Category Archives: Gun Safes

Why Buying a Gun Safe from Lowe’s Might Be a Bad Idea

A lot of our customers come to us saying that they have purchased gun safes from big retailers, chain stores or sporting goods stores in the past and have only been disappointed. They thought they were getting a good quality gun safe for a good price. Little did they know that these gun safes simply didn’t live up to their needs. Here are some reasons why buying a gun safe from a big retailer like Lowe’s might be a bad idea.

Most of the big retailers gun safes have minimum quality. The steel is not only thin, but so are the frames that protect the bolts. Usually 1/8 or 3/16″. That means they can be pried by two men with 3 foot long crowbars. You can actually see this all over the internet. But Sportsman Safes are different. Because we don’t sell to middlemen, we can spend more $ on your gun safe; offering you 3/4″ steel frames, which are nearly impossible to pry.

image: don't buy gun safes from Lowe's

Most big chain stores like Lowe’s have gun safes with 1/8″ bodies. That’s pretty thin. Many devices can cut through these walls. At Sportsman Safes you can get gun safes with 1/4″ steel bodies which are twice as thick. We’ve never had a 1/4″ steel body cut through in 35 years!

Plus, our prices are only 300-400 more than the generic chain store gun safes. You’re going to have the gun safe for the rest of your life. $300 more isn’t a lot to spend. That’s only $10 more a year for life. It’s worth it, especially if you experience a fire or attempted break-in.

Also keep in mind that standard gun safes at chain stores like Walmart and Lowe’s can’t be custom ordered. Maybe you have expensive guns that need more protection. It’s impossible to order more fire protection or thicker steel and hard-plate. At Sportsman Safes we can make your walls 1″ solid steel if you want or 2 hour fire resistant. For not as much money as you’d think.

image: fire resistant gun safe

Lastly, when you’re out of state, you pay NO SALES TAX on our gun safes. Most times chain stores in your state will charge your tax. In the $100’s. Not here.

Still considering buying a Lowes gun safe? Give us a call first: 800-266-7150.

Gun Safe 101: What to Look For in a Gun Safe

If you’re searching for a gun safe, then you know that all of the options can be a bit overwhelming. By purchasing a safe, you are making a responsible and important investment; it’s important that you select the best one for your needs. Here is some essential information to consider so that you make an educated decision and purchase.

  • Why Are You Purchasing a Gun Safe?  There are many different types of gun safes available on the market. If you’re looking to secure your firearms from children and nothing else, then a locking metal cabinet will do the job nicely. However, if you want to safeguard your guns from fire, then you’ll need a safe that can withstand high temperatures for an extended period of time. On the other hand, if your primary concern is theft by savvy people who are able to pick a lock, then you’ll want a heavy gauge steel safe that is weighty and hard to remove from your home. Once you are able to identify your needs, you will be better able to shop for a safe.
  • Bolt Coverage – This term is used to describe how many sides of the door have bolts that lock. Cheaper gun safes will only have bolts on one side of the door, while others can have bolts on every side. Better bolt coverage makes it very difficult for a thief to be able to pry the safe open. In addition, the more bolts a gun safe has, the tighter the seal, which means it will help protect guns in the event of a fire.
  • Lock Type – When purchasing a gun safe, you have the option of a mechanical, biometric, or keypad lock. Mechanical locks are the most popular and are opened by dialing the combination on a hand-turned wheel. These do not require power and are considered to be the most reliable. A biometric lock is new technology that uses fingerprint recognition to unlock the safe. Since this is a new and sophisticated type of lock, these gun safes are the most expensive. Lastly, keypad locks require entry of a numeric combination on a keypad. This type is battery operated and will open when the battery is dead, leading some consumers to avoid it.


  • Thickness of Metal – Good gun safes range in metal thickness from 12 to 7 gauge; the smaller the gauge, the thicker the metal. As a result, 12 gauge safes are the minimum that you should get — anything less should be avoided because it will be thinner and offer limited security to your firearms.

