What Gauge Steel For Gun Safe

It will take more than just overall looks when it comes to choosing the right safe to keep your valuables and firearms safe. You need to know a bit more about the materials often used to make safes so that they are protected from those with malicious intent.

This article will look closely at the actual sizes of the steel materials typically used in the manufacturing of safes. We will also look at which ones are the most appropriate to use when keeping your firearms locked away from thieves.

If you are interested in knowing what materials are used and which safes are the safest to have, keep reading.

A metal gun safe. Safe storage for weapons. Isolate on a white back

Standards For Gun Safes

Most safes on the market are built according to specific regulations and rules that are in place to protect your weapons and valuables. That is why the certification that comes with your safe tells you that it complies with UL-RSC regulations which are not that strict.

The UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories, which is a company that executes a set of tests to determine whether the safe is burglar-proof or not. RSC is an acronym for Residential Security Container, which is basically an inexpensive steel container to keep your valuables in a locked container.

If you are looking for a quality safe to keep your guns protected, you need to look further than just the locking mechanism. That is not the only way thieves may gain access to your valuables and other things stored inside the safe.

What Gauge Steel Is Used For Gun Safes

The minimum standards for home safes are 12-gauge steel which is only 0.105 inches (2.66mm) thick. Thickness this size is not adequate when you consider the tools at the disposal of those who want to gain illegal entrance to your safe.

The most popular steel gauge used for entry-level safes will be around 10-gauge and up to 12-gauge steel. This steel thickness is not ideal for keeping your guns and other valuables protected from theft and fire damage.

Valuables will be easily accessed by standard break-in tools used by petty thieves, let alone professional thieves. 

What Does Gauge Of Steel Really Mean

When it comes to the thickness of the steel used in any varietal of safe, it is measured in gauge to indicate the thickness. This gauge of steel sizes works backward, which means that the lower the gauge, the thicker the steel will be.

If the body of a safe is made from 12-gauge steel, it is thinner than a safe with 10-gauge steel. If your safe is not at least 12-gauge thick, it is not UL certified and is not considered safe to house your valuables.

This also means that the safe is not fireproof, and fire or flood will destroy your valuables and other things kept inside the safe in a fire. The thicker the steel of a safe is, the more difficult it is to cut through and is much heavier than the thinner steel safe.

As the thickness of the steel used to manufacture the safe increases, so does the fire protection factor. If you want to buy a safe with a high fireproof rating, you must buy a lower-gauge steel-bodied safe.

What Is a Good Gauge Of Steel For Gun Safes

Before we determine the best gauge of steel for a safe, let’s take a look at the certifications regarding safes. Most safes come with a UL-RSC certification, but that does not mean it is legally safe to use as a gun safe.

The safe will prevent access for five minutes by utilizing a hammer of fewer than 3 pounds and a crowbar of 18 inches. That is the full extent of the UL-RSC certification regulations, making the safe not ideal for the safekeeping of firearms and other valuables.

What Gauge Steel Is the Best For Gun Safe

Gun safes with a steel gauge of anything higher than 10-gauge should be avoided when you consider a safe for your firearms. Those safes will not be able to withstand standard tools used to open safes for illegal access to your valuables.

Any safe with a steel gauge of 12 and higher will also not be wholly fireproof and will not be able to protect your guns. The most secure safes for guns are safes containing steel gauges as low as 6 and up to 8-gauge.

A 10-gauge steel safe will be able to withstand heat from a fire of around 1100 degrees for up to 2 hours. This means that fire or flood will not destroy your valuables in the case of an emergency at home or at the office where you keep documents.

The problem with low gauge safes is that they are far more expensive and are much heavier than high gauge steel safes. You can use high gauge safes to keep things that are not valuable and in low crime areas for safekeeping.

The following is an indication of what you can expect in the steel thickness in the most popular steel gauges used for gun safes.

Gauge SizeThickness InchesThickness mm

You can see when looking at this table that you need a safe of 6 or 7 gauge steel for keeping firearms protected. You need to have at least an 8 gauge steel safe to keep your valuables safe from others who want to steal your valuables.

Even if this type of safe will be more expensive it will help to prevent them from gaining access to your guns.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this will be an eye-opener for you when it comes to the safekeeping of your valuables and firearms. It is very important that you consider a safe that will protect your guns from theft and fire at the same time. The purpose of a gun safe is in the name – to keep your guns safe. But it can also be used to protect other valuable items and personal documents. You need to ensure your safe has the correct steel gauge for proper safety and security.

If you aren't familiar with the gun safes on the market and you aren't sure which of the gun safe models is the best choice for you, I recommend you to read my Gun Safe Buying Guide so you can learn how to determine which gun safe suits your lifestyle best. I have made a detailed guide about the features you have to consider before you buy a gun safe and they are connected to the size, brand which made it, capacity, materials used during the production and special features like fire or water protection. If you are familiar with all those features, I suggest you visit my posts about best biometric, quick access or fireproof gun safes if you know that they suit your lifestyle best.