Breaking into a gun safe - UL testing


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Shrock
January 29, 2012, 04:53 PM
I've been researching safes on and off for years. I cut, weld and bend metal for a living and I know I could easily get into most gun "safes" in a few minutes. I can't imagine gathering up all my most valuable things and putting all my eggs in one of these straw baskets.

Anyway budgets vary, but here is my plan and reasoning.

I'm going to get two instead one one huge one. One will be a real safe, TL-30 rated AmSec RF6528. The other will be a decent/respectable. Probably Amsec BF, Zycan, or Sturdy safe.

How ever hard it is to get into anything, getting into two will be harder and take a lot longer.

The most valuable stuff goes into the TL-30 unit. The more commodity stuff goes in the other, AK's, basic .22's, pump shotguns.

After beating up Amsec for a while, I finally got an answer of the metal thickness on the TL-30 rated RF6528. I forget the exact number but is was around 11ga. I did not like that answer. You can't fake UL ratings though. I was told it was filled with a special high security concrete like material with chunks of metal and other secret sauce. I didn't really trust that. I know metal, but nothing about that stuff. (Note, the fill in this model is not at all the same as the fill in the BF series.)

Anyway, for anyone who has researched true high security safes, I found a gem. Here is a video of an actual UL labs TL-30 test taking place. You can see they get the outer skin off pretty fast, with a tool pretty similar to what I would pick. I was amazed at how strong that stuff underneath was though, even against two guys with two handed sledge hammers and well thought out power tools.

Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtbGUbeM860&feature=BFa&list=FLO_x13y4Tw_zsKJWRHIe9BA&lf=mh_lolz

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heeler
January 29, 2012, 06:28 PM
You should do a lot more research before you discount the effectiveness of composite materials used in safes that achieve a UL TL-15 or TL-30 rating.
Amsec makes a very well built UL rated TL-30 safe as well as TL-30X6 safes.
Other makers use pretty much the same approach because thick steel is expensive stuff.

a1abdj
January 29, 2012, 06:33 PM
One of the benefits of a composite safe is the alternating materials. You can be into steel one second, then concrete, then ceramic, then carbide, and back and forth. All of these materials have tools which are ideal for dealing with them, but running into the next may leave you dead in the water.

The "concrete" fills on these safes are very, very tough.


http://www.empiresafe.com/uploads/0000/1074/FX2418_TL-30x6_Unsuccessful_Burglary-Front_View.JPG


I should also add that AMSEC just came out with their most recent price list. As always, there were price increases with the gun safes. The RF6528 was lowered in price enough to save any potential buyers a good chunk of money. The prices go into effect Feb. 6th.

dprice3844444
January 29, 2012, 07:12 PM
http://www.ammoland.com/2009/03/30/bedbunker/

earlthegoat2
January 29, 2012, 07:26 PM
Get a big cheap one and put your cheap stuff in it.

Get a small good one and put your good stuff in it.

If you were the average uninformed burglar, which would you go after?

weeniewawa
January 29, 2012, 07:38 PM
buy a big cheap one,and a great small one

put the little one inside the big one and they will be too tuckered out and discouraged to attempt the inner safe when they finally get it and leave

7.62 Nato
January 29, 2012, 09:30 PM
Get a big cheap one and put your cheap stuff in it.

Get a small good one and put your good stuff in it.

If you were the average uninformed burglar, which would you go after?
The one I could take out the easiest to work on at my leisure.

newfalguy101
January 29, 2012, 09:48 PM
Frankly, the fact it took two experienced guys 30 minutes to break in seems like a very good indicator of just how long ( if ever ) it would take an average everyday burglar to do the same.

Think about it this way, the majority of burglars wont be lugging saws and sledge hammers.....

earlthegoat2
January 29, 2012, 09:56 PM
You know yer supposed to bolt them things down right?

heeler
January 29, 2012, 10:04 PM
Yes,you are right newfalguy.
And it should also be noted that what I have read about these time tests is that not only do the UL guys that test these safes have the blue prints indicating exactly the best place to attack the safe and perform the task the clock also stops when they stop to change tools,blades,etc.
If what I read is true then it takes considerably longer to get into one of these safes than a mere 30 minutes.

a1abdj
January 29, 2012, 11:37 PM
Yes,you are right newfalguy.
And it should also be noted that what I have read about these time tests is that not only do the UL guys that test these safes have the blue prints indicating exactly the best place to attack the safe and perform the task the clock also stops when they stop to change tools,blades,etc.
If what I read is true then it takes considerably longer to get into one of these safes than a mere 30 minutes.

This is correct.

The guys working the safe over are professional safe crackers. They have access to any infomation they would like ahead of time, including the opportunity to inspect the safe prior to the attack.

The clock only runs while the safe is being attacked. If they stop to change tools, blades, bits, etc, the clock stops.

Opening the safe prior to the clock running out will cause the safe to fail the test. Getting a six square inch hole through the rated surface will also fail it.

Not all UL rated safes are equal, even if their ratings are. If a safe is submitted for a 30 minute rating, and it would last 30 minutes and one second, it passes. Another safe could last for 45 minutes, and get the same rating.

Elessar
January 30, 2012, 12:14 PM
What I still can't wrap my mind around is that the T-15 rated HS safes have a full 1 inch thick plate steel bodies and door, yet the RF safe with the thin steel body gets the T-30 rating. That is some serious secret sauce in that fill.

