Frequently Asked Questions For Sturdy Gun Safe

Do you have questions about our safes? We have answers to many of them here! If they are not here, please contact us.

Opening The Safe

How do I dial in, as well as, change the S&G SPIN DIAL combination?

This video will show you how to dial in, as well as, how to change the combination. Here are the written instructions for dialing in: Substitute your combination number for the example given of "50-25-50":

1. Make sure door handle on safe is FIRMLY down in a horizontal position.

2. Turn dial to the LEFT, stopping when "50" is aligned with the opening index (twelve o'clock), the FORTH time.

3. Turn dial to the RIGHT, stopping when "25" is aligned with the opening index, the THIRD time.

4. Turn dial to the LEFT, stopping when "50" is aligned with the opening index, the SECOND time.

5. Turn dial slowly to the RIGHT until the DIAL STOPS (this will be around the number 85 or 86 before the combination dial really stops or it wont open).

6. Lift up firmly on the handle.

How do I dial in, as well as, change the combination of a D-Drive S&G ELECTRONIC dial?

If you are dialing in for the first time, your combination is 123456#, then turn the ring around the dial to the right till it stops.

To change the combination, make sure the door is open with handle bar down..

Hit 22* enter the current combo, then #. It will beep 5 times. Enter your new 6 digit code, then #. It will beep 3 times. Enter in the new code one more time and hit #. It will beep three times again and your done.

Do you offer a redundant dial?

In our past, we have tried all redundant locks available by different manufacturers. We stop selling them since they didn't meet our standards in longevity. What was happening is the customer would spend $350 on the lock itself, only to have the electronic part fail sooner than later. Sure you can still get in with the spin dial part, but it's much more of a hassle to use. To replace it, customers were looking at another $350, and they were still getting a electronic with a poor lifespan. Our alternative is an electronic lock by Sargent and  Greenleaf called the D Drive. It has fewer moving parts in it, and boosts a longer lifespan.

I dialed in right, I have the right combination, but it still wont open!? For S&G SPIN DIAL AND SECURAM

Try the following if you have an S&G spin dial:

1. The dial might not be turned hard enough to the right for the #5 step listed in the “How do I dial In?” answer above. It MUST be at 96 be at a complete stop.

2. Fire lined safes have a stiffer moving handle when opening it due to the clamping action, so some people don't push the handle down hard enough before starting to dial in.

3. If the dial came to a complete stop, you must pull the handle bar up hard enough to open it. When we ship out, we put a piece of felt on the bottom corner of the safe door to make the door extra tight, therefore, more difficult to open the first try. No need to "baby" the handle bar on a Sturdy Safe, it will shut and open like a bulkhead.

4. Add a number to each original combo number and dial in.

5. Subtract a number to each original combo number and dial in. 6. Dial in normally, but stop on your last combo number. Jiggle the handle bar up and down hard, then ball your hand in a fist and hit right below the dial hard without hurting yourself. Turn the dial to the right till you align with 10 and jiggle the handle and bang below the dial again. Turn the dial right to 5 and jiggle/bang again. Turn the dial right to zero and jiggle bang once more. Now move the dial to the right and hopefully it will come to a complete stop. If trying #4-#6 worked, give us a call so we can further assist you.

Try the following if you have an electronic S&G D-Drive Electronic dial:

1. Fire lined safes have a stiffer moving handle when opening it due to the clamping action, so some people don't push the handle down hard enough before starting to dial in.

2. If you have tried and failed to dial in 3 times in a row, it will lock you out for 15 minutes. You can attempt to dial in again once that time has passed. If this doesn't work, give us a call so we can further assist you.

General Safe Information

What is the fire rating without fire protection?

We actually had one of our non fire lined safes successfully go through a partial burn down and the safe was in the worst part of the fire. They had a response time of 13 minutes. It still wouldn't perform as good as our insulated safe but it goes to show you the larger the safe and thicker the steel, the longer it takes to heat up and the better it performs. If you need some form of fire protection but you don't want to get the safe insulated you can make your own fire box lined with ceramic wool, or buy a UL rated fire box to stick inside the safe. 

