Author Topic: Gun safe electronic or non-electronic  (Read 4565 times)

Offline anthonyalston

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Gun safe electronic or non-electronic
« on: October 13, 2009, 03:16:57 PM »
I am in the market to purchase a gun safe for my home. Since I'm in the middle of extensive
remodeling of my home, I'll be able to secure it both by the back and to the slab.

Most of the safes that I see have electronic controls instead of the mechanical combination dial.

What do you think? Is electronic control fine or is it just a failure point waiting to happen. Any pros or cons?

Thank you.

Regards, Anthony

Offline Steve W

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Re: Gun safe electronic or non-electronic
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2009, 04:11:29 PM »

Most of the safes that I see have electronic controls instead of the mechanical combination dial.

What do you think? Is electronic control fine or is it just a failure point waiting to happen. Any pros or cons?


I've had both for some years, and here is what I've found the quick pros/cons:

Mechanical
  • Slower to open
  • Not a very hard opportunity for a trained person to manipulate
  • Usually are less expensive
  • Can be more difficult to set a new combination
  • Some offer a secondary security key lock as well
  • Being mechanical they are not at risk to EMP

Electronic Locks
  • Quicker to Open
  • The Face usually can be physically removed, locking you out - and are then open to the inside through the wiring hole.
  • Batteries have a finite lifespan
  • When they go wrong they are a pain (I'd again lost one actuator recently)
  • Look Snazzy
  • Can be programed to have several combinations that work, also can be found with factory combination still active
  • If you flub the combination enough you can lock them up for a set period of time.
  • In theory have an EMP risk

I'm leaning towards a small Electronically Lock Safe for Emergency Quick Access and as Stout of a Mechanical Design as I can find for main storage as I redesign.


Offline ncjeeper

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Re: Gun safe electronic or non-electronic
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2009, 05:04:18 PM »
I have two safes. One mechanical combo and one electrical. I store all my ammo in the electrical one and my firearms in my mechanical one. My mechanical one is old school (vintage 1900's).
I think steve w addressed the issues well pertaining to each design. It my just come down to a matter of cost for you.
The early bird gets the worm.....But the second mouse gets the cheese.

Offline MD3C

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Re: Gun safe electronic or non-electronic
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2009, 02:39:20 PM »
I have both and no worries.
The digital pad has a battery backup.
So, I keep the keys to unlock the digital pins in the manual safe.
So it's a two step backup system. Open the manual safe, retrieve keys for other safe.
Unlock the digital safe, unlock the pins.
Good to go.
If I leave a safe open, I always have my "protection" nearer. I would hate to let someone have unauthorized access to my life long efforts.
Either safe type would serve you well.
The manual safe could possible be less expensive. You could use that savings to increase the size of the safe.
Good luck.
M

Offline shadowalker_returns

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Re: Gun safe electronic or non-electronic
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2009, 01:50:23 AM »
Mechanical all the way. Electronics have many modes of failure even without considering EMP. Mechanicals are slow and easier for a sophisticated burglar to manipulate. I have chosen mechanical to eliminate all worries of EMP, batteries, actuator failure, circuit failure, time failure and so on...
regards,
Shadowalker
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Offline Pathfinder

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Re: Gun safe electronic or non-electronic
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2009, 05:43:15 AM »
Agree with shadowwalker - mechanical. Michael Bane (producer of the TV shows Cowboys and Shooting Gallery on The Outdoor Channel) blogged last year about his run-in with his electronic safe that fried itself somehow, and the hassles he went through with the safe manufacturer to get it repaired - to the point he dumped the safe and went with another brand.

And get one with metal innards. A number have plastic, which means in the event of a fire, the combination mechanism may have melted into a solid mass, and you're looking at a visit from the friendly neighborhood locksmith to get the thing open.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2009, 05:45:43 AM by pathfinder »
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Offline acman145acp

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Re: Gun safe electronic or non-electronic
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2009, 04:37:30 PM »
I go with the mechanical simply because their cheaper and the money goes to next size up safe.
I need the room ;)
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miltlouer

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Re: Gun safe electronic or non-electronic
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2009, 01:30:55 PM »
I've had my mechanical gun safe for about 4 years, and the only problem I've encountered is opening when it's cold.  I keep my safe in an unheated barn.

Milt