What you see is what you get when you buy a cheap gun safe from the "big box stores". Many people think, "a safe is a safe" and all that matters is the size. They don't know the difference between a cheap safe and a real safe that has good burglary and fire protection. They end up storing items of high value in a box that barely qualifies as a safe.
When thinking about buying any safe, the question is "how much can I afford to lose?" Cheap gun safes have a high risk of loss and don't offer much protection. Watch this video on how easy it is to pry open a cheap gun safe that you find at the big box stores.
The safes you find in the "big box stores" are usually made of light/thin metals and also have 30 minute or 1-hour fire ratings. They were never engineered for burglar resistance and they do not have thick enough steel to ward off a burglar. The locks are usually cheap Chinese imports and they do not have an Underwriters Laboratory rating. Not only do they have thin metal and inferior locks, but they also have small bolts that will not hold up in the event of a burglar trying to break into it with a crowbar or pry bar.
These safes are a waste of money and will not offer the theft protection required. A gun safe has many features to protect from both burglaries and fires that a cheap safe does not offer. The statistics show that you are more than likely to have a fire then a burglary, but even so, you will want to protect your valuables from both. A good gun safe will have at least a one-hour fire rating or better. You will find that the minimum burglar standard for a gun safe is UL RSC rated.
The best gun safes on the market today are TL-30 or TL-30-X6 rated. These are designed for high-end valuable items as well as guns. There is also a hard plate behind the lock to prevent drilling which is not typically available on the cheap gun safes. The bolts should be at least 3/4" or better instead of the 1/4" bolts found on the cheap "big box store" safes. The lock should be at least a Group II Underwriters Laboratory approved lock. If you're on a budget and can't afford an expensive gun safe, there are safes made that are affordable while still offering good protection.
Depending on how large of interior is required, our own brand of safes - Safe & Vault Store Second Amendment Gun Safes are reasonable and will offer the protection needed. They also come in three sizes. If you want the BEST protection, look for anything TL-30 or TL-30-X6 rated. Even though they are more expensive, they offer the best protection you can find on the market today.
So the question still is, "how much can I afford to lose?" These gun safes will store high-end valuables far better than the cheap "big box store" safes and provide you with peace of mind when you are gone or on vacation for weeks at a time.
If you still have questions regarding which gun safe you should purchase, give one of our safe experts a call at 800-207-2259. We can determine what your budget is, how much content value you are storing inside and point you to which gun safe will best fit your needs. Don't forget to shop all of our gun safes on our website. We have many brands, ratings and sizes available.