Are gunsafes bulletproof?

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Are gunsafes bulletproof?

Post by Wormjello » Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:00 pm

Are gunsafes bulletproof/bullet resistant? Would a GS make good cover? Rifle or pistol caliber? I googled it and came up with bupkis. YouTube wasn't any help either.
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Re: Are gunsafes bulletproof?

Post by Sworbeyegib » Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:33 pm

That would really depend on the safe and the caliber.
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Re: Are gunsafes bulletproof?

Post by eeb » Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:06 pm

Unless otherwise specified, no.
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Re: Are gunsafes bulletproof?

Post by nolongpork » Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:38 pm

Probably one of the most bullet resistant things in your house, but Like Sworbeyegib said that is really dependent on the safe and what you are on the receiving end of.

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Re: Are gunsafes bulletproof?

Post by Jeriah » Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:56 pm

Science, anyone?
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Re: Are gunsafes bulletproof?

Post by crypto » Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:00 pm

gun safes are made out of mild sheet steel, not hardened steel. They might stop a pistol round, and a good heavy gun safe might stop a fragmenting round like 5.56 FMJ, but I would bet $100 that it wont stop greentip or pretty much any .30 centerfire rifle cartridge.
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Re: Are gunsafes bulletproof?

Post by minengr » Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:09 am

It would be my choice over sheet rock walls, but, I wouldn't expect bulletproof. Obviously, location is important. Normally I see them in a corner where they aren't much use anyway.
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Re: Are gunsafes bulletproof?

Post by manowar1313 » Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:45 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9buR30A_0lk

If you watch the video you can see some pretty nasty bullet holes in the front, but basically yes and no. It deflected most rounds a home invader would carry but it's not Indiana Jones fridge, eventually a large enough caliber will penitrate it.
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Re: Are gunsafes bulletproof?

Post by Stercutus » Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:57 pm

crypto wrote:gun safes are made out of mild sheet steel, not hardened steel. They might stop a pistol round, and a good heavy gun safe might stop a fragmenting round like 5.56 FMJ, but I would bet $100 that it wont stop greentip or pretty much any .30 centerfire rifle cartridge.
Some safes have ceramic liner, some a fireproof blanket, some are just metal. There will be a lot more to a large safe than just the sheet metal on top. A Walmart gun safe might stop some bird shot....
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Re: Are gunsafes bulletproof?

Post by crypto » Thu Oct 23, 2014 6:04 pm

I was attributing zero ballistic protection to the blanket, the Sheetrock, and the carpet of the interior. I didn't know about some safes having ceramic liners!

Do you think they would do anything except shatter? I'm interested.
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Re: Are gunsafes bulletproof?

Post by Stercutus » Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:40 pm

crypto wrote:I was attributing zero ballistic protection to the blanket, the Sheetrock, and the carpet of the interior. I didn't know about some safes having ceramic liners!

Do you think they would do anything except shatter? I'm interested.
Not a clue really. Don't know of any controlled testing for this. It is pretty easy to break into the side of safe with gypsum interior with just a sledge hammer but the ceramics are pretty tough.

After a couple of shots I'd imagine they would be done for most ceramics are.

A few different designs.

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This one has a half inch plate door but not the side walls. The door would be tough to shoot through and then make it out the other side would probably be a rarity.

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Re: Are gunsafes bulletproof?

Post by Wormjello » Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:44 pm

Thanks for the vid, Manowar. That's what I was looking for.

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Outside dimensions: 60.5"h x 28"w x 22"d
Shipping Weight: 630 pounds
12 gauge steel

The door of the safe is obviously double-walled, the back of the safe appears to be double-walled. So...I think it would make pretty good cover. Much better than drywall.
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Re: Are gunsafes bulletproof?

Post by zero11010 » Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:50 pm

The short answer is exactly what you have been given. "It depends on the safe and the caliber."


Your question is too broad for anyone to be helpful. You're asking if a safe is good cover. What are you thinking you may need to take cover from? What is the area like where you live? Are you concerned with stray bullets? Are you concerned with someone breaking into your home?

Near where I live in bad parts of San Francisco, Oakland, Vallejo, Sacremento where drive by shootings are frequent people don't really worry too much about cover. They drop to the floor (this is what the kids are taught in school, too - hooray for drive by drills in elementary school). Nope, this isn't 100%, yep it is better than nothing.

Watch 5 seconds of this (literally)

Kid walking home from school with a backpack looks back, sees multiple people shooting at each other in broad daylight on the street, and just turns around to keep walking. That's a kid who sees/hears a lot of shootings.

