What goes into the weight of a gun safe?
Safes are heavy, plain and simple. From small home safes to massive full-size safes, none of them are that easy to move around. Entry-level gun safes typically weigh between 200-600 pounds. Mid-range safes weigh between 600 and 1,000 pounds. High-end weigh in between 1,000 to 1,600. And commercial-grade safes can weigh anywhere from 2,000 all the way up to 5,000 pounds.
But what goes into them that gives them so much heft? Well, there are a number of factors that decide how much a gun safe weighs, but it really comes down to:
- Gauge of steel
- Layers of fire-board
- Safe design
Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Gun Safe Size
The bigger a safe is, the heavier it’s gonna be, and that’s because in most cases it requires more steel, more fireboard, more shelving, etc., etc. to build a larger model. Now, for most manufacturers, a given safe model will usually come in multiple sizes. As the size goes up for a given model, so does the weight.
But of course, there’s always exceptions. In these cases, a bigger safe will have thinner steel and less fireboard. This may actually make it weigh less than a smaller safe. But generally, the bigger the safe, the more it weighs.
Gauge of Steel
A “gauge” is a measurement used in the U.S. to determine the thickness of steel. I know, this is gonna sound completely backwards, but the lower the number, the thicker the steel. So, a safe with a 10-gauge body has a thicker steel than a safe with a 14-gauge body. And obviously, thicker steel weighs more than thinner steel.
Layers of Fireboard
Some safes are insulated to help protect valuables against heat and flame. Models with better fire protection will often use multiple layers of fireboard, maximizing insulation, and making the safe weigh more. The more layers it has, the better the fire protection, but the heavier it will be.
Gun Safe Design
There are a couple of design variations that impact the weight. The main two are additional layers of steel, and concrete or composite liners. These two design features can add considerably to the weight of a safe, and also cause a major jump in the safe’s price.
Many people believe that a heavier safe is more secure—and generally, that’s true. But of course, there’s always exceptions. For example, a safe with a thicker steel gauge may have design flaws in the door, and if the door is easy to pry, it’s not more secure (no matter how much the gun safe weighs). Moral of the story: check safe weights, but don’t let your research stop there.