I’m nothing but a broke gun nut with a blog, so I don’t exactly have safe manufacturers banging down my door, begging me to test their products. I’m forced to get my information the old fashioned way…reading a crap ton of message board threads to find out what other safe owners think. There are a lot of proud folks out there, both praising their safes and the guns inside them, but the sad song I continue to hear no matter where I go is, “I should have bought a bigger gun safe”.
Guns are like tattoos; most dudes who have them aren’t going to stop getting them until they run out of space (within reason, of course). Don’t fool yourself. You know darn well that your 9 piece firearms collection is gonna grow to 15 in a couple years – forget the 12 gun safe – go for the 24. Forget the 36, go for the 51. Forget the 64, go for the Gibraltar! Seriously though, friends, you have to think about the future.
Of course, you also need to think about the present. Most gun manufacturers don’t factor scopes, tactical lights, fore grips, or .50 BMG muzzle breaks into the equation when they advertise their capacity. That said, if you’re looking to store some well-accessorized cannons, you may want to factor that into consideration during check out time. That 24 capacity gun safe won’t have any problem holding two dozen barebones Ruger 10/22’s, but you elephant hunters out there may have a different experience. If you have the money, it never hurts to get a bigger safe; I’m sure you have plenty of other valuables that would be in your best interest to lock up. Here are a few models that set the bar for capacity.
Liberty Safes: Fat Boy
Sturdy Gun Safe: Model 6028-6
Pentagon (Sportsman Steel Safes): Double Wide Crown Series
Superior Safes: Ironside 95
Coolest Gun Safe
If you’re in the market for a new safe, your main priority is likely security (and price), but that’s a good thing; security should almost always be the most important factor. There’s absolutely nothing wrong buying a big, reliable, drab gray box to sit hidden in your basement with your valuables locked safely inside. In fact, boring can be a good idea; if the burglar doesn’t notice it, he won’t try to break it open.
All that’s great….boring dependability is just swell, but there’s something in me that craves that sweet taste of novelty flair. It’s the part of me that would rather read a Bud K catalog than the Wall Street Journal. It’s the part of me that went into the dealer to buy a neat and simple Ruger Mark III and came out with a GSG-5; it’s the mall ninja part of me that can’t get enough gun safe bells and whistles
Runner up: Browning Mark II Tactical gun safe
The Mark II Browning Tactical is the kind of safe that every mall ninja out there just wants to lock himself inside and get high on that new safe smell (don’t though – you’ll die). This sucker is dripping with storage efficiency. The majority of firearms security containers on the market don’t exactly cater to the tactical buff. Though a little bit of TLC, decent convertible shelving and a few well placed accessories can give just about any safe the resources to adequately house your arsenal, the Mark II is ready to go right out of the box.
It’s named appropriately. It may be cliche’d to pieces and buzzworded to death, but I honestly can’t think of a better adjective than “tactical” to describe this safe. If I had to compare it to a gun, it would probably be the DPMS RAPTR; a reliable product that includes a slew of surprisingly useful bells and whistles. For starters, it just looks bad ass. The exterior sports a baked on satin black finish, an S&G Type I electronic lock, exterior mounted hangers and the ballsiest chrome handle you ever did see…I wish they made it in a belt buckle.
As sharp as the outside looks, the inside is what makes this beast live up to its moniker.
What tactical characteristic is shared among just about all aptly named firearms on the market? The Picatinny rail system, of course! The Browning Mark II is one of the only safes models I can think of that actually has one. This means any black rifle mods that you want to organize can be effectively stored separately from your piece. But as cool as it is, the rail system is only scratching the surface. Its list of accessories is a long one.
From the ground up you have a waterproof, rubberized floor mat to keep your guns’ wear to a minimum. The inside of the door is loaded with pockets, straps and racks, able to easily hold half a dozen various sized cannons, magazines, and accessories. The bulk of the interior is jacked freakin’ full of organizational potential – just look at the picture for cryin’ out loud (I admit – the guns shown in this picture have influenced my attraction to this safe)!. Everything from 1911s to bullpups to Barret M82’s will feel right at home in this bad boy. And to cap things off, the safe is equipped with lighting and a full length mirror; two extremely underrated features.
The only reason I deemed this unit runner up is because I’m disappointed in its body thickness. Browning stacked this unit to the 9’s, so why they built it with 11 gauge steel is beyond me. Eleven gauge thickness is bearable in a less testosterone fueled model, but I have no idea why Browning didn’t bump this guy up to 7 gauge – at least as an option. Oh well. It’s still cool as crap (cold crap).
Coolest: Pendleton King Revolution Gun Safe
This thing is freakin’ rad. Even if it were a total piece of crap, I would still feel comfortable calling it the coolest gun safe I’ve ever seen. Fortunately, however, it’s not a piece of crap. It’s actually a pretty well built, secure safe. The Pendleton King is an innovative security container with a reliable S&G electronic lock, nearly 1300 lbs of steel, and a resiliency rating decent enough to get UL’s RSC blessing – but those are just boring reliability features – they hardly do anything for its mall ninja appeal.
The first thing you’ll notice that’s a bit different about this safe is that it’s cylindrical. It looks like a phone book that would give Superman a claustrophobic panic attack (yeh, he’s no match for Krypton or tight spaces). The reason for its unorthodox design becomes very apparent when you open the door. You’re greeted by as many as 40 long guns and 26 pistols revolving around on 12 volt motor-powered, turret shelving. The interior is lit up by over 300 LED lights (with an alleged 100,000 hour lifetime rating)…it looks like a tanning bed from Hell. The floor is constructed from neoprene to help prevent both unnecessary wear and moisture damage to the firearms. This unit, like all of Pendleton’s revolving safes, also includes a built in dehumidifier.
Don’t write off this safe’s slickness as a gimmick folks, it’s the real deal.