When purchasing a gun safe, it’s important to pay attention to the above features so you get the best product for your needs. Learn more about our gun safes and get a gun safe quote. Call us today with any questions at:  800-266-7150.

20/20 Special Discusses the Importance of Gun Safes

In one of our previous blogs, we wrote about gun safety programs for children across the United States. These programs are becoming more and more popular, as statistics show that 40% of households in America contain guns and, further, 30% of those guns are loaded and not secured.


ABC News must have had the same thing on their minds because on January 31st, they aired a 20/20 special called “Young Guns.” The special was hosted by Diane Sawyer and David Muir, and covered the hot topic of kids and gun safety across the United States. A large emphasis was placed on the importance of keeping guns in safes and how some families who hide their guns don’t think that they’re necessary. The special also talks to families who believe that teaching their children how to properly shoot a gun is a big part of gun safety. Here are a couple of the main topics that the special covered.



Are Your Children Safe at a Friend’s House?


Diane Sawyer visited a neighborhood in New Jersey and talked to families about their feelings on gun safety in the home. Specifically, she asked them about guns in the homes of their children’s friends. Sawyer questioned parents about whether they ever asked if there were unlocked guns in these homes. Every parent that Sawyer talked to said that they had never even thought to ask. Parents normally talk to other parents about things like their children’s food and animal allergies, but not about guns in the home. According to ABC News, roughly 85% of accidental child shootings between 2003 and 2006 were committed by another child. With statistics like that, perhaps we should start talking to each other about how our firearms are stored when having our children’s friends over.


Hiding the Guns Doesn’t Work


One of the most shocking parts of the special was when the news team visited the homes of parents who didn’t have gun safes and who simply hid their weapons. All of the parents that 20/20 visited said that their children didn’t know where they kept their guns. The children surprised their parents by leading them straight to the hiding places. Sawyer and Muir gave a quick update after the show and gladly reported that the parents who hid their guns had since gone out and purchased safes to store their firearms.


It may be no one’s right to tell someone how to educate their children about gun safety; however, after watching the special and hearing the stories of the two families that lost a child because of unsecured firearms, it is clear that storing guns correctly is crucial. Parents can protect everyone by investing in a gun safe for their firearms to keep them out of the hands of their unsupervised children.



Gun Safe Colors – What’s Your Favorite?

Did you know that you have your choice of color when you buy one of our gun safes?

Sportsman Steel Safes - Gun Safe Color Chart

Take our poll – let us know your favorite gun safe color!


Is there another color you don’t see here that you’d like to see on one of our gun safes?


Gun Safety Tips

Owning a gun is a big responsibility. Many accidents could have been avoided if the owner had taken the precaution of keeping their firearms in a gun safe. It should be the goal of every gun owner to respect their weapon and keep it secured when it is not in use to prevent any mishaps. In order to be a conscientious gun owner, there are some things that you MUST do.


  • Always make sure that your gun is facing a direction that is safe. A safe direction means that the gun is pointed so that, even if it is accidentally set off, no one will be injured. Often, the best way of doing this is to keep the gun facing down.
  • Your gun should always be unloaded when it isn’t being used. Whenever you put your gun away, you should unload it; further, when you take it out of storage, the first thing you should do is make sure it’s empty. Make sure that the safety is on and point the gun in a safe direction while checking.
  • Your bullets should never be stored in the same place as your gun.
  • Your finger should stay off of the trigger until you are actually ready to shoot it.
  • Make sure that everyone in your home is educated on gun safety. To help explain gun safety to your children, visit the site This organization has a ton of helpful information to present and discuss with your children. The site also includes a pledge for your children to sign after you’ve spoken to them on the subject. 
  • Your guns should always be stored securely in a gun safe, which should be kept out of plain sight. You’ll want to avoid drawing attention to your home because there are people who rob homes specifically for guns.
  • Keep your gun clean at all times. In fact, you should clean it as soon as you are done using it.
  • Purchase a locking apparatus that keeps the gun from functioning when it’s not being used. Gun locks act as an additional level of safety.

