Gun Safes - Any secrets


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joejoeshooter
December 10, 2009, 06:17 PM
Are there any secrets to the purchase of a safe? I looked at them at Bass Pro today - They didn't seem to bad. I'd like to spend a bit less though.

I have 10 long guns and 6 pistols.

Thoughts?

jjs

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gatorjames85
December 10, 2009, 06:20 PM
I am also wondering about this. Any preferred brands? Cheap places to buy?

charlie505
December 10, 2009, 06:22 PM
depends on what you are looking for
I am picking one up tomorrow - not fire proof since my apartment is already fire reistant and any fire here would cook any safe made. I am just trying to keep amatures out.
Getting one with an electronic lock - with emergency key just in case.
I am on a limited budget - wish i could get a Browning or something similar.

kanook
December 10, 2009, 06:30 PM
Get the best one you can afford.

The higher the firerating the better.

If you think it's big enough, it's not go bigger. (trust me)

EddieNFL
December 10, 2009, 06:50 PM
Ditto on bigger than you think you need. Also, Bass Pro is seldom your friend when it comes to pricing. Do the gunshops in your area handle safes? If so, they can deal; BPS cannot (at least in my experience). Happy shopping.

bigeye
December 10, 2009, 06:56 PM
If you look at combination safes, Sargent and Greenleaf make some of the most secure locks out there. The military is very fond of their quality and they show up at some very secure facilities.

clarence222
December 10, 2009, 07:02 PM
I would have to recomend against electronic locks. I had my Ft. Knox vault door less than 3 months when the solenoid inside the lock itsellf went bad. When it goes bad the door does not open, no matter what. Luckily we were still in construction and were able to get insde the vault and open the door.

The electronic lock looks nice and is easier to use, but if it fails you might have a lot of work on your hands getting to your guns. The mechanical lock to me is the only way to go.

Boolit
December 10, 2009, 07:05 PM
The advice about getting as big as you can is true. I have found out (the hard way) that with safes, you get what you pay for. If the price seems too good then you are probably getting a piece of crap. The caveat here is that even crap can sometimes pull through for you...

I just bought my 3rd safe, and yes, I do use them all. I bought a Centurion because the price was good, and it was highly fire-rated. The icing on the cake was a nice S&G lock. I refuse to get the digital locks, because I have never seen one that works well. Anyhow, I ordered the safe and when it was delivered, and we were shoving it into position, I noticed a big fat MADE IN CHINA sticker on the back. Man, I tell you, I turned about three shades of green, and did a lot of cussing. When I got over it, I came to terms with the fact that its a decent safe for short money.

22-rimfire
December 10, 2009, 07:24 PM
My advice is to buy a safe that will hold at least 2x current number of guns, especially if you think you may be buying more firearms. Plus, you can put other stuff in there that you want out of sight or believe you need some security storing it.

jnyork
December 10, 2009, 07:48 PM
My advice is to buy a safe that will hold at least 2x current number of guns, especially if you think you may be buying more firearms. Plus, you can put other stuff in there that you want out of sight or believe you need some security storing it.

Excellent advice. They are NEVER big enough. Trust me.

An investment in a good safe is just that, an investment that will last you the rest of your life. Treat it as such. Find the very best you can afford, then go borrow some money and buy something quite a bit better. Cheap safes are just that, cheap. That does not mean you shouldn't go looking for the best price, and I doubt if you will find it at Cabelas or Bass Pro.

Guns and more
December 10, 2009, 08:32 PM
Here's my secret. Decide how big a safe you need, then buy one twice as big.
No kidding. They fill up fast, and it's a purchase you will never regret.

Also, any safe is better than no safe. Don't be dissuaded by the salesman who tells you to wait until you can afford the "Premiere" safe. (That he just happens to sell).

Now if you want to get into details, many will help. I started off to buy a $750 safe that weighed 500#, and I bought a $1500 safe at 800#.
Do you want shiny paint? Electronic lock? Max fire protection? Many bolts?
I did learn that if the hinges are on the outside, the door will open wider. Mine has concealed hinges (no safer, the bolts hold the door) and I had to position it a certain way to see much inside (My door only opens 90 deg., so in a corner, it can be awkward to access it). I had to move it to another wall.

BG&K
December 10, 2009, 08:40 PM
Statistically you are more likely to lose your gun to theft than fire. No matter what the fire rating is on a safe, it will NOT PROTECT YOUR CONTENTS in the event of a full house fire. The fire seals on the doors don't expand until the heat gets high and the damaging smoke has already ruined the contents. The overall heat in the end will rust the barrels, char the wood, and melt the plastic. I've seen the best fire safes hold up in a fire, but the contents...not so much. I am a fireman, Station 940 Kansas. Protect from theft by bolting it down and hope for the best.

My .02

knockonit
December 10, 2009, 09:36 PM
Shop around and buy what you can afford for now and when another is seen to be required in the future, pick up another, I've got quite a few, and am very glad I didin't get one monster, way too much to move to find things,
I did however put a rope light in all of mine at the rear of safe for lighting, used one of the bolt down holes to run a cord thru and put in a rocker switch.
Sure helps in finding stuff, cheap simple light.
Here in Az. not much worry in regards to humidity so I only have some cat litter in plastic containers, works well.
Only problem is I seem to have to keep buying them(safes that is). LOL
Good luck with a choice and
Merry Christmas.
Rj

alamo707
December 10, 2009, 09:55 PM
I was in the market for a gun safe and found this deal on a champion gun safe. They are $300-500 off through 12/15 depending on the model you are looking for. Thought I would pass along the info for anyone looking.

http://www.championsafe.com/

He has reasonable shipping rate. Mine to GA was not bad at all and the safe is beautiful.

Southern Security
1700 Oak Hills Drive
Kingston, TN 37763
(865) 376-6297, (800) 251-9992
www.SouthernSecuritySafes.com

Sock Puppet
December 10, 2009, 11:27 PM
I noticed a big fat MADE IN CHINA sticker on the back. Man, I tell you, I turned about three shades of green, and did a lot of cussing. When I got over it, I came to terms with the fact that its a decent safe for short money.

Some of the Centurion Safes (by Liberty) are made in China. I was told by Liberty that the Centurion safes with a single handle are made in China, while Centurion safes with 3 handles are made in the U.S. I don't know if it's fact.

X-Rap
December 10, 2009, 11:34 PM
My strongest safe is not fire resistant but weighs as much as the others or more. I kind of agree with some who have said theft is a greater hazard than fire. Get heavy gauge sides and door + on the S&G locks.

joenobody
December 10, 2009, 11:45 PM
1st You need one that will fit in your home ,
2nd be heavy enough to discourage theft ,
3rd be reliable enough to keep them safe from others who don't need to be touching them .
In a full house fire that burns to the ground they will be most likely cooked anyhow.
So 4th A good home owners insurance policy will be the best protection there.

just an opinion though i'm no expert

12131
December 11, 2009, 12:11 AM
Gun Safes - Any secrets
Are there any secrets to the purchase of a safe? I looked at them at Bass Pro today - They didn't seem to bad. I'd like to spend a bit less though.

I have 10 long guns and 6 pistols.

Thoughts?

jjs
There are no secrets. Just do some reading. Starting with this:
http://www.6mmbr.com/gunsafes.html

Blackbeard
December 11, 2009, 12:18 AM
I bought my first safe (ok RSC) after I bought my first rifle two years ago. At that time I had two guns, and thought it was a bit silly to have such a big container for one little rifle. It looked lonely in there. So I got him a friend. And then another, and another. Now there's a party going on in my safe and it's starting to get crowded. And it's only been 2 years and 4 months.

Believe the others when they say they fill up fast.

hso
December 11, 2009, 12:42 AM
Read the threads on real safes vs. residential security cabinets. You'll find recent and past stories of the so called "gun safes" pried open with screw drivers and crow bars if you want an incentive to pay for what you want.

Kitchen_Duty
December 11, 2009, 03:09 AM
I bought a RSC from Dakota safe company. They are bolted together from the inside and the largest piece weights just over 200 lbs. My review of it is in my signature. I got it because I had to walk up and down 21 stairs with 3 180 degree turns.

Oh and in my review the manufactor replied to me and told me how I set it up wrong!

-Kitchen

Boolit
December 11, 2009, 06:52 AM
My three safes are all 20+ gun size. Two are fireproof, the first one is not, but its a brute. I would still like to get a safe to store ammo, or use the two fireproof safes for ammo, and find a better place for the guns.

My next endeavor will be a vault. I'd love to somehow incorporate the construction of that vault with the construction of a fallout shelter/survival bunker sort of thing. The trouble here is that I'd like to sell my house and start with a fresh piece of property to do that.

THe Dove
December 11, 2009, 08:10 AM
I bought mine at Tractor Supply Company (chain store). Been good to me so far and was a heck of a price deal!

The Dove

earlthegoat2
December 11, 2009, 08:23 AM
First of all, the fire rating on a lot of the residential safes like the ones that are being talked about are very misleading. I know of no instances in a house fire where the contents of the safe were salvageable. If you put it in your basement against a concrete wall you may be able to buy some time but you will then need to be vigilant with the dry rods.

My advice is to pay twice as much and get a commercial safe like jewelry stores and pawn shops have. They actually have an Underwriters Labrotories firerating which actually means something. If it does not have a T-Rating or a fire class rating then I wouldnt bother. These are going to be twice as heavy and twice as expensive to buy.

My two cents.

mountainpharm
December 11, 2009, 08:51 AM
Do a search for "gun safe" and pay special attention to the posts by a1abdj and CB900F. They are both very knowledgeable and it's likely they've already answered most of your questions in previous threads.

SafeGuy
December 11, 2009, 11:36 AM
Mornin' guys, I just signed up on your forum having been sent a link by one of your members who I did some business with. Being that I'm a new guy, I don't want to step on anybody's toes, but you're being given some bad information on this topic. I'm sure it's well intentioned, but bad nonetheless.

I'm not here to try and sell you anything, but gun safety and security is very important in this day and time. I'm a gun owner too, and I've been in the gun safe business for over 30 years. Ignore me if you like, but I really did sign up to offer you some help in wading through all the smoke and mirrors which play a major role in the gun safe business.

MAKster
December 11, 2009, 11:53 AM
When it comes to gun safes there are really only two realistic levels of protection. Either buy the least expensive 12 gauge box or spend $3000 plus for something with 1/4 inch plate walls. Basically everything else in between offers no real advantage. The $600 12 gauge Winchester safe is going to give you the same real world protection as a $1500 12 gauge safe from Fort Knox. The thickness of the door, the number of bolts, relockers, etc. are mostly for show. A 12 gauge body is a 12 gauge body. The least expensive 12 gauge safe will stop the smash and grab robbers, but nothing short of 1/4 plate will stop a determined person.

SafeGuy
December 11, 2009, 11:58 AM
MAKster, what you said is basically true. There is no disputing that 12GA steel is 12GA steel regardless of who built the safe. That only applies if a burglar is going to go to extreme measures of cutting the safe. Most of the time, this is not going to be the case.

With that in mind, additional steel thickness and frame reinforcement at the door will be different between your Winchester (made by Granite) and Fort Knox. This will provide better protection against a prying attack.

X-Rap
December 11, 2009, 01:07 PM
I think the door and frame of a safe is the most important part. If the safe is fastened and the room has enough size restrictions to prohibit swinging and using large prying tools even lighter gauge sides will thwart most thieves.
A safe that is in the open and can be rolled around to accommodate the thieves is as good as cracked.

Legionnaire
December 11, 2009, 01:31 PM
Are there any secrets to the purchase of a safe?I'll never tell! (Sorry, couldn't resist).





Seriously, a good safe is an investment, and I'll echo the advice neither to skimp on size or quality. And pay for delivery and setup. Friends who don't know what they're doing can wreck themselves and/or your house trying to move a 1,000 pound safe.

SafeGuy
December 11, 2009, 01:38 PM
Again, I didn't sign up just to try and sell somebody a safe, but I own the company, Southern Security, alamo posted the link for. If you guys are NRA members, you've probably seen my advertisements in their magazines since 1981. I actually pulled out of there back around '04 for reasons not concerning the NRA.

Click on this link and read, "How To Choose The Right Safe".

www.SouthernSecuritySafes.com

It just gives some basic information on gun safes in general without trying to push or pull you to a particular brand. Most of my customers have found it very useful, so maybe you will too.

ms6852
December 11, 2009, 01:49 PM
Buy the biggest you can afford, than save for another 3 to 6 months and get the bigger one.

Uncle Mike
December 11, 2009, 02:44 PM
1) Save your money...buy a good one. Skimping now = big frustration later.

2) Stay away from ANYTHING manufactured by Liberty...Centurion, Liberty.

3) Get the next 'bigger' size you think you need.

4) The more fire protection, the better. UL listed, with door gap sealing and pressure venting. 4 layer is best...and REAL fire insulation, not just your average drywall or hardened fire board, ash board, cement board, ect...

5) Remember, if it says it will hold 52 firearms...in reality, it will only hold half that much, once you start putting scoped firearms, AR's, pistol grip stocks and the like in it.

6) Always plan on devoting a portion of your safes space to 'the Misses'.

7) A heater is a MUST...forget the moisture absorbing gels(Silica), pellets(Calcium Chloride) and so on. Put a Piano heater(such as a Golden Rod) in it...the bigger, the better and mount the heater midways up, not towards the top of the safe. Strive for 40% to 50% Relative humidity.
Also, Calcium Chloride will corrode metal and ruin leather if it comes into direct contact with these materials.

8) Get a model that you can easily, or learn how to, 'pin back' or 'cage' your re-lockers...so when you move the safe there is no fear of a jolt firing your re-lockers and rendering the safe useless. Obviously you wont cage the re-locker when using the safe, just moving it.

9) Warranty, Warranty, Warranty! Replacement options, forced break-in replacement, paint, re-locker re-entry service and repair(none of this, we will drill a hole in your door, re-set your re-locker and drive a piece of round bar in the hole and spot paint it), Lock warranty and replacement coverage, Shipping is VERY important on replacement warranty, these things are heavy and unless your warranty covers the S&H you may be looking at several hundred dollars for the replacement, Hinges, linkage and rods, interior and coverings, ect...

10) UL listed internal lighting, or provisions to add lighting easily. The electric cord entering the safe should have a 'strain relief' of some type also and be waterproof.

12) Shelf tracks should not be exposed in a way that allows for stock/metal damage to your firearms while putting them in or taking them out of the safe. Also a raised floor that is even with the lower door edge is a BIG plus in not dinging your stocks.

13) Easily removable door, if that model offers it...makes a move a bit easier. Also provisions to attach a hook or lifting device in the top plate of the safe is nice, but not entirely necessary.

14) Anchor holes in the bottom of the safe(at each of the corners). If your NOT going to anchor your safe to the floor, than tap these holes and insert bolts...this can be used to level the safe... or cut the bolts flush with the bottom, put thread sealer on the bolts and install to make a waterproof bottom. You can simply seal the holes with a good quality marine sealer also.

