The Definitive Guide to Buying a Used Gun Safe

One of the most important parts of responsible firearm ownership is proper storage. As a gun owner, you must consider the safety of yourself and the other people in your home, as well as the risk of someone stealing your firearms. A gun safe can keep firearms out of reach of children and prevent theft in the event of a break-in. A reliable gun safe can also help keep your firearms in top condition by keeping out moisture and other substances that may damage your guns over time. A gun safe can be a fantastic investment that offers security and peace of mind.

Whatever your reasons for buying a gun safe, it’s essential to take the buying process seriously and carefully weigh your options. Many gun owners find that used gun safes offer fantastic value and top-notch security for a fraction of the cost of buying a new safe. While used gun safes may be cheaper options, it’s vital to purchase used gun safes carefully. There are many gun safe manufacturers that produce varying levels of quality, and you must consider your current arsenal as well as future purchases. Many gun owners purchase large safes for their firearms as well as
personal valuables and important documents. Consider your personal reasons for wanting a gun safe and follow a few best practices to have a positive experience when you buy a used gun safe.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Used Gun Safe

If you’re considering a gun safe purchase, you may wonder why you would consider buying a used item instead of a brand new one. Logically, a new gun safe wouldn’t have any wear-and- tear from previous owners. However, due to the nature of well-built gun safes, they can remain in immaculate condition for a very long time with appropriate care. Buying a used gun safe can provide the same level of protection as a new safe at a much lower cost. Some of the benefits of choosing used over new include:

Savings. A used purchase will be significantly cheaper than a new one. Pre-owned items are also generally cheaper to insure.

Quality. If you purchase a well-made, high-quality safe from an owner who took good care of it, that’s virtually the same as buying new in many cases.

Security. A high-quality used gun safe will offer the same level of protection as a brand new one if you shop wisely.

Peace of mind. You can rest easy knowing your firearms are out of everyone’s reach but your own.

There are a few drawbacks to purchasing a used gun safe over a new one. You’ll need to pay close attention to a seller’s documentation and history of ownership. For example, if he or she needed to have a locksmith fix the safe or adjust it, you want to know about this. Warranty coverage is another issue. Some more expensive safes include warranty coverage that lasts for the lifetime of the product, regardless of whether it changes owners. Some warranties come with limits or disclaimers that only cover certain parts, or only offer coverage for a certain time. Be sure to investigate whether a used gun safe comes with any type of warranty, and if so, find out exactly what it will cover and for how long.

Finding the Right Used Gun Safe for You

Before you start shopping, come up with a list of criteria that are important to you in your purchase. Start by narrowing down your options to the type of gun safe you want. Some gun owners prefer smaller, easily concealed safes for their handguns and larger, locker-style safes for long guns. Other gun owners may want a multifunctional safe that can hold firearms as well as other valuable items.

Once you know what type of safe you want to buy, you can start talking to sellers to see what they have to offer. There is an endless assortment of used gun safes available from trustworthy sellers and making an informed first purchase can save you money in the long run.

Size Options and Configurations

Many gun owners who purchase gun safes for the first time make the mistake of purchasing a safe that’s just big enough to hold what they currently own. However, once you buy a gun safe, you’ll more than likely want to add other important items for security, unless you already have a safe for them. Documents, jewelry, family heirlooms, and important personal records can take up more space than you might expect. You may also wish to buy more firearms in the future, and the smaller safe you bought will quickly run out of room.

Try to find a safe that is big enough to hold all of your guns and other items you plan to store in the safe, and then purchase one that’s a bit larger. This will ensure you have enough room to store what you already own with some wiggle room for future additions. Some safes include locking shelves and drawers in addition to firearm racks, and these can be ideal for storing ammunition as well as small personal items and valuables.

It’s also important to consider where you plan to keep the safe. You may think your walk-in closet would be perfect for it, but how will you get it inside if the door is too narrow? What if you need to bolt it to the floor? There are many things to consider when it comes to installing a used gun safe. Measure out a place for your safe that is secure but accessible to you and then determine if you’ll be able to bolt it down, if necessary.

Security Features

Once you know the size and configuration you want for your gun safe, you can start narrowing down your options further by security features. Some homes and businesses are more vulnerable to fires than others. For example, fire damage to homes is far more common in California than it is in Massachusetts, due to the dry climate and frequent occurrence of wildfires. If you’re concerned about fire resistance, check the safe’s fire resistance rating. Good safe manufacturers pay for third parties to perform laboratory-controlled tests on their products to assign fire resistance ratings. As a general rule of thumb, a safe that can survive for an hour or more at 1300 degrees Fahrenheit has respectable fire resistance.