It is the responsibility of every owner to make sure that their guns are safe at all times. If, at any point, you feel that you are unable to be a responsible owner, it is up to you to turn your firearm in. You will be held accountable if there is ever an accident involving your gun, even if it was not in your hands. For more information on how to properly care for a gun, visit the website of the National Rifle Association of America.

Redefining What Fire Resistance Material is for Gun Safes

Many gun safes are made with flame resistant material that’s similar to drywall.  Composed mostly of sheetrock, this drywall-like material can’t withstand the kind of heat magnesium-oxide can.  Magnesium-oxide, the chemical bond responsible for the incredible fire resistant material Sportsman Steel and Pentagon Safe now uses, lasts about 5 times longer than standard sheetrock and 3 times longer than Type X sheetrock.

In the event of a fire, the steel that composes the external part of a safe is the first line of defense.  What the fire-resistant layer beneath it does is serve as a second line of defense between your stored guns and the blazing fire.  If a safe were made without fire resistant material, your most beloved guns would be destroyed very quickly.

In a video made by JetProducts, the company behind the new fire resistant material, a Burn Through Test is conducted.  In the test, a 6,000-degree metal tip flame is used to test the fire resistance of 12mm standard sheetrock, 15mm Type X sheetrock, and Jetboard – the official name of the new material used by Sportsman.  At the end of the test, the results confirm that Jetboard is more reliable than its competitors.  Before the metal tip burns a hole through the three materials, the standard sheetrock lasts 15 seconds, the Type X sheetrock 23 seconds, and the Jetboard 74 seconds.

Watch the Burn Through Test here.

In addition to using the new JetBoard in our gun safes, we also take advantage of the board’s fire resistant qualities when we manufacture our vault doors and safe rooms.

To get a good idea of just how amazing this JetBoard is, it’s worth comparing the temperature of the metal flame tip used in the Burn Through Test and the average temperature of a burning house.  In the Burn Through Test, the flame was 6,000 degrees; in the average house fire, flames reach around 1,200 degrees – still destructive, but 5 times cooler than the flame used in the video.

What this means is that, outside of testing conditions, JetBoard can withstand fire for an extremely long time compared to drywall-like fire resistant materials.

If you’re interested in learning more about this amazing new material, learn more about JetBoard here or give us a call today at 800-266-7150.  Also note that you can add JetBoard to any safe or vault offered by Sportsman Steel Safes.

We’re always happy to explain to you why JetBoard is on the cutting edge of fire protection and why buying guns safes made with this fire resistant material is the only real choice when it comes to responsible gun protection.

Responsible Gun Owners Buy Gun Safes

Articles surface everyday about the many dangers of guns, and how this country should reduce the amount of guns in the hands of Americans.


No matter where you stand on this topic, one thing is certain: if all guns were locked in a safe, there would be less accidents and high school shootings.

A study was done a few years ago that revealed shooting sprees where teenagers were involved, was the product of a family member not having their weapons locked up. The troubled teen found the unsecured weapon and the rest is history. This horrible history could have been avoided if the gun owners would have locked up their weapons in a gun safe.

Most responsible gun owners do buy gun safes. And congrats to them for being responsible. I wish the Press would talk about locking up guns, rather than focusing on gun laws or the great divide between gun owners and non-gun owners. If every gun in America was locked up, I’d bet 70% of gun accidents and random shootings would be avoided.

What are you thoughts? Leave us a comment below.

Gun Safe Buying Tip: Buy Next Largest Size – Here’s Why:

The biggest problem with buying a gun safe is people don’t buy one big enough. You want to save money so you purchase a safe too small, not realizing you’ll have the safe for the rest of your life.

You think you’ll store six guns with a few hand guns and ammo. Then before you know it, you’re packing paperwork, jewelry, cash, cameras, photo albums and everything under the sun in your safe. Then you’re back on the phone buying another gun safe a year later.

