Even now, some 45 years later, I can still see the wet boot prints in front of our home. They weren’t left by my father, grandfather or family friend. They belonged to a man with a badge surveying another set of prints through our grass—the prints of someone who had just attempted to break in through a window but was caught in the act and ran. We were lucky. Many years later, my younger brother wasn’t so lucky. As a young adult, his home was robbed… and he’s not alone. According to the FBI, in 2015, there were 1.6 million home robberies, which is roughly one every 20 seconds.
What do we do with that information? The only clear answer is to secure those prized possessions, most importantly, firearms. As such, gun-safe manufacturers have been busily innovating. To be sure, the days of heavy, insulated, wide-open boxes are gone. They are replaced by multipurpose vaults designed to also house important documents, jewelry, other irreplaceable items and yes, our boom sticks. As a result, they also have grown, both in robust feature sets and in physical dimensions. Of course, weight can be an issue, too, and that alone can have an unintended consequence—more about that in a bit. Let’s take a quick walk around industry standard innovations presented in features and accessories.
What Features Do You Need in a Gun Safe?
In the world of premium safes, anti-theft measures and fire ratings are norms and come at commensurate costs—the more advanced the security technology and higher the fire rating, the higher the price. The same can be said for creature comforts; however, those are premised on purposes and nice-to-haves. That said, standards and options you can expect from premium safe manufacturers in 2021 include, customizable long-gun storage, adjustable shelving, LED lighting, temperature and humidity controls, digital locks and more. As an important side note, you should consider when purchasing a safe, if you plan on multipurpose security, expect realistic firearms storage to be roughly half of the model’s call-out.
Future gun-safe owners often go “too small” on their first purchase when they don’t seek advice from those with experience, or the manufacturer themselves. Of course, “too small” hurts even more as your firearm collection continues to grow and may mean purchasing a second safe. Give yourself room to grow. Things like mounted optics and rifle accessories also take room.
How Heavy are Gun Safes?
Unfortunately, the unintended fallout of a larger safe boils down to size and weight. Where do you put it? How do you make it fit your décor? How do you get it in the house? Are stairs involved? Like any large purchase, questions and second-guesses are normal but due diligence up front is important. As an example, a 50-gun safe from a reputable manufacturer can weigh over 1,500 lbs. and easily measure 30 in. deep x 40 in. wide x 72 in. tall. Getting your safe into the house might not be a major issue if you’re paying a service to deliver and place it. Delivery, however, can cost anywhere from $250 to $500 or more, depending on what room you want to place your safe and how difficult it is to get it there. Of course, there is one more consideration most people never think about… and I have endured it more than once—moving.
How Do You Move a Gun Safe and How Much Does It Cost?
What happens when you move? Basic large-safe moves can easily cost $500, or more, depending on mileage; add stairs and the price jumps significantly. My latest move cost me roughly $500, before tipping, for a move that consisted of a single-step down and out, a single-step up and in, and a distance of five miles.
All Photos Provided By Kevin Reese
I do love my gun safe but in a perfect world, a modular safe would have been a great option had one existed at the time. Great news! They do now! Steelhead Outdoors just leaped forward in safe innovation with patented, door-open, modular setup and breakdown of premium, fire-rated, feature-rich gun safes. Finally, a room-to-grow gun safe with all the accoutrements demanding safe owners now expect, can travel the long and winding road to your home, up your stairs and through your narrow-frame doors without costly delivery fees.
Are you considering a move? Steelhead Outdoors safes break down in the same manner in which they are assembled for easy transport and reassembly—that alone would have saved me cold hard cash on more than one occasion. Size, features, location (and changing locations)… suddenly these variables matter infinitely less. Steelhead Outdoors’ industry-changing modularity is sure to be a perfect fit in any room, anywhere. Even better, you get to keep some hard-earned hundred-dollar bills in your pocket—maybe more than once or twice—take it from me.