In the United States, there are over 300 million guns in private hands. This is a significant number of firearms that could be used to cause harm or death if they were to fall into the wrong hands.
To prevent this from happening, many people have invested in gun safes. The problem with these safes is that they are not very secure by industry standards and can be easily broken into.
Whether it’s a gun safe in your apartment or office or a gun safe at work, you should be aware that a safe alone doesn’t offer much protection from thieves. This article explores how easy it is for an intruder to break into a gun safe and how to protect yourself from such intruders.
Are Gun Safes Easy To Break Into?
Gun safes are designed to be secure and sturdy, but that does not mean they cannot be broken into. For example, some gun safes are made with thin metal sheets which can be easily broken into.
This means that you should always check the thickness of your gun safe before buying one for yourself or your family members. This is because the safe manufacturers are not trying to make a safe that can’t be broken into.
They just want to make sure it will take a long time for someone to break into it. However, you can buy a gun safe that is made of thicker steel and has more locks to make it harder for someone to steal your guns.
There are many ways to break into these doors, and the best way is usually with brute force. However, there are other ways to do so, which I will be discussing below.
Gun Safes Are Technically Residential Security Containers
As it may seem, the term “safe” is not as straightforward. Most commercial safes aren’t as secure as many think they are. It is more accurate to call most safes Residential Security Containers (RSCs).
Years ago, US safes were tough enough to withstand attempts to break in, and they’re still around today, though they’re a little pricey. Expect to pay more than ten grand on a solid safe.
Why is there a difference? It is not uncommon for safes made by Liberty, Winchester, or Cannon to have decently built doors. All the rest of the safe is cement board encased in steel.
Look at an RSC at a store like Costco and open the door at a 90-degree angle. Notice how easy it would be to flip it onto its back. Just be careful. Those things can tip over easily. Most gun safes that are around 300 bucks are prone to tipping.
All of it is heavy, but the door weighs most of it. It was largely done this way to keep shipping costs low. This, however, makes it easy to cut through the back of these RSCs. And this is what most burglars tend to do. They try to cut open a safe from the back.
How To Break Into A Gun Safe
First, let me clarify that the only reason to break into a gun safe is if your own key is missing. You should never use these methods for illegal purposes. Also, this article is for educational purposes only.
1. Drilling The Lock Out
Although drilling out a safe’s locking system is a labor-intensive procedure, it can cause severe damage to the lock. To unscrew the lock, the attacker uses a drilling machine. Unfortunately, it’s easy to open the lock after the screws are removed.
2. Using Brute Force On Combination Locks
A mechanical gun safe allows you to enter an endless number of combinations to open the lock. However, when it comes to electronic locks, you’d usually be suspended from accessing the safe after a limited number of incorrect codes.
Safes with mechanical locks can be cracked even though you will have to spend a lot of time guessing the correct codes.
Therefore, unless they get very lucky with only a few tries, it is not practical for thieves to use this method because they will not have much time to guess the code.
3. Using A Paperclip To Pick The Lock
An ordinary paper clip may be able to open some cheaper gun safes. But how?
To use the paperclip in the holes at the side of the safe, simply straighten it out and curve it a little.
The safe will open when the clip is wiggled until a wire is released inside.
This method will not damage a biometric lock safe’s electronic component if it is a cheap biometric lock safe.
4. Attacks With A Pry Bar
The easiest way to access a gun safe is by prying.
However, it may take you a few minutes to open a low-quality gun safe using a crowbar and elbow grease. It is also easier to pry open gun safes with smaller lock bolts and rivets.
If your safe is bolted to the floor or wall, you can decrease the chance of a burglar getting access by ensuring the back of the safe is properly secured. This is the reason why in-wall safes are considered to be the most secure storage option.
5. Bumping The Safe
Another method to access smaller gun safes is to bounce or drop the safe to break the lock. The handle can be moved if the lock of the safe bounces at the right time and with a little bit of luck.
However, relockers on gun safes will make this difficult. When triggered, this added device secures the safe by locking the bolt. In this case, you won’t be able to open it with the combination code or a key – you’ll need to contact a locksmith to reopen the safe.
6. Open The Safe By Cutting It Open
Opening the safe this way is probably the most inefficient method because it takes so much time, especially if it is made of solid construction. If you are unable to access your gun safe, this should be the very last resort.
The metal body of the safe can be cut with a saw or a grinder if a thief is determined to open it. However, this method is unlikely to be used by thieves in actual break-ins.
For example, a grinder and a saw require power (although newer battery-operated tools make this easier). The second issue is time. Many burglars prefer breaking it open in less than 10 minutes to avoid being caught. And third, it is extremely loud.
