RSC Decision - AMSEC or Sturdy


PDA






Shawrco
September 22, 2013, 10:49 PM
I joined this forum because every time I did a search on a particular RSC most of the good discussions were found on THR. I had pretty much decided on an AMSEC BF-6636 but discovered that the spot in the place we will soon be moving to is only 34-3/4" wide... I know space limitations are not necessarily the best way to choose a safe, but this space is "hidden" so it gives an extra measure of security. I narrowed the choices down once again to a BF-6030 or Sturdy Safe 3224-6 with fire liner and side shelves. The outside dimensions are very similar, with the Sturdy being 2" wider, but a foot taller. I can't find the interior dimensions on the AMSEC 6030 to compare directly to see what the real difference in long gun storage capacity would be, but the extra height would definitely give an additional shelf up top. Does anyone know the ID of the AMSEC 6030?
I got a quote on the standard body/door/fire liner, and added the twin lock option (one dial, one electronic) and then found the thread in this THR section about the dual locks. A La Gard 2441/6441 was mentioned as a dual lock. I haven't been able to find it on their website - how does it work? Sounds like it has both a dial and the keypad and you can use either to open up. Would that be a good way to go and instead of getting the twin lock spend the money on the 4 ga body & 3/8" door option.
The overall size of the two and the lock option are the last two details I need to settle on before placing my order. Opinions welcome.
And thanks for all the great info here on this forum...

If you enjoyed reading about "RSC Decision - AMSEC or Sturdy" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
NotAGunNut
September 23, 2013, 02:32 AM
Dimensions:
Outside: 59.25" H x 30.00" W x 26.00" D
Inside: 55.38" H x 26.00" W x 18.50" D
Interior Cubic Feet: 15.42
Source: http://www.safeandvaultstore.com/amsec-bf6030-gun-rifle-safe.html

I'm in a similar boat as you.

It seems that the dual lock options offered are a standard lock + a day lock. In other words, you'd need to open BOTH locks before a safe would unlock. Only useful in a commercial settings and more points of failure. There are other types of locks where you get a standard combination lock and a key, but the key is only to prevent the combination lock from turning - in case you gave the combination to others but want to control when they get in/out of the safe.

I'm no expert, but I've been reading a LOT about the BF and Sturdy as they're the two RSC's that are highest on my list. It seems there are at least a dozen threads out on the internet about these two and all of them turn into a big political battle. Let me sum up my understanding and you can Google for more if you're interested - though I'm sure others will chime in defending one or the other.

Burglary protection:
Sturdy offers thicker steel, but the BF offers a composite construction where the "DryLight" (cement type mixture) adds to the overall rigidity and provides somewhat different security as tools required to get into just metal would have to go through other materials and would lose their effectiveness. I don't know which is better of the two, but I do know the DryLight is just a poured mixture, not the same as the 50,000 psi stuff they put into their TL-rated safes.

For an example of how tough the composite mixture is, watch this video, this really helped me understand how the cement mix can add security (again, keep in mind that the mixture in the BF isn't equivalent to this stuff): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtbGUbeM860

In the end, I don't know which is better from a security standpoint as they're both UL RSC rated and aren't up to the industry "class-B standards." Even with the sturdy having the 4gauge upgrade.

Fire protection:
The BF series uses DryLight which is a proven insulator and is UL rated (1-hour 350F) in some of AMSEC's other safes, including some of the smaller BF series safes - though the pour is thicker.

The Sturdy uses ceramic wool and glass which is used in industrial ovens and such. The material itself is a better insulator, but it adds no burglary protection. Based on the various calculations and explanations I've seen, I believe this is probably a better material from a pure engineering standpoint, however it hasn't been tested as it's not widely used in the safe world.

To be more specific: even though the material *is* better for fire protection, Sturdy has never subjected their safes to any type of testing, that I'm aware of, so at least their design/implementation is unproven. Given that out of thousands of safes there are only a handful that even use this [or similar] material, but are well rated, doesn't necessarily mean that Sturdy can claim a win in this area either.

If you find the threads and read them all (I did) your head will spin with the back/forth, engineering data, etc. In the end, I think both parties are correct, but are talking slightly different languages.

So, which of the two is better? Wish I knew, it would make my decision much easier as well :)

EDIT: P.S. Given the toss-up, some things to consider are that you can see/touch/feel the BF at a local dealer and know exactly what you're getting and nobody will deny that the fit/finish on the BF is nicer. Before I get someone's panties in a bunch, when I say fit/finish I'm referring to how nice the safe looks to a person, not how precisely the door fits - as Sturdy is great at this. The "WAF" if you will. The BF is also considerably cheaper. But once again, I'm in the same boat as you, because if the Sturdy DOES offer better B&F protection then maybe the extra expense is worth it. I just don't know. At the end of the day, I do like thicker steel and if the BF had some more substantial steel on their body it would be a no-brainer.

Shawrco
September 23, 2013, 10:18 AM
Thanks for the inside dimensions on the AMSEC 6030 and the insight on all the key decision making parameters.

I have read quite a few of the threads and you are SO ritht - gets to be overwhelming. I'm sure you had to do what I did and skip through some of the jousting and armwrestling to read the good stuff. One thing you pointed out, though, that I hadn't noticed, was that Sturdy doesn't post a fire "rating" on their safes... will have to go back and check that out or send them a question on it.

The thing about my situation is, as I said in OP, a space limitation. The container that I end up with will be tucked back into a cubby hole in a "hidden' space inside the house. The front of the safe will stick out of the cubby just enough so the door will swing open 180 deg. I'm also having to get the left hand swing option (Sturdy charges $25 for a Lefty, but no big deal). That means that once bolted down there will be no access to beat on the sides/back at all... only access will be the top and the door. The AMSEC does have thicker steel in the door, even after the upgrade on the Sturdy. We are close to the local fire station, so the fire rating is probably a little less important than the break in protection.

I wanted a little bit bigger safe, but I'm at the point where if I get a new gun I either sell one off or trade as part of the deal. I know the manufacturers' claims on capcity aren't going to be what applies to my configuration of rifles/shotguns, so that is why I'm trying to determine - which one has the interior set up to potentially hold the most guns in the stated size class. You are correct on the external asthetics - the AMSECs just "look" nicer and I really like their door organizers (adds 2 long guns to the count). Since the Sturdy is a foot taller, some of that additonal cubic feet is shelf space, which really doesn't factor into long gun storage.

Once I settle the capacity question, then I'll figure out which way to go with the lock. My wife watched me "try" to open a dial lock on a box store safe this weekend and she obviously thought the electronic lock was the way to go... that's why I'm looking into the dual lock option. Of course if it were my unit and I had some practice with it I'm sure I could have opened it faster. I haven't been able to find any info on the La Gard 2441/6441 that was mentioned in another THR thread - other than it may take a little more fenagling to install in the door due to it's extra depth. That, and a post on another forum that indicates it may have been discontinued by the Kaba folks. What has been said leads me to think it has both the dial and an electronic key pad, but all I've seen is some installation instructions the show only the dial. Maybe someone with some experience with this one will shed some light.

The quest continues...

Elessar
September 23, 2013, 08:30 PM
I recently took delivery on a 3224-6 from Sturdy. One of the reasons I settled on this was the size. It is a near perfect fit for where I wanted to place it. I also wanted a 72" tall safe and I am VERY glad I did. For me, it makes the safe much more versatile and useable. A 72" tall safe but narrower than 36" is hard to find, so the Sturdy was a good fit for my needs in regards to size. I ordered non-fireline as I didn't need it for where I have the safe placed. I will say that with firelining, you may find the safe kinda cramped. I'm very glad I have those four extra inches (that's what she said).

There are rumors of a new option on the AMSEC line, basically a 1/4" interior wall. If so, that may sway your decision.

As to your other questions: In my opinion, the dual lock option is of limited value, especially as they are not redundant. So, a failure of one does not let you access the safe with the "back up" lock. As for extra security, I don't think it offers much. A serious locksmith attack is unlikely for a residential gun safe, and if it happens, if they can get one lock, I doubt a second one is a serious obstacle. In my opinion, far better to use the resources to guard against the more likely threats, physical attack. The extra welded pannels Sturdy offers are a great value for beefing up your body steel. The 4 guage upgrade is worth it for the door, the body...not so much. The extra body steel from 7 guage is so, so little (1/32"), i can't imagine it making a difference in any scenario. I would be tempted if I ordered another sturdy safe to skip the 4g upgrade and just do the panneling and an extra sheet on the door. Sturdy may even let you skip the body upgrade and just get a 3/8" door. Stainless reinforcement sounds great but would be extremely expensive as I don't see the point in reinforcing just one area of the safe. If they have a torch, they'll likely try other spots if torching the door doesn't work.

NotAGunNut
September 23, 2013, 09:35 PM
Ugh, what's wrong with this forum? I can't quote!

"I'm sure you had to do what I did and skip through some of the jousting and armwrestling to read the good stuff."

^^ Nah, I love it. When someone is so passionate about getting the facts or their opinions across they'll go to great lengths to explain the details. Without the jousting we wouldn't have them.

As both of you have said, the extra height in the 72" safe (without spending an arm and a leg to get it) is definitely a nice selling feature. Same as you, Shawrco, I'm on the fence about the locks but leaning towards dial. There's never an emergency to get into the safe, it's just a matter of convenience. What I wish is that other manufacturers had a well-rated U.L. lock which is like the Cannon EMP lock, which offers both. Electronic for ease of use and mechanical as a backup - all in one!

Elessar, I think if you don't want the fire protection, then Sturdy is a no-brainer. You get to save money and space on something you don't need. Worst case if you want to store something you don't want to lose in the event of a fire just throw a cheap fire-rated Sentry safe in it and you're all set.

Regarding steel thickness, you get an extra 25% steel thickness in the body which is nothing to sneeze at. Probably not something the OP would need since the body wouldn't be exposed, but it's an extra 1.5/32nds.

EDIT: Forgot to ask... with the 4gauge upgrade, do you still get "one-piece" BENT steel or do you get welded plate steel at that point? I ask because I've never seen pictures of the 4gauge Sturdy. Additionally, when you're relying purely on steel for protection, do you know the type of steel that Sturdy uses? With a true, TL-rated safe from AMSEC, Meilink, Gardall, MESA, etc. where the concrete amalgamate is part of the protection and exists all around, it doesn't even matter since you know it's rated. With an RSC you just never know - especially when RSC's are only rated on the front of the safe and plenty of "gun safes" get UL RSC ratings even though you can punch through the side of them with a few hand tools.

