Gun Safe Buying Guide – Theft Protection Advanced

Gun safe buying guide part 2

Owning a firearm is a major investment. Not only does it cost money but also brings with it many responsibilities towards the community and your own family. It is your responsibility as a gun owner to safeguard your prized possession from falling into the wrong hands. Be it children, unsuspecting visitors or burglars with a malicious intent, investing into a gun safe with the right anti-theft measures is a sure way to safeguard your investment. Now there are plenty of choices available, some of the features I have already detailed in the Gun Safe Buying Guide – The Basics. Here are a few more advanced features pertaining to Theft Protection.

Advanced Features For Theft Protection

Type Of Lock

lockAs discussed before there are basically two kinds of locks available. One is an electronic lock and the other is a mechanical lock. While electronic locks offer ease of use and quick access, they invariably go bad. Mechanical locks are a bit finicky at first to learn but they last longer too. Thankfully, a good lock, regardless of its type, provides a one in a million chance of breaking inside, which is more than sufficient to keep burglars out.

Personally, I find electronic locks to be unreliable. I have seen folks getting locked out from their own system because they forgot the code, or maybe changed it last night and punched in a wrong code. The only way that you can open it after making such a mistake is to drill and pry it open, which again costs money. So, for me mechanical dial locks are the best. Alternatively, I don’t have an issue with electronic locks that have a key override mechanism. This also ensures that I never get locked out because the battery went dead inside.

Anti-Pry Tabs

antipry tabsThis isn’t a common fixture on all gun safes. Only top manufacturers on top models provide this extra safety feature. These are reinforced brackets that are placed along the bottom and top of pin-bar brackets, helping prevent pry bars from gaining any traction near the hinges and brackets. Having anti-pry tabs tend to improve burglar protection by 300 percent.

Locking Mechanism

locking mechanismElectronic and mechanical locks secure the gun safe, as for locking it down and unlocking it, there are actually three types of mechanisms namely, gear driven over center, over center cam and direct driven cam mechanism. Out of all the three, over center cam is considered by many to be tough against side bolt punching.

In a few models, you may even find slip clutch mechanism that protects the lock from breaking down if the handle is torque hard. This adds to the cost of the gun safe but they use incredibly heavy duty linkage components that can handle a lot of damage to the handle and yet not disengage the bolts.


relockerSome safes come with failsafe measures that trigger when tampering is detected. Such systems are called as re-locker, which is basically a spring mounted trigger that releases hardened pins into pre-determined holes in the frame the moment they are disturbed due to prying, drilling or punching. This safety feature is an excellent deterrent to thieves as it permanently seals the safe even if the handle is disengaged and remove.


hardplatesA hardplate is a tiny thickened plate designed to resist drill attacks, which is usually kept between the door’s steel and the lock within. These plates are arranged in layers and more the number of layers, harder it is to penetrate.

Some come with glass re-lockers instead of hardplates near the lock that shatter if drilled into thus engaging the permanent bolts. A few even go further by providing a large hardplate for the entire front and side surface while others give a smaller independent plate for the re-locker and at the same time layers in front of the lock itself.

I don’t believe that a gun safe can actually stop a determined robber. Given ample time, with the right set of tools, any safe can be broken into. However, why make things easier for our friendly nighttime miscreant? If you can delay his access to your stash long enough for someone to notice, your investment into a high quality safe will have paid itself back in full.

Protecting your firearms and valuables from theft isn’t the only danger a gun safe is designed for. It is also made to resist fires and natural calamities. In the next part of our buying guide, we’ll look into features specifically designed for fire retardation and safety.

Read it now: Gun Safe Buying Guide – Fire Protection Advanced

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