Which Safe Is The Most Difficult To Break Into?
It is impossible to say which safe is the most difficult to break into because so many things influence the level of difficulty.
As we have already mentioned in other articles, Cannon and Liberty are the two companies that make it the most difficult to crack safes.
Don’t automatically assume the more expensive the safe, the better it will be. For example, you could buy the most expensive safe globally, and it wouldn’t be 100% protected from break-ins.
The price does play an important role since both Cannon and Liberty are quite expensive. The best thing to look for when buying a gun safe is to read the reviews because they are completely unfiltered, and your best chance of finding one that is hard to break into.
Is It Possible To Open A Safe With A Crowbar?
A crowbar can be used to unlock a safe in many cases. However, despite their advanced design, even the best gun safes will have weak spots which can be targeted if you want to break into them.
The weak points of your safe can be considered flaws in its design, and they might have been there by accident or on purpose.
There are a lot of weak spots in cheap gun safes that you can target. Nevertheless, locating these spots can be a challenge with pricier gun safes. Most safe designs suffer from a weakness in the safe door.
Hence, this is a good spot to target if you want to break into a safe. You can bend safe doors with your crowbar easily because they are generally made from thinner metal than the rest of the safe. That means you’ll have a much easier time getting to the contents.
Is It Possible To Cut Through A Safe With A Plasma Cutter?
Plasma cutters can cut through most metals, including safes. However, this is a tough job, and it’ll take the cutter a while to finish.
Whenever we say a while, we mean a long time. In reality, it can take a professional up to 6 hours to open a modern gun safe. And the time just gets longer depending on the quality of the safe and the user’s experience.
Even though you often see thieves stealing money from banks by cutting through safes within seconds in movies, this is not realistic.
There is no doubt that you can break into a safe using a plasma cutter easily. But in reality, thieves will be caught before the plasma cutter even cuts through the metal.
Is It Easy To Break Into Liberty Safes?
There is no easy way to break into Liberty gun safes. Liberty has done everything possible to prevent this from happening, but there is still a chance that gun safes can be broken into with the right technique and tools.
In short, even though this company cannot sell you a gun safe that will be impossible to break into, you can buy a safe that will be immensely difficult and time-consuming to break into, which is closer to what you want.
Generally, Liberty produces handgun safes that are smaller in size. You can keep them on your bedside table, and they can easily be hidden out of sight.
It’s a great feature, but due to its small size, someone could easily steal the whole safe if they wanted.
While hard to break into, Liberty gun safes are very easy to steal. This is why you should secure them using a heavy option.
Can Cannon Safes Be Broken Into Easily?
There is no easy way to break into a Cannon safe. If you want to break into a gun safe, you will need to find its weak spots to target.
Safes manufactured by Cannon, on the other hand, have been designed to minimize the possibility of these weak spots, so there is little chance that an active break-in can be accomplished.
Although it is a large part of the marketing to advertise cannon safes as impenetrable, they are much harder to break into than other safes. This is because these safes are designed with security in mind.
Most small-time companies lose sight of this element when it comes to manufacturing gun safes. Therefore, a Cannon gun safe is a good choice if you want an almost totally secure safe.
Note From The Author:
When the right tools and knowledge are used, even the biggest, most secure safe in the world can be broken into. However, as the quality of the safe goes up, it becomes more and more difficult to break in.
The key word here is quality, not size. It doesn’t matter how big it is. Large safes can be broken into quite easily because they are built cheaply. There is no gun safe out there that will stop an expert. However, even the cheapest safe will keep the pikers out.
Those who want to grab and go. A better safe will reduce the likelihood of an intruder being able or willing to break into it as the quality of the safe increases.
Therefore, I recommend that people purchase the best safe they can afford. Of course, this should be balanced with what you hope to protect.
Spending thousands of dollars on a high-end safe makes no sense if you only have a $200 pistol. Buying a safe requires balancing the cost with your willingness to lose the contents.
I built my own gun safe to make sure kids, and nosy people can’t get to my guns and harm themselves. Of course, my stuff would be gone if a criminal broke in. But insurance is there to protect me.
It is not difficult to break into a gun safe in general. As a result, you will probably be able to access your gun safe yourself if you have lost your key and don’t want to call your safe provider.
It is often advertised that gun safes are impenetrable without the key. However, this isn’t true.
Gun owners have been tricked by clever advertising into believing that safes are now more secure than they were, but in reality, they are still just as easy to break into as they ever were.
You can find a weak spot in every safe, and once you find it, you can easily get into the safe. In other words, even though gun safes appear challenging to break into, it is a lot easier than you think.