Why shouldn't I get my safe fire lined?

Sometimes money is the factor and our insulator is expensive. It’s far better to get our safe uninsulated than settle for a thinner steeled safe lined with fireboard that won’t help you much in a fire or give you the security one needs. Smaller objects can be protected in a smaller UL Fire box that that go inside the safe. The box will perform better than stated because the safe will be protecting it from the radiant heat.

1. If your insurance covers everything inside the safe anyways and they are replaceable objects. 

2. If you are  located within a five mile radius of the fire department and have a quick response time. 

3. If the safe is located in a low burn zone area, such as an encased brick area, or have fire sprinklers in the home.

4. If you intend on living in this area, which doesn't need a fire lined safe, forever. 

Do you sell the fire liner separately, as a kit?

Sorry, we no longer sell the fire liner kits.

Which package should I get? What are the benefits of adding more steel?

With the right tools and the right amount of time, even for a $15000 safe, you would eventually be able to breach it. It's never usually in question what can keep them out for good as opposed to how much break in time your purchasing for a safe. Generally, the thicker the steel you have, the more security you have (and time you are buying). To figure out how much time you need to buy yourself, there are a lot of deciding factors such as if you have high power tools capable of breaching steel this thick, an alarm system, what your response time is to local departments, how often you are home, what kind of tools are in the home, and how nosy your neighbors are. If the safe is located in a high burn area (where if sparks were to be flying from a grinder and a torch) would it set the house on fire? If so, a burglar would not be interested in torching the safe

What kind of paint do you use?

It's a water born, semi gloss enamel that is sprayed on. It's very durable.

What does your warranty cover? Why is it better?

Visit our warranty page.

Why should I go with Sturdy Safe?

1. Thickness of steel for the price you are paying. When comparing our body gauge thickness to other safes with comparable gauge thicknesses and size, our delivered price will be less money. 

2. We use a real fire insulator, that is really made to insulate objects from fires, such as ovens and kilns. It's the lightest, most affective material that can be used in safes, and this is beneficial, because you are going to be paying for freight as well as moving the safe. 

3. No other safe can make the claim of being able to slam the door with the deadbolts sticking out multiple times, for a lifetime, without locking you out or hurting the linkage. This is because we don’t have parts designed to break when force is applied since our linkage parts can take the abuse. 

4. We offer many finish options that add to the security of the safe by adding steel plate.

5. We offer unique options like floor plates, security door covers, and custom plaques.

Where can I see the safe in person? Do you have any dealers?

We currently have one dealer in New Brunsfeld Texas called Heavy Metal Gun Safes. To help keep prices down, we do not have the best dealer pricing, therefore we don't have many dealers. We mainly sell direct to the public, so the only way to see our safes is after it arrives or to visit our warehouse in Fresno, CA. Everything about our safes is listed online, so if you would like more clarification on anything let us know. The reason we have such good reviews is because customers get exactly what they think they are getting, or better. We can send videos or pictures too.

Have one of your safes been successfully broken into? How?

Yes, our safes have been broken into three times by a burglar. Don’t believe anyone in this industry who tells you their safe is impenetrable. In most situations the safes were torched open and it was the owners torch that was used against them.

Is your safe water proof or water resistant?

Waterproof means it will go through a flood up to certain depth of water, for a certain amount of time. Be leery of companies making these claims on ads, and when asked about it, they give a answer of "It's waterproof because the fire seal is expands due to the heat. In addition, the safe is so hot the water from the firemen's hose turns the water into steam, so no water gets in" because most safes have this covered. One safe on the market claims it will go through a flood of water, which is one of the cheapest types of safes around, and the waterproof rating is not impressive. The only way to help our safes, or other safes when it comes to a flood of water is to put it on a pedestal. 

Do you store the combination?