Even so, the HS still has about 2.5 inches of the fill, compared to the RF which has about 3.5 inches of it. If I understand this correctly then, that extra inch of fill exceeds the benefits of adding inch of steel plate....?

armoredman
January 30, 2012, 01:45 PM
I am in the market for a good safe, too...


Here's a question nobody ever seems to ask - you come home and find your safe in the condition of that Empire in the pic, and yay! Your stuff is safe...how do YOU get it out now that the locking mechanism is ruined...Do safe companies offer services like that?

a1abdj
January 30, 2012, 01:55 PM
What I still can't wrap my mind around is that the T-15 rated HS safes have a full 1 inch thick plate steel bodies and door, yet the RF safe with the thin steel body gets the T-30 rating. That is some serious secret sauce in that fill.


It doesn't matter what the material is, so long as the strength is there. An average steel plate safe with a TL-15 rating may use a 1" solid A36 plate body with a 1.5" solid A36 plate door. However, I have a few used Moslers with a TL-15 rating that use a 3/4" door. That 3/4" plate is an alloy that's got to be at least as strong as the 1.5" A36 plate.

Composite safes tend to be lighter, stronger, and less expensive than steel plate safes. They also come with the added benefit of being fire resistant.


Here's a question nobody ever seems to ask - you come home and find your safe in the condition of that Empire in the pic, and yay! Your stuff is safe...how do YOU get it out now that the locking mechanism is ruined...Do safe companies offer services like that?

That's exactly the type of service us real safe companies offer. =)

Shrock
January 30, 2012, 02:35 PM
Heeler & newfalguy101, I think you missed the point of my post.

"I was amazed at how strong that stuff underneath was though, even against two guys with two handed sledge hammers and well thought out power tools."

I was impressed and plan to buy something built similarly.


Elessar, I'm guessing the the fill on the HS is a primarily insulation oriented fill, like the fill in the BF. With all that steel they dont need a high-sec fill to get that rating. I agree, if it was the same fill as the RF, it would seem that it would easily make TL-30.

heeler
January 30, 2012, 03:40 PM
Shrock,I was referring about the statement you said you did not trust those materials.
Generally,things we dont know about always makes us skeptical or suspicious.
But it works and damn well.
Frankly I would prefer a super composite over plate steel due to pricing,weight,and fire resistance.
It's some bona fide tough stuff.

Shrock
January 30, 2012, 04:49 PM
Shrock,I was referring about the statement you said you did not trust those materials.
Generally,things we dont know about always makes us skeptical or suspicious.

I think it is wise to be skeptical & suspicious. ESPECIALLY in the gun safe market. The intent to mislead is pretty obvious from some outlets. Before finding that video, all I had to go on was info from people selling safes and a UL test that I didnt understand completely and didnt trust it. After seeing the video, I was convinced.

I just wasnt sure why you thought I should do more research when the whole point of my post was to show the results of the research into composite security materials. Anyway, I think we are on the same page about this.

armoredman
January 30, 2012, 05:32 PM
a1abdj, looking at your website - wish you could ship to AZ. :) I need a safe delivered AND setup, however, don't exactly have a dolly that can move a monster, but I don't want something the neighborhood kids can drag out the back door and down the alley weay to play with later.
AmSec stuff is looking very good, better than the generic stuff I was going to buy.
I don't have a big collection at all, am looking at the BF6032, what kind of protection can i expect?

a1abdj
January 30, 2012, 05:42 PM
a1abdj, looking at your website - wish you could ship to AZ. I need a safe delivered AND setup, however, don't exactly have a dolly that can move a monster, but I don't want something the neighborhood kids can drag out the back door and down the alley weay to play with later.
AmSec stuff is looking very good, better than the generic stuff I was going to buy.
I don't have a big collection at all, am looking at the BF6032, what kind of protection can i expect?


I ship nationwide, and work with a network of guys in the safe business that are capable of moving safes. If you are near any major metro area, finding these guys usually isn't a problem. As you get further out, they are a bit more difficult to find. This also holds true with local dealers. If you needed me to point you towards somebody near you, I'd be happy to do so (if that somebody exists).

I think the composite construction of the AMSEC puts it in a category of its own as far as gun safes go. You'll get better security and fire protection, but not the same type of protection one would expect out of a real safe. It is rare that a safe is attacked, but when it is, the door is usually the first target. That solid 1/2" plate will put up a heck of a fight.

Shrock
January 30, 2012, 05:48 PM
Just to add a little more info to this, I think it is important to understand the various tests. What are they allowed do use to try to get into the box?

Residential Security Container (RSC)

1.) ....shall resist at least 5 minutes of attack that would defeat its purpose.
...
3.) The tools used in the test are to include hammers, chisels, adjustable wrenches, pry bars, punches and screwdrivers. The hammers are not to exceed 3 pounds in head weight, and no tool is to exceed 18 inches in length.
4.)....the attack is to be carried out by one operator.

My takeaway from this. The hammers and pry bars allowed are SMALL. No power tools are allowed at all. Only one person is involved.

