Gun safe recommendation


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H.m.B
March 24, 2013, 07:38 PM
I'm looking to buy a gun safe and am currently looking at two models:

(1) Liberty Timber Ridge Fatboy jr. (FB48):

Gun capacity: 48 guns
Locking mechanism: Manual Sargent & Greenleaf
Dimensions, external (H x W x D): 60.5" x 42" x 25"
Locking bolts: 9
Weight: 705 lbs
Cost: $1199

(2) Liberty Timber Ridge (TR25):

Gun capacity: 25 guns
Locking mechanism: Manual Sargent & Greenleaf
Dimensions, external (H x W x D): 60.5" x 30" x 25"
Locking bolts: 11
Weight: 565 lbs
Cost: $1099

Both are 12 gauge steel and rated at 45 minutes@1200 degrees.

I have no experience with gun safes and am wondering if the extra size and weight is really beneficial. The additional $100 is not a factor. Side by side, I am drawn to the smaller TR25 (like the size and color) whereas the larger FB48 just looks ... well ... huge and I don't really like the textured black finish. I know, I know ... cosmetics ... get over it.

I don't have a large collection (5 long arms and 8 handguns) and I don't see me adding to this that much (I think) - I bought my first gun in '78.

What say you? Larger or smaller safe? And, how good are Liberty safes? Like I said, no experience with gun safes and your input is welcome. I'm thinking about getting this within next 2-3 weeks. Also, this will be going downstairs in the basement.

Thanks.

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a1abdj
March 24, 2013, 08:10 PM
That wider Liberty is the only safe they make that has to be bolted down. It's width to depth ratio makes it very tipsy. If you aren't able to bolt the safe, or weren't wanting to go to that much effort, I'd look at something else.

If you do decide to go with that safe, and you're bolting it to concrete, do not use the hardware included with the safe. There are better options that only cost a few dollars.

H.m.B
March 24, 2013, 08:22 PM
That wider Liberty is the only safe they make that has to be bolted down. It's width to depth ratio makes it very tipsy. If you aren't able to bolt the safe, or weren't wanting to go to that much effort, I'd look at something else.

If you do decide to go with that safe, and you're bolting it to concrete, do not use the hardware included with the safe. There are better options that only cost a few dollars.
Is it tipsy due to the wider door?

Good point about anchoring to the concrete floor ... I'm not planning to bolt it down.

Elkins45
March 24, 2013, 08:40 PM
I'm not planning to bolt it down.

How polite of you to gather up all of your guns into a convenient box that two bad guys with a refrigerator dolly can load into the back of a pickup in five minutes. They are much more convenient to steal that way.

Bolt it down. Seriously. Bolt it down.

H.m.B
March 24, 2013, 08:54 PM
I've thought about that and haven't ruled it out. However, egress from it's intended location would be difficult and security mechanisms in place would trip before even getting anywhere near it in the first place. And let's face it, anyone truly determined to do something will. This is just an additional layer beyond what is currently in place.

Torian
March 24, 2013, 09:25 PM
Bolting down is an effective countermeasure, but not always feasible or necessary depending on the location of the safe and the surrounding environment.

Do what works for you.

Sam. Colt
March 24, 2013, 09:58 PM
The TR 25 WILL TIP if not bolted down. Unless you want to end up like the Wicked Witch of the East, it'd be best to anchor either the back or bottom.

H.m.B
March 24, 2013, 10:22 PM
The TR 25 WILL TIP if not bolted down. Unless you want to end up like the Wicked Witch of the East, it'd be best to anchor either the back or bottom.
What kind of bolts are we talking about here?

Elessar
March 25, 2013, 01:30 PM
Keep in mind, bolting down also makes it nearly impossible to reposition the safe to make it easier for the theives to bang on, pry, or cut (depending on where you place it). A safe flat on its back is much easier to pry open.

Keep in mind those boxes made out of 12g sheet metal are not going to withstand a whole lot of brute force so bolting it down buys you some more protection.

a1abdj
March 25, 2013, 02:47 PM
Is it tipsy due to the wider door?


