Used Mosler TRTL-30 safe...worth buying?


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GodSend133
January 23, 2013, 01:04 AM
Hi Everyone,

I've been a lurker for the past year reading and learning from all of the posts on THR about selecting the right safe. I've finally decided to purchase a safe now that I have saved the money. I have a small collections of firearms, but my main goal is to protect more valuable items.

Originally I was looking at a new Amsec BF 7250 model after reading many of the posts on THR. But after looking around in person, I came across a old Mosler (built in 1980) UL rated TRTL-30 safe this week at about the same price as a new Amsec BF 7250...however the Mosler is smaller and 30+ years older.

Common sense would say to get the Mosler, but I do not know much about Mosler other that it was a highly respected safe and vault company when it was still in business.

I know that the burglary protection of the Mosler is far superior to the Amsec BF series based on its rating, but my reservation is that it is an old safe and not sure about the history of the safe or the future lifespan of the safe with regular use.

Could some of the safe experts help me answer these questions to know if it is a good deal and good safe to buy?

- Is the Mosler worth the dealers asking price (same as the Amsec BF 7250) based on it's age?
- Does the age affect the UL rating or fire rating over time?
- How do I know if it have been damaged before
- Is it best to place it on a rubber mat, 2x4's, steel plate, etc?
- What happens if it gets damaged, have mechanical problems, break in...do I have to buy a brand new one since there is no warranty?
- Are their any other questions to ask the safe dealer other than the ones above before buying?

Here are some photos and specs from what I have gathered:

1) Photo before paint job (door closed) - http://i1309.photobucket.com/albums/s622/GodSend133/Mosler1_zps1d192ef7.jpg
2) Photo before paint job (door opened) - http://i1309.photobucket.com/albums/s622/GodSend133/Mosler2_zps178ffb8b.jpg
3) Photo of handle and dial - http://i1309.photobucket.com/albums/s622/GodSend133/Mosler4_zps9d6b0c14.jpg
4) Photo of UL label - http://i1309.photobucket.com/albums/s622/GodSend133/Mosler3_zps06054a2a.jpg
5) Photo AFTER paint job (door closed) - http://i1309.photobucket.com/albums/s622/GodSend133/Mosler5_zps592b8767.jpeg
6) Photo AFTER paint job (door opened) - http://i1309.photobucket.com/albums/s622/GodSend133/Mosler6_zps68ce10d0.jpeg
7) Product Specs (its either the H572420/CB or H572420/FB) - http://www.empiresafe.com/uploads/0000/0173/TRTL-30_Rectangular_Door_Money_Safes.pdf

Thank you in advance!

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Cesiumsponge
January 23, 2013, 01:28 AM
I would wait for a1abdj or CB900F to respond as they're in the commercial safe and vault business. They're the actual pros that handle this stuff.

As a personal choice, I buy higher security safes and buy more as/if needed. I don't like the idea of centralizing everything of worth into one container. A TRTL-30 is pretty epic, by the standards of a general consumer. Chances of a thief using a torch are extremely rare, and that safe will safeguard against that kind of attack. Asking prices on old refurbished safes seem to hover around 50% of the brand new price. It's still a hell of a savings, even if it's a lot out of pocket.

a1abdj or CB900F will probably tell you to spend some lucre and have a safe and vault technician inspect it for any mechanical issues to ensure a long life. Any lockouts on a box like that is probably very, very expensive and requires a qualified professional to open without scrapping out the safe. If you've got the kind of assets that require that type of storage, it'll be worth drilling open if it fails. Considering it looks like it was recently repainted and the backdrop seems to suggest a safe and vault company that does refurb work, the boltwork and locking mechanism is likely to have been serviced. I'd double-check on that. The safe body itself is basically a proprietary steel alloy and some sort of proprietary high-strength security aggregate in a proprietary arrangement shrouded in mystery. Those things don't go bad unless you drop it onto the bottom of the ocean to rot.

Also for all the folks who are concerned about how many geewhiz active bolts their gun safe has to thwart attack, take note that this Mosler only has four 1" diameter bolts in the middle, with no bolts at the top or bottom, or at the upper and lower edges of the opening side. I believe that UL rating carries a potential commercial insurance coverage of over a million bucks in assets.

