Gun Safe Locking Systems Explained

Gun Safe Lock­ing Mech­a­nism Options

Dial Com­bi­na­tion Locks: This is type of lock that most of us have become expe­ri­enced with since the days of being in junior high and high school. The dial com­bi­na­tion lock comes in a few dif­fer­ent forms and they usu­ally only dif­fer in that amount of num­bers in the com­bi­na­tion sequence.

The sequences range from three num­ber example: (24,36,24) or four num­bers (24,36,24,36) or up to home num­bers. Most com­monly today the higher end safes will have the four num­ber com­bi­na­tion dial and can be some­what con­fus­ing when learn­ing to use them and open­ing the safe.

The three digit combo is very easy but is not used as often today by the rep­utable lock man­u­fac­tur­ers. Most com­monly the three digit sequence dials are used on less expen­sive safes and even the Chi­nese man­u­fac­tured safes. These three digit designs can be good but have been well known in the indus­try to have some seri­ous mal­func­tion problems.

The four digit com­bos are usu­ally the Amer­i­can stan­dard and can be con­fus­ing to learn but once you have learned them, they have been very fool­proof and if you stick with the guide here of check­ing to see if the lock­ing mech­a­nism is either a LaGard or S&G brand, you can’t go really wrong.

The dials that offer up to eight digit sequence are usu­ally very high end and either or cor­po­rate locks.

  • Elec­tronic Key­Pad Locks:  This type of lock entry sys­tem has had the most neg­a­tive press his­tor­i­cally and right­fully so. Up until the recent two years the elec­tronic lock­ing sys­tems were junk. They were using tech­nol­ogy that was too old for the sys­tems not to be breached. You could break into them if you had a scan­ner or in some cases had a lamp with the plug in wires stripped and plugged into the wall and touched to the wires on the key­pad. The nice thing is that two years ago, both LaGard and S&G locks had redesigned their elec­tron­ics and elim­i­nated the prob­lems. It might take some time for the bad mem­o­ries to go away, but we have worked with them both here at and find these two man­u­fac­tur­ers prod­ucts to be flaw­less. The ben­e­fits of the key­pad entry are that you can cre­ate your own com­bi­na­tion any­time you like. Up to 10,000 dif­fer­ent poten­tial sequences pos­si­ble on some, and in some states it is a require­ment to have that amount of option sequences in order to sell a gun safe. Another ben­e­fit is that it is much faster to get into your safe with a key­pad. Today with the expe­ri­ence of tele­phones and tex­ting on cell phones, we are all used to work­ing a key pad very fast. There are some Chi­nese man­u­fac­tured elec­tronic locks; our advice is to stay away from them at all costs. Sorry to be so abrupt, but in our pro­fes­sional and per­sonal expe­ri­ences, they are junk and are not good from the day they are made. You will more often find these man­u­fac­tured locks on unknown name brands of gun safes. Safes that are not built in the states and they buy them and then slap their name on them, like “wind river safes” or  some odd names such as “tracker safe”. if you are look­ing to just save money for a lit­tle time and are not wor­ried about the qual­ity of the safe, then go ahead and buy one of these.
  • The Top Man­u­fac­tur­ers:  With­out any ques­tion at all, we hap­pily can give our opin­ion of who we think are the top two home gun safe lock man­u­fac­tur­ers to look for. We feel that LaGard makes an incred­i­ble prod­uct in both the elec­tronic key pad locks and the dial com­bi­na­tion locks.

S&G is the other lock man­u­fac­turer that we feel is a good invest­ment. You can’t go wrong with either one of these brands of locks. Not only are the prod­ucts well designed and built but they also stand behind their prod­uct if there is a prob­lem in the future.

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