For the TL-XX ratings. Tools include those above plus POWER TOOLS and full size hammers and pry bars. 15 min for TL-15 and 30 min for TL-30.

armoredman
January 30, 2012, 05:50 PM
OK, a1abdj, what I am looking for is a safe that is too heavy for Joe The Burglar to steal, or Joe and his three crack head friends, and certainly can withstand the four of them and sledgehammers/crowbars-There aren't any power tools here they could use. This is of course assuming they got past the alarm and dogs. Considering where I live, fire is a danger, and the fire rating is something I like. I never have a really large collection as I buy shooters, not collectables, and tend to shoot them as often as I can.
Sorry if I hijacked this, but I finally am getting the money to buy a good safe, as opposed to the inexpensive one I have now, and my wife agreed it's time to invest GOOD money, cry now smile later.

Edit to add, A-Professional Locks Inc in Chandler, AZ, is the closest AmSec dealer to me, still quite a ways away.

Edit again to add, closer look at AmSec website says the BF series is still only rated as a Residential Security Container. I was hoping for the money it would be a little better than that!

Patchbunny
January 30, 2012, 07:47 PM
I think your best bet for keeping someone from wandering off with it would be to bolt it to the floor/wall.

heeler
January 30, 2012, 08:27 PM
We would all love a TL rated safe but....
Once you get to looking at the massive weight,the extra cost(new),and many times shipping and placement costs....
This is why there are Residential Security Containers.
And not all RSC's are created equal,but alas,none of them will resist major power tools.
But then again most guys have a tendency to over think these things.
Generally Cecil Meth does not enter your home with sawzalls with carbide blades and grinders and so forth.
Think about it guys.

armoredman
January 30, 2012, 08:33 PM
I did think about it, heeler, which is why I was looking at something less than the TL rated. Cecil cannot use my power tools, either - don't have any.
I saw that weight - great Scott, those things are heavy! I think the smallest would crack my foundation - this is a very cheap house, seriously.

heeler
January 30, 2012, 08:47 PM
Armored man,I own a BF and it's my contention if it's placed in a strategic strong point that eliminates most prying attacks and is bolted down it will do quite well until power tools come into play.

Keizer
January 31, 2012, 11:56 AM
it will do quite well until power tools come into play.

I would bet that if you had it built into a closet, where only the 1/2" steel plate door was exposed, even power tools would take awhile. I'm thinking of re-locating my BF AMSEC so only the front is exposed. That would probably upgrade it's RSC rating to a TL15 rating.

Elessar
January 31, 2012, 12:37 PM
Nah, just slice through the door frame.

Shadow 7D
January 31, 2012, 01:05 PM
Um, depends on safe, a proper safe would be no weaker there than the door.

Elessar
January 31, 2012, 01:22 PM
Um, the comments were specifically about the AMSEC BF

armoredman
January 31, 2012, 07:15 PM
Also looking at a Fort Knox Defender, anyone have any info on them? Not gonna restrict myself to one choice until the cash flows out. :)

heeler
January 31, 2012, 07:52 PM
Armoredman,
In 2009 I had the Fort Knox Defender in the three final choices of a gun safe to buy.
The other two was the Sturdy and Amsec BF.
What I like tremendously about Fort Knox is they will upgrade the safe for you in various packages.
They offered at no charge to put outside hinges on it and since I wont own a safe without this feature they were put in the running.
I had the choice of upgrading the standard 10 gauge outer body to a 3/16th or 7 gauge if you want to call it that.
Along with that body upgrade was a door upgrade of their standard 10 gauge door face skin but the inner plate would grow from 1/4 inch to 3/8ths plate.
Mo' better!!
That upgrade at that time was $300.00,which I did not consider bad at all.
I also could have opted to also have a 10 gauge inner liner put in as well for another $300.00.
Climbing in price now for sure.
Or I could have settled on the standard 10 gauge body and added another 10 gauge inner steel liner.
Today Knox will even offer you a 1/4 inch body upgrade if you want.
Far mo' better!!
That's what I like the most about knox safes as well as a really nice fit and finish with very nice paint jobs.
Alas in 2009 the 66x37 Knox Defender in Rimrock textured paint with the 3/16ths body upgrade and door upgrade was going to cost me $2800.00.
Not mo' better.
The Amsec BF 66x36 in Sandstone textured paint that I was very confident would offer better fire protection and every bit as good of burglary protection was priced at $2299.00 with zero charge for shipping.
The last contender to make the cut was the Sturdy with a fireliner of similiar size.
It's a good safe to be sure and has a near rabid cult of followers singing their song but since they have no dealer network and it's price was within $100.00 of the Amsec and the jury is still out on the effectiveness of that fireliner (in my opinion) and the fact that I was not plunking down that kind of money sight unseen I chose the Amsec as the best bang for the buck.
YMMV.

Keizer
January 31, 2012, 11:57 PM
Nah, just slice through the door frame.

You would have to dissect the entire door frame off to get into the safe. Basically you'd have to get the door completely off to have full access to the inside.

I've always thought it was odd that people want to cut a hole in the side, top, bottom, etc. It would have to be a huge hole to access the contents, unless you have a really long arm.

dprice3844444
February 1, 2012, 01:31 AM
just rememberto have the dealer put"fireproof safe for storage of income tax records" on the bill,not gunsafe.it then becomes tax deductible

a1abdj
February 1, 2012, 08:39 AM
just rememberto have the dealer put"fireproof safe for storage of income tax records" on the bill,not gunsafe.it then becomes tax deductible

This is a good way to get yourself in trouble.

