How to Move a Gun Safe: Step-by-Step Instruction

Gun safes can be very heavy. Moving them often requires more than one person, and you may need special equipment as well.
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Last updated: August 08, 2023
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Some gun safes can weigh more than 1,000 pounds. While there are lightweight options, the majority of gun safes are too heavy for a single person to try to lift on their own. It’s vital to understand how to move a gun safe properly to ensure that no one gets hurt in the process.

In this guide, we will share with you some tips for the best way to move a gun safe. Most of these tips can be used for large or small gun safes, although you may need to tweak minor details depending on the size and weight of the safe. Keep reading to learn more!

Preparation for Moving a Gun Safe

When you’re moving a gun safe, you will need to take some time to figure out the details. Where are you moving it to? Will you have help? You also may need to consider whether you’re going to move a gun safe upstairs as this might require some additional planning.

Let’s walk through the details to prep for moving a gun safe.

Make a Plan

Before you move a gun safe, let’s carefully plan where you are going to put it. The key here is that you’re going to want to try to pinpoint a permanent or semi-permanent location. Since many gun safes are very heavy, these are some of the things you should focus on in your planning.

  • Stairs
  • Location
  • Permanency
  • Best route
  • Doorways

You may also need to consider a rolling cart or dolly to help with the move. Reviewers say that this option from Sole Jazz is a great choice, depending on the weight of the safe. This particular cart will not help to move a 1000 lb. gun safe but it can move some smaller ones. There are dollies rated to move heavier items too.

Consider the Weight

How big exactly is this safe? To move a 2,000-pound gun safe is going to take a considerably different approach than if you just move a 400-lb. gun safe. However, there are means to move both.

The weight can vary significantly depending on the type of gun safe you are moving. For example, something like one of these best bedside gun safes is typically going to be smaller and you may be able to easily move it on your own.

Other safes could weigh more like 500-2,000 pounds and these will certainly require assistance and moving equipment. Be sure to check the floors that you will be moving around on and check any stairs in the path if you are going to move a gun safe upstairs or downstairs in the process.

Measure Your Safe

To move a large gun safe, you may need to plan a route that will accommodate the size. You also need to ensure it’s going to fit into the space you’re moving it to. Before you start any moving, grab your tape measure and carefully measure out the exact dimensions of the safe.

Be sure to jot these measurements down. Once you’ve measured, check the width of your doorway Trusted Source How Big Are Average Doorways? | Home Guides | SF Gate How Big Are Average Doorways?. Finished doorways are slightly smaller than the actual opening since the framing and doorstop must fit within the doorway. to determine whether it will fit. In some cases, you can remove the doors to make more room for moving the gun safe.

In addition, to move a gun safe with a dolly, ensure the dolly will fit and that you will be able to make any necessary turns on the moving route.

Here, we look at the best hidden gun safes too. If yours is hidden or intended to be hidden, you might need to go ahead and prep the space to install this safe before you start moving it.

Clean and Lock the Safe

How to Move a Gun Safe: Step-by-Step Instruction
An empty gun safe is much lighter, so it’s a good rule of thumb to take all stuff out before moving it.

Now, let’s start prepping the safe itself. The first thing to do is to clean the safe. It is best to completely unload the safe before you move it, particularly if you are going to move a large gun safe. Removing the items will help to reduce the weight and hopefully make it slightly easier to move.

However, when you unload the safe, be sure to follow proper firearm safety Trusted Source Firearm Safety - 10 Rules of Safe Gun Handling • NSSF The 10 basic rules of firearms safety, safe gun handling and storage from the National Shooting Sports Foundation. instructions like these.

  • Ensure guns are not loaded
  • Separate the guns and ammunition
  • Monitor any guns or weapons and don’t leave them unattended
  • Don’t allow children around the guns unattended

Use a dusting cloth and clean the outside of the safe. This will help provide a better grip for your hands as dust can make surfaces slippery.

Now, finish this step by closing and locking your safe. This will help ensure the door doesn’t fall open on accident and lead to a mishap of some sort.

Secure the Safe

You’re going to want to protect the safe from getting scratched and damaged in the move. You also want to make sure it’s secure in that you don’t want the drawer falling open during the move. In addition, if you secure and pad the safe, this might protect your walls, furniture, and doorways while you move too.

The best way to secure the safe is by moving blankets and ties or tape. You can use bungee cords, rope, tape, or some other similar item to help attach the moving blankets and protect your property and the safe.

