When I was shopping for a gun safe here are the key points I found that guided my decision.
1. Size - You will always find ways to fill whatever size you buy so get something with "growing' room.
2. Fire Rating - You can find ratings from 30 min. up to 2 hours. I opted for one rated for 75 min. @ 1263 degrees. I found out a lot of mfgs lower priced models use sheetrock/drywall for the main insulation layer between inner and outer layers of steel. That is ok as far as insulation goes but sheetrock retains moisture from humidity...not a good idea for a gun safe if you are going to keep in a garage.
3. Theft Proof - If theft is a concern you need to get one that has a least 5 dead-bolt locks (3 opposite the hinges and one on top and bottom).
Hinge design also plays an important part although you probably won't find many options until you get into high-end safes.
My safe is 600 lbs empty and is also bolted to the floor so it is not going anywhere.
4. Lock Design - Electronics are nice when you have kids around as they automatically lock when you close the door. I opted for the traditional mechanical tumbler style so I can keep the door closed but not actually locked for convenience...just my personal preference since I dot not have any children to worry about.
Target World has a good selection best under bed gun safes
also has many to consider. Tractor Supply, Dick's Sporting Goods, Dunham's Sporting Goods, and Lowe's Hardware all have safes of various prices and qualities. Like I indicated in my earlier post I ended up with a Winchester (made in China) safe from Tractor Supply. I picked mine up in person using a U-Haul trailer with a ramp and a refrigerator dolly.
Thicker steel is always good for a safe. Thick steel is harder for a thief to get through, and heavy is harder for a bad guy move. Unfortunately, heavy is also harder for you to move, but you will probably only deal with this once. If you are smart you will pay for delivery all the way to the final resting place for the safe.
Bolts on more sides of the door is better than bolts on fewer sides of the door. I would dismiss out of hand any safe that has bolts on only one long side of the door and no bolts top or bottom. This design relies on the hinges to provide security, and that is probably a weakness a thief will be able to exploit. More bolts is generally better than fewer bolts.
Bolts near the corners are a good feature. Bolts in the corners are a very good feature.
A mechanical lock will probably be more durable over time than a medium quality electronic lock, however you can easily change the combination yourself with an electronic lock.
500 pounds is absolutely the limit for even considering moving it yourself, and then don't even think about it if you have stairs. Even just one or two steps to get in the house will likely be more than one person can do. If you plan on doing it yourself think about just how you plan on getting the safe out of the truck or trailer. Even two big guys could probably not get a 500 pound safe out of the back of a pickup truck.
If the safe you buy does not have lighting inside it you will eventually want to add some. At the very least you will want to get electricity inside the safe before you permanently mount the safe in place. I added a single heating rod, and lights to my safe. I factored these in to the original price when I was shopping. I just removed the wire from a standard plugging strip and wired it up myself. My safe already had a hole in the metal on the back near the bottom. For lights I just used LED rope light from the hardware store.
There are a lot of useful videos on this subject on Youtube, I'll leave one here, Hope this helps someone. Good luck!
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