Equipped To Survive Equipped To Survive® Presents
The Survival Forum
Where do you want to go on ETS?

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#218685 - 03/10/11 02:53 AM Gun safe?
gulliamo Offline
Member

Registered: 09/11/02
Posts: 155
Loc: NYC, USA
Can anyone recommend a good handgun safe?
Requirements:
-Hold 1 handgun
-Keep others out
-Let me in quickly (easy access in case of emergency)
-Multiple mounting options (the more concealable the better)

Top
#218686 - 03/10/11 03:39 AM Re: Gun safe? [Re: gulliamo]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1613
Loc: Northern California
_________________________
If you're reading this, it's too late.

Top
#218693 - 03/10/11 07:48 AM Re: Gun safe? [Re: gulliamo]
ducktapeguy Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/28/06
Posts: 358
There are probably a hundred different options depending your requirements of security vs. convenience. By "others" are you talking about little children, nosy family members, amateur thieves, etc?

The mechanical simplex locks on the above safes are very convenient, but their weakness is you can run through every possible combination in about 15 minutes, maybe less. So it might be secure against little kids, but if you have curious teenagers around I'd be worried.

These are also pretty popular

http://www.gunvault.com/

But again it's just a deterrent, a few simple hand tools can defeat it pretty easily. No matter what kind of safe you get, it has to be bolted down otherwise someone will just walk off with it.

I have this wall safe with electronic lock, I believe they also make a smaller size

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Mesa-Safe-Co.-Electronic-Wall-Safe-20-H-with-Two-Shelves/11402214

It's not real secure, but a great value for the price. As you said, the more concealable the better. Security through obscurity, if someone can't find it, they won't be trying to open it. It does require more work to install but the compromise between security vs. accessibility is perfect for me.



Edited by ducktapeguy (03/10/11 07:56 AM)

Top
#218698 - 03/10/11 12:42 PM Re: Gun safe? [Re: gulliamo]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2643
Make sure you can open it on the first try in the dark.

Top
#218709 - 03/10/11 06:55 PM Re: Gun safe? [Re: ducktapeguy]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1613
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: ducktapeguy
The mechanical simplex locks on the above safes are very convenient, but their weakness is you can run through every possible combination in about 15 minutes, maybe less. So it might be secure against little kids, but if you have curious teenagers around I'd be worried.


Any safe fitting the requirements in the original post is going to have numerous weaknesses, but you're exaggerating the weakness of the safes in the links I posted. According to my calculations, your 15-minute estimate is off. You might be able to go through every combination if you are well-organized and make zero mistakes throughout all 1000+ combinations. I have simplex locks, and I often make mistakes even though I know each combination backward and forward. One mistaken press or a press that's not hard enough means the lock won't open. I don't realize I made a mistake until the lock won't open. A pry bar would be easier.

I prefer not to use an electronic lock because I've had more than one fail on me. I've had better luck with purely mechanical locks.
_________________________
If you're reading this, it's too late.

Top
#218725 - 03/11/11 12:19 AM Re: Gun safe? [Re: gulliamo]
Pete Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1115
I just use an electronic safe. Keep in mind that when you set the combinations with the 4 buttons on the front, one possibility is to hold two (or more) buttons down at the same time. This increases the number of combinations considerably - it's really not that easy for teenagers to get the thing open.

You need to be able to access your gun quickly in an emergency.
That's a tradeoff to consider.

other Pete

Top
#218731 - 03/11/11 01:57 AM Re: Gun safe? [Re: gulliamo]
ducktapeguy Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/28/06
Posts: 358
I was being conservative on the 15 minute time frame, the common estimate is about 10 minutes. Keep in mind that this is the amount of time to try EVERY possible combination, including all the ones with 2 or more simultaneous numbers. What are the chances someone will need to go through all of them before they happen across the right one? It's very easy to go through a lot of combinations very quickly, especially if you have a list in front of you.

http://www.tech-faq.com/how-to-open-a-simplex-lock.html

This doesn't mean they are bad locks, you just have to know the inherent limitations of your choice. Simplex locks are great for access control, not so much for security. You'll notice you will only see them used on small lock boxes, there's a reason manufacturers don't use them on larger safes.

