But whether you’re relocating to an apartment across town or to a new home on the opposite coast, the moving process isn’t easy.
Add a whopping 600-pound firearm vault into the mix, and it can turn into an epic hassle.
In addition, moving gun safes (and home safes) can result in severe injury and pricy property damage, which is why we recommend hiring professional movers to do the heavy lifting.
Just make sure your movers are experienced and insured and that they have the right equipment to do the job safely.
OK, so you’ve probably got lots more questions.
If so, read on…we’ve got tons of answers.
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How much does a gun safe weigh?
Most basic gun safes weigh between 250 and 600 pounds.
Mid-range safes can weigh up to 1,000 pounds, while top-of-the-line units can tip the scales at 1,500 pounds.
Did You Know?
Commercial gun safes used by dealers and retailers can weigh 5,000 pounds or more. To move one, you’ll need to hire a specialty rigging and hauling company.
Can I move my gun safe myself?
Moving an entry-level gun safe yourself is possible, but you’ll need the proper equipment, sufficient know-how, and adequate help.
That said, moving heavy safes of any kind is dangerous.
In other words, it’s usually a job best left to trained professionals.
What kind of tools do you need to move a gun safe?
If you’re determined to move your gun safe yourself, you’ll need the following tools, equipment, and apparel –
- A sturdy steel or aluminum appliance dolly
- 3 to 5 moving pads (blankets)
- Tape, mover’s rubber bands, or shrink-wrap (stretch wrap)
- A screwdriver and pliers to remove shelves
- Work gloves and close-toed shoes (steel-toed boots are best)
- Long pants and shirts with long sleeves
- A truck or trailer capable of hauling your safe
- A walk board (loading ramp) with a high weight rating
How many people are required to move a gun safe?
When moving even the smallest gun safe, you’ll usually need at least one helper.
Below are a few general guidelines for larger units-
- Two people can move safes under 250 pounds
- Those between 250 and 400 pounds require at least three
- Gun safes up to 500 pounds require at least four people
- Professional movers should move ones over 500 pounds
Did You Know?
Moving a 350-pound gun safe from one first-floor room, home, or apartment to another may not be a big deal, but it becomes exponentially more dangerous and difficult when stairs are involved.
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What are the typical dimensions of a gun safe?
Many standard gun safes are between –
- 4 and 6 feet tall
- 36 and 40 inches wide
- 16 and 20 inches deep
Most in this size range can accommodate more than a dozen rifles or shotguns, multiple handguns, ammunition, and other related items like complex travel cases and cleaning supplies.
Don’t forget, gun safe’s interior dimensions are much smaller than their exterior dimensions.
When moving a large safe downstairs and halls, through doorways, and around tight corners, it’s essential to measure everything carefully before getting started.
Always size everything up yourself using a tape measure – don’t rely on the dimensions from your owner’s manual.
How do you move a gun safe?
Moving a large gun safe requires lots of forethought.
You’ll need a few good helpers too, but most importantly, you must have a good plan.
What to do Before Moving Your Gun Safe
- Empty your safe and take out the removable shelves
- Make sure the door is closed and locked to prevent it from opening
- Plan the route you’ll take from your home or apartment to the moving truck and make sure it’s free from obstructions
- Carefully measure your safe, as well as doors, halls, and stairways
- Remove doors and door hinges when necessary
- Make sure interior and exterior stairs will support the weight of the dolly and safe – keep an eye out for cracked, dry rotted, or termite ravaged wood.
- Borrow, rent or buy a heavy-duty appliance dolly (preferably with a built-in strap and ratchet) capable of carrying your gun safe
- Wear long pants and shirts, gloves, and steel-toed shoes if you have them
Finally…It’s Time to Move Your Gun Safe
Now, cover the safe with quilted moving blankets and secure them with tape, rubber bands or shrink wrap.
Then, with a helper, carefully tilt the safe to one side and push the dolly’s lip underneath.
Always put the dolly under/against one of the safe’s sides – not the front or back unless the owner’s manual says to.
