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Liberty Guns safes, did I blow it?

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by mikechandler, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. mikechandler

    mikechandler Well-Known Member

    I thought I was being smart, but I guess the salesman got the better of me. I went to a place today to look at a used American Security BF safe - with a 1/4" plate (I think it was 1/4", it sure wasn't 1/2") door, it was kinda smallish though... I think 24x18x60.. and I was concerned that the door could be pried open as it would be easy to get a crowbar under that plate.

    So then he showed me his top of the line Liberty Safes Presidential, and explained that the door had two 3/16" plates inside, wrapped in ball-bearing steel all the way around, and that it was a "pry proof" safe. Of course it was like $3,400... so he took me in the back and showed me a Liberty Franklin FR50 - which looked like the same build quality and was big enough, and had really nice interior features... he told me it had the same plate in the door and the anti-pry tabs (whatever those are) - for 2600.00 installed, so I bought it. That was a cash price... delivery on 1/4/2013.

    Now, reading THR archives, it sounds like the smaller amsec safe would have been higher security and this thing I got is little better than an old refrigerator with a lock - 11ga steel wrapped over sheetrock, that a fireaxe will go through in minutes.

    I've been concerned about upgrading from a gun rack I have my long guns in and a small safe that I keep my handguns in - I was hoping with a safe this big, I could even put my Gibson Historic Les Pauls in there when I leave town. Now it sounds like hiding the guitars under the beds (worth more than the guns) is a better idea.

    How bad did I blow this? Should I go back and shell out the extra money for the presidential? Their literature says all over it, "The best built safes on the planet!" - man do I feel like a chump.

    I haven't even told my wife - she was counting on me to make a good choice :banghead:
  2. floorit76

    floorit76 Well-Known Member

    Don't know much about the other safe, but what kinda fire rating does your matress have?
  3. 303tom

    303tom member

  4. rondog

    rondog Well-Known Member

    A little late now, but what state are you in? I know the best Liberty safe dealer in Colorado, and he might be able to refer you to someone where you are. Mark has the best prices, best selection and highest volume in CO, and he does free delivery to most of the state.
  5. CB900F

    CB900F Well-Known Member


    I'll never tell anybody that they shouldn't have gotten a protective container for their firearms. Anything is better than nothing. But, as a professional in this game, I don't have a lot of respect for that company's product.

    You don't say what area of the country you live in. If it's in or near a metropolitan area, you can quite likely find a locksmith who's SAVTA certified and can actually show you how to tell fool's gold from the real thing. SAVTA is the Safe And Vault Technician's Assn., in other words, a pro not a salesperson.

    Myself, I've gone with the product I sell. But given your choice, I'd have taken the AMSEC.

  6. mikechandler

    mikechandler Well-Known Member

    That price is sickening - I wonder what they charge for a Franklin? The fatboy jr is a short colonial safe, it's smaller, and from the lower line...

    The franklin is bigger, and the regular fatboy is a shorter version of that safe.

    Still, I have that sinking feeling.
  7. heeler

    heeler Well-Known Member

    A few things...
    Shame you didnt ask around here first as I know I have learned a good bit over the last five years.
    All that being said if you bought a Liberty Franklin 50 delivered for $2600 you DID NOT get taken.
    The safe that was linked is much smaller than your Franklin 50.
    Although your sales guy was not truthful about several things he told you I can say that the Liberty Presidential has a 3/16 door skin and a 1/4 inch plate at the back of the door.
    But it does not have a ball bearing lining all the way around it.
    It does use a lock protection device with ball bearings to help repel a drill attack on the locking mechanism.
    The anti pry device are tabs welded to the locking frame of the door and during a pry attack they push up against the steel of the door face skin to bolster a weaker door and it's locking pins because it is not plate steel such as the Amsec and flexes because it has little steel in the door so this helps make it more rigid.
    It's another way to skin a cat so to speak, but myself,I prefer plate steel which is why I chose my own Amsec BF.
    Your Franklins door has an outer door skin of 11 or 12 gauge steel with an 11 or 12 gauge inner liner.
    The Amsec BF has a half inch plate steel door which blows away any Liberty safe door.
    It does not flex.
    Still the Franklin is a decent gun safe with a good locking mechanism.
    You could have done much worse.
    I read about it all the time here.
  8. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Well-Known Member

    AMSEC lists every BF series has a 1/2" solid steel plate on the door, except the BF7250 which steps down to 3/8". I suspect the door-to-body weight ratio ends up making the entire thing unbalanced if it isn't bolted down with an open door.

