With gun safes, bigger is often assumed to be better. Buy bigger than you think you’ll need they say…you’ll outgrow it within a weekend.
That’s all well and good, unless size, weight and logistical considerations make a giant, 700 pound gun safe impractical.
Many of us have limited space for a gun safe…and if you’re married, the “allowable” spots you can put a safe dwindle dramatically. Or, maybe you’ve got a tight doorway or stairs to get up. Maybe, for privacy reasons, you want to move the safe into place by yourself. Or maybe you move frequently.
Yep, there are lots of circumstances that might put you out of the market for a big ol’ Liberty Fatboy or similar, big 600 pound, refrigerator-sized traditional gun safe. If none of the above circumstances apply to you and you’ve got a big ol’ gun safe sitting in the corner, hats off to you.
|The Liberty Revolution 12 is compact and well made.|
Personally, most of the above considerations applied to me. Limited allowable space–a corner in a small walk-in closet. Stairs, move frequently, wanted to be able to move it into place myself, too.
I’m also more of a utilitarian gun owner versus a collector, so I don’t have mass quantities of guns to store. I don’t need a giant gun safe at this point, so that’s good.
So I went in search of a smallish, closet-friendly safe. Each major safe company has one or two of these in their line-up–usually rated for 10-14 guns and sometimes marketed as “entry-level” gun safes.
Unfortunately, these safes are also usually designed like entry-level gun safes – cheap construction, minimal fire protection, no-name locks, lousy interiors and bottom of the barrel in terms of actual security.
Of course, even “Residential Security Container”-rated safes are only rated to withstand 5 minutes of prying with hand tools, but most of the closet-friendly safes are probably closer to 30 seconds of prying.
After lots of comparison shopping and looking at the offerings from every single major safe maker, I decided on the Liberty Revolution 12.
A few things pushed me over to the Liberty. One of them was this video, which shows the strength of the Revolution’s locking bar design versus more traditional safes locking mechanism:
While it’s not impervious, the Revolution is tougher than competing safes in the same size class.
It also met the other requirements I’d set out for myself: made in the USA, available locally, at least 30 minute fire rating, S&G mechanical lock.
The Liberty brand name and the lifetime warranty they offer for every safe was icing on the cake.
The Liberty Revolution safes were on sale during Black Friday of ’14 at Gander Mountain, so I woke up early and braved the crowds to save a little cash. Cost was just over $ 400 out the door. Regular pricing is closer to $ 500, which is still fair in my opinion.
With the help of one of the employees, I was able to load it into the family tactical minivan. With the help of my wife and a dolly, we got the safe up our garage stairs and into position without too much trouble or injury. Two average strength men with a dolly could move it up a flight of stairs without problem or breaking much of a sweat.
I’ve now owned the safe for 7 months and access it several times a week. Luckily, have not had to put its burglary or fire protection to the test (nor do I plan to). I’ve had absolutely zero problems with the safe and am thus far very happy.
It’s not particularly spacious, but it does what I needed it to in the space allowed. I think around an 8-long gun capacity would be a decent assessment for what could fit into the safe without too much trouble. Lock has functioned well, finish has held up flawlessly. No problemos at all.
My one knock against the safe–which is almost universal for gun safes — is the one-height-fills all barrel rests. They’re designed for a height that would be appropriate for a hunting shotgun or rifle, not an AR or a home defense length shotgun. Not a deal breaker, but wish safe manufacturers would figure this one out.
If you’re in the market for a quality closet-sized safe, the Liberty Revolution 12 is tough to contender to beat.