15) Make a blueprint of the lock-work of your safe, put this in your safety deposit box...just in case YOU have to gain access to your safe for some reason...I had to do this when the company that manufactured one of my safes told me it was going to be several months before they could open my 'factory defective' safe. I opened it and they replaced it free.

Well, I'm sure there are many, many more helpful tips, but here are 15 tips I and the customers that have bought safes from us have commented on in the past.

Good luck, and remember NO LIBERTY BRAND SAFES!!

SafeGuy
December 11, 2009, 04:51 PM
Uncle Mike, just out of curiosity, why are you so down on Liberty Safes?

No, I don't sell them, but the only recurring problem I've seen is they tend to rust, and their customer service is lousy. Outside that, no offense, but let me address a few of your other points.

4) The more fire protection, the better. UL listed, with door gap sealing and pressure venting. 4 layer is best...and REAL fire insulation, not just your average drywall or hardened fire board, ash board, cement board, ect...

Don't confuse UL listed fire insulation with the safe being UL listed for fire. I'm not sure what you're calling "REAL" insulation. Every major manufacturer uses fireboard aka sheetrock.

8) Get a model that you can easily, or learn how to, 'pin back' or 'cage' your re-lockers...so when you move the safe there is no fear of a jolt firing your re-lockers and rendering the safe useless. Obviously you wont cage the re-locker when using the safe, just moving it.

You lost me on that one as well. First, you won't fire a relocker simply by moving the safe. Tractor-trailer trucks aren't the smoothest riding vehicles on the road, and that's how they all get from the factory. With that in mind, I've seen several dropped off the back of trailers without firing a relocker. Glass relockers may be prone to such an issue, but those aren't generally used on major brands. That being said, any mechanical relocker can be "pinned" by removing the back of the door. It would be a waste of time IMO.

9) Warranty, Warranty, Warranty! Replacement options, forced break-in replacement, paint, re-locker re-entry service and repair(none of this, we will drill a hole in your door, re-set your re-locker and drive a piece of round bar in the hole and spot paint it), Lock warranty and replacement coverage, Shipping is VERY important on replacement warranty, these things are heavy and unless your warranty covers the S&H you may be looking at several hundred dollars for the replacement, Hinges, linkage and rods, interior and coverings, ect...

Warranty is more smoke and mirrors than anything of substance. Given most gun safe owners will have home owners insurance, the costs associated with having a safe attacked or go through a fire will be covered by that insurance. Once again you bring up relockers, but in my 30 years I've never seen one triggered in an attack. That too would be taken care of with a claim on your homeowners policy.

13) Easily removable door, if that model offers it...makes a move a bit easier. Also provisions to attach a hook or lifting device in the top plate of the safe is nice, but not entirely necessary.

Rarely is it advisable to remove a door unless you are forced to move it up or down a flight of steps. Unless the weight of the safe is too great for the steps to support, you are much better off moving it intact. Been there, done that. This also means you are limited to external hinges. Not a security issue in most cases, but most people pefer the look of internal hinges.

14) Anchor holes in the bottom of the safe(at each of the corners). If your NOT going to anchor your safe to the floor, than tap these holes and insert bolts...this can be used to level the safe... or cut the bolts flush with the bottom, put thread sealer on the bolts and install to make a waterproof bottom. You can simply seal the holes with a good quality marine sealer also.

I would have to question every part of this one, but I'll let it go at that.

15) Make a blueprint of the lock-work of your safe, put this in your safety deposit box...just in case YOU have to gain access to your safe for some reason...I had to do this when the company that manufactured one of my safes told me it was going to be several months before they could open my 'factory defective' safe. I opened it and they replaced it free.

Interesting. Two points, all major manufacturers can tell a locksmith exactly where to drill in the event the safe cannot be opened. How, may I ask, did you open your safe making use of your blueprint?

Had you screwed it up, you would have voided your warranty and been on your own. With that, I would strongly advise others not to follow your lead.

Well, I'm sure there are many, many more helpful tips, but here are 15 tips I and the customers that have bought safes from us have commented on in the past.

Good luck, and remember NO LIBERTY BRAND SAFES!!

OK, I missed this the first time in that you sell safes. May I ask which brand(s) you sell? Are you a locksmith?

Jim K
December 11, 2009, 05:03 PM
A while back I read a post by someone who said no one should consider any safe/vault that didn't have at least 2" thick hardened laminated steel walls and door. A bit of overkill, maybe? He didn't say how much that stuff costs, but it is a lot, or how you could move that much weight.

One consideration affecting many folks is that they can't get a safe where they want it, it is just too big or heavy for stairs, etc. One answer is a modular safe that can be assembled where it is wanted, like those at www.zanottiarmor.com . The big drawback is that they have zero fire resistance, but in some homes that is less of a consideration than in others. A modular safe also can be disassembled for moving, and the parts can be handled by one strong man or two average guys.

Jim

a1abdj
December 11, 2009, 05:40 PM
Uncle Mike, just out of curiosity, why are you so down on Liberty Safes?


I'm also curious.

No, I don't sell them, but the only recurring problem I've seen is they tend to rust, and their customer service is lousy. Outside that, no offense, but let me address a few of your other points.


The only rust issues I have seen with the Liberties is the bottom of the safe that is not painted. Of course this is pretty common, as a number of manufacturers do not paint the bottom.

As far as the warranty service, I have found that to be outstanding. I do a lot of their warranty work in the St. Louis metro area, and have found that they go above and beyond to make their customers happy. This includes taking care of major issues that are out of warranty.

Don't confuse UL listed fire insulation with the safe being UL listed for fire. I'm not sure what you're calling "REAL" insulation. Every major manufacturer uses fireboard aka sheetrock.


AMSEC and Graffunder are major manufacturers, and both use a composite injection method for fire resistance. This method is about the closest thing you're going to get to a real UL rated fire safe in a gun safe package, short of converting a UL listed safe into a gun safe.

You lost me on that one as well.

I agree.

Warranty is more smoke and mirrors than anything of substance.

I agree again.

Once again you bring up relockers, but in my 30 years I've never seen one triggered in an attack.

I see them fired after attacks all the time. I also see the occasional dropped safe, as well as the "it just decided to go off on its own" safe.

Rarely is it advisable to remove a door unless you are forced to move it up or down a flight of steps.

Still agreeing.....

I would have to question every part of this one, but I'll let it go at that.


This is odd. I usually don't agree with gun safe guys this much.....

all major manufacturers can tell a locksmith exactly where to drill in the event the safe cannot be opened.

If your locksmith needs the manufacturer to tell them where to drill, you should see if there's another locksmith available. :)

Ironically, I have had a major manufacturer fax me a copy of a page out of a book written by a safe tech when I had a question. Apparently we know more about their products than they do.

Good to have somebody else in the safe business around, even if it is limited to gun safes.

A while back I read a post by someone who said no one should consider any safe/vault that didn't have at least 2" thick hardened laminated steel walls

This safe would need to be an antique. No modern manufacturers build them like this.

A bit of overkill, maybe?

For an average gun collection yes.

He didn't say how much that stuff costs, but it is a lot, or how you could move that much weight.

It does cost a lot. It also costs a lot to move it. Of course people who buy stuff like that aren't too worried about what it cost to move it.

One consideration affecting many folks is that they can't get a safe where they want it, it is just too big or heavy for stairs, etc. One answer is a modular safe that can be assembled where it is wanted, like those at www.zanottiarmor.com .

I am a big fan of the Zanotti IF a modular safe is the only option. Otherwise, I would stick with a conventional unit.

Uncle Mike
December 11, 2009, 07:31 PM
Uncle Mike, just out of curiosity, why are you so down on Liberty Safes?

We have had problems from misaligned doors to binding hinges to re-lockers that did trip from being unloaded to shoddy paint to rust to...well you said it yourself safeguy, the Customer service, as far as dealers are concerned is not there.

Fire Board...you said it...they use fire board, however the better models use a blown type, or foam type insulation that as far as I understood from the reps, was the cats behind and the paperwork he produced showed way better numbers than simple sheetrock.

8) Get a model that you can easily, or learn how to, 'pin back' or 'cage' your re-lockers...so when you move the safe there is no fear of a jolt firing your re-lockers and rendering the safe useless. Obviously you wont cage the re-locker when using the safe, just moving it.

You lost me on that one as well. First, you won't fire a relocker simply by moving the safe. Tractor-trailer trucks aren't the smoothest riding vehicles on the road, and that's how they all get from the factory. With that in mind, I've seen several dropped off the back of trailers without firing a relocker. Glass relockers may be prone to such an issue, but those aren't generally used on major brands. That being said, any mechanical relocker can be "pinned" by removing the back of the door. It would be a waste of time IMO.

This exactly what Liberty, Cannon and several other manufacturers suggested we do as we were to move these units to the 2nd. story level...I apologies if your lost on this...but that IS what we were told to do...and it makes good sense if you don't have all the high speed safe moving equipment available to you...wrestle a 3000 lb. safe down the embankment, up the stairs and so on, you may bump it hard enough to fire the re-lockers...or close the door hard on a Liberty and the 2"X2"X3/16" angle that wasn't welded on shakes loose and there you go, re-locker fired. And the top of the line Liberty, the Presidential(at the time) has a GLASS re-locker.

Warranty is more smoke and mirrors than anything of substance. Given most gun safe owners will have home owners insurance, the costs associated with having a safe attacked or go through a fire will be covered by that insurance. Once again you bring up relockers, but in my 30 years I've never seen one triggered in an attack. That too would be taken care of with a claim on your homeowners policy.

Why would you turn in safe damage in to your home owners insurance when clearly all the major players offer forced entry replacement so on...? I mean when mine was damaged, Liberty replaced it, no questions asked...BUT I had to pay freight!
Again, going on what the manufacturer said.

A burglary attempt at on of our competition stores rendered the re-lockers tripped on one of there safes...they do trip, now I'm by no means an expert but twice I have come into contact with tripper re-lockers...and its been only 14 years between the instances.

Rarely is it advisable to remove a door unless you are forced to move it up or down a flight of steps. Unless the weight of the safe is too great for the steps to support, you are much better off moving it intact.

My sentiments exactly....again, thinking of the guy bench pressing his safe up the stairs with half the friends that said would help...if that door comes off, all the easier to move.
Pure physics!


14) Anchor holes in the bottom of the safe(at each of the corners). If your NOT going to anchor your safe to the floor, than tap these holes and insert bolts...this can be used to level the safe... or cut the bolts flush with the bottom, put thread sealer on the bolts and install to make a waterproof bottom. You can simply seal the holes with a good quality marine sealer also.

ever let your kid run the carpet shampooer...around the safe. This statement was totally MY idea...it is what I did, sealed the holes with sealant..there was a safe company, I believe Rocky Mountain Safes, out of business now, if this is the one...that came with tapped holes and leveling feet...good idea as our floor is not level and some of the units rock when the kids play around them...yeah, I know...but it's not my department!
Again, apologies for the nerve I must have hit....I thought it might have been a good idea! lol

Interesting. Two points, all major manufacturers can tell a locksmith exactly where to drill in the event the safe cannot be opened. How, may I ask, did you open your safe making use of your blueprint?

Had you screwed it up, you would have voided your warranty and been on your own. With that, I would strongly advise others not to follow your lead.

We have prints to all the safes we sell...the boss man gets them...? I don't know, but it is a good idea...when that angle iron came loose in my personal safe and let the re-lockers go, our friend Liberty Safe company hemmed hawed around for a month...I drilled the door and opened the safe, using the prints on that model we had at the shop...made copies. Liberty did not have a problem with it, they replaced the safe.

Just passing on what the manufacturers have told us...when I worked the safe department a hundred years ago, this is what I remember. lol

We order most any safe a customer wants, as to brand. The models on the floor, as best I can remember as I have not been over to that store for a while would be Browning, cannon, Ft.Knox(the most of them) and a cheaper line...I can't remember..starts with a 'S'... and yes Alice, we do sell the horrid Liberty brand! lol

Apologies if you guys were/are offended, I know your safe professionals, again...passing along what I have been told...don't shoot the messenger! lol hehehe

jkingrph
December 11, 2009, 07:55 PM
Member



Join Date: June 22, 2007
Posts: 64 depends on what you are looking for
I am picking one up tomorrow - not fire proof since my apartment is already fire reistant and any fire here would cook any safe made. I am just trying to keep amatures out.
Getting one with an electronic lock - with emergency key just in case.
I am on a limited budget - wish i could get a Browning or something similar

Your apartment may be fire resistant, but is not fireproof. Generally in a building, paint on walls, carpet, wooden floors, furniture, upholestry, and other items placed in the building will burn. The item lining most fire resistant safes is a gpysm, the same thing in sheetrock, which when heated enough gives off water vapor and will prevent burning or charring of combustible items in the safe. You will see on specificatin plate on most safes a statement what temp it will resist and for how long. I learned most of this while working for my father in an office equipment business while in college years ago. We did not sell safes, but had fireproof(resistant) filing cabinets

What is not generally known is that a well built wooden cabinet will protect the contents from heat better than an uninsulated steel cabinet, at least until it burns through at which point the contents of a steel cabinet are already toast.

alamo707
December 12, 2009, 01:18 AM
Glad to see you join Randy(safeguy). I like this site and it has good info about guns as well.

Patriotme
December 12, 2009, 02:29 AM
Hmmm.....there's a lot of good info here. I wish I had seen a similiar thread before I bought my safe a few years ago.
I don't know about you but I'm usually on a budget for my gun stuff. I finally bought a safe after a few years of buying guns and locking them with trigger/cable locks. My main concern was child safety rather than fire and theft. My insurance policy would cover theft and while I really like some of my guns....they can be replaced. I have no heirlooms.
I'm not overly concerned about fire and my guns. If my house burns down I've got bigger problems then my guns being destroyed. Insurance will cover most of what I have. I've checked. If I had the money however I would have purchased a fireproof safe. I'm not knocking them by any means. When I decide to upgrade I will no doubt go with a fireproof safe.
I got my safe from Dick's Sporting Goods (American Security). At the time I was on a budget for how much I could afford for a safe (times are better now) and I was lucky enough to get a decent safe that someone returned. It holds 16 long guns and as many handguns as you can creatively fit. It had a scratch on the back and they knocked about 10% off. This worked for me and while I definately don't have the best safe on the market it will keep the neighbor kids out and make it difficult for thieves to steal in a smash and grab.
Anyway....the safe that I could afford a few years back is far from being the best on the market but it suits my needs and it's better than no safe or using trigger/cable locks for a couple of years while saving up for something awesome. Different strokes. It's kind of like the saying that a decent gun in your possession is better than a great gun on layaway. As I'm outgrowing my current safe I will have to upgrade in another couple of years and I will put the money into something really nice.
For home defense guns I like those small safes with the keypads on the front that you see at all of the gun stores. I bolt them to a closet shelf and the wall behind them. They are reasonably secure and pretty accessable. I keep a flashlight next to the one in the bedroom for power outages or when I want to open the safe without flipping on the lights and announcing, "We're all awake up here." Are my home defense guns (Springfield XDM and Kimber btw) immediately accessable? No but then again they are not immediately accessable for my daughter's friends when they are visiting. My security arangements will probably change in a few years when my wife and I are alone but for now this is a good compromise.
By the way, I personally know a lot of people that keep handguns for self defense and I only know two other people with safes. I really hate to say it but most just keep their guns unloaded and in the top of a closet.

eye5600
December 12, 2009, 09:59 AM
I suppose if you actually have a fire, the fire dept. would like to know about any ammo you have stored. (As well as the can of gas you have next to your mower.)

