Gun Safes: Looking for a recommendation


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dehughes
September 29, 2009, 12:28 PM
Hey all,

I'm not sure which forum this belongs in, but I wager the mods will move it if need be.

I'd like to purchase a gun safe, but don't really know where to start. At present I have a rifle, shotgun, and a pistol (Glock 17), and would like to have a good quality, secure safe to store them in. Most likely I'll end up with a .22 at some point, but no means do I plan on being a "collector". I'm just looking for a smart, secure way to store my firearms both for my family's safety and for protection from theft, etc.. Your recommendations are appreciated.

Thanks.

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JimmAr
September 29, 2009, 12:34 PM
Liberty is my favorite. I believe we have the "Lincoln" model.

dehughes
September 29, 2009, 12:47 PM
Nice. Thanks. I'll look into those...

In skimming posts in the past I seem to remember there being lock types (electronic vs. combination) and manufacturers that one should get/avoid, but I cannot remember what was what. The Liberty stuff looks nice, though...

hpluseleven
September 29, 2009, 12:59 PM
Second for the Liberty. I have a Centurion model. I have moved several times since i got it and I can move it by myself with a dolly if I have to, or I can move it fairly easily with a buddy and a dolly.

I would suggest getting a bigger safe than you think you need. Even if you don't intend to be a collector, you will likely find other 'stuff' to store in your safe. I bought my safe after having a house fire. I now keep birth certificate/passport/medical records/dog's shot records/etc/etc in my safe. That stuff doesn't take up that much room, but it seems that I keep my safe filled to capacity between guns, ammo, and 'stuff'.

Davionmaximus
September 29, 2009, 01:54 PM
Get the best you can justify. My only recomendation is for a digital lock. I tend to get into mine quite a bit... the conventional combination is slow...
Should have paid the extra 100 bucks or so for the upgrade :banghead:

dehughes
September 29, 2009, 02:38 PM
Cool. Thanks all. So I have:

- Liberty is highly recommended
- Get a bigger one than I think I need
- Get a digital lock instead of combination

One that first point, what is the consensus with Sentry brand gun safes? I have a smaller, fire safe for papers, etc, and it's been fine thusfar...

On that last point, wouldn't a combination lock be the one to have greater longevity and constancy (no electronics, no battery dying, no electronic component failures, etc.)? Or am I geeking out on a non-important point?

Doug b
September 29, 2009, 02:39 PM
My safe has an electric lock that uses a 9v battery.Some of these batts. last for up to a year or so and some only a month.Not many things use these batts. anymore and I suspect they spend most of their useful life on the store shelf.Might be worth considering.

lebowski
September 29, 2009, 03:33 PM
What's your budget and how much security do you want?

I recently recieved my new "sturdy safe" and I'm pretty happy with it. I did quite a bit of research before buying and IMO in the mid-priced category sturdy and the amsec BF series offer the best value and quality for the money, and by quite a wide margin I may add. If money was no object I'd look at a true "safe" (which nothing mentioned thus far is) from graffunder or brown safes.


I highly recommend a dial lock over digital. Digital keypads are much more convenient when they work, but they are infinitely less reliable. A dial lock will last as forever. A digital lock won't seem so "convenient" the day you have to call a locksmith to come get you in to your own safe.

Use the search feature - this topic has been discussed many times and there is a lot of good info on thr.

Whatever you get, bolt it down.

2nd 41
September 29, 2009, 05:41 PM
Buy Quality. Buy the best & largest you can. They fill up fast. Be sure you can get it up or down the steps (weight).
I'm not into fire safes. I prefer an unlined safe. Cheaper & they don't sweat
inside. Just my preference. I have an American Security. Shop around. Prices vary.
Mine is a combo dial. Over 25 years old. Never serviced. Never a problem.

heeler
September 29, 2009, 05:50 PM
The best bang for the buck security wise in what is called a gun safe at a reasonable price(sub 3k) is an Amsec BF model or Sturdy Safe.

Guns and more
September 29, 2009, 07:48 PM
I'd say to look at a safe as big as you need, and buy one twice as big.
You will never regret that purchase. I have a Champion with the electronic lock and it has been flawless. These safe threads tend to get into the technical aspects of one safe over another, until you feel you shouldn't buy anything if it doesn't cost $5,000. My theory is this: A $1000 or $2000 safe is better than your stuff in a desk drawer. That's what it comes down to. Yes, a professional bank robber can attack your safe. So far, I haven't seen a lot of bank robbers in my neighborhood. I'm more worried about a smash and grab drug addled thief.
Buy locally if you can, let them install it. They are the pro's. I had my dealer make another shelf using the same materials as the safe interior.. He did it for free.

oneounceload
September 29, 2009, 08:25 PM
Find a local locksmith in your area that sells safes - he might have a used one that someone traded in on an upgrade - you'll get a good safe at a lower price....BTW, go with a regular dial - you don't want a battery dial taking a digger at the wrong time. I have a National Security, which is now owned by Liberty

dehughes
September 30, 2009, 12:59 AM
Great idea about the "used" safe.....never thought of that.

I'll run a search and see what shows up. I looked around the forums but didn't see anything...

As well, I'll look into those brands already mentioned, and give special attention to dial locks...

As for price, I've figured in the $500 range, hopefully under $1k, as I don't have that many guns at the moment, and none of them are exceptionally "valuable" (though I'd rather they not get stolen, obviously).

THANKS!

lebowski
September 30, 2009, 10:20 AM
That price range will limit you quite a bit.

I'd probably start by going to zykansafe.com and check out his eagle series. He has several listed for <$1000 (also don't forget about shipping).

oneounceload
September 30, 2009, 10:26 AM
(also don't forget about shipping).

That's why, in his budget range, a used one from a local locksmith might be the best scenario

trimore
September 30, 2009, 01:01 PM
I would recommend against the digital lock. Think of how many things that are digital or electronic survive past 10 years, 20 years. Not many. And if your safe is 15 years old, what will be options and cost be to fix the digital lock. Additionally things that need electricy in the form of batteries tend to cause frustration since they have to be changed regularly and tend to go out when you don't want them too.


If you need quick access to a handgun, a small handgun lock box would be better such as a gunvault.


Now that I see that you are in the $500 range. I did quite a bit of research recently and found that unless spending at least 700-800 and more likely over $1000, a safe is not worth spending that much money for the improvement over a gun cabinet. What I found was that a sub $1000 safe could be gotten into by a persistent theif and nothing under $1000 provided fire protection that I was comfortable with.

For me, keeping the guns from children and visitors was the highest priority and then fire protection (for more than just my guns). A gun cabinet does the #1 priority and anything under $1000 was not going to accomplish the fire protection to my satisfaction.

I decided on a a gun cabinet. Depending on the size and sales, once can be had for between $80 and $175 for the size you are looking for. I bought one for $129 at Dicks and then on the same day my neighbor saw me unloading it and said I could have a extra one that he had that was brand new. I took the one from Dicks back and put the free one to good use.

I agree with another poster about looking for used. I did find some but nothing fit my budget need at the time. Persistence monitoring craigslist could really pay off.

heeler
September 30, 2009, 03:10 PM
If your budget is that low then head over to Home Depot or Lowes and buy something like a Greenlee contractors tool box.
This will cost less than $500 and are usually made of 16 gauge steel and will definitely keep the kids out and the smash and grab louts.
A gun rack for the long guns can be easily built.
A friend of mine uses one for his massive ammo dump cause his Ft.Knox safes cup has runneth over.

Bear2000
September 30, 2009, 05:49 PM
I just ordered a GS5930H Diamond Back Safe. Total price was $950 (shipping included). The specs on this safe blow away anything else in the $1000-$2000 range:

10 gauge steel
10 1 1/2" locking bolts
60 mins fire protection
22 guns
697 pounds.

Try to find anything close to those specs (most are 12 gauge steel w/ 1" bolts) anywhere near that price. You can get the 20 gun safe w/slightly less protection for $750 shipped, and the 16 for around $600 shipped.

Check them out here, but you can get them cheaper (like I did).

http://www.diamondbackgunsafes.com/

dehughes
September 30, 2009, 05:51 PM
Wow...you know you're into guns when your Fort Knox runneth over. :)

Yeah, I'm not worried about fire/water damage, or even theft, really, so much as safety from curious children. Something solid would be nice, even something with a sturdy door and bolts...a gun cabinet is kinda in that direction, albeit maybe a bit too low strength for my gun instincts. I'll look into the Sentry stuff or a used cabinet locally, as I don't want to pay for shipping and wager I could find something decent locally...

a1abdj
September 30, 2009, 08:41 PM
The specs on this safe blow away anything else in the $1000-$2000 range:


The Diamond Back is just a name applied to a safe by one particular distributor. These same safes are available through a variety of distributors under a variety of brand names.

Check them out here, but you can get them cheaper (like I did).


But do you know who the cheaper retailer is? Do you know who has access to your information (including safe combo)?

These companies selling these safes for a few dollars over cost are not going through any background or licensing check of any kind. Buyer beware.

Bear2000
September 30, 2009, 09:23 PM
I understand that the Diamond Back is just a name applied to a generic safe from China, not unlike, say, the Zykan Eagle Series ZES-30 that goes for $1082 w/o shipping, also a $100 more than Central Safe & Lock, and $270 more than I paid.

The safe is being shipped from a central warehouse in CA. I have absolutely no fear that my combination and information might fall into the wrong hands. (Boo!) This was a legit sale from someone who has sold hundreds of safes on Ebay and through his own website. He sold it for $100 over cost, not a lot, but still an honest profit.

So thanks for your advice. You just sell this same safe for more than others do (and less than some as well). Good for you, but don't assume that something nefarious might be going on because someone else is underselling you.

a1abdj
September 30, 2009, 10:00 PM
The safe is being shipped from a central warehouse in CA. I have absolutely no fear that my combination and information might fall into the wrong hands. (Boo!)

You may want to reassess that line of thought. You don't really know who has access to that information do you? As somebody who's been in this business for quite some time, I do know has access to it. And when those people have not been vetted properly, the possibility certainly exists.

Boo all you want. I've seen it first hand.

This was a legit sale from someone who has sold hundreds of safes on Ebay and through his own website. He sold it for $100 over cost, not a lot, but still an honest profit.

If he has a website, he must be legit right? Is he licensed in his state? Does his state even require a license? He's been fingerprinted, background checked, and all of that other stuff that us other legtimate guys have to go through? Since he's legitimate, I'm assuming he has a real brick and mortar business too, not just a website. He/she may be all of these things, I'm just doubting you checked. Of course if you did check, you may be in for a big surprise.

So thanks for your advice.

You're welcome.

Good for you, but don't assume that something nefarious might be going on because someone else is underselling you.

There usually is, which is why I assume so freely.

Bear2000
September 30, 2009, 10:18 PM
Oh please! These safes come in by the thousands to a port in CA and then are shipped by a variety of distributors (most of whom don't stock them) straight from the warehouse. Mine will probably never leave the original pallet or cardboard or whatever it came packaged in. It will go straight from the first warehouse it entered after it came off the boat onto a truck.

So, you're right, I didn't do a background check on the seller, I didn't fingerprint him, and I don't care if he has a license in any state. I checked his feedback, talked with him several times on the phone, saw that he's been selling safes for several years, and just took an incredible, amazing risk and bought a mid-level safe from him for 25% less than you sell the same product for.

So, if any big risk-takers would like to buy the same product that Mr. Zykan sells for 25% less, take a look at PrivateSecurityProducts.com. The service was excellent in every way (and no condescension either!)

padd54
September 30, 2009, 10:35 PM
I ordered this last week from Costco. I was able to get the Combo lock instead of the cheap electronic lock.
http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11487046&search=gun%20safe&Mo=4&cm_re=1_en-_-Top_Left_Nav-_-Top_search&lang=en-US&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&Sp=S&N=5000043&whse=BC&Dx=mode+matchallpartial&Ntk=Text_Search&Dr=P_CatalogName:BC&Ne=4000000&D=gun%20safe&Ntt=gun%20safe&No=2&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial&Nty=1&topnav=&s=1

oneounceload
September 30, 2009, 10:39 PM
one more time - check your local locksmith (bonded and insured) for a used safe from a trade-in - he might even deliver and set up, change the combination, etc.......

Bear2000
September 30, 2009, 10:44 PM
Padd54, that looks like a really good deal too - a lot of safe for the money. I almost wonder if these are manufactured by the same company that produces the Diamond Backs - the specs are very similar.

a1abdj
September 30, 2009, 10:46 PM
Oh please! These safes come in by the thousands to a port in CA and then are shipped by a variety of distributors (most of whom don't stock them) straight from the warehouse.

Each distributor stocks their own safes. The facility in California is Cobalt's (aka Diamond Back).

Mine will probably never leave the original pallet or cardboard or whatever it came packaged in. It will go straight from the first warehouse it entered after it came off the boat onto a truck.

Right. None of these companies have any "computers" that keep track of stock via serial number (for warranty purposes) and which safe is going where.

So, you're right, I didn't do a background check on the seller, I didn't fingerprint him, and I don't care if he has a license in any state. I checked his feedback, talked with him several times on the phone, saw that he's been selling safes for several years, and just took an incredible, amazing risk and bought a mid-level safe from him for 25% less than you sell the same product for.

And here is where it gets interesting. Remember that computer mentioned above?

So a dealer calls the Diamond Back distributor and says "hey...remember that safe I sold to Bear2000?" The distributor asks for the spelling of your last name, because that's how they keep your information stored in Quickbooks.

"Could you give me his combination, he seems to have fallen off during shipping?"

After a 30 second telephone conversation, he has the numbers in his hot little hands, along with your shipping address.

I was one of Cobalt's largest dealers, and dropped them like a bad habit the second they started letting anybody off the street to sell their products.

You may not care if a business is licensed, but there is a reason many states require it. I'm not talking about a business license, I'm speaking of the licenses for security pros.

So, if any big risk-takers would like to buy the same product that Mr. Zykan sells for 25% less, take a look at PrivateSecurityProducts.com. The service was excellent in every way (and no condescension either!)


Most normal people wouldn't take a risk when it comes to their security. I hope those reading this thread now understand why some companies are selling for less than others. It cost money to be legitimate.

To me, it's worth $100 to sleep better at night. I don't buy my security at a discount. I also don't go cheap with my parachute, my defensive firearms, or the brakes on my cars.

Bear2000
September 30, 2009, 10:57 PM
Oh please! I got a great deal on the same safe you sell and I have no fear that my serial number and combination and address is going to get into anyone's hot little hands. This guy's been selling safes for years, has a customer base, and a reputation to protect. He's not just any guy on the street who's looking to sell combinations and address. He's a low-overhead drop-shipper who sells lots of safes at a low margin.

Do you use fear and condescension with all of your clients as well to justify an extra $250 profit?

Since you've maligned the reputation of your former vendor, I'm going to send this thread to him. Maybe Dan can respond better than I can - I'm just a guy who got a great deal on a safe.

You know, if I had written that I paid $1400 for this safe from some other drop-shipper, you would have written, simply, "Oh, I could have done you better than that. Wish you had contacted me first." Yes, I'm freely assuming that...

a1abdj
September 30, 2009, 11:12 PM
Oh please! I got a great deal on the same safe you sell and I have no fear that my serial number and combination and address is going to get into anyone's hot little hands.

I'm glad you're comfortable in your ignorance.

He's not just any guy on the street who's looking to sell combinations and address.

How do you know that? What about his employees? What about the distributor? What about their employees?

There's a reason I no longer sell for that vendor. Some people may take that as a clue.

Do you use fear and condescension with all of your clients as well to justify an extra $250 profit?

I'm curious as to your profound knowledge of how much I'm making. Do you have a price sheet from this vendor, or more importantly, my vendors?

I don't recall you requesting a quote from me, so I don't really know how you're coming up with the difference between my price and theirs.

Since you've maligned the reputation of your former vendor, I'm going to send this thread to him.

They've already read about themselves on my website. I have it posted very clearly at the header of each page of their product.

Maybe Dan can respond better than I can - I'm just a guy who got a great deal on a safe.

Should I look forward to his response here, or will his lawyers be contacting me????

You know, if I had written that I paid $1400 for this safe from some other drop-shipper, you would have written, simply, "Oh, I could have done you better than that. Wish you had contacted me first." Yes, I'm freely assuming that...

I'm not here to sell safes my friend. I'm here to educate people. I can make more money on a single vault installation for a bank than I could make on 1,000 gun safe sales.

If somebody wants to purchase from me, I welcome the chance to have them as a customer. If they would rather go to Walmart or their local sporting goods store, I have no issue at all.

What I do have an issue with are security based businesses that don't play by the rules which are established to protect the security of their customers. I don't care if it's a dealer, distributor, or manufacturer. I won't have any part of it.

Bear2000
September 30, 2009, 11:29 PM
Frank, you are so here to sell safes - you educate (and often condescend), and then sell. AYou parachute into every single thread about safes and very often offer your services. I have no problem with that.

And yes, I have requested a quote from you, some time ago. You are competitive, knowledgeable, but you were not the lowest on this particular safe and are now trying to convince me and others that buying low on mass-produced safes like this is somehow jeopardizing security. It's very unbecoming of a professional, really. I got a good deal, about $250 less than I would have from you. Again, had I paid more, I expect you would have not brought up this issue, but perhaps suggested that you could have given me a better deal.

As for Danny at Cobalt, I highly doubt he'll bring a lawsuit against you, but he should have a chance to publicly defend himself against your accusations that buying from him or his dealers is risky.

