Yale Gun Safe

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Yale Safes – a legacy of innovation

To say that Yale has been in the safe business for a while would be a bit of an understatement.

In about 1840, Linus Yale Sr. started designing and manufacturing a range of high end bank safe locks in his shop in Newport, New York. Yale Jnr. can be thanked for many of the inventions that have shaped safes, locks and security systems today. One really notable one? How about the cylinder lock?

So, assuming you are already on the same page as me regarding firearm security (start by reading my article on complacency) you might be considering put your rifles in a safe. Here is a really good option for you.


Let’s start with theĀ basics

The Yale Gun Safe is an A-Category1 rifle safe with a separate lockable box for bolts and ammo and enough space in it for 5 scoped rifles (read below for a bit of clarification on this).

What’s cool about this safe is that it has a keypad on the front, with a hidden backup key option.

Mounting holes on the back and side a 4.5mm thick door and 2mm thick doors.


RX100-136620151026October-26,-2015The size of the safe is similar to my ‘nine gun’ E Category safe I already have in the house. So. First hat tip to Yale for being a little more realistic about the size of their safe. At the back of the safe is an adjustable foam holder – this is what you can sit your rifles in to hold them up. I can’t see any issue fitting in five ‘normal’ sized rifles or shotguns – however – if you have a ridiculously oversized scope2 and a full sized chassis styled stock3 – don’t be surprised if you have a little trouble fitting them all in. However, being that this is an A rated safe, your hunting rifles, your duck shotgun and the .22 varmint gun – no worries at all!

My plan for this safe was to have it in the garage – next to the cleaning and reloading equipment – so I can stash rifles in there if I get back late and want to clean them the next day – or if I am working on them and don’t want to have to transport them back and forth from the house. Long term though, as the E Cat Safe fills up, I can see the X-Bolt and a .22 plinker living permanently in the Yale.

There is a cleaning rod holder on the inside door front and the separate lockable box in the top of the safe (secured behind the main door as well) is the perfect size for storing your bolt and a couple of boxes of ammo, or documents like passports (which is what I use the box in the bigger safe for).


The safeĀ has a four bolt mechanism (sides, top, bottom) and can be opened via the electronic keypad on the front. The battery compartment for the lock sits on the inside of the door – easy access to replace the batteries. Not sure what the life is on a set of batteries – but considering the use, I would pick in the realm of years. Battery runs out? No problem. Hidden behind the yale logo is a keyhole. Just pull out the key and unlock the safe. Most of the time though, it means I have one less key to carry around with me and the safe key is safely secured somewhere remote (they do actually point out that storing the safe key in the safe isn’t the best of ideas).

If you want to change the combination on the safe, it is simply a case of opening up the door, pressing a red ‘learn’ button on the inside then entering a new code.

Using a keypad has actually got me thinking that it might be time to explore more modern methods of securing other things – like the front door. I seem to have accumulated a pile of keys over the last year – and reducing that even more is now a new goal!



0646e11e-df5d-4f55-b1b6-eb3d830ca3a4Easy. The safe comes with the required bolts and one little feature that I appreciated (though I didn’t use in my case) – is the fact that the holes in the back of the safe have been spaced to coincide with the average stud to stud spacing in New Zealand. Find one stud, line it up and the other hole should be bang on for another fixing through into it. This makes things a lot easier than having to put a steel plate into/behind/through the wall to fix onto.

In my case, going onto a concrete slab floor, I simply got the hammer drill out, drilled out four holes and secured the supplied bolts into it. With the right tool – it took less than ten minutes and isn’t going anywhere!

There is no point in having a decent safe then not taking the time to bolt it down properly – so I would encourage you to find a stud or a concrete slab to bolt into, use all the bolts supplied and make sure it isn’t going anywhere.


I guess that’s it really – by their nature a safe is a simple thing – but Yale’s addition of a keypad has brought it up into modern times. Well built and well finished this safe will likely last you as long as you are at the premises you install it into, if not longer!

  1. hunting rifles, shotguns 

  2. Razor HD II 4.5-17 

  3. like my 700 in the XLR Element Chassis 

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