I really wish Sturdy had an independent lab (U.L. :)) do some fire testing, that would make it a much easier decision. The fire lining is really what makes this a toughie. It seems in theory Sturdy could be better, but without independent verification it's just pay and pray.

Elessar
September 24, 2013, 01:07 AM
The sturdy 4g is built exactly the same way, one piece body. The 4g really is just barely thicker than 7. Hard to even tell by eye or touch.

Sturdy has said they use grade 50 when available and A36 minimum. It is isn't specified anywhere so I suppose there is no guarantee. They do use American steel and I doubt they use crap steel. if you call I'm sure they'd tell you.

Shawrco
September 24, 2013, 10:19 AM
"I ordered non-fireline as I didn't need it for where I have the safe placed. I will say that with firelining, you may find the safe kinda cramped. I'm very glad I have those four extra inches"

Elessar - I've been re-thinking the fire liner... hard to tell who's right on how good their fire material really is (or any of them for that matter), but I checked the Fire Dept location from where we're moving and response should be < 10 min, 15 min at the outside; can't ever predict, but RSC will be located away from where a fire would "likely" start.
I have < 20 long guns but want to get the side shelves - what is your interior config and what would you say is realistic count for storing long guns, i.e. did the 4" really make a difference?

I'd definitely be interested in an AMSEC w/more interior room, but do you mean 1/4" liner on inside? sounds like that would give even less storage space.

"I would be tempted if I ordered another sturdy safe to skip the 4g upgrade and just do the panneling and an extra sheet on the door. Sturdy may even let you skip the body upgrade and just get a 3/8" door" - I asked about this but they said the door would be too heavy w/out the body upgrade, making it tipsy... I guess they don't consider it will be bolted down. I would do the upgrade just to get the heavier door, and it's still won't be as heavy as AMSEC.

"I'm on the fence about the locks but leaning towards dial. There's never an emergency to get into the safe, it's just a matter of convenience. What I wish is that other manufacturers had a well-rated U.L. lock which is like the Cannon EMP lock, which offers both. Electronic for ease of use and mechanical as a backup - all in one!"

Not - I wonder who makes the Cannon lock, has to be someone like Kaba Mas/LaGard or S&G. I'll bet someone on the forum could post who makes it. I did find out that the LaGard 6441 redundant lock has been discontinued by Kaba... the sheet indicated that the ComboGard was equivalent (I don't think it has a dial though). I haven't been able to find anyone offering a redundant lock w/both a keypad and dial where one or the other opens the same locking device. My question about the dual lock setup is that if the electronic has failed, then you still can't get in w/the dial as Elessar points out. As you and others have said, getting in shouldn't be in an emergency situation, so the keypad is mainly for convenience/ease of operation.

I'll be getting back in touch w/Sturdy to update my quote for a non-fire liner. Do they put anything on the inside walls with or without a liner, or is it just bare steel? That's one disadvantage of the Sturdy, can't see one in person - I guess they will send you better photos if you ask them? From what I hear they are very "plain".

Elessar
September 24, 2013, 12:59 PM
They are very plain and simple, especially on the inside. If you like the fancy, carpeted residential look, you will likely be disappointed. The trade off however, if a better build quality and thicker steel. I didn't care about looks so it wasn't a problem for me. The sturdys have a very industrial feel to them. But the plain steel walls do provide a better anchor for the shelves than carpet, staples, and drywall.

I ordered the 4g upgrade and I have the 3/16 extra welded panels on the sides and ceiling. This effectively gives me over 3/8" in most of the body. The extra panels are easily seen welded to the interior. Some may not like it.

My interior. Ez out loop with side shelves. There is another rack under the side shelves for additional rifles when needed. This design is for convenience, but more rifles would fit with the hunters rack or the standard rack. My safe could hold 12 to 15 rifles in the main rack and another six in the rack currently under the side shelf.

Only you can decide if you need fire but I wouldn't recommend this layout if you get fire lined. Keep in mind that you also lose some depth with fire lining. I believe the racks end up with one less slot. If fire lined, I'd recommend skipping side shelves and using the full width for rifle racks.

Note that in mine, with no fire lining, I determined I'd have enough vertical space to utilize a third full width shelf. This requires rifles around 44" or less, so it depends on your stuff. I ordered a third shelf and am currently using it as a raised floor for the rifles. Underneath are outlets, goldenrod, power tools, etc.

CB900F
September 24, 2013, 04:02 PM
Fella's;

And I'll bet more'n a nickle that neither AMSEC, Kaba-Maas, Ilco, LaGard, or S&G makes the Cannon EMP lock. My advice, forget the dual entry lock, get a U.L. USA built mechanical dial & learn how to use it.

Myself, if I had to make the choice between the AMSEC and the Sturdy, I'd take the AMSEC. I've had experience with that company & those products. I've never even seen a Sturdy.

900F

Shawrco
September 24, 2013, 11:27 PM
"My advice, forget the dual entry lock, get a U.L. USA built mechanical dial & learn how to use it."

900F, your advice is solid - that LaGard 6441 lock seemed to be a great idea, best of both worlds... wonder why it was discontinued?

The can't see it/touch it is one of the sticking points I've heard from many folks considering Sturdy Safes. Anyone on the forum in the Middle GA area have one?

PowderKeg
September 25, 2013, 10:55 PM
My 3627-6 firelined Sturdy was delivered a year ago and I 'd be hard pressed to be more pleased. When Sturdy says a particular model will hold X number of long guns, you should get real close if you don't hit the number, unless you're trying to stuff it with .50's and punt guns. Their standard rack used to be called the hunter's rack (fewer guns but better spaced to allow for scopes, etc), but according to Alyssa they got so few requests for their closer spaced “standard” rack that they they dropped it and made the hunter the new standard. So assuming you don't have a bunch of varmint rifles wearing big honkin' scopes and bipods, an arsenal of AR's or other modern .mil semi's, or a mixed multitude of oversized/overweight long guns, you oughta be in good shape (forget using the side shelves though, as you lose a row of rack space with them). Going by the Amsec's I've looked at, they appear to follow the industry max capacity “standard” of single shot .22 youth guns. Amsec, as pretty much every other gunsafe out there, also uses a vertical panel or two inside to support the barrel loops/holes/shelves, which further divides and cramps the interior. The open design of the Sturdy was a major supporting contributor to my eventual decision.

The primary factors that swung me to Sturdy were:
- the 7 gauge body with 14 gauge inner liner for the fire lining
- the simplified offset linkage eliminating a complex mess of cables, pins, pulleys, brackets, arms, etc.
- the long and fully supported locking lugs, and external hinges
- the extra bend of the body that forms the back of the door frame and that the lugs contact on the flat and bend instead of just the edge
- their use of a true insulator for fire lining instead of wall/fireboard

One thing that surprised me was the minimal gap around the door. I can just fit a folded piece of notepaper into the gap on the locking side, and a double-folded piece on the other three. The backside edge of the door plate is very slightly beveled to allow the tight fit. Also, with the handle fully down there's zero movement/play/slop of the door and lugs against the frame. There is a very minimal amount of play that can be heard and barely felt with the the handle pulled up slightly against the the engaged lock, but I've yet to see any other gunsafe this tight – far too many have OH MY GAWD!!! slop when pulling back on the locked door.

All that said, could I have been happy with an Amsec BF instead (my close second choice because of the DryLight insulation)? Most likely yes. Or a Zykan B Rate safe? Quite possibly yes as well. Both were within the $$$ range I finally had to limit myself to, which was somewhat above what I initially wanted to spend (don't we all want caviar on a candy bar budget?). Sturdy won out by offering more or different features from the norm that I felt were worthwhile.

On a final note, I'm REAL glad I went with the 6 footer over the 5, even though that extra foot of height doesn't sound like much and doesn't add to the number of long guns it'll hold.

On a final final note, while the Sturdy may not win a beauty contest with its plain Jane industrial look and simple lever handle, it ain't no pig either.

Walkalong
September 27, 2013, 10:15 AM
On a final final note, while the Sturdy may not win a beauty contest with its plain Jane industrial look and simple lever handle, it ain't no pig either.
Not, it's not. Utilitarian, but not a pig.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=135901&stc=1&d=1297128522

Shawrco
October 6, 2013, 11:10 PM
Thought I had thinks narrowed down to an AMSEC or Study, but I've been looking at C E Safe's "private label" safes. C E has standard or heavy models available. The standard has a 3/8" plate door and 3/16" plate body; heavy has 1/2" door and 1/4" body. They will also make the safe in custom sizes (for a charge of course).

guggep
October 7, 2013, 12:24 AM
I believe that those CE heavy safes are made by Sun Welding in Simi Valley CA. Please share with all if you find out more from CE

NotAGunNut
October 15, 2013, 08:01 PM
Since I can't edit my original post, let me retract what I said about Sturdy offering better theoretical fire protection. After reading much more about this mode of insulation on another forum, I would NOT trust this RSC to protect my valuables in a house fire.

I'm not an engineer, but the way I understand it is that the thermal barrier used in the Sturdy offers greater R-value, but has no way in which it "consumes" heat introduced into the container (even though it maybe slightly slowed in getting in there). This is where cement (and even gypsum) seems to shine.

Again, I'm no expert, but wanted to throw this out there. I have since eliminated the Sturdy RSC's from my list of possible candidates as I want fire protection.

Walkalong
October 15, 2013, 11:47 PM
I recently had to tear a wall down to bare 2x4s in my house. I took advantage of that and ran a water pipe (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=188968&d=1379294469) up into the attic. I am going to add a sprinkler (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=188967&d=1379294469) above the safe. Between that, the insulation in my Sturdy (Insulation just slows heat transfer, whether it's in your safe, your wall, your frig, or in your attic), and a sprinkler, I will feel well protected from fire.

NotAGunNut
October 16, 2013, 12:16 AM
I recently had to tear a wall down to bare 2x4s in my house. I took advantage of that and ran a water pipe up into the attic. I am going to add a sprinkler above the safe. Between that, the insulation in my Sturdy (Insulation just slows heat transfer, whether it's in your safe, your wall, your frig, or in your attic), and a sprinkler, I will feel well protected from fire.

