How to Choose a Gun Safe

rookhawk

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@Ray B and @sierraone A few answers and thoughts.

No, I don't live in those locations I can proudly say. Of the 102 counties in IL, I'm in one of the 99 that vote for the losing party in elections perennially. :)

Regarding insurance as this is a really pertinent point to how you secure your guns against loss: Insurance is ridiculously overpriced and ineffective. If you get an inland marine policy to cover your guns, or you get a rider on your homeowners, they will knick you for around 1% / 100 basis points of value per year. When you have a loss, they'll argue that for example, an AR is an AR. So your HK MR556 with all accessories (MSRP $5000) is equal to a bushmaster carbon (MSRP $600). That's the tug of war you'll play with claims. Then you'll argue about cost to cure and residual value. Example, original double rifle of note has its stock broken. Value of gun $15,000. Cost of replacement stock, $5000. THey'll pay the $5000 only. What about the fact that a replaced stock makes the gun worth $11,500 so the claim is actually near total loss? Also, what about the gun case that may be worth $2000-$4000 as an accessory and all the tools worth $1000? They are near worthless if the gun is stolen or destroyed. Will a homeowners policy cover the loss of value to the other components that suffer loss to the whole by the loss of the gun? No. They won't.

The solution I strongly recommend as a customer with no other affiliation is get REAL gun insurance. Fine Firearms Insurance by Eastern Insurance / Hanover is really reasonable. 0.33 basis points, one third the cost as the other ways of insuring. ($330 a year for $100,000 in coverage) Since they insure fine guns, they understand the claims process and the magnitude of loss. I also use them because when I ship a firearm to a gunsmith I don't insure heavily with UPS. I insure for my $500 deductible as shipping insurance is nothing short of devastatingly expensive. I've been satisfied with them for many years. I don't have to schedule guns individually unless they exceed $10,000 in value which most guns do not reach, especially if you separate the chokes, extra barrels, case and tools from the value of the gun itself. (A $25,000 competition skeet gun by Kolar might have an action value of $9999 if you honestly separate all the accessory parts from the total value)

In conclusion, a basic safe, good separation distance between guns and ammo, and a sound insurance policy is the best way to protect your investment.
 

sierraone

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I have never heard of the Fine Firearms Insurance by Eastern Ins/Hanover. I don't know if I would benefit from them since I don't think any of my guns fit into that category. I am paid up on my current insurance for the next year, but will email or call them soon to see what if anything they can offer me. Thanks for the post and the information!
 

rookhawk

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@sierraone whatever you pay now, divide it by 3 and that will be your new bill. If I'm wrong, I'll buy you a beer and a burger!
 

AfricaHunting.com

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@Ray B and @sierraone A few answers and thoughts.

No, I don't live in those locations I can proudly say. Of the 102 counties in IL, I'm in one of the 99 that vote for the losing party in elections perennially. :)

Regarding insurance as this is a really pertinent point to how you secure your guns against loss: Insurance is ridiculously overpriced and ineffective. If you get an inland marine policy to cover your guns, or you get a rider on your homeowners, they will knick you for around 1% / 100 basis points of value per year. When you have a loss, they'll argue that for example, an AR is an AR. So your HK MR556 with all accessories (MSRP $5000) is equal to a bushmaster carbon (MSRP $600). That's the tug of war you'll play with claims. Then you'll argue about cost to cure and residual value. Example, original double rifle of note has its stock broken. Value of gun $15,000. Cost of replacement stock, $5000. THey'll pay the $5000 only. What about the fact that a replaced stock makes the gun worth $11,500 so the claim is actually near total loss? Also, what about the gun case that may be worth $2000-$4000 as an accessory and all the tools worth $1000? They are near worthless if the gun is stolen or destroyed. Will a homeowners policy cover the loss of value to the other components that suffer loss to the whole by the loss of the gun? No. They won't.

The solution I strongly recommend as a customer with no other affiliation is get REAL gun insurance. Fine Firearms Insurance by Eastern Insurance / Hanover is really reasonable. 0.33 basis points, one third the cost as the other ways of insuring. ($330 a year for $100,000 in coverage) Since they insure fine guns, they understand the claims process and the magnitude of loss. I also use them because when I ship a firearm to a gunsmith I don't insure heavily with UPS. I insure for my $500 deductible as shipping insurance is nothing short of devastatingly expensive. I've been satisfied with them for many years. I don't have to schedule guns individually unless they exceed $10,000 in value which most guns do not reach, especially if you separate the chokes, extra barrels, case and tools from the value of the gun itself. (A $25,000 competition skeet gun by Kolar might have an action value of $9999 if you honestly separate all the accessory parts from the total value)

In conclusion, a basic safe, good separation distance between guns and ammo, and a sound insurance policy is the best way to protect your investment.
Very well put and explained @rookhawk!

I would like to add that all insurance companies work differently especially when it comes to collectors and high price items, so if you have such an item that you would want to get the full insured value for in case of a claim I would recommend contacting your broker or insurance company to see what they specifically require for that specific item.

