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If you have children and a handgun in the same house, you need one of these. If you don't have kids, you still need one. My youngest child is 20 years old so I didn't get a gun vault because of her....I got it because it allows a handgun to be properly secured but yet available in just seconds should the need arise. Another reason to secure your handgun is to prevent the possible theft of it when you do not have it with you. Not all of us can carry 24x7 so it stands to reason that there are times when it must be left at home.
Whether the reason is to secure it from theft or keep it from a curious child,
this gun vault is a reasonably priced solution.
Gun Vault makes several models that
very in size and features (available in standard and deluxe models). I wanted
to secure but a single handgun, flashlight, and spare magazine so I opted for the
"Mini" version. A local shooting store had them on sale for Christmas and
since I was in the market for one, I took advantage of the sale price.
Measuring 12" x 8.1" x 4.9" (tapering to 3" high), the Mini provides ample room
for securing a pistol, spare magazine (or two), and a
tactical flashlight. The
vault is constructed of 16 gauge steel and sports a nice powder coat
finish. A template for drilling the mounting holes is included with the
owner's manual along with the mounting screws. The vault can also be
secured by an optional security cable should you decide to take the vault
with you on the road, to a motel room, etc.
The electronically controlled lock is powered by a plethora of "AA"
cells....well, maybe not quite that bad, but 8 of them is enough to qualify as a
fair amount. The manual
claims a year's worth of operation before the batteries are due for a change
out. Should the batteries die when the door is locked closed (a most
likely situation), you can open the vault with one of the two supplied keys.
I got a heads up from a local Jeeper who has one of these and he confirmed that
changing the batteries yearly is a good practice. He said his is mounted
such that getting the key in place to open it is a pain and so he avoids that by
doing a yearly battery refresh.
The electronic locked is opened by entering a series of "entries" on the rather
non-standard keypad. An "entry" is a single press of one or more buttons
at the same time. The access code must be a minimum of three entries and
not more than six which yield some 12+ million possible combinations. You
can see the key lock at the left side of the keypad.
There is a "learn button" inside the vault that allows you to control the programming of the electronic lock. Once you have entered your access code, you enter it again for confirmation purposes. By default, the vault responds to user input with beeps. The beep function can be turned off so that the unit operates in silent mode. There is a red/green LED that remains functional and is also used during the learn mode.
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