Ghost Tracker
February 1, 2012, 09:13 AM
This is a good way to get yourself in trouble.There are no "good" ways to get myself in trouble. If it results in trouble, it was a "bad" way.:evil:

Just like firearms, a good-quality safe costs a premium price. Theoretical scenarios of highly-skilled thieves cracking your safe is a fun exercise, but remember that a smart, serious, professional felon possessing that level of skill it likely to exercise his trade and risk his health & freedom on more rewarding target than your private accumulation of firearms. Say your collection is worth ~$30,000 = fenced price ~$5000. His cut? maybe $1000-$1500. If he's good enough to get past a "good" safe (IMHO) he'll go after softer, more profitable targets. Bubba with a cutting torch & a sledge hammer might show-up, but not Clooney & the Ocean's Crew. :cool:

armoredman
February 1, 2012, 11:06 AM
Any safe cracker worth his salt wouldn't be operating in this .5 horse town anyway.

Thanks for the run down, heeler, I appreciate it. :) That's about the same price I was looking at for the Defender. The nice thing is the dealer will deliver unobtrusively and set up, too. No drop ship to the curb in a box that screams, "THIS HOUSE HAS SOMETHING WORTH STEALING!" until I can borrow a dolly strong enough to move it.

Elessar
February 1, 2012, 11:31 AM
You would have to dissect the entire door frame off to get into the safe. Basically you'd have to get the door completely off to have full access to the inside.

I've always thought it was odd that people want to cut a hole in the side, top, bottom, etc. It would have to be a huge hole to access the contents, unless you have a really long arm.
My point was that placing the BF in between concrete walls, while certainly a good idea, doesn't really make it equivillant to a T-15 as was mentioned. While the 1/2 inch door plate is great, the surrounding frame is still very vulnerable to tools and, I beleive, could be easily chopped up with the right power saw, totally bypassing the plate door.

heeler
February 1, 2012, 11:54 AM
True Elesser but he specifically stated in post #26 "where only the 1/2 inch plate steel door was exposed".
Thing is since practically all gun safes bought are used for in home use the majority of gun safes that get breached are by a prying attack.
It's obvious to most of us that power tools are going to win out but in a residential burglary where your home is just hit because,well,it's just your bad luck,and the thief does not even know you own a safe it's highly unlikely he's carrying sawzalls,grinders,16 pound sledgehammers,5 foot pry bars and the such.
It just does not happen like that.

Elessar
February 1, 2012, 01:03 PM
Yes, yes. we are in agreement. I wasn't commenting on any of that more general stuff, just commenting in response to the prior poster that said

"I'm thinking of re-locating my BF AMSEC so only the front is exposed. That would probably upgrade it's RSC rating to a TL15 rating. "

I've got an AMSEC BF on my short list for a near future purchase so I guess I have the various pros and cons in the forefront of my mind.

By the way, I actually spoke to the Rep at SHOT a couple weeks ago. Can anyone confirm the following about the AMSEC BFs?

I was told:
-12 guage outer skin
-stitch welded body
-fill has NO security features, fire only.

This was all direct from the company rep on the show floor.

billdeserthills
February 1, 2012, 01:20 PM
What I still can't wrap my mind around is that the T-15 rated HS safes have a full 1 inch thick plate steel bodies and door, yet the RF safe with the thin steel body gets the T-30 rating. That is some serious secret sauce in that fill.

Even so, the HS still has about 2.5 inches of the fill, compared to the RF which has about 3.5 inches of it. If I understand this correctly then, that extra inch of fill exceeds the benefits of adding inch of steel plate....?
As a locksmith who has opened many safes I can tell you that most steel is very easy to drill into, the barrier material is tougher. Protecting a safe is all about time, and it will take longer for me to keep switching cutting tools in order to get through tough barrier mateials than it does if I am using just a standard drill bit & a hardplate drill bit, which is normally what I hafta do when drilling a modern steel safe. I have a couple of the Amsec BF series safes myself, they seem plenty good & heavy too.

billdeserthills
February 1, 2012, 01:26 PM
Yes, yes. we are in agreement. I wasn't commenting on any of that more general stuff, just commenting in response to the prior poster that said

"I'm thinking of re-locating my BF AMSEC so only the front is exposed. That would probably upgrade it's RSC rating to a TL15 rating. "

I've got an AMSEC BF on my short list for a near future purchase so I guess I have the various pros and cons in the forefront of my mind.

By the way, I actually spoke to the Rep at SHOT a couple weeks ago. Can anyone confirm the following about the AMSEC BFs?

I was told:
-12 guage outer skin
-stitch welded body
-fill has NO security features, fire only.

This was all direct from the company rep on the show floor.
Being that the BF series is rated for Burglary & Fire why do you think barrier material would be inside? BTW the BF series also does have a 5 1/4" thick door with a 1/2" thick steel plate in front of the door & the standard piece of hardplate protecting the lock. The TL ratings are not a joke, you will pay dearly to get a safe with a TL rating & then you will get to move a safe that can weigh thousands of pounds more than a BF series does.

billdeserthills
February 1, 2012, 01:34 PM
I would bet that if you had it built into a closet, where only the 1/2" steel plate door was exposed, even power tools would take awhile. I'm thinking of re-locating my BF AMSEC so only the front is exposed. That would probably upgrade it's RSC rating to a TL15 rating.
I must say, you don't sound like someone who has ever used a drill with a sharp bit.
It really doesn't take long to drill through a 1/2" of mild steel which is what you'll find on the outside of a safe. Drilling through the hard plate which is located under the soft steel will be more of a problem and will take longer, even though it is a much thinner piece of steel.

heeler
February 1, 2012, 02:13 PM
Dont know who told you that but I believe that information is wrong Ellessar.
Older BF'S had 10 gauge outer bodies with a 14 gauge inner liner.
Somewhere along the way they were made with 11 gauge bodies with 16 gauge inner liners.
Never heard they were stich welded.
Another issue is if they were stich welded they would do quite poorly in a fire.
Perhaps the inner liner may be stich welded but I dont truely know.
Have you looked and felt the Drylight material at an Amsec dealer?
Appears to be pretty hard stuff.
I would think it would help somewhat as a security helper sandwiched between two steel walls.
Certainly better than sheetrock or some sort of wool blanket.