For me a safe is my personal insurance policy and a basic safe will not do. I want a safe that has an excellent fire rating and one big/bulky/heavy that can be anchored to the foundation.
 

rookhawk

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@AfricaHunting.com Jerome, Great points. I found this to be true with collector cars too. The term you want to use when you discuss insurance is STATED VALUE. Stated value means that the policy holder and insured agreed previously to the material value of the gun/car/boat and that depreciation and future market value is not used in the calculation for a claim. Yes, you can get burned if a Colt or Winchester goes up 10x in value in 15 years, but more likely than not they'll argue your Remington 700 you bought new for $2000 is now used and worth $400. Stated Value prevents the insurer from paying you out less in a total loss. Fewer insurance companies offer stated value policies.
 

BWH

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Lots of good intel & responses here..... Like earlier said. Buy the biggest you can afford.... and then add a couple of sizes. I promise you will fill it up between guns, ammo, optics, wills, valuable papers, cash, etc.

As @rookhawk said very well..... If you are looking for good, solid indemnification in the event of Fire or Theft (the 2 largest perils of firearms), then go to a pro. A specialty company that gets it. I have been in insurance literally almost all my life (2nd generation). No sales pitches here. Just advice. Your homeowners policy will offer you "none to a lot" of coverage depending upon the carrier/company & policy. Lots of variations out there. Plus, you may be subjected to a large deductible.... possible depreciation, etc.
 

rookhawk

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@BWH you're a fellow member and hunter. What's the harm in plugging your agency or giving your contact? I know I would take no offense.
 

Ray B

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The problem that I have with insure it and forget it is that several things defy monetary value. When someone's home is threatened by fire or storm & they evacuate, what do they take? things that are not replaceable. Prior to digital photography, pictures were high on the list. Certainly a person can place a dollar value on a run-of -the-mill Remington 700 and might even get enough money to buy a new one "just like it", but it's not going to be the rifle that belonged to your grandpa and that he gave to you when he saw you were ready to hunt. Nor can any amount of money replace a work of art by artisans that have passed away- how many Mona Lisa's have you seen for sale lately?

While money is the medium of exchange with which someone obtains things, it is really only a number on some ledger and is only indirectly related to those things. My preference is to take what steps I can to protect those things as best as possible and only use replacement with dollars as a very undesirable plan B.
 

375 Ruger Fan

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I looked at Brown Safes (not Browning) and Graffunder. Leaning towards the Graffunder. The door gap tolerance appears to be better on the Graffunder. Now just have decide on a E or F rating.

@wesheltonj did you end up getting one of these? I went to their websites and these are indeed serious safes. Once you buy one of these heavy weights, you really don't want to move them them too often or ever.
 

mdwest

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I just moved my Liberty 48 gun safe this past weekend.. specs at 635lbs empty.. even that was a serious PIA to move without damaging floors, walls, etc..

I cant imagine moving a Graffunder of similar size.. that weighs in at 2100lbs...

Thats definitely going to require professional safe movers, with some specialized equipment..
 

wesheltonj

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@wesheltonj did you end up getting one of these? I went to their websites and these are indeed serious safes. Once you buy one of these heavy weights, you really don't want to move them them too often or ever.

No, not yet. Next house for sure. I need the double door model and it will not fit in my current house. The Graffunder dealer is about three miles from my house. Brown also contracts with them to deliver and set ups their safes. I do like the lock on the Brown, with the duress code, that when you open the safe with the duress code it sends a distress signal to your alarm service.
 

Aaron Nietfeld

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I'm dredging up an old thread here, but I'm looking to upgrade from a crappy sheet metal Stack-on to something a little more robust. How many of you guys are using rifle rods, and are they worth the while to increase your capacity?
 

BeeMaa

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I have never used rifle rods in a safe.
Not a fan of having something contacting the rifling at the muzzle.

We have 2 Fort Knox Executive Series 6637.
Once again...his & hers.
1604359023869.png
Black one was the first and picked it up for a steal.
The green one came 10 years later, after outgrowing the black one.
Had to special order it to get the hinge on the left.
We also added a pull handle to the black one.
 
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mdwest

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^^^^ truth ^^^^

My current "18 gun" safe holds 12 (plus some shelf space for some odds and ends.. but its tight in there)...

I out grew it years ago.. and have had rifles in cases laid under beds, in closets, etc.. for far too long at this point...

I'm counting on the 48 gun safe I just picked up to MAYBE hold 30-36 if I am lucky..

But.. I plan on moving all of my ammo, accessories, and other "stuff" to the old safe.. and only using the new one for firearms (shelves will have pistol racks... and the racks below will only have rifles/shotguns).. so I should be covered for a while.. (I don't have 30 long guns in my collection)..

Looking back on this 4 year old post.. the wisdom of always buying something significantly larger than you think you will ever need is proven valid once again..

I ended up buying a 48 gun liberty.. thinking that, combined with the 18 gun safe I already owned would be more than I could ever need...

Well.. the 18 gun safe got converted to an ammo locker... and the 48 gun safe is bursting at the seams...

It would appear what I needed to do was buy a 64 gun safe lol... or maybe.. stop buying so many guns.. or maybe adopt @TOBY458 's habits.. and keep buying guns.. but sell them off a few weeks later in favor of something else... :D
 

BeeMaa

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What do you all use to keep down the humidity in your safe?
Goldenrod Dehumidifier.
One in each safe.
This isn't mine, but it's what I have.
1604363833213.png
 
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