Yes, we store a coded version of your combination number. You are welcome to request we don't or change the combo yourselves with the change keys given with every safe and vault. We DON'T GIVE THE CODE TO ANYONE BUT THE ORIGINAL OWNER. Even by warrant. There is no guarantee the combination on file is accurate or that we will have it. Older Sturdy Safes will not have stored codes. It is the buyers responsibility to remember the code.

Where is the serial number on the safe?

We have never had serial numbers on our safes. If you need to register you have a safe with the state, you write the model number, our company name. If it asks, we meet and exceed all DOJ requirements.

How many deadbolts are there?

We have 4 stationary deadbolts on one side and 4 moving on the other. None on the top and we don't need as many as we have. This is because our deadbolts are fully supported on each side, so they will never deviate from their path, even with a 10,000 lb forklift pulling on the door. View our linkage page for more info.

Unloading And Moving

How do I remove the safe door? How much weight do I save?

The doors are about 30% of the whole weight of the safe. Open the safe door anywhere from 160 degrees to 180 degrees, then get a car jack (or something similar) to help jack it upward. The jack should be placed on the bottom of the door plate, or bottom of the door frame, anywhere from the hinge side, to 8" away from the hinge. Placement of the jack, as well as placement of the door, will need to be adjusted to find the sweet spot to lift the the door, which is why we listed variable locations. For smaller safes, make sure there are at least two people (one on each side of the door). Larger safes will need 4 or more people, or the use of a hoist. The door will only go up about 1" before it's off so be prepared. Do the same thing in reverse to put it back on. Do this at your own risk. It's far easier to figure out a way to move the safe with the door on. DON'T ATTEMPT TO REMOVE THE DOOR IF IT HAS THREE HINGES! Some older Sturdy Safes had three hinges.

How do I move a safe up or down a large stair case?

Here is a forumon how someone went down a full flight of stairs.

How do I load the safe on and off a pickup truck?

Here is a video of a man who did a good job explaining it. To unload the safe which is on the truck, reverse the steps.

How do I move a 400-700 pound safe?

Have two men and a strong hand truck capable of carrying the weight. An alternative is Moving Men Sliding Disks which will help you push the safe on concrete, tile, wood or carpet.

How do I move a 701-2000 pound safe?

Have three to five men help. Moving Men Sliders, golf balls, pipes, pallet jacks, or a special two axle hand truck will aid you in moving these sized safes. Look into each option to see what's right for your situation.

How do I not crack the tile while moving the safe over it?

When tile isn't laid right, it more susceptible to cracking even with light weight being put on it. When tile is laid right, there is still a chance of cracking with higher weights being put on it. If you are worried about it, the only thing you can do is lay ply wood down to roll over instead of the tile. Two large sheets needed. Once you roll over the first board onto the second, take the first board and place it in front of the second board. This will save you from needing to buy more than two boards. There is still no guarantees this will save your tile, but it will stand more of a chance for survival.

How do I move a large or small safe off a pallet?

Watch this video.

Can you recommend any movers and installers?

We usually don't find someone to move the safes inside, but you will find the most affordable guys you can hire to move them are handy men. They will figure out a way and you can find them license, bonded, and with good reviews. Plus, you only pay them by the hour. Professional safe movers could potentially be listed on this website Some customers call local safe distributors to see who they recommend as well. We try to keep track of installers throughout the US who have been highly rated by customers for good service and costs. To see if there is one in your area, check out our page here.

How do I move a safe up or down a short stair case?

Make a sturdy ramp to lay down across the steps and with a heavy duty Come-Along, pull the safe up the ramp. You might need to tilt the safe back on two corners and place the ramp underneath it.


How do I maintenance the safe / vault? What oil do I use?

When oiling the deadbolts and hinges it is important to use a teflon-coated oil. The brand that we recommend using is here, on our After Market Safe Accessories page. Remember to not ever use products like WD-4, to avoid causing damage to the safe. Also, do not add any oils to the dial or locking system of the safe. 