Vonderek
December 12, 2009, 10:28 AM
I suppose if you actually have a fire, the fire dept. would like to know about any ammo you have stored. (As well as the can of gas you have next to your mower.)
Hopefully if that happens it will be when you are away on business and your phone is off. Otherwise, if you tell them about that case of ammo in your closet they will stand by and let your house burn in the interest of "firefighter safety".

Boolit
December 12, 2009, 08:36 PM
Hey, Safe Experts:

Why are the S&G regular combo dial locks so rare now? I mean, I got one on my cheapie Centurion, but on the Brownings and Ft Knox, etc, they are all the pushbutton-type. I want a safe I can get into even if we have an EMP, which obviously would fry the electronics on a digital. I don't want to have to rely on a safe that needs batteries. What gives? :confused:

a1abdj
December 12, 2009, 09:58 PM
Why are the S&G regular combo dial locks so rare now?

They aren't rare. Retailers are simply ordering them from the manufacturer with electronic locks because that's what the consumers want.

I'm looking forward to all of the extra income that will result from this practice.

Truthfully, the S&G locks found on most gun safes are the lower end units. If you want a mechanical lock from S&G I would use the 6730 at a minimum. If you buy a gun safe from somebody that's a "real" safe company, you can get whatever lock you would like, even if it is not offered by that particular safe manufacturer.

Ryder
December 12, 2009, 11:26 PM
Mine has concealed hinges (no safer, the bolts hold the door) and I had to position it a certain way to see much inside (My door only opens 90 deg., so in a corner, it can be awkward to access it). I had to move it to another wall.

Mine is like that. Tight fit between the door and the wall (haven't measured but probably about 3.5 feet) but once I get the door open and work my way in there it makes for a fairly decent bullet shield :D

Brian Dale
December 12, 2009, 11:54 PM
Otherwise, if you tell them about that case of ammo in your closet they will stand by and let your house burn in the interest of "firefighter safety".Not in my old Fire Department, and I've never seen that taught in firefighter training, either. Various fuels, pesticides and electricity are greater hazards to firefighters than stored ammunition. Yeah, ammo will burn, but it won't blow up like a propane tank.

a1abdj
December 13, 2009, 12:02 AM
once I get the door open and work my way in there it makes for a fairly decent bullet shield


I realize you're probably joking. The doors and bodies of most gun safes will not stop a bullet.

Vonderek
December 13, 2009, 01:56 PM
Apologies for the brief thread hijack but a quick reply RE: Firefighters letting a house burn. Stories come out from time to time. Here is a link to one along with an excerpt:

http://www.youngstownfire.com/forums/index.php?topic=8868.0;wap2

Fire and rescue vehicles clogged Coit Road as Lowellville firefighter Bill Ruess directed traffic away.

“Do you hear that?” he said. The fire was sending out a continuous barrage of popping sounds similar to firecrackers.

It was ammunition. Pat Naples is a hunter, Susany explained.

That ammunition posed a danger for firefighters.

“We won’t go in a house if there’s ammunition,” Ruess said, unless someone needs to be rescued. By then, firefighters were reasonably sure the house was empty. The house was valued at $213,600, according to the Mahoning County auditor’s office.

danprkr
December 13, 2009, 02:06 PM
Get the best one you can afford.

The higher the firerating the better.

If you think it's big enough, it's not go bigger. (trust me)

Ditto ditto ditto

As to my purchase. I looked around for what I wanted, and then found the distributor in my area. I went to him, and found a deal on a floor model they'd taken back from a gun store that went out of business. I saved several hundred dollars, and it's been a much better investment than I'd ever dreamed it would be.

In addition to my guns of course there are all our important papers (birth certificates, insurance policies etc), our jewelry, and other valuable family heirlooms.

The only time I regret it is when it comes time to move it :(

SafeGuy
December 14, 2009, 02:33 PM
A couple more thoughts here. Too bad this place doesn't have a quote function as it would make it easier to address things.

First, contrary to what you see on the movies, modern ammo in a fire does not kill bad guys or firefighters. You have to have chamber pressure to have the bullet come out of the case with any more speed than the primer will. In most cases, the primer will pop, the powder will burn, and the bullet might travel a few feet. I've heard exceptions to this where older military ammo is used. This has to do with the way the primers are seated.

Second, S&G locks are still the industry standard for major manufacturers. It is still the standard lock on Browning, Champion, and Fort Knox, and as best I recall, on Liberty as well. That being said, I've had very few problems with LaGard locks over the years. This goes for both mechanical and electronic locks. The only electronic locks I've dealt with which proved to be problematic were those made by Kaba Mas.

Third, what I said about warranty and homeowner's is very much true. I'm surprised to see the comment about a Liberty safe being replaced without regard to independent homeowner's insurance. I know of an instance where a guy had a Liberty safe go through a fire, and he tried to pull a fast one by getting them to honor their warranty despite the fact his homeowner's already bought him another one. I know this because I stored the damaged safe for the guy through a second party.

As for why anyone would hesitate to file a claim for a burned up safe, I don't have a clue. It's not like it's going to matter in the overall scheme of things if your house burns down. Personally, I would point out to my insurance company that the safe was covered by a separate warranty. Then I would let them deal with the manufacturer.

Last point, and not to knitpick, has to do with leveling a safe. Yes, they do need to be level for a number of reasons. The lock won't function properly if they are not level, same with the locking system (bolt pressure), and the door may chase you or slam shut on an out of level safe. Neither is good. As for using leveling feet/bolts through the anchoring holes, that will concentrate every bit of the safe weight on four very small points. Not good for your floor, and not as stable as it should be. Shims are the only way to go.

SniperStraz
December 14, 2009, 06:25 PM
Too bad this place doesn't have a quote function as it would make it easier to address things.
Hmm..

moooose102
December 14, 2009, 08:36 PM
it is an investment, treat it as such. you dont want the cheapest thing you can buy, that will get the job done. save that mentality for lawnmowers. also, buy one that is AT LEAST 50% larger than you THINK you will ever need. between buying more guns, and finding other stuff that you want to keep safe, it will fill up faster than you think!

a1abdj
December 14, 2009, 08:54 PM
A couple more thoughts here. Too bad this place doesn't have a quote function as it would make it easier to address things.

There is. You just have to copy, paste, highlight the text, then click on the little cartoon looking text bubble on the little toolbar at the top.

I've had very few problems with LaGard locks over the years. This goes for both mechanical and electronic locks. The only electronic locks I've dealt with which proved to be problematic were those made by Kaba Mas.

This has been my experience as well. As far as electronic locks, I have had far better results with the LaGards than the S&Gs. Of course Kaba now owns LaGard.

Third, what I said about warranty and homeowner's is very much true. I'm surprised to see the comment about a Liberty safe being replaced without regard to independent homeowner's insurance. I know of an instance where a guy had a Liberty safe go through a fire, and he tried to pull a fast one by getting them to honor their warranty despite the fact his homeowner's already bought him another one. I know this because I stored the damaged safe for the guy through a second party.

A manufacturer will buy you a replacement safe and pay for shipping. An insurance company will pay for the safe and shipping AND removal and disposal of your old safe AND installation of your new safe. In many cases, they will also pay to open the safe.

These gun safe manufacturers are at the top of their marketing game. They know exactly how to push the buttons of consumers, and dazzle them with useless benefits while distracting them from what's really important.

As for why anyone would hesitate to file a claim for a burned up safe, I don't have a clue. It's not like it's going to matter in the overall scheme of things if your house burns down. Personally, I would point out to my insurance company that the safe was covered by a separate warranty. Then I would let them deal with the manufacturer.

I don't think I've heard of any other item in a house being covered by the manufacturer for theft of fire. Yet people shopping for gun safes are so caught up in this warranty business.

The lock won't function properly if they are not level

If the lock was assembled properly and installed correctly, it should function fine regardless of its orientation.

same with the locking system (bolt pressure)

This can be true, but most bolt pressure issues are caused by poor design.

the door may chase you or slam shut on an out of level safe. Neither is good.

This can hurt a person or damage property easily. On commercial safes you could really hurt yourself (think missing fingers). A heavy vault door could cause even more serious damage.

stchman
December 14, 2009, 09:01 PM
I think Bass Pro has the best safes for the money.

I spent $750 on mine and it is pretty nice. Cabela's is higher for the same types.

JMO.

emerson
December 14, 2009, 10:09 PM
You just have to copy, paste, highlight the text, then click on the little cartoon looking text bubble on the little toolbar at the top.

I always wondered how to do that on this board... thanks.

CB900F
December 15, 2009, 10:03 AM
Fella's;

I've been lurking on this thread; thought it was time to chime in.

BG&K stated: "Statistically you are more likely to lose your gun to theft than fire. No matter what the fire rating is on a safe, it will NOT PROTECT YOUR CONTENTS in the event of a full house fire. The fire seals on the doors don't expand until the heat gets high and the damaging smoke has already ruined the contents. The overall heat in the end will rust the barrels, char the wood, and melt the plastic. I've seen the best fire safes hold up in a fire, but the contents...not so much. I am a fireman, Station 940 Kansas. Protect from theft by bolting it down and hope for the best."

I'd invite him, and anybody else interested in good fire protection, to go to www.graffundersafes.com and examine the photos of Graffunder's that have gone through total loss building fires.

Graffunder uses a proprietary concrete/vermiculite insulation in the walls of their safes. The outer skin is, at minimum, a 1/4" A36 tool steel plate, then there's a 1.5" layer of insulation, and finally, there's a continuous inner layer of steel. Graffunder's are true safes, not RSC's, and are therefore more expensive. However, you actually get the protection you're paying for.

On locks, and I'm a professional locksmith, beware of logo imitation. We're noticing that import safes will have little LaGard (LG), or Sargent & Greenleaf (SG) look-alike logos on the lock that are just enough different from the real thing to cause confusion without presumably causing lawsuits. The locks under the logos are not LaGard or Sargent & Greenleafs.

And, as has been stated several times above, do get a unit that's larger than what you think you'll need. The cost of a protected cubic inch of space goes down rather steeply as the size of the safe rises. My concern though is the ad-garbage that makes people think they've got "Bank Quality Protection", when what they've really got is a run-of-the-mill tin-can RSC. True, anything's better than nothing, but at least make an informed decision when you buy & know what you're buying when you do get an RSC.

900F

alsaqr
December 15, 2009, 10:11 AM
Are there any secrets to the purchase of a safe? I


Yep, buy a very big one.

Ryder
December 15, 2009, 11:28 AM
I realize you're probably joking. The doors and bodies of most gun safes will not stop a bullet.


Against 9mm, 45acp, or buckshot, I consider it to be fair cover. Googling mine shows it to be 3/16" thick. I also have 14 radially positioned 1" thick bolts along with the associated locking mechanism behind that door.

Given my ballistic experience I believe an angled shot would be deflected to a great extent. Due to the configuration of my room all I expect anyone to get is a 45 angle at best. Any bullet penetrating that plate would still have to negotiate the locking mechanism. That is a substantial feat, anything reaching me would be highly depleted of energy.

You are absolutely correct, it is not the perfect hard cover. It is however better than nothing and without a doubt prevents anyone from putting sights on my vitals. Once it is game on and I get into that safe anyone intending me harm is in a world of hurt because of what I keep in there regardless of the cover it provides :D

heeler
December 15, 2009, 11:37 AM
I researched gun safes for well over two years before i finally paid the Piper.
I googled plenty on gun safes which is exactly how i found this web site.
What I finally concluded was to stay away from the 12 gauge bodied gun safes unless your home is really secure and it's to basically keep the little kids away from the contents inside the safe.
Although i have read many times here that you can get into a 12 gauge gun safe with a screw driver myself i highly doubt it.
Some 12 gauge safes are weaker than others so i certainly do know that a strong guy(s) with a three foot crow bar probably could on some but again not likely at all with a damn screw driver.
Doors....This issue started catching my attention rather quickly as i did my research.
A Champion dealer offered me a Crown series model 40 that had a big scratch on the body for a really good price.
However he could not give me any info on the amount of steel that the composite door was made up off.
After two tries finally Champion safes e-mailed me that the Crown composite door had a ten gauge outer skin and a 3/16 of an inch plate backing.
Sorry not enough steel for me.
The Liberty Lincoln was even more flimsy.
Of course their top of the line Presidential claims to have a 1/4 inch backing on the door but after looking at their very own website and seeing them build a gun safe I became very disenenchanted with them after seeing the way that plate(it was in two pieces if a remember correctly) and i could not tell if it had even been welded to the door backing.
Give me plate steel.
At that point your choices get narrowed down to American Security,Ft.Knox,Sturdy,and Heritage.
There are others out there that use plate steel on their doors but since they had no dealer network here i passed on them.
Hinges....If it does not give you a full 180 degree swing i dont want it.
That means a gun safe with outside hinges.
Note,you can order a Ft.Knox safe with outer hinges at no additional charge.
Locks...In our world of computers and other push button electronic gack that makes peoples lifes very fast a lot of people opt for electronic locks.
I will pass here as well.
The very thought that one day some locksmith is almost surely going to have to come out and drill my safes plate steel door because of the electronic lock giving up the ghost is more than i could bare.
Fwiw i can get into my UL rated group II mechanical lock in under 15 seconds.
And at different gun safe dealers i could get into a safe in under 5 seconds using the electro wonder but this story reminds me of the old Tortise and Hare race.
Body...Myself i would not want a gun safe that was less than a full 1/8 of an inch body and 3/16th of an inch would be even better.
Problem is that the over all majority of gun safes with 3/16 th of an inch body thickness easily breaks the three grand price tag.
Fire rating...This is over rated in the majority of gun safes but i still would not own one without it.
Some protection is better than none because who says the fire wont be contained before it reaches right up to your gun safe.
So after boiling it all down what i finally came up with was a choice between these three safes.
1.American Security BF 66x36.
2.Sturdy 60x27 safe of the similiar size as the BF.
3.Ft.Knox Defender 66x37 with the optinal outside hinges and the delux package that upgraded the 10 gauge body to a 3/16th body and brought the door plate thickness up from 1/4 inch to 3/8th of an inch.
So at the end of that research i eventually eliminated the Knox due to it coming in at around $3200.00
I was going back and forth between the Sturdy and Amsec BF.
The Sturdy offers a strong 7 gauge body(3/16th really) and inner body of 14 gauge and pretty decent fire insulation.
It's door thickness was 5/16th of an inch plate steel.
The owner Terry actually called me at home and discussed this safe for a pretty good amount of time.
Not likely the head of Ft.Knox,Browning,or Amsec would take that kind of a personal approach.
But since i had never had the opprtunity to actually view the Sturdy i soon elminated it as well.
Sturdy does not have a dealer network and the safe must be drop shipped.
Fwiw it is the only gun safe in the size i was looking at with that kind of body thickness that came in under three grand and it was well under that price.
So I finally bought the Amsec BF 66X36 in the textured Sandstone color with mechanical lock for the price of $2299.00 before tax and installation.
Ten gauge outer body with an inner steel liner of 14 gauge steel.
And that wonderful thick plate steel door.
A full 1/2 inch thick plate with another one inch of fire lining behind it.
It also houses between those two bodies of steel two inches thickness of a concrete type of insulation that is touted to be greatly superior to fire rated sheetrock that is placed inside most other gun safes and supposedly helps in a brute force burglary attempt.
Hope i dont have to find out about this the hard way.
Anyway i am happy with what i chose and maybe this post will help others that are looking at the best bang for the buck on an American made gun safe.

ranger335v
December 15, 2009, 02:03 PM
"Are there any secrets to the purchase of a safe? "

WELL, yeah. But I can't tell you. It's a secret ya know! :D

al123
December 16, 2009, 05:21 PM
Choosing safes was an arduous chore. I'm not faulting salespeople for trying to close the deal, but some of the stuff they spew can make vultures vomit. :barf: You certainly can get glassy eyed after awhile.

