by PHILLIP HAYES
Pangolin H Series Vehicle Safe
A South African manufacturer has come up with an ingenious design to stow your handguns when traveling. The small safe allows for a practical and secure method to keep handguns safe in vehicles, while affording easy access.
The Pangolin H series handgun safe is the brainchild of security specialist company Biagi Saga Technologies. It has been independently tested and verified to comply with SANS 953-1:2018 for type B3 motor vehicle and caravan firearm safes (for temporary storage). So, when using it you’ll be fully compliant with the Firearms Act.
It’s available in two sizes, single or two handguns, and comes in fixed or dockable configuaration. The fixed versions are permanently bolted in position while the docked versions enable the safe to be moved between vehicles or wherever else you want to install an additional docking station. To comply with the regulations an independent installer must complete an installation certificate (supplied with the safe) with prescribed details recorded on it.
The clamshell, all steel design has hardened steel reinforced plates strategically located internally. The body lifts to 80 degrees to ensure easy access, while the mechanical lock offers more than 800 000 combinations. It consists of purpose designed, dual locking bolts with re-lockers. It’s a high security lock and should you happen to lose both keys, the manufacturer can provide replacements, provided you have the key number.
The exterior is durable ArmorKote, but a black rubber coat is optional, while the interior has convoluted foam padding to protect your weapon.
For additional security the docking model cannot be closed unless the safe is exactly in the secure position on the baseplate. Removal from the plate entails first working a lever inside the safe, after which the safe can be moved slightly backwards and then lifted free.
The smaller version has an outside diameter of 190mm (width) x 305mm (length) x60mm (height), while the double handgun safe measures 220mm x 305mm x 60mm. (The single handgun model has enough space for a full-sized pistol plus a spare magazine and other small items.) The fixed version weighs 4.9 for the single handgun model and 5.8kg for the double handgun model. The dockable versions are 5.4kg and 6kg respectively. I’ll probably pick a dockable version, as this would allow me to take the safe from my vehicle and dock it in the office (the building is a gun free zone, but due to the nature of my work I’m allowed to bring in a handgun if concealed in a carry case, or in this case a safe). The docking station is a great idea, and although toting a 6kg steel safe (plus another 1.2kg of handgun, mags and ammo) around is not ideal, it beats any other alternative I’ve got.
I tested the dockable single handgun model. I decided to go through the installation process myself and for practical purposes fixed the test unit to a loose steel plate I had on hand. Apart from the baseplate, two smaller plates are supplied that go at the bottom of the fixture. Fitment entails drilling four holes and tightening everything in place with four supplied bolts and nuts. It is an extremely simple procedure and can be done in 30 minutes.
Gerald Kuisis, technical director, explained that the safe can be installed wherever the owner wants. An ideal spot showed to me was behind the seats of an extended cab bakkie, but installation can be done anywhere where it can be fixed to a permanent part of the vehicle. In my opinion there is no need to fit it so that the handgun could be quickly extracted from the safe in an emergency as it should be on you while driving. I recently had to go to SARS and when entering the building realised that I had my handgun on me. All I could do was to tackle the 30-minute drive back home and lock my pistol in the safe at home and then had to head back to fall into the long queue again. If I had a Pangolin safe installed in my vehicle life would have been much easier.
I’m impressed with the safe, every small detail is professionally finished, just looking at the key alone will tell you that the lock must be something special. The interior and exterior are impeccable and the small gas strut that automatically raises the lid when unlocking the safe adds convenience.
This is an outstanding locally produced product, and although I dislike the idea of leaving my firearm in my vehicle in a country where cars are regularly stolen, I have no choice but to invest in a Pangolin safe. In my line of work there are times when I want to drive with my handgun but cannot always have it with me when entering some buildings. Another practical example is driving from the farm to go and watch a rugby match, only to return after dark to your home. Leaving your firearm at home is not an option, nor taking it into the sporting venue. This safe is the answer. The manufacturer states that several fitment centres across the country is available and more will follow. If you are living in an area away from a fitment centre the work can be done by a qualified local technician or mechanic.
The company also manufacturers a stylish laptop safe which doubles as a briefcase. A docking station which clips into IsoFix seat mounts of most vehicles makes it possible to securely fit the case within seconds, making it impossible for someone to remove it. To remove the safe/briefcase, you simply open the case and press a mechanism that unlocks it from the baseplate.
Also, the manufacturer supports the protection and conservation of pangolins in Africa. Pangolins are widely trafficked and therefore they have partnered with the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital to protect these precious animals. When buying any Pangolin product a percentage of your new purchase will be donated to the hospital.
I found Pangolin products for sale online, starting at about R5 000 for the safe and R5 500 for the laptop case. For stockists contact Andrew on 065-131-9266 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.pangolin.global.