If you live in an area like this and you want more protection you can put steel sheets in your walls. The thickness of the steel will determine the caliber that the metal will defeat. Realistically, you only need to do the first ~4 feet (ground up) of the first floor street facing wall. I don't know of anyone in any neighborhood who does this. Most people move when they get money rather than modifying their home.

If you're concerned with someone breaking into your home, that's a different story. Some companies make furniture that is bullet resistant. In my opinion most of it is just taking advantage of people's fears, but it's an option, and the one below also has a gun safe inside it.


If you want a quick education on gun safes try this:


You can spend $100 on a gun safe with metal that can be penetrated by a knife. You can spend $8,000 on a gun safe that is much more durable. Asking "is a gun safe bullet proof" is like asking "if i buy a car will it go fast?"

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Re: Are gunsafes bulletproof?

Post by Wormjello » Mon Oct 27, 2014 4:25 pm

I thought "It depends on the safe and the caliber" was so obvious that no one would say it. Even the armour on an M-1 tank can be penetrated by ammunition engineered for that purpose. I should have phrased my question in specifics that were Captain Obvious proof. Something like "would a good gunsafe, from a respected manufacturer, stop a round of common civilian ammunition?"

I don't live in the hood, I live in a very nice neighborhood. I was just curious. It takes quite a few seconds to open the gunsafe so would the gunsafe itself provide reasonable cover while I'm opening it? I'm thinking it would.
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Re: Are gunsafes bulletproof?

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Mon Oct 27, 2014 4:28 pm

Wormjello wrote: common civilian ammunition?"
Again, what safe, what caliber? My security box won't likely stop M855, probably won't stop most .308, certainly won't stop M2 ball from an aught-six either. All of those are common civilian calibers and loads. It might stop 5.7, might not. Probably won't stop a slug of any type, and 12ga slugs are at Walmart.

Short answer no, and if bullets are flying that is not the time to be trying to open a safe.
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Re: Are gunsafes bulletproof?

Post by Wormjello » Mon Oct 27, 2014 4:39 pm

Doctorr Fabulous wrote:
Wormjello wrote: common civilian ammunition?"
Again, what safe, what caliber? My security box won't likely stop M855, probably won't stop most .308, certainly won't stop M2 ball from an aught-six either. All of those are common civilian calibers and loads. It might stop 5.7, might not. Probably won't stop a slug of any type, and 12ga slugs are at Walmart.

Short answer no, and if bullets are flying that is not the time to be trying to open a safe.
I posted the specs on the safe a few post up. Maybe people didn't see it.

LIBERTY PREMIUM 20 SPECIFICATIONS:
Outside dimensions: 60.5"h x 28"w x 22"d
Shipping Weight: 630 pounds
12 gauge steel

630 pounds of steel has to provide some kind of protection. It feels sturdy as...well, a safe!
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Re: Are gunsafes bulletproof?

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:01 pm

Wormjello wrote:
Doctorr Fabulous wrote:
Wormjello wrote: common civilian ammunition?"
Again, what safe, what caliber? My security box won't likely stop M855, probably won't stop most .308, certainly won't stop M2 ball from an aught-six either. All of those are common civilian calibers and loads. It might stop 5.7, might not. Probably won't stop a slug of any type, and 12ga slugs are at Walmart.

Short answer no, and if bullets are flying that is not the time to be trying to open a safe.
I posted the specs on the safe a few post up. Maybe people didn't see it.

LIBERTY PREMIUM 20 SPECIFICATIONS:
Outside dimensions: 60.5"h x 28"w x 22"d
Shipping Weight: 630 pounds
12 gauge steel

630 pounds of steel has to provide some kind of protection. It feels sturdy as...well, a safe!
It's not 630 pounds of steel, it's 630lb of security cabinet. That's packing materials, shelving, structural support, carpeting, gypsum board, the lock mechanism, hinges...

Now onto 12ga steel. That's the thickness of the steel, and is about a tenth of an inch thick, or jsut over 2mm. M855 (5.56 on the shelves at walmart) will penetrate 10ga (which is thicker than 12ga) steel at ranges exceeding 500m, and M193 should do it more than 400m away. 12ga slugs and M2 ball will continue to laugh at a tenth of an inch of steel.

My earlier statement stands. Assume "no" and know that when bullets are flying, it's too late to be trying to open a safe.
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Re: Are gunsafes bulletproof?

