Homebased in a small farming town, we know the importance of having a convenient, central location for the core goods it takes local folks to function. That’s what Tractor Supply does. It’s a national chain that provides everything from farm supplies and animal feed to work clothes and fencing material. But when you’re making an investment purchase in something like a gun safe, it’s important to do your research. What are the pros and cons of buying a Tractor Supply Gun Safe?
While the gun safes for sale at Tractor Supply often have an enticing price tag, there’s a lot more to consider than simply dollars and cents. Let’s take a look at the differences between a Tractor Supply gun safe and the safes you’ll find at a local retail shop.
5 Considerations When Asking If You Should Buy a Gun Safe at Tractor Supply
1. Tractor Supply Gun Safe Delivery, Installation & Service Compared to Local Dealers
Does Tractor Supply deliver gun safes? The short answer is: no. Tractor Supply does not handle the delivery and installation of gun safes for their customers.
Rather, Tractor Supply utilizes a third-party delivery service to drop-ship your safe to the curbside of your residence or business. You are then responsible for moving your safe into your home and installing it.
Why is this something you should consider? Because moving a safe without the proper tools and expertise can be hazardous to your physical health and your property. Local dealers are more likely to offer a professional delivery service handled by their experienced in-house team.
As you evaluate the delivery service that’s being provided, here are a few things to consider:
- What kind of experience does the delivery crew have with installing a gun safe on the second story?
- How will the delivery crew move your safe into your home without damaging your floor?
- Will the delivery crew be able to help you decide the most functional place for your gun safe?
- Does the delivery crew know how to level, inspect, and bolt your safe into place?
2. How Do Tractor Supply Gun Safe Locks Compare?
As you consider how secure a gun safe is, the lock plays a critical role. For many of our customers, the kind of lock their gun safe comes equipped with is a top concern. Gun safes come equipped with one of three types of locks:
- Mechanical Locks (aka dial locks or combination lock)
- Electronic Locks
- Biometric Locks
Generally, Tractor Supply safes are only available with one type of digital keypad lock. While there is nothing inherently wrong with a digital keypad lock, many individuals prefer the ease of a quick access biometric fingerprint lock or the old-school look and reliability of a dial lock.
As with most ‘classic’ technology, mechanical locks have become hard to find at big-box stores. The vast majority of budget brands, like Winchester gun safes and Cannon gun safes, are made with digital keypad locks.
Want to upgrade your gun safe to a new type of lock? Our skilled safe technicians can help you replace your lock with a different version.
On the Left is a non UL Listed Lock and on the right is a UL Listed Lock.
Not all Tractor Supply Gun Safes Use UL Listed Locks
Underwriters Laboratory (UL) is an independent and unbiased third-party testing agency. They have been providing dependable safety ratings since 1894. When you want to ensure your gun safe is secure, you want to ensure it’s equipped with a UL-certified lock.
Why? Because there are two primary components of a UL-listed lock that make them superior:
1. Solenoid Plunger vs. Lock Bolt
Less expensive locks, like many of those sold by big box stores, often use a solenoid plunger to block the safe’s actual locking mechanism. In most cases, these plungers can be easily depressed, creating a weak point in your home defense.
The alternative is a lock bolt. This heavy-duty bold is used to block the safe’s locking mechanism and offers a much higher level of security. This style of lock is found in UL listed locks.
2. U.L. Magic Module Footprint
The UL Magic Module Footprint is a standard template recognized by the gun safe industry. Locks made to fit this template can quickly, affordably, and securely be interchanged from safe to safe by an experienced professional.
Why does this matter? Because it gives you the ability to replace the lock on your safe, such as swapping out a dial lock for an electronic lock.
Is it possible to replace the lock if your safe doesn’t have a Magic Module Footprint? Yes. In most instances the lock on a gun safe without a Magic Module Footprint can be replaced, but it may require new holes to be drilled in your safe and/or your locking mechanism to make the new lock fit.
3. How Does the Body of a Tractor Supply Gun Safe Compare?
When you look at the body of a gun safe, the seams are the weakest point where a thief will have the easiest time prying or pounding their way inside. While there are no seamless gun safes, the more seams, the more vulnerable.
In the early days of gun safe manufacturing, it wasn’t uncommon to see safes made with a five-piece body. Today, most gun safes are constructed with either a three-piece of two-piece construction:
- Three-Piece Construction: The sides of the safe are generally all one piece, and the top and bottom are welded on.