One salesperson said you can put a 2500 lb. gun safe in any home with a raised wood foundation. It'll probably be OK if you don't mind a built-in tub surrounding your safe within a few years.

Another guy said, "Once a burglar sees our safe they just walk away. They know it's hopeless."

Another safe "specialist" said there was no need to bolt down your safe - only specialists know how to take it out.

I was at a dealer where I tried to find out about safe construction of a particular Fort Knox. I think it would have been easier to get the launch codes at NORAD. He would only talk about the multi-tone color schemes, the glossy paint, the gorgeous interiors, the convenient drawers etc.

A safe/locksmith dealer quoted $1,000 :eek: for installation of an AMSEC BF in a single story home. This mystified me since one normally does not try to scare away potential customers. Even though he was an official dealer, this probably wasn't his main line of work.

At another local AMSEC dealer, the floor person was pushing a TF5517. It was on "special" sale for $879 (FYI, msrp is $790). I asked her to open the safe for me, she said no problem. After maybe a half-a-dozen attempts, she yells to the front counter, "How do you open this thing!"

The counter person shouts, "You have to turn left first!"

She yells back, "It still doesn't work!"

The counter person corrects her, "No the other left!"

If anonymity is important to you, ask how do they deliver. Some come in unmarked trucks and cover up the product. If I had to do it over again I would ask the dealer if it were possible to be more discreet. Nevertheless, I'm not sure covering up would do any good. Anyone seeing a large covered rectangular object that takes 10 minutes to get through the front door isn't going to conclude it's IKEA furniture.

Anyways if there are any secrets out there, with time I hope they're all cleared up. One can always hope.

Chemistry Guy
December 16, 2009, 06:38 PM
I'll preface this by admitting that I do not know a thing about 'real' safes. My dad had an extensive firearm collection in his basement, and he was far too poor to afford a safe. Instead, he essentially made a small closet in the basement corner out of concrete, rebar, and sections of I-beams bolted together in a pattern that made any normal type of prying next to impossible. It was surrounded by studs and covered in drywall, and had a solid wooden door that opened up to expose the secure door. I would not have a clue as to how to break into it without destroying the contents.

Is there something wrong with this type of 'safe' other than the fact that it takes up more space, is essentially a permanent change to the house, and may not look as nice as the high dollar commercial options? I don't think my dad spent more than $300 in 1980 or so. When I get some more time I have been considering something similar in my basement, although I do not have the welding and metalworking tools to make the frame.

SafeGuy
December 18, 2009, 12:02 PM
I think Bass Pro has the best safes for the money.

I spent $750 on mine and it is pretty nice. Cabela's is higher for the same types.

JMO.
OK, looks like I figured out how to quote by using the quick reply to this message icon at the lower right corner of the post I wanted to quote.

Most of Bass Pro Shops "Redhead" private label safes are now Chinese imports. As memory serves, Granite Security Products built safes for them at one time, but not any more. Add to that their pricing is not very competitive, and I would look elsewhere for a safe. Is your's UL listed? Most Chinese imports aren't. In fact, I've never seen one that was.

SafeGuy
December 18, 2009, 12:16 PM
Fella's;

I've been lurking on this thread; thought it was time to chime in.

BG&K stated: "Statistically you are more likely to lose your gun to theft than fire. No matter what the fire rating is on a safe, it will NOT PROTECT YOUR CONTENTS in the event of a full house fire. The fire seals on the doors don't expand until the heat gets high and the damaging smoke has already ruined the contents. The overall heat in the end will rust the barrels, char the wood, and melt the plastic. I've seen the best fire safes hold up in a fire, but the contents...not so much. I am a fireman, Station 940 Kansas. Protect from theft by bolting it down and hope for the best."

I'd invite him, and anybody else interested in good fire protection, to go to www.graffundersafes.com and examine the photos of Graffunder's that have gone through total loss building fires.

Graffunder uses a proprietary concrete/vermiculite insulation in the walls of their safes. The outer skin is, at minimum, a 1/4" A36 tool steel plate, then there's a 1.5" layer of insulation, and finally, there's a continuous inner layer of steel. Graffunder's are true safes, not RSC's, and are therefore more expensive. However, you actually get the protection you're paying for.

On locks, and I'm a professional locksmith, beware of logo imitation. We're noticing that import safes will have little LaGard (LG), or Sargent & Greenleaf (SG) look-alike logos on the lock that are just enough different from the real thing to cause confusion without presumably causing lawsuits. The locks under the logos are not LaGard or Sargent & Greenleafs.

And, as has been stated several times above, do get a unit that's larger than what you think you'll need. The cost of a protected cubic inch of space goes down rather steeply as the size of the safe rises. My concern though is the ad-garbage that makes people think they've got "Bank Quality Protection", when what they've really got is a run-of-the-mill tin-can RSC. True, anything's better than nothing, but at least make an informed decision when you buy & know what you're buying when you do get an RSC.

900FI never heard of Graffunder until recently when somebody was circulating a YouTube video of a couple of guys breaking into an un-named safe. Looks like they play the same games I spoke of on my website as to referring to UL ratings without their safes being UL Listed. If they are in fact UL Listed, then I missed it on their website.

First, the RSC "Redisential Security Rating" is a rating that UL came up with many years ago to give gun safe manufacturers a listing as well as a standard of comparison for consumers. Prior to that, they only had TL-15 and TL-30 classifications which no ordinary gun safe will meet. The RSC rating is a pass or fail test which includes a prying, punching, and peeling attack. With that in mind, the entry level Maverick Series Fort Knox, for example, will carry the same label as their top of the line Legend Series which is much heavier built in terms of steel thickness, has a stainless steel inner liner and outer covering on the door, and has a superior locking system. No doubt it would be more secure, but it shares the same label. 12GA is the minimum for passing the UL RSC test.

As for fire ratings, I've seen insulated gun safes go through fires with no loss whatsoever, and I've seen them burn up. For that matter, I know of instances where the old Pro-Steel safes (which were non-insulated) survived house fires. Back to Graffunder, I didn't see any test information to see how they came up with their fire ratings. No doubt that a concrete mixture is a very effective insulator, I don't see and inch and a half doing that great a job. BTW, you guys do know what proprietary means, don't you?

SafeGuy
December 18, 2009, 12:21 PM
I was at a dealer where I tried to find out about safe construction of a particular Fort Knox. I think it would have been easier to get the launch codes at NORAD. He would only talk about the multi-tone color schemes, the glossy paint, the gorgeous interiors, the convenient drawers etc.

You were obviously dealing with an idiot as Fort Knox is one of very few manufacturers who actually show in their sales brochures and website how their doors are constructed as to steel thickness. Most list the overall thickness and leave it up to you to figure out how much steel is in the door. They also list their body thickness and the thickness of the steel inner liner on those safes that have them or are offered with that option.

P.O.2010
December 18, 2009, 12:45 PM
Anyone who actually wants to purchase a safe, not an RSC, not a lock box etc, should go to a professional, full time, bonded locksmith to ask their opinion and check out their inventory.

The stuff that Cabela's, Dick's, Wal Mart and other chain stores sell is crap pure and simple. It wouldn't be so bad if people intended to store a a few hundred dollars in these products. Unfortunately they're putting large amounts of cash and/or firearms into a product which is little better than an oversized cash box. If it's all you can afford, fine. But if you can afford a better product don't complain when you come home to find your Sentry "safe" peeled or hacked open and everything inside gone.

I always used to dismiss the local locksmith shop that I would see on the side of the road...until I actually went inside. They had everything from UL TL-15 to safes that were tool attack, torch attack and even explosive attack rated. Anything you wanted they would fabricate or order and all of it was UL certified. Were their prices higher? Certainly, but you were dealing with a real safe and a real expert. When I went to Sports Authority their employees couldn't even find the combinations to open the RSCs they were selling. Their firearms section manager even told me that he couldn't be bothered to take the time when the item in question was over $1,000 in value.

If you want real quality here's a tip, go into a jewelry store and ask what they would recommend for a safe. Jewelers use the best products; they have no choice. If they use an RSC or some other piece of junk insurance won't protect them against theft. Like anything else in life you get what you pay for. Do the research and then go to a real craftsman or a company that specializes in building actual safes, the better ones don't even produce RSCs. You'll be glad you did.

a1abdj
December 18, 2009, 01:20 PM
Most of Bass Pro Shops "Redhead" private label safes are now Chinese imports. As memory serves, Granite Security Products built safes for them at one time, but not any more. Add to that their pricing is not very competitive, and I would look elsewhere for a safe. Is your's UL listed? Most Chinese imports aren't. In fact, I've never seen one that was.

Bass Pro sells Redhead safes manufacturered or imported by Pro Steel (Browning) and Granite. You are correct that Granite used to manufacturer their safes here in the US, but most if not all of the safes they sell to Bass Pro are now imported. Some of the Pro Steels are also imported. The current trend is to move away from being a manufacturer and move into the importing business.

As long as a gun safe uses a UL listed lock, then any other UL rating means virtually nothing. Really, the only other UL rating found on a gun safe is an RSC rating. Manufacturers and salespersons make a big deal about this rating, but none of them seem to even know what it entails. As a professional, I will tell you that it means almost nothing. A 12 gauge safe with a UL listed lock is a 12 gauge safe with a UL listed lock. One is not stronger than the other because of a UL rating that tests the safe against a hammer and a long screw driver.

I never heard of Graffunder until recently when somebody was circulating a YouTube video of a couple of guys breaking into an un-named safe.

Graffunder is a well known manufacturer of heavy plate gun safes. They have been in business for a number of years, and also build some commercial and special order products.

The "un-named" safe is actually a Liberty Centurion. They have removed the logos for legal reasons.

Looks like they play the same games I spoke of on my website as to referring to UL ratings without their safes being UL Listed. If they are in fact UL Listed, then I missed it on their website.


There is no reason for Graffunder to submit their safes for a UL RSC rating. Everything Graffunder builds is steel plate. The build B, C, E, and F rate safes. Their B rated safe uses over twice the steel as most heavily built gun safes, and would easily pass the RSC test. Why waste the money?

The E and F rate safes are built to the same specs as steel plate TL-15 and TL-30 safes. These safes would also easily get the UL TL-15 and TL-30 ratings if Graffunder wanted to spend the money to submit them for testing. Since these safes are being used in non commercial environments, the UL sticker isn't a deal breaker.

The RSC rating is a pass or fail test which includes a prying, punching, and peeling attack.

Using a small handheld hammer and a large screwdriver or small prying device not exceeding 18". When you say it your way it sounds really impressive. When you put it in context like I just did, you can see where it's not really that impressive.

If a steel box using steel 1/10" thick can obtain the rating, it should be obvious that the rating means very little.

It is my opinion that the RSC label was invented by UL in the event California's system of gun safe approval became national law.

As for fire ratings, I've seen insulated gun safes go through fires with no loss whatsoever, and I've seen them burn up. For that matter, I know of instances where the old Pro-Steel safes (which were non-insulated) survived house fires.

I have seen the same thing. This mostly depends on the specific circumstances of the fire. No two are the same. However, this is where UL ratings (that no gun safes have) become important. UL ratings test safes to the worst case scenario to ensure the best chance of survival regardless of the individual circumstances of the fire at hand.

Back to Graffunder, I didn't see any test information to see how they came up with their fire ratings. No doubt that a concrete mixture is a very effective insulator, I don't see and inch and a half doing that great a job. BTW, you guys do know what proprietary means, don't you?

You would be surprised at what 1.5" of a material engineered to insulate a safe would do, especially when compared to a safe using 1.5" of a material that was never designed or engineered to be an insulator (gypsum board).

Proprietary means that the company has invested time and money into the engineering of their product. As such, they will not list the materials they use, thus preventing the competition from stealing it without paying for their own research.

You were obviously dealing with an idiot as Fort Knox is one of very few manufacturers who actually show in their sales brochures and website how their doors are constructed as to steel thickness.

Unfortunately this is very common in the gun safe business. A lot of people who are in "the safe business", know nothing about safes. In fact, their experience is often limited by what they read in the manufacturer's sales brochures and websites.

Since some of these manufacturers also know very little about safes, sometimes this information is misleading. Now you have consumers being fed false information, which they assume to be true.

Anyone who actually wants to purchase a safe, not an RSC, not a lock box etc, should go to a professional, full time, bonded locksmith to ask their opinion and check out their inventory.

I'll go a step further, and suggest a locksmith (safe tech) who specializes in safes. There are not many of us, but if you can find somebody in your area, you should talk with them.

Even if you are looking for a light weight RSC, you can get a good bit of information that is based in reality. Guys like me don't just sell safes. I move them, drill them open when they are locked, repair them when they break, and maintain them. Every day, guys like myself work with everything from inexpensive imported fire rated boxes, all the way up to $200,000 bank vault doors. I don't need to get my information out of a catalog. I know how long it takes to break into a safe because I have actually done it. I don't need to look at the manufacturer's hand selected photos of safes after a fire, because I've actually opened safes after a fire and know what type of damage occurs.