I think [again, not a pro :)] if you have a sprinkler overhead, all this talk about fire insulation probably doesn't matter much. I'd just store things that can't get wet in waterproof containers or Ziploc bags.

The nice thing about the Sturdy, is you can get them so large, for a decent price, that you could just stick Sentry safes inside for any non-gun contents. Guns would probably be covered under insurance for most anyway (maybe with a small rider). My guns can't be replaced, so I need everything to survive a fire.

leadcounsel
October 16, 2013, 12:57 AM
Very happy Sturdy safe owner here.

I researched the heck out of these back when I was buying. I spent tens of hours looking into the various safes on the market, URL tests, whole house burn downs, steel thickness, locks, etc.

I don't recall the specs on mine, but overall I feel quite happy that they are well made and up to the task for which they are designed. They offer very good theft deterrence and fire resistance. Made in the USA too. The price was affordable.

I would buy another Sturdy safe with confidence.

NotAGunNut
October 17, 2013, 02:25 AM
Very happy Sturdy safe owner here.

I researched the heck out of these back when I was buying. I spent tens of hours looking into the various safes on the market, URL tests, whole house burn downs, steel thickness, locks, etc.

I don't recall the specs on mine, but overall I feel quite happy that they are well made and up to the task for which they are designed. They offer very good theft deterrence and fire resistance. Made in the USA too. The price was affordable.

I would buy another Sturdy safe with confidence.

Let me tell you a little story about a friend of mine. He's had the same insurance for an umpteen number of years and every year his agent assured him that the fence on his commercial property is covered by the insurance. He's been happy with the policy and has had no problems.

One day a drunk driver ran into a lamp post and smashed up the fence causing $5,000 worth of damage. When my friend called the insurer, to pay for the damages, they told him that the fence wasn't covered under his policy. The driver had no insurance so my friend went to court and got an injunction against the driver to collect - unfortunately the guy had no assets nor a job for garnishments.

You see, a safe is insurance. You don't use it until it's been burglarized or it has been in a fire. Opening and closing the door does not constitute use.

Unlike my friend, I read my policy and the fine print prior to forking over the money. I want to make sure the insurance I think I'm buying is what I'm getting and it's there in black and white. So when you say "They offer very good theft deterrence and fire resistance." I have to ask: where are the test results for you to make such a statement?

So far as I've been able to ascertain, Sturdy hasn't published, nor do they carry any labels relating to any type of fire testing. Thus, expecting fire protection, is a guessing game.

I'm not saying Sturdy is a bad RSC; what I am saying is that it's an unknown. We don't know what a real fire will do compared to a lab test, but I want to know what I may possibly expect out of my insurance contract and how my coverage compares with other insurers.

I hoe this makes sense...

leadcounsel
October 17, 2013, 03:15 AM
As I understand it, the UL labs testing is a gimmick and not representative of a real house fire.

Sturdy does real testing on their safes. And here's a burndown where the safe contexts (even the paper and plastic) survived.

http://www.sturdysafe.com/firelinertestcompare.htm

http://www.sturdysafe.com/fireliner.htm

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_6_46/355967_.html

Cheaper safes us non ceramic fire proofing, like gypsum board. Sturdy uses ceramic wool blend, which are more expensive. Does NASA use gypsum for re-entry, or ceramics?

heeler
October 17, 2013, 10:14 AM
I went through this same safe decision four years ago and chose the Amsec BF 6636 over the Sturdy.
The reasons for the decision...
I will not buy something that was costing over two grand sight unseen.
To this day I have never seen a Sturdy gun safe in person.
There were several Amsec dealers in Houston.
There is no such thing as a Sturdy dealer.
The fire cladding in the Amsec is the real deal.
The jury is still out on the Sturdy.
Both offer great residential burglary protection if placed correctly and bolted down.
Neither will be able to ward off a tool attack but that's pretty rare with gun safes although we all know it happens.
The fit and finish off the Amsec is quite nice.
The pictures I have seen of the Sturdy's welds and a few other issues give them an industrial Russian factory look.
Although some of the Sturdy's features are nice such as the ability to forego fire proofing material or adding thicker steel is pretty good.
Fwiw Fort Knox will do the same and has a superb fit and finish and you will of course pay for that nicety.
Either gun safe will do you and your firearms justice but I still dont completely trust the fire proofing of the Sturdy.

CB900F
October 17, 2013, 11:02 AM
Fella's;

As I understand it, the U.L. one hour thermal test procedure is not a gimmick.

In a nutshell, it's this: The test container goes into the furnace upright, not laying on it's back. The door is closed & the gas is lit, but that does not start the test cycle, unlike most independent RSC tests. The U.L. one hour timed burn does not start until the interior of the furnace reaches test temperature, 1700 degrees f. The active burn continues for one hour, the temperature remaining at 1700 for the entire hour. At the end of the hour, the gas is shut off, but the furnace is not opened. The furnace does not open until the interior temperature of the furnace reaches laboratory ambient, 68 degrees f. This simulates the test container being cooked after the structure caves in on it. At no time during the test cycle can the interior temperature of the tested container exceed 350 degrees f.

That test is not a joke, and you will not see a single RSC being marketed in this country at this time that has a valid U.L. 1 hr thermal test pass certificate on it.

900F

a1abdj
October 17, 2013, 01:06 PM
As I understand it, the UL labs testing is a gimmick and not representative of a real house fire.


As CB900F said, UL testing is far from a joke. They test against worst case scenarios to ensure that the safes will perform as advertised.

If you want to carry real insurance on a safe, the insurers will demand a UL rating. If you want to engage in certain businesses regulated by our government (banking, pharmaceutical, etc.) they will demand a UL rating. If a customer demands the best in protection against theft and fire, they should be shopping for safes with a UL rating.

What is somewhat of a joke is their RSC rating, but it's my understanding that changes are coming.

2_ar
October 17, 2013, 02:23 PM
As I understand it, the UL labs testing is a gimmick and not representative of a real house fire.

Wow, this is a first. Are we talking about the same UL with over 100 years of fire testing hundreds of thousands of products including safes and vaults? The same UL with the most comprehensive fire testing facilities in the world? The same UL that tests and certifies virtually all safes and vaults used by banks, numerous governments and almost all commercial entities in the US?

Sturdy does real testing on their safes.

Yep, that definitely beats UL testing. As a former manufacturer of toolboxes, Sturdy knows all there is to know about fireproofing and testing.

Does NASA use gypsum for re-entry, or ceramics?

LOL! The exotic and exorbitantly expensive shielding materials used by NASA are nothing like the simple and cheap wool used for the Sturdy fire-lining. And their applications could not be more different. This is like arguing that you have the best ridding mower because Ferrari also uses an engine that burns fossil fuels.

Since you're linking threads you might want to read this one where an Amsec engineer with 20+ years of real fire testing experience and knowledge schools a Sturdy homer(who is an engineer but has no experience whatsoever in fire testing or fire-resistant product design) on thermodynamics and safe design:

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_6_46/401046_Questions_for_AMSEC_TheSafeGuy.html&page=5

The whole thread is a very good read for security info as well.

Simson
October 17, 2013, 10:10 PM
I don't believe the AMSEC BF has an actual UL fire rating, Amsec gives it a Mercury class III 90 minute rating whatever that is ...

In leadcounsel's defense, an actual fire is a whole lot different than what UL does for their fire testing. In a real fire, the safes are filled with a lot of materials and in the case of gun safe's a lot of heavy massed thermally conductive materials. For an empty safe, a lining with a moisture baring insulating material like gypsum or concrete is going to look better to a thermocouple connected to a data recorder because of the phase change of water to steam that will hold the temperature at around the boiling point of water while water is still present. A passively lined safe such as what Sturdy is using isn't going to look as good over time in an empty safe because it is only slowing the rate of heat transfer and has only the mass of the air present in the safe to slow the temperature rise. Add a bunch of guns and other materials to a gun safe and that's where Sturdy's design will shine. Not only do the guns slow the temperature rise within the safe as they absorb the trickle of heat passing through the fiber insulation (anywhere from 1/4 to 1/60th the rate as gypsum or concrete) but the contents also remain dry because there is no steam being generated in the process.

I'm not saying the AMSEC BF won't provide good protection in a fire because there is a recent example where it has done just that.

Sturdy also has an example on their own website of a complete burn down where their safe did quite well.

Compare the two photos and look at the contents of the top shelves (the hottest location in a safe during a fire), the plastic is undamaged and the paper is still bright white in the Sturdy Safe, on the AMSEC BF the edges of the paper are scorched showing that the temperature has likely exceeded 350F in the upper portion of the safe.

Sturdy Safe after complete burndown:

http://www.sturdysafe.com/newv3small.jpg

http://www.sturdysafe.com/image4small.jpg

AMSEC BF after complete burndown:

http://biz136.inmotionhosting.com/~amsecu5/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/KoesterSafeOpen.jpg

CB900F
October 18, 2013, 12:06 AM
Fella's;

Sorry, unless those two units were located side-by-side in the same fire, it's not a valid comparison. Different fires, different fuel sources, different maximum temperatures, different duration of burn, different wind if any, different response times by different fire departments. All those factors invalidate your comparison Simpson.

900F

guggep
October 18, 2013, 12:01 PM
Also remember that the ceramic blanket designed for a boiler furnace is not the same stuff used on a space shuttle. The thermodynamics of these types of materials have already been worked out on other forums in great detail. Its an education.

No calcs were done on exotics like actual space shuttle tiles & aerogels. Those types of materials may actually provide sufficient passive insulation, but they are crazy expensive. In reality no safe maker uses them because nobody could afford them

Outlaw Man
October 18, 2013, 12:13 PM
I would like, just for giggles, to see a NASA designed gun safe and the price tag it would carry. Ceramic tile fire protection, unobtanium locking bolts and door...

It would be entertaining, for sure!

leadcounsel
October 18, 2013, 02:58 PM
Come on guys, let's use some common sense. I wasn't suggesting that Sturdy was using the *same* materials as NASA. I was merely saying that NASA ceramics > Sturdy ceramics > cheapo fireboard gypsum.

Would Sturdy still be in business if their safes didn't work?

I'm sure AMSEC are outstanding safes. I have zero experience. But I went with Sturdy. If I were in the market, I would consider AMSEC too and make my decision. But I'm merely saying that I am happy with my Sturdy safe.

