Stack-On FS-24-MB-E Review

Lock style: Electronic
Max Capacity: 24 long guns
Fire Rating: 30 min. @ 1400° F
Steel thickness: 11-gauge
Exterior Dimensions: 20″ x 29.2″ x 55″
Total weight: 450 lbs.
Emergency Key: Yes
Mounting Hardware: Included
Warranty: 5 years
  • Pro’s
  • Locks of such quality are unusual in this price range
  • Solid capacity
  • Easy code programming
  • High-duty steel and anti-drilling-reinforced lock
  • Rearrange the shelves according to your needs
  • Barrel holder does it’s job perfectly
  • Beautiful interior and exterior appearance
  • 4 adjustable shelves

Con’s

  • The barrel holder could have been positioned an inch or two lower to make holding really short carabins a little easier.

stknmbQuick Overview

This is the sister-safe of the Stack-On FS-24-MG-C gun safe; the only difference between the two lies in the door opening mechanism, which in this safe is an electronic keypad rather than a combination lock. The FS-24-MB-E is fire-rated, and will protect your guns from even the most experienced burglars – you’re simply not getting in nor moving the safe without torches and power tools plus lots of time. You can forget about opening the door with even the heaviest and thickest pry bar, as the door shuts so tightly that there isn’t even room to insert the tip of the pry bar (and even if they did, it wouldn’t do them any good). The same goes for drilling; the lock is reinforced with a hardened-steel plate, so the thieves are more likely to break the drill bit than to drill a hole through the lock. This unit is like a personal mini-armory.

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Lock Quality & Programming

The factory default access code is: 2, 5, 8

The door on the FS-24-MB-E is sealed shut with 3 live bolts, and two extra dead bolts located on stknmothe hinge- side of the door. These bolts, which are 1″ in diameter, coupled with the door’s pry-resistance, make it very difficult  for even a well-prepared burglar to open the door and gain access to your weapons without the right access code. Everything has it’s limits obviously, and you can’t compare this safe to other units that cost $2,000 or more. For what this safe costs, however, it really doesn’t get better than this in terms of security.

The lock itself is very easy to program. You will first need to insert a new 9v battery – just unscrew the keypad from the door (by twisting it counterclockwise) and the battery tray will be revealed underneath it. (When the battery is low, a red warning light located on the keypad will begin to flash.) Once you have the door opened using either the default code or the emergency key, you’ll want to reach over with your hand to where the door hinges are located, where you’ll find the reset button. Press and hold it for a second or two until you hear a beep.

If you’ve done things correctly, a yellow light bulb will light-up on the keypad, indicating the unit is ready to accept your new personal access code – this can be anywhere from 3 to 6 digits. Input the new code and finish off by pressing the star (*) button on the keypad to confirm. You will hear two short beeps, and your lock has now been successfully programmed. You can now open the safe by inputting your personal code and confirming entry with the hash sign (#). Don’t forget to turn the handle to retract the bolts after inputting your code, otherwise the door won’t open.

Design Quality & Capacity

I personally enjoy the aesthetics of this safe more than that of the combination-lock version of it. It’s shiny black, and the interior is carpeted with a nice rug-resembling material, which helps keep your guns and valuables scratch-free, and adds to the elegancy of the design. The door and walls are made of 10-gauge steel and are filled with fire retardant, making the safe capable of keeping its contents secure in the case of a home fire for as long as 30 minutes at temperatures as high as 1400 degrees. I haven’t had to go through a home fire yet (thankfully), so I can’t attest to the validity of these claims, however it does have a fire rating issued by ETL (currently ITS), so that’s good enough for me.

The unit comes with 4 shelves that you can install any way you want, so you can play around with positioning until you find one ideal for the guns and items you need to store. I personally have only 10 long guns inside and a bunch of revolvers, with lots of ammo on the shelves. Up to you to choose how you want to arrange things. If you don’t install any shelves, the Stack-On FS-24-MB-E will fit 24 long guns; if all four shelves are installed, it will fit 12 long guns plus everything you can fit onto the shelves, be it ammo, handguns, documents, etc. The capacity of this safe is something that many other gun owners consistently praise.

The shelves are sturdy, however be careful not to drop anything heavy onto them; they are not made of steel and if abused, they will crack or break. This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people expect miracles from these shelves without taking the time to care for them properly.

As for the barrel holder, it does its job as well. Your guns won’t fall over, and your scoped rifles will be kept far enough from the walls to avoid any damage to the scope itself. With that said, guns with exceptionally short barrels might not be able to “reach” the barrel holder, in which case you will have to put something under them (for example a carton of ammo) to elevate the barrel so it can reach the holders. This holds true for pretty much all gun safes in this price range so it’s nothing to worry about at all.

Installation

As always, you will want to bolt the safe firmly to the floor, for two reasons:

  1. This significantly increases the safety of your guns as a team of burglars can’t just carry it away, plus it’s much harder to “work” on getting a safe’s door open if it is standing in an upright position.
  2. If you don’t bolt the safe to the floor, the construction could tip over and fall onto you when you open the heavy door, especially if the safe is empty (or if a lot of the weight inside is located closer to the top of the safe).

You’ll need your own drill and wrench to bolt down the safe; all the remaining hardware plus instructions will be provided with your safe.

Stack-On FS-24-MB-E Review – Summary

This is a sturdy, quite heavy, pry-resistant safe that will hold a reasonable gun collection without trouble. The keypad-accessed lock is dependable and is better than what you would expect to get for this kind of cash. There could have been a lower setting for the barrel holders, but this is such a minor con that it’s not worth fretting over. The FS-24-MB-E will keep your guns and family safe, and will provide you with peace of mind every time you are away from your valuable collection.

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