Oh, and thanks for calling me "ignorant" for brushing off the alarmist, fear-mongering of someone who, quite simply, was undersold by someone he doesn't know at all, but makes all sorts of assumptions about. Cheers.

a1abdj
September 30, 2009, 11:50 PM
Frank, you are so here to sell safes - you educate (and often condescend), and then sell. AYou parachute into every single thread about safes and very often offer your services. I have no problem with that.

You are 100% wrong. I am not here to sell anything. I jump into the safe threads because that's my business. Kind of like gunsmiths who jump into gun threads.

I am here and two other select forums because of the firearms knowledge that is shared. You don't see me jumping into those threads because I'm the ignorant one there.

And yes, I have requested a quote from you, some time ago. You are competitive, knowledgeable, but you were not the lowest on this particular safe

Maybe I'm reading this wrong. Are you saying that you obtained knowledge from me, then used that knowledge to buy from somebody who couldn't educate you like I could because they were cheaper?

No wonder I was more expensive. I didn't get that knowledge for free. Perhaps I should start charging a consultation fee for my knowledge which would be applied to the purchase of a safe.


Again, had I paid more, I expect you would have not brought up this issue, but perhaps suggested that you could have given me a better deal.


If I can help out a forum member, I certainly will. However, I don't think you've read enough of the threads I participate in.

I have sold far more safes for other people here on this board than I have for myself. I routinely send people to local professionals, and other companies that sell products I don't. Again, I'm here to educate, not sell.

As for Danny at Cobalt, I highly doubt he'll bring a lawsuit against you, but he should have a chance to publicly defend himself against your accusations that buying from him or his dealers is risky.


Of course he won't, because there's nothing to sue for. There's also not much to defend. It's pretty black and white.

Cobalt safes sells product to just about anybody with a sales tax number. You can't tell me with a straight face that's not risky from a security stand point.

Oh, and thanks for calling me "ignorant" for brushing off the alarmist, fear-mongering of someone who, quite simply, was undersold by someone he doesn't know at all, but makes all sorts of assumptions about. Cheers.

You are ignorant. You have no idea how this business works behind the curtains. Most people have no idea they can get a safe's combination with a quick phone call. That's why I'm here. To educate.

Most of my customers are scared. That's why they're shopping for a safe. They're worried they will loose assets to fire or theft. I'm not fear mongering. Everything I have stated is a legitimate security concern.

Let me pass on another quick story about a local company that sells a variety of items, including safes for a well known gun safe manufacturer:

They employee a number of high school and college aged young adults. None of their employees undergo any sort of background check. They also have access to the combination to each and every safe in that store along with the purchaser's name, address, and in most cases credit card number.

They had to get rid of a manager last year who was caught stealing a $100 item. A manager willing to risk his job for $100. One who had access to all of that information.

Just something to think about.

Bear2000
October 1, 2009, 12:05 AM
You are reading it wrong. I did ask you a couple of questions in 2007, got a quote, but put off the purchase. Perhaps you should charge a consulting fee, but don't expect someone to feel compelled to buy from you just because you answered their questions. This year I decided to buy a gun safe - one you've recommended - just not from you (or someone you approve of, although you really don't know if the person I did buy from is totally unqualified or untrustworthy - you're just assuming, as you so freely do). And you didn't approve. Sorry.

Look, we obviously don't agree here. I got a good deal - much better, apparently, than I could have gotten from you – and you assume that I've made an incredibly risky decision, not least of all because of my ignorance. Fine. I still believe that had I paid more this conversation never would have occurred, even if it had been from another unlicensed seller who you might not have approved of.

The fact remains: you are making all sorts of assumptions about who I bought from and what security risks I may have taken, all because, again, I got a great deal.

I'm done here - but by all means, have the last word - it's yours. Then please go educate someone else (and perhaps get into another argument, which, judging from several other threads over the past few years, is another one of your skills).

a1abdj
October 1, 2009, 12:10 AM
I just did some quick due diligence on the company you bought your safe from:

Website is registered by proxy. True owner doesn't want to be known.

Website goes straight to Ebay page. I'm guessing he only sells on Ebay.

Toll free number can't be traced to an address. The local number is in Freemont, Ca. If he was in the safe business in California, he would need a license.

Number is also connected to a lot of guitar stuff. I'm assuming he's in the safe/guitar business. I don't think California requires any special license for the guitars, so he should be OK from that standpoint.

The guy who's name is related to the local number does not appear to be a member of any professional organization that most reputable safe companies/persons belong to.

California Secretary of State does not show "Private Security Products" as a corporation or LLC in the state. I can't search for sole proprietors. Is he even licensed as a business? I can't say for sure.

Although I can't find his address, I did find his myspace page.

This all seems very legitimate to me.

http://doodie.us/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/chances-dont-be-a-pussy-this-guy-seems-legit-400x289.jpg

jim357
October 1, 2009, 01:11 AM
One thing that I and all of my friends have done is to immediately have the combonation changed on any new safe. One of the guys in the gun club will do it for us. Even he does not know the new combination because he stands behind the door and has the owner turn the dial and then he turns the key and the owner checks the new combination while the door is still open. Jim

Bear2000
October 1, 2009, 07:29 AM
I will let everyone know how I do on this. I'm feeling more and more confident that I got a smoking deal and will be as safe as had I bought this from anyone else for $270 more.

Until then, be afraid, be very very afraid...

a1abdj
October 1, 2009, 10:05 AM
One thing that I and all of my friends have done is to immediately have the combonation changed on any new safe. One of the guys in the gun club will do it for us. Even he does not know the new combination because he stands behind the door and has the owner turn the dial and then he turns the key and the owner checks the new combination while the door is still open. Jim

This is not a bad idea, but there are two things to remember.

The first is that not all safes can have the combination changed. Some of them can be changed, but can not be changed to a specific number. Others can be set to a specific set of numbers, but there are rules that have to be followed there as well, because the wrong set of number can cause a mechanical trap causing your lock to malfunction, and locking you out.

The second is that most safe and lock manufacturers will void the warranty if the combination is changed by anybody other than a bonafide locksmith or safe tech, although many will make an exception for the dealer if he is neither.

Until then, be afraid, be very very afraid...

Why did you even buy a safe? Are you looking to impress somebody by showing them how "rich" you are that you need a safe to secure your valuables?

If you bought it for fire protection, maybe your house will burn, maybe it won't.

If you bought it for theft protection, maybe you'll be burglarized, maybe you won't.

If you bought it to keep your children safe, maybe they will have played with your guns, maybe they won't.

If you bought it to save $270, maybe you did, maybe you didn't.

If you bought it to ensure your security, maybe you bought it from a convicted felon, maybe you didn't.

I can't say or not say for sure, but more importantly, neither can you.

BushyGuy
October 1, 2009, 10:09 AM
i have a stack on gun safe they are good cheap safes, most important thing is to bolt it to the floor . i have a 8 gun safe with key lock .

heeler
October 1, 2009, 10:52 AM
I can certainly understand anyone trying to save money by trying to get the best price possible.
And I can absolutely see Mr.Zykan's point of view as well.
Let me relate something here.
Way back in the 1970's in my more youthful days I worked one summer at a tire and wheel shop.
One Monday a guy came in to order some brand new wheels and tires for his truck...The very same ones he had ordered and had installed the week before.
They had been stolen off his truck over that weekend.
So a few days later two of the guys working there did not show up for work.
The reason is because they were in jail because they had all the information as to where the guy lived and knew just what they were going for because they themselves had mounted the tires and wheels on the truck.
But this time the morons got caught by the truck owner.
They are very lucky they went to jail instead of the morgue.
But then the police learned they had also done this very thing to several other customers over a period of several months.
So it is true that these things can and do happen.
Just something I thought I might relate.

PrivateSecurityProducts
October 1, 2009, 01:46 PM
Hi, I would like to introduce myself - I am Chris Guerra from www.PrivateSecurityProducts.com I have an ebay store & we sell anything from small safes to extra large double door safes and custom sized vault doors.

Anyone want a great deal on a safe...call me.....I have been involved with safes & Vault doors for years & when i work with someone one on one - I always try to do better prices for direct contact if possible - sometimes my pricing is rock bottom - just depends on the safe!!

Thank you -
Toll free - 800-656-4143 x2000
Direct line -
Chris 510-656-0854
http://www.PrivateSecurityProducts.com

Z-Michigan
October 1, 2009, 02:00 PM
I recently recieved my new "sturdy safe" and I'm pretty happy with it. I did quite a bit of research before buying and IMO in the mid-priced category sturdy and the amsec BF series offer the best value and quality for the money, and by quite a wide margin I may add. If money was no object I'd look at a true "safe" (which nothing mentioned thus far is) from graffunder or brown safes.


I highly recommend a dial lock over digital. Digital keypads are much more convenient when they work, but they are infinitely less reliable. A dial lock will last as forever. A digital lock won't seem so "convenient" the day you have to call a locksmith to come get you in to your own safe.

All this, strongly agree.

Now that I see that you are in the $500 range. I did quite a bit of research recently and found that unless spending at least 700-800 and more likely over $1000, a safe is not worth spending that much money for the improvement over a gun cabinet. What I found was that a sub $1000 safe could be gotten into by a persistent theif and nothing under $1000 provided fire protection that I was comfortable with.

For me, keeping the guns from children and visitors was the highest priority and then fire protection (for more than just my guns). A gun cabinet does the #1 priority and anything under $1000 was not going to accomplish the fire protection to my satisfaction.

This too.

Under $500, get a basic Stack-On or similar locking cabinet for $80-200, bolt it to the studs, it will keep kids out and provide minor theft deterrence.

I have a "Sturdy Safe" which I am very happy with. Not a TL-rated true safe, but better than just about any RSC you'll find, and great people to work with and buy from.

For someone with NFA weapons or other irreplaceable items I would be thinking TL-30 or better, or a custom vault.

a1abdj
October 1, 2009, 07:03 PM
PrivateSecurityProducts,

I'm glad you have shown up to advertise your goods without making any other contribution to the forum.

Could you address some of the issues I've mentioned? That way we can all get to know you and your business a little better. I'm sure **Edited To Remove Name** would want to make sure he's steering people towards a legitimate security business that takes the security of their customers seriously.

PS - Thank you **Edited To Remove Name** & for your recent safe purchase & input!!

I will give you a quick tip though. Most legitimate security businesses don't publish the names of their customers on the web. You may want to edit your post.

PrivateSecurityProducts
October 1, 2009, 08:48 PM
As much I would enjoy expressing myself here, I do not feel this is the proper forum for this type of discussion. Please if anyone needs to contact me regarding a safe or vault door, please do so, my door is always open to my customers.

I apologize if my "contribution to the forum seems inappropriate, My intention was only to let people know who I am, since I was obviously the topic of your discussions. It was not meant really to be an advertisement. But, my apologies to the people involved.

FYI - I did remove my customers name - Please remove his name as well from your post - Thank you - Chris

a1abdj
October 1, 2009, 09:01 PM
As much I would enjoy expressing myself here, I do not feel this is the proper forum for this type of discussion. Please if anyone needs to contact me regarding a safe or vault door, please do so, my door is always open to my customers.

I apologize if my "contribution to the forum seems inappropriate, My intention was only to let people know who I am, since I was obviously the topic of your discussions. It was not meant really to be an advertisement. But, my apologies to the people involved.

FYI - I did remove my customers name - Please remove his name as well from your post - Thank you - Chris

And here we have it. This is why some companies sell products cheaper than others. I am assuming you don't want to discuss your licensing, or lack thereof, because of the legal ramifacations which may result?

When you buy a product, you're not just buying the product. You're buying the service, ethics, trust, and common sense of the person you're buying it from.

Bear2000
October 1, 2009, 10:44 PM
While I am absolutely certain that the security of my safe was not compromised and I received otherwise excellent service (I spoke with Cobalt today and the seller is to be trusted), I must agree with Mr. Zykan that the revealing of my name was incredibly unprofessional. I apologize if I offended Mr. Zykan or questioned his intentions.

Keizer
October 2, 2009, 01:29 AM
I am in the market for a gun safe(RSC) myself. I have been doing allot of reading through present and past threads here in the forum. I have to give allot of credit to a1abdj for posting allot of educational information on all the different features offered by the sea of safe competitors.

I have narrowed my selection down to the Amsec BF series, or one of the offerings from Sturdy. I am more concerned about fire than I am about thieves. I did find a TL-15 safe from a jewelry store that went out of business. The guy was asking $400.00, and it weighed 2400 pounds. The thing he didn't tell me was that it was going to cost $700.00 and change to move it. :eek: Plus I would never be able to install it in my house. I believe in a layered approach when it comes to security. My security starts outside. I have a six foot chain link fence around my entire property. On the inside of that fence is a very active, and intelligent Dobie. I also have motion lights everywhere. I also have a monitored alarm system. And finally, I work from home with Smith &Wesson close by. :neener:

So, my main concern is with fire when it comes to a gun container. Honestly, I have my doubts with any of these RSC's and their fire ratings, but what do you do? Thankfully house fires are rare, so I can rest a little easier knowing that.

On a side note, I build garages, shops, horse barns, etc for a living. Many people want metal roofing and siding, which is no thicker than 28 gauge. Do you see where I'm going with this? Afterward, they store their $50,000.00 hot rod in there, and all their tools. You can cut this metal with tin snips by hand, and it's quite easy. Actually, if I was ever going to break into one of these building, I wouldn't even have to actually break anything. Thirty seconds with a screw gun, and you could have a full piece of the siding off, and a nice big door way into their building.

My point is, there are so many things that are a false sense of security. These RSC's are no exception. For sure they are a good place to lock up your weapons away from your children, and guests. But, if you think they are going to keep out motivated criminals, you are very wrong. That 2400 pound TL-15 safe would have given me some faith that my valuables were pretty secure. And I don't think anyone would be able to take the thing with them without investing way more time than they were comfortable with.

My conclusion on gun safes (RSC'S) is this. Unless it is a real TL-15 safe or better, then it isn't really good for anything except a storage locker to keep your guns from children and guests. That's as good as the security gets. Anything more, and you're fooling yourself. A layered approach is my advice.

PrivateSecurityProducts
October 2, 2009, 01:40 AM
B2000, FYI, If you did not want your name mentioned maybe you should not have answered the post & revealed who you are in the first place - Also, since it was so unprofessional to thank you by name - Why did Mr Zykan obviously repeat your name knowing it may not be right to do something so No, No - HUMMM?

I guess he is looking for reasons to mess with me - his problem, not mine..

NO one knew who you were until you posted - My last sale was NOT you & it was NOT an attempt to broadcast who you are - It was plain & simple thank you for your business -

I am legit & i am honorable - I will sell safes forever to people who wish to get a good price & they will always be secure in knowing there information is not and will not ever get compromised!

I am just an honest safe dealer as you checked - end of story - whether some likes it or not.

FYI- I sell safes & vault doors cheaper because i can - end of story!

Far as security - I WORK ALONE - THERE IS NO COMPROMISE ON ANY ASPECT OF SECURITY & NO ONE HERE HAS ACCESS TO THE COMBINATION'S INCLUDING MYSELF - NOR DO I NEED TO KNOW...The safes come from the warehouse to the end user..I do not see them or pack them.

Yes - You are buying the service, ethics, trust, and common sense of the person you're buying it from - that is me.

Thanks Guys...have a great day!

al123
October 2, 2009, 04:57 AM
I was roughly in the same position as dehughes (OP). What I have doesn't come close to a "collection". I started looking for an inexpensive gunsafe. The more I dug into it, the more what-ifs were revealed.

It really came down to what one was trying to achieve. In my case it was home security. I agree with the above post(s) that security must be a layered. A safe, to me, was like a medieval keep for your possessions - this is protection of last resort. The hope is that a decent gun container can at least slow them down or discourage smash-and-grab types in the end.

Good neigbors, strong locks, tough doors and windows, and an alarm system were all part of the mix. Also being discreet and keeping one's mouth shut comes to mind. There were many suggestions on where to hide your safes in this forum and elsewhere. This is not so much as to fool burglars who have already busted in as they tend to unend everything, but to keep unwanted eyes from knowing what you have in the first place.

Other advice I received was if you have other valuables keep them in a separate burglar resistant small safe. Gunsafes are for guns. I also liked the idea of a contractor's lockbox from Lowes but where I reside, it isn't on the "approved list".

A good used safe from a reputable bonded locksmith is a great idea. Many reputable security stores also sell used safes.

But I narrowed my search to a new AMSEC. I found the manufacturer's warranty to be appealing. a1abdj (Frank) has been very helpful in pointing out on how to find a good seller. I ended up purchasing a gun safe from a AMSEC dealer in another county, but services my area. They're a brick-and-mortar company that primarily does full service industrial/banking/jewelry safe and vault work, but they also perform a lot of gun safe installations.

In another forum some of their fellow SAVTA members said for heavy jobs or extra work they couldn't get to, they would refer them. Apparently a lot of locksmiths from small outfits do not have the equipment to install safes above 5,000 lbs. I didn't order anything of that magnitude, so this should be routine for them. Though not rock bottom, they also gave a pretty decent price.

I clearly overbought, but another piece of advice was buy more than you think you need .. :neener:

Keizer
October 2, 2009, 10:08 AM
I don't fully understand the attraction for having thick steel plate in the door. What purpose does it serve when the main body is sheet metal? Knowing what I now know about safes, and if I was of the criminal persuasion, I wouldn't even mess with the door. Instead, I would work my magic on the weaker sides of the safe. I suppose the steel plating in the door is for extra security when the safe is bolted down, and access to the sides is not possible.

RSC's are only as strong as their weakest link........the sides.

a1abdj
October 2, 2009, 10:25 AM
Also, since it was so unprofessional to thank you by name - Why did Mr Zykan obviously repeat your name knowing it may not be right to do something so No, No - HUMMM?


I wanted to make sure you wouldn't go back and edit your post then deny that you had done it.