NotAGunNut
October 19, 2013, 02:27 AM
As I understand it, the UL labs testing is a gimmick and not representative of a real house fire.

If U.L. were a gimmick, banking institutions, government agencies, businesses and many others wouldn't trust it, nor get insurance coverage. Are you going to take the word of Sturdy or the rest of the world who insures probably hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars in value?

Don't quote me on the numbers, I'm making them up to make a point. Call an insurer and ask them whether they'll insure the contents of your RSC or if they'll require a U.L. label.

A non-U.L. approved phone power cord recently killed a woman in China. Ok, I'm stretching it now, but you get the point. Engineering/manufacturing relies on standards (or has imposed standards), etc.

Sturdy does real testing on their safes. And here's a burndown where the safe contexts (even the paper and plastic) survived.

http://www.sturdysafe.com/firelinertestcompare.htm

http://www.sturdysafe.com/fireliner.htm

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_6_46/355967_.html

Cheaper safes us non ceramic fire proofing, like gypsum board. Sturdy uses ceramic wool blend, which are more expensive. Does NASA use gypsum for re-entry, or ceramics?

There are plenty of pictures out there which show that even RSCs using gypsum boards for fire protection have survived total burn downs. Those RSC's wouldn't pass a U.L. test though. To be honest, I'm speculating that some of these gypsum-based containers may even fare better than a Sturdy in a fire.

The point is: we don't know the conditions, we don't know temperatures, we don't know duration, we don't know placement, we don't know anything. That's why we want to test things scientifically - so we can compare apples to apples. In the lab we can also create conditions far beyond what you'd experience in a typical home fire.

Businesses buy the minimum required by insurance, home owners buy whatever is cheapest and biggest.

Come on guys, let's use some common sense. I wasn't suggesting that Sturdy was using the *same* materials as NASA. I was merely saying that NASA ceramics > Sturdy ceramics > cheapo fireboard gypsum.

Would Sturdy still be in business if their safes didn't work?

I'm sure AMSEC are outstanding safes. I have zero experience. But I went with Sturdy. If I were in the market, I would consider AMSEC too and make my decision. But I'm merely saying that I am happy with my Sturdy safe.

I don't know what you were suggesting about ceramics, nor does it matter. Ceramics, like alloys, composites, fiber weaves and so on can have many different properties dependent on mixture, construction methodology, etc.

The tiles NASA uses on their space shuttles vary, there are many different types all made for different purposes and they do their job for a very short period of time after which many are replaced.

For some fun reading about the tiles, check this out: http://depts.washington.edu/matseed/mse_resources/Webpage/Space%20Shuttle%20Tiles/Space%20Shuttle%20Tiles.htm

I found it fascinating.

Just because both have ceramic in the name doesn't mean they're even similar. I don't know why you made the connection if you didn't mean anything by it.

Your saying: "I'm merely saying that I am happy with my Sturdy safe" is no different than someone saying they're happy with their gun locker. I mean it's cheap, easy to get in/out of, weights less, door is easier to swing and so on. In other words: it doesn't mean much. What does that even mean in the context of our discussion?

I don't believe the AMSEC BF has an actual UL fire rating, Amsec gives it a Mercury class III 90 minute rating whatever that is ...

That's a great point, but we know they use the same Mercury rating on their more robust safes which do go through the U.L. testing process. AMSEC also has the experience with the process and knows what works and what doesn't, so I would trust their engineering much more than a "trust me" from a company that doesn't conduct scientific testing.

According to the VP of Engineering at AMSEC, if the BF were to go through U.L. testing, he believes it would pass a 30-minute U.L. test. I have to take his word for it, but then again, I'll take the word of an "expert witness" over nothing.

Once again, the way I understand it, ceramics are a good insulator, but passive. Heat will get through slower, but once it does there's nothing preventing the temperatures from rising. Whereas concrete is "active." [My choice of words] As Brown safe explains it:

A true UL rated composite fire safe is made with two thin skins of sheet metal that house a water retaining medium between (typically a concrete and vermiculite mixture). The door jam is highly convoluted with a heat seal. As high heat hits the outside of the safe, the fire retardant medium expels the retained water as steam. This steam also saturates the safe's contents to artificially raise the flash point. Heat also causes expansion around the convoluted door jamb forming a solid seal.



---------------------


Listen guys, I don't mean to sound like I know it all nor do I mean to say that Sturdy sucks or anything of the sort. I'm not an expert in any of this (as I assume most of you aren't). All I'm saying is that Sturdy uses unconventional material and their product is untested in any certifiable way. I'm sure they make a fine product, but if someone is looking for fire protection they can't make the assumption that somehow Sturdy knows what the rest of the industry doesn't and more so they can't claim superiority.

NotAGunNut
October 19, 2013, 03:06 AM
Just ran across a great thread that's right on topic (plus a lot of other great nuggets in there). Definitely worth a read: http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_6_46/400459_Pulled_the_trigger.html

Simson
October 19, 2013, 09:22 PM
Leadcounsel said:

Come on guys, let's use some common sense. I wasn't suggesting that Sturdy was using the *same* materials as NASA. I was merely saying that NASA ceramics > Sturdy ceramics > cheapo fireboard gypsum.

Would Sturdy still be in business if their safes didn't work?

I'm sure AMSEC are outstanding safes. I have zero experience. But I went with Sturdy. If I were in the market, I would consider AMSEC too and make my decision. But I'm merely saying that I am happy with my Sturdy safe.

No explanation needed Leadcounsel, the ceramic fiber used in space shuttle tiles is likely very similar to the ceramic fiber used in the blankets lining Sturdy safes.

So other than being the lightest solid known to man, what is so special about Aerogels that would make them so superior as in thermal insulator in a gun safe? If everyone agrees (including the VP of Engineering for a safe company) that Aerogels are so superior, that would mean a passive insulator would be the best substance to use for fire protection in a gun safe which I would also agree with as well. Aerogels are 99.8% air so assuming they block convection and radiate heating then only conduction heating would be the mode of heat transfer that will allow heat to pass across the insulation to the interior of the safe. In an environment of air, NASA shows that Aerogels conduct heat at a rate of 0.03 W/mK which is pretty good but is only a little better than fiberglass insulation at 0.04 W/mK. Ceramic fiber conducts heat a little faster but can tolerate much higher temperatures which is why it was used on the space shuttle. So Sturdy Safe is offering a gun safe with insulating properties very similar to the best materials NASA has to offer. No Study's choice of material isn't the lightest nor even in a rigid form but they don't need to be, they are well suited for doing the job they were meant to do.

http://stardust.jpl.nasa.gov/aerogel_factsheet.pdf

http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-d_429.html

a1abdj
October 19, 2013, 11:43 PM
I've already said it several times.

In the end, one doesn't need to know the science, they simply have to have a bit of common sense. The vast majority of safe manufacturers, throughout the world, choose to use cast insulations over ceramic. Those companies know the science, have done the math, and have run the tests.

I'm sure the second they figure out that there is a better way of doing it, we will start seeing it done that way more often.

NotAGunNut
October 20, 2013, 03:44 AM
Simson, reading your post I'm pretty confident you're just trolling.

However, right in your own post, you've repeated the problem which has been stated previously:

...so assuming they block convection and radiate heating then only conduction heating would be the mode of heat transfer that will allow heat to pass across the insulation to the interior of the safe.

How does a container enveloped in heat radiate heat?

--------------------------------------

You know what, at the end of the day, I don't care about all the theories, especially from non-engineers who aren't in the field dealing with known problems. Rockola(?) was the closest thing to one and it seems he and the AMSEC Engineer have settled things after he was explained the flaws in his models (the exact one pointed out above, in fact). At least that's the way I understood it, I don't mean to speak for anyone and I'm certainly no expert.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I don't know that Sturdy's fire protection is inferior to other solutions. The reason I don't know? Nobody in the safe industry uses this material for fire protection and Sturdy hasn't performed any scientific testing.

Similar insulation as used by Sturdy is used by safe makers, but only in data safes as a separate container encased in a concrete amalgamate container. However, these inner containers aren't exposed to the external dangers, they sit comfortably within the concrete safes.

If Sturdy believes their claims, then they would test their product and they would fly off the shelves like hotcakes. Who wouldn't want something with superior fire protection and no moisture to contend with? I certainly would.

Simson
October 20, 2013, 11:26 AM
Well first off, I'm not a troll. I saw the discussion and I have some background knowledge so signed up to be a part. And, this is the only account I have here which the mods can confirm through my fixed IP address.

How does a container enveloped in heat radiate heat?

Some insulating barriers do not block radiate heat very well so heat contributions from radiate heat have to be considered, example: a vacuum.

I will admit, the UL fire rating tests do not favor a safe that is passively lined and I don't think Sturdy's Safe would have chance at passing. The safes are empty during UL testing (well other than a couple small items in some cases) so there is no heat sink to absorb the heat to dampen the rise in temperature. For most gun owners, they won't have that problem since few have gun safes that are empty. A gun safe that does use an insulation with an active component such as water will expose the contents of the safe to a steam bath (maybe not in Brown's case since the insulation is built around the inner shell) which in itself can be very damaging. So although on a data recorder at the UL labs shows the interior temperature has remained under 350F for the duration of the test, the steam generated has caused 100s if not 1000s of dollars in value loss to the guns that were to be protected.

I have heard multiple people in the safe industry give examples of safes that had no insulation at all, just a steel shell, that went through fires with the contents having only minimal damage. What that tells me is the mass of the contents has played a part in their own survival. I suppose it would be like the freezer that all of a sudden experiences a power outage; as everyone knows it will remain cold longer if the freezer is full (thermal inertia) verses if it has only an item or two in it. That would be similar to a passively lined container such as Sturdy's safe or the Space Shuttle for that matter, the materials will act as a heat sink to slow the rise in temperature.

a1abdj
October 20, 2013, 11:53 AM
I have heard multiple people in the safe industry give examples of safes that had no insulation at all, just a steel shell, that went through fires with the contents having only minimal damage. What that tells me is the mass of the contents has played a part in their own survival.

I can show you photos of fires where cardboard shoe boxes survived, intact, with no damage at all. Does that mean we should store our valuables in shoe boxes?

I have opened countless safes that have been burned in fires. I have seen what works, and what doesn't work, many times. But in the end, it sometimes comes down to luck. There are a lot of factors involved, and sometimes they simply work out in your favor. Sometimes they don't.

