Question We had a burglary a year ago where they damaged our Winchester gun safe and removed the electronic key pad... they scratched it up a good bit, but were unable to get inside the safe. The only way for us to get into the safe at that point was to have it drilled to open it. Winchester paid to have that done and sent us a replacement gun safe (metal guage a little thinner.. but hey.. we did get a replacement).
We still have the old safe though and are thinking about trying to use it again (probably more for important papers than firearms). but we need to put a new lock on it. Is this going to be a problem since it was drilled? My husband welds and is mechanically inclined.. so I don't think it will be a problem to deal with the actual holes in the casing.. but I don't know what brand/model of lock to purchase.. and if there are any special things we need to know since the safe had to be drilled to get it open. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
First off, concerning your keeping "important papers" in the container. If it does NOT have a MINIMUM of 1 hour of fire resistance, then I wouldn't recommend it. Obviously 2 hours of heat resistance is better, and less than 1 hour would be worse.
As for your husband repairing the safe, if he can weld, then I don't need to go over repairs. My recommendation would be to repair the hole to EXCEED what the manufacture originally had in place for drill resistance. welding ball bearings or hardened steel pins in the holes will make it slightly stronger than it was before.
Also, different locks require different opening techniques and/or holes. So while repairing this hole to a stronger steel, will not make the surrounding steel any harder.
As far as the type lock that you install on the safe there are a couple really good brands, and a number of "cheap" brands. Even some of the good brands have problems though. My recommendation for ease of use and installation would be the LaGard Basic II. AMSEC's ESL series locks are also easy to install and fairly reliable, though the instructions are not as well written as I would like to see.
S&G makes a couple good locks, however I see too high a failure rate in these locks. Many of the manufacturers swear by them though.
Mechanical locks are much more reliable in the long run, though because of all the dialing back and forth to make them operate, they are fast loosing their apeal.
Hope this helps answer some of your questions.
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Thanks so much for your answer.. I will check out those locks.. I am thinking of going electronic again.. i was never fast opening my locker at school!
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