You must also consider what type of locking mechanisms and additional security features you want. Some newer safes feature fingerprint scanners and other biometric security features that can keep your firearms even more secure. Some gun owners prefer the reliability of mechanical locks and bolts. Whatever your preference, remember that newer safes with digital security features are generally more expensive than traditional mechanical locking safes, even for used purchases.

Warranty Coverage

Many people shopping for gun safes believe they can only get a warranty if they buy new. However, some warranties follow a product even if it changes hands. If a seller claims that a safe comes with warranty coverage, ask to inspect all of the warranty documents that came with thesafe. The warranty’s fine print should include time limits, coverage restrictions, and owner obligations for the warranty. If a used safe would come with warranty coverage, then that’s a huge bonus. If anything goes wrong, you can contact the manufacturer to honor the warranty.

Tips for a Better Buying Experience

If you know what type of gun safe you want to buy and feel ready to explore used options, keep the following tips in mind:

Never buy a broken safe. If there is any type of damage to the exterior or the locking mechanism, do not buy the safe. This includes a locking mechanism that will not close or open. The seller may claim it’s an easy fix or it may have warranty coverage, but it would probably be more trouble than it’s worth to fix.

Never purchase a safe from a manufacturer that has since gone out of business. This will completely nullify your chances of securing any type of warranty coverage, and the safe maker may have gone out of business due to subpar products. Only purchase a used safe if the manufacturer is still in business so you can get in touch with them about any future issues.

Be wary of buying online. While sites like eBay and Amazon Marketplace offer buyer protection on many purchases, returning an item purchased online can be a tremendous hassle. This is especially true for large, heavy items like gun safes. Additionally, you may discover a problem with the safe that the seller did not disclose in the listing, only for the seller to argue that his or her wording of the listing was technically accurate so you knew what you were buying. It’s always best to check a used gun safe in person before buying.

Consider delivery and setup. If a seller is willing to deliver and/or install a safe you purchase, consider this a perk. Safes are heavy and difficult to move, so paying a little extra to have the seller handle this is a good choice. However, if you are wary about anyone knowing where you plan to keep your safe, or you don’t want anyone else involved in the installation, make sure you have the necessary equipment for picking up and installing the safe yourself.

Check the lock before you buy. Have the seller show you the combination to the safe, and then close and re-lock it. Have the seller repeat this a few times, and then try to do the same yourself. Only hand over your money once you are certain you can reliably lock and unlock the safe.

Be flexible with how much you’re willing to spend. If you’re looking for a used gun safe then you probably expect a bargain, but don’t overlook paying a bit extra for added security or extra features. If a safe has a very high fire resistance rating or comes with manufacturer warranty coverage, paying a little extra up front can save you a lot more money down the road.

Try to stick to verified sellers. While you may be able to find great deals from trustworthy private sellers through newspaper listings or sites like Craigslist, it’s always better to buy from trusted sellers with solid reputations. Some gun shop owners may offer used gun safes, so check to see what other customers have to say about their experiences with them and the quality of their products before buying.

Check the price of a new safe. If a seller has a used gun safe for sale from a manufacturer that’s still in business, check to see what the new safe would cost compared to the seller’s price. If the savings are minimal and you would lose warranty coverage, or the safe shows signs of neglect or damage, then it would probably be better to keep shopping for a better-quality used safe.

Think about the future. Larger safes will be impossible for thieves to move, so keep this in mind as well during your buying journey. While you may only own one or two handguns now, you may decide to purchase a rifle or shotgun later. A larger safe will be more secure and offer flexibility and security for years.

Why Do I Really Need a Used Gun Safe?

Gun safes keep you, your family, your home, and your possessions safer. They are versatile security devices that you can always customize to fit your changing needs. Even if you live alone, it is never a good idea to leave firearms unsecured in your home. No matter how well you think you’ve hidden your firearms, you aren’t at home all the time. A gun safe will keep your firearms and other possessions safe in the event of a burglary, house fire, or even some natural disasters. They’ll also ensure your guns don’t fall into the hands of any children who may explore your house.

A good gun safe can be a great investment that lasts many years, so take your time during the buying process to ensure you find the used gun safe that’s right for you. You can find the right amount of value and protection at a lower cost by exploring used options, so keep these tips in mind when it’s time to buy your next gun safe.

Sources:

https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2012/12/13/buying-a-gun-safe/

https://gunsafereviewsguy.com/articles/what-to-look-for-in-a-gun-safe/

Gun Safe Buying Guide Part 8: Buying & Selling Used Safes 

Buying New vs Used


http://www.accurateshooter.com/technical-articles/gun-safe-buyers-guide/

Gun Safe Buyers Guide