Gypsum alone tends to work well in safes. The problem with gun safes, is that it is gypsum board, and not cast gypsum. This leaves voids, seams, and in most cases, no way to support the gypsum as the heat begins to break it down.

Ceramics work great as a secondary insulation. Data safes have used this method for years: Cast insulation in the exterior construction, and ceramic insulation in the internal compartment. They have been building these safes like this long before Sturdy started building safes, so this is not some new innovation brought to us by a gun safe manufacturer.

Anything helps in a fire. A steel box is typically better than no box. Anything that box is insulated with is better than no insulation at all.

2_ar
October 20, 2013, 06:03 PM
Rockola(?) was the closest thing to one and it seems he and the AMSEC Engineer have settled things after he was explained the flaws in his models (the exact one pointed out above, in fact)

Yes, the Rockola guy (an engineer for Alcoa but with no actual experience in the subject matter he's arguing about: fire testing, fire-resistant safe design, thermodynamics and real world fire safe performance) is very much in love with Sturdy and has been going on for years about it on multiple forums (adirondack is another of his usernames). He was actually banned from this forum for constantly arguing about the awesomeness of Sturdy without actual facts and evidence to support his claims.

The extent of his "research" and experience was phone conversations with company reps. No real world or in person experience, he didn't actually see any of the safes he was citing as evidence. He made many claims based on these phone calls that have later been disproved. Claims like UL would not fire test a gun safe. The Amsec VP of Engineering presented him with a photo of a gun safe he designed with a UL label showing it passed UL fire testing. It was discontinued by Amsec because of the cost and lack of demand.

For many years the lynchpin of Rockola/adirondack's argument was a Gunnebo Chubb safe that allegedly was filled with "ceramic like" insulation and had passed a 2-hour UL fire test. Funny thing though, he forgot to mention that the Chubb safe in question weighed almost twice as much as a comparable Sturdy model and had a massive 3-4" thick solid cast concrete door. Yea, a real apples to apples comparison with Sturdy. Then he busted out as evidence in favor of Sturdy, a shady fire vault maker that used ceramic installation and made the claim that it had passed UL fire testing. Again, this was shown to be patently false. It had not passed any real UL testing and their website tried to imply that it did.

What I see is Sturdy fans grasping at straws and talking about concepts that have not been proven and ridiculous things like comparisons to the space shuttle (see my earlier very appropriate analogy about comparing lawn mowers to Ferraris) with no actual evidence or testing or real world experience.

A1 is being very generous when he says that most fire safe makers use cast insulation and have been doing so for over 100 years. The reality is that 99.9% of all safe makers in the world use cast installation for fire protection. He has been saying for years that cast installation was superior and it's great to see the Amsec engineer who literally wrote the book on modern fire safe design and testing provide the scientific facts and evidence behind it.

Simson, why don't you hop on over to ARFCOM present your "argument" and then have thesafeguy summarily dismantle it piece by piece using scientific facts and 20+ years of relevant safe design and fire testing experience.

Simson
October 20, 2013, 07:02 PM
Wow, 2_ar quite the record book you've been keeping. So you are mentioning a guy that was been banned from here years ago but this is only your 3rd post, that seems a bit odd.

It would be nice to have a discussion on the subject without all the mud throwing. I'm sure that VP of Engineering of Amsec has a lot of good reasons why their way is the best as I'm sure the VP of Engineering for Fort Knox or Liberty thinks using multiple sheets of "fire board" is better. An independent lab like UL should allow a consumer to chose but I haven't seen a gun safe with a UL fire rating so the consumer is kind of on their own. I guess for myself, short of finding a good used media safe at a decent price, I like the dry passive insulation approach Sturdy is taking. Maybe Brown's fire protection doesn't put moisture into the safe or maybe the Amsec HS series is similar with its heavy inner liner but no independent test to confirm either case that I have seen.

2_ar
October 20, 2013, 07:23 PM
I'm sure that VP of Engineering of Amsec has a lot of good reasons why their way is the best as I'm sure the VP of Engineering for Fort Knox or Liberty thinks using multiple sheets of "fire board" is better.

The opinion and experience of Fort Knox Gun Safes and Liberty Gun Safes engineering guys is not equivalent to the Amsec engineer's experience. The guy who helped write UL fire and burglary testing standards, designer of the first retrofittable electronic safe lock, the first US made TL-15 and TL-30 composite safe, the first safe that passed UL burglary and fire testing, first UL listed for fire protection gun safe, just designed a TL-30x6 safe, numerous firesafes and gun safes, multiple patent holder, and much more vs gun safe makers who have never produced a single UL fire tested safe or any burglary tested safe beyond the very lowest level of RSC.

All opinons are not equal. Amsec with 60+ years of making real commercial burglary and fire safes has more relevant knowledge and experience than all the sheet metal gun safe makers combined.

You also missed the part where he discussed how fire board lined safes can do well in fires.

I haven't seen a gun safe with a UL fire rating so the consumer is kind of on their own.

Here you go:

http://i1363.photobucket.com/albums/r703/TheSafeGuy/LXdoor-pg-16_zpsc8cd4b34.jpg

NotAGunNut
October 21, 2013, 02:53 AM
Holy crap, 2_ar... seems we've read a lot of the same threads.

I really wish you didn't crap on Rockola though. He's not here to defend himself and to be fair, he did try to use real science - whether it's applicable or not. It's healthy to have a good debate. Without those debates myself and many others wouldn't know half of what we know today.

Simson,

I like the dry passive insulation approach Sturdy is taking.

I think we would all like dry insulation. That's why I wish Sturdy did some testing to see what it can achieve. I'm sure the insulation offers something, but what is anyone's guess.

CB900F
October 21, 2013, 12:41 PM
2 ar;

I notice that that U.L. certification only lists that it was good to hold the interior temperature at or below 350 f for half an hour without stating the burn temperature. Do you know what that temperature is? Also, would you mind stating what container that sticker is on?

900F

2_ar
October 21, 2013, 01:20 PM
Don't remember the exact temperature max, I think it was 1550. It's an Amsec and the info for it is in the thread I linked.

Here's the quote:

"The listing was actually a dual listing, tested at Omega Point Labs and at UL in 2001 to prove it to be legitimate, both tests using the same UL72 test criteria with the ASTM E119 Fire Curve. This was done in an attempt to force an industry standard for fire ratings to be adopted. We sold this product for 2 years. Not a single competitor passed the test. We know many attempted, but kept it quiet when they failed, some more than once. This was a 2-layer gypsum lined safe, but with several firesafe-like attributes that Gunsafe manufactures don't understand. The safe was slightly more expensive, and the sales volume never grew enough to support the production. The competitors continued to convince the customers, dealers, distributors and wholesalers that their 60 and 90 minute ratings were legitimate, and that our REAL 30-minute fire rating was inferior. We finally decided to stop production. Our listed 30 minute safe will out-perform any Gunsafe in the market by a large margin. Advertising and deception won again"

Pretty interesting considering how Sturdy trashes fire board lined safes on their website. Here you have one with a legitimate UL fire testing label.

a1abdj
October 21, 2013, 01:35 PM
I notice that that U.L. certification only lists that it was good to hold the interior temperature at or below 350 f for half an hour without stating the burn temperature. Do you know what that temperature is? Also, would you mind stating what container that sticker is on?

All of the UL tests are using standard temperatures. A 30 minute rating stops at 1,550 degrees, the 60 minute rating at 1,700 degrees, and the 2 hour rating at 1,850 degrees.

This was an AMSEC safe that was discontinued, and honestly, I never even knew it existed until it was pointed out to me. There was also a safe that Prosteel (Browning) offered at one point that also had a 1 hour UL rating. I don't know if there are any others out there, but gun safes with UL fire ratings really do exist, contrary to what some have claimed.

CB900F
October 21, 2013, 06:46 PM
2 ar & A1abdj;

Yeah, I knew the burn temps for both the U.L. one and two hour tests, but was not even aware that they had a 1/2 hour test. Thanks for the information.

Or, as I've frequently put it: A triumph of advertising over reality.

900F

a1abdj
October 21, 2013, 07:39 PM
was not even aware that they had a 1/2 hour test.

You don't see it very often on safes. AMSEC's smaller BF line has one model with a half hour rating (BF 3416).

Although many are getting away from the UL testing all together, the half hour rating used to be popular with the small fire box manufacturers like Sentry.

CB900F
October 21, 2013, 09:55 PM
A1abdj;

I've been told that U.L. testing is so very expensive that smaller manufacturer's, like Graffunder, simply don't see the benefit/cost ratio working in their favor.

900F

TheSafeGuy
October 22, 2013, 02:01 AM
Hi gang.... TheSafeGuy here... :neener:

Good read here. Glad to see that the references to other discussions are making a difference. I would hate to write all that stuff again, LOL.

I would be glad to answer any questions that you might have. In the mean time, I'm going back to reading and maybe pick a few posts to address questions or add some technical clarity.

I'm not here to sell, nor argue. I'm here to help, educate, enlighten even. If I'm not welcome, I'll step back and keep my friends over on the other site informed...

TheSafeGuy
October 22, 2013, 01:31 PM
You don't see it very often on safes. AMSEC's smaller BF line has one model with a half hour rating (BF 3416).

Although many are getting away from the UL testing all together, the half hour rating used to be popular with the small fire box manufacturers...

The largest in the BF Security Safe Line is the BF3416. As Frank points out, that safe has a 30-minute rating. This is stark evidence of the extraordinary conditions of UL Testing under UL72 using the ASTM E119 fire curve. Let me explain how this came to pass...

First, the UL72 standard allows you test a given safe size, as measured by internal volume. They then allow sizes to be placed in the final procedure files that start with the tested size and go down to anything that provides 50% of the tested safe's volume. They do NOT allow any upward listings by size at all. Remember, UL has been fire testing for over 100 years, they know all there is to know about fire testing. So, there is a definite problem as safes get bigger.... they need greater and greater fire protection to survive this highly controlled and consistent test program. At some point, a passing design will fail as you scale that specific design up. Thicker walls, better door closure, better seals, better construction and a host of other secret sauce attributes must be improved as you step up in size.