It's a combination of the wide door and shallow body. As the door swings open, it's weight produces enough leverage to lift the body. The larger Fatboy doesn't have that problem since it's a few inches deeper.

H.m.B
March 25, 2013, 06:03 PM
A1abdj

I've seen your comments about Liberty safes in another thread -
Gun Safes - Any secrets THR, 10 December 2009 (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=491276) - and would you recommend them? I understand the difference between "safes" and Residential Security Containers (RSC) and accept that this model is what it is. However, my collection is small, contemporary, and compared to others, low value and what I was looking for is a secured container to minimize an opportunistic grab and go situation. I was looking for something in the $1000-$1500 range which these two models fall into. If not these, what would you recommend that falls in this price range?

a1abdj
March 25, 2013, 06:24 PM
I have issues with some of the ways these manufacturers market their products, but there's rarely anything wrong with the products themselves so long as you know what you're getting.

With the demand being what it is, all of these manufacturers are shoving as many of these things out the door as quickly as possible. As a result, quality control is lacking. It wouldn't hurt if you could physically inspect what you were looking at prior to taking possession.

Liberty does stand behind their products, and often does it faster, and with fewer questions than some of their competitors. That alone is worth something. For your intended purposes, I would certainly give them a look. Especially if you can buy from a local dealer.

CB900F
March 26, 2013, 11:43 AM
Fella's;

I'd like to point out that any RSC that bolts up behind bent sheet metal is not particularly hard to pry open. Sure, if it's flat on it's back it's easier, but that does not mean that by being bolted down it's impossible. Far from it.

If you check out the YouTube video, "Security On Sale", you'll see two guys flop an RSC on it's back & pop the door in a minute & 42 seconds if I remember correctly. Watch the video closely, you'll see that the guys were not rehearsed, they waste time. The whole video takes about 5 minutes or so. Here's the thing, that video was produced to hold your attention while it made a point. The point was that bolts behind sheet metal are soft cheese. The audience wouldn't hold still to watch them pry for 6 minutes until the door went on an upright RSC, but a 300% improvement in time still isn't very much if you're going to lose several thousand dollars of contents.

I'd suggest that a layered protection system is an extremely good idea if you're using an RSC as the final defence against determined theives.

900F

H.m.B
March 26, 2013, 05:56 PM
900F

I'd suggest that a layered protection system is an extremely good idea if you're using an RSC as the final defence against determined theives.

I agree with your comment completely. As I mentioned in #5 above, this is just an additional layer beyond what is currently in place.

Currently I do what a lot of folks I know do now ... keep them in their boxes scattered throughout the house. I have a 24x7 monitored home alarm system that works really well (another story) that handles the breaking and entry factor. What I was looking for is a consolidated collection point to put most of my toys in a single location for storing within the home. While an RSC does not offer the complete protection that a more robust "safe" offers, it is none the less, better than nothing. Now granted, a home security system can fail, however (knocks on wood), it has not done so in all the years we have lived here. If the alarm is tripped, the local sheriff is literally minutes away (and that's been confirmed!) The RSC in this case buys a little time until they arrive.

Something that I never see discussed is a cost ratio consideration that you have to factor when determining what storage container is appropriate. Who in their right mind is going to spend 3-5 thousand to protect a single $500 pistol? If you have a collection worth several thousand, then what is the threshold? In my case, as is probably typical, the total dollar value in under $10,000. So should I spend $3-5,000 (30-50%) of the total dollar value for protection? It's not worth it as my home owner insurance covers this loss. In my case, the $1000-1500 dollar represents 10-15% protection cost of replacement. If a person's collection has sentimental value, rare, or really high value, then there is no argument that something better is required.