I guess he is looking for reasons to mess with me - his problem, not mine..


If you are an illegal "business" it is my problem. Illegal companies give legitimate companies like mine a bad name.

I can assure you this will be more your problem than mine if this is the case.

I am legit & i am honorable

Could you please verify that by sharing your license infromation with us? Every other legitimate and honorable safe company in California list this information on their website.

I can't even find that your business is registered with the state throught the various Secretary of State or individual County websites.

Aside from any license issued to security based businesses, do you even have a regular business license? Does the Secretary of State and IRS know that you're running this big safe company?

FYI- I sell safes & vault doors cheaper because i can - end of story!


Please prove me wrong, but from the lack of information I can find, and your refusal to enlighten us, it appears that you can sell cheaper because you may be operating illegally.

Yes - You are buying the service, ethics, trust, and common sense of the person you're buying it from - that is me.


You already proved that wasn't the case when you published your customers name for the whole world to see.

I don't fully understand the attraction for having thick steel plate in the door. What purpose does it serve when the main body is sheet metal? Knowing what I now know about safes, and if I was of the criminal persuasion, I wouldn't even mess with the door. Instead, I would work my magic on the weaker sides of the safe. I suppose the steel plating in the door is for extra security when the safe is bolted down, and access to the sides is not possible.

RSC's are only as strong as their weakest link........the sides.

This is true with all safes, except those with six sided ratings.

The doors are always the strongest, because they are the most often attacked. There is usually some relationship between the strength of the door and that of the body. You will rarely see heavy plate doors on thin steel bodies.

In the case of safes that use a composite fill, the steel is always thinner, because the fill adds to the burglary resistance of the container.

Keizer
October 2, 2009, 10:38 AM
I don't see a way to quote other posters......am I missing something here??

Anyway, this reply is in response to padd54, and this safe that he purchased.
http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11487046&search=gun%20safe&Mo=4&cm_re=1_en-_-Top_Left_Nav-_-Top_search&lang=en-US&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&Sp=S&N=5000043&whse=BC&Dx=mode+matchallpartial&Ntk=Text_Search&Dr=P_CatalogName:BC&Ne=4000000&D=gun%20safe&Ntt=gun%20safe&No=2&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial&Nty=1&topnav=&s=1

I too was looking at that RSC. It actually appears to be a good deal. 10 gauge steel body, 1/4" steel plating in the door, 70 minute/1200 degree fire rating, 830 pounds, etc. It seems like it has most of the features that are important when considering a RSC. I can't believe that price even includes curb side delivery, especially for as much as it weighs.

The only thing I don't care for is the use of the gypsum board for the fire rating, and the thinner steel plate used in the door compared to the AMSEC, or Sturdy safes.

A good deal though for sure it seems.

a1abdj
October 2, 2009, 11:19 AM
I don't see a way to quote other posters......am I missing something here??


Above the text area where you type your reply, there will be a number of "buttons" you can click on to adjust the text. There will be a little image of a globe (links), a mountain in a box (photos) and a cartoon text bubble (quotes).

I can't believe that price even includes curb side delivery, especially for as much as it weighs.


Neither can I, seeing that shipping a single unit can easily cost $300.

I am under the impression than the Costco safes are different than the safes they sell through other retail channels. If this is the case, I'm sure there are some corners cut somewhere in order to achieve that price point.

Ed4032
October 2, 2009, 11:27 AM
The main thing to do is buy one Much Bigger than you think you will need.

Keizer
October 2, 2009, 11:31 AM
Well, I know that Costco safe we linked to gets shipped directly from Rhino Metals, Inc. Do you know anything about them? I'm assuming their "Bighorn" brand is maybe a cheaper to produce Chinese safe? Just a hunch.

Had they replaced the gypsum board with the DryLight insulation used in the AMSEC safes, it would be a little more appealing. A good compromise between the AMSEC, and Sturdy safes. But of course the price would probably go up accordingly.

padd54
October 2, 2009, 12:07 PM
I just forwarded this thread to Rhino. I researched this Safe a little and all the reviews and feedback that I could find was very positive.
I am very happy with my decision. Also, the price was a "Hot Buy" that ended the first of this month.

Keizer
October 2, 2009, 12:11 PM
a "Hot Buy" that ended the first of this month

It's good until the 4th!! Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh:D By the way, I have seen this Bighorn model sell from the low price that Costco offers, all the way up to $1,800.00 depending on the online store.

Keizer
October 2, 2009, 12:48 PM
I actually talked to Rhino Metals, Inc. this morning about this Costco model. They actually do not have 1/4" steel plate doors. They have a small piece of plate steel in a few key areas to try and prevent drilling to tamper with the lock.

Also, there is no inside sheet metal. The carpet just goes right up against the gypsum board.

And yes, they are an import, just in case that matters to anyone.

al123
October 2, 2009, 02:05 PM
I actually talked to Rhino Metals, Inc. this morning about this Costco model. They actually do not have 1/4" steel plate doors. They have a small piece of plate steel in a few key areas to try and prevent drilling to tamper with the lock.


FWIW, it looks like the Bighorn series is their lower end. The Rhino series has 1/4 inch plate or a 3/16 inch-composite-10ga doors.

I do have a question about safe placement for anyone out there. I have a choice of setting up a safe that will protect the sides more OR place it with the opening side against the wall making pry attacks harder, but exposing one side.

Thanks.

Keizer
October 2, 2009, 03:14 PM
I really like the look and features of the AMSEC safes, but being a former journey level machinist, and knowing how to weld, and do sheet metal work, those Sturdy brand safes are built like a tank.

I know they don't look as nice as AMSEC, but for those that can look beyond a fancy paint job, flashy knobs, and fancy stickers, you can not argue the fact that Sturdy brand safes are built extremely well.

I'm not knocking AMSEC, because they are also built well, and they are my other choice. It's just that I can appreciate heavier gauge steel. And, after talking with Terry at Sturdy, he is an old fashioned tradesman, and knows his stuff. It's also nice to know you are buying factory direct. They have been in business for years and years, which is a huge plus.

Not to mention, they are less expensive than AMSEC.

lebowski
October 2, 2009, 04:30 PM
Keizer I agree with you 100%.

I special ordered my sturdy safe in black - and after receiving it I see why Terry chose to stick with the textured gray as his standard color. The welds seem very solid, but with the gloss black you can actually see the weld spots through the front of the door. I'm not complaining, I knew fit and finish isn't the sturdys strong point and I'm not one of these clowns who display their safe prominently in the livingroom.

I also liked the amsec bf. Between the two, it ultimately came down to a matter of packaging as the biggest amsec I could fit through the doorway to the room I wanted it was the 6030. I was able to get a 32x24x72 sturdy into the same room, and deleting the fire protection gave me even more interior space.

The sturdy ain't the best looker out there, but it's well constructed and a great value. I'm very happy with it.

lebowski
October 2, 2009, 04:32 PM
Keizer I agree with you 100%.

I special ordered my sturdy safe in black - and after receiving it I see why Terry chose to stick with the textured gray as his standard color. The welds seem very solid, but with the gloss black you can actually see the weld spots through the front of the door. I'm not complaining, I knew fit and finish isn't the sturdys strong point and I'm not one of these clowns who display their safe prominently in the livingroom.

I also liked the amsec bf. Between the two, it ultimately came down to a matter of packaging as the biggest amsec I could fit through the doorway to the room I wanted it was the 6030. I was able to get a 32x24x72 sturdy into the same room, and deleting the fire protection gave me even more interior space.

The sturdy ain't the best looker out there, but it's well constructed and a great value. I'm very happy with it.

Keizer
October 2, 2009, 04:58 PM
I special ordered my sturdy safe in black - and after receiving it I see why Terry chose to stick with the textured gray as his standard color. The welds seem very solid, but with the gloss black you can actually see the weld spots through the front of the door. I'm not complaining, I knew fit and finish isn't the sturdys strong point and I'm not one of these clowns who display their safe prominently in the livingroom.

Don't mistaken weld distortion as a fit and finish flaw. A good weld has to be hot, and it has to penetrate deep for strength. I would rather have what you describe, than a weld that is danty, and doesn't penetrate too far into the steel.

Also, if you will notice on your door, it fits tighter in the frame than most other RSC on the market. Sturdy does this so it is harder to get a pry bar between the door and frame. Also, you will notice that your door shuts like a bulk head. Much like a door on a wood stove......tight against the seal.

Oh, by the way, I don't work for sturdy, I have just been researching all the different brands.

heeler
October 2, 2009, 05:03 PM
Hmm....I really wished I could see a Sturdy up close and personal because I really like the fact that they use 3/16th of an inch body metal.
And it's not too late to cancel my Amsec BF order either as the dealer has not ordered the amount he needs for his inventory.
In fact I have until next week to decide.
Damn!!... decisions,decisions.

lebowski
October 2, 2009, 06:45 PM
Don't mistaken weld distortion as a fit and finish flaw. A good weld has to be hot, and it has to penetrate deep for strength. I would rather have what you describe, than a weld that is danty, and doesn't penetrate too far into the steel.

Also, if you will notice on your door, it fits tighter in the frame than most other RSC on the market. Sturdy does this so it is harder to get a pry bar between the door and frame. Also, you will notice that your door shuts like a bulk head. Much like a door on a wood stove......tight against the seal.

Oh, by the way, I don't work for sturdy, I have just been researching all the different brands.
I'm not saying it's a flaw. I realize it's a very solid weld and to me solid construction is more important than appearance. So I'm not complaining about the weld distortion ... I'm only commenting that now I see why he normally offers it in a textured gray. I highly doubt the weld distortions would show up w/ the textured gray finish. Much like with cars, things like that are very noticable on a gloss black finish. (I'm still glad I went with the black though).

a1abdj
October 2, 2009, 07:48 PM
You guys do realize that you can buy gun safes that are built even heavier than the Sturdy's don't you? I deal with a few companies that will build them out of solid 1.5" plate if you want.

Sturdy and I disagree over their single thicker layer of steel as opposed to AMSEC's 10 gauge outer wall with cement filled interior BF series. Although I have not attacked these safes with a brute force experiment, I believe that both would hold up equally as well. I do believe the fire protection offered by the AMSEC is superior to that of the Sturdy.

With all of that said, Sturdy does build a safe that puts many other name brands to shame. Either choice should serve you well.

Keizer
October 2, 2009, 08:02 PM
You guys do realize that you can buy gun safes that are built even heavier than the Sturdy's don't you? I deal with a few companies that will build them out of solid 1.5" plate if you want.

I had actually found a used TL-15 safe on Craigslist for $400.00. It was used in a jewelry store. I was going to buy it, but since it weighed 2400 pounds, and would cost over $700.00 to move, I passed on it. Plus, I wouldn't be able to just stick 2400 pounds on the floor of my house with that small of a foot print. So, it would have had to live out in my detached unheated garage, and I would have most likely had moisture issues with my guns.

Sturdy and I disagree over their single thicker layer of steel as opposed to AMSEC's 10 gauge outer wall with cement filled interior BF series.

You have to remember though, Sturdy also has a 14 gauge inner panel that would also need to be breached.


I do believe the fire protection offered by the AMSEC is superior to that of the Sturdy.

I had a long talk with Terry from Sturdy about fire protection. Back when they were trying to come up with not only an affordable solution, but one that actually works, they did some interesting tests. He said that the gypsum board flat out doesn't work. They were actually allowed my the fire department to put their safes in the houses that were being deliberately burnt down for training exercises. He said multiple layers of gypsum flat out failed every time. He said the system they use now works good, but is a more expensive way to insulate the inside of the safe from heat compared to gypsum.

I have no idea which system is better......AMSECS, or Sturdy. I do like the fact that Sturdy actually tested their system in real world house fire scenarios. And, they were not allowed to retrieve the safes until these house fires were cooled down. Sturdy even states that "they tested a layer of cement compound, fire board, and fire board with a layer of ceramic. These fire liners had poor-terrible overall performance". By the way, for an extra cost, Sturdy will actually double their fire rating for you.

When I first started researching RSC's, Sturdy was on the bottom of my list just because I didn't care for their appearance over the foofy shiny, misrepresented safes. After diving in and learning the meat and potatoes of RSC's, Sturdy is at the top of my list. AMSEC is right there with it. Honestly, if I could select a safe for free, I would choose the AMSEC BF series just because of the 'cool' looking factor. But, I won't pay extra for it.

lebowski
October 2, 2009, 08:32 PM
You guys do realize that you can buy gun safes that are built even heavier than the Sturdy's don't you? I deal with a few companies that will build them out of solid 1.5" plate if you want.





Yes, but how much would that 1.5" plate steel safe weigh?

I was limited in terms of how much weight I want on my floors. I'd much rather have a less secure safe inside my house, than a more secure safe that is relegated to the garage.

I'm not saying Sturdy is the best safe out there (price and weight no object I'd much rather have a Graffunder), but considering value for the money, weight, and a size that I could place a 6ft safe where I wanted it, the Sturdy Safe was the best choice for me. I'd have just as much confidence in the protection of an AMSEC BF - if it was offered in a 72x24x32 or similar size it would have been a very tough decision for me.

heeler
October 2, 2009, 08:58 PM
Lebowski pretty much sums up my concerns as well.
Weight.
Once you start getting into TL rated safes the weight is way up there for a residentual home.
Although i have no scientific way of proving it my gut instinct tells me if fire worries are your chief concern the Amsec BF is your box simply because Amsec has had so many years of dealing with fire rated safes and their designs.
On the other hand where i live theft is more of a concern so i have always heard thicker steal is better and until i researched the Sturdy Safe basically every gun safe i looked at that came with a 3/16th body was well over 3k in the size safe i was looking for,which is 36" wide.
These two gun safes,the BF 6636 and Sturdy 3627 are literally neck and neck at the same price.
I am about to spend some real money on one of them and i just want to make sure i get the most gun safe for the money.
And as a result which ever one i choose i will be supporting American workers,which means a great deal to me.

Keizer
October 2, 2009, 09:26 PM
These two gun safes,the BF 6636 and Sturdy 3627 are literally neck and neck at the same price.

If the two safes calculate out to the same price, I would buy the BF. You get some extra bling for your money. But man that 7 gauge steel is soooooo tempting.

I'm not sure how the welds are done on the AMSEC safes, but the Sturdy safes are hand welded........not done by a robot.

jim357
October 3, 2009, 06:47 PM
Unless I am missing something someplace, I did not see that the Sturdy safes have any UL rating. The Amsec BF safes have the RSC rating from UL.

lebowski
October 3, 2009, 06:51 PM
Unless I am missing something someplace, I did not see that the Sturdy safes have any UL rating. The Amsec BF safes have the RSC rating from UL.
The UL RSC rating is pretty worthless. Graffunders, Browns, etc. don't bother with UL RSC ratings either, and I don't think anyone would argue with the statement that the burglary protection of either of those products blows away any of the common name brand RSCs.

jim357
October 3, 2009, 08:30 PM
Well, I agree to a certain extent. Most of the RSC rated safes seem to me to be built better than most of the non rated imported safes. With the rating at least you know that it met some sort of minimum standard. The two brands that you mention do seem, at least to me, to far exceed the RSC standard. When we are talking about the lower levels of safes though, I think the RSC rating is a useful guideline.

a1abdj
October 4, 2009, 01:56 PM
Unless I am missing something someplace, I did not see that the Sturdy safes have any UL rating. The Amsec BF safes have the RSC rating from UL.

The UL RSC rating is pretty worthless. Graffunders, Browns, etc. don't bother with UL RSC ratings either, and I don't think anyone would argue with the statement that the burglary protection of either of those products blows away any of the common name brand RSCs.

Lebowski is correct. The RSC rating doesn't really mean anything from a security standpoint. There are plenty of unrated safes out there that would put most of your RSCs to shame.

Well, I agree to a certain extent. Most of the RSC rated safes seem to me to be built better than most of the non rated imported safes. With the rating at least you know that it met some sort of minimum standard. The two brands that you mention do seem, at least to me, to far exceed the RSC standard. When we are talking about the lower levels of safes though, I think the RSC rating is a useful guideline.

You're close, but it comes down to a pretty basic feature. The RSC rating is only for a period of 5 minutes using light duty tools (hammer and a big screwdriver). Most safes using steel 12 gauge or heavier, and UL listed mechanical or electronic locks with relockers would pass this test if submitted.

So long as your safe is 12 gauge or heavier and has the UL listed locks, then it shouldn't matter if it has the RSC rating or not. It would also not matter if the safe was Chinese, Korean, Mexican, or US built.

The less expensive gun safes that you see tend to use direct entry locks with no relockers. These types of safes are very easy to manipulate, and also easy to break into by attacking the lock. Most safes using direct entry locks would not pass the RSC test.

Yes, but how much would that 1.5" plate steel safe weigh?


A lot.

I wasn't making the case that you should build gun safes that heavy, but it is a matter of deciding where you draw the line. 12 gauge gun safes are very common, but 10 gauge is better. 3/16" is better than 10 gauge. 1/4" is better than 3/16". Where do you stop?

If you look at older gun safes you will notice that a lot of them were built much heavier than their modern day cousins. It wasn't uncommon to see a lot of 1/4" plate on gun safes built in the 1980's. They stopped building them like this once they decided to add gypsum board for insulation. They were too heavy to have both the thick steel and the insulation.

Truthfully, I would be more apt to suggest a 1/4" plate uninsulated gun safe to a customer if they were available. Gypsum is such a poor insulator, that you would be just as well off going without and gaining the extra security from the heavier plate.

If you needed fire protection for non-gun items, you could buy a smaller fire rated safe for those items. Most people buy a gun safe as a general purpose safe, and for the most part, they are not.