Post by Wormjello » Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:24 pm

Doctorr Fabulous wrote:
Wormjello wrote:
Doctorr Fabulous wrote:
Wormjello wrote: common civilian ammunition?"
Again, what safe, what caliber? My security box won't likely stop M855, probably won't stop most .308, certainly won't stop M2 ball from an aught-six either. All of those are common civilian calibers and loads. It might stop 5.7, might not. Probably won't stop a slug of any type, and 12ga slugs are at Walmart.

Short answer no, and if bullets are flying that is not the time to be trying to open a safe.
I posted the specs on the safe a few post up. Maybe people didn't see it.

LIBERTY PREMIUM 20 SPECIFICATIONS:
Outside dimensions: 60.5"h x 28"w x 22"d
Shipping Weight: 630 pounds
12 gauge steel

630 pounds of steel has to provide some kind of protection. It feels sturdy as...well, a safe!
It's not 630 pounds of steel, it's 630lb of security cabinet. That's packing materials, shelving, structural support, carpeting, gypsum board, the lock mechanism, hinges...

Now onto 12ga steel. That's the thickness of the steel, and is about a tenth of an inch thick, or jsut over 2mm. M855 (5.56 on the shelves at walmart) will penetrate 10ga (which is thicker than 12ga) steel at ranges exceeding 500m, and M193 should do it more than 400m away. 12ga slugs and M2 ball will continue to laugh at a tenth of an inch of steel.

My earlier statement stands. Assume "no" and know that when bullets are flying, it's too late to be trying to open a safe.
Packing weight? It came on a wood pallet just big enough to get it off the floor. I don't think the carpeting, shelving or gypsum board really weigh that much. Call it 600 pounds of steel? Close enough. It is it's own structural support. Also it's 2 to four layers of 12 ga. Steel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9buR30A_0lk
This is the only video I've (Manowar) found of someone shooting a gunsafe. It seemed to stop the rounds just fine.

I have a security cabinet in my den, this is a gunsafe. Watch the video.
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Re: Are gunsafes bulletproof?

Post by ZMace » Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:57 pm

This is a great read on the difference between a gun safe and a RSC:

viewtopic.php?f=108&p=574798#p574798

And considering that 12 gauge steel is about 3 times the thickness of car sheet metal, I doubt that a single layer of your safe's steel would stop a direct hit from even a 22lr.

Personally if rounds were flying, I would hit the deck and maybe crawl to the safe assuming you didn't already have your firearm on you.

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Re: Are gunsafes bulletproof?

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:08 pm

That is an RSC, not a safe. Most of the weight is in the lock and lock mechanism, the hinges, the anti-theft devices, the shelving, and fire protection. They say right on the website, the body steel is only 12ga, and I don't know where you're seeing that it's more than one layer. They show several layers of fiberboard, and they list serevral hardened steel plates reinforcing the lock, but not the entire safe.

To reiterate, no, I would not expect a gunsafe to provide protection from flying bullets. Flying bullets time is not the time to be trying to open a safe.
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Re: Are gunsafes bulletproof?

Post by zero11010 » Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:58 pm

I googled it for you.


gauge to thickness: http://www.jedi.com/obiwan/jeep/misc/gaugeconv.html


Sooch shooting 3/8 inch and 1/4 inch steel with different common rifle calibers. The 1/4 inch steel is roughly double the effective thickness of your 12 gauge door.



Hickok shooting 1inch thick steel with a couple different rounds. Your 12 gauge door is roughly 1/10th of an inch of steel, so the piece being shot here is 10 times thicker.

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Re: Are gunsafes bulletproof?

Post by yossarian » Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:16 pm

It's not the safe so much as what's in it. A safe full of Garands and 1911's should be totally bulletproof. A safe full of Glocks and AR's is no better than trying to crouch behind a tub of margarine
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Re: Are gunsafes bulletproof?

Post by Wormjello » Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:54 pm

ZMace and Herr Doctor and rest. Thank you for info. I thought I had a safe because it says "SAFE" on it. It's actually a RSC, beyond a doubt. I especially appreciate the link to the topic Safes vs RSC. it was a thoughtful gift. When I puchase one I will research it well. Thankfully it has a mechanical lock. The poster said that the electronic locks will all eventually fail. Makes sense. Thanks again.
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Re: Are gunsafes bulletproof?

Post by ZMace » Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:07 am

I have a gun "safe" too, weighs in at about 600 lbs, but it is definitely a RSC. That's just the way these things are marketed.

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