As I stated, it would be fine if you needed to keep small children out of your safe, but I personally would not trust one where a bored/curious teenager had access to it, because they will get into it. It boils down to who you're trying to keep out. You don't want to give yourself a false sense of security, that's almost as dangerous as having none.

I prefer mechanical dial locks for their durability, but for frequent use an electronic lock is a lot more convenient.

Top
#218732 - 03/11/11 03:10 AM Re: Gun safe? [Re: ducktapeguy]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1613
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: ducktapeguy
I was being conservative on the 15 minute time frame, the common estimate is about 10 minutes. Keep in mind that this is the amount of time to try EVERY possible combination, including all the ones with 2 or more simultaneous numbers. What are the chances someone will need to go through all of them before they happen across the right one? It's very easy to go through a lot of combinations very quickly, especially if you have a list in front of you.

http://www.tech-faq.com/how-to-open-a-simplex-lock.html

This doesn't mean they are bad locks, you just have to know the inherent limitations of your choice. Simplex locks are great for access control, not so much for security. You'll notice you will only see them used on small lock boxes, there's a reason manufacturers don't use them on larger safes.

As I stated, it would be fine if you needed to keep small children out of your safe, but I personally would not trust one where a bored/curious teenager had access to it, because they will get into it. It boils down to who you're trying to keep out. You don't want to give yourself a false sense of security, that's almost as dangerous as having none.

I prefer mechanical dial locks for their durability, but for frequent use an electronic lock is a lot more convenient.


None of the safes in this thread are good for security. A bored/curious teenager who is testing the safe has made a decision to break the law. That person has morals that won't stop him from using a crowbar to get in. None of the safes here are suitable for stopping such a person.

Anyway, please explain how you're getting 15 minutes to go through all combinations on the safes I posted? The second safe I posted has 2,200 combinations. If you average 4 seconds per try, that's 146 minutes to go through all combinations. As I said above, it's easy to make a mistake, and you don't know if you made a mistake until the safe doesn't open. You'll very likely make a mistake on the correct code and won't know until you've gone through all combinations (146 minutes), and then you'd have to start over.

I know Simplex locks have limitations, but let's at least not pull numbers out of mid-air.
_________________________
If you're reading this, it's too late.

Top
#218733 - 03/11/11 03:27 AM Re: Gun safe? [Re: gulliamo]
LesSnyder Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1375
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
as others have commented there is a trade off between security and quick access... I have a gun safe with a typical Sergeant-Greenleaf dial lock that house my competition firearms.... I also have a Treadlock security chest of lighter gauge steel with a Medeco key lock that houses several charged handguns... all of my keys, including the security chest key is on the same ring, so all I would have to do is leave the key in the lock to have access to the loaded pistols when I retire for the night... I would not get very far if I tried to walk away with the key still in the lock

Top
#218738 - 03/11/11 06:13 AM Re: Gun safe? [Re: gulliamo]
ducktapeguy Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/28/06
Posts: 358
Originally Posted By: ireckon


None of the safes in this thread are good for security. A bored/curious teenager who is testing the safe has made a decision to break the law. That person has morals that won't stop him from using a crowbar to get in. None of the safes here are suitable for stopping such a person.

Anyway, please explain how you're getting 15 minutes to go through all combinations on the safes I posted? The second safe I posted has 2,200 combinations. If you average 4 seconds per try, that's 146 minutes to go through all combinations. As I said above, it's easy to make a mistake, and you don't know if you made a mistake until the safe doesn't open. You'll very likely make a mistake on the correct code and won't know until you've gone through all combinations (146 minutes), and then you'd have to start over.

I know Simplex locks have limitations, but let's at least not pull numbers out of mid-air.