Gun safes should be for guns. If you have photos, jewelry, documents, and other items, they should be stored in a safe specifically designed for those purposes.

jim357
October 4, 2009, 06:02 PM
Thank you for the info. What is a direct entry lock that you talk about? Thanks

Tedster
October 4, 2009, 06:21 PM
I'm gonna say I don't like the electronic gunsafe locks for some reason. I have some experience with the lock type, I hope they are better than the one on my Sentry firesafe, I don't know.

We keep the mortgage paperwork and other important documents inside. It can be opened quicker than a can of pop by someone who knows what they are doing, with a nine-volt battery, or so I'm told. Now, it's not a burglar type safe, but the lock type is in the ballpark. There is also a "default" combo that will open the safe conventionally, if you happen to get locked out. Are gunsafes set up this way? No thanks, if so!

Next, there's a key that can be used should the battery power fail, so I have to hide the key somewhere secure too. How many of *those* are floating around? Overall that doesn't sound very secure to me. They are handy, though I change the batteries often, just to be sure. Tip: Don't use rechargeables for this application, just fresh Alkalines. Rechargeables are not adviseable in critical applications, esp. that see long idle times, etc.

For my part I would consider a mil spec ($$$) electronic pad, or if conventional, a Sargent&Greenleaf top of the line. Class 1 or whatever they call it. Just about everything else is crap. Btw, be sure you get the right change-key with your lock/gunsafe, it allows one to change the combination from the default or factory combo (recommended); locksmiths seem to get squirrely about this, because they want the business but it is a user level function.

One locksmith I talked to, said that the mechanical locks as described are going away soon. There's something to be said for simplicity, and battery operated devices need regular attention, and the long term reliability of electronic locks isn't really yet known, at least the el-cheapos. .02$

lebowski
October 4, 2009, 06:37 PM
Truthfully, I would be more apt to suggest a 1/4" plate uninsulated gun safe to a customer if they were available. Gypsum is such a poor insulator, that you would be just as well off going without and gaining the extra security from the heavier plate.




I really wish more companies would do this ... I ordered my Sturdy w/o fire protection and if companies offered 1/4" plate without the gypsum board I wouldn't taken a hard look. The only company I know of that does offer this is Brown Safe.




If you needed fire protection for non-gun items, you could buy a smaller fire rated safe for those items. Most people buy a gun safe as a general purpose safe, and for the most part, they are not.

Gun safes should be for guns. If you have photos, jewelry, documents, and other items, they should be stored in a safe specifically designed for those purposes.



Since I opted for a Sturdy w/o fire protection, what do you recommend for my documents? Just get a cheapo firebox from Walmart and put that in the Sturdy (I have room on the top shelf), or should I get a separate stand alone fire safe for documents? I'm not talking about anything of uber-high importance that can't be replaced, talking more about my passport, title to my car, things of that nature.

oneounceload
October 4, 2009, 07:23 PM
Since I opted for a Sturdy w/o fire protection, what do you recommend for my documents? Just get a cheapo firebox from Walmart and put that in the Sturdy (I have room on the top shelf), or should I get a separate stand alone fire safe for documents? I'm not talking about anything of uber-high importance that can't be replaced, talking more about my passport, title to my car, things of that nature.

If it is stuff you don't need to access all the time, a safety deposit box isn't exactly a bad option either - a small one isn't that expensive

a1abdj
October 4, 2009, 08:41 PM
Thank you for the info. What is a direct entry lock that you talk about? Thanks

A direct entry lock is the most basic type of safe lock, where the lock itself has no mechanical function. The wheels line up when dialing your combination, and the boltwork of the safe moves into the portion of the wheels that are cut out.

To see if a safe has a direct entry lock, put pressure on the handle like you are opening it, and then attempt to turn the dial. Direct entry locks will bind when pressure is placed on the handle.

I should have also added that a basic solenoid electronic lock would have similar weaknesses which would prevent the safe from getting an RSC rating. These inexpensive electronic locks can be even less secure, as some of them can be opened quickly with no tools at all.

One locksmith I talked to, said that the mechanical locks as described are going away soon. There's something to be said for simplicity, and battery operated devices need regular attention, and the long term reliability of electronic locks isn't really yet known, at least the el-cheapos. .02$

Mechanical locks propably won't go away anytime soon. We have many customers still using 100 year old safes.

I do welcome the increase of electronic locks on safes though. They produce a steady stream of income due to their higher rate of failure.

Since I opted for a Sturdy w/o fire protection, what do you recommend for my documents? Just get a cheapo firebox from Walmart and put that in the Sturdy (I have room on the top shelf),

This would work. I like the Sentry key locking fire boxes. They have been around for a long time, carry the proper ratings, are inexpensive, and their plastic shell keeps the wet insulation from leaching moisture out.

Keizer
October 4, 2009, 10:30 PM
This would work. I like the Sentry key locking fire boxes. They have been around for a long time, carry the proper ratings, are inexpensive, and their plastic shell keeps the wet insulation from leaching moisture out.

When I talked to Terry at Sturdy, he said all those cheap fire boxes will not survive a real fire. I mentioned earlier that Sturdy actually tested their fire rated safes in real house fires via training exercises put on by the fire department. They also tested how well those inexpensive fire boxes would survive along side their RSC's. He said they DON'T! He said they do great if they are placed inside a fire rated RSC. He also said they did fine inside a non fire rated RSC. He said that if they are protected from radiant heat, they do great.

I would suggest buying one of the small fire boxes, and keep it inside the gun safe weather it is fire rated or not.

I know everyone wants the UL fire rating on their safes, but in my opinion, they don't mean squat when the safe they are on is filled with basically sheet rock. Again, the guys at Sturdy tried one, two, three layers of gypsum board etc, and all the safes failed in their real world fire tests. They even tried combination's of gypsum and some form of concrete board with the same results.

One of the reasons I really like the 2300 degree U.L. listed ceramic wool, and U.L. listed 1000 degree high temperature glass blankets that sturdy uses for fire insulation is how it cuts down on condensation. There will never be any sudden temp changes inside that RSC which is what causes condensation. I build garages, and shops for a living. If the 28 gauge metal siding and roofing I use does not have 1.5" insulation blanket under it, you will get horrible condensation issues. The Sturdy safes totally eliminate this issue with their style of fire insulation.

a1abdj
October 4, 2009, 11:06 PM
When I talked to Terry at Sturdy, he said all those cheap fire boxes will not survive a real fire.

If it has a UL fire rating, it will tend to perform exactly as it is rated. Some of them have the rating, others do not. Make sure you buy one with the UL tag (or similar foreign rating).

I would suggest buying one of the small fire boxes, and keep it inside the gun safe weather it is fire rated or not.

Extra protection certainly does not hurt.

I know everyone wants the UL fire rating on their safes, but in my opinion, they don't mean squat when the safe they are on is filled with basically sheet rock.

You may be confusing the UL RSC rating with a UL fire rating. There are no safes that I'm aware of that carry a UL fire rating which use gypsum board for insulation.

One of the reasons I really like the 2300 degree U.L. listed ceramic wool, and U.L. listed 1000 degree high temperature glass blankets that sturdy uses for fire insulation

The materials may be UL rated, but just like the gypsum board, I am not aware of any UL rated fire safe that uses ceramic wool for insulation either.

Fire rated safes have used the same basic construction (cement filled) for over 100 years. There is a reason for this.

Keizer
October 4, 2009, 11:38 PM
Fire rated safes have used the same basic construction (cement filled) for over 100 years.

How does cement work when using it in a fire rated safe? Does it work like insulation? Like fire bricks in a wood stove? Is it like dry cement powder?

a1abdj
October 4, 2009, 11:47 PM
How does cement work when using it in a fire rated safe? Does it work like insulation? Like fire bricks in a wood stove? Is it like dry cement powder?

This varies depending on the particular type of fill material the manufacturer is using. Some of it contains moisture which steams off in a fire. Some of the newer composite safes are using a very dry material which is impervious to heat.

UL has some of the toughest safe testing standards in the world, and has been in the safe testing business for a long time. If they've attached their stamp of approval, you know you're dealing with the real deal (except for the whole RSC thing).

Keizer
October 4, 2009, 11:59 PM
Some of it contains moisture which steams off in a fire

Wouldn't that be bad for guns trying to survive a fire? I thought the steam idea was for document safes only.

I have a small Sisco protector fire safe I bought years ago for documents. It has a 2 hour/1700 degree rating. What do you think is being used for the fire insulation? I have often wondered how well it would do in a fire. It's too small for my guns, whicj is why I am looking to buy a RSC.

jim357
October 5, 2009, 12:26 AM
Thank you a1abdja, I had no idea there was such a thing as a direct entry lock. Jim

a1abdj
October 5, 2009, 12:42 AM
Wouldn't that be bad for guns trying to survive a fire? I thought the steam idea was for document safes only.

I have a small Sisco protector fire safe I bought years ago for documents. It has a 2 hour/1700 degree rating. What do you think is being used for the fire insulation? I have often wondered how well it would do in a fire. It's too small for my guns, whicj is why I am looking to buy a RSC.

It would be bad for guns, which is why a lot of these gun safe manufacturers are trying to improvise with other materials. The fill used by AMSEC and Graffunder, tends to be relatively dry.

Your little fire safe would probably do well. Don't forget that heat goes up, so the smaller the safe, the closer it sits to the ground. You do not want to store firearms in these little document safes, as the insulation does tend to have high moisture content.

Thank you a1abdja, I had no idea there was such a thing as a direct entry lock. Jim

I'm not on the computer will all of the pics, so I'm going to borrow some from a google search.

This lock is a UL listed mechanical lock. It is an old and proven design that is used by a number of manufacturers. The lock bolt is retracted after the combination is entered. Don't let the simple design fool you.

http://www.lsc.com.au/doc/Products/locks/safe+&+vault+locks/combination+safe+locks/6741023_hr.jpg

This is a direct entry lock. You should see the security flaw just by looking at it. These locks are still good for keeping the kids out and casual smash and grab theives. They wouldn't stand much of a chance against an educated brute force attack.

http://www.made-in-china.com/image/2f0j00iBtEjgIlYhbMM/Combination-Lock-812-59-.jpg

Keizer
October 5, 2009, 03:36 AM
a1abdj , what do you know about Pentagon gun safes? They offer a 1/4" steel body option.
http://www.sportsmansteelsafes.com/

a1abdj
October 5, 2009, 09:38 AM
a1abdj , what do you know about Pentagon gun safes? They offer a 1/4" steel body option.
http://www.sportsmansteelsafes.com/

If you do a google search you will find a number of horror stories. Buyer Beware.

Keizer
October 5, 2009, 10:09 AM
If you do a google search you will find a number of horror stories. Buyer Beware.

Their web site does seem kind of gimmicky. They have some rather outlandish claims.

What about Drake safes?? They also claim 1/4" wall construction. I googled their name, and nothing comes up but their business name and location. I did call them, and talked to the guy. They seem to be another manufacturer like Sturdy, where they build them right there. The guy said they use 1/4" steel all the way around with 5/8 gypsum for their fire rating. I didn't get a real impressed feeling from the guy I talked to.
http://www.dryesgunshop.com/main/featured/drakesafes.html

Also, are TL-15 Gem vaults a good idea for storing guns? Or does the design create a bad environment for guns? I'm looking at some of these RSC prices, and thinking although the gem vaults are smaller, their fire rating and burglar rating are top notch, and they would be cheaper to purchase. For example:http://www.directsafes.com/tl-15-safe.cfm?ProductID=24
I have mainly hand guns I am wanting to keep locked up, so a tall safe is not really necessary.

So if a TL-15 gem vault is a good option for storing hand guns, what would a good one be in the $1,200.00/700 pound range.

Keizer
October 5, 2009, 01:10 PM
I do believe the fire protection offered by the AMSEC is superior to that of the Sturdy.


I know you have mentioned that the drylight cement product used in the AMSEC RSC's is superior to the ceramic wool/high temperature glass combo used in the Sturdy safes.

I called Graffunder Safe company today and was chatting with them about what they use for fire protection. They described a cement product much like what you say AMSEC uses. Then, they told me something that surprised me. Guess what they use in the doors of their safes(RSC's) for fire protection?? Ceramic batting just like Sturdy uses. They described it to me as the same stuff used in kitchen ovens to insulate them.

I consider Graffunder safes on the high end, upper scale money and quality wise. I assume they would not use this ceramic batting in their doors if it was not comparable to the cement product they use in the walls. Otherwise you end up with a situation where you are only as good as your weakest link. I assume AMSEC has to do something similar since you can't just pour a cement product into the inner workings of the door mechanism?? That's why Graffunder told me they use the ceramic batting in the door. So it does not interfere with the moving parts.

I believe there are two possible reasons for this product combination that Graffunder uses for fire protection in their safes. One possible reason: The cement product is cheap so they use that in the walls instead of the ceramic batting all the way around to keep the price down. Yet they are forced to use a higher priced ceramic batting in the door for the reason I mentioned above.

2nd possible reason: The cement product is superior to the ceramic batting, but they are forced to use the ceramic batting in the door for the reason I mentioned above. In turn, this produces a weak link, and their safe is only as good as the ceramic batting in the door. So the cement product in the walls are for nothing. If my 2nd reason here is true, then that is not a good thing for as much money as Graffunder charges for their RSC's.

a1abdj
October 5, 2009, 11:39 PM
called Graffunder Safe company today and was chatting with them about what they use for fire protection. They described a cement product much like what you say AMSEC uses. Then, they told me something that surprised me. Guess what they use in the doors of their safes(RSC's) for fire protection?? Ceramic batting just like Sturdy uses. They described it to me as the same stuff used in kitchen ovens to insulate them.


The doors are a slightly different story than the body for two reasons. The Graffunders use much heavier plate in their doors (1/2" up to 1 1/2"). Heavy steel plate takes much longer to heat through than thinner steel would. Safe doors also usually have an air gap of 2 to 3 inches. Air is also a good insulator.

I assume AMSEC has to do something similar since you can't just pour a cement product into the inner workings of the door mechanism?? That's why Graffunder told me they use the ceramic batting in the door. So it does not interfere with the moving parts.


AMSEC uses the same "cement" in their door as well. The door is also built with an inner plate which creates a cavity that is then filled.

The problem you have is that none of these safes have UL fire ratings, and the most likely explanation is that none of them would pass. As such, these companies can use whatever they want, and make whatever claims they would like.

AMSEC builds a smaller version of their gun safe which is built using the same fill material. The smaller safes do in fact have a UL fire rating.

These ceramic insulations may very well work. However, until UL starts rating safes using these materials, I'm more comfortable sticking with what I (and UL) knows that works.

Guns and more
October 5, 2009, 11:57 PM
I told you these safe threads soon devolve into,"My safe is better than your safe."

Buying a used safe is a good idea. Check the yellow pages. under "safes", go look.
I tried, and in reality, people don't want to move a safe long distances so they sell them back. I found a used safe in perfect condition from my safe salesman. It was, unfortunately, only $100 less than a new one. Then they sold the used one out from under me, so they gave me the new one for the same price. What great people.
There were some small used safes, but not suitable for my needs.
Your guns may not be valuable, but if stolen and used in a crime, you'll wish you had a safe after all.

I have never regretted buying my safe. And it has never failed me, nor have I been attacked by a band of safe cracking Gypsies. I figure the fire rating is better than leaving my stuff in a wooden desk drawer, and it hasn't fallen through my floor. Just boring security. Nice.

Keizer
October 6, 2009, 12:09 AM
I told you these safe threads soon devolve into,"My safe is better than your safe".

I don't own a gun safe yet so I'm actually getting allot out of this thread. Even if people are beating their chests!

Keizer
October 6, 2009, 12:15 AM
I had a comparison question between the Sturdy built safes, and the AMSEC BF series gun safes. Sturdy claims that having these spoked handles located in the middle of the door "is the most impractical place to put the handle. It doesn't allow shaft support, so it has a high chance of the clutch getting loose and wobbleing. Clutches and shear pins are needed for this linkage design".

Sturdy goes on to say that their handle design is superior because there are allot less moving parts. They are so sure of their system, that the whole locking system is warranted for life to be free from defects.

Also, does the dry light insulation in the AMSEC gun safes create any type of moisture issues that require a dehumidifier? Does the dry light degrade and lose it's intended purpose over time?

Cougfan2
October 6, 2009, 12:40 AM
Check out Mountain View Safe company in Portland. Here is a link on feedback for them.

http://www.northwestfirearms.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11993&highlight=mountain+view+safe+company%3F

Charlie has the best prices in town and his safes don't say Liberty on them, but they are made by the same company. He sells off of the back of his truck.

He will be at the Portland, OR gun show Oct 16-18, 2009. I plan on buying a safe from him there.

a1abdj
October 6, 2009, 12:48 AM
Sturdy claims that having these spoked handles located in the middle of the door "is the most impractical place to put the handle. It doesn't allow shaft support, so it has a high chance of the clutch getting loose and wobbleing. Clutches and shear pins are needed for this linkage design".


I don't see where the handle placement on any safe would really make much of a difference (assuming the boltwork design was sound). The most common handle placement would probably be level with, and left of the dial. I think gun safes are more prone to have them in the middle of the door for aesthetic puposes.

I sell plenty of safes, and these safes are all slightly different in design and apperance. I can't say any of these safes have had any more problems than another due to handle placement.

Sturdy goes on to say that their handle design is superior because there are allot less moving parts.

As a general rule, the fewer the parts, the fewer problems you will have.

They are so sure of their system, that the whole locking system is warranted for life to be free from defects.


Many gun safe manufacturers warranty their safes for life. This typically includes everything except the lock itself.

Also, does the dry light insulation in the AMSEC gun safes create any type of moisture issues that require a dehumidifier?

