guess a tactical safe is the one that you bring to battle? Or the one you have when the battle comes to you?

        I think there is a t shirt that says “TACTICAL PANTS: Because if your pants aren’t winning battles for you, you’re wrong.”

  • JumpIf NotZero

    (RSC is residential security container, Underwriter Laboratories term and an actual rating (UL 1037 iirc), you could buy a Winchester Gun Safe that isn’t even to the level of RSC for example. A “Safe” doesn’t start until .5″ steel plate at the door)

  • John McPherson

    Love the external hinges, which allow the door to swing out of the way better than with internal hinges. Also there are locking lugs on the hinge side which are often left off of internal hinge doors. And much easier to remove the door to move the safe upstairs, and I have done that. Every gun box should have external hinges.

  • Marcus D.

    What is a “technical safe”? The only “technicals” I am familiar with have antiaircraft guns or other machine guns mounted in the bed…..It would have been appreciated if you’d linked to your other article….

  • USMC03Vet

    Anyone else dissemble or remove critical parts to firearms when in storage and hide them elsewhere or am I and Mark Walberg from shooter the only ones?