GodSend133
January 23, 2013, 02:26 AM
Thanks Celsium.

Very curious to see what a1abdj and CB900F's thoughts are on this.

You are correct in that it is a safe company (that is selling it) that sells new and used safes and they are also SAVTA members, which I would assume to be a reputable company. But, I will definitely ask if the boltwork and locking mechanism has been serviced.

Great point on the bolts...I recently saw a gun safe with (28) 1.5 inch bolts that was still classified as a RSC.

a1abdj
January 23, 2013, 11:36 AM
- Is the Mosler worth the dealers asking price (same as the Amsec BF 7250) based on it's age?

Safe prices will vary quite a bit from one part of the country to another. Like anything else, supply and demand play a big role in this.

Instead of comparing the price to the AMSEC gun safe, you could compare the price to a modern day replacement of a similar safe. I think you will find that a new version of this type of safe would be very expensive.


- Does the age affect the UL rating or fire rating over time?

Age does not have any impact on the ratings. The ratings are simply evidence that a particular safe met specific criteria at the time of manufacture. Some think that the fire protection offered by regular fire rating safes degrade over time. To my knowledge, there has never been any scientific testing that proves this one way or another.

Burglary resistance should not change over time. What does change over time are the tools and techniques used to break into safes. A modern day version may indeed be a bit "stronger" than an older version to account for this.


- How do I know if it have been damaged before

There's not much you can do to damage one of these safes. Anything that could cause damage would either be reparable (like hinges/handles/dials being broken off and replaced) or so much damage that the safe would need to be disposed of (serious cutting/torching of the door itself).

The safe may have been drilled open before. If repaired properly, this wouldn't be a major concern.


- Is it best to place it on a rubber mat, 2x4's, steel plate, etc?

4x4 wood blocks, or flat on the floor with steel shims. Getting these safes down onto the floor is somewhat difficult, so expect to pay more if this is where you would like it.

The vast majority of these safes that we install remain on blocks, and the owners simply trim around them.


- What happens if it gets damaged, have mechanical problems, break in...do I have to buy a brand new one since there is no warranty?

If we service the safe and install a new lock, we will warranty the safe for a year.

Gun safe manufacturers have done a good job convincing people that safe warranties are important. The reality is that they aren't. Your typical insurance policy will normally cover the safe against theft or damage the same as any other personal property you own.


- Are their any other questions to ask the safe dealer other than the ones above before buying?

I would ask them if the safe has been drilled before, and if so, how it was repaired. I would also ask if they would offer a warranty on the safe, and regardless of their answer, if a new lock was an option.

Aside from that, most of the guys messing with this type of stuff tend to know what they're doing, and know what they're talking about.

GodSend133
January 24, 2013, 12:21 AM
Thanks a1abdj! I appreciate your professional opinion.

Another question...if I wanted to compare this safe to another safe with the same UL listing/rating what would features you recommend I look for that would beneficial in regards to functionality, security, etc. other than aesthetics, dimensions.

Also would it be a fair to say that a newer safe with the same UL listing/rating (but different model), would be a better purchase than an older safe? I'm sure certain brands have better reputations than other brands as far as build quality and reliability.

I ask this because I was also suggested to take a look at a Securifort TRTL-30 (76x36 I think) and I haven't heard much about this brand.

CB900F
January 25, 2013, 12:17 AM
Godsend;

At the present I don't have time to look at the pictures. But considering the information you've given, I'll say that I'd almost certainly buy it if I were in your shoes. Do ask if delivery is included in the sale price. Don't be surprised if it isn't. Also don't be surprised if the seller refuses to take it down a flight of stairs into your basement. And, if you do buy it, make sure your insurance covers it. Get a separate rider if necessary. Don't accept the dr. feel-good statement from the agent that of course it's covered in your general household goods.

Thirty years is a concern to you? Now where's the ROTFL icon when ya needs one around here? I have a safe in the shop that's from 1884 (no that's not a typo) and it works just fine with the original lock in it. That safe pre-dates electric arc welding!

900F

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