- Two-piece construction: A single piece of steel is bent to create the safe’s top, bottom, and sides. The back is then welded on.
While two-piece construction inherently has fewer seams, an important thing to also consider is how the pieces are welded together. Generally, manufacturers will use one of two welding techniques:
- Fully Welded: The entire seam is welded shut.
- Stitch Welding (aka Tack Welding): Individual spot along the seam are welded to hold the exterior pieces together.
Stitch welding is a much more affordable construction method that requires less time and materials to complete. In keeping with the budget-friendly options carried by big-box stores, most low-cost gun safes are not fully welded.
What makes a fully-welded safe so unique? It requires more energy and expertise to complete this technique. It also provides the consumer with a gun safe that’s exponentially more secure.
4. How Does the Fire Rating on a Tractor Supply Gun Safe Compare?
In addition to defending against thieves, fire is the other biggest threat to your firearms and valuables. Unfortunately, gun safe fire ratings are not regulated. Manufacturers can assign any fire rating they choose, regardless of completing any testing.
3 Things to Consider When Looking at the Fire Rating on a Gun Safe
- Length of Time: Generally, fire ratings range from 30 minutes to 2.5 hours (150 minutes). The longer the fire rating time, the longer the safe can withstand heat before the contents inside become destroyed.
- Temperature: The typical house fire burns at 1,200 degrees in just minutes, according to the Nationa Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
- Testing Method: Not all testing methods are created equal. Some manufacturers will place their safe within an oven and then bring the oven up to temp, starting the clock when the oven is turned on. The problem with this method is that house fires typically reach their full temperature much faster than the testing ovens — making the results of this approach inaccurate.
High-quality gun safe manufacturers, like Liberty Gun Safe, bring their ovens up to temp and then place their safes inside. This approach provides more accurate results.
Please Note: Our hearts continue to go out to all those affected by wildfires that have plagued Washington, Oregon, and California in recent years. To help you prepare for the worst, we’ve put together a resource guide that includes insights and frequently asked questions about fireproof and fire-resistant safes.
National Security Safe Compared to a Winchester Safe
5. Do Tractor Supply Gun Safes Meet or Exceed Washington States Gun Safety Standards?
On July 1, 2019, RCW 9.41.360 came into effect. This law holds gun owners legally responsible for any improperly stored firearm that comes into the possession of prohibited individuals (this includes minors and felons). Improper storage could result in a conviction of:
- Community Endangerment in the First Degree is a Class C felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
- Community Endangerment in the Second Degree is a Gross Misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.
What does “improper storage” mean? According to the law, a firearm that’s stored in a location where you know — or reasonably should know — it could be accessed by a prohibited individual is improperly stored. While this leaves some room for interpretation, the popular rule of thumb is that all firearms should be secured within a locked box.
All gun safes, including Tractor Supply gun safes, meet this safety standard set by Washington State.
Keeping Firearms from Kids
Preventing curious fingers from accessing firearms is a priority for many. Let’s be honest, kids like to get into everything — even if they’ve been told no. Gun safes with a non-UL listed lock typically come with a set of five-inch skeleton keys that can bypass the safe’s locking mechanism.
If you buy a safe with a non-UL listed lock, you will need to take precautions to ensure your skeleton keys are properly stored so a minor can’t access them.
Frequently Asked Questions About Buying a Gun Safe at Tractor Supply
Who Makes Tractor Supply Gun Safes?
Tractor supply sources their gun safes from a variety of manufacturers, including:
Can You Keep Gun Safes in the Garage?
The popular wisdom is that gun safes should not be installed in a garage, especially an unheated garage. However, with the right precautions and maintenance, you can install a gun safe in the garage without developing moisture inside your safe.
Is the Liberty Revere a Good Gun Safe?
The Liberty Revere line of gun safes is a Liberty Gun Safe that’s exclusively made for Tractor Supply. It offers Liberty’s rolled-form construction and a flexible interior.
What to Look for in High-Quality Budget-Friendly Gun Safes
- How much storage space do you need? (We always recommend you go at least one size bigger than your current storage needs.)
- How likely is your safe to be exposed to fire?
- Do you need the ability to rearrange your safe? (If this is your first gun safe, you may not know if you want to re-arrange the shelving. Purchasing a safe that has a flexible shelving unit will give you the opportunity to do so, as your needs change.)