The insulation itself should no pose any issues as far as moisture is concerned.

Does the dry light degrade and lose it's intended purpose over time?


This is a great question. I'm surprised nobody has asked it before.

The answer is maybe. Some professionals think that it does, others think that it doesn't. To my knowledge, nobody has ever tested old material to see if it performs equally as well as new material.

In the commercial safe market, it's not uncommon to sell companies new fire rated safes to replace those that are several years old. This is based on the assumption that the older safes may not perform as well as the newer safes. However, as stated before, this has never been proven.

I've seen plenty of 100 year old safes do better in a fire than brand new safes.

a1abdj
October 6, 2009, 12:50 AM
Charlie has the best prices in town and his safes don't say Liberty on them, but they are made by the same company. He sells off of the back of his truck.


The safe shown on that thread you linked to is not a Liberty. It is a Chinese import. Probably imported by Eagle from Korea. Sold under a ton of brand names here in the US.

Liberty does offer private labeling, but I think you'd have to be a little bigger of a buyer than one who sells off the back of their truck in order to get them. Cabela's is one that comes to mind.

al123
October 6, 2009, 12:54 AM
What I get most out of all this is how the safe business in general operates. That department store special that many people rely on with the direct entry lock is pretty much worthless. Marketing gimmicks everywhere and one has be careful.

Perhaps one of these days U.L. might give more detailed tests for RSCs and have intermediate ratings below TL-15. However, it looks like there is no real incentive to do this or it would have been done already.

It's the same way with alarm companies and other security products. :barf:

Keizer
October 6, 2009, 12:58 AM
Cabela's is one that comes to mind.

I was at Cabelas the other day beating on the sides of their Liberty re-branded gun safes. They flex pretty good with a smack from your hand. I noticed that allot of them have the internal hinges.

jim357
October 6, 2009, 01:37 AM
a1abdj - Does the little Amsec 5517 have a direct entry lock. I see that they do not say that the combination can be changed, but it can be had with an electronic lock. I know that it is very inexpensive, but I think it is really cute, if a safe can be cute. Thanks, Jim

Keizer
October 6, 2009, 01:51 AM
The answer is maybe. Some professionals think that it does, others think that it doesn't.

Hmmmm, that doesn't make me feel good or bad I guess. The reason I asked is because I researched online what they used in the old safes for their "cement" fill. They actually listed all the ingredients in their concoction. They said that it would degrade over time.

I've seen plenty of 100 year old safes do better in a fire than brand new safes.

Maybe this proves my above comments as being wrong.

lebowski
October 6, 2009, 09:28 AM
I told you these safe threads soon devolve into,"My safe is better than your safe."





I don't think that's the case at all. I think there's been quite a bit of good information said in this thread, w/o devolving into arguing.

docsleepy
October 6, 2009, 02:02 PM
Wow, I learned a lot from just looking at some of those pictures....


There is one instance in which you might prefer a digital safe. I elected the Sentry with the digital, because it allows me to have THREE combinations that work. One is fixed at the factory (and can never be changed) -- and if you don't remove the stickers on the safe, an enterprising teen could socially engineer the combo out of Sentry....

The 2nd is the one that I use.

The 3rd is the one that I give to family members who should have access. If at any time I think they should NOT have access, then I can change that 3rd combination. I still have access; they don't. You can't do that with fixed mechanical locks, so that's why I bought digital.

(the situation in the US seems so sad at times that my wife gets down in the dumps....if she gets too down in the dump, I'll just surreptitiously change that code )

I can't speak for long term reliability. It has worked flawlessly for a year now, with hundreds of openings. I check with Sentry and hacking off the protruding digital part and doing something to the wires will NOT allow a thief to get in. So at least it provides SOME security. But not much. I'm just trying to protect against children, teens, and dumb thieves.

gordon

Keizer
October 6, 2009, 04:28 PM
I talked with another safe distributor that sells AMSEC safes, as well as Fort Knox, and some of the other brands. He said the AMSEC BF series are now shipping out with 11 gauge outer steel, and 11 gauge inner steel, with the drylight in between. He also said the hand wheels are now five spoke, not three spoke.

I kind of like the idea of two layers of 11 gauge steel v's 10 gauge outside, and 16 inside.

Guns and more
October 6, 2009, 04:37 PM
I told you these safe threads soon devolve into,"My safe is better than your safe."


I don't think that's the case at all. I think there's been quite a bit of good information said in this thread, w/o devolving into arguing.
Give it time. Someone will tell you that whatever you just bought is a piece of junk, and any experienced safecracker could have it open with a plasma cutter in a minute. And the fire rating won't survive a nuclear meltdown, so you gun collection will be melted.
But they will have a good deal on a used bank vault for $10,000.

the hand wheels are now five spoke, not three spoke.
Augh, now my safe with the three spoke hand wheel is obsolete. Darn.

heeler
October 6, 2009, 05:23 PM
Keizer...I would ask Amsec if that is really true about the 11 gauge double wall.
That would be nice but I am not so sure that it is true.
Perhaps the guy is thinking of his Ft.Knox safes as they can be ordered with a 10 outer and 10 gauge inner wall....

Guns and More...From my own home owner experience most burglars break into your home with a pry bar or smash a window with a blunt instrument to gain entry.
I have been the unfortunate victim of this very thing three times.
Unless they specifically know you own a safe,they are usually not sophisticated enough to bring plasma cutters,16 pound sledgehammers,five foot pry bars,the jaws of life,etc.
I still believe most gun safes with at least a 1/8 body in a residential setting will thwart most burglars attempts at your guns and other possesions you have locked up in said gun safe.
If of course they come back later AFTER discovering you own a safe all bets are off because they then have more time to plan how to get in that gun safe.

al123
October 6, 2009, 06:45 PM
11 gauge outer steel, and 11 gauge inner steel, with the drylight in between. He also said the hand wheels are now five spoke, not three spoke

The numbers I hear tossed about are 11 Ga outer and 16 ga. inner with 2 in. of Drylight and of course in THR I've heard 10 Ga and 16 Ga.

From this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6k9iGGWQ1w

However that video (could be dated) has has a three spoke wheel as standard while the latest AMSEC catalog has a five spoke wheel. The catalog does not specify steel body thicknesses :scrutiny:

As to over-all body protection there probably isn't a whole lot of difference.

Update: I've just spoke to AMSEC technical support and they've said 11 Ga outer with 16 Ga inner. This is what I've believed mostly from the past month. I've heard 10 Ga/16 here and sometimes 11/11 outer-inner here and elsewhere, but according to their first line tech support it's 11/16 Ga. FWIW.

Keizer
October 6, 2009, 07:26 PM
Update: I've just spoke to AMSEC technical support and they've said 11 Ga outer with 16 Ga inner.

Yep, I talked to them too this afternoon, and can confirm the 11 gauge outer, and 16 gauge inner.

I thought I saw all over the forums, as well as searches that the BF series had a 10 gauge outer skin.

lebowski
October 6, 2009, 07:38 PM
I talked with another safe distributor that sells AMSEC safes, as well as Fort Knox, and some of the other brands. He said the AMSEC BF series are now shipping out with 11 gauge outer steel, and 11 gauge inner steel, with the drylight in between. He also said the hand wheels are now five spoke, not three spoke.

I kind of like the idea of two layers of 11 gauge steel v's 10 gauge outside, and 16 inside.
I've read just about every safe thread on THR in their entirety, and I haven't found that to be the case. I have found a lot of good information, a little bit of bad information, and a large number of opinions - honest opinions of products are sometimes negative.

I'd much rather hear it all, the good with the bad, than have to rely solely on manufacturers websites and "reviews" from fellow consumers who have never had their safes tested in an actual fire or attempted burglary.

lebowski
October 6, 2009, 07:41 PM
The numbers I hear tossed about are 11 Ga outer and 16 ga. inner with 2 in. of Drylight and of course in THR I've heard 10 Ga and 16 Ga.

From this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6k9iGGWQ1w

However that video (could be dated) has has a three spoke wheel as standard while the latest AMSEC catalog has a five spoke wheel. The catalog does not specify steel body thicknesses :scrutiny:

As to over-all body protection there probably isn't a whole lot of difference.

Update: I've just spoke to AMSEC technical support and they've said 11 Ga outer with 16 Ga inner. This is what I've believed mostly from the past month. I've heard 10 Ga/16 here and sometimes 11/11 outer-inner here and elsewhere, but according to their first line tech support it's 11/16 Ga. FWIW.
I was under the impression the BF was 10 ga outer steel and 14 ga inner.

Keizer
October 6, 2009, 07:46 PM
I was under the impression the BF was 10 ga outer steel and 14 ga inner.

Here's a video with the guy stating that the AMSEC gun safe has 10 gauge outer, and 10 gauge inner. Who knows, maybe the model he is talking about does indeed have those specs.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8WRDY0dOkE

a1abdj
October 6, 2009, 09:22 PM
I will call AMSEC when I get a chance and verify with somebody slightly higher up the food chain than the customer service reps.

Unfortunately AMSEC is a large company with a number of people manning the phones. It is not uncommon to hear two different answers from two different people because each is looking at something different in their books.

The last time I verified the construction of the BF gun safes, it was 10/14.

Keizer
October 6, 2009, 09:29 PM
I will call AMSEC when I get a chance and verify with somebody slightly higher up the food chain than the customer service reps.

I would be really interested in what you find out. The lady I talked to at AMSEC did not leave me with a good sense that she knew what she was talking about. I told her "I thought the BF series originally came with 10 gauge outer, and 16 inner". She replied, "Well, there was rumor early on that they were going to do it that way, but it changed". :banghead:

Keizer
October 7, 2009, 12:07 AM
By the way, how does this guy sell his AMSEC BF RSC's so cheap? Well, not really cheap, but at least $350.00 cheaper than my lowest price from others.
http://www.safes4you.com/supContact2.html

I snooped around the internet, and actually found some really good things about the guy. He's been selling safes for years, and has been on the TV news, and in newspaper articles. Plus I found some very happy customer reviews online.

I called him, and he can get me an AMSEC BF 6030 to my door for $1,927.00. He came across as very informative, and answered all my questions accurately. When I told him That I wanted the AMSEC BF 6030, he told me that I must have really done my home work because there is nothing comparable in it's price range.

a1abdj
October 7, 2009, 12:34 AM
By the way, how does this guy sell his AMSEC BF RSC's so cheap?

Because AMSEC is not enforcing MAP pricing. I'm working on changing that. If AMSEC does not get on the ball as far as this is concerned, they're going to loose some volume dealers (such as myself).

That price is not far from my wholesale cost.

Some other reasons were discussed earlier in this thread. Unlicensed sellers, guys who know nothing about what they sell other than they can make $50, internet only businesses, etc.....

] He came across as very informative, and answered all my questions accurately.

He's probably read my threads =)

Keizer
October 7, 2009, 12:46 AM
Some other reasons were discussed earlier in this thread. Unlicensed sellers, guys who know nothing about what they sell other than they can make $50, internet only businesses, etc.....

He has a brick and mortar store that has been around for years in Nevada. I would find it hard to believe that he's unlicensed, and hasn't been shut down yet.

What regulations do you safe sellers have to go by? In the construction business I run, I can't advertise without a license number present on the ad. I can't get a license without proof of being insured and bonded. I can't get a building permit without proof of license. Basically, I would never make it in my business if I wasn't on the up and up.

Are you guys not under the same kind of scrutiny?

He's probably read my threads =)

He sure knew how to answer questions like you do. Although, he was the one who told me the safe has the 11 gauge inner and outer panels. I can't hold that against him though if he is wrong, because I'm finding out that no one is really sure of the actual gauge........including people at AMSEC. By the way, that price he quoted me was with the electronic key pad upgrade.

a1abdj
October 7, 2009, 10:40 AM
He has a brick and mortar store that has been around for years in Nevada. I would find it hard to believe that he's unlicensed, and hasn't been shut down yet.


He's probably legitimate. I see he sells used safes as well, and has a pretty heavy unit listed on his site. Not something that most amateurs would mess with.

What regulations do you safe sellers have to go by? In the construction business I run, I can't advertise without a license number present on the ad. I can't get a license without proof of being insured and bonded. I can't get a building permit without proof of license. Basically, I would never make it in my business if I wasn't on the up and up.

Each state (and some cities) have their own laws regarding licensing. If your state requires all of those hoops for you, they would probably require them for our business as well.

Are you guys not under the same kind of scrutiny?


Even some of the professional organizations that we belong to scrutinize us.

He sure knew how to answer questions like you do. Although, he was the one who told me the safe has the 11 gauge inner and outer panels. I can't hold that against him though if he is wrong, because I'm finding out that no one is really sure of the actual gauge........including people at AMSEC.

I have not called AMSEC yet, but have been aware of two problems that lead to this previously.

AMSEC builds several safes in the BF line, not all of which are gun safes. The smaller BF safes are built to different specs. In fact, when I spoke with them last, they told me they were 10/10, and the gun safes 10/14.

Is it possible they switched to 11 gauge? Other safe comanies have. I just wouldn't understand why they wouldn't notify anybody of the change, especially since many of us are advertising the specs we were given.

The second is the information available to the customer service staff. Who knows what they're looking at in the book, or when it was last updated. I would bet it's even possible that one person's book may have different information than another. Maybe they've finally upgraded to computers. The only people that would really know are the
people who are responsible for the design or construction.

Guns and more
October 7, 2009, 05:14 PM
Guns and More...From my own home owner experience most burglars break into your home with a pry bar or smash a window with a blunt instrument to gain entry.
I have been the unfortunate victim of this very thing three times.
Unless they specifically know you own a safe,they are usually not sophisticated enough to bring plasma cutters,16 pound sledgehammers,five foot pry bars,the jaws of life,etc.
I still believe most gun safes with at least a 1/8 body in a residential setting will thwart most burglars attempts at your guns and other possesions you have locked up in said gun safe.
If of course they come back later AFTER discovering you own a safe all bets are off because they then have more time to plan how to get in that gun safe.
Indeed. My comments were meant as sarcasm. I still contend, any safe is better than no safe. While you are saving up for that Ft Knox with the 5 spoke handle and the better fire rating, some crack head steals your guns out of your desk drawer.
If you can afford it, go for it. If you can't, do the best you can. But lock those guns up!

alfack
October 7, 2009, 07:57 PM
By the way, how does this guy sell his AMSEC BF RSC's so cheap? Well, not really cheap, but at least $350.00 cheaper than my lowest price from others.
http://www.safes4you.com/supContact2.html

I snooped around the internet, and actually found some really good things about the guy. He's been selling safes for years, and has been on the TV news, and in newspaper articles. Plus I found some very happy customer reviews online.

I called him, and he can get me an AMSEC BF 6030 to my door for $1,927.00. He came across as very informative, and answered all my questions accurately. When I told him That I wanted the AMSEC BF 6030, he told me that I must have really done my home work because there is nothing comparable in it's price range.

That's who I ordered my BF 6032 from. He is a good guy and got my order correct with the specific manual dial lock I requested. The only thing is, it did not come with the key to change the combination. I was hoping it would. It was $3-400 cheaper than I could find elsewhere and that is a significant amount of savings for me.

I installed it myself, including bracing the floor joists with tube jacks in the crawl space. Probably over-kill, but I like stuff to be solid.

I read a bunch of Mr. Zykans' posts here, too. They were very helpful in my decision making process. Thanks.

Otto
October 7, 2009, 08:36 PM
I still contend, any safe is better than no safe.I disagree. A gun safe can actually benefit a burglar since it tells him exactly where the firearms are stored. No longer does he have to search under mattresses, thru dresser drawers, closets, etc. Now the burglar can direct all his efforts toward that cheap-ass safe you bought at the home improvement store.
Either buy a quality safe or none at all.

jim357
October 7, 2009, 09:50 PM
a1abdj - Amsec does not enforce MAP prices.... What are MAP prices? Jim

a1abdj
October 7, 2009, 10:27 PM
a1abdj - Amsec does not enforce MAP prices.... What are MAP prices? Jim

Minimum Advertised Pricing.

This is a very common tactic used throughout the retail world. A seller is free to sell a product for whatever they would like, but they are not allowed to advertise a price below a certain level.

This keeps everybody from trying to beat everybody else's price by $5 until everybody has to sell for $10 over their cost. Ultimately, this protects the value of a product in the eyes of consumers.

Keizer
October 7, 2009, 10:29 PM
That's who I ordered my BF 6032 from. He is a good guy and got my order correct with the specific manual dial lock I requested.

The guy must sell huge volume, and that is why his prices are so good. He doesn't ship the safes from the manufacturer, he ships them from his warehouse. I found some pics online of his warehouse, and it's full of all kinds of safes boxed up and on pallets ready to go. His store is also full of safes on display for walk in customers to look at.

http://i284.photobucket.com/albums/ll18/Keizer_08/SAFE.jpg

jim357
October 7, 2009, 10:50 PM
Keizer - Do you have a recommendation on the type of manual dial lock? Amsec was putting both the S&G and a different brand that I can not recall on the BF safes. There did not seem to be any pattern, seemed to be what they had on hand at the time.

alfack
October 7, 2009, 11:01 PM
Jim,

Not knowing jack about safe locks, I had them put the S&G 6730 in mine. It was originally listed with an electronic lock. FYI.

Keizer
October 7, 2009, 11:09 PM
Keizer - Do you have a recommendation on the type of manual dial lock?

I don't have a clue. I don't even own a safe yet. Sorry!