True, none of these safes are good for true security, but some are better than others for certain application. That's is why the first question I asked the OP is who/what was trying to secure against. If the OP has teenage kids in the house, are they going have access to the safe? What if they bring friends over? Don't underestimate the curiosity and ability of teenagers. Maybe he has nosy roommates? It's not always a thief with a crowbar that you're trying to defend against.

As for the 15 minutes, it's well established how long it takes to go through the combinations, these are not made up numbers. I said 15 because that's how long it would take me because of my fat fingers, 10 minutes is what other people can do with practice. There's no reason for me to embellish these numbers when it's very easy to verify. Your estimate of 4 seconds per combination is very conservative, even at a normal relaxed pace 1-2 second per combination is common. If you look at where simplex lock mechanisms are used, it's usually in a high traffic, low security application. At my work there are simplex locks on many of the doors, hundreds of people pass through them multiple times everyday, so you're looking at thousands of openings every day. It does not take 4 seconds to punch in the combination, and if people are in a hurry the lock barely slows them down. And these locks are designed to be relatively easy to use, a mistaken number is easily noticed by even a new user.

(warning, boring technical details below)
The second safe you posted is the exact same simplex lock mechanism as the first one. So yes, that first safe technically also has 2200 combinations also (2162 to be exact). This was briefly mentioned in the link above how it works and why it's not used. I've tried it using it before, and I tend to agree that it's really not worth the hassle. I bet the simplex lock you have now also has that capability, but it wasn't mentioned in the manual. So in practical use you're looking at about 1000 combinations. Now if you consider the fact that most people are not going to use just 1 or 2 numbers, you can eliminate quite a few off the bat. Chances are they won't use 3 simultaneous button pushes either, so that reduces the practical number of combinations even more. I'm even willing to guess that most people will use 4 numbers, either individually or with 2 simultaneous button pushes, so now there is a much smaller number of probable combinations to start with (how close am I to guessing your combination?). Now you see why these types of locks are only used in small lock boxes, never on a decent sized safe. Compare that to a cheap combination dial lock which has 64,000 possible combinations, and it takes much longer to try each one. A high quality dial safe lock will have 1,000,000 combinations, and can take up to half a minute to dial each one.

I'm not trying to convince you or the OP to change your choice in handgun safes. If it works for your needs, that's great. But be informed and don't get a false sense of security, because that will lead to disappointment. A good test would be to find a teenager, put $50 in your pistol safe and then hand him the list of possible combinations and tell him he has 15 minutes. See how long it takes him to get in. I think you'll be surprised.

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >



Moderator:  KG2V, NightHiker 
April
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30
Who's Online
1 registered (TomP), 281 Guests and 3 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
AldoMarsh, JasonSantiago, SonnetLabs, reoul, RealGreenLighting
5194 Registered Users
Newest Posts
What Do You Dig? (with)
by UncleGoo
35 minutes 54 seconds ago
Which is the best steel for a cold steel srk?
by hikermor
Yesterday at 08:30 PM
HIkers swept away in Grand Canyon
by hikermor
Yesterday at 01:24 PM
tinned foots burst when they freeze?
by dougwalkabout
Yesterday at 04:10 AM
Fatalities at Sequoia National Park
by hikermor
Yesterday at 03:49 AM
Train spill prep
by Tjin
04/28/17 07:00 AM
LongTermSurvival Story
by Phaedrus
04/28/17 03:30 AM
A Knotty problem -What are the most useful knots?
by Mark_R
04/26/17 08:31 PM
Newest Images
Tiny knife / wrench
Handmade knives
2"x2" Glass Signal Mirror, Retroreflective Mesh
Trade School Tool Kit
My Pocket Kit
Glossary
Test

WARNING & DISCLAIMER: SELECT AND USE OUTDOORS AND SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES AND TECHNIQUES AT YOUR OWN RISK. Information posted on this forum is not reviewed for accuracy and may not be reliable, use at your own risk. Please review the full WARNING & DISCLAIMER about information on this site.