Monthly Archives: January 2016

Gun Safe Boltworks: Part 1

Do bigger bolts really make a difference?

One of the biggest misconceptions relating to gun safes  is that “the bigger the bolts are, the more security you have against pry attacks”. The idea is that if someone is trying to pry open your safe, 1” bolts will break before 1 .25” bolts, and those would break before 1.5” bolts. Bigger bolts do look more impressive, but they are primarily cosmetic. Manufacturers use larger bolts to differentiate between lower priced and higher priced safes.

Consider this: If you are towing a 5000# trailer where you are stopping, starting, slamming on the breaks, etc., your whole rig is usually held together by just one 5/8” bolt in the hitch. Ever hear of that bolt breaking? So how would someone break the bolts on a gun safe or vault door, even with a long pry bar?

Bigger bolts make no difference in prying attacks – the weakness is somewhere else. The next post will tell how prying attacks DO open some gun safes.

P.S. It is appropriate to note that if someone uses power tools to cut through the edge of a safe door, then cuts completely through the safe bolts, bigger is better. But this kind of attack is extremely rare and doesn’t even make sense. Someone with that kind of tool will go through the side of the safe much quicker.