This is virtually a maintenance free item, but after years of owning it, if you notice the safe handle get tighter and tighter to move, or squeaking, add oil to the deadbolts by throwing the handle bar in a position to fully expose the deadbolts, then apply the oil to the bolts. Move handle bar back and forth after you have done this.

Oil the hinges through the oil hole on top of the hinge every 4 years or when needed.

To preserve the paint for generations and help aid against rusting, touch up all scratched areas and car wax everything painted. When it come to the mechanical spin dials, S&G recommends a locksmith to maintenance them once a year, but we feel that is a little excessive for standard residential applications. If they start to act up, change the combination to different numbers. When it comes to electronic S&G D-Drive dials, it's best to completely replace them every 15 years, even if they are in working condition. Any other electronic dial we recommend replacing them within 10 years.

Bolting Down

How should I bolt down a safe to a wood subfloor?

The bolt down hole size in the safe is 11/16 in diameter. Two, bolts needed. No need to premark the spots before bolting, just set the safe in place and bolt down. Get a bolt made to anchor into wood. If you choose to use lag screws, be sure they are at least 3/8 of an inch thick. You need a pilot hole for these, and we would recommend making it no larger than a 1/4". Make the bolt long enough to through your floor. Another, better choice, to use is a 1/2" thick "All Thread" bolt (which is one long shaft, that is threaded all the way). Drill a 1/2 hole all the way through the floor, and crawl under your house to determine how to bolt it down from there. Sometimes, you can put a cross member across your joists and run the All Thread through that. Very large washers work too. Cut the bolt to the right length with a saw before bolting.

How many anchor holes?

You only need two bolt down locations because we are using 1/2"-5/8" diameter anchors which have a better grip into the ground. Now a days we are making the safes with 3-4 anchor holes (3 for safes 36" wide or smaller and 4 for safes 42" wide and larger), however some 3/16" bodies may still have 2.

How should I bolt down a safe to a concrete/cement floor?

The bolt down hole size in the safe is about 11/16 in diameter. For most, but not all, bolt types: the bolts you buy should be about 1/2-5/8" inch in diameter. When it comes to the length of the bolt: know the floor of a fire lined safe is about 4 inches and non fire is just the 3/16" body you will be going through. Every inch into the ground after that will hold the safe in place, however, you don't want to go so far into the cement you hit ground or pipelines (for example). Two bolts needed to bolt into concrete. Rent or borrow a roto hammer. No need to premark the spots of the ground before bolting, just set the safe in place, and bolt down. Air flow is important when bolting down to concrete because we don't want moisture to collect, so be sure to push the safe back far enough to just slide a 1/4" thick washer or nut on each corner of the front safe, with your foot, before drilling into the floor and bolting down. Make sure whoever gives you the roto hammer shows you how to operate it. If the safe is outside, waxing the bottom half (not the bottom that's touching the floor, but the outside walls) of the safe with car wax to help preserve the safe from moisture. Different anchor bolts can be used that would work for this application. To help you decide what bolt is best for you, watch this video. At the end of each video, we test the bolt with a forklift.

Once you picked the bolt type, click below for further instructions on installing it:

Drop In Anchor, Hammer Set Anchor, Shield Anchor, Wedge Anchor, Instructions


How long till I receive my safe or vault?

Your product will be finished within 1-9 weeks. 7 business days transit time for eastern states, 4-5 days for Mid states, and 1-3 days for western states. Disclaimer: All transit days given are just good estimates, and not guaranteed. The carrier will call you to schedule a hard delivery day and time, so do not expect them to come unless you get that call. Any changes in delivery address or special requests can delay the eta and potentially be subject to additional charges. In addition, if the freight companies need to store the safe even longer than 3 days, you will be charged, per day, with storage fees (some exclusions apply).

What happens if I change the delivery address after the safe is shipped?

You will be responsible for the reconsignment fee as well as any other fees associated with the changes being requested. It's also your responsibility to check if the shipping address is correct on the invoice.

What am I to expect for the delivery?