If you want factual information, you have to speak with somebody that knows the facts. You won't get this information from a manufacturer, and you typically will not get it from a gun safe salesman. But you still have to do your homework. There are a lot of different opinions even from us professionals.

SafeGuy
December 18, 2009, 03:02 PM
a1abdg, not to get into a pissing contest with you with any of this, but I would bet you whatever amount you'd like that Graffunder hasn't been building gun safes for as long as they would lead you to believe. I didn't take the time today, but I'm pretty sure I did some research on them to find they built something other that safes when they started in '68 as they claim. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that a good many gun safe manufacturers used to build truck tool boxes etc. and decided to break into the safe business seeing as how they had the machinery to do such things.

I couldn't help but notice you have a private label line-up on your website that has your company's name on them. Judging by the uniform 59" height, I'm assuming these are Chinese imports. That's one thing I've noticed since they started coming in... they're all 59 inches in height. I assume that height has to do with them being able to double stack on a container, but maybe you can shed some light on that for me/us. I've kept away from the Chinese stuff myself, but that's just me.

As for American Security Products, many companies will make claims such as the one I'll make, but I was their largest dealer right up until the time I dropped them around 2000-2001. The difference in my claim is, AMSEC told me I was their largest volume dealer/distributor. They build a good safe, but unfortunatley, they did some very dumb things which lead me to drop them. Ask A. J. Gibson about that one! LOL I won't elaborate on all of them, but among other things they used to build safes for me that were made out of 1/4" plate bodies and 3/8" plate doors. They offered the 60x30 versions to all their dealers, but they built them exclusively for me in 60 x 40 and 72 x 40 sizes. I used to sell the hell out of those, but they announced they were going to composite door only safes while at the same time going back in time in their locking systems among other things.

Oh well, so much for this history lesson. BTW, I first started selling gun safes (Treadlok & Pro-Steel) in 1978 before starting Southern Security in 1981. Strictly as a matter of curiosity, how long have you been selling gun safes?

Oh yeah, one last thing. Proprietary in the gun safe business usually means they don't want to tell you what they use because it's not very impressive. Ask AMSEC for the steel thickness on some of their safes, and you'll see what I mean. ;-)

a1abdj
December 18, 2009, 07:14 PM
a1abdg, not to get into a pissing contest with you with any of this

I'm not easily offended, and discussion on these types of topics are important. There's a lot of misinformation out there, so the more we talk about it, the more everybody who's interested can learn.

I would bet you whatever amount you'd like that Graffunder hasn't been building gun safes for as long as they would lead you to believe. I didn't take the time today, but I'm pretty sure I did some research on them to find they built something other that safes when they started in '68 as they claim. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that a good many gun safe manufacturers used to build truck tool boxes etc. and decided to break into the safe business seeing as how they had the machinery to do such things.


This it true. The vast majority of those engaged in the manufacture of gun safes have NO background in the safe/security business. To them it's just another item they can fabricate and sell.

I couldn't help but notice you have a private label line-up on your website that has your company's name on them. Judging by the uniform 59" height, I'm assuming these are Chinese imports. That's one thing I've noticed since they started coming in... they're all 59 inches in height. I assume that height has to do with them being able to double stack on a container, but maybe you can shed some light on that for me/us. I've kept away from the Chinese stuff myself, but that's just me.


They aren't my safes. They are imported by Eagle and sold to a variety of US based distributors who each get to have their branding painted on the safe. Instead of listing multiple brand names, we simply list the importer's name since they are all identical short of the name on the door.

I have no idea regarding the 59" height, and I do not believe they are stacked when shipped.

As far as Chinese products go, they have come a long way. They realized several years ago that they would have to increase the quality of their goods if they wanted to compete. These particular safes are built just as well if not better than some of their US made counterparts.

We currently sell, or have sold safes and vault doors from all over the globe. China, Japan, Korea, South Africa, Canada, Italy, France, England, and Israel all have safe manufacturers that build outstanding products. I'm sure there are a few that I missed.

I do get a kick out of our local customers that come in to the shop demanding an American built safe. Many of these same customers are wearing clothing, watches, and sunglasses from foreign manufacturers, and driving an imported car. Not to mention that you will find a number of locks made in China on US built safes.

but unfortunatley, they did some very dumb things which lead me to drop them.

This is pretty typical of just about every manufacturer I do business with.

Strictly as a matter of curiosity, how long have you been selling gun safes?


About 5 years. I've been selling real safes since 1990. We also handle the local deliveries for just about everybody that retails gun safes in our area, and perform the majority of the warranty work for most of the brand name manufacturers.

Overall, the gun safe portion of our business is pretty small. Most of our business is geared towards the commercial market.

Ask AMSEC for the steel thickness on some of their safes, and you'll see what I mean.

I think this is more of a matter of talking to the proper person. The typical contact at AMSEC that answers these questions is a customer service rep who probably has no background in the security business. They are also reading information out of a book.

I have never had a problem getting real answers when I've needed them, but most of the time I already know and have no reason to ask.

Zip7
December 18, 2009, 10:45 PM
I just did a lot of research on the subject, and I did get fairly glassy eyed by the end of it. In a nutshell, most RSCs that I looked at in stores were fairly crappy.

I needed a fairly large one, but what I ended up doing was buying 2 medium sized ones instead. I aim to drill through the side walls and bolt them together side by side and build a closet/cabinet around them both. To that end, I purchased 2 Sturdy safes - non-fire lined. They are in, but I have not picked them up from where I had them shipped, so I can't opine on them yet, but I am betting they will do what I need.

The reason I went with Sturdy was that in the price range that I paid, there were no other RSCs that had enough material in the side walls for a bolt to hold on to.

billybobjoe
December 18, 2009, 10:51 PM
"What you want" (if you could afford it) vs. "What you need" Who wouldn't want a safe that a criminal has no chance of cracking. RSCs are pretty cheap, keep kids and casual thieves at bay, and give a gun owner some piece of mind that their guns are secure. They also let the gun owner get his guns out of cases stuck in the back of some closet which causes "closet wear." I think that RSCs are a step up for many people. Most people realize that a Sentry or such is an RSC and not a "SAFE" and that RSCs can be broken into. You house can always be broken into, but you invest in a good lock. Your car can be broken into, but you lock it at the mall. Most bicycle locks can be cut, but a lock gives you a measure of security vs. someone just walking up and taking off. "IT AIN'T A PERFECT WORLD."
















9

CB900F
December 18, 2009, 11:24 PM
Fella's;

Ulrich Graffunder emigrated from, then, West Germany to the United States in 1958. He was involved in the safe industry in Germany before he came here. When he arrived in the U.S. he began working in the same industry here, and did so for approximately ten years. At that time he became disenchanted with the company he was affiliated with & formed his own company to build safes to his standard. That company was run by he and his son in LaGrand Oregon until they sold it a few years ago.

The new owner moved the operation to Yakima Washington, where they are made today. The production methods have been updated through the use of CNC, state of the art paint booths, etc., but the build philosophy remains intact.

The U.L. TL, TR, ratings are test ratings. The Underwriter's B, C, E, etc. ratings are build ratings. In other words, if you build to that standard, or exceed it, you can claim it.

Regarding the advice to go to a locksmith: That's good advice, but I'll go a step further. Make sure the locksmith you go to is an ALOA locksmith. Then, if safes are the subject, try to ensure that the shop is a SAVTA qualified shop. ALOA is the national locksmith's organization that provides schooling, testing for qualification, and certification of those qualifications. SAVTA is a subset of ALOA and is the Safe And Vault Technician's Association. A SAVTA shop will not only be qualified to advise you on your prospective purchase, they will almost certainly have the tools and experience to properly move and install a true safe.

Oh, and Central Lock & Key in Great Falls Montana does just happen to be both ALOA and SAVTA.

900F

jeff mundy
December 18, 2009, 11:42 PM
Just like alot of the other guys here have told you, buy the best and strongest mechanical safe you can afford. But before you bolt it into the floor or wall make sure you install a small light inside to keep the corrosion down on your valuables. If the humidity gets into the safe and ruins your valuable guns, their value is lost without being stolen or burnt.

Archery Ham
December 19, 2009, 12:15 AM
I am tempted to just get the biggest RSC I can find and weld 3/16" plates on all sides.

I do Diecast Die repair and have access to steel plates from time to time.

Will this be bad for the hinges, to have the extra weight?

BCC
December 19, 2009, 01:40 AM
Well, the biggest secret is.... I have a Liberty. Not only a Liberty, but one with an electronic lock!

http://integrity.smugmug.com/Other/Guns/IMGP0037/744429283_9ELtr-XL.jpg

I keep it upstairs in the entertainment/movie/gun cleaning room in a corner, bolted.

As you can see, it has an S&G electronic lock. My local independent dealer was willing to get me either, but recommended electronic for my situation. He said he'd never had a problem with them and it represented 80% of his sales. Problem free, so far.
http://integrity.smugmug.com/Other/Guns/IMGP0038/744429694_33CyX-XL.jpg

It says it'll hold a lot, but it won't. At least when you've got a bit of ammo stored inside.

http://integrity.smugmug.com/Other/Guns/IMGP0040/744428574_sp8k9-XL.jpg

http://integrity.smugmug.com/Other/Guns/IMGP0046/744425663_cugXV-XL-2.jpg

But it does hold my favorite.
http://integrity.smugmug.com/Other/Guns/IMGP0042/744427051_pW9ZY-XL.jpg

And some of the rest.

http://integrity.smugmug.com/Other/Guns/IMGP0044/744426003_faevu-XL.jpg

I've got a couple of more unnder biometric lock downstairs in the Master, including a SIG 239 that is turning into another carry & range favorite after languishing a couple of years in safe hell.

Anyway, the Liberty has been completely reliable, the electronic pad is fast and wifey likes the shiny finish on the exterior.

So there.;)

CB900F
December 19, 2009, 08:11 AM
Archery;

That, of course, depends on the hinges. But probably yes, it'll be bad for them. They will not have been sized to take the extra burden over time.

BCC;

I'll strongly suggest that you not store your ammo in the safe with your guns. If there's a home fire that pops even one primer, when that round goes, it'll probably ignite the rest. Which results in a cloud of incandescent gas in your Liberty. I'm not saying it'll become a bomb, or the bullets will penetrate the walls. What I'm saying is that the gas will pretty much destroy whatever other contents you've got in there.

900F

XavierBreath
December 19, 2009, 09:03 AM
1. Used, locksmith certified safes are an economically smart solution. Look for old businesses, especially jewelers, going out of business and being torn down. Be willing to remove the safe yourself. Take it to a locksmith and have him go through it and insure it has many more years of use. Real safes are made well. Many will outlast your guns and yourself with little care. The problem with older commercial safes is weight and interior storage space. They were made for cash and documents, not guns. However, if you have a couple of prized irreplaceable handguns and the wife's diamonds, they are the cat's meow.

2. Have more than one safe. Keep a RSC for your inexpensive stuff. They will do the trick most of the time. Bolt it down in a closet against a corner to make it more difficult to lean/pry loose. Bolt it to the wall as well as the floor. If possible, bolt it to two walls and the floor.

3. Get a real safe, and do consider a used commercial unit, for more expensive items and guns. Hide it better than the RSC. Let only a select few people know about this safe. Let the RSC be a decoy. Thieves will probably know you have guns. They see you at the range or buying ammunition. They follow you home, taking notes from the street. The break in comes later. Thieves work against a time frame to avoid getting caught. Keep them busy with the RSC.

4. Take high resolution digital photographs of your valuables that include the serial numbers and your driver's license. Store copies away from your home in a safety deposit box, both on a flash drive and a hard copy. Store copies on a flash drive on a lanyard inside your safe to be grabbed in an emergency evacuation such as Katrina. Finally, consider uploading copies to a secure photo hosting site for use if all else fails. I advise doing this with all your important documents, even including your animals vaccination records.

5. I do not sell safes. This is only my opinion. I am not a professional locksmith, safe vendor or an expert in anything. My opinion is worth exactly what you paid for it. I have stayed at the Holiday Inn Express.

Imapeopleperson
December 19, 2009, 09:22 AM
I agree with the others, I guess it depends on how safe you want the firearms to be, I would not go with anything less than a 1 hour heat rated safe, I have the Browning Medallion safe that holds alot of the higher value guns and stuff, but i would recomend if you keep money, important documents in it to buy one of the small fire safes, like the 30 or 40 dollar ones to keep that stuff in just in case the safe does not protect all the things in it, it might give you a little better chance on saving vital records and the cash.

Walkalong
December 19, 2009, 09:23 AM
I don't know when they stopped, because the new ones are not like this, but my old Liberty safe has a door that is 1/4" with an 1/8" body. I need a bigger safe to add to this one and am in a quandry of what to buy myself. Work has a big old Mosler in the basement. I may try to buy it from them. I don't think they ever use it any more. They gave me the Mosler that used to be in Security, but it is a small safe. (about 30x40x30) I gave it to my brother for putting valuables in.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=111346&d=1261228952

Archery Ham
December 20, 2009, 12:13 AM
Archery;

That, of course, depends on the hinges. But probably yes, it'll be bad for them. They will not have been sized to take the extra burden over time.

BCC;

I'll strongly suggest that you not store your ammo in the safe with your guns. If there's a home fire that pops even one primer, when that round goes, it'll probably ignite the rest. Which results in a cloud of incandescent gas in your Liberty. I'm not saying it'll become a bomb, or the bullets will penetrate the walls. What I'm saying is that the gas will pretty much destroy whatever other contents you've got in there.

900F
Thanks.

I wanted a Sturdy brand. I got some quotes from them. Money is tight now. I also like the Zanoti Armor brand. I have not seen any prices for them yet.

I wonder if a safe were to look like a freezer or refrigerator, if it would be a good idea.

bturnn
December 20, 2009, 04:40 PM
I recently purchased a couple a safes from U.S. Safes here in So Cal. They sell blemished and discontinued (colors) safes from Canon Safes. About half price. They have a website but no prices listed....Check out their Ebay store for prices and inventory. Lifetime warranty.
Bruce

racine
December 20, 2009, 07:20 PM
Quote:
I noticed a big fat MADE IN CHINA sticker on the back. Man, I tell you, I turned about three shades of green, and did a lot of cussing. When I got over it, I came to terms with the fact that its a decent safe for short money.

Some of the Centurion Safes (by Liberty) are made in China. I was told by Liberty that the Centurion safes with a single handle are made in China, while Centurion safes with 3 handles are made in the U.S. I don't know if it's fact.

