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    Gun Safe Capacity vs. Gun Safe Compatibility

    Of the many gun safe considerations we discuss in our buying guide, gun safe compatibility and capacity are commonly confused. When shopping for gun safes, it’s important to understand the difference between these two terms, as compatibility and capacity will both largely influence your decision. Here, Tractor Supply, America’s largest rural lifestyle retailer, breaks down gun safe capacity vs. gun safe compatibility. 

    What Is Gun Safe Capacity?

    Gun safe capacity specifies the number of gun slots included in a gun safe – not how many guns the safe will hold. Gun collections vary greatly from owner to owner, and with so many sizes and shapes of firearms, there will never be a one-size-fits-all solution. Tractor Supply recommends purchasing a larger gun safe than what you need currently. This is because a gun safe should be a lasting investment, so if your gun collection grows over time, you won’t have to buy a new gun safe all over again. 

    What Is Gun Safe Compatibility? 

    Is the gun safe compatible with your unique gun collection? Gun safes come in various configurations, with some offering secure lock boxes or pouches to store important documents and other valuables. Tractor Supply has a vast selection of gun safes, with some built specifically for smaller firearms, like pistol safesrifle safes and shotgun safes. To find the right gun safe configuration, consider anything you might be storing in the safe, such as:

    • Various sizes and shapes of firearms 
    • Ammunition and gun accessories
    • Sensitive paperwork and personal documents
    • Cash or checks
    • Jewelry
    • Family photos and heirlooms
    • Other valuables or weapons (i.e. bows, arrows, knives)

    Determining Your Gun Safe Capacity and Compatibility

    How many guns you have, as well as their sizes and shapes, will help you begin to find the ideal gun safe compatibility and capacity. With various gun safe sizes to choose from, there are some size and weight recommendations from Tractor Supply to keep in mind. These include:

    • Gun safe height: A minimum of 58” interior vertical clearance is recommended, ensuring you can accommodate all of the guns in your collection. The average bolt-action rifle with a 30” barrel measures roughly 52” in length, and if you want room for a top shelf or other storage compartments, 58” of interior vertical clearance is a good gun safe height.
    • Gun safe width: We generally recommend 36” to 40” of interior horizontal space, as this range can usually accommodate up to two dozen rifles. Sticking to this range can also allow for a shelving unit on one side and 16-gun rotary rack on the other side. Wider gun safe interiors also enable owners to store shorter rifles horizontally on upper shelving for more efficiency in the gun safe. 
    • Gun safe weight: You should have at least 750 lbs. of loaded weight in your gun safe. We came up with this number by surveying our trusted community of gun safe dealers. They all agree – the more your gun safe weighs, the more secure it is. This is because some safes can be easily moved by thieves with an appliance dolly and a truck with a ramp. Heavier gun safes also better resist being tipped over during theft or a weather emergency, better protecting the valuables inside. 

    Considering Shell Strength and Wall Thickness

    When navigating gun safe capacity and compatibility, it’s also helpful to know about the shell strength and wall thickness of your ideal gun safe. Here is a quick breakdown of these considerations:

    • Shell strength: This refers to the strength of the gun safe’s exterior. Choose a gun safe with superior shell strength to prevent irreversible damage to your firearms or valuables. For example, during a house fire or weather emergency, impacts can cause the gun safe to split a weld or loosen door springs. Look for continuous welds in the shell – not stitch welds with body filler. Tractor Supply offers gun safes made of durable materials, including metalsteel and hardened steel.
    • Wall thickness: We recommend a minimum of 10-gauge steel, which is thicker than the 12- or 14-gauge, extremely thin steel panels used for lower-end gun safes. The preferred choice is 8-gauge (3/16”) steel. The thicker the steel, the more difficult it is for the wrong person to cut through the safe with a saw or fire ax. We also suggest a 5/16” solid plate door or 1+” composite door, as well as armor shielding over the internal lock box, if applicable. However, most residential safe thefts are of the “grab-and-go” variety, with few bad actors looking to spend time cutting into a safe with tools. Therefore, many can justify investing in a gun safe outside these parameters to keep their budget in check. 

    Find the Right Gun Safe Compatibility and Capacity at Tractor Supply

    When weighing your options for gun safe capacity vs. gun safe compatibility, Tractor Supply is here to help point you in the right direction. Our knowledgeable associates can help you find the right riding mower for your needs, with our selection featuring top brands like:

    For more information or to get your next riding mower, shop our inventory online or visit your local Tractor Supply store