We have a video of what to expect for delivery below. The freight company will NOT go inside the house, however, they will go inside the garage or anywhere outside the home, considering the truck driver is physically capable of doing it with a pallet jack. They will not move the safe off the pallet, or unwrap it. Unless you requested a small truck, they will be full sized 48 footers, so make sure there is enough room for the driver to access you. If no trucks are able to reach your home, you may need to pick the safe up at the nearest terminal, and get a freight allowance, or we will work out some other solution. If you feel you could have issues with any freight trucks to your location (such as having a long unpaved, gravel driveway, low hanging trees, steep inclines or declines, etc.), please let us know in advance, or the freight company will only have the option of dropping it off curbside.

What happens if there is freight damage?

After the safe leaves Sturdy Safe will inform you of what to do if there is freight damage via email with the tracking information. We also go over it in our delivery video. Any damage (more than what touch up paint can fix, or a handle that can be replaced), you need to write "Freight damaged. Refused delivery on the BOL and try to call us before the driver leaves with the safe. They will send the safe back to us free of charge so we can reship it when fixed. When one signs anything from a shipping company, it's important to remember your signing a paper that states you received the idem in good condition, and it's really hard to prove other wise if that was not the case.

How will the safe/vault be packaged in for shipping?

The safe will be wrapped, then double steel banded, standing upwright on a pallet. Packaging is non descriptive, and says TOP HEAVY.

The vault doors are shipped the same but laying down on the pallet.

Do you ship to Canada, Hawaii, or Alaska?

We sure do but you must order over the phone and get quoted for freight going specifically to your area. Pricing may be higher than the online price.

For Canada you would need to have a broker and pay their fees, plus Canadian duties separately, but we handle everything else. If you don't have a broker, we can assign one to you so you don't have to do any foot work. A lot of our customers have used this broker in the past. As far as how much those fees are, you would need to ask them, but first you need an estimate from us to show them.

Canceling And Changing Orders

What are the upgrades I will not be refunded for?

Special upgrades such as; a custom size, safe inside a safe, extra steel plate added not apart of a normal package, finishes other than the standard finish, floor plates, security doors, or twin lock systems are non refundable. We will refund you the full amount, minus the cost of that extra option. However, we can help out by trying to sell the safe/vault to another customer at a discounted rate, if you are willing to wait a month for the refund, so you wouldn't need to pay the full cost of the upgrades. It is not guaranteed we will sell it, but we will try our hardest within that time frame. Depending on how fast you cancel and where we are in the process of making it, you might not need to pay for all the special upgrades.

What if I want to cancel or downgrade an order you have been storing over three months?

There will be a fee of $200 charged on top of anything else mentioned above in "What are the upgrades I will not be refunded for?".

What if I want to change an order within 24hrs?

You are more than welcome to do this, and any changes can be made, at no cost to you.

What if I want to change an order past 24hrs?

You might not be able to do this because it depends on the upgrades (if any) you originally ordered, and how far along we are with the current safe. If we are capable of changing the order, any major changes (such as the safe size, reinforcements added or taken away, gauge change, or interior liner gauge change) will start the wait time over again like it was a new order, as of that day. Any changes made in one day, will have a $25 fee. The reason for the fee is because per order change, it takes away 20 minutes (total) time away from employees standard duties. The reason for the new wait time is because the change was so major, we couldn't use the original safe body that was meant for you that we had already started.


What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept Paypal, Visa, Discover, MasterCard and American Express as well as any other form of payment listed on the website at the bottom of the page. We also accept checks, money orders, and cashier checks by mail, just call us in advance before doing so.

How does payment/down payment work?

We need a down or full payment to get the order started. Down payments must be done over the phone. The full payment would be required before the safe leaves here, and we can keep the safe here up to 2 months past completion.

Do you have any discounts?

There is a 1.5% discount for cash, check and or money order. We also offer bulk buy discounts, as well as, repeat customer discounts. Sometime we are able to save customers money over the phone by simply re-quoting them.

Do you offer financing?

We now offer ShopPay which allows customers to break up payments into 4 lower payments that are charged every two weeks.