I read this just after buying one of those Liberty safes thinking I had just nabbed a bargain. I've been looking for a good buy for a while and just didn't have the money for a $1200 one. After some research I found out that Liberty made these outsourced Chinese safes all the way up to the 23 cubic ft. Centurions. The aggravating thing about this was that the sales people at Lowes were convinced they were all US made vs the Stack On brand, etc... Liberty's spokes people even admitted that this was not broadcast evidenced by the fact that nowhere on their website do they admit these safes are made in China. I was aggravated by this and let them know it was deceptive advertising or marketing. Those safes have parts mailed to China where they make the safes and install the US locks. The safes are shipped directly to Lowes from overseas so Liberty does not see them( according to Liberty). Even Sams Club supposedly requested Liberty to sell them cheaper Chinese made safes.
I called and shopped around for similar sized safes and found that US safes are upwards of $900 for the 20 cubic ft and larger. There is the shipping to add on to that. At this point I don't know if I should get a refund and save for a truly US made product ( I mean I want to support our economy here) or if I should just accept delivery and be done with it. I think any safe can be broken into and my guns are not necessarily collectors items and should be covered by an extra insurance rider. So $597 with free shipping for a 20 Cubic ft model or save and get the next size up for $1400 after delivery/taxes? I do have an alarm system as well.

a1abdj
December 20, 2009, 07:41 PM
I don't know when they stopped, because the new ones are not like this, but my old Liberty safe has a door that is 1/4" with an 1/8" body

They stopped as soon as they realized that they could fool people into buying their products at twice the price using half the materials. Just about all of the gun safe manufacturers are guilty of this.

The aggravating thing about this was that the sales people at Lowes were convinced they were all US made vs the Stack On brand, etc...

I don't think you're going to find many people at any big box store that know much of anything.

Liberty's spokes people even admitted that this was not broadcast evidenced by the fact that nowhere on their website do they admit these safes are made in China.

Of course they won't admit it. If you look on a manufacturer's website and it says "Made in US" then it might be. If it doesn't say, then it's an import. They admit it by omission, and sometimes down right lie.

Those safes have parts mailed to China where they make the safes and install the US locks.

I don't want to be the bearer of bad news, but those locks are made in China as well.

The safes are shipped directly to Lowes from overseas so Liberty does not see them( according to Liberty).

Uh huh. Then explain how these exact same safes are shown in the Liberty catalog, on their website, and appear in showrooms of Liberty dealers.

I called and shopped around for similar sized safes and found that US safes are upwards of $900 for the 20 cubic ft and larger. There is the shipping to add on to that.

Anything less than $1,500 that is US built is going to be of questionable quality. Remember what I said above also. Some companies are claiming their safes are made in the US when they are Chinese as well.

So $597 with free shipping for a 20 Cubic ft model

Think about this for one second.

A Chinese company builds and equips a safe manufacturing facility. They have to pay for utilities and slave wages for the employees.

They then purchase raw materials. Steel, plastic, fabric, paint, gysum board, etc... All of these materials have to be converted into a safe.

After the safe is finished, they have to furnish a box and a skid for it. It's then loaded into a container and trucked to a port.

At the port, it's loaded onto a ship and sailed halfway around the world to the US.

From there (usually California), the containers are unloaded and placed onto a train or truck and tranported to a distribution facility. From there, it is trucked to individual retail locations.

At the retail locations, they have overhead such as advertising, rent, taxes, insurance, etc, so the product has to be sold at a profit.

Start subtracting all of these costs from that $597, and you will soon realize that you're actually dealing with a box that cost less than $100 to build.

Zip7
December 22, 2009, 01:03 AM
I purchased 2 Sturdy safes - non-fire lined. They are in, but I have not picked them up from where I had them shipped, so I can't opine on them yet, but I am betting they will do what I need.

The reason I went with Sturdy was that in the price range that I paid, there were no other RSCs that had enough material in the side walls for a bolt to hold on to.

Update - I went and picked up one of them. That is all I could haul home at one time in my truck.

I'm very pleased with it. It is quite a beast, and left me wishing I had opted for the next smaller size since I have two. However, extra space = more guns soon, so that is good.

The 7 gauge steel is heavy enough that no one is going to beat a hole in it easily. I own plenty of brute force tools including 6' long pry bars and tanker bars, which are stored out back in a shop, but the way the door fits into the frame I think it would be pretty hard to get a bite with a bar anywhere on it. Two of them bolted side by side from the inside = around 1400 pounds, so no one is going to wander off with it either.

It is not a impenetrable monster such as a commercial safe, but as RSC's go it is very well built. I got a very good price and good service, and would highly recommend Sturdy. There is nothing fancy about it - no frills - it's just a heavy steel box, well fit, solid lock, and it beats the heck out of a closet for storing guns. If someone wanted it bad enough, they could get it, but in my situation they would have to want it pretty bad.

MarkDozier
December 22, 2009, 01:19 AM
I am looking for a safe. Today I saw Patriot safe are 1/2 off with free shipping in the U.S. They likely mean CONUS.
They are assembled in the US but outsource the building of parts.

a1abdj
December 22, 2009, 02:26 AM
They are assembled in the US but outsource the building of parts.


Are you sure about that? Have you seen their assembly line here in the US with your own two eyes?

It's funny how their US assembled safes are identical to some safes that come here directly from China. It's even more amazing that the Patriot gun safe line is owned by Merlo, one of the largest asian safe importers.

I would ask for a tour so you can see their US based operations.

SafeGuy
December 22, 2009, 11:48 AM
I am looking for a safe. Today I saw Patriot safe are 1/2 off with free shipping in the U.S. They likely mean CONUS.
They are assembled in the US but outsource the building of parts.
Patriot aka Homeland Security aka Sportsman Steel = junk. We're talking world class snake oil salesmen here who specialize in high pressure and BS specs/claims.

Hate to burst the Sturdy bubble, but they're not much better. I moved one of those things for a guy a while back and couldn't believe how much he paid and how little he got. No UL listing and no test information to back up fire claims.

SafeGuy
December 22, 2009, 11:50 AM
I am tempted to just get the biggest RSC I can find and weld 3/16" plates on all sides.

I do Diecast Die repair and have access to steel plates from time to time.

Will this be bad for the hinges, to have the extra weight?
Beefing up the sides/back will have no effect on the hinges as it will be un-hinged weight. If you start adding weight to the door, then you'll have problems.

SafeGuy
December 22, 2009, 11:55 AM
I think this is more of a matter of talking to the proper person. The typical contact at AMSEC that answers these questions is a customer service rep who probably has no background in the security business. They are also reading information out of a book.

I have never had a problem getting real answers when I've needed them, but most of the time I already know and have no reason to ask.Try asking for the steel thickness on an Amvault safe or the gun safe equivalent which used to be and may still be called The Armory. I'm betting the "proprietary" term will pop up again. I can tell you if they can't/won't. :)

a1abdj
December 22, 2009, 12:24 PM
Patriot aka Homeland Security aka Sportsman Steel = junk. We're talking world class snake oil salesmen here who specialize in high pressure and BS specs/claims.


I agree with you here. Just a side note, there are several companies that use the Patriot name. I would stay away from all of them, albeit for different reasons for each.

No UL listing and no test information to back up fire claims.

Sturdy uses a ceramic insulation, and it's well known that I'm not a fan. Sturdy and I have had this conversation a few times right here on this very board.

However, the fact that they do not have a UL RSC rating doesn't have a thing to do with the security of their safe. ANY steel box, 12 gauge or thicker, using a UL listed lock would pass this test. Heck, a lot of tool boxes would pass this test.

Try asking for the steel thickness on an Amvault safe or the gun safe equivalent which used to be and may still be called The Armory. I'm betting the "proprietary" term will pop up again. I can tell you if they can't/won't.


Why not measure it yourself using the alarm access hole? Just curious though, why is the steel thickness on an AMVAULT composite safe important?

Guns and more
December 22, 2009, 12:59 PM
I refuse to get the digital locks, because I have never seen one that works well.
Huh? How many have you looked at? None.
Come see mine, I use it every day.

A Chinese company builds and equips a safe manufacturing facility. They have to pay for utilities and slave wages for the employees.

They then purchase raw materials. Steel, plastic, fabric, paint, gysum board, etc... All of these materials have to be converted into a safe.

After the safe is finished, they have to furnish a box and a skid for it. It's then loaded into a container and trucked to a port.

At the port, it's loaded onto a ship and sailed halfway around the world to the US.

From there (usually California), the containers are unloaded and placed onto a train or truck and tranported to a distribution facility. From there, it is trucked to individual retail locations.

At the retail locations, they have overhead such as advertising, rent, taxes, insurance, etc, so the product has to be sold at a profit.

Start subtracting all of these costs from that $597, and you will soon realize that you're actually dealing with a box that cost less than $100 to build.
So then the U.S. made safes should be cheaper, yes?
No. Instead of cheap labor, the U.S. company has to deal with unions, government regulations, federal taxes, state taxes, real estate taxes, OSHA, worker's comp, lazy employees, frivolous lawsuits, sick leave, maternity leave, vacation pay, EPA guidelines, hazardous materials (paint), and an endless array of paperwork.
So your $100 Chinese safe is the same as your $100 American safe. The money is just spent in other places.

Don't get me wrong. I like buying American, but it's just about impossible anymore.

CoRoMo
December 22, 2009, 01:22 PM
The fact that safe manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on the mechanical lock, vs. warrantying the electronic lock for only a couple years, is telling enough to know which is more reliable.

a1abdj
December 22, 2009, 02:00 PM
So then the U.S. made safes should be cheaper, yes?
No. Instead of cheap labor, the U.S. company has to deal with unions, government regulations, federal taxes, state taxes, real estate taxes, OSHA, worker's comp, lazy employees, frivolous lawsuits, sick leave, maternity leave, vacation pay, EPA guidelines, hazardous materials (paint), and an endless array of paperwork.
So your $100 Chinese safe is the same as your $100 American safe. The money is just spent in other places.

Don't get me wrong. I like buying American, but it's just about impossible anymore.


I agree with you. What I was saying wasn't a "Buy American" rant as much as it was a "$500 isn't getting you nearly what you think it is" rant. :)

SafeGuy
December 22, 2009, 02:07 PM
I agree with you here. Just a side note, there are several companies that use the Patriot name. I would stay away from all of them, albeit for different reasons for each.I'm referring specifically to the Patriot safes made in CA that pop up at the top of the page when you Google "gun safes". Yes, they pay dearly for such positioning. My advice would be to stay away from factory direct only period.



Sturdy uses a ceramic insulation, and it's well known that I'm not a fan. Sturdy and I have had this conversation a few times right here on this very board.

However, the fact that they do not have a UL RSC rating doesn't have a thing to do with the security of their safe. ANY steel box, 12 gauge or thicker, using a UL listed lock would pass this test. Heck, a lot of tool boxes would pass this test..So they're on here?... cool. It's always fun to hear different manufacturers attempt to defend their claims. I'd like to see the source of your claim that ANY steel box with a UL listed lock will pass the RSC test.

Why not measure it yourself using the alarm access hole? Just curious though, why is the steel thickness on an AMVAULT composite safe important?First, there is no alarm access or any other hole in these safes unless it's ordered that way. Most people want to know the steel thickness of a safe (at least the gun safe crowd) when they shop around. In a composite, the steel obviously acts as little more a form to pour the concrete, nuts, bolts, and metal shavings into, but most still want to worry about steel thickness.

SafeGuy
December 22, 2009, 02:11 PM
The fact that safe manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on the mechanical lock, vs. warrantying the electronic lock for only a couple years, is telling enough to know which is more reliable.Actually, you're wrong about that. Until recently, Cannon, for example, offered a longer warranty period on electronic locks than they did mechanical... 5 years vs 3. Fort Knox still incorporates the locks into their lifetime warranty which covers both parts and labor.

Might want to check the lifetime warranty on other brands as most cover parts only under that lifetime warranty. Labor is usually 1-2 years. If you get locked out due to a lock failure, paying for parts will be the least of your worries.

Sir Aardvark
December 22, 2009, 02:11 PM
Sportsman Steel = junk.

I have had horrible service from Sportsman Steel. Kevin (the son of the guy who started the company) will tell you any mis-truth necessary to sell you a safe.

CoRoMo
December 22, 2009, 03:31 PM
If I had said that all manufacturers offer lifetimes on mechanicals and limited years on electronics, you'd be right, and I'd be wrong.

But that's not what I said.

But hey, you're the SafeGuy and this is in fact Champion's warranty.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=111515&d=1261510202

SafeGuy
December 22, 2009, 03:41 PM
If I had said that all manufacturers offer lifetimes on mechanicals and limited years on electronics, you'd be right, and I'd be wrong.

But that's not what I said.

But hey, you're the SafeGuy and this is in fact Champion's warranty.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=111515&d=1261510202Sorry, but you're the one who didn't qualify your statement. For the record, I sell Champion safes as well, but that changes nothing I said about lock warranties.

CoRoMo
December 22, 2009, 03:55 PM
That's okay; no harm done. I was just stating the fact that safe manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on the mechanical lock while warrantying the electronic lock for only a couple years. If I have to back it up with a copy of a manufacturer's warranty, no problemo.

78tsubaki
December 22, 2009, 04:50 PM
SafeGuy
I visited your site. Nice stuff you have for sale. My research included Ft Knox and Browning. Cadillac RSCs!
I ended up with Sturdy. They have a well designed door and linkage. The fully supported bolts and the 12 bend body helps to make the door strong and tight. They use the S&G 6730 combination lock which I have been told is pretty good. I like that I can change/adjust my own combination.
With the decals installed I like the way my safe looks.

The after the sale service puts me in direct contact with the factory in Fresno California USA. They have been outstanding right down to helping me get it off the truck and into the house.

Comparing Sturdy's product to Patriot is like comparing a new Ford Taurus to a Kia.

Sturdy just added prices to their website! Have a look.

SafeGuy
December 22, 2009, 04:51 PM
That's okay; no harm done. I was just stating the fact that safe manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty on the mechanical lock while warrantying the electronic lock for only a couple years. If I have to back it up with a copy of a manufacturer's warranty, no problemo.
You may want to check the expanded version of the warranty on your Champion.

"Not covered under the warranty are damaged caused by resetting or attempt to service lock by unqualified personnel, excessive manipulation, extreme impact to lock or neglect or abuse by owner."

The two things you want to pay close attention to are "excessive manipulation" and "neglect or abuse by owner". I'm not sure what they mean by excessive manipulation, but it is a known fact that "flicking" a dial causes unneccessary wear and tear. You need to keep tension on the dial when moving it. I can only assume this is what they are addressing, but there is little doubt this could constitute abuse.

As for neglect or abuse by owner, that could also easily fall into an owner not having the lock serviced on a regular basis as recommended by the lock manufacturer. I haven't gotten into this situation with Champion (yet), but I did with another manufacturer who initially refused to honor their lifetime warranty based on the fact the customer had not kept up the maintenance on the lock. BTW, there is no maintenance required on an electronic lock.

Am I saying Champion wouldn't honor their warranty on a lock failure? Not at all, but as is the case with many warranties, there is a loophole which would allow them to do so. The only other thing that is not discussed in their warranty is the cost to have the safe opened. That's what I was referring to when I said the lifetime parts warranties would not address the biggest concern (expense) you would have in a lock failure.

