A while back, I wrote an article on Homak products, mainly addressing their line of security cabinets and pistol boxes. In this post, I discussed an issue that’s a bit of a personal pet peeve; when metal gun cabinets are mistakenly referred to as gun safes. It just gives folks a false sense of security. While I spent the majority of the article objectively discussing the company’s product line, I went on a bit of a rant in the beginning, venting my frustration for the aforementioned annoyance. At one point I said, “if you visit their site [Homak’s], you’ll notice that nowhere on it does it say that they make gun safes – they make gun cabinets”.
That statement is, at the moment, still true; Homak doesn’t showcase their gun safes on their site. However, they do indeed manufacture them (well, technically they’re residential security containers, but calling them safes is more convenient…). Their gun cabinets and pistol boxes are still the company’s claim to fame, but they’ve packed in some more variety with a handful of safes as well.
Homak gun safes can best be pigeonholed into two main categories; those with fire protection, and those without. Those that lack the fire rating come in the 12 and 16 gun capacity varieties and are easily distinguishable from the others by their baked on hunter green finish. If you’ve read any of my other articles, you’ve probably gathered that I’m not a big fan of cheap crappy safes. Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand that not everyone has $4-5K to shell out on a premium security container (I certainly don’t) – I’m just saying that you ought not to invest $600 into something just because it says “safe” on it.
Homak’s green safes don’t crack 175 lbs, they have a cheap electronic lock, and could be ripped wide open by any crook with half an ass full of effort. If you have one, and you like it, fantastic – sorry to offend you – for me, however, I’m a proponent of either spending a few hundred dollars more on a decently secure unit (like a Winchester or a low-end Sturdy Safe), or spend a few hundred dollars less, and pick up a gun cabinet (like a Stack On, or even a Homak!). These two safes fall into a bittersweet area that I personally would steer clear of.
As mentioned, they also produce three fire resistant products, offering 16, 24, and 36 gun capacities. I hate to say it (because I really like Homak’s pistol boxes and most of their cabinets), but these are very short of spectacular. They’re a bit better than the previously discussed non-fireproof models, as they all offer an ETL endorsed fire rating of 30 minutes at 1400 degrees F, but their other features are overshadowed by other manufactures’ products in the same price range. For example, let’s run a quick comparison pitting the Homak 36 Gun Fire Safe against the Winchester Western 45.
They’ll both run you in the neighborhood of $1,350. Though fire ratings tend to be a bit ambiguous, the Winchester is rated 1 hour at 1400 degrees against the Homak’s 30 minutes at the same temperature. The Winchester is nearly 20% bigger, and offers the ability to store an additional 9 long guns (without the majority of additional shelving – in either unit). The Winchester Western is made with 12 gauge steel, which ideally is a bit light, however, it’s over 300 lbs more resilient than the Homak. The Winchester also has seven more locking bolts, and passed UL’s five minute tool attack test – the Homak can’t make the same claim.
Winchester safes pack some pretty decent value, but I’m not saying that they’re the best safe on the market. What I am saying, however, is that Homak gun safes aren’t worth the asking price. I’ll continue to be a pretty big fan of their cabinets and handgun boxes, but unless they make some serious changes, you’ll never see me storing my guns in their safes.