So the trick is… find the safe you want and buy the next size up. You’ll never be disappointed. Take a look at this WALK-IN GUN SAFE. It’s 10 times larger than the biggest gun safe and only $7999.

Not sure which safe is right for you? Give us a call: 1-800-266-7150.

Cheap Gun Safes Get Opened By Paperclips

We’ve been saying this for years. Cheap gun safes could burn you in the long run… with fire and theft!

open-gun-safe-with-paperclipThree guys tried to break into three popular online gun safes and discovered something wild: They could break into these safes with household items such as screwdrivers, knives and paperclips. This means a teen could break into his father’s safe and potential hurt himself or someone else.

And we have the same problem with cheap fireproof gun safes online. Many are only 20-30 min fire rated. But the average fire is 30-45 minutes. That means many gun safes won’t last in a fire.

So think twice before buying a low price gun safe. Spending a few hundred dollars more could be the difference between saving your family heirlooms and being left with ashes. Or worse.

Check out this Wired article for videos on how easy it is for a small child to open a cheap safe.

5 Reasons Why a Medium-Sized Gun Safe is Right for You

The roadblock many people encounter when looking for gun safes is size.

Do I buy a small, medium, or large gun safe?  Will I buy more guns in the future and, thereby, require more storage space?  Is it smart to store my home protection guns with my sport guns in an attempt to save money with a smaller-sized safe?

These are questions that arise when you come face-to-face with the flat and hard glossy fronts of multiple gun safes.  First, the smaller one seems like the right choice, then the larger one does.  It’s a frustrating back-and-forth that clouds the best choice.  However, making the wrong purchase decision is avoidable.

To avoid it, what you have to do is contemplate and answer the following question: What size gun safe is right for me?

ALWAYS answer this question before you begin your search for a high quality safe.

To help you answer it, we’re going to focus on the medium-sized gun safe.  By listing 5 key reasons why a medium-sized safe is the right size for some people, we’ll help you narrow down your search.  This will help you determine if this size is right for you as much as it will help you determine if one isn’t.

  1. You have fewer than 17 long guns and 50 pistols.  If you have, or are close to having, this exact amount of guns, the medium-sized gun safe may be too small – especially if you plan on storing ammo in the safe as well. If this is the case, you may want to consider a large gun safe.  However, if you have under the amount of long guns and pistols listed, the medium-sized safe is a good choice.
  2. You have around 10 long guns, a lot of ammo and under 30 pistols.  When buying a gun safe, you always need to account for the amount of ammo you want to store.  Ammo takes up a good amount of space and, consequently, takes away from additional gun storage space.  This is why it’s recommended that heavy ammo keepers interested in a medium-sized gun safe have a less amount of guns than mentioned in point #1.
  3. You want to consolidate the storage of your hunting rifles and hand guns.  If have less than 17 long guns and less than 50 hand guns and have been storing each type in separate safes, the medium safe may be right for you.  Having one gun safe instead of two or more will simplify your gun storage solution and make it more secure.  It will also save you time.
  4. You have filled a big gun safe but your gun purchase rate is decreasing.  If you already have a big gun safe, it may be a waste of space and money to invest in a new one.  For instance, if you once bought a new gun every other week to fill your big gun safe, but, since then, your purchase rate has decreased, you probably don’t need another big gun safe.  A medium-sized safe may suffice.
  5. You’re a “medium-time” hunter and hand-gun collector.  You’re not small-time and you’re not big-time (even though your accuracy is).  Instead, you’re “medium-time,” in terms of gun collection and ownership.  For instance, you like hunting, but you don’t go every day.  Having less than 10 long guns is good enough for you.  Also, you like to target shoot, but you only do it on the weekends.  You have around 20-30 hand guns and that’s more than enough.  If this sounds anything like you, the medium-sized gun safe may be the way to go.

For these 5 tips, Sportsman Steel Safes used its medium sized gun safe – “The Special Forces” – as a reference.