CB900F
February 1, 2012, 04:25 PM
Fella's;

Those of you who do want a real safe should look at the Graffunder line. And yes, I'm a dealer. They are heavy X expensive, but you do get what you pay for. The website is: www.graffundersafes.com.


900F

Elessar
February 1, 2012, 06:22 PM
Fella's;

Those of you who do want a real safe should look at the Graffunder line. And yes, I'm a dealer. They are heavy X expensive, but you do get what you pay for. The website is: www.graffundersafes.com.


900F
Would love to. However, I'm not sure my wife would ever let me spend that much on my gun collection, much less a safe to store it in.

Keizer
February 1, 2012, 07:17 PM
I must say, you don't sound like someone who has ever used a drill with a sharp bit.

Actually, I worked as a journey level machinist for years, and can hand sharpen a drill bit that will go through steel like butter. What's your point? Are you thinking you can drill a bunch of holes all over the 1/2" steel plate door on an AMSEC and get in?

leadcounsel
February 2, 2012, 12:36 AM
I'm more worried about the man with the 12 gauge that breaks in and lays in wait for the home owner to return from work with the safe combonation... Seems to me to be the best way to crack into a safe...

Shrock
February 3, 2012, 12:18 PM
Well this in interesting/entertaining. Video of actual thieves breaking into a safe. Not sure what it's made of, but I'm sure it is fairly tough since it's a commercial high-risk location. 6 minutes / 2 safes, so a long way from TL-15 though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7tU2W4RsEc&feature=related

About drilling, typical thieves dont use drills, Locksmiths do. Getting into a safe with a drill and without activating relockers requires skill and knowledge. Most thieves have neither and will go for making a hole in it or prying/cutting it open vs. "cracking" it.

billdeserthills
February 3, 2012, 12:37 PM
Actually, I worked as a journey level machinist for years, and can hand sharpen a drill bit that will go through steel like butter. What's your point? Are you thinking you can drill a bunch of holes all over the 1/2" steel plate door on an AMSEC and get in?
I open safes & I like to do it with just the one hole through the door, goes faster that way

thegiff
February 3, 2012, 11:40 PM
So what does it take to drill a hole through a composite safe? I have an AMSEC CF5524 composite safe (I bought it used), and I've heard they are really hard to drill through.

I want to put a goldenrod in it but it doesn't have a hole for the wires. Same thing with bolting it down, I'd like to drill some 5/8" holes to bolt it to the floor. The fact that it was brought in on a pallet jack means it can be brought out with a pallet jack. And of course to top it off (which is why I still worry about it) it is in the garage, which has most tools available including an acetylene torch, because it is too heavy for the floors in my home. Any recommendations?

billdeserthills
February 4, 2012, 12:53 AM
Usually drilling holes into a fireproof safe must be done in a manner specified by the manufacturer, otherwise you get a non-fireproof safe. Best call the maker of your safe to find out where they recommend drilling to install the goldenrod.

CB900F
February 4, 2012, 08:52 AM
Thegiff;

C'mon, you don't really expect the pro's to tell people how to drill a safe on an open website, do you?

900F

highlander 5
February 4, 2012, 10:45 AM
If I may put my .02 worth here. Growing up I knew a lot of guys that were druggies and did B&E for drug money. They would jimmy a window,force a door to get in. Then go thru the house and grab as much stuff as they could carry. In and out 5 min or less. No B&E guy wants to be caught with their hands in the till so to speak as in home owner walks in on them.
Unless you live in a very high end neighborhood your odds of a PROFESSIONAL safe cracker in your home is slim.
I'm not saying you should buy a cheapo safe and that's it. Get something that's well made and heavy. Bolting the safe to the wall or flour is a good idea. I have a safe that's fair sized and weighs in at 400 pounds,no B&E artist is goiing to bother with trying to move it and it's not bolted down. I live on the 2nd floor and it to good sized guys to get it in the house. Also what kind of explanation is our B&E guy gonna come up with if the cops see him moving a large safe on a dolly down the street at whatever tiime in the AM.
I understand you wish to protect your valuables but I think you are over thinking this a bit.

thegiff
February 4, 2012, 11:35 AM
Well not really, though I figured there would be some discussion on other methods of securing it or maybe that the general advice would be that it just isn't really necessary given it weighs close to 3000 lb. I've been thinking the easiest way to secure it withoud drilling would be to weld in place a shield around the bottom so that it can't be pried upward and a pallet jack couldn't be slid under it. I had a professional safe company move it in, the guys said they didn't think it needed to be bolted down even if it did have the holes. So I guess what I'm really looking for is a second opinion on that.

I forgot to add, they didn't have a way to get it off the 4 X 4's, so it sits with a 3 1/2" gap under it. I borrowed a pallet jack from work to move it around, it was pretty easy but of course on flat concrete.

