A Safe Problem Solved

By Craig Lamb


Pendleton safes feature pure white LED illumination and rotating shelves at the push of a button.

Even with two mammoth gun safes, the growing collection of weapons was becoming unmanageable in the gun room of Shooting USA. Having a never-ending supply of guns is a good problem to have until you can’t find what you’re looking for.

“We had a problem,” said Jim Scoutten, the host and Executive Producer of Shooting USA. “Guns were all over the place. Pistols, rifles and shotguns of all calibers and gauges were jumbled together. There was no means of organizing them and banging up a fine gun is the last thing we want to do.”

The solution came with a phone call to Bruce Pendleton, the president and founder of Pendleton Safe Co.  Pendleton Safes caught the eye of Scoutten two years ago at the SHOT Show. The new safes were personally delivered by Pendleton and included a demonstration about how effective the safes are for safely organizing guns and valuables.

Two Knight Series models are now lining a wall of the gunroom, one for a constantly growing collection of handguns, and another beside it dedicated to rifles and shotguns. On the opposite wall, in the project area of the gunroom, is a King Series model, now securing an expanding arsenal of AR-15s, AR-10s, and precision long rifles used in projects by John Scoutten.


King Series Model: Bruce Pendleton gives John Scoutten the rundown on the shelf storage design ideas he provided for AR-15 rifles used in his special projects.

Pendleton calls his design and manufacturing process “applying revolutionary technology.” The definition proved to the point during the demonstration that followed the delivery of the safes.

A defining feature is the unique circular design with modular shelving that rotates 360-degrees at the touch of a button to bring guns directly to hand. A lighting system with 400 pure white LED lights illuminates the safe’s white background to brighten the interior. No more sorting through a dark safe, moving guns around while trying to find the right pistol or rifle. “And there’s no fuzzy cloth or carpet inside a Pendleton Safe, the stuff other manufacturers rely on to protect guns,” Scoutten said, “the stuff that makes other safes look like the interior of a 1970s hippie van.”

Pendleton safes feature a unique round shape, a design feature sure to prompt questions from the viewers and fans of the show. The reason for the unique circular shape comes down to security. A round safe is extremely difficult for a thief to lay down and pry open the door. Since there are no flat surfaces, the safe will roll as force is applied, making it nearly impossible to open.

As the demo continued, Pendleton explained that burglars oftentimes turn a safe upside down, exposing the vulnerable bottom area, where typically the steel is thinner. To make the break-in job practically impossible, the top and bottom of a Pendleton Safe is made of the -inch thick HSLA steel.

Shape is only one factor going into the makeup of Pendleton models, designed by engineers with backgrounds in bank vault safes and ATM machines. Steel thickness is measured in inches, not gauges. The HSLA steel used to make a Pendleton is the same used to manufacture automobiles, bridges, cranes, and other heavy-duty equipment.


Newly installed Knight Series safes.

After the heavy lifting, to position the safes in the gunroom, we sat down with Bruce to find out more about the uncompromising quality of design and manufacturing he is committed to.

That conversation evolved into a discussion about fire safety ratings in safes. What we learned is worth sharing in another article. We’ll be adding it to the site soon.

Bruce markets his safes as a “valuables management system.” That approach is true to form in the design of his safes. He has also provided an organized solution to the gun storage problem at Shooting USA had before his new safes arrived.

“In fact, the safes swallowed all the guns we had in the room and elsewhere in the old safes,” added Scoutten. “We even have room left over for more guns. In the same footprint, Pendleton has organized everything we had and left room for more new guns. And not one of the guns is touching any other. No more nicks and scratches on expensive guns.  Oh, and folks who drop by to visit are amazed when I touch a button and the collection rotates like some kind of high security gun vending machine.  They’ve never seen anything like it.”

Link to Pendleton Safes

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