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Determining The “Steel Strength” Of A Gun Safe By It’s Steel Gauge


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People who own guns love their assets, and almost every day someone is either shopping or looking for a gun safe. In the modern day world, gun safes are becoming popular as a substitute security system for protecting weapons and valuables. However, before buying a gun safe, it is important to know how unsafe it is.

If your gun safe cannot provide sufficient protection to the weapon inside, chances are that your weapon could fall into the wrong hands and result in something tragic. Without proper evaluation of the safe’s manufacturer, the safe’s construction components, and design, it is possible to purchase a “low performing” safe that will do more harm than good to you.

The biggest problem with the modern-day marketplace is that many gun safe manufacturers no longer take into account the fact that the sole purpose of a safe is to offer maximum security. Instead, a majority of them have been carried away by their quest for insatiable profits, and as a result, “sub-standard safes” have flocked into the market.

These cheap guns safes are constructed from “thin gauge metal that is meant to look thick“, offering very little security. Such safes can easily be pried open, and your gun can be stolen, destroyed or even used by your child to do something catastrophic..

Back in the old times, you could see bank robbers in the movies using dynamite to blast a safe open. Reason? Because the safes were heavy, thick, robust and too tough to break using common tools. This is contrary to today where a robber just needs a fire ax or pry bar to break into a safe.

Gun safe manufacturers need to build safes the old-style way. This means that their safes should be made sturdy, heavy, and with thick, high steel strength to guarantee that they are up to standard. But unfortunately, these safes can be quite expensive for the average consumer.

gun safe 12 and 14

Steel Strength

The quality of steel used in manufacturing a gun safe or any other safe is critical in determining its strength. The better the quality of steel, the greater the protection.

The strength of steel “increases by each square of thickness” and thicker steel guarantees the protective potential of a safe. For instance, if you just double the thickness of a piece of steel, it does not just become twice as strong, but approximately eight times as strong.

It is advisable never to rely on cheap thin metal cabinets to protect your weapons. If you shop around, you will realize that a majority of low-end gun safes have thin metal bodies made from 14 to 16 or even as thin as 20 gauge. A large screwdriver and a standard hammer can easily break into such a safe. A quality weapon safe should utilize a minimum of 10 gauge steel in the body of the safe and preferably 8 to 7 gauge steel on the door.

gun safe steel gauge chART

Steel Strength and Gun Safe Doors

A gun safe’s door is an important aspect of its ability to offer high-end security. It is usually the first point of attack and therefore should be made from strong, thick steel. When purchasing a gun safe, it is paramount to check whether the door is made from thin metal that is bent to appear thick but is actually hollow inside, how thick the outer door steel is, and if the door has a second piece of inner door steel.

A majority of safe manufacturers use safe doors that are made from a single layer of thin metal that is 12-gauge or less and formed to appear thick. The greatest problem with such doors is that they can easily be pried open by robbers with everyday break-in tools.

A 12-gauge gun safe also offers a manageable weight which means that it is easy to move when carried by several people. It is common to come across composite gun safe doors with an edge thickness of 1-2 inches. These steel-deficient doors are mostly filled with sheetrock or small pieces of inner door steel, and although they are appealing to the eye, they lack the steel to offer functional rigidity.

Anyone who intends to purchase a gun safe should know by now that the lower the gauge number, the thicker the steel and the larger the gauge number, the thinner the steel. This means that when buying a gun safe, always go for one whose construction material has 10-gauge or lower (if you can afford it).

gun safe steel chart

More Steel Means More Money

Although gun safes made from high-strength and low-gauge steel are quite expensive, they are worth the investment. To begin with, steel with a high tensile strength ensures that the items stored in your gun safe have an increased resistance to fire.

Although they are somewhat rare, house or vehicle fires can occur when least expected, and in the event of such an occurrence, the quality of steel used in making the safe comes in handy. The truth is that gun safes made from high-tensile steel can sustain extremely high temperatures for quite a while, time that can help you salvage your stored assets.

If you want to purchase a gun safe, there are lots of safes to choose from both cheap and expensive. While you ought to save some cash to buy a cheaper safe, the truth is that you can regret that decision for a lifetime. You basically get what you pay for.

You should not look at the price alone and compromise other important aspects such as durability and rigidity of a gun safe. A gun safe made from high-tensile strength steel will not only help to protect your weapon from burglars but also from the dangers of heat and fire. A gun safe can house some of your most valuable assets, so do not make the mistake of compromising quality because of the price.

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