Regarding the goldenrod, should I suppose my best bet is to hire a professional and let them drill it? Or forget using a goldenrod and go with a desiccant? Might be cheaper I suppose. Anyway, I'd appreciate any advice.

I had one more thing to add, the reason I bought this one, a used TL-30 X 6, AMSEC, vs. new costco, home depot or walmart locker or RSC, was from reading the various discussions here, mostly by CB900F and a1abdj, so I wanted to thank you both for the advice you post so freely (except for security related stuff, which I understand).

billdeserthills
February 4, 2012, 02:13 PM
When I got my first big safe it is a C rated unit, with a 1" thick solid steel door & 1/2" solid steel body, I was using a large can of dessicant. Turned into abig hassle for me as it seemed like every week the thing needed another few hours in the toaster oven to dry it out. I eventually bought a paper humidity reader card (which by color on the card will tell you how humid it is in the safe) and after that I broke down & drilled a small hole & installed the goldenrod. Since that time I have aquired several more safes & installed the goldenrod into them as well.
I wouldn't worry about your 3,000 lb safe walking off while you are out, I think you are very well protected as it is right now Giff

Teachu2
February 14, 2012, 05:47 PM
For most of us casual firearms enthusiasts, living in suburbia with neighbors in close proximity, it's probably money better spent to buy a RSC at Costco and spend a little of the difference on a alarm system.

I keep a couple of Harleys parked in the garage. Burglars probably won't even enter the house....

thegiff
February 15, 2012, 10:14 AM
My neighborhood, what I think is a lower middle class area, has had 26 known home break-ins in 6 months, and my neighborhood has about 125 homes total. Lately, this activity has dropped off, the pro crew was caught. The same guys had been caught before, and when released were back in our neighborhood again.

One neighbor a couple streets down was, quite stupidly I would add, cleaning his shotguns with the garage door open, and was seen. No safe, no RSC, no alarm, no protection at all. One of the bad guys found his home phone number and started calling once or twice a day. When he didn't answer, knowing he wasn't there, stole them, and rode away on a bicycle. So happened that that neighbor came home and saw him riding away, tried chasing him down and lost him. Police knew who he was, and didn't have enough "evidence" to bother to get a warrant and search the bad guys trailer.

The same robber was part of a professional crew, not that they can take a 3000lb safe. They had up to 3 guys, they'd case the neighborhood, and had an older white van with some business lettering on it. They lived close by, and I'm sure memorized the vehicles in driveways, and the patterns of these vehicles. I'd seen them more than once, early morning or in the evening, they'd memorize your vehicle, if driver is male or female, etc. as part of casing the neighborhood. Then, ring doorbells and knock on the door, no answer, the guy checks the house out close, and in our case broke a back window to get in since my wife doesn't answer for strangers. When he found she was home (he broke one pane of the double pane window and was working on the second pane), and he took off. Anyway, when one of the guys casing for homes found one, he would call the others, and they'd park their van in the garage and load up everything of value, and turn the whole house over. Maybe 5 or 10 minutes total to do this, in the middle of the day, most people at work and indistinguishable from a legitimate work crew to the casual onlooker.

I'm absolutely sure these guys would walk off with a 1000 lb safe if it were not bolted down, though I also think they wouldn't attempt to break into any safe that were. Also, I think the area or neighborhood has little to do with where a pro crew hits, just about everybody has electronics, guns, cash and jewelry. Pro just means that robbing is how they make their living, it doesn't necessarily imply that any real sophistication is needed.

I've had two attempts that we know of on my home, my wife is a stay-at-home, and was home both times. Not counting the door knocks the pro crew did a couple other times where my wife let them know she was home through the door. They like to hit in mid-day. It was only after the second attempt on our home I was able to convince my sweetie that we really needed a safe.:banghead:

Tom609
February 22, 2012, 10:42 PM
Adding this to your overall security plan eliminates a thief's ability to spend any time on site. I purchased my system for less than $400, installed it in 30 minutes, and pay $15 a month to monitor, with no contract. I'm not affiliated with the company, but have been very impressed for the two months I've owned mine.

http://simplisafe.com/

leadcounsel
February 23, 2012, 01:27 AM
Say what you want, you ain't getting into my Sturdy safe with like 7 or 8 gauge steel easily.

Using a torch will touch off the black powder that is stored inside. A sad day for whoever is running the torch. It will also destroy anything of value kept inside the safe, making the exercise pointless.

Using hand tools is going to take a day.

They are positioned in such a way, and bolted down, so that it would be easier to just pull it out through the wall and drag it away. But that would also severely damage the contents.

Anyone with the real skill to open it without damaging the contents isn't risking jail or being shot for the small value of what I own...

I think the average person is fine with a one or more Sturdy, Amsecs, etc. that cost a couple grand each.

Sheepdog1968
February 23, 2012, 10:37 AM
In addition to a good bolted down safe, alarms and big dogs are good to have. My main purpose for the safe is twofold: keep the youngins safe, not to get shot with my own weapons by a burgler who is still there when I get home. Don't forget insurance. I'm a big fan of Browning and Fort Knoxx safes.