Keizer
October 7, 2009, 11:19 PM
By the way a1abdj, have you ever seen this drylight fire proofing up close and out of the safe walls? Is it like sand? Or is it hard, and all one piece? Is it poured wet, and then it drys, or is it poured dry?

a1abdj
October 7, 2009, 11:24 PM
By the way a1abdj, have you ever seen this drylight fire proofing up close and out of the safe walls? Is it like sand? Or is it hard, and all one piece? Is it poured wet, and then it drys, or is it poured dry?

Poured wet, then cures. It's hard, but not nearly as hard as the composites used in burglary safes. Hard to describe, but it kind of reminds me of lava rock.

Keizer
October 7, 2009, 11:36 PM
Hard to describe, but it kind of reminds me of lava rock

Is it light weight like lava rock, or heavy? Is the drylight what gives the AMSECS allot of their weight?

a1abdj
October 7, 2009, 11:49 PM
Is it light weight like lava rock, or heavy? Is the drylight what gives the AMSECS allot of their weight?

It's going to account for a lot of the weight. I have never held a loose chunk of it. I have only seen it through the blow openings (where they inject it) in the doors. I would imagine its heavier than lava rock, but similar to the lava rock, traps air inside of its pores.

Keizer
October 8, 2009, 12:05 AM
Ok, thanks for the info. Sounds like an interesting product, as well as an interesting process. I know when I was talking with Sturdy, Terry told me that they were making safes that came with holes. Once the safe was in place, the customer could pour the walls full of concrete.

Anyway, he said it didn't go over well for obvious reasons. Sounded rather crude to me.

M2HB M240
October 8, 2009, 12:15 AM
The first thing you need to decide is whether you want a "safe" or a "locker".
Check out this video of what I call a "locker".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBhOjWHbD6M

al123
October 8, 2009, 12:42 AM
a1abdj: This is a very common tactic used throughout the retail world. A seller is free to sell a product for whatever they would like, but they are not allowed to advertise a price below a certain level.


I was surprised by the lack of MAP for AMSEC's safes. Internet prices are 40-45% below MSRP. I'm used to seeing MAP strictly enforced especially on successful product lines.

On the opposite end Fort Knox safes it's difficult to find any prices including MSRP (which may not even exist). The local major dealer for Fort Knox safes I did get a quote for a 6026 (Textured/Defender/Elec. lock) for ~$2,000 and a 6031 for ~$2,300. These safes were great looking and had convenient features. I can see many a customer buying these instead of an AMSEC, Sturdy or other no-named brand, especially if one were unaware or unconcerned about construction differences.

The above mentioned seller www.safes4you.com probably would have better prices, but how much you would have to call then compare.

heeler
October 8, 2009, 09:12 AM
Wow that guys prices are good.
My dealer quoted me 2399.00 for a BF 6636 with a mechanical lock and textured paint.
Another dealer in town wanted 2830.00 for the same safe.
Big difference.
Just remember this though guys...A dealer worth spit will stand behind the safe if it comes delivered and after they pull the box and plastic wrap off of it they find it dented because the shipper tipped it over or worse yet when that happened it fired the relocker.
Or perhaps when it's uncrated you have a big scratch on the door.
There is a much bigger hassle for you though if you have that same safe drop shipped and discover this once you get it into the house.
Just something to think about.

a1abdj
October 8, 2009, 10:11 AM
Once the safe was in place, the customer could pour the walls full of concrete.

Old round door burglary safes that used to be popular in gas stations worked like this. The safe was heavy plate, but only about 10" square. The body of the safe was 3' tall. They would ship the safe hollow, and then you would fill it with concrete once it was installed. Your 500 pound safe now weighed 2,500 pounds.

Just remember this though guys...A dealer worth spit will stand behind the safe if it comes delivered and after they pull the box and plastic wrap off of it they find it dented because the shipper tipped it over or worse yet when that happened it fired the relocker.
Or perhaps when it's uncrated you have a big scratch on the door.
There is a much bigger hassle for you though if you have that same safe drop shipped and discover this once you get it into the house.
Just something to think about.

There are a lot of differences between dealers if you look around.

A very common thing I notice with the internet dealers is the shipping time. They sell for less, but it takes 6 to 8 weeks to get your safe. I charge more, but around 90% of what I sell arrives to you within 5 business days of your order.

The price one charges is only part of the equation.

Keizer
October 8, 2009, 10:47 AM
They sell for less, but it takes 6 to 8 weeks to get your safe.

Safes 4 you ships frm Nevada to my state in 3 business days. He already has them all in stock in the warehouse. I suppose there are allot of online stores though that take a long time to ship.

Keizer
October 8, 2009, 10:58 AM
Another dealer in town wanted 2830.00 for the same safe.

I had a local dealer quote me $2,900.00 for the bf 6032. :eek: I think these gun safe prices are all over the board.

a1abdj
October 8, 2009, 12:01 PM
Safes 4 you ships frm Nevada to my state in 3 business days. He already has them all in stock in the warehouse. I suppose there are allot of online stores though that take a long time to ship.

I do not know this company, but I wonder if he has that many safes, if he enjoys distributor status from AMSEC.

If that's the case, why is he retailing? Then again, he may not be a distributor, but just likes buying a lot of safes.

I do most of my gun safe business through distributors. Warehouse full or not, it's not worth it from a retail standpoint. You do get a volume discount from any supplier, but I would bet that the vast majority of gun safes sold sell for under $1,500. I get calls every day wanting to know what I have for $500. On the flip side of that, my average commercial customer spends 5 figures with me.

LRHOGFAN
October 8, 2009, 11:21 PM
Instead of starting a new thread, I am going to jump in on this one. Here is my thought process on getting ready to buy a new residential security container.

It is pretty much down to either a Sturdy Safe or a AMSEC BF6636. I can pretty much get both of them for about the same price, if I order either directly from Sturdy, or from safes4you.com. Both of those choices include curbside delivery and I feel that they are probably equally comparable in fire resistance and burglary resistance.

The main difference to me is that the AMSEC seems to have a lot nicer fit and finish than the Sturdy. The Sturdy seems a little more no frills than the AMSEC.

I am still undecided about which safe I will buy between the two, but more concerned about how I will get it where I want in the garage without some serious assistance as both of these are extremely heavy safes. That part almost makes it worthwhile to pay more to get the BF from a local company. The bad part is that I would save almost $1000 or more by going with the out of state companies.

Decisions, decisions...

al123
October 9, 2009, 12:24 AM
I am still undecided about which safe I will buy between the two, but more concerned about how I will get it where I want in the garage without some serious assistance as both of these are extremely heavy safes. That part almost makes it worthwhile to pay more to get the BF from a local company. The bad part is that I would save almost $1000 or more by going with the out of state companies.

The first thing I asked was how I was going to move any safe in the house and properly bolt it down. It looks like there are a lot of handy people here and they'll be fine. I'm not one of them.

If you ever hurt your back or anyone helping you move it in, that $1,000 would suddenly look cheap.

As an option, see if you can find a local dealer that'll do better than MSRP. I'd also look to see if they're a SAVTA member or have an established reputation especially regarding their delivery people. JMO.

Keizer
October 9, 2009, 02:13 AM
Sturdy seems a little more no frills than the AMSEC

I to had narrowed by selections down to either a Sturdy, or an AMSEC 6030. I have decided that I am going for the AMSEC. I simply cannot get past how ugly the Sturdy safes are. They are a great safe as far as how well they are built, but they are just plain ugly. Do looks matter when what you really want is security? It does for me since I will be looking at it everyday. I am totally into features, and not foof, as far as making my decision. But, when I can get either brand RSC for about the same price, and the features are close in comparison.....I'm getting the one that looks best, and that's AMSEC. The Sturdy safes are built rugged, but man they look home made to me.

but more concerned about how I will get it where I want in the garage without some serious assistance

I'm not too worried about any of that. I own and operate a construction business and have been moving heavy objects for years. I'm going to have the freight driver drop the safe right in the bucket of my front end loader to move it from the curb to my shop. I will then grab some employees, and move the thing right in the house. If four of us can't pack the safe into the house with the door off, then something has to be wrong. Actually, I will most likely use a moving dolly.

I will be installing my safe in our small walk in closet. The closet is a little wider, and of course taller than the safe. It will be at one end. After it is bolted into place, I plan on framing a wall straight across the front of the safe, and over the top. I will then sheet rock it, and tape, texture, and paint it. When I'm done, only the front of the safe (the door) will be exposed, and the sides and top will be boxed in. A little oak trim around the front opening, and it will be built into the wall. Plus, it will provide a little something extra for a thief to demo before getting to the sides.

lebowski
October 9, 2009, 10:15 AM
Instead of starting a new thread, I am going to jump in on this one. Here is my thought process on getting ready to buy a new residential security container.

It is pretty much down to either a Sturdy Safe or a AMSEC BF6636. I can pretty much get both of them for about the same price, if I order either directly from Sturdy, or from safes4you.com. Both of those choices include curbside delivery and I feel that they are probably equally comparable in fire resistance and burglary resistance.

The main difference to me is that the AMSEC seems to have a lot nicer fit and finish than the Sturdy. The Sturdy seems a little more no frills than the AMSEC.

I am still undecided about which safe I will buy between the two, but more concerned about how I will get it where I want in the garage without some serious assistance as both of these are extremely heavy safes. That part almost makes it worthwhile to pay more to get the BF from a local company. The bad part is that I would save almost $1000 or more by going with the out of state companies.

Decisions, decisions...
I think you have the amsec vs sturdy down pretty good - the amsec is definitely the more attractive of the two (but the sturdy isn't THAT ugly in person guys, it certainly doesn't look home made).

I wouldn't sweat moving it in too much. I paid a local safe technician $250 to move mine in the house (incl up 2 stairs to the front door). In your garage, you probably won't need this - the truck driver will typically move it into the garage on a pallet jack. Then you would have to get it off the pallet and move it into place. I've found movers sliders work well for moving it around a small space. The hardest part will be getting it off the pallet.

LRHOGFAN
October 9, 2009, 10:28 AM
I think you have the amsec vs sturdy down pretty good - the amsec is definitely the more attractive of the two (but the sturdy isn't THAT ugly in person guys, it certainly doesn't look home made).

I wouldn't sweat moving it in too much. I paid a local safe technician $250 to move mine in the house (incl up 2 stairs to the front door). In your garage, you probably won't need this - the truck driver will typically move it into the garage on a pallet jack. Then you would have to get it off the pallet and move it into place. I've found movers sliders work well for moving it around a small space. The hardest part will be getting it off the pallet.
I think the interior is more of where I can see a difference between the Sturdy and the AMSEC. I have not seen a sturdy in person, but the AMSEC that I saw was pretty nice and the pictures of the Sturdy interiors could probably stand an upgrade. I know that is probably something I could do later, but I would rather not mess with it if I don't have to. Either way, I feel like I can't go wrong.

Keizer
October 9, 2009, 11:25 AM
Either way, I feel like I can't go wrong.

Agreed!

lebowski
October 9, 2009, 11:43 AM
I think the interior is more of where I can see a difference between the Sturdy and the AMSEC. I have not seen a sturdy in person, but the AMSEC that I saw was pretty nice and the pictures of the Sturdy interiors could probably stand an upgrade. I know that is probably something I could do later, but I would rather not mess with it if I don't have to. Either way, I feel like I can't go wrong.
Yes, the interior of the sturdy is pretty Spartan. This doesn't bother me, but if it's an issue for you then go with the amsec.

I guess it depends on your attitude - to me, a gun safe is for utility, i don't view it as a piece of furniture. I have it placed in a location where casual guests don't see it. The only people othe than me who see the inside of my safe are my shooting buddies - and they're a pretty easy group to impress!

heeler
October 9, 2009, 12:47 PM
I decided yesterday to not cancel my BF 6636 order.
I truely wished i could have at least seen a Sturdy up front but alas it doesn't look like that's possible and i just can't buy something at that price sight unseen.
I made a mistake in an earlier post.
My dealer is charging me 2299.00 for the textured BF with mechanical lock 6636 not 2399.00 i mentioned before.
They will install it and bolt it down with two half inch Redhead anchors for 300.00.
The other safe dealer wanted 2830.00 for the safe and 200.00 to install it.
So hopefully my BF will be in soon and I can retire my older and much smaller Amsec to my brothers house.

a1abdj
October 9, 2009, 08:40 PM
My dealer is charging me 2299.00 for the textured BF with mechanical lock 6636 not 2399.00 i mentioned before

This is below my wholesale cost. I can't see how these guys can sell these safes at these prices.

Keizer
October 9, 2009, 09:25 PM
This is below my wholesale cost. I can't see how these guys can sell these safes at these prices.

They obviously know something you don't. Does it have anything to do with buying in large volume? Do they get a really good discount doing that? I chatted with the guy at Safes4You.com again. He has three warehouses all full of safes. He said he owns the buildings, owns the property they sit on, and he owns all the safes. He said it took him years in the business to where he could operate this way. He said he stocks all the safes on his web site.

Like you, he really dislikes all these online safe stores that sell safes, and show nice white vans delivering them. When in all actuality, they are just some guy sitting at home shuffling paper work.

a1abdj
October 9, 2009, 10:35 PM
They obviously know something you don't. Does it have anything to do with buying in large volume? Do they get a really good discount doing that? I chatted with the guy at Safes4You.com again. He has three warehouses all full of safes. He said he owns the buildings, owns the property they sit on, and he owns all the safes. He said it took him years in the business to where he could operate this way. He said he stocks all the safes on his web site.

Like you, he really dislikes all these online safe stores that sell safes, and show nice white vans delivering them. When in all actuality, they are just some guy sitting at home shuffling paper work.

As in any business, the more you buy, the larger discount you get. If the guy is placing single $100,000 orders he is probably getting them for less than I am, but I've seen the price sheets that break down the discount based on the purchase amount. Whoever is selling them for that is not making much.

Regardless, it doesn't matter. If the list price is X, and the average retail price is 70% of X, why would you sell it for 50% of X?

I'll be calling AMSEC on Monday to bitch.

Bear2000
October 9, 2009, 11:06 PM
My Diamond Back GS5930H was delivered on Tuesday. It was shipped direct from Cobalt from Augusta, SC. The delivery company did drop the ball on Monday - never showed up during the 1-5 pm window, but they did meet at a specific time the next day. The driver was very helpful and helped get it from the 48' truck onto my utility trailer and then into my garage (we would never have gotten the truck down the driveway).

Safe looks great and was a great deal at $810 + $140 shipping. The seller was both very helpful and courteous and unprofessional and silly all at once. I'm confident I got a good deal and have no security concerns.

Now, to get it from the garage to the basement (where it will be semi-hidden in a corner - I didn't buy it to show it off, as someone here suggested). I thought about renting an appliance dolly or stair climber, but opted to bite the bullet and pay a local mover $250 to do the job for me.

LRHOGFAN
October 9, 2009, 11:35 PM
I'll be calling AMSEC on Monday to bitch.

How much do you charge for a BF6636? Any cheaper than what I saw on the website listed in your signature?

a1abdj
October 10, 2009, 01:22 AM
How much do you charge for a BF6636? Any cheaper than what I saw on the website listed in your signature?

The prices on the AMSEC gun safes also include shipping to most parts of the country. So yes, the safes are actually priced lower.

I also offer discounts to forum members, but am still not anywhere near what some of these guys are giving them away for. Even if I was making $100 (which I wouldn't be, since they are selling them for less than my cost...maybe I should have them fill my orders), it wouldn't be worth it.

mcflury
October 10, 2009, 01:13 PM
go to costco or sams club they have decent safes i have one and along as you dont store a blowtorch or a angle grinder by it its fine also get an electronic lockby s ang g its super convenient other than the once a year i have to replace the battery. and if it breaks its a hundrend plus 50 dollars labor to install

a1abdj
October 10, 2009, 01:17 PM
and if it breaks its a hundrend plus 50 dollars labor to install

It should run a little more than that. That lock should retail at around $120. A locksmith will charge a service call ($30 to $100 depending on area), and the labor to install it ($30 to $150 an hour depending on area).

This doesn't take into account the safe being locked shut when it breaks (95% of the time), so you can add another $250 to $500 for drilling the safe open.

S&G makes some good locks, but their electronics don't rank high on my list.

Keizer
October 10, 2009, 01:32 PM
S&G makes some good locks, but their electronics don't rank high on my list.

I'm really torn between an electronic lock, and the old fashioned mechanical lock. I want mechanical because of reliability. I have a small fire safe that I have had for 18 years. It has a mechanical lock on it. I have never done any service to this safe, and it works perfectly after all this time. However, my wife hates it because she can't remember the combo, and it's too much work to open. I'm sure this is the the same old cliche. I have always remembered the combo, but I am pretty good with numbers.

With that said, how do you feel about the electronic locks made my AMSEC? (ESL10XL). It seems like you would get pretty good support with their lock on their safe. The thing is, AMSEC's warranty is the same for either mechanical, or electronic lock. How many of the AMSEC brand electronic locks have you seen go bad? I wonder how many safes have to be drilled because of divorce in married couples? I just saw a safe on Craigslist that they claimed was drilled by a smith, and just needs the new lock installed. I called about it just out of curiosity because the lock on the safe was a mechanical one. The lady said the safe was her husbands and that they got divorced, and she didn't know the combo to the safe. She wanted to know what was inside, and hired a smith to drill it.

If I do get the electronic lock, that sucker is going to get changed out for a mechanical the second it shows any sign of malfunction. I already called a locksmith about the cost of swapping from an electronic lock to a mechanical. We really only have a couple locksmiths close by that have experience working on safes. One guy quoted me $180.00 materials and labor to do the swap for an S&G mechanical. He said if I was locked out of the safe......all bets are off, and he would most likely have to drill it.

He also told me that most of the swaps he does are the other way around........from mechanical to electronic. I assume that would be job security for a locksmith switching customers safes to electronic locks. If I was a smith, I would do the swap, but would certainly tell the customer the pit falls.......that way I could live with myself.