So, back to the BF Security Safe line. I designed the largest capacity BF1716 for a 1-hour listing in March of 1994. Getting a heavy plate door safe to pass a 1-hour test was a major R&D effort that took a year, and doing so set a standard that has yet to be matched in the industry. Many have copied the design, but none have won listings. Copies are simply sub-standard knock-offs.

Once I had the listing for the smaller safe, we wanted to place a larger model in the lineup. We went in with the BF3416, and I had to make a call during the test to stop at 30 minutes, or risk a failure going for 1-hour. The added heat energy on the larger, but identical construction, was resulting in marginal performance. Understand, when the test is not over when you shut off the furnace. There is a "soak" period after the furnace is shut down, and the test is not terminated until the internal temperatures in the safe are clearly falling.

The UL furnace is quite unique. The walls are refractory brick, not insulating rock-wool like every other test furnace in the USA. The difference is that there are three modes of heat transfer; Convection, Condition and Radiation. The flames and hot gasses represent convective heat energy. The exposure does not impose any conductive heat sources. However, the brick gets very very hot in that big box, and it glows red-hot for a long time after the furnace fires is doused. That red-hot brick is like a big infra-red cooking element, constantly throwing more heat energy into the sample under test until it cools off naturally. So, when the fire goes out, there is still a major period of endurance yet to survive. More than 90% of UL tests fail during the soak period. The thermal shock of extinguishing the fire, along with the continued rain of IR energy keeping the temperatures in the furnace well over 1000ºF for more than 30 minutes is no cake walk.

With a safe like the BF, there is an added challenge... that big chunk of steel on the door is red hot. It's holding tons of heat energy. The furnace is too hot to act as a cooling sink, so that energy can only migrate inwards into the safe as thing naturally try to reach an equilibrium. Ample hygroscopic water content is necessary to survive this torture. If the steam reserves are spent during the test, the soak will kill you.

So, watching the data probes, and with years of experience both passing and failing tests, I knew I had to stop the test at 30 minutes. I felt is was too close, and the design needed to be heavier to get a 1-hour rating in this larger size. We never went back to try again, the expense vs the sales volume never justified the added R&D costs. One test at UL can run up to as much as $30,000 today. You don't roll dice when you are spending that kind of green. So, that's why the BF3416 has a 30-minute listing... I flinched. Still, after 17 years, nobody has met the challenge with an equivalent rating....

This story should open your eyes to some obvious concerns about gunsafes... particularly very big ones.

TSG

CB900F
October 22, 2013, 03:42 PM
Fella's;

And there, in more detail and engineer-speak, is the same information I've been putting out here for years. It's always nice to have an indepenent confirmation, thank you safe guy.

900F

TheSafeGuy
October 22, 2013, 04:59 PM
The science of heat transfer is frequently thought of as theoretical. It's not. The equations we use to describe thermal behavior is highly accurate, and only very small errors are found due to some extremely small factors we ignore. Kind of like the wind resistance on a car, we ignore the valve stems on the wheels.

The materials like Aerogel are amazing, but hey are still only around 3 times better than common home insulation. It's not like they are hundreds of times better. The heat transfer is still there, just slowed down by a factor of maybe 3 or 4. Do the math, you will be surprised.

As for space travel, and dry insulation in spacecraft. The elephant in the room is the Delta-T. In a fire, the dT is on the order of 1100-1600 degrees. In space, worst case conditions is on the order of 200-300 degrees, and generally much less due to engineered materials that block IR influx. Why do you think they use gold, silver and paint everything white? These temperature differentials are easily controlled with active heating and cooling systems.

This is science, not witchcraft or black magic. There are hundreds of years of proof that the mathematical models of heat transfer are very accurate. As for the fire resistant value of a dry liner... let the math do the talking, and believe the results. Without a reactive means of absorbing and expelling energy, the internal wall temperature reaching destructive levels even with outstanding insulation is on the order of minutes wen you only have a couple of inches in the walls. The dT here is extraordinary. The heat transfer rates are phenomenal with so much thermal force. And, if you are curious, packing the insulation reduces the R-value and negates the greater volume of material. You must add thickness, physically making walls thicker, to get more energy barrier from a given material.

This is not to say that a dry insulation is worthless. In moderate conditions, it works pretty well. The question is about the exposure intensity.

Walkalong
October 22, 2013, 05:07 PM
Yep.

(Insulation just slows heat transfer, whether it's in your safe, your wall, your frig, or in your attic)

Some does it better than others.

Simson
October 22, 2013, 06:11 PM
The science of heat transfer is frequently thought of as theoretical. It's not. The equations we use to describe thermal behavior is highly accurate, and only very small errors are found due to some extremely small factors we ignore. Kind of like the wind resistance on a car, we ignore the valve stems on the wheels.

The materials like Aerogel are amazing, but hey are still only around 3 times better than common home insulation. It's not like they are hundreds of times better. The heat transfer is still there, just slowed down by a factor of maybe 3 or 4. Do the math, you will be surprised.

As for space travel, and dry insulation in spacecraft. The elephant in the room is the Delta-T. In a fire, the dT is on the order of 1100-1600 degrees. In space, worst case conditions is on the order of 200-300 degrees, and generally much less due to engineered materials that block IR influx. Why do you think they use gold, silver and paint everything white? These temperature differentials are easily controlled with active heating and cooling systems.

This is science, not witchcraft or black magic. There are hundreds of years of proof that the mathematical models of heat transfer are very accurate. As for the fire resistant value of a dry liner... let the math do the talking, and believe the results. Without a reactive means of absorbing and expelling energy, the internal wall temperature reaching destructive levels even with outstanding insulation is on the order of minutes wen you only have a couple of inches in the walls. The dT here is extraordinary. The heat transfer rates are phenomenal with so much thermal force. And, if you are curious, packing the insulation reduces the R-value and negates the greater volume of material. You must add thickness, physically making walls thicker, to get more energy barrier from a given material.

This is not to say that a dry insulation is worthless. In moderate conditions, it works pretty well. The question is about the exposure intensity.

First off TheSafeGuy, glad to see you enter this discussion, I didn't want to do as 2_ar suggested and post in another forum.

I don't want to put you on the defensive but isn't the bigger dT issue with the space shuttle on re-entry into the earth's atmosphere? During re-entry, the ceramic tiles see temperatures approaching 3000F for a significant period of time. Sure the tiles only slow the rate of heat transfer but they slow it enough that the body and structure of the shuttle itself can absorb and dissipate that heat. Wouldn't you think a safe that is passively lined with Aerogel or even fiber as in the case of the Sturdy Safe example work in a similar manner (I.e., that the contents act as a heat sink?)

TheSafeGuy
October 22, 2013, 06:25 PM
I don't want to put you on the defensive but isn't the bigger dT issue with the space shuttle on re-entry into the earth's atmosphere? During re-entry, the ceramic tiles see temperatures approaching 3000F for a significant period of time. Sure the tiles only slow the rate of heat transfer but the slow it enough that the body and structure of the shuttle itself and absorb and dissipate that heat. Wouldn't you think a safe that is passively lined with Aerogel or even fiber as in the case of the Sturdy Safe example work in a similar manner (I.e., that the contents act as a heat sink?)

Well, there is more to that science that you might think. The space shuttle tiles are not seeing the incredible temperatures as you might think. Read about it here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_thermal_protection_system) if you care to, but in brief, the skin of the tiles deflect 80% of the heat.

Over 80% of the heating the orbiter experiences during reentry is caused by compression of the air ahead of the hypersonic vehicle, in accordance with the basic thermodynamic relation between pressure and temperature. A hot shock wave was created in front of the vehicle, which deflected most of the heat and prevented the orbiter's surface from directly contacting the peak heat. Therefore reentry heating was largely convective heat transfer between the shock wave and the orbiter's skin through superheated plasma

The low density tile core is the insulator, a very good one no doubt, but it is only working with moderately hot conditions only for a few minutes. NASA and the Media make these tiles out to be more than they really are. The magic in the tiles in the thin coating. Most of the flaming heat of reentry is deflected by the hypersonic shock-wave during the hard deceleration phase of re-entry..

Simson
October 22, 2013, 11:01 PM
Well, there is more to that science that you might think. The space shuttle tiles are not seeing the incredible temperatures as you might think. Read about it here if you care to, but in brief, the skin of the tiles deflect 80% of the heat.

Assuming that the Wiki article is accurate, I did read it and I don't think they were saying that 80% of the heat is deflected but they did say the peak heat was but still extremely hot temperatures being exposed.

I did find it interesting that they mentioned the use of ceramic fiber blankets which is something I didn't know.

Developed after the initial delivery of Columbia and first used on the OMS pods of Challenger.[5] This white low-density fibrous silica batting material had a quilt-like appearance, and replaced the vast majority of the LRSI tiles. They required much less maintenance than LRSI tiles yet had about the same thermal properties. After their limited use on Challenger, they were used much more extensively beginning with Discovery and replaced many of the LRSI tiles on Columbia after the loss of Challenger.

So I guess leadcounsel was more right that he originally thought in saying Sturdy is using similar materials as used on the Space Shuttle.

Anyway, good demonstration videos of Ceramic Tile by a doctor at Yale and at the Kennedy Space Center, pretty amazing material.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIxiDWMJy80

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pp9Yax8UNoM

TheSafeGuy
October 22, 2013, 11:09 PM
It's unfortunate that this testing is so expensive. I'm actually doing a series of gunsafe fire tests in November, but we can't test a sample just to prove a point. If the dry insulation was even remotely interesting, we would already be using it. Besides, it's not our style to spend gobs of money to provide negative advertising strategies. We would rather get premium legitimate listings and let the dogs chase the meat truck. :rolleyes:

2_ar
October 22, 2013, 11:54 PM
If the dry insulation was even remotely interesting, we would already be using it.

And that's the reality that several Sturdy fans refuse to accept. Here's pretty much how every argument in favor of the Sturdy's fire-liner goes:

"Sturdy's "Amazing Fire Insulator" is the greatest because these other things ___________ (insert unrelated non-fire safe applications and uses) use ceramic wool."

Ceramic wool insulation has been around for decades and is nothing new. Real fire safe manufacturers have been using it for data safe inserts that are inside of a cast fill safe. It's not a secret proprietary material, everyone knows about it. Don't you think they'd use it for the whole safe if it was equal to or better than the cast fill? Don't you think even one manufacturer (who actually has their safes tested by a third party, or better yet a reputable third party like UL) somewhere in the world would have done this in the last 20-30 years?

