One way to really blow up your shipping costs or throw your back out is to order the heaviest gun safe available. At the same time, if you’ve never seen or used a gun safe before, it’s hard to imagine they weigh that much. How much does a gun safe weigh and why does it matter?
A gun safe weighs anywhere from 50 lbs to well over 500 lbs, depending on what kind of safe it is, the gauge of the steel that went into its construction, the amount of fireboard inside, and the overall size of the safe.
The last one seems quite obvious, but a gun safe is just like a lot of other safes—with a variety of sizes and steel thicknesses. They even have gun safes you can mount on the underside of your vehicle’s dash, small enough to carry under your arm.
Gun Safes – What makes up the weight?
As simple as a safe look, the thing that makes it heavy is mostly the gauge of the steel—its density of it. Steel plates are heavy beyond a doubt and some of these safes have a lot of steel in them. But, other, little things add up as well.
The gauge of the steel
Steel gauge is the thickness of the plate, and, like fishing hooks and shotgun shells, the lower the numbers go, the heavier things get. Thicker steel is obviously heavier and the numbers run from 38 (the thinnest) to 0000000 (the thickest).
A steel plate with a thickness of ½” is 0000000 gauge, and a steel plate with a thickness of .00625” is 38 gauge. If you’re looking into purchasing a gun safe, the safe should include the gauge of steel in its design specs, either online or in the manual at a physical store.
The size of the safe
Size matters, at least where gun safes are concerned. The truth is, gun safes are just like most other safes, with the interior designed to accommodate guns rather than wads of cash, jewelry, and documents.
On the outside, it’s difficult to separate a gun safe from any other safe. Many gun safes even have shelves, organizers and cubby holes designed for documents, jewelry, cash, and other items that don’t have anything to do with a gun. This brings us to our next point.
Amount of interior fiberboard
Fireboard is little more than sheetrock that’s designed with the maximum amount of fire resistance. Some safes contain more fireboard inside than others. Of course, fiberboard is nowhere near as heavy as steel, but the stuff adds up quickly.
Concrete or composite lining
Many gun safes come with concrete or composite linings that make the safe much heavier. Concrete alone is very heavy, and those types of safe usually push the weight into the 500s.
Does heavier mean safer?
Not necessarily. As we mentioned above, some gun safes have concrete or composite linings with extra fiberboard. If you have a safe with 30 gauge steel, concrete lining, and a ton of fireboard, it’s not as secure as a safe with 0000000 gauge steel and no concrete lining.
So if your safe (or the safe you’re looking at) is extremely heavy, it may not be as difficult to compromise as you think. When it comes to buying a gun safe, it’s important to set aside the glitz, glamour, and features of the safe and look hard at the specs.
No steel is too thick to drill, but there’s little doubt that thicker steel and thicker bolts are harder to compromise than thinner steel, smaller bolts, and a lot of pretty fireboard shelves and a pretty paint job.
A gun safe weighs as little as a couple of lbs to well over 500 lbs, depending on the kind of safe you want and the specs. Purchasing a gun safe is all about keeping your firearms safe and secure, along with other documents and items that are important to you.
Take your time when picking one out, and do your due diligence by scouring every last detail, including the specs and the technology featured in the safe. Sometimes a gun safe is expensive because of the brand name, not because of the efficacy of its security features.
Knowledge is power, and the power to buy the best safes to hold your firearms is right there in the specs or the associated manual.