I'm thinking if I had an electronic lock, my wife would be in the safe allot more. I'm not sure I would like that. I wonder if she would believe that guns breed when enclosed in dark places?

lebowski
October 10, 2009, 04:34 PM
and if it breaks its a hundrend plus 50 dollars labor to install




Even if this dollar amt is correct (unlikely), you're ignoring the massive inconvenience of not being able to access your guns and whatever else you keep in there until a locksmith comes out, in the event it breaks while the safe is locked shut.

Keizer
October 10, 2009, 04:40 PM
By the way, what is a good mechanical lock to swap over to if and when??? I know S&G, but what exact model number would be a direct replacement in an AMSEC BF series? They are a direct replacement correct? No modifying needed?

I'm sure S&G makes both low end and high end mechanical locks correct? I would want something extremely reliable, and smooth turning.

Also, why is it that these cheapo electronic keypads that are part of a whole house alarm system, or the ones that open a garage door are so reliable? Yet, the ones on safes aren't? I have had the same plastic push button electronic key pad for my home alarm system and it has never given me issues in the 14 years I have had it installed. Same goes for my garage door keypads.

What exactly is it in the gun safe electronic key pads that malfunction? Or is it the lock that messes up?

a1abdj
October 10, 2009, 08:39 PM
With that said, how do you feel about the electronic locks made my AMSEC? (ESL10XL).

In my experience, they are equally reliable as most of the other brands.

How many of the AMSEC brand electronic locks have you seen go bad?

Not as many, but there also aren't as many safes using them.

I wonder how many safes have to be drilled because of divorce in married couples?

It happens. We also drill a lot of safes after deaths, and for local law enforcement agencies.

If I do get the electronic lock, that sucker is going to get changed out for a mechanical the second it shows any sign of malfunction.

Most of the time they will now show signs. Electronic locks are well known for working one day, and not working the next.

I assume that would be job security for a locksmith switching customers safes to electronic locks.

Boats don't pay for themselves ;)

By the way, what is a good mechanical lock to swap over to if and when???

The S&G 6730 is the workhorse of the industry, although they make other nicer models.

I'm sure S&G makes both low end and high end mechanical locks correct?

They do. Most of the locks found on gun safes are at the lower end of the spectrum.

I would want something extremely reliable, and smooth turning.


The lock AMSEC uses on their BF series is a lower end lock, but is quite nice compared to some of the lower end units with brand names.

What exactly is it in the gun safe electronic key pads that malfunction? Or is it the lock that messes up?


You can have a keypad failure, but that is usually an easy fix. The locks fail as well, and they are usually a bit more messy to fix.

Keizer
October 10, 2009, 09:17 PM
The S&G 6730 is the workhorse of the industry, although they make other nicer models.

So, say I get the electronic lock to make my wife happy, and get the ball rolling on the safe order. Then, I later convince her that we should swap the electronic lock for a mechanical. You being a lock smith, what are the chances of getting a discount on the swap if I gave you the brand new electronic lock. Would that be a rude thing to ask a locksmith? Or would he be happy to trade?

a1abdj
October 10, 2009, 09:23 PM
So, say I get the electronic lock to make my wife happy, and get the ball rolling on the safe order. Then, I later convince her that we should swap the electronic lock for a mechanical. You being a lock smith, what are the chances of getting a discount on the swap if I gave you the brand new electronic lock. Would that be a rude thing to ask a locksmith? Or would he be happy to trade?

I can't speak for others, but a used lock has no value to me except parts, and I have boxes full of them.

Keizer
October 10, 2009, 09:48 PM
I can't speak for others, but a used lock has no value to me except parts, and I have boxes full of them.

Well, I called him and asked. I can't believe he answered on a Saturday evening. He said he would give me $60.00 off the bill if I gave him the E-lock. But, he would want to swap it out right when I got the safe so the lock would be new. I'm assuming otherwise he would be like you, and have yet another used lock.

He said that swapping over to the mechanical lock would require no special fitting/modifying. But, he did say that switching from a mechanical to an electronic does sometimes require some slight shaving. Is this true?

By the way, the smith that I have been talking to was on this list that you provided in another thread. Where you type in your location, etc, and it pops up with smiths in your area. Do you know what I'm talking about? I assume because they are a member of some type of special organization. EDIT: I found it on his web site. It says he's a member of "Safe and Vault Technicians Association (SAVTA)"

Also, would I void my warranty in any way by having the lock swapped out? I assume there would be a new warranty with S&G? What about AMSECS burglary warranty if I had the lock changed?

lebowski
October 10, 2009, 10:19 PM
So, say I get the electronic lock to make my wife happy, and get the ball rolling on the safe order. Then, I later convince her that we should swap the electronic lock for a mechanical. You being a lock smith, what are the chances of getting a discount on the swap if I gave you the brand new electronic lock. Would that be a rude thing to ask a locksmith? Or would he be happy to trade?
It makes exactly zero sense to buy the safe w/ an electronic lock with the intention of having it switched to a mechanical.

Just buy the safe with the lock you want in the first place.

Keizer
October 10, 2009, 10:31 PM
It makes exactly zero sense to buy the safe w/ an electronic lock with the intention of having it switched to a mechanical.

Just buy the safe with the lock you want in the first place.

Yeah, that's my logic too, and if I were a single man with just myself to worry about, it would be a done deal. But, when you are asking your wife to give up a big chunk of the walk in closet, then she gets to participate in the features.

I am working on her about the mechanical lock.

heeler
October 12, 2009, 12:22 PM
A1abdj,
I went Friday to the dealer to try and get an idea when my safe will arrive.
I am not being hit with a shipping charge because I am waiting for them to bring in an 18 wheeler full of safes.
If i had wanted it right away then i could have had in days but i did not want to pay 3-400.00 for shipping.
That might be why they can sell for less than you.
This place is the largest independent gun dealer in the country and has four locations in town as well as a gun range.
They are big.
I think perhaps Amsec sets different prices for large and small dealers.
Anyway 2299.00 plus tax is the price they charged me for the BF 6636 and I paid it in full.
Again that was with the mechanical lock and textured paint,which i chose in Sandstone.

Keizer
October 12, 2009, 01:02 PM
Anyway 2299.00 plus tax

You have to pay sales tax on a safe in your area? How many states have the no sales tax on gun safes rule? Here in Wa state, there is no sales tax on gun safes.

a1abdj
October 12, 2009, 01:09 PM
That might be why they can sell for less than you.
This place is the largest independent gun dealer in the country and has four locations in town as well as a gun range.
They are big.


Ah.

They aren't a safe company. They are a gun company. That explains a lot.

Keizer
October 12, 2009, 01:43 PM
Can a person basically get any dial and ring they want to fit any of the S&G locks? How exactly does it work? If I went with a mechanical lock, how would I get a dial and ring like the one in my pic? I wouldn't need the keyed day lock option shown. I got this dial off the Liberty gun safe web site.
http://i284.photobucket.com/albums/ll18/Keizer_08/lvl2-pg9.jpg

Is this some cheesy piece of junk? If so, what would be a good replacement with that same style?

Thanks!

heeler
October 12, 2009, 02:39 PM
Keizer..Yes I paid 7.25% tax.
I also ordered mine with the nifty stor it shelve that fits inside the door.
I wished we did not have to pay that tax.
It would have been 8.25 per cent in my county but the store i bought from is in another county so i got that one per cent break.
I was out just slightly over 2500.00.

Guns and more
October 12, 2009, 08:40 PM
Here is my thinking.
I open the safe every day. I like having it open (unlocked when I'm home).
I know I would not take the time to spin the dials and open the safe.
I got the electronic lock. I love it (so far)
I also thought when someone is pounding on your door, your adrenaline is pumping, and it's dark, spinning those dials isn't going to be easy.
I can open my safe in three seconds.

To each his own.

a1abdj
October 12, 2009, 08:41 PM
Can a person basically get any dial and ring they want to fit any of the S&G locks? How exactly does it work? If I went with a mechanical lock, how would I get a dial and ring like the one in my pic? I wouldn't need the keyed day lock option shown.

If your safe has an S&G lock, you can go to S&G's website and look at all of the parts there. Once you have a model number, anybody like myself can order it for you. It's rare to be able to order a safe with optional lock parts already installed.

lebowski
October 12, 2009, 09:05 PM
Here is my thinking.
I open the safe every day. I like having it open (unlocked when I'm home).
I know I would not take the time to spin the dials and open the safe.
I got the electronic lock. I love it (so far)
I also thought when someone is pounding on your door, your adrenaline is pumping, and it's dark, spinning those dials isn't going to be easy.
I can open my safe in three seconds.

To each his own.
I guess it depends on your philosophy ... you already said you leave your safe open when you're home, so why would you need to "spin the dials" (btw there's only one dial) under pressure? According to your own daily habits, it's already open.

Personally, I don't keep all my primary defensive guns in the safe. The majority of my guns are in the safe, but my carry gun is either on me or in my nightstand. I usually have my 870 near the nightstand (out of sight but quickly accessible to me) as well. This would not change regardless of which lock type is on my safe.

It's all a matter of convenience - what's more inconvenient to you, "spinning the dials" every day, or risking having to call a locksmith at a random time in the future. I tend to believe things often fail when you need them the most, I'd rather have the reliability of the mechanical lock and I deal with the extra 5-10 seconds of lost time per day (I too open my safe every day, I have not found the mechanical lock to be a deterrent to doing so ... I have also found that after a few days of opening it daily, "spinning the dials" doesn't take as long as it did at first).

INMY01TA
October 12, 2009, 10:14 PM
Personally, I don't keep all my primary defensive guns in the safe.+1, one reason I went with the mechanical lock.

Keizer
October 12, 2009, 10:31 PM
but my carry gun is either on me or in my nightstand

Exactly what I do. Why would anyone cripple themselves by keeping all their guns locked up? If you have children, then educate them, don't keep them in the dark. My 12 year old son can probably name more guns than most adults. Plus he can shoot.

LRHOGFAN
October 15, 2009, 02:06 AM
I pulled the trigger today on an AMSEC BF6636. Should be here in about a month. I am hoping the delivery process goes as smooth as I anticipate.

Keizer
October 15, 2009, 07:41 PM
Ok, I went and looked at a BF 6030 gun safe up at a supplier north of me. They are beautiful gun safes but I noticed two things. The first thing I noticed is when I pulled one of the plugs off the floor that covers where you bolt it down. I noticed there is just sheet rock in there, and not this drylight that is advertised in the walls. Why is that?

The second thing I noticed is that both side walls and the back wall bulge slightly. Now, this is probably something most people wouldn't even notice, but I saw it right off the bat. I was a journey level machinist for years, so stuff like that sticks out for me. Is this because of the way the drylight is injected into the walls? This store had a bunch of wooded yard sticks for measuring the safes if you needed to. I laid one of these yard sticks on edge on the side and back walls. They definitely bulge out some in the middle. I thought maybe it was just that paticular safe, so I tried it on another BF 6030 and it was the same way. The front door wall of course was very flat.

Other than that, they are very nice.

lebowski
October 15, 2009, 07:51 PM
I pulled the trigger today on an AMSEC BF6636. Should be here in about a month. I am hoping the delivery process goes as smooth as I anticipate.
I think you'll be happy with it ... do they place it inside your house or is it curbside delivery?

LRHOGFAN
October 15, 2009, 10:21 PM
I think you'll be happy with it ... do they place it inside your house or is it curbside delivery?
Curbside delivery. It is going into the garage and I am holding out hope that I can talk the driver into helping me get it about where it needs to be and I can take it from there. I plan on getting some hockey pucks to set it on. Planning on drilling four pucks out at 1/2" and placing those where it is to be bolted down and maybe use a couple of more pucks to distribute the weight and keep it off the ground. Anyone have any better recommendations than the hockey pucks, I am all ears?

a1abdj
October 16, 2009, 12:16 AM
The first thing I noticed is when I pulled one of the plugs off the floor that covers where you bolt it down. I noticed there is just sheet rock in there, and not this drylight that is advertised in the walls. Why is that?


In non UL rated safes, the floors are always lightly insulated, if at all. The bottom 2" of the safe will not get very hot in a fire.

As far as why they use a raised floor, and not the cement fill, it's due to the construction method. The body of the safe, minus the bottom, is set upside down. The material is pumped in from the bottom, then the bottom of the safe is added.

The second thing I noticed is that both side walls and the back wall bulge slightly. Now, this is probably something most people wouldn't even notice, but I saw it right off the bat. I was a journey level machinist for years, so stuff like that sticks out for me. Is this because of the way the drylight is injected into the walls? This store had a bunch of wooded yard sticks for measuring the safes if you needed to. I laid one of these yard sticks on edge on the side and back walls. They definitely bulge out some in the middle. I thought maybe it was just that paticular safe, so I tried it on another BF 6030 and it was the same way.

This is normal, and is also seen in most other gun safes out there. When you're building something out of sheet steel, it's not going to be completely square.

The front door wall of course was very flat.


Difference between plate and sheet.

LRHOGFAN
October 16, 2009, 12:19 AM
It's likely the sturdy safe would not bulge as mentioned or at least not as much as some others that use a lighter gauge steel. Of course, I have never been bothered by the bulge and in fact, have not even really noticed.

Keizer
October 16, 2009, 12:27 AM
I have never been bothered by the bulge and in fact, have not even really noticed.

I tend to notice things like that on just about anything I come across. Gun safes, cars, houses, etc. It's a curse, but I have gotten better as I have gotten older.

It doesn't bother me enough to dismiss the AMSEC as my #1 choice. Like I said, they are really nice RSC's. As far as the sheet rock in the floor, I kinda figured it was because there isn't much protection needed in that area.

lebowski
October 16, 2009, 08:33 AM
Curbside delivery. It is going into the garage and I am holding out hope that I can talk the driver into helping me get it about where it needs to be and I can take it from there. I plan on getting some hockey pucks to set it on. Planning on drilling four pucks out at 1/2" and placing those where it is to be bolted down and maybe use a couple of more pucks to distribute the weight and keep it off the ground. Anyone have any better recommendations than the hockey pucks, I am all ears?
I just got a pack of heavy duty furniture pads/sliders from home depot. The pads double as sliders so they helped in the final manuevering into place, before bolting it down.

Keizer
October 16, 2009, 09:02 PM
I've been giving the electronic lock allot of thought and really think it is a bad idea. The clincher that helped change my wifes mind was using our automatic gate opener as an example. It opens our big iron gate out front. We have had it for years, but probably at least once a year, it requires some maintenance because it malfunctions. It has an electric lock that uses a solenoid to pull the arm back in the same fashion as these electronic gun safe locks. This solenoid lock occasionally gets stuck. It's an easy fix usually only requiring cleaning. But, if it were a safe, you would be in a bad situation.

Also I had a question. I was wanting to find a good safe vault guy locally so I could use him down the road for preventative maintenance with my gun safe. I found plenty of locksmiths, but only found one guy that claims on his web site that they are members of:
Safe and Vault Technicians Association (SAVTA).

I looked up SAVTA and found out what it is. But, what does that do for a safe/vault locksmith when they are a member? Does it make them more knowledgeable than a locksmith that isn't a member?

a1abdj
October 16, 2009, 11:59 PM
I looked up SAVTA and found out what it is. But, what does that do for a safe/vault locksmith when they are a member? Does it make them more knowledgeable than a locksmith that isn't a member?

It does not make one more knowledgeable, it is merely a professional organization. It does mean that those who are members take the safe and vault field seriously.

Locksmiths install deadbolts and work on car ignitions. Safe techs work on safes.

Keizer
October 17, 2009, 01:54 AM
Locksmiths install deadbolts

I guess I'm a locksmith then. I have installed hundreds of entry doors, door knobs, and dead bolts over the years for customers. But that was the easy part. Building the structure that the doors and hardware were installed in was the hard part.

al123
October 17, 2009, 05:11 AM
Just received my AMSEC BF safe today. It took 2.5 hours for the delivery people to get it into a small, tight utility nook. I was expecting a refrigerator dolly but they used a palette jack instead up to a certain point. The rest of the way of the way they had to use steel rods as rollers. Of course I had it bolted down - anchors and lag bolts.

Weight distribution, for me was a consideration. I found these URLs helpful in giving rough guidelines:

http://badmanstropicalfish.com/articles/article28.html
(ref: http://freshaquarium.about.com/cs/tipsandtables/l/bltanksize.htm)

While not directly related with gun safes it gave a good overall explanation of weight limits. The concern is what a heavy object will do long term to a typical residential wood floor (i.e. permanent sagging).

In general, the weight equivalent of a 55 Gal tank, 625 lbs should be no problem anywhere in the house. From 625 lbs to 1400 lbs, a good structural location free from significant defects is recommended, and above 1400 lbs proper reinforcement is in order. I'm more conservative and my personal limit would be a 1000 lbs. My chosen location is close to a bearing wall with help from overlapping joists underneath.

The S&G mechanical lock is easy to work with. It's certainly slow in comparison to an electronic keypad, but it really doesn't take that long to open the safe after a little practice. I was a little concerned since I once had a cheap firebox that I had to do a lot of spinning. It was an exact replica of a direct entry lock that was pictured in this thread. Ironic, more work but less security.

Anyways, thanks to everyone here. The information provided has been very helpful.

Keizer
October 17, 2009, 11:30 AM
Weight distribution, for me was a consideration

It should be a concern with anyone adding one of these heavy safes to their floor system. I have decided to change where I am going to put mine. The new location is right over one of the main support beams for the floor. Right under that beam is one of the support posts that goes directly down to one of the concrete pads.