No infrastructure required, the insulation itself is cheap, no giant ovens, no mixing machines, no vibrating tables, reduce labor costs and safe design complexity, cheaper shipping and easier installation due to the weight reduction, less work for dealers and installers, etc.... Just bend some sheet metal a few times, weld it together, cut the insulation and stuff it into the body, weld or screw some sheet metal over it and call it a day.

And, if you are curious, packing the insulation reduces the R-value and negates the greater volume of material. You must add thickness, physically making walls thicker, to get more energy barrier from a given material.

Doesn't sturdy compress their insulation? Why would they do that if it reduces the R-value and where's the science behind it?

http://www.sturdysafe.com/pic64.jpg

I'm curious about their bent door jamb which looks like a great pathway for heat to travel inside the safe?

http://www.sturdysafe.com/Sturdy%20Safe%20Company.rev12-333.jpg

So on the one hand you have hundreds, if not thousands, of safe companies all over the world and 100+ years of using cast insulation for fire protection. Tens of thousands of safes that have survived fires, thousands more that have been tested by testing agencies all over the world. Insurance underwriters, businesses, governments and virtually anyone trying to protect something from fire, have relied on these safes. The science behind their design and performance has been proven many times, and most importantly, it actually exists beyond speculative arguments on the internet put forth by people who have never designed, fire tested, or done anything fire-safe related in their lives.

On the other hand, you have Sturdy's claims of fire-proofing superiority, a few pictures of a couple safes that did well in unknown conditions during a fire, and comparisons to the space shuttle.

We're talking about fire safe performance during fires. Sturdy people seem to forget that. That is it! That's all that matters. It doesn't matter if the insulating material is used on Mars. How does a safe that uses ceramic wool as an insulator perform during a fire? And what actual replicable evidence and experience do you have of the performance during a fire? In this case relative to other materials like cast fills which have mountains of data, real world fire evidence, and all the controlled testing data you could ever want. So, let me ask again, how does a safe that uses this "amazing" insulator perform during a fire? And where is your hard empirical evidence, real world evidence and corresponding verifiable data of this performance?

TheSafeGuy
October 23, 2013, 12:35 AM
Spoken like a true preacher 2-AR...

Why do you think they blow the insulation into your attic. If packing didn't reduce the R-value, they would make that 18-24 inches of fluffy insulation into a 1 inch thick slab and nail on the rafters or just drop in cut panels all over the joists.

Walkalong
October 24, 2013, 10:48 AM
Yep, space in the material helps insulate, but some compact materials are very good as well.

I have no idea about the bend on the Sturdy door as far as a heat path, but it is very strong. It also has a hard material between those bends which makes it very strong. (Would that affect the heat path? I would think it would, in a positive way.) Between that and the dual supported bolts it makes the door extremely pry resistant. I am more worried about that than fire. The smash and grab folks simply will not pry their way into it, especially if bolted down in a corner, as mine is. They'll need to bring a lunch and spend some time with it to get in. Time is your friend here.

I have a modest and insured collection. I am happy with the protection my Sturdy gives, especially for break in resistance. I do not have complete faith in the fire protection of any of them. A home burned around the corner from me. The fire dept put it out with much of it still standing, but it would have still put a strain on the fire protection of a gun safe.

Are their better options? You bet. Are there thousands of lesser "gun safes" out there "protecting as much or more than I have? I have no doubt there are.

NotAGunNut
October 24, 2013, 07:42 PM
Fella's;

And there, in more detail and engineer-speak, is the same information I've been putting out here for years. It's always nice to have an indepenent confirmation, thank you safe guy.

900F

900F,

U.L. Is stupid expensive, but an independent lab is probably not nearly as bad. Even a test like the one Fort Knox posted may suffice for many people, check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1emdpdLWhH4

We have a verification of temperature from the firemen (is it where the safe is? I don't know), we know it's standing next to another purposefully lower rated safe. We know they hosed it off, which is kind of a no-no and many other things. HOWEVER... having seen the video and seeing how it survived gives one at least some confidence that a few blurry pictures from Sturdy and a lot of lip service doesn't.

Additionally, I contend that having a U.L. label will sell many more safes than not having one so that cost could be made up in quantity and a small increase in price for fire protection. If you know the fire protection works, you're more willing to pay for it.

Although, I guess TheSafeGuy's experience proved otherwise, so who knows. I guess it would be a niche, no different than Sturdy's current niche. However, unlike AMSEC, they don't need to move 100,000 units to make a production run worthwhile.

a1abdj
October 24, 2013, 07:53 PM
smaller manufacturer's, like Graffunder, simply don't see the benefit/cost ratio working in their favor.

They just made my list today, and will no longer be a safe manufacturer that I recommend. :fire:

NotAGunNut
October 24, 2013, 07:55 PM
Ruh roh? Care to share the details?

guggep
October 25, 2013, 01:56 PM
Definitely interested to see what got Graffunder on the list

CB900F
October 25, 2013, 05:44 PM
Fella's;

I think I can state that the problem that A1abdj has with Graffunder is not a product quality issue. I believe it to be a business issue.

900F

NotAGunNut
October 25, 2013, 08:57 PM
I'll speculate based on the context of this thread... the Graffunder may have been pulled out of a fire and given how much steel there is, it absorbed all the heat and proceeded to cook everything inside. :eek:

Or... it's a business thing, which is probably more likely. :scrutiny:

guggep
October 26, 2013, 12:35 AM
Calcination of gypsum board starts at 80C (176F). A temperature of 120C (248F) will drive the calcination to conclusion. This property ensures that active thermal management engages at temperatures below that which will damage paper.

Simson
October 26, 2013, 04:19 AM
Calcination of gypsum board starts at 80C (176F). A temperature of 120C (248F) will drive the calcination to conclusion. This property ensures that active thermal management engages at temperatures below that which will damage paper.

Thanks Guggep, I would like to understand the chemistry better. Very interesting topic.

TheSafeGuy
October 26, 2013, 01:58 PM
Gypsum Board, aka Drywall, is a very effective insulator for fire safes. It has it's weaknesses, but in general the water/steam content is rather mind blowing. You think of a material like that to be very dry, and when you work with it, it sucks all the moisture out of your hands. But, that is the very property that makes it good. It has a hyper-affinity to hold water.

When your home catches fire, a typical 2x4 wood wall with gyp-board on either side becomes a steam bath that protects the wood from ignition. Until structural breeches expose the wood, that wall acts as a highly effective fire stop that is self regulating internal temperatures at a little over 212ºF.

In the safe, the vulnerabilities are on the edges and corners. The raw, cut edges never fit perfectly together there. The heat energy along the vertical corners of the safe body are experiencing the energy influx from two surfaces, and therefore magnify and accelerate the calcination. Since the raw materials are not very structurally sound, they begin to crumble and fracture as they decay and release the steam.

In a filled safe, the homogenous integrity of the fill reduces the vulnerability considerably, and also stand better structurally because the constituent structure is much more robust, that being a cementacious base. These cement based poured barriers survive much longer before breeches cause the final catastrophic failure. You will note that high-quality drywall board can be bought to include fiber reinforcement. That is there to help hold the material together as it decays in the fire. Reputable safe makers use this higher grade material if they have a clue about fire protection. (most don't)...

Simson
October 26, 2013, 08:32 PM
Thanks TheSafeGuy. Gypsum has half it's volume in water ... wow pretty amazing. Can a cementacious mix approach that high a level of water content?

I guess the thought of a massive amount of steam being generated within a gun safe I own makes me a bit uneasy. I'm not sure it's necessarily the lesser of two evils if your collection is well insured to not just have them burn verses boil in steam.

Brown puts their fire lining around the safe inner shell so would that suggest steam would not enter the chamber of the safe during a fire?

It appears that the AMSEC HS might be constructed in a similar manner so would that suggest no steam will enter the chamber in the cause of the HS? Are there other means on AMSEC safes to channel the steam generated away from the contents or is it just not an issue?

Maybe I'm just being paranoid but I've seen some photos of drywall lined gun safes that "survived" a fire and the contents didn't look pretty. I cringe at the thought of having to refinish some of the antique fire arms I own but maybe with the right choices up front, the risks will be lower of that happening.

guggep
October 27, 2013, 12:53 AM
For anyone who wants to read some serious research on the mechanics I found these two papers on then net:
1) http://josbrouwers.bwk.tue.nl/publications/Journal75x.pdf

2) http://fire.nist.gov/bfrlpubs/fire07/PDF/f07089.pdf

Simson
October 27, 2013, 10:14 AM
guggep, those are excellent studies especially the NIST article from a practicality standpoint.

solidheart
October 29, 2013, 12:14 AM
I'm not sure if this info was mentioned. I didn't read it on a skim through of the thread. Regarding the redundant lock by Lagard, the lock is very much in production. Notice the non plural reference as lock. This is in fact a single mechanical 4 wheel lock rather than the standard 3 wheel locks that are installed on the majority of safes. The 4 wheel lock is a group 1 lock. The 3 wheel lock is available in group2 and group1 with group 1 being higher security.Group 1 is often referred to as manipulation proof. The 4 wheel Lagard group 1 lock has an electronic over ride which allows the user to enter 8 digits on a push button keypad and then turn the dial counter clockwise to the left until the dial stops. This counter clockwise turnis what lines the 4 wheels in place and engages the lock to retract. This lock also has whats called a hold up feature which I am only sum-what educated on. From what I understand, this feature allows the user to dial a code which unlocks the safe and also sends a signal of a hold up or forced entry. This is done by dialing 10 higher on the first number. So if the combo was 10-20-30-40 the user would dial 20-20-30-40. The lock is very much in production and can be purchased only through one gun safe manufacturer that I am aware of. There was a short time period where this safe manufacturer was using a similar redundant lock system in place of the Lagard 4 wheel but are currently offering the Lagard again. I'm not sure the reasoning behind this but let me say this. If there is a quality lock on the free market Amsec will allow it as an option for purchase. Amsec does not offer this lock to my knowledge unless it is a new option they have added after the first of 2013. Amsec advertised the release of the duet lock which can be found on Cannon 2013 models but have not been able to offer the lock from what I believe to be an exclusive offerbuy out purchased by Cannon Safe. This lock offered by Cannon is third redundant lock mentioned here in this post. As for the comparison in Sturdy and Amsec I will easily suggest the BF series as an elite contender. Amsec has been building safes for 60+ years and has the ability to build a product that qualifies as a vault rather than a just a successful sprint from 1st base to 2nd base (safe). This word is very casually used in many different terms and should not be looked at as a high line of security. In the event of a breaking and entering your firearms are in the criminals top three priorities. It goes cash, gold and guns in that order. However, when it comes to the protection of our youth any 12 gauge safe with a U.L. listed lock is adequate for peace of mind.

justindo
October 29, 2013, 10:47 PM
I went through this same process around five years ago and also in the last month. Based on my research at the time and now, I think that the Sturdy and the Amsec BF are at the top of their class in this price range and you could do a lot worse for the same, or more, money.

