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Outside of your car and home, if you are a hunter or are into shooting sports, your gun safe is likely one of the most expensive things you own. While there are inexpensive gun safes at lower price points, a high-quality one will range from $3000 to $10,000 or more.
The main reasons gun safes are so expensive are due to high machinery costs for production, labor-intensive work, development costs, and even shipping charges. However, other aspects, such as brand recognition, warranty, and trust, also play in higher prices.
Let’s dig a little further into this topic and find that even the brand on the front of your safe can add to the cost of your safe.
1. The high cost of machinery
The main reason for the high cost of a quality gun safe is the machinery needed to build a safe from scratch. An excellent video above goes in-depth about how gun safes are made and is worth a watch.
The main cost is primarily with the machines that form the safe and even bend the steel. Think about the engineering that must build a device that can bend up to a ¼” steel or more reliably. The best gun safe manufacturers need heavy-duty forklifts, welding equipment, buildings, storage facilities, and more to build a safe outside this expensive machinery.
2. Labor is expensive and specialized.
Building a gun safe requires a labor force that is not only specialized but highly paid. Machine operators, welders, automotive-style painters, and even marketing and sales teams can be expensive. As we have seen in recent times, finding great help can be challenging, especially for those with these specific skills.
These are all things that drive up the cost of the final product, the gun safe.
3. Development costs
As you will find in the Liberty video we linked earlier, they talk about destroying their safes to ensure they hold up to their standards and beat the competition.
What many people also need to see is the cost it takes to test fire ratings both on their own and also to be able to get a UL rating. This can be hundreds of thousands of dollars to get just one safe rated officially.
Again, to do a viable business, this has to be worked into the price of the safe you are buying.
4. Shipping costs are costly.
Freight costs are higher nowadays, both on importing (for imported safes) and freight within the country (less-than-truckload and full-truck-load). With companies like Liberty Safes and other competitors shipping all over the country, these shipping costs can quickly build up over time and drive up the cost of the safe.
5. Lots of heavy and expensive materials
Now, this is the component of cost that most people are aware of and should be mentioned here! You must consider steel, other metal components, locks, fireboard or filling, carpeting, mirrors, glass, and so much more in the price of a safe. This quickly drives up the cost of the safe; however, as you can see, it can play a smaller portion of the price than initially thought.
Many manufacturers in the safe industry offer “free” lifetime warranties on their products. Warranties are costly, especially when it comes to safes.
While there are few moving parts on a safe, the moving components can be damaged and costly to fix. This includes the locking mechanism, door hinges, and internal bolt work.
What happens when one of those things goes wrong, or worse yet, you get locked out of your safe? This results in the need for a specialized locksmith to be called in, costing a significant amount. It also can result in shipping a new safe or a safe back to the manufacturer for repair.
These costs stack up and have to be built into the price of a product, as a good company will hold to its warranty with little to no troubleshooting.
7. Brand names have their cost.
It takes years and years to build a brand that people trust. However, once you begin to get that trust and have the quality to back it, you begin to be able to charge more.
Look at brands like Yeti or Apple. The equivalents in the safe industry are brands like Liberty Safe, Browning, Fort Knox, and a few more. These brands can charge just a little bit more than a competitor because customers trust them.
What gun safes do we recommend?
Frequently Asked Questions
While most people think that the only thing that goes into their favorite product, regardless of what it is, they tend to forget about all the other things that go into it. It isn’t just materials but people, machinery, design, and much more.
The high cost of a gun safe results from many different things, such as material cost, machinery, labor, marketing, and so much more. While it may seem simple to add up the few simple things that make up a safe, there is much more to it than that.