SafeGuy
December 22, 2009, 04:56 PM
SafeGuy
I visited your site. Nice stuff you have for sale. My research included Ft Knox and Browning. Cadillac RSCs!
I ended up with Sturdy. They have a well designed door and linkage. The fully supported bolts and the 12 bend body helps to make the door strong and tight. They use the S&G 6730 combination lock which I have been told is pretty good. I like that I can change/adjust my own combination.
With the decals installed I like the way my safe looks.

The after the sale service puts me in direct contact with the factory in Fresno California USA. They have been outstanding right down to helping me get it off the truck and into the house.

Comparing Sturdy's product to Patriot is like comparing a new Ford Taurus to a Kia.

Sturdy just added prices to their website! Have a look.Hey, if you're happy with your Sturdy, I'm happy for you. That being said, I bet I could have convinced you to go with something else given the opportunity. I've seen the Sturdy products and was not impressed, but there is no need in picking apart something you've already purchased. Just out of curiosity, how far are you from Fresno, CA?

78tsubaki
December 22, 2009, 06:37 PM
I am in Washington State. I guess I am about 1000 miles north of Fresno.

a1abdj
December 22, 2009, 09:05 PM
So they're on here?... cool. It's always fun to hear different manufacturers attempt to defend their claims.

Alyssa from Sturdy is on here. She pops in from time to time.

This does bring up another question that I will ask your opinion on. I see it all the time from gun safe manufacturers, and I'm getting some of it from you as well.

You mention the testing that manufacturers use to back up their claims, and I'm assuming you're talking about the fire testing. You then mention the UL listed locks and UL RSC ratings, and talk about how important that is.

Why is it that the nonexistant UL fire rating isn't important? Why are the UL ratings only important on the burglary side, but not on the fire side?

I'd like to see the source of your claim that ANY steel box with a UL listed lock will pass the RSC test.


I'm assuming you're familiar with UL Standard as it applies to the RSC rating. Please tell me how any 12 gauge box with a UL listed lock would fail that standard? Can you point me towards any 12 gauge or heavier safe using a UL listed lock that has failed the UL RSC testing?

Seeing that I break into safes on a pretty regular basis, I can assure you that the UL RSC test is such a joke that it would take very little to pass.

First, there is no alarm access or any other hole in these safes unless it's ordered that way.

Every composite burglary rated safe that I sell, regardless of manufacturer, has a 1/8" alarm wire hole even though I don't order them that way.

Most people want to know the steel thickness of a safe (at least the gun safe crowd) when they shop around.

Most people know very little about safes. This is one of the reasons that I spend so much time answering questions here on this board. With a little education, they would quickly see why in the case of a composite safe that carried a real UL burglary rating, the steel wasn't that important.

Of course this really is an apples and oranges comparison. There is nothing in the gun safe world (short of some of the Graffunders and Browns) that compares to these composite safes in terms of burglary or fire resistance. The AMSEC in question is simply a commercial safe with a gun safe interior and fancy paint job. You can't compare commercial safes to RSCs.

SafeGuy
December 23, 2009, 11:27 AM
I am in Washington State. I guess I am about 1000 miles north of Fresno.Let us know how that works out for you if you ever have a problem with that safe. No dealer network = you're stuck having to deal with somebody 1,000 miles away.

SafeGuy
December 23, 2009, 11:54 AM
Alyssa from Sturdy is on here. She pops in from time to time.

This does bring up another question that I will ask your opinion on. I see it all the time from gun safe manufacturers, and I'm getting some of it from you as well.

You mention the testing that manufacturers use to back up their claims, and I'm assuming you're talking about the fire testing. You then mention the UL listed locks and UL RSC ratings, and talk about how important that is.

Why is it that the nonexistant UL fire rating isn't important? Why are the UL ratings only important on the burglary side, but not on the fire side?Two points, there has only been one honest to God gun safe (and it too used fireboard) that ever got a UL fire rating albeit a 30 minute rating, and that was from AMSEC about 10 years ago. They only kept it in production for one year and then went back to the same old crap of a 30 minute "factory" rating. I've never seen another safe since with this UL 30 minute rating.

As I'm sure you are aware, the various ratings listed by gun safe manufacturers are not based on common test criteria. Some show their temperature curves, some don't. That's about the only basis for a head to head comparison, so if you don't have that, you're just buying into a bunch of numbers that God only knows how were cooked up. Remember when Heritage got caught testing their safes having them flat on their backs?

In regard to a safe having passed the UL RSC test, at least this gives a consumer independent verification that the safe will stand up to such a test. If you buy a safe that hasn't received this certification, you're just taking the word of a tool box maker turned safe builder that it will in fact do the job you bought it to do.

I'm assuming you're familiar with UL Standard as it applies to the RSC rating. Please tell me how any 12 gauge box with a UL listed lock would fail that standard? Can you point me towards any 12 gauge or heavier safe using a UL listed lock that has failed the UL RSC testing?Yep, I sure can. I know for fact that the safe submitted for testing by Pro-Steel/Browning did not pass the RSC test despite having a 12GA body, 3/16" plate door, and a UL listed S&G lock. They had to go back and make some changes before it would pass. I remember it well because they scoffed at how the listing was meaningless after Fort Knox was among the first (if not THE first) to get such a rating. In fact, I'm pretty sure the same thing happened with AMSEC.

Seeing that I break into safes on a pretty regular basis, I can assure you that the UL RSC test is such a joke that it would take very little to pass.Two points again. First, I assume you are a professional where your average home burglar will be anything but. Second, how exactly do you "break into" safes with RSC ratings (or without them for that matter)? Do you pry the doors open, cut the sidewalls, or do you drill one hole based on where the manufacturer tells you to do so? I can only assume it's the latter. Otherwise, I wouldn't want you working on my safe. :D



Every composite burglary rated safe that I sell, regardless of manufacturer, has a 1/8" alarm wire hole even though I don't order them that way.I can assure you the AMVAULT composite safes did NOT come with any holes. It's possible that could have changed since I've dealt with them, but most people do not want holes of any size drilled in a UL listed fire safe.



Most people know very little about safes. This is one of the reasons that I spend so much time answering questions here on this board. With a little education, they would quickly see why in the case of a composite safe that carried a real UL burglary rating, the steel wasn't that important.

Of course this really is an apples and oranges comparison. There is nothing in the gun safe world (short of some of the Graffunders and Browns) that compares to these composite safes in terms of burglary or fire resistance. The AMSEC in question is simply a commercial safe with a gun safe interior and fancy paint job. You can't compare commercial safes to RSCs.You're right, you can't compare commercial safes to RSC's. However, most safe buyers simply cannot use a commercial grade safe because of their weight. They are also quite small in terms of gun storage capacity. Add that to the difference in cost, and you have a safe that is neither wanted nor needed in the typical residential security scenario.

I agree that most people know very little about safes, and that is why I too chose to come onto this thread. You can't lump all RSC rated safes into the same category. Look at a Fort Knox Titan Series, for example, and you'll see a safe that has a body of solid 3/16" plate with an additional 10GA steel inner liner. The door starts with a solid 3/8" plate and finishes with a 10GA steel plate which encapsulates the fire insulation in the door and ties it back into the main plate. That safe has the same RSC label as their entry level Maverick series, but there's no doubt it would be far superior. Like I said, the RSC is a pass or fail test. That certainly doesn't mean that all safes wearing a RSC label are all the same.

SafeGuy
December 23, 2009, 12:27 PM
A couple of questions for you a1abdj. Have you ever explained to these folks what the UL TL15 or TL30 ratings mean?

Have you ever explained the criteria for a UL fire test?

heeler
December 23, 2009, 12:30 PM
Well since i can never figure out how to do this quote issue on this website i will second what SafeGuy says in regards to "You can't lump all RSC's rated safes into the same category".
That's a statement i have made several times on these gun safe threads.
Big difference between a plate steel door with a 3/16th body RSC vs a 12 gauge body with a composite door.
You CERTAINLY will not get into that above mentioned Ft.Knox Titan with a screw driver and hammer.

CB900F
December 23, 2009, 12:31 PM
Safe Guy;

"Two points again. First, I assume you are a professional where your average home burglar will be anything but. Second, how exactly do you "break into" safes with RSC ratings (or without them for that matter)? Do you pry the doors open, cut the sidewalls, or do you drill one hole based on where the manufacturer tells you to do so? I can only assume it's the latter. Otherwise, I wouldn't want you working on my safe."

One thing we don't do here is tell people how to compromise either an RSC or a safe. We're an ALOA/SAVTA shop & have been working on & selling safes for awhile now. Perhaps even awhile and a half. I agree with A1abdj, there's no substantial difference in protection amongst the RSC's. Determine the features you actually need & buy whoever's box that has them at the least price you find it. Yes, it may be comparitively harder for Freddie the felon to get into a Ft. Knox than a Chinese box, but that's only in comparison. Forcibly compromising anything that doesn't meet the U.L. minimum to be a B level safe isn't all that hard.

And yes, the U.L. TL/TR ratings, with the provsions for X6 have been explained on THR. Please do a search.

900F

SafeGuy
December 23, 2009, 12:58 PM
Safe Guy;

"Two points again. First, I assume you are a professional where your average home burglar will be anything but. Second, how exactly do you "break into" safes with RSC ratings (or without them for that matter)? Do you pry the doors open, cut the sidewalls, or do you drill one hole based on where the manufacturer tells you to do so? I can only assume it's the latter. Otherwise, I wouldn't want you working on my safe."

One thing we don't do here is tell people how to compromise either an RSC or a safe. We're an ALOA/SAVTA shop & have been working on & selling safes for awhile now. Perhaps even awhile and a half. I agree with A1abdj, there's no substantial difference in protection amongst the RSC's. Determine the features you actually need & buy whoever's box that has them at the least price you find it. Yes, it may be comparitively harder for Freddie the felon to get into a Ft. Knox than a Chinese box, but that's only in comparison. Forcibly compromising anything that doesn't meet the U.L. minimum to be a B level safe isn't all that hard.

And yes, the U.L. TL/TR ratings, with the provsions for X6 have been explained on THR. Please do a search.

900FFirst, there's no need for me to do a search as I know the answers to the questions I had asked. A1 and I have just been exchanging information in hopes of providing help for the less informed.

You can agree all you want, but there is a HUGE difference (as I pointed out) among RSC rated safes. I wasn't asking A1 to reveal techniques used to open safes, I was merely making a point. Sorry if it went over your head.

Lou McGopher
December 23, 2009, 03:59 PM
a box that cost less than $100 to build.

$100 will go a lot farther in China than it will in the US.

Anyway... I have what I think is a good idea:

Get a floor safe. Put all your really valuable stuff in it. Conceal it. Move a bigger, cabinet safe over top of it. Keep your NatGeo and He-Man collections in here. :D

Security by deception.

CB900F
December 23, 2009, 08:22 PM
SafeGuy;

"First, there's no need for me to do a search as I know the answers to the questions I had asked. A1 and I have just been exchanging information in hopes of providing help for the less informed.

You can agree all you want, but there is a HUGE difference (as I pointed out) among RSC rated safes. I wasn't asking A1 to reveal techniques used to open safes, I was merely making a point. Sorry if it went over your head."

Your second comment first; Since you pointed it out, it must be so. I see, sorry to have bothered the fount of all safe knowledge. First comment; As you are the fount the search function is totally not necessary. I do stand corrected and shall not bother you again.

Many apologies, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

900F

a1abdj
December 23, 2009, 11:35 PM
Two points, there has only been one honest to God gun safe (and it too used fireboard) that ever got a UL fire rating albeit a 30 minute rating, and that was from AMSEC about 10 years ago. They only kept it in production for one year and then went back to the same old crap of a 30 minute "factory" rating. I've never seen another safe since with this UL 30 minute rating.


UL has a few ratings that I think are useless. RSC being the first, and a 30 minute fire rating being the second. I'm not even sure they still have the 30 minute standard, as the only place I ever saw them in the past were the Sentry fire boxes.

As I'm sure you are aware, the various ratings listed by gun safe manufacturers are not based on common test criteria.

Which is where the UL comes in. They establish the benchmark by requiring specific minimum requirements.

Some show their temperature curves, some don't. That's about the only basis for a head to head comparison, so if you don't have that, you're just buying into a bunch of numbers that God only knows how were cooked up. Remember when Heritage got caught testing their safes having them flat on their backs?


Unfortunately, I believe almost every gun safe manufacturer cooks their own numbers in one way or another. Even when they are not cooking the numbers they are engaging in other dishonest behavior.

They could eliminate all of this confusion by obtaining a UL fire rating to go along with their UL listed locks and UL RSC rating. The problem is that the vast majority of gun safes are very, very far away from being able to pass the UL fire test (1 hour).

In regard to a safe having passed the UL RSC test, at least this gives a consumer independent verification that the safe will stand up to such a test. If you buy a safe that hasn't received this certification, you're just taking the word of a tool box maker turned safe builder that it will in fact do the job you bought it to do.


Which is why I think it's a joke when the manufacturers tout that they have it. If it's important for burglary, it's important for fire. If these safes are as good as the manufacturers claim, then why not have the UL fire rating too?

My main problem with the RSC rating is the lack of testing. The RSC test is a very restrictive test that limits the tools to a small hand held hammer and a long screwdriver/short pry bar. Why not test the safe against somebody kicking it or throwing golf balls at it? All are going to be equally ineffective.

The only way one would reasonably expect to gain entry into a safe using the tools that UL allows for the RSC test would be to punch a direct entry lock. Of course the requirement that the safe uses a UL listed lock eliminates that type of attack.

The other problem I have with the RSC rating is the range of safes it covers. I actually saw a video showing another "safe professional" talking about the differences between safes. He showed a B rate, a RSC, and a TL-15, and talked about the RSC being a better safe. In his particular demonstration, the safe he showed was a better safe, however, that's not what he said. You can't tell me that your average RSC manufactured by a gun safe company is going to outperform an unrated B rate safe, especially when that B rate is using twice as much steel.

Yep, I sure can. I know for fact that the safe submitted for testing by Pro-Steel/Browning did not pass the RSC test despite having a 12GA body, 3/16" plate door, and a UL listed S&G lock. They had to go back and make some changes before it would pass. I remember it well because they scoffed at how the listing was meaningless after Fort Knox was among the first (if not THE first) to get such a rating. In fact, I'm pretty sure the same thing happened with AMSEC.


I am not aware of any manufacturer submitting a failed safe, but would love to see any documentation detailing their failure.

You would almost have to try to purposely fail the test. Hammer....screwdriver....5 minutes. It's not rocket surgery. Not counting knocking the glass out, most car doors could pass this type of test.

Two points again. First, I assume you are a professional where your average home burglar will be anything but. Second, how exactly do you "break into" safes with RSC ratings (or without them for that matter)? Do you pry the doors open, cut the sidewalls, or do you drill one hole based on where the manufacturer tells you to do so? I can only assume it's the latter. Otherwise, I wouldn't want you working on my safe.