I'm trying to approach this from a typical homeowner's perspective in that I need (without breaking the bank) a container that will hold 15-20 firearms in a single location. While I am not looking for a true "safe", I would like to get something that at least has quality. Hence the recommendation for the Liberty Timber Ridge Fatboy jr (FB48) or the Liberty Timber Ridge (TR25). I at least was able to put my hands on these and based on inspection, am asking if they are worth it or not? They "appear" to be, but I am not an expert! If not, what would the recommendation be given my needs? Are some RSC's better than others? Any RSC's to stay away from?

amking
March 26, 2013, 07:03 PM
H.m.B:

I just posted this in another person's gun safe thread, but I think you hit the nail on the head in post #14 (i have the same struggle) and wanted to re-post my comment here on yours. hopefully some of the more seasoned folks will chime in:


has anyone recently taken a look at the 2013 models from Browning? (i'm looking specifically at the silver and medallion series)

http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/catalog.asp?catalog_=F

http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/browning-silver-safes-sale-online-browning-dealer-fire-safes-security-safe-c-221_222_17696.html
http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/browning-medallion-safes-sale-online-browning-dealer-fire-safes-c-221_222_227.html

i understand the whole conversation and concerns around the composite door and (relatively) thin gauge steel body (medallion is 10 gauge, silver 11 gauge), as well as the argument around fireboard vs other options, but i think for the average consumer that is going to stick well under the $3,500/$4,000+ RSC level it is hard not to look at Browning's newer modular interiors and the door storage system. i originally was very very high on the AMSEC BF series (and still am), but when i take the advice of buying a bigger model and configuring it the way i would like it just gets incredibly expensive.... and frankly the storage/interior options some of the manufacturers are putting out there really need some updating. maybe i'm getting caught up in all the marketing, but i think that if you're not going to spend the truly big bucks on a higher ended safe, and want to at least get off the base level ($1000 or less), these Browning models might be worth a look. throw a media or document safe in the bottom for delicate items/paper and move on.

thoughts or feedback? (I am looking at the SR26/M28 and SR37/M39 models)



side note: based on a variety of things, such as the internal hinges and some other stuff, the Liberty's are not on my list. although I think for the average consumer, Liberty is one hell of a marketing company and has their product mix, advertising and distribution spot on. its just not for me.

H.m.B
March 26, 2013, 07:56 PM
amking,

The Silver SR26 looks nice but at a price of $2,074.00 ... ouch! Not out of the question, but is it worth the additional dough? Also, what is your rationale against internal hinges?

CB900F
March 26, 2013, 10:02 PM
Fella's;

In the relatively recent past I installed a Browning Pro-Steel "vault door" that was given to an outfitter in the area by Browning, he said. I was impressed by the "vault door". It was a negative impression. Those quotes are there for a reason.

900F

johnandersonoutdoors
March 26, 2013, 10:21 PM
I would recommend this video on youtube. I have been doing a lot of research and this helped me even more.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltK-bDbADa8

heeler
March 26, 2013, 10:21 PM
One thing I would like to mention is your gun safe is hopefully a one time expense.
Around 2007 I started really looking hard at multiple gun safes but was put off by the better and more robust RSC's because of their weight and of course cost.
Well in 2008 most models took a pretty significant jump in price due to world wide steel demands.
The same thing happened in 2009.
At that point I decided to put all my research into the best bang for the buck and after narrowing it down finally eliminated the Sturdy,and an upgraded Fort Knox Defender and chose the Amsec BF 66X36.
That safe cost me $2299.
Then after taxes and installation the total cost was right around $2950.
That was four years ago and it has long since been paid for.
That same safe is at least $1000 more today.
Do your research throughly....
Buy the best you can for what you are certain you will need for today and for many tomorrows because they will not be cheaper two or three years down the road.

DeepSouth
March 26, 2013, 11:00 PM
I was recently looking at the same models, I decided on Liberty because I have 2 dealers fairly close if I ever do have any problems. One of them is a local gun shop that I do business with a pretty good bit and I trust him to help me anyway he can if I ever need it. Liberty safes have a pretty good rep and seem to stand behind their product. That said there are probably better safes for the money, I'm just lazy and like a good rep, common name, and a local dealer that I trust. Those things factored heavily into my decision.

Anyway, in the end I went with the Fatboy (not JR.) the extra features that it comes with I was going to buy anyway, so the end cost was only about $600 more. And for more room, extra locking bolts, improved door, antipry tabs and some other stuff it made me willing to spend the extra cash.





Please excuse typos, posted via iPhone.

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