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Old 02-26-2011, 08:10 AM   #1
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Default Safes, Used firearms, and questions. Oh my.

1.) So I've been looking at various safes and seem to keep being drawn back to the GunVault biometric series. From many of the reviews these seem to be great safes for handguns and other small valuables. However the consensus seems to be that they aren't as reliable as they claim for battery life. What would be some other good options. I would like a safe that doesn't need a key that can be found and used easily.

2.) I have narrowed down my first handgun to either the Glock 19 Gen4, XD or XDm, possibly thinking the Walther P99 last in the list. I really wanted to go with a Sig P229 however the Glock 19 or XD's are more in my price range.

I don't have a ton of options around here locally to purchase other than a few small shops and one big box store being Scheels (read: BassProShops, Cabela's, Dicks Sporting Goods, etc) The Scheels store here is about $75 - $100 cheaper on average for new items but what should I look for if I am considering used options at these different stores?

Sorry for the long post but am trying to fit as much as I can into one post at a time instead of a bunch of little ones.

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Old 02-26-2011, 03:36 PM   #2
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I am a newbie to guns so I can't help you much but I do have a small Gun Vault that uses touch pads and a key. I put my key in the lock box at the bank so it won't be found lying around the house by anyone. My Gun Vault has a warning beep when the batteries are getting low, which isn't very often.

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Old 02-26-2011, 05:08 PM   #3
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I can't really help on the handgun vault question.

I can help a bit with the pistol question. As a new shooter, you may feel more confident with the XD because it has a grip safety.

The Glock 19 is an excellent pistol as well and as long as you keep your finger off the trigger, you will be fine.

As far as the Walther P99, I'm not a fan and would advise you to stay away from it. This is strictly an opinion from handling and selling them when I used to work at a gun shop. I have never fired one, so this is based strictly on observation.

I had a 3rd gen. Glock 19 that I liked quite a bit. My buddy bought it from me and he has thousands of rounds through it and I don't think he's ever cleaned it. It just runs and runs.

So, between the Glock and the XD, pick the one that you just like more and that feels the best to handle and then practice with it until it feels like your best friend.

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Old 02-26-2011, 05:38 PM   #4
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I have the Gun Vault with the four push puttons on the top. It has a key. But it is a key like pop machines use. I think it would be very difficult to pick. I have it bolted under the driver seat of my K5 Blazer. It seems like a good safe. I have never had any problem with it. I am able to open it without looking. Again it is under my seat. I can not see the buttons. I would recomend it.

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Old 02-26-2011, 05:41 PM   #5
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Hi Noodle.

I was intrigued by the Biometric Gun Safes a few years ago.

At SHOT, I stopped to talk to a major safe maker and asked if they had a biometric version. He said "No", and then we walked to a well know company who had one on display. He proceeded to lick his thumb and "smear" it across the glass display, and the safe opened up. The biometric ready was easily confused.

That convinced me that I did not want one. Maybe they have improved the technology since then, though.

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Old 02-26-2011, 06:44 PM   #6
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You might take a look at the Titan Gun Vault if you are interested in a quick access safe for a handgun that isn't dependent on batteries.



I'm not sure I'm as worried about the battery going bad as I am about EMP rendering safes with electronic locks inoperable. Perhaps my tin foil hat is on a little too tight though.

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Old 02-26-2011, 09:08 PM   #7
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I can help with the gun vault question as I have had one for about five years. I have never changed the battery once. Stuck the battery that came with the unit in it on day one and haven't looked back.

Perhaps I should change it for G.P., but it's never failed.

Now the gun vault is FAR from being a secure unit. You can open it in about 30 seconds with a screwdriver and a need, so it is basically to keep kids out and honest folks honest.

Maybe you buy one and hide it from plain view, and that helps. Maybe it makes you feel a little better, which is worth it in my mind.

The unit is reliable and keeps kids out. If you want more than that, you need to think about upping your cost range.

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Old 02-27-2011, 11:02 AM   #8
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This is deffinately some good info all. I am deffinately going to have to give the handgun safe issue a better look.

I was initially looking to maily have a safe that I can use now for basic storage and then will also be fine during the younger years of kids or nieces wandering about the house. I guess for now something with a key will be fine but I was hopeing to just be able to get a good solid safe for now without having to worry about upgrading it down the road right away.

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Old 02-27-2011, 03:25 PM   #9
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There are many choices out there for you to safely store your handgun and have it readily available when needed. Some people like electronics and technology while others prefer to keep it simple. Biometrics range from very inexpensive units to ones that are too costly for the gun box market. Apparently the quality of those go hand in hand as well. The better quality ones have much fewer failure to read incidents but are very costly.
My personal choice is the mechanical pushbutton lock. It can be opened by feel only and doesn't require and electronics. We decided to build a box that is stronger than most to try to deter a thief a little as well as kids. Ours is made of 3/16" (7 ga) steel. We also mount the gun to the underside of the door and use a gas strut to spring and hold the door open to present the gun to you.
You also need to consider where you will keep it and how to attach it to something that can't be moved easily. Mine is attached to my bed frame, but it can be mounted horizontally as well.
All things for you to consider what will work best for you. Good luck in your search.


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Old 02-28-2011, 03:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CA357 View Post
I can't really help on the handgun vault question.

I can help a bit with the pistol question. As a new shooter, you may feel more confident with the XD because it has a grip safety.

As far as the Walther P99, I'm not a fan and would advise you to stay away from it. This is strictly an opinion from handling and selling them when I used to work at a gun shop. I have never fired one, so this is based strictly on observation.


So, between the Glock and the XD, pick the one that you just like more and that feels the best to handle and then practice with it until it feels like your best friend.
What does selling and handling have to do with a review of the Walther P99's performance?

I own a P99c / AS triggered version and it has been totally reliable and accurate. Having a flush decocker built into the slide is a bonus over the glock and the AS trigger has a better feel than the Glock IMO. Both great weapons.

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