I do know more than the average burglar when it comes to safes, but the internet has come a long way in last few years. Any would be thief can watch videos all day long demonstrating how to break into "safes" that are commonly found in homes.

Knowledge is the first tool in my toolbox. Using proper diagnostic technics, you can open a safe without any damage. When that fails, the drill is the most often used tool in my box.

However, I have torn apart plenty of safes. A mechanic will probably only remove and replace the broken part on your engine. But on his way to becoming a mechanic, I would bet he tore an engine completely down and rebuilt it. I'm not much different than that mechanic, other than I have to fix your "engine" with the hood closed.

We routinely attack safes that are destined for scrap. This gives us a good basis for our understanding of how a safe is supposed to work. It's also a good stress reliever.

I can assure you the AMVAULT composite safes did NOT come with any holes. It's possible that could have changed since I've dealt with them, but most people do not want holes of any size drilled in a UL listed fire safe.


Most composite burglary rated safes are being used in commercial environments. The alarm companies are not capable of putting holes through these safes, so the factory installed holes allow them to wire their internal sensors without much greif.

The UL standard are pretty specific when it comes to holes in a UL listed safe, and they are allowed, although limited in size, location, and use. Another example would be anchor hole(s). Not only are they allowed, but they are required on the smaller units.

You're right, you can't compare commercial safes to RSC's. However, most safe buyers simply cannot use a commercial grade safe because of their weight. They are also quite small in terms of gun storage capacity. Add that to the difference in cost, and you have a safe that is neither wanted nor needed in the typical residential security scenario.

I would say you are half right. There are plenty of homeowners storing valuable paperwork, jewelry, media, and other items inside of gun safes when they shouldn't be. Many of these gun safe manufacturers lead consumers to believe their safes are commercial quality safes when they are not. As such, consumers are using them as such.

I agree that most people know very little about safes, and that is why I too chose to come onto this thread. You can't lump all RSC rated safes into the same category. Look at a Fort Knox Titan Series, for example, and you'll see a safe that has a body of solid 3/16" plate with an additional 10GA steel inner liner. The door starts with a solid 3/8" plate and finishes with a 10GA steel plate which encapsulates the fire insulation in the door and ties it back into the main plate. That safe has the same RSC label as their entry level Maverick series, but there's no doubt it would be far superior. Like I said, the RSC is a pass or fail test. That certainly doesn't mean that all safes wearing a RSC label are all the same.


Then again, there are gun safes without an RSC rating that are built to even higher standards. All safes are not the same. All safes with RSC ratings are not the same. But not all safes with RSC ratings are better than safes without them.

A couple of questions for you a1abdj. Have you ever explained to these folks what the UL TL15 or TL30 ratings mean?

Have you ever explained the criteria for a UL fire test?


Although I usually don't quote the UL standard word for word, I have explained these types of ratings in multiple occasions in the past.

billybobjoe
December 23, 2009, 11:52 PM
I used to work for a metal fabricator. I was wondering, why couldn't a guy buy a cheap safe and have his buddy drop some metal for him. Say you welded up 1/4" steel up inside cheap safe. Maybe beefed up the door with some angle to make it pry resistant. Of course that would probably be $200 worth of metal.

alamo707
December 24, 2009, 03:51 PM
Randy, my friend ordered 2 safes from you this week. FYI, you beat the local dealer by $100 even with the shipping to GA. Cant beat that.

Sturdy Gun Safe, Mfg.
December 24, 2009, 04:28 PM
Welcome SafeGuy! Your the same salesmen who was slandering us on the hull truth forums as FREEEBIRD (screen name) (http://www.thehulltruth.com/dockside-chat/223244-new-gun-safe-choices.html). http://www.thehulltruth.com/dockside-chat/223244-new-gun-safe-choices.html

Aside from the fact that our safes linkage will NEVER have problems, and NEVER had problems in our whole history, our customer in Washington would have nothing to worry about, because we back this claim up by our lifetime warranty, where, if anything was to happen to the linkage parts of the safe, we would pay for shipping, locksmith and repair of the safe for free. We use a group2 S&G cobo 6730, which has virtually no problems, however, we guarantee this as well for a lifetime. Amsec doesn’t even guarantee their linkage for more than a year.

We agree with Abj1ah about RSC ratings. The safe video with the guys crow baring it open was UL RSC listed.

We NEVER state we exceed ul fire ratings, however, we do exceed all ul rsc requirements. When it comes to a fire safe rating by UL, you can bet it's a realistic temperature reading. Fortunately, UL will not bother testing fire safes lined with fireboard (Sheetrock) because they know it wont work well enough, and this is the material most safe companies are using. If the safe manufacturer didn't just make up the reading in their fireboard (Sheetrock) lined safe, and actually had it tested by a independent testing company (who runs the test according to the desires of their customers), they will disallow the time it takes to cool off, and point of no return (which is the point where the cant be quenched before the contents are damaged). That’s similar to taking half the fire test out. It's the reason why they can make something that's not even an insulator look good. What’s left is just burn time. They take it all the way to near combustion on the inside, then they stop the test. In order to make the over $60000 charge for the UL Fire rating worth doing on our safes, is if people wouldn’t compare us to other companies who are being dishonest about their fire ratings. It’s hard to compete with a real fire liner when your dealing with only $30 worth of cement compound or fireboard (Sheetrock). You will not see a UL Fire Rating our gun safes until their prices to conduct the test has reduced as well as the annual fee being reduced. However, we tested our fire lined safes in real life burn downs, got real life results, and we feel it’s the best, most lightest material for the money.

We feel that having 77% more steel than safes made of 12 gauge, as well as 40% more steel than safes made of 10 gauge for the same price or less is the smartest way to go, (even though we do offer way more than just thick steel). I did the math right in my calculations above, and I was not including the 14 gauge liner we add to our fire safes (thickness of a twenty five cent piece). We also feel gun safes made with a ceramic fire liner and high temp glass (which is the material used to insulate high temperature ovens everyday) will perform way better than any insanely cheap material used to insulate gun safes, such as cement compound or fireboard. Abj1ah and I agree to disagree on this one when it comes to the cement compound.

We only make a 20% profit off each safe sold. This is the main reason we do not have resellers, or “middle men” like these sales men because they cannot jack the price up about 40-100% on our safes. Our type of fire insulation costs about 10x as much as fire board or cement foam. Our 7 gauge steel will costs $1.06 more per pound than 12 gauge (steel is at $0.34 a pound at the moment). There is no doubt your get more bang for your buck with us. We manufacturer from start to finish in the USA, absolutely NOTHING is made or has been done overseas.


FFFFFEEEEEEEWWWWW! Ok, I’m outta here!

Zip7
December 24, 2009, 05:38 PM
There is no doubt your get more bang for your buck with us.

I am no safe expert, but I have worked in the oilfield and have seen a lot of extremely heavy steel stuff get torn up and broken. The Sturdy product is solidly built - much more so than the others I looked at in the same price range.

I have no doubt you can get a better safe if you pay enough, but no one is going to peel, pop or pry open the 2 Sturdy boxes I have in a short time. It will take some serious tools to get into. There will be no quick smash & grab with this box.

My boxes with no fire lining weigh much more than competitive RSCs that do have fire lining, and that is telling.

a1abdj
December 24, 2009, 05:57 PM
Randy, my friend ordered 2 safes from you this week. FYI, you beat the local dealer by $100 even with the shipping to GA. Cant beat that.

There is one potential problem when you're talking a $100 difference.

What happens when your local dealer is the only guy who works on safes in your area and he tells you to go fly a kite when you have a problem with the mail order safe that you just saved $100 on?

I make it very clear to my out of town customers that they should shop locally first, and spend their money there if it's anywhere in the ballpark of what they would spend with me. I'll even provide them the names and numbers of those in their area that sell the same products I do.

I used to work for a metal fabricator. I was wondering, why couldn't a guy buy a cheap safe and have his buddy drop some metal for him. Say you welded up 1/4" steel up inside cheap safe. Maybe beefed up the door with some angle to make it pry resistant. Of course that would probably be $200 worth of metal.

You could do that, although there are other considerations since the original safe would not have been designed to support the extra door weight.

You could also put $40,000 into a $30,000 Honda Civic and make it fast. You could also just spend $70,000 on a Corvette to begin with.

78tsubaki
December 24, 2009, 06:41 PM
Sturdy Gun Safe Mfg.
I have always been comfortable with the after the sale service that I have already received from your company. To date you have provided, useful tips on moving this monster, touching up the paint, and help with my combo adjustment.

One other benefit to the ceramic insulation used in your safes may be that undetected water (moisture) is less likely to be trapped in the material due to storage or manufacturing. I have read where other insulating materials may trap moisture and release this moisture back into the safe. Makes it a little tougher to routinely control the humidity. I believe that AMSEC, Ft Knox, and Browning have this under control in their processes too. I read that Graffunder, another excellent American company may also be using ceramic blankets in their doors. I do not have objective quality evidence to support this but it makes sense.

I ended up with a Sturdy as I personally believe for my purposes they offer the best value pound for pound.

orionengnr
December 24, 2009, 10:41 PM
I would imagine there is an equation out there somewhere. Perhaps, if you own $15k worth of firearms/accessories, you should spend $3k on a safe? Maybe the numbers are different; I don't know...but there has to be a rough guideline out there somewhere.

I do believe the people who say "buy larger than your current requirement". I bought a safe three years ago, and it was larger by a good bit than my current inventory. Little did I know that a safe is a "license to buy more".

I wish I had spent 2x as much and provided for 2-3x the capacity. :)

Look on the bright side...a larger safe is not only harder to break in to, but harder to drag away...

alamo707
December 25, 2009, 04:04 PM
A1, I dont see him having a problem with his safe. I have had my browning medallion for 10 years with no trouble. Our "local" dealer is 2 hrs away. Who would want to drive 4 hrs, pay sales tax, gas, and haul that heavy sob home when we had it shipped to his door??If you figure in tax,gas,time,my back etc it was worth way more than $100. If there is any trouble at all, I know Randy will take care of it.

Also A1, The local dealer did not even bother to tell us about the rebate that was going on the safe. I already knew about it from Randy. When we asked he said yea yea yea there is a rebate let me go see. I told my buddy this guy is going to try to bend you over and keep your rebate. We hit the road and never looked back.

Thanks again Randy

a1abdj
December 25, 2009, 08:48 PM
A1, I dont see him having a problem with his safe. I have had my browning medallion for 10 years with no trouble.

There's not a lot to go wrong with a safe, which is why most companies offer such generous warranties. However, I perform warranty work for Pro Steel (Browning), as well as a number of other manufacturers, so I know that problems can and do happen.

Who would want to drive 4 hrs, pay sales tax, gas, and haul that heavy sob home when we had it shipped to his door??

I understand what you're saying, but you better want to pay sales tax. In your case use tax since you ordered it from out of state. Just because you buy it online doesn't mean you don't owe tax on it. As a vendor, I do not collect sales tax, but you are still responsible for paying it.

If there is any trouble at all, I know Randy will take care of it.

I doubt your local vendor works on safes. I'm guessing that Randy doesn't work on safes either. But if you have a local guy that refuses to work on it, is Randy going to fly out and fix it? You don't want to know what guys like me charge to fly out to fix a safe.

Also A1, The local dealer did not even bother to tell us about the rebate that was going on the safe. I already knew about it from Randy. When we asked he said yea yea yea there is a rebate let me go see. I told my buddy this guy is going to try to bend you over and keep your rebate. We hit the road and never looked back.


How much was the rebate? From the sound of it, after your local dealer conceded the rebate he would have been the same price as what it cost to order it online.

alamo707
December 25, 2009, 09:53 PM
A1, after he figured in the rebate Randy still had him beat by at least $ 300 on the safe. After shipping costs it was down to $100ish. Figure in time,gas,my back etc Im sure he saved $200 easy. The safe will be at his front door next week which is great.

a1abdj
December 25, 2009, 11:31 PM
Welcome SafeGuy! Your the same salesmen who was slandering us on the hull truth forums as FREEEBIRD (screen name). http://www.thehulltruth.com/dockside...e-choices.html


I finally had a chance to go and read through all of that.

I have never seen so much talk, with so little information. There was a lot of conversation about Alyssa, and a lot of talk about some of the safes you sold being better than the Sturdy. However, aside from UL references, didn't see much substance about how the construction of certain safes was better than another.

So I'll ask here.

I know Sturdy sells a safe in the $2,000 range. Randy, you sell $2,000 safes for a few manufacturers. Let's compare the construction of Sturdy's $2,000 safe to your $2,000 safe.

Just so you know I'm not picking on you, I have already made an in depth comparison using the AMSEC BF series as my example.

SafeGuy
December 27, 2009, 10:38 AM
WOW!! This has gotten just too funny! I'll pop in later and catch up in more detail, but seeing as how I'm sitting in Key West getting ready to head out for some fishing, it won't be today, or tomorrow, or the next day.

First, once any of you have been selling gun safes on a national scale for 30+ years with sales well into 8 figures to date, get back with me if you want to impress me with your knowledge. I have nothing to prove to anyone here. That's not arrogance, it's just fact.

Second, as for me slandering Sturdy, that's downright comical. Slander involves making statements that aren't true. 'Nuff said... for now. Besides, you can read the link to the discussion which took place on a boating forum and draw your own conclusions. BTW, I did sell that gentleman a safe who had questions on that thread.

Third, as for arguing that somebody is going to be in trouble if they purchase a nationally distributed safe through an out of state dealer, that is a sales pitch in itself. If any of my customers ever have a problem with a safe I've sold them, there are numerous local locksmiths at their service who are on the manufacturer's lists for service/warranty work. That's the oldest trick in the book to try to sell "service after the sale" in order to justify a higher profit margin. It's like buying a new Chevrolet from an out of state dealer and thinking you can't get service when it's needed. These are manufacturer's warranties we're talking about here, not warranties from the selling dealer. Think about it, what happens when you pay all this extra money for service after the sale, then you have to move out of state?

Most of these issues boil down to common sense which gets lost in all the smoke and mirrors used by manufacturers and single line dealers who have no choice but to push a particular product. Y'all have a nice day.

Walkalong
December 27, 2009, 10:47 AM
Well, for those of us who don't know about RSCs & safes (like me) and are looking for good info, this thread has gotten pretty worthless IMHO. :scrutiny:

I need to buy a bigger and better safe or RSC than I have and this is not helping. :cool:

SafeGuy
December 27, 2009, 11:23 AM
Walkalong, I didn't come here with the idea of getting into a pissing contest with anybody, but I would bet I could save you some money too. I'll be back in the office on Thursday if you want to find out how much.

Mal H
December 27, 2009, 11:50 AM
You may not have come here with that idea in mind, but this thread certainly did turn into a pissing contest.

Closed.

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