7 Things to Know Before Buying a Gun Safe [INFOGRAPHIC]

Buying a gun safe is a lot different than say, shopping for a pair of shoes. You just don’t go for a unit that catches your fancy.

There are many factors that you will have to consider when looking for the best gun safe for your home or office. These include the security rating of the unit, its capacity, the locking mechanism, among others.

It can really be overwhelming for a newbie to shop for a gun safe, but I have listed seven things you need to know before you make that purchase:

Things to Know Before Buying a Gun Safe

[INFOGRAPHIC] 7 Things to Know Before Buying a Gun Safe

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1. Gun safes are required by law in most states.

Although there is no federal legal requirement, most states require guns to be locked up in safes to prevent children from accessing them.  Check your local laws regarding gun safe requirements. Penalties may vary, yet in some states, gun owners can face criminal liability for not having a gun safe at home.

2. Don’t be overwhelmed by the weight of the gun safe.

Most gun safe buyers are OK with a unit that is big and heavy. The usual thinking is that a big and heavy gun safe is secure. But don’t believe that myth, as not all big and heavy gun safes are secure. Instead, I encourage you to look at the specifications of the safe.

I recommend a gun safe with at least 10-gauge steel, as it can be resistant to cutting and drilling. For the outer sheet, the gun safe should not be thinner than 7 gauge steel.

3. It pays to trust the good brands.BARSKA Mini Biometric Safe Front View

Just like in any other product, there are brands that you can trust when it comes to gun safes. These brands are known for the superior quality of their gun safes.

One of those brands is Cannon Gun Safes, which has been in the industry for more than 50 years.  Cannon gun safes are known to have longer and stronger bolts, as well as for their triple hard plate.  Another good brand is Winchester gun safes.

4. Internal dimensions matter more than external dimensions.BARSKA Large Biometric Safe Open 2

While external dimensions will give you an idea of how big the gun safe is, the internal dimensions are more critical for any gun safe buyer.  For one, the external dimensions would be meaningless once you have installed the gun safe. Thus you must focus more on the internal storage capacity.

5. The rule of thumb in determining the right size of your gun safe is…

Generally speaking, you should double the number of guns you have right now to determine the minimum gun safe size.  So if you have a couple of weapons right now, the gun safe you must buy should be able to accommodate at least four guns.

Why is this so?  Many gun owners agree that their gun safes become “smaller” over the years because they tend to buy more guns later on. And even if you don’t see yourself acquiring more guns in the future, you’d still want a more spacious gun safe as you can store other valuables in a fingerprint gun safe hunting knives, binoculars, and related accessories.

6. Consider the pros and cons of the locking mechanism.

In choosing between an electronic keypad and mechanical dial lock, you should know the advantages and disadvantages so that you can make an informed decision.

When it comes to convenience, there’s no question that an electronic keypad is better. With it, you can open a gun safe in three seconds or less.  If you’re storing a gun for home defense, it isn’t really wise to keep it in a mechanical dial lock.

But in terms of reliability, a mechanical dial lock beats even the best biometric gun safe.  If well maintained, a gun safe with a  mechanical dial lock can last for years.

7. Go for safes with internal hinges.

When buying a gun safe, whether it’s a fireproof gun safe or cheap gun safes, you’ll be asked to choose whether the hinge is internal or external.

Choose a unit with external hinges, because that would have doors that open wide to a full 180 degrees. External hinges can also allow the safe door to be removed easily for transport and servicing.

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