There is no question that we all want to get the "Biggest Bang for our Bucks", but when performing our due diligence when shopping for a gun safe "Cheap" is hardly ever better.
There is no doubt that gun owners know and want to keep their firearms away from criminals, children and/or untrained hands. Accidents happen.
There should also be no doubt that the gun safe should be placed in a location that will provide fast access to your firearms should the need quickly arise.
A quality gun safe should have both an adequate amount of steel to create a secure barrier that will protect your fireams and other most valued possessions and have a sufficient amount of insulation to protect your possessions from fire damage, should it occur.
How much steel should a quality gun safe have in both the door and the walls of the safe?
First, we feel that a gun safe having less than 12 gauge walls and door should not even be classified as a gun safe. We feel it should be classified as a gun cabinet. Gun cabinets having 14, 16 or 18 gauge (all thinner than 12 gauge) steel bodies and doors are easily compromised using an electric rotary saw. In addition, these safes often do not have enough locking bolts. The manufacturers of such cabinets are manufacturing them to those specifications in order to be at an acceptable price point to meet market pricing demands... NOT realistic minimum security levels.
A gun safe's fire rating is also very important. Fire ratings are achieved by either having fireboard or cement insulation. Fireboard insulation tends to be brittle and easy to break through with a common handle tool. Cement insulation, on the other hand, requires either a heavy hammer and chisel or an electric rotary cement saw to breach the insulation barrier. In either case, chipping or cutting the cement insulation takes time and effort... something an intruder knows he doesn't have. Intruders want to break in a leave your premises as quickly as possible before an alarm goes off and the police arive.
Don't forget to properly assess the size of the safe you need. Allow for additional guns and rifles. Also anticipate what other valuables you may eventually want to store in the safe... such as jewelry, cash, coins, documents, passports, ammo, medications, insurance agreements, marriage certificates and birth certificates. You will appreciate having a fire resistant safe in the event of a fire. The headache of gathering documents for insurance is stressful, costly and very time consuming.