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What is best way to bolt down a gun safe?

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by danattherock, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. Delivery truck is on the way with a 39" x 66" 950 lb safe. Been reading online enough to know that bolting it down, or securing with anchors, etc.. is a good move. Problem is, I don't know much about gun safes or best way to accomplish this task. The safe is going to be on hardwood floors with crawl space access underneath. Thanks for any ideas on how to make this safe more secure.

  2. The Fed

    The Fed

    Dec 23, 2012
    Central Florida
    At 950 pounds I'm not so sure I would bother it bolting it down. Anyway, you'll need to look inside to see there are holes already drilled for bolting it down. Could be tough to drill if it's a hard steel. If it already has holes then you'll know what diameter bolt to buy. If not, I would ask the manufacturer for advice.

    I would use high tensile strength bolts (Grade 8) with nyloc nuts.

  3. jdeere_man

    jdeere_man CLM

    Feb 25, 2007
    NW Missouri
    It should be pre-drilled. It is bolted to a pallet, remove those bolts and use those holes. If you can get undernead drill clear through the floor and bolt it thru. If you have access to steel, make some good sized plates that fit where you need to go, like 6x6 square, and drill a hole in them. Put them on the underneath side of the floor so the bolts aren't so easily ripped out.
  4. If you go to Lowes or Home Depot they have small pieces of steel plate that you could drill holes in and use them as backing plates so it isn't so easy to rip the bolts out of the floor.
  5. The Fed

    The Fed

    Dec 23, 2012
    Central Florida
    I didn't think of that. If it's only through 3/4" plywood it's not really secure but it's better than nothing. U-bolts or J-bolts around the floor joists would be much more secure.
  6. Hawaiiglock

    Hawaiiglock 58008

    Jul 15, 2008
    Kona, Hi
    How thick is the floor? What are the lay out of the floor joist? If there is not enough "structure" under the safe the floor may sag, 950lbs + how many guns will put a lot of weight over a small area.

    If I were going to put a safe over a properly constructed floor that had a crawl space underneath I'd figure out where I wanted the safe and drill the mounting holes through the floor. I'd then find some strips of thick steel plate to use as over sized washers so the bolts can't be pulled through the floor if someone tries to pry the safe up. If the crawl space is easily accessible I'd weld the nuts to the steel plate so they could not be unbolted with ease.
  7. Great ideas guys, thanks. I like the idea of the J bolts through the joist. Not sure where to find J bolts that long, but will look around. I may indeed put some support under the safe. Any ideas on how to do that? I don't know much about construction and what not. Concrete footing with a 4x4 cut to almost fit, bang it to an upright position with my BFH. Sounds simple, too simple perhaps. Ha ha..

  8. jdeere_man

    jdeere_man CLM

    Feb 25, 2007
    NW Missouri
    If you need support you could do as you said. Also there are "floor jacks" not the automotive type. You could use those. People usually use them between a main floor and a basement floor, but I assume they make short ones for crawl spaces.

    If you have a welder and a torch you could make your own j-bolts to hook to the joists
  9. F_G


    Jan 11, 2010
    Crown King, AZ
    My safe sits on a concrete floor and I used "redheads" to bolt it down, I know this doesn't help you, but don't forget about the wall it will most likely be sitting up against. I have mine bolted down to the floor and 2 lag bolts up higher into wall studs so any would be thieves can't get the safe rockin' and pull the bolts out of the floor. Also my safe has a small false floor that I filled with #6 shotgun shot, about 300# worth. Thieves may get it, but they'll work their ass off trying. :supergrin:
  10. I'M Glockamolie

    I'M Glockamolie

    Jun 23, 2006
    I can't picture what the setup looks like, but if you need LONG bolts to accomplish what you need, consider some allthread. They are available at Home Depot and other similar stores. They come in 3' or longer pieces and you can cut to your desired length.

  11. DonD


    Dec 21, 2001
    Central TX
    Bolting it in is a good idea but I also agree big safes are a pain to move legally.

    Mine is 900# empty and when I moved from an apartment where we were waiting for our house to be built, I specifically asked if their dolly would handle it. They said yes. Well....the axle failed, dropped the safe onto the pavement from the ramp, messed up the finish. They said they could fix it, I said they couldn't, they tried and failed and ended up buying it from me at my cost. Don
  12. hoghunter82

    hoghunter82 FL Glocker #182

    Jan 21, 2011
    Central Florida
    The very best advice I can give is if you do not have the right kind of hammer drill go rent one from Home Depot. Having the right tool & bit to drill in the concrete (if u are going into concrete) makes life so much easier. I did not own that kind of drill and the $25 rental fee was worth every penny. I had it done in a matter of minutes. There are some great videos on YouTube from Sturdy Safe Company on the types of anchors. I used those videos to make my choice of hardware.

    Posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
  13. MarineHawk


    Oct 23, 2011
    I recommend just buying 20 more, or so, additional rifles, and a few hundred thousand more rounds of ammo to weigh the safe down to make it more difficult to steal.
  14. FullClip

    FullClip NRA Benefactor CLM

    It would surprise a lot of people how easily steel can be drilled with the right bit, the right speed and right pressure on the bit (and a little cutting oil)

    The chances of any pre-drilled hoes lining up with your floor joists are pretty slim, and anything anchored in wood just makes ripping it out a bit more difficult.
    Shouldn't be a big problem drilling holes in the safe floor and back to allow using lag screws into the floor joists and wall studs to give it that extra PITA to anybody who wants to walk away with it. Also try to hide the safe.....don't make it the centerpiece of the room. Sacrifice a closet or corner and keep it out of view. Lots of folks think that if you got a safe, you're rich, and must have something worth stealing.
  15. byf43

    byf43 NRA Life Member

    Apr 13, 2006
    Southern Maryland

    If you are going to set the safe on a hardwood floor, here's what I'd do.

    1. Put at least 1 (2 is better) thicknesses of 3/4" plywood directly under the safe. (You can even put wood trim around the edges to 'dress' up the plywood.)
    2. Once the safe is in place, locate the holes in the bottom, and drill down, into the floor/crawlspace.
    (Make CERTAIN there are no electrical lines or plumbing lines under the safe!)
    3. Use either steel plates under the floor (in the crawlspace) as 'backers' for the bolts.
    4. Use either all-thread or extra long hardened bolts, fender washers, lock washers and nuts.

    You may not make the safe 'un-moveable', but, you'll make it more difficult for someone to move!!
  16. jhooten

    jhooten NRA Life Member

    Jun 25, 2003
    Central Texas.
    The ones in my Cannon did.
  17. If you have second thoughts about bolting the safe down, consider the danger of it falling on someone such as a child.

    Also, if you have carpeting, prepare to cut or punch holes in it to avoid carpet runs when drilling. Also, in carpeted rooms, the strips along the wall will slightly tilt the safe.

    As to hammer drills, they are not expensive to buy and most also work as a standard drill. Also, since they can drill into my safe, I keep mine secured in the safe.

    My large safe is on concrete and to get it in the house, we had to remove doors. I paid a lock company to put it in place. It was very difficult and time consuming even with the equipment.

    After it was in place, I secured it to the concrete myself using a hammer drill and wedge bolts. It was very easy. I watched a few YouTube videos first. I just made sure to drill deep enough that I could hammer the bolts below the surface if I decide to move the safe. At over 1,100 pound empty, I doubt I will choose to move it soon.

    I also used red lock tight on the handles on the captain's wheel used for opening. That will slow down thieves since it impossible for it to get through doorways. This will add time to the theft even if they could break the bolted connections.

    One thing to remember is that the greatest threat is fire and not theft. This should be considered when choosing a safe. Also, while paper may survive in some safes, other materials, such as film negatives and optical media, need better protection. It may help to get and additional small fire safe and place it in the larger gun safe.

    The safe does not make things fire and theft proof. It just buys time. In the case of fire protection, do some research since consumer products do not have a universal standard of effectiveness. In the case of theft, most thieves are in a hurry. A security alarm combined with the safe may help minimize the amount of time thieves get. One additional issue is that thieves may choose to perform a home invasion and force you to open the safe.
  18. James Dean

    James Dean

    Jan 31, 2010
    East of Eden
    A good trick I was taught when I bought mine was to bolt it down to the floor, and make sure its up against a wall to the left of the safe. That way its much harder to try to pry open the door if there's a wall in the way. They can't use a long pry bar for leverage. It makes a lot of sense when you think about it
  19. KennyFSU

    KennyFSU What to wear...

    Mar 14, 2011
    Some great advice in here.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  20. markerbeacon


    Aug 3, 2012
    Madison, AL
    Make sure you have a path for air to get under the bottom. Water + Steel = Rust. Safe Killer.