Monday, June 13, 2011

Extended Review: Gun Vault 2000s (2.5 years service)

First thoughts:

The metal could be a little thicker, I believe it is 16ga.  I feel as though 12ga would be more secure.  I suppose if someone is going to break into this safe, they are going to take it with them anyways.

The included mounting screws are a little small, they're about a 3/16 x 2" Phillips lag screw.  The safe has various mounting holes pre-drilled from the factory, including two key holed ones for easier attachment as well as a template for drilling.

The exterior finish of the safe is fairly nice, plain black crinkle paint. The hinge is well concealed as well as the door being recessed into the jamb to prevent prying.

A little deeper:

It requires 8AA batteries, so make sure you have plenty on hand.  I've been running the same Duracell brand batteries since I bought the safe in February of 2009. The batteries are concealed under the upper foam, with two thumb screws.  At first the upper foam would fall down, but it hasn't done that in over a year.

The door has a pretty powerful hinge spring that flings it open with a fair amount of force. I think it would hold it open upside down if need be. There is also a small rubber bumper in the middle of the hinge side of the door opening to keep it from slamming open on itself.

The interior is foam lined, and and I originally feared that over time this will be the first thing to go, but after nearly two and a half years the foam is still as good as new.  With a slight hint of carbon here and there. 

The safe comes with a backup key so that in the event that the batteries die or you forget your combo you can still get in. Take these apart and put them in two separate locations now, don't lock them both in the safe accidentally, i think you would be F'd prior to installing batteries. 

The keypad:

Programming the keypad is about as easy as it gets. You open the safe, find the cutout in the upper foam and hold it down for about a second. This is followed by a tone, and you enter your new combo. Then depress the button for another second, to be followed by another tone, then confirm your combo. Again depress the button for a second and this confirms you combination.

The programmable keypad is quite easy to use, and you can program 6 entries at up to 4 buttons per entry. I found that it is hard to press all 4 buttons at the same time. I tried all 4 then, 4 single, then all 4 again; but it was to hard to get all 4 down without it thinking you were entering multiple numbers. I now have a program with 2 keys, then 2 keys, then 4 individual making up my 6 entries.

If you enter an incorrect code four times in a row, it gets mad. Then the light in the middle starts blinking red three times when you press a key and it goes nowhere fast. After a couple of minutes it resets and lets you try again, or if you really need in you can always use the key.

The door opens quite promptly following the last key entry, hardly any delay at all.


I have found this to be a quality pistol safe at a reasonable price. ($160 to my door) It will serve me for years to come.

I would give it a 4 out of 5 just because they could give you some better hardware to mount it with. With five seconds and a pry bar I could compromise its mounting in a wood floor system.

After using the safe for over 2 and a half years I honestly don't have any complaints.  I can it four full size pistols in it as well as miscellaneous documents and parts.  The padding is holding up well and the finish is good as new.  I'm really happy about that as it has lived its in an evaporatively cooled space since it was new.  I have found that I need to keep my pistols fairly well lubed as the foam may store some moisture, but in my environment that is a must anyways.

Keep shooting,

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