How To Unload A Gun Safe By Yourself

For the avid firearm enthusiast, few purchases are quite as monumental as that of a quality gun safe. Such a purchase provides you with peace of mind, knowing that your firearms are protected from harm, in the most comprehensive manner possible.

This, in itself, can serve as quite the relief.

However, selecting a gun safe for purchase is only half the battle. In most instances, the true fun begins when attempting to move a gun safe into a predetermined location within your home.

Such difficult circumstances are further exacerbated when one is forced to complete such a move on their own.

Is It Possible To Move A Gun Safe By Yourself?

moving gun safe

In all but the most extreme of cases, it is entirely possible to move a gun safe without any additional assistance. However, doing so requires an ample dose of ingenuity.

One must also adhere to basic safety rules when moving heavy items, such as a safe. A failure to do so can quickly lead to serious injury, and/or property damage.

Prior to moving a heavy safe, it is important to have a solid plan in mind. Haphazardly approaching a move of this nature is nothing short of a bad idea, which can have dire consequences.

One must also ensure that they have the right equipment at their disposal, before jumping headlong into the task at hand.

Getting Your Safe Home

The first step to moving a gun safe involves picking your newly procured safe up from the store in which it was purchased. One must also load this safe into the back of their truck, which can be quite the chore in itself.

The process of loading and unloading a big safe can be simplified through the use of a lift-gate equipped vehicle, such as a moving truck. This eliminates the need for a forklift or other heavy equipment.

In most cases, a store employee will bring your gun safe to your truck using a pallet jack, at which point it can be raised into the back of the truck with the help of a lift gate.

Once situated at truck bed height, your safe can be positioned as desired with the use of a sturdy appliance dolly. Dollys of this type can typically be rented from a local moving company, at a relatively reasonable cost.

Proper load securement is also extremely important when transporting a gun safe by vehicle. This is especially true when dealing with large safes that tend to be extremely hefty.

Multiple ratchet straps can be used to secure your gun safe in place, free of any excessive motion.

Upon reaching your destination, back your vehicle as close as possible to the door through which you will be entering, leaving only enough space to safely lower the truck’s lift-gate. After unstrapping all tie-downs, you can now carefully lower your safe to ground level.

Making The Move

Before moving your safe indoors, carefully inspect your intended path of travel for trip hazards and previously overlooked obstacles, which might impede progress. This is also a great time to double check door frame measurements, in order to verify adequate clearance.

One should also don all necessary safety wear, which includes a pair of closed-toed shoes, and durable work gloves. You should also check to ensure that your safe’s door is securely latched.

You must now determine a preferred method for moving your safe to its final resting point. There are multiple methods for completing this task, some of which are naturally more effective than others.

Dolly Method

dolly method

In the vast majority of cases, the most effective, and safest method of moving a gun safe is with the use of a heavy-duty dolly or specialty hand truck. Many professional safe movers prefer the use of a furniture dolly or appliance dolly when tackling such sizable chores.

Securement straps should always be used when preparing to move a gun safe with the assistance of a wheel dolly. This prevents load shift when moving across unlevel surfaces, such as changes in flooring composition, or a flight of stairs.

By securely strapping your gun safe to the dolly in question, you greatly reduce your risk of suffering an injury, or inadvertently causing property damage.

At minimum, 2-3 straps should be used to secure your safe to the dolly on which it is loaded. Many specialty dollies, such as heavy-duty appliance dollies, feature designated securement points that can be tied off to without issue.

With your safe strapped to a sturdy dolly, moving your gun safe is as simple as rolling the secured load to its final position. Taking your time while completing this process is key.

Quick or sudden movements can cause you to lose control over your load, potentially leading to injury in the process.

PVC Pipe Method

pvc pipe method

Barring the availability of a lift, one can also use PVC tubing to move their gun safe about, as necessary. Doing so involves creating a bed of PVC pipe beneath a safe, which can be used much like a set of wheels.

In theory, the round profile of this piping will prevent friction from bringing your move to a halt.

Ideally, each pipe segment will be cut to a length that is slightly larger than the width of the gun safe itself. This prevents the safe from finding its way off this bed of pipes, in the event that the load does not track completely straight.

While the PVC pipe method does indeed work quite well in a number of scenarios, it does have its limitations. This method is impractical when attempting to traverse steps, and can prove unsuitable when crossing junctions between multiple types of flooring. 

In the past, gun owners have used golf balls in much the same manner as that described above. However, this method of movement has largely fallen out of favor.

This stems from the fact that golf balls, when under immense pressure, have been known to damage tile, hardwood, and laminate flooring surfaces.

Track Method

track method

One can also use a series of metal bars to form a track of sorts when moving a gun safe. In fact, many moving companies rely upon this method when tasked with transporting a gun safe, as it has proven to be quite effective in most situations.

When employing the track method, a gun safe is slid upon a series of metal bars, situated end-to-end. As a safe passes over a particular set of bars, they are picked up and moved to the forward extent of the track’s length.

This process is repeated until the safe has reached its final destination.

It is important to mention that the use of metal bars when moving a gun safe can result in damage to hardwood floors. Moving companies use special bars that are covered in a rubber coating, for this purpose.

In absence of these special bars, such moving methods are best reserved for use on carpeted surfaces.

Were There Is A Will, There Is A Way

With enough ingenuity, one can certainly transport, unload, and move their newly purchased gun safe themselves, in absence of assistance from family members or friends. However, tackling such an endeavor should never come without sufficient forethought and planning.

It is also important to remember that there is no shame in calling in additional assistance when attempting to complete a move of this nature. It is far wiser to know your limitations and act accordingly, than to risk personal or property damage at the hands of a move gone awry.

A simple internet search will provide you with a list of professional moving companies in your immediate area, most of which would be more than happy to have your business.