BIGGBAY90
February 25, 2012, 06:14 PM
I'v heard about sturdy--do you have a picture of it

a1abdj
February 25, 2012, 09:03 PM
I'v heard about sturdy--do you have a picture of it

You should contact a guy named BTN13. He is a Sturdy expert, and owns one himself. It appears that he's located pretty close to you, so you probably wouldn't need to go too far to see one. He may even be within walking distance. I think you missed him here by about 6 months, as he was banned, even though he bragged on another forum that he opened another account here and makes the occasional post under a different name.

I just searched the forum, and found that your first post also happened to be in a thread about Sturdy safes. You wouldn't happen to know old BTN13 would you?

BIGGBAY90
February 25, 2012, 09:15 PM
No but i would like to see one in person. I do have a little safe or as some say rsc. I am still waiting to get that sturdy, bf or anything at least 7ga or more

langenc
March 4, 2012, 02:27 PM
Worked in a pharmacy long time ago.

Owners insurance said any theft from the safe had to 'show visible signs of entry'. The pic above qualifies, Id think.

BIGGBAY90
March 4, 2012, 02:41 PM
you should contact a guy named btn13. He is a sturdy expert, and owns one himself. It appears that he's located pretty close to you, so you probably wouldn't need to go too far to see one. He may even be within walking distance. I think you missed him here by about 6 months, as he was banned, even though he bragged on another forum that he opened another account here and makes the occasional post under a different name.

I just searched the forum, and found that your first post also happened to be in a thread about sturdy safes. You wouldn't happen to know old btn13 would you?
do you have a real picture of a stURdy safe

OhioChief
March 4, 2012, 03:12 PM
I have a Champion, and I know you could cut through it pretty easily. However, anybody who tries better not touch off any of the powder I got stored in there. I'll lose everything in the safe, they'll lose everything!

a1abdj
March 4, 2012, 03:14 PM
do you have a real picture of a stURdy safe

I do, but there are several on their website. They are a very simple design, and aren't using anything design wise that hasn't been used multiple times in the past by other manufacturers.

Was there anything in particular that you wanted to see that they won't show you themselves?

BIGGBAY90
March 4, 2012, 03:36 PM
i do, but there are several on their website. They are a very simple design, and aren't using anything design wise that hasn't been used multiple times in the past by other manufacturers.

Was there anything in particular that you wanted to see that they won't show you themselves?
i want to see a real picture instead of an ad pic. Does it have the extra lining inside, do the walls feel solid, can it be compared to an bf (as far as wall strength).

BIGGBAY90
March 4, 2012, 03:39 PM
I've been looking for a long time and still have not made a choice as yet but belived i'm ready now. i see that you sell safes are you now selling sturdy and also do you have some used safes--thanks

shooter_from_show-me
March 4, 2012, 04:22 PM
I've been researching safes on and off for years. I cut, weld and bend metal for a living and I know I could easily get into most gun "safes" in a few minutes. I can't imagine gathering up all my most valuable things and putting all my eggs in one of these straw baskets.

Anyway budgets vary, but here is my plan and reasoning.

I'm going to get two instead one one huge one. One will be a real safe, TL-30 rated AmSec RF6528. The other will be a decent/respectable. Probably Amsec BF, Zycan, or Sturdy safe.

How ever hard it is to get into anything, getting into two will be harder and take a lot longer.

The most valuable stuff goes into the TL-30 unit. The more commodity stuff goes in the other, AK's, basic .22's, pump shotguns.

After beating up Amsec for a while, I finally got an answer of the metal thickness on the TL-30 rated RF6528. I forget the exact number but is was around 11ga. I did not like that answer. You can't fake UL ratings though. I was told it was filled with a special high security concrete like material with chunks of metal and other secret sauce. I didn't really trust that. I know metal, but nothing about that stuff. (Note, the fill in this model is not at all the same as the fill in the BF series.)

Anyway, for anyone who has researched true high security safes, I found a gem. Here is a video of an actual UL labs TL-30 test taking place. You can see they get the outer skin off pretty fast, with a tool pretty similar to what I would pick. I was amazed at how strong that stuff underneath was though, even against two guys with two handed sledge hammers and well thought out power tools.

Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtbGUbeM860&feature=BFa&list=FLO_x13y4Tw_zsKJWRHIe9BA&lf=mh_lolz
Who can afford that on a average Joe income like said safe. It's like a $10,000 safe! Coworkers think I am crazy for spending $2,600 on a Sturdy w/ 7 ga. upgrade to the body.

They are like you could of bought a BIG fancy one from Cabelas. And my remark was those are imported and drywall filled and wouldn't take no time to get into with a good fire ax and couple of prybars!:rolleyes:

a1abdj
March 4, 2012, 04:27 PM
Who can afford that on a average Joe income like said safe. It's like a $10,000 safe!

You can buy a burglary rated safe, large enough for guns, for half of that. And at only twice the cost of the Sturdy, you're getting many many times the security.

Of course you can't always just slap one of these big safes into a house. Sometimes lightweight safes are a better option.

i want to see a real picture instead of an ad pic. Does it have the extra lining inside, do the walls feel solid, can it be compared to an bf (as far as wall strength).

Their ad pics are much more clear than the photos I have. I have seen both types of safes in person. The walls are not solid like the AMSEC or the Zykan B rate because they are not backed by anything. They are thicker steel than most other gun safes, but a dual walled composite safe will have a much more solid wall due to the structure.

Think of an empty thin aluminum can that you could easily crush with your hand. Try the same thing with one that is still sealed. That's the difference between a single wall, and a dual walled composite.

