Simple rules. These are my main things when people ask these type questions. So everything others mentioned plus more.
- The most of the idiots that build and sell gun safes, still advertise them like you are putting flintlocks in them. Nay nay I say. If it says it will hold 24 rifles, (pistols is another story)... they will hold 24 Flintlocks.
If you have any rifles with scopes, side charging handles, or any other gear attach, not happening. Before I got side chargers or even bolt action rifles, you might get 10 in my 24 gun safe.. Even then, if they are parked close together and you want to pull out one 3 back or just say, ‘not in front of your collection’, plan on a lot of entanglement, clunking, swearing and so on.
- To me, fire safe is good for paperwork, maybe. (remember Fahrenheit 451 )? Thats the temperature which paper burns and a book and a couple movies...
Modern day rifles like ARs will melt. Wood stocks will warp, splinter and char. Barrels will warp depending how long its in the fire. Will the FD soak the home so bad, water gets into safe. Chances are if its a wood structure you parked it on and an upper floor, it very well could fall through and it may offset the door and wrench the metal.
Also, if inside the safe is sealed well, it could become a pressure cooker.
What I am saying, fire rating is ok if all happens swiftly and the fire is put out, your stuff may survive. Oh, one last thing. If the FD finds out there are guns and/or ammo, they may not try so hard to get close unless life is in peril. They’ll just get donuts and coffee and watch.
- Size, weight, location. That depends on you. Get white glove treatment or rent a stair climbing hand truck. They are motorized and climb stairs and turn corners. Lot of places rent them. Very cool gadgets. Or, get the biggest lugs you know, buy pizza and beer (no beer before move), and just watch... Doors are heavy. They say take them off. Some people do. It lightens the safe. Most of the weight is in the door. Bolts, etc. But beware, without help and even when you do, they are a bitch to get back on.
- There are a lot of good safe comps out there. Liberty, Pendleton, (very unique), etc.
There is even one that comes in separate parts that you bring the pieces to its resting place and build it with a helper.
My suggestion is read up on SAAMI. They cover a lot. Look on there for ammo testing when in fires, etc. Great stuff! Good luck!
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