ShootingSafe Sentry Safes
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- Last updated: 07/11/2016
Proper gun security is the owner’s responsibility and with shooters owning more and more high tech equipment, a safe with the same criteria would seem a logical development. Key operated single or double lock safes are your first line of security but there are alternatives in the shape of the gun vault style safes that offer maximum security with either combination or digital locking system and with some being fire resistant.
A new comer to the gun safe scene are Shootingsafe from Cambridgeshire (01234 330297), who offer a line of gun safes ranging from conventional wall/floor mounted, key operated, five gun capacity cabinets to free standing vault style safes that have the capacity for 14 guns and additional equipment. This level of safety and peace of mind for your valuables usually comes with a high price tag but by ordering direct from the manufacturer (Sentry Safes in the USA) and in quantity, a price breakthrough has been achieved.
The basic wall mounted model is a key operated 5 gun model called the G0135 that retails for £199. This is 55 inches high by 12 inches wide and 11.5 inches deep and offers enough room for rifles with scopes attached. Although it is wall mounted, the door is 2mm solid steel and is pry resistant and has a double bitted 8 lever key lock for extra security.
Finished in Forest Green this model is a good entry level safe but the real interest to me are in the vault type safes. These include the 7 to 14 gun combination lock safe G5241 that retails for a reasonable £449 whilst the same safe with electric lock is priced at £499. Considering a good quality scope will cost you over £500 then an investment in this type of safe would seem an incredibly sensible purchase. But it does not stop here, as for an additional £200 for each model buys an upgrade to a fire resistant construction that conforms to stringent independent testing.
I had the fire resistant combination lock model GS5251 on test and was immediately impressed not only by its strength but by the build quality and accessories included as standard.
This is a large safe with outside dimensions; 59 inches high, 22.75 inches wide and a depth of 24 inches which gives a cubic capacity of 11.2 cu/ft. That’s plenty of room for 14 guns maximum depending on the internal configuration. The carcass is solid 3mm steel plate and gives the safe a backbreaking weight of 495lb. It will take two people to manoeuvre it into place and for even more security there are two bolts for attaching it to the floor. When it is fully laden with kit it would become virtually unmoveable anyway.
The door is a seriously substantial item being 1.5 inches thick that is supported by two equally hefty external hinges. The door opens from left to right and the locking mechanism incorporates three dead bolts on the hinge side to stop prying open. There are five further active bolts each of 1 inch diameter that retract back 1.5 inches into the door housing and lock on the activation of the safes lever handle. This model has the combination lock system that uses a unique three digit code that is dialled in with a large clearly visible three inch Gold anodised barrel and rubber slip ring. Once the correct number is entered the large lever handle is turned left a short distance to disengage the bolts and the heavy recessed door swings smoothly and silently open. The combination lock is also protected from drill attack by a substantial hardened steel plate. This reassuring rigid lock up and smooth operation is all smartly finished in a tough Forest green colour.
Internally the safe is equally well finished and offers a highly versatile configuration. First, because this model is fire resistance rated at a verified specification of 1400 degrees for 30 minutes, the internal dimensions are obviously less then the exterior, due to the fire retardant packing material. This gives an internal dimension of 57 inch height by 20.5 inch width by 16.5 inch depth but keeps your contents at an internal temperature below 350 degrees Fahrenheit in a fire. This not only offers safe storage for your guns but also for all your important personal papers and passports. All internal surfaces are carpeted with a grey fabric to stop those annoying scratches that usually happen when moving the guns in and out of the safe. There was a strong odour of fire retardant as you first open the safe but this soon dissipates with use.
There are four internal storage configurations, all facilitated by the clever use of removable carpeted shelves and plastic rifle supports. With all shelves removed, the internal gun supports can be arranged around the edges of the safe by means of a rebated lip that perfectly fits the same cut out in the supports themselves, giving a maximum gun storage of 14 guns. These adjustable barrel supports greatly help storage of either shotguns be they side by side or over and under due to their depth and width. Scope mounted rifles usually take up a lot of space in a normal cabinet but with the addition of a spacer on the gun support the rifle can be stored vertically without having to rest it on the scope.
With the long central divide installed you have a choice of either side offering gun storage for 7 guns with the reverse side having two shelves for binoculars, rangefinders and the like. You can even remove all the gun supports and have only shelving which fills the lower half of the safe with a generous top storage area with an additional full width top shelf that can house the removable steel supplemental storage container that has its own key access.
There is even a clever Bungee organizational zig zag system attached to the reverse of the door. This crossed cord arrangement allows addition storage for cleaning rods, scopes, laser rangefinders… in fact anything that can be gripped by the bungee cords. There are even a set of hooks to store smaller items on the door back, so every space is utilised in this well designed gun safe. Even the floor has been designed to conceal two compartments for storage, which also means that the guns rest flush with the door opening, thereby stopping them from hitting the safe’s bottom edge as they are removed.
For real peace of mind for your guns (or any valuables) the ShootingSafe Sentry gun safe in its fire rated form offers real protection from intruders and accidental fires alike. The price of £649 for this combination lock fire model is great value for money, taking into account the potential total value of all of the contents. Having just one safe like this if you have the space means no need for separate safes bolted to the walls and once purchased it will be all you will ever need.