Get Moving Equipment

We mentioned earlier that you might need a dolly for the move. If you haven’t acquired one, now might be the time before you try to move a 400-lb. gun safe, or something even heavier. If you have a friend who will loan you one, that might be a great solution here.

In addition to the dolly, you will also need some quality gloves that can help you better grip and hold while protecting your hands. These gloves from MaxiFlex are highly-rated and recommended for a job such as this so you might check them out.

Clear and Protect the Area

Now, you’re almost to the moving part of the process. But there is one more preparation step to finish up. You also need to prepare the space where this gun safe is being moved. You also may need to do some preparation for your moving path to ensure you don’t scratch floors or anything like that along the way.

Start by clearing out and cleaning out the space your safe is moving to. Don’t just clear the exact space the safe fits into. You will likely need to work in the surrounding space during the move as well so be sure to clear and prepare a large area to work in.

Now, let’s focus on the floors. Do you have hardwood, carpet, or tile on your path for the safe? To move a gun safe, you will be applying a lot of pressure to these surfaces. On the carpet, it could cause your dolly to get hung up. On the tile, the load could potentially crack your tile pieces. On the hardwood, you have the potential to leave behind scratches.

The best way to combat this is to use some sort of padding between the safe or dolly and the floor surface. You can use floor pads if you have some. Some other great options include things like plywood or sheets of steel. These act as a protective barrier and allow you to move a 2,000-pound gun safe with less concern about harming the floors.

How to Move a Gun Safe: Options

How to Move a Gun Safe: Step-by-Step Instruction
Ask for help from your friends, especially when moving a large gun safe.

We’ve gone through the preparation steps and now it’s time to look at the best way to move a gun safe. There are different methods and the best one for you might depend on your safe or what you have available to use.

If you’re looking for a great safe still, check out these best gun safes. There are a variety of options, including compact and large safes that you can see full reviews on.

Take a look at these solutions for moving your gun safe.

Use a Dolly

One of the best methods will be to use a dolly. A furniture dolly will work best but some people also use a hand truck, especially if you have a really heavy gun safe to move. Here are some steps to help you properly load a dolly.

  1. Line the dolly up against the safe.
  2. Use friends to help push and lean the safe.
  3. Slide the dolly underneath the safe while it is leaning.
  4. Secure the safe to the dolly with straps to prevent any sliding or injuries.
  5. Use your upper body to get the dolly moving, keeping your back straight.
  6. Be careful as you move through doorways and around any necessary corners.
  7. Push the dolly instead of pulling it, as much as possible.

Use a PVC Pipe

If you can’t get your hands on a dolly, you could try using PVC pipe to help move the safe instead. The PVC pipes could help to roll the safe. However, you will need to be very careful using this option as if you are going to move a 1000 lb. gun safe or something even larger, the PVC pipes may not be able to support that weight.

This is more suitable to move a 500-lb. gun safe, or something even smaller. If you’re going to move a gun safe with PVC pipe, you need to be able to roll several pipes underneath the safe and then maintain total control during the move to prevent injuries.

Use a friend to help move PVC from the back to the front as you roll along but be very careful doing so.

Ask for Help

Any time you are going to move a heavy gun safe, you need to get help. If you have friends or family that can help you with some of these methods we’ve shared here, that’s a great way to get the job done.

However, if you aren’t confident in your ability to safely and efficiently move this safe, you might want to call in professional help. Moving companies and professional movers will have all of the proper equipment to move your safe wherever it needs to go.

There may be some costs to hiring movers but if you consider the safety and the equipment that might be needed for you to move it, that cost really isn’t so bad after all.

Final Thoughts

Moving a gun safe can be a complicated task. There are a lot of little details that you have to consider and a lot of preparation work before you can even load up and start moving. Prepare yourself with the proper equipment and all the necessary planning before you get started.

These tips help you know how to move a gun safe properly and safely to avoid problems or injuries. The best option is to use a dolly and carefully plan ahead but using friends or hiring movers can be helpful too.


How Big Are Average Doorways? | Home Guides | SF Gate
How Big Are Average Doorways?. Finished doorways are slightly smaller than the actual opening since the framing and doorstop must fit within the doorway.
Firearm Safety - 10 Rules of Safe Gun Handling • NSSF
The 10 basic rules of firearms safety, safe gun handling and storage from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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