That written, I purchased an Amsec BF five years ago and have ordered another. The only advantage the Sturdy has, in my opinion, is the body's steel thickness, and that single advantage has grown with the new 4 gauge body and 3/8" door upgrade. (If you go for the Sturdy, this is a mandatory option.) This single advantage is significant, as the body is the most vulnerable part of these containers, but the Amsec BF wins in every other category, which is what swayed me twice. If you don't have to worry about the safe's sides, that makes the Amsec an even easier choice.

TheSafeGuy
October 30, 2013, 12:51 AM
Gypsum has half it's volume in water ... wow pretty amazing. Can a cementacious mix approach that high a level of water content?

Oh yes, absolutely. Our fill material we call "Fire Clay", which is not a clay at all, is much more effective. Although the mix formula is a secret I can't reveal, the base material and primary mix component is a particular grade of cement (there are many grades, all providing different cast properties). That mix as evolved from decades of refinements testing high-end long duration rated fire safes. That material is one of the key elements that I used to get a 2-hour UL Class 350 rating on our primary firesafe line. The BF Gunsafe formula was derived from that mix design, but enhanced with materials that reduced the dry density from 60 lbs per cu ft to around 20 lbs per cu ft.

Brown puts their fire lining around the safe inner shell so would that suggest steam would not enter the chamber of the safe during a fire?

If they are sealing the steam from entering the inner container, they are defeating the purpose of the steam effect. The conduction of heat into the steam bearing material creates eh steam, but the heat energy still conducts thru the material. The steam bath carries the heat away from high temperature areas like a cooling heat exchanger.

If there is a hot spot that gets the inside wall very hot, and the steam is not able to bathe that surface and absorb the heat so it can be spread and carried away, that hot spot will just get hotter and hotter. If the interior has no steam circulating and condensing on the walls, then that hot spot is heating the interior thru convection and radiation. Without the steam, those hot spots, which are present in every safe design, will cause an early failure.

It appears that the AMSEC HS might be constructed in a similar manner so would that suggest no steam will enter the chamber in the cause of the HS? Are there other means on AMSEC safes to channel the steam generated away from the contents or is it just not an issue?

The HS safe is designed to exploit the steam. There are measures employed to assure effective steam saturation inside the safe. I'll be vague on any more detail than that. Some things need to be left unsaid.

Maybe I'm just being paranoid but I've seen some photos of drywall lined gun safes that "survived" a fire and the contents didn't look pretty. I cringe at the thought of having to refinish some of the antique fire arms I own but maybe with the right choices up front, the risks will be lower of that happening.

One of the things that make safes that survive a fire look so bad is the materials in the safe. The carpeting, valuer, adhesives and plastics are all in an advanced state of decay at temperatures above 300 degrees. The thermal decay is int he form of two primary observations, melting and the release of soot and heavy gasses. That decay makes the interior look really terrible at times. That is why you see fire demonstration pictures where the interior is left bare wood to look more pristine. That's also one way that some companies do side-by-side comparisons and make the competitor look so bad... the other guy's sample is left covered with all the materials that decay at temperatures that we judge to be survival level.

Ken70
November 1, 2013, 09:57 PM
I've got an AMSEC, looking it over, morons or kids that don't have a clue will try to pry the door open. If you spend a few minutes looking at any safe, the easy way in is to cut the side open. It's only .125" thick, bring a 7 1/4" electric saw with a metal cutting friction blade. Probably less than 10 minutes to cut a 1'x3' hole in the side. Get a real safe, then bring the cutting torch. My house has sprinklers, so no fire threat. I spend most of my time at home and nobody knows about the gun safes....

justindo
November 5, 2013, 10:42 PM
Does anybody know when the 1/4" body for the Amsec BFs will be available?

TheSafeGuy
November 6, 2013, 01:28 PM
Okay, here is the deal. The heavy liner BF is not in the lineup for next season. However, if you want one, call your local dealer/distributor and ask for a quote for a BF with a 4-gauge liner. Our manufacturing and engineering is GTG, but we shelved the product for the time being. However, I am told we will take orders for custom make-to-order BFs with a 4 gauge liner. The price should not be outrageous. Our team is expecting inquiries, so if you want this, there is a good chance you can get it done.

LeonCarr
November 6, 2013, 05:11 PM
This thread has been a great source of information.

Great to see a bunch of subject matter experts chime in on Safes/RSCs.

Thanks a bunch for sharing your knowledge,
LeonCarr

justindo
November 7, 2013, 01:40 AM
Thanks a bunch, SafeGuy!

Simson
November 7, 2013, 10:15 PM
TheSafeGuy, I think your BF safe with a 4ga liner would do really well and glad to see you guys might offer it. To be honest, the 1/2" steel plate door on a body with thin sheet steel and low density concrete body seemed a bit disproportionate. Now put a 4ga liner on that same safe, that would be a tough gun safe to get into and one that doesn't weight 4 tons.

Walkalong
November 7, 2013, 10:39 PM
The BF with a 1/2" door and a 4 gauge liner and their "concrete" fire filler is a very interesting option.

justindo
November 7, 2013, 11:42 PM
The thin gauge body is the weak point on the BFs. A 4 gauge liner is a game changer and makes it the best RSC on the market in its price range, in my opinion.

TheSafeGuy
November 7, 2013, 11:46 PM
I think your BF safe with a 4ga liner would do really well and glad to see you guys might offer it. To be honest, the 1/2" steel plate door on a body with thin sheet steel and low density concrete body seemed a bit disproportionate.

Well, our distribution would disagree with you. The 4 gauge liner on a BF6030 will add an estimated 285 lbs to an already overweight safe that most dealers won't stock because it's over that magic 1000 lb mark. Most competing models are well under 800 lbs. This HD version will tip the scales at around 1350 lbs. :eek:

This thing only happens if the customers like yourself drive it. The wholesaler/distributor/dealer decides what THEY want to buy and move, and in turn what you get to chose from in the showroom. Demand is the only thing that will change that habit. :banghead:

Simson
November 8, 2013, 08:57 PM
Yes I do understand Safeguy, much over 1000Lbs you begin to have to consider reinforcing stairs, floor joists etc. Actually, a 3/8" door with a 7ga liner in your BF would still be appealing to me, wonder what that would weigh?

TheSafeGuy
November 8, 2013, 11:22 PM
Actually, a 3/8" door with a 7ga liner in your BF would still be appealing to me, wonder what that would weigh?

A quick calculation shows it will be around 1185 lbs. It's still up 150 lbs over the stock weight of 1035 lbs.

What makes good sense is to provide a net 1/4" body. The outer shell is 12 gauge (0.105 in), so getting to 1/4 inch would require a 10 gauge liner (0.105 + 0.135 = 0.240 in). Do that with a 3/8 door, and you end up with a weight around 1110 lbs. Still heavier than the standard...

CB900F
November 8, 2013, 11:56 PM
Fella's;

I've sold Graffunder's for years. The smallest standard size safe is the B6026 & it weighs 1225 lbs. empty. In my experience it doesn't sell well because it's too small, has 12 slots. However, the point of my post is that I never, not once, ever had a problem selling or installing one because of a weight consideration. And I sold more than a few of 'em over the years. I've even installed examples by myself, and I'm an old man. Granted, I had all the proper equipment available, a fair amount of experience doing it, and a huge motivation not to hurt myself, but that amount of weight should never be considered a deterrent to either selling or placing a unit.

Now, you get to a C7248 at 3600 lbs. empty, you gotta think real good about whatcher doin' there. It's that damn gravity ya see.

:D 900F

justindo
November 15, 2013, 09:20 PM
SafeGuy,

My dealer has been trying to order me a BF with the 4 gauge. liner, but he hasn't been able to talk with anyone from AmSec who is aware of the upgrade. Could you either private message me or post the name and/or contact info of someone at AmSec who could get this done for me? I'd really appreciate it! Thanks.

nyresq
November 17, 2013, 05:50 PM
Unless something was tested by Sturdy recently, last I checked, none of their products carries an actual RSC rating. They claim it "meets and exceeds" the UL rating, but has not actually been tested and given an approval of the RSC rating.

And Frank, care to elaborate on the fall out with Graffunder?

icecold1
November 24, 2013, 11:34 AM
I was looking at a Fort Knox as I like the heavy gauge steel but a amsec with a 4 gauge liner sounds very appealing.who can we contact to get these ordered?
Please post some contact info so my dealer can call someone who knows something
Thanks
Pete

a1abdj
November 24, 2013, 12:08 PM
Please post some contact info so my dealer can call someone who knows something


If your dealer doesn't know who to contact in order to place an order for a safe, you're dealing with the wrong dealer.

icecold1
November 24, 2013, 12:47 PM
he says he called and no one knows of this upgraded liner.he is really pushing superior safes,most likely because he makes the biggest profit on them.
i would really like to know what it would cost for a amsec bf in 7240 with the upgraded liner.
maybe i'll check the amsec site and look for another dealer
pete

CB900F
November 24, 2013, 12:56 PM
icecold1;

If you've been looking at Ft. Knox, then I presume you've also been looking at the price tag attached. At that cost level you might want to consider looking into a true U.L. B rated safe, they aren't that much more. However when the protective ability of a safe is compared to an RSC, which a Ft. Knox is, hopefully you'll realize that a little more money gets you into a vastly superior product. There are members on this site who can speak to that from actual experience.

900F

TheSafeGuy
November 25, 2013, 12:15 PM
We are getting our ducks lined up on this now. I'll have more info later today.

TheSafeGuy
November 25, 2013, 04:52 PM
Please send me a PM for information on BF with 4Ga liner.

If you enjoyed reading about "RSC Decision - AMSEC or Sturdy" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!