BIGGBAY90
March 4, 2012, 04:36 PM
Just saw video and wow, thats a great safe, WHATS THE PRICE

valnar
March 7, 2012, 06:49 PM
While no one will argue with a great $10,000 safe, if you can't afford one, get a regular safe with a home alarm system and maybe a video camera or two. Do NOT hide your video camera. Hell, put it right on top of the safe with a sign that says "Smile, you're on candid camera". Functioning or fake, that might give them pause while the cops show up.

CB900F
March 7, 2012, 09:47 PM
Fella's;

Where do some of these outlandish figures come from? I sell safes as a professional locksmith. I can sell a B rated safe that's 6 feet tall, 4 feet wide, and well over 2 feet deep, that's 2340 lbs. of plate steel & concrete for thousands under the ten grand number that's currently being bandied about on this thread. Makes me want to beat my head against the wall.

900F

Shrock
March 8, 2012, 12:05 PM
These are the lowest prices I found online. I do not know if the vendors are good & reputable, a local or well know vendor may charge more....i.e. YMMV,
but this is nowhere near the $10K number being tossed around.

Amsec Gunsafe RF6528 TL-30
72x35x29 (Outside dims)
65x28x23.5 (Inside dims)
23.4 CuFt
3,455 lbs
$5,429.00 (delivered but not installed)


AMSEC AMVAULT TL-30 CF6528
72x35x29 (Outside dims)
65x28x20 (Inside dims)
20 CuFt
3,153 lbs
$4571.00

AMSEC AMVAULT TL-30 CE6528
72x35x29 (Outside dims)
65x28x20 (Inside dims)
20 CuFt
3,153 lbs
$4029.00 (delivered but not installed)

This is the same basic safe as the gun safe without the gun interior, and TL-15 instead of TL-30. TL-15 requires 1" thick A36 steel on body & door sides or the equivalent. One inch thick....let that sink in for a little while. The TL-30 Model was about $800 more, and likely overkill IMHO for a gun safe.

To the pros reading this, any idea why the OD's are the same but the ID is smaller on the Amvault vs. the gun safe model? Is this correct?


.

billdeserthills
March 9, 2012, 07:02 PM
Just saw this, I'll get my distributor workin on the actual dimensions

Shrock
March 9, 2012, 08:14 PM
Just saw this, I'll get my distributor workin on the actual dimensions

Cool, thanks.


Also, I updated my earlier post to include the info I found on the TL-30 gun safe.
Dims on it is the same as the TL-15. Only the gun safe is showing slightly larger interior dims.

BIGGBAY90
March 10, 2012, 03:57 PM
These are the lowest prices I found online. I do not know if the vendors are good & reputable, a local or well know vendor may charge more....i.e. YMMV,
but this is nowhere near the $10K number being tossed around.

Amsec Gunsafe RF6528 TL-30
72x35x29 (Outside dims)
65x28x23.5 (Inside dims)
23.4 CuFt
3,455 lbs
$5,429.00 (delivered but not installed)


AMSEC AMVAULT TL-30 CF6528
72x35x29 (Outside dims)
65x28x20 (Inside dims)
20 CuFt
3,153 lbs
$4571.00

AMSEC AMVAULT TL-30 CE6528
72x35x29 (Outside dims)
65x28x20 (Inside dims)
20 CuFt
3,153 lbs
$4029.00 (delivered but not installed)

This is the same basic safe as the gun safe without the gun interior, and TL-15 instead of TL-30. TL-15 requires 1" thick A36 steel on body & door sides or the equivalent. One inch thick....let that sink in for a little while. The TL-30 Model was about $800 more, and likely overkill IMHO for a gun safe.

To the pros reading this, any idea why the OD's are the same but the ID is smaller on the Amvault vs. the gun safe model? Is this correct?


.
yea but what site

thegiff
March 10, 2012, 11:46 PM
My amvault has 3 1/2" thick walls, which makes sense here...
72" OD = 65" ID
35" OD = 28" ID

but the door is 5 1/4" thick, this is the total thickness I measured...

29" - 3 1/2" - 5 1/4" = 20 1/4"

I'm sure this is rounded down to 20"

It looks to me like the spec you have for the RF6528 must be wrong (miscalculated), the literature for the RF6528 states that the walls and back are 3 1/2" thick, the door is 2 3/4" thick but has a total thickness of 5 3/4" with a layer of armorplate. So when I subract back wall and door, a usable interior dimension of 20 1/4" is the result, which again I'm sure is rounded down to 20".

As an aside, I have another method to get power to a dry rod, a helpful THR member (thanks Bill) checked and found that making a hole in an amvault subtracts substantially from the fireproofing. Now I'm looking at a flat cable that can slip between the door jamb. Like the flex circuit on a flat panel screen. It would be nice to get power for a small heater and lights in there.

heeler
March 11, 2012, 11:35 AM
thegiff,I use the rechargable EVA-Dry 500 dehumidifiers in my Amsec BF and it's really humid here.
Since I am in and out of my safe daily I recharge mine every two weeks.
For lighting I went with these...www.litetechauto.com
These bright led strips are very nice and run on AA batteries or you can order the 12 volt AC adaptor.
The other nice thing about these lights is the door rocker switch that comes with the kit.
A child could install these in minutes.
That's how simple they are to install.

billdeserthills
March 12, 2012, 11:44 AM
Checked with distributor, he says both safes have the same inside dimensions
65x28x20

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