Now wrap the nylon strap around the safe, tighten it using the built-in ratchet, or secure it with rope or a logistics strap.
If you’re moving your safe up or downstairs or onto a truck or trailer, make sure that –
- The person (or people) holding and pulling the dolly are on the high side
- The helpers are pushing from the low side
Once the safe is on the truck, push it against a wall or the bulkhead, remove the dolly, and strap it in place with at least three logistics straps.
On smaller trucks, safes should be placed in the center of the cargo area, ideally between the front and rear axles, to distribute the weight evenly.
Gun Safe Moving Tips
If your gun safe is too heavy to move easily, you may be able to remove the main door, which may account for nearly 20% of overall weight.
On the downside, some safe doors are so heavy that they need to be rehung using hydraulic jacks, so proceed with caution, or better yet, call professionals.
It may be an overused statement, but safety should definitely come first when moving a gun safe.
After all, you’ll kick yourself for skimping on the cost for movers if you throw your back out or knock a gaping hole in the living room drywall while moving your safe.
Last Minute Safe Moving Tips
In addition to protecting yourself and your safe, you’ll also want to avoid damaging your home’s walls and floors.
Excess cardboard and moving pads can help protect walls and doors, but saving your floors isn’t so easy.
Instead of rolling your super-heavy object across hardwood, tile, and Linoleum, consider putting down a layer or two of Masonite.
In addition to helping the dolly roll more easily, it’ll help distribute the weight more evenly over the floor.
Also, remember to –
- Have a plan and adequate help
- Use a sturdy appliance dolly
- Check the wheels for embedded bits of rock, glass, and plastic
- Secure the safe to the dolly
- Stay hydrated and wear appropriate clothes and gloves
- Keep your work area free of kids, pets, and other obstructions
- Get out of the way of a “runaway safe” immediately – never try to stop it
Safe Moving “No-Nos”
There’s lots of crazy information out there when it comes to moving gun safes.
When in doubt –
- Use your common sense
- Hire professional movers
- Avoid gimmicky tricks that sound too good to be true
For example, you may read elsewhere that using steel pipe or golf balls to roll your safe out of your home or from one room to another works well.
The truth is they’re dangerous, they rarely work, and they’re likely to damage your floor and your safe.
Stick with the good old-fashioned appliance dolly when moving a gun safe – you’ll be glad you did.
More Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I move my gun safe with a box dolly or stair-climbing dolly?
Stair-climbing dollies are tricky to master and should be left in the hands of experienced movers. Likewise, standard moving dollies or “hand trucks” aren’t designed to handle the weight of gun safes, so stick with a heavy-duty appliance dolly.
How heavy is the average gun safe?
Most basic gun safes weigh between 250 and 600 pounds, though some are much heavier.
How much does a 24-gun safe weigh?
The average 24-gun safe weighs nearly 400 pounds.
What’s the best gun safe to buy?
There’s no right or wrong answer to this commonly asked question. Before buying a gun safe, ask friends, family members, and coworkers for referrals and check out customer reviews on Amazon.
What companies are the best safe movers?
Lots of moving companies have the experience, staffing, and equipment to move safes. Many retailers also move safes for their customers, so you might want to call the company you bought your safe from and see what they recommend.
How much does it cost to move a gun safe?
If your gun safe is being moved across town, the cost is usually between about $200 and $500.
When moving locally, the additional cost of moving a gun safe may be negligible since you’ll be paying by the hour.
However, on the long-distance interstate and intrastate moves, that extra 600 pounds may increase your cost significantly since your charges will be based on weight and mileage.
In addition, on the interstate and intrastate moves, you may be charged a “bulky article” fee on top of the weight.
Just keep in mind that your actual cost will be based on –
- The weight and dimensions of your safe
- The distance between your old and new home or apartment
- Whether it’s going to a first floor, upstairs or down into a den, basement, or “man cave.”
Can I move my firearms inside my gun safe?
As a responsible gun owner, you should never move long guns inside a large safe regardless if they’re loaded or unloaded.