For anyone that is setting a heavy safe between the support beams of the floor system, I would advise that you go under your house and do whatever it takes to add support in that area. I know this has already been mentioned in other threads, but I figured this will be another chance for people to stumble across this good advice.

lebowski
October 17, 2009, 11:40 AM
It should be a concern with anyone adding one of these heavy safes to their floor system. I have decided to change where I am going to put mine. The new location is right over one of the main support beams for the floor. Right under that beam is one of the support posts that goes directly down to one of the concrete pads.

For anyone that is setting a heavy safe between the support beams of the floor system, I would advise that you go under your house and do whatever it takes to add support in that area. I know this has already been mentioned in other threads, but I figured this will be another chance for people to stumble across this good advice.
I did the same thing. I went into my crawl space and poked around a bit. My home appeared to be well constructed under there, but I still chose a location next to an exterior wall w/ joists supported by a concrete pier. Then I added 2 screw jacks about 18 inches out from the concrete pier (underneath where the safe would be).

It ended up not being a whole lot of work, but makes me feel a lot better about the weight on my floors.

meef
October 17, 2009, 11:41 PM
I've been giving the electronic lock allot of thought and really think it is a bad idea.Allot?

Allot?

Good grief, get out your Webster's and look up the definition of allot.

Geez.... rampant illiteracy.

:banghead:

Keizer
October 18, 2009, 03:41 AM
Allot?

Allot?

Good grief, get out your Webster's and look up the definition of allot.

Geez.... rampant illiteracy.

Woops, I even misspelled this word that doesn't exist......my bad. I always love to see the grammar police in all their glory. You must be a busy guy chasing after the millions of people using this word in everyday life and the movies.

Seriously, if you can't contribute to the topic at hand, quit crapping in the thread.....it stinks.

meef
October 18, 2009, 03:40 PM
I always love to see the grammar police in all their glory. You must be a busy guy chasing after the millions of people using this word in everyday life and the movies.You have no idea just how busy it can be.

Please note that the word "allot" does exist. It just has no relevance to the way you used it.

:p


And for the record... my comment about rampant illiteracy - my bad. Uncalled for and over the line. :o

I'll try to be more careful in the future.

It's not easy being me.

heeler
October 19, 2009, 08:46 AM
Since nine out of ten homes in the south are on cement slabs i have never given the idea of floor reinforcement much consideration.
However i do have a question to you guys that have homes that require a lot (allot? :) of attention.
Did you worry about taking the safe across the floors of the house to get it to it's beefed up final destination?
Any of you have any damage to the floors?
I started a thread recently about heavy safes and flooring as i recently had laminate flooring put in my home and was worried enough about it that i had the contractor put a 3'x4' pad in the corner of the bedroom of very hard 18"x18" porcelin tile for the Amsec to sit on and be bolted through.
It's just the concern of getting it to that specific spot i am thinking about.

Keizer
October 19, 2009, 10:55 AM
Did you worry about taking the safe across the floors of the house to get it to it's beefed up final destination?

Imagine a party at your house, and you and three of your friends are standing right next to each other chatting. You each weigh 230 pounds. Not an uncommon scenario. Do you think it's going to be bad for your floor? You guys all combined weigh about the same as some of these gun safes.

If your floor system is sound, I would say you have nothing to worry about as far as getting your gun safe to its final beefed up destination.

I would be a little concerned with tile floors I guess, but a good safe mover probably has techniques he uses for situations like tile and laminate.

alfack
October 19, 2009, 02:24 PM
Heeler,

I had a sheet of 3/4" plywood that had been ripped in half. I would lay them end to end and when I was off the first piece, I would move that piece to the front. Of course, I was on carpet, but still didn't want marks or damage. For final positioning, I tried the golfball trick, which worked surprisingly well, until I ended up in the corner and couldn't tilt the safe enough to remove the golf balls from underneath. A couple of wooden dowels, about an inch and a half thick, did the trick from there.

INMY01TA
October 19, 2009, 05:38 PM
Brought my safe thru the front door strapped to a hand truck. One of it's wheels did bend the little metal strip under the front door ever so slightly. Barely noticable.

lebowski
October 19, 2009, 05:47 PM
Since nine out of ten homes in the south are on cement slabs i have never given the idea of floor reinforcement much consideration.
However i do have a question to you guys that have homes that require a lot (allot? :) of attention.
Did you worry about taking the safe across the floors of the house to get it to it's beefed up final destination?
Any of you have any damage to the floors?
I started a thread recently about heavy safes and flooring as i recently had laminate flooring put in my home and was worried enough about it that i had the contractor put a 3'x4' pad in the corner of the bedroom of very hard 18"x18" porcelin tile for the Amsec to sit on and be bolted through.
It's just the concern of getting it to that specific spot i am thinking about.
Many homes in the south, particularly older homes, have a crawl space.

My floors are wood floors on 1x6 subflooring, supported by 2x8 joists set 16" apart. The joists are supported by concrete block piers, concrete block exterior walls, and 2x8? girders.

Aside from scratching my wood floors, I wasn't worried about moving it through the house. As I understand it, the concern isn't that the floor will collapse in a matter of minutes, rather the concern is that over a period of years the weight of the safe will gradually cause the joists to bow under the pressure, which could cause problems. As a result, I was really only worried about reinforcing the permanent resting place. I also chose a spot up against an exterior wall on one side and a supporting concrete block pier on another. I then added screw jacks under the joists right where the safe would be placed.

For my interior floors, I had professionals bring the safe in from the garage. They used cardboard and aluminum plates to protect the floors and spread the weight, up until we got to a tight corner where they rolled it on metal pipe. Finally we used furniture pads to slide it into place before bolting down. My wood floors survived the process without damage.

LRHOGFAN
November 10, 2009, 01:25 PM
Had my AMSEC BF6636 delivered yesterday. Curbside delivery via Central Freight Lines. The driver was very helpful in getting the safe off the truck and into a good spot in my garage. I still need to get it off the pallet, but I appreciated the driver doing more than just curbside delivery. I ordered the safe from Bill Callos out of Sparks, Nevada. I would highly recommend him as he has been very helpful with any questions that I had.

I ordered the safe with the black textured finish and it is much better than what you can see in pictures. I picked the AMSEC based on positive reviews here and what I considered a little better fit and finish in the interior compared to Sturdy. No real knock on Sturdy, but the fabric and interior of the AMSEC just seems more well thought out and of greater quality.

Here are some pictures of the truck backing to my driveway, the safe in it's place in the garage, and an interior shot. The next step is to get the safe off the pallet and onto the floor. I purchased 20 hockey pucks from an online retailer to get the safe off the concrete floor. Hopefully 20 will distribute the weight evenly enough.

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a20/LRHOGFAN/034.jpg

The safe before putting in the spokes of the handle:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a20/LRHOGFAN/035.jpg

interior shot:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a20/LRHOGFAN/040.jpg

heeler
November 11, 2009, 05:38 PM
Wonderful!!
My BF 6636 is being delivered this Friday from the dealer.
I ordered mine in Sandstone color and like yours with the regular spinner lock as well as the nifty storit door shelves.
I cant wait.
Just curious...Did the interior come set up in it or did you have to put it in?

LRHOGFAN
November 11, 2009, 11:01 PM
I had to set the top two shelves into place and put the stor-it shelves where I wanted them. There was nothing to it at all.

Guns and more
November 11, 2009, 11:26 PM
I started a thread recently about heavy safes and flooring as i recently had laminate flooring put in my home and was worried
I paid to have my safe delivered. It was worth every penny of the $125.
As for the wood floors, they had a worker bring a bag with a bunch of wood 1x4's about 4' long.
On one side was rubber, (against the floor), and on the other side was Teflon strips.
They laid the boards like tracks across the floor. After they got the safe to the threshold, they got it on the strips, and it slid like it was on rails. Amazing.
Getting it through the bedroom door required the door to be removed, the lock (electronic) keypad removed, and the handle unscrewed. It went in with 1/4" clearance, but they didn't scratch a thing. Then they positioned it and leveled it so the door would stay in one place.
They were great. I could have done it, but I would have gouged the flooring, scratched the safe, and cursed a lot.
My safe has a flat bottom, so I suppose it distributes the weight better (Champion). I wouldn't fear 4 guys standing on the floor, so why should a 900# safe fall through?
If the safe has feet, then the plywood is a good idea.

ReadyontheRight
November 11, 2009, 11:55 PM
Costco had a nice looking safe for $499 when I was there today.

Avenger29
November 12, 2009, 12:54 AM
I will soon be welding up my own...

Good practice for me, built to my specs.

Now, just got to figure out a door system...

Keizer
November 15, 2009, 03:35 PM
I really like that door shelf set up on your AMSEC gun safe. I have the BF 6030, and I may need to install one of those. I may just make my own in my shop. I have removed that door cover before and there is plenty of room below the locking mechanism for the door shelf.

heeler
November 16, 2009, 08:58 AM
Keizer you can buy the retrofit kit and shelves for your 6030 from Amsec or have an Amsec dealer order it.
When I was looking at these safes the only model the dealer had was like yours in the fact they had no Stor-it shelves.
I noticed right away after they installed my BF last Friday the backing which is covered in carpet is made of thin sheet metal as you can rap on it and tell.
I believe it is like that to contain and fasten the metal shelves.
The backing on the non shelf units seem a bit stronger and are made from some sort of wood i do believe.
The extra $58.00 my dealer charged me for them was well worth it too me.

dehughes
November 22, 2009, 07:17 PM
Wow....forgot about the thread I started. :) Glad to see others didn't!

Thanks for all the helpful information! At present, I'm stuck between AMSEC or Sturdy, though I am considering Mountain View Safe Co., being as I'm in Portland, OR.

I was all set to get the AMSEC TF5517 being as it's in my price range, but then realized it has a lesser quality dial lock, and the safe itself has only a 1 year warranty (as opposed to the Lifetime Warranty on the other AMSEC safes). I still may end up with it, but not until I check out Mountain View and Sturdy.

I've just e-mailed Sturdy Safe about their smallest safe, and will see what the cost is on that. I like their design and build philosophy (though their website is pretty lame....).

I've yet to look into Mountain View Safe Co, but I'll call them tomorrow and see what he has to offer.

What I've settled on as my "ideal" safe (given my price constraints) is as follows:

- 10 gun capacity or more (something no smaller than the AMSEC TF5517).
- Dial lock, preferably a S&G lock
- External hinges

Aside from that, I'm up for whatever. Of course, thicker steel, better insulation, larger size, etc., are all welcome, but they do come at a cost, and I'm on a fairy tight and small budget. I'm not concerned with aesthetics so much as I'm looking for a good quality safe.

Any other suggestions/recommendations for me in my safe hunt?

a1abdj
November 22, 2009, 09:29 PM
I have access to a new imported gun safe that is heavier than the AMSEC, but cost a little less. The paint and interior aren't as nice, but it does have the following:

10 gauge outer and inner walls (total 1/4"), with cement fill.

Door is 1/4" outer plate, cement, 10 gauge plate, cement, and another 10 gauge plate (total 1/2").

Door locks on all four sides, and uses UL rated locks.

Lock is protected by a standard mechanical relocker, in addition to a glass plate relocker.

Essentially, this safe is a commercial fire/burglary safe packaged as a gun safe. They are built custom, and are the only gun safes of their type available in the US.

dehughes
November 22, 2009, 09:54 PM
Hey a1abdj, is that safe on your website? If so, to which are you referring? It sounds promising...

Keizer
November 22, 2009, 10:27 PM
I have access to a new imported gun safe that is heavier than the AMSEC, but cost a little less.

I would be interested in seeing it, even though I already bought the BF series. Do you have any pics? Sounds like a good deal.

dehughes
November 23, 2009, 10:45 PM
Any thoughts on a GS5922 safe (made in China, sold by many a re-seller)? I have the option to pick one up locally for a pretty good price (sub-$500)...going to check it out in person tomorrow and see what the quality is like. 59"H x 22"W x 16"D, outside dimensions. 10ga body, 1/4" plate door, 30min fire rating, etc. etc... UL rated Group II dial lock.

dehughes
November 26, 2009, 04:42 AM
Well, I grabbed the gun safe (thanks to all for your help) and now I'd like to get a silica pack for it. I remember seeing on some other thread a rectangular, plastic case that had silica in it, and you'd just dry it out in your oven. While I've found loose silica, and some electrical/plug-in/rechargeable silica packs, I've not been able to find that same pack...can't remember where I came across it (the internet is a big place).

Any recommendations for silica packs for a 12 cubic foot safe?

kappelmd
November 28, 2009, 10:05 PM
Most of the high quality US made safes are made in Utah. Do your research and take a road trip, but not to save on shipping. Enjoy the adventure. The safe that I have is six foot tall, about 48 inches wide, has six shelves and hold 33 long guns all at the same time. Not sure of the manufacturer, but empty it weighs about a thousand pounds. I have had it for 13 years. It has a mechanical combination lock and is easy to change the combination yourself. It isn't pretty, but has served me well. I wouldn't "upgrade", I would just do research again and buy another one. Some of my friends have gun "rooms" with vault doors and separate security systems instead of safes. Something to think about for the nest house anyway......
Happy Hunting

kappelmd
November 28, 2009, 10:21 PM
Here is a silical desiccant pack that I use. I have two, but you only need one. You can make them last longer if you heat the inside of the safe with a dehumidifier. If you open your safe frequently, which you will at first.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=623716

Dehumidifier

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=453246

DrakeMT
February 9, 2010, 04:28 PM
I've found this site and thread in particular to be very helpful. Thanks to all who have posted. I am going to bump it back up with a couple questions.

I'm considering both the Steelwater SW593924 and the DiamondBack/Eagle GS5930H. From an appearance standpoint, I prefer the Steelwater. And I know that its door is removable, which is helpful for my installation. But, the front door is 4 gauge versus 3 gauge.

As for the Diamondback, does anyone know if the front door is removable?

Any one with experience with the Steelwater safes that would like to weigh in one way or the other? I've seen plenty of positive feedback on the Diamondbacks/Zykan Eagles to feel comfortable with one of them, if I go that route.

Thanks in advance.

DrakeMT
February 17, 2010, 12:52 PM
Bump for any opinions on the Steelwater safes please.

cisco11
February 17, 2010, 09:15 PM
Girls. When you want to protect something inna safe, you will need a jewelry safe. Most gun safes do not have a burglary rating. TL 30 rating safe must weigh 2000 lbs. There is NO gun safe made that can't have the back cut out with an abrasive saw inna couple minutes, you get what you pay for.Gun safes are a bad joke. Wanna buy some guns?
Cisco

INMY01TA
February 17, 2010, 11:16 PM
Girls. When you want to protect something inna safe, you will need a jewelry safe. Most gun safes do not have a burglary rating. TL 30 rating safe must weigh 2000 lbs. There is NO gun safe made that can't have the back cut out with an abrasive saw inna couple minutes, you get what you pay for.Gun safes are a bad joke. Wanna buy some guns?
Cisco My front door won't keep burglars out of my house if they want to get in, I may as well just leave my guns on the front porch then. :rolleyes: A safe bolted to the floor combined with a home security system makes you a more "difficult" target then the next guy.

cisco11
February 18, 2010, 09:45 AM
INMY:
Good idea bolt down safe and alarm system. Alarm system and real jewelry safe better idea.
Cisco

a1abdj
February 18, 2010, 11:27 AM
Good idea bolt down safe and alarm system. Alarm system and real jewelry safe better idea.

Gun safe manufacturers have done a very good marketing job, and have many convinced that their gun safes are the best answer to everybody's needs. In reality, like all other tools, there are specific safes for specific jobs. There is a good reason gun safes are called gun safes.

If you have a moderate gun collection, and a high end watch collection, it doesn't always make sense to buy a high end gun safe. You can buy a less costly gun safe for the guns, and buy a nicer, smaller burglary safe for the watches. Not only do you get the proper protection for your items, but often times you will get the proper protection for the same or less cost.

We have been selling an awful lot of small TL rated (jewler's safes if you will) safes to homeowners over the last year. They are good for cash, metals, and other valuables that people are no longer wanting to leave at the bank.

cisco11
February 18, 2010, 07:52 PM
What is a moderate gun collection ??????
Cisco

a1abdj
February 19, 2010, 01:52 AM
What is a moderate gun collection ??????

I suppose that's subjective.

I will say that once you get over the $20,000 mark you really shouldn't be using most of the safes that are actually being used. At least not if you're really concerned about the security of the items inside.

cisco11
February 19, 2010, 08:58 PM
Yes, I would agree one shouldn't be using most of the safes that are actually being used. Heavy,heavy jewelry safes or old "portable" 6500LB. bank vaults.Then, one can have it wired. Have no use for gun safes.
Cisco

pjripple
February 22, 2010, 01:01 PM
So does a jewelry safe make a good gun safe? I've been looking around for a while trying to decide what safe to get. I'm moving in a week and want to make my purchase soon after I move. I keep going back and forth between buying the cheapest rsc vs. buying a "real" safe. I keep thinking about something that I think CB900F said about the 80/20 rule. You can spend 80% of the cost of a real safe on a rsc and get 20% of the protection. Something like that anyway. That and I have a crap load of tools in the garage that could probably aid in some bad guy getting at my goodies.

I hadn't considered a jewelry safe until reading this thread last night. AMSEC makes a model, I believe it is the CF5224. I'm not sure what the interior is like, but I'm sure it could be modified. I only have one long gun. I have more handguns and hope to have more in the future. The price on this safe appears to be smack in the middle between an AMSEC BF and the AMSEC "real" safes. The one concern I have about "real" safes is they are flippin' heavy! This CF model lists the weight as around 2,700 pounds! How does that get moved into my house with out doing damage? I would think rolling that much weight over a door threshold would do some damage. How do these things get moved?

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