Guns and ammunition are not meant to be accessed by everyone at all times. There are people who are either unauthorized or unqualified to handle them. On the other hand,easy accessibility is important to enable authorized persons to access them and use them if they need to protect their lives and property. In many jurisdictions, gun access control is required by law. It is to balance between access and restriction that gun safes are needed. Sometimes, gun safes are used to protect guns from damage in fires or other calamities.
Basic Attributes of a Gun Safe.
A gun safe should be made from material that is relatively difficult to break. Pry resistant metal is recommended for the box of the safe and also for the locking mechanism. The pry resistant metal is intended for use where the safe is intended to protect the gun against burglary or for the purposes of keeping unauthorized family members from accessing the guns.
In case the safe is for use in a place where there are many guns like an armory, a vault may be needed to keep them safe. Where the safe is meant to protect guns from fire, and other calamities like floods, then the material from which the safe is made, should be appropriately resistant.
The lock systems employed to keep the guns safe is also important. Some have electronic locking systems which are relatively less secure but faster to open. Other safes use mechanical locking systems which are more difficult to access and take longer to open. In some instances, gun safes do not bank on strength to keep their contents safe, they bank more on camouflage, thus they are designed to be difficult to locate rather than difficult to open. An example of such a safe is one constructed behind a false wall.
Making a Safe
A gun safe has two basic parts; the box and the lock. The box is made of steel to varying thicknesses depending on the kind of safe being made. There are normally three layers of steel used in safe construction. A hard steel layer is covered with a mild steel layer. A mild steel layer is important for the safety of the safe since hard surfaces tend to crack when subjected to force repeatedly.
The mild steel protects the hard steel inside from direct force impact that would make it crack. When subjected to shock force, mild steel deforms but it does not crack. Though deformed, its contents remain secure inside the box.Thickness of the safe box is entirely dependent on the purpose of the safe or the maker’s preference.
Once the box has been fabricated, a lock is fitted. The lock is intended to withstand manipulation and it may be electronic or mechanical. Gun safes do not use timer locks; this is because guns are used for emergencies. The area around the safe is also plated with mild steel to keep the lock safe from shock force which is capable of destroying the lock and providing access to the safe without using the proper unlock mechanism.
There are many different ways of constructing specific safes. A vault may involve heavy construction works requiring totally different skill sets from fabrication of portable gun safes. Advances in metallurgy have made it possible for better and better safes to be made. In general terms, however, making a gun safe involves two important steps; making the box and fitting a lock.