  9. mikechandler

    mikechandler Well-Known Member

    The amsec I saw did not have a 1/2" plate on the door. It was 3/8" at most - it must not have been a BF model. I had read about sturdy and amsec, but never even knew about liberty safes, had never heard of them, and my data speed on my phone was really slow from the store. And this guy seemed honest. I did see the liberty video, with guns & ammo trying to pry a liberty safe open. I should've known, G&A are totally unreliable.

    Reading more on the presidential, I don't feel it's that much more protection - any of these and they'll be into in short time anyway - none of them are burglar proof. I am disappointed.

    I am thinking that I should build a fake wall at the end of my hallway, and hide the liberty, seeing it as a fire resistant and childproof container, but no real protection against professional thieves. I can have the hidden cubby ready for it by the time it arrives - that's probably the best I can do.


    I don't know that I would have done any better at cabelas - I feel now like the whole gunsafe business is a racket.
  10. heeler

    heeler Well-Known Member

    I talked to a former safe saleman and his main complaint about the Amsec BF was the door weight and the tipping if the safe was not bolted down which common sense dictates as a security measure you should.
    According to him they just slipped a three foot yard stick under the front of the safe and supposedly this was just enough to keep the safe from tipping when the door was swung past 100 degrees.
    Mine is bolted heavily to the concrete slab.
  11. heeler

    heeler Well-Known Member

    Mike...You just needed to research gun safes a bit more.
    Your Franklin is a pretty decent gun safe all things considered.
  12. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Well-Known Member

    Cabela's carries rebranded Liberties and you're paying MSRP + 10% for anything Cabelas carries.

    Only in the gun safe world will you hear sales complain that a safe is TOO heavy or the door is too heavy. I just purchased a small commercial safe with 1" solid steel plate construction and an additional aggregate security barrier. I WANT a heavy safe. It means there is MORE metal and MORE aggregate barrier to stop a bad guy.
  13. clance

    clance Well-Known Member

    What you need to do is a "risk assessment" for yourself and ask the question:

    What is my primary concern for purchasing the safe?
    a.) Fire
    b.) Theft

    When I purchased my Liberty, Franklin 35 a month ago my main concern is fire. Working in security for several years I know that the vast majority of residential thefts are usual commited by juveniles looking to score fast cash. Generally we're talking about individuals that will take no more then 10 minutes to grab what they can and get out so not to get caught. So unless you give them the conbination chances are whatever you put in your Liberty will be there when you and/or the police arrive. Also realize that no safe is unbreachable if the thief(s) grabs a love one and demand you open it. So as few as necessary should know about your safe and don't leave it in plan view where anyone you wouldn't want to know could spot it. No sense in temping both them and/or fate.

    The biggest threat of lost for you or anyone else is fire. As your's safe is the same model line as mine, you have a fairly good fire rating of 60 mins. at 1200 degree. The average home will be in the basement long before 60 mins so the next biggest threat to the contents in the safe is water as the fire department pumps thousands of gallons of water on the fire, turning your basement in to a swimming pool. Luckily I just happen to live around the corner from the local fire department so I'm not to concern about my safe landing in the basement, but if you life in the country where the volunteer fire responders will take 20 mins or longer to respond. You might want to think about the placement of your safe to give it the maximum protection from both heat and water.

    If you still have a concern about the quality of your safe being sufficient to keep a thief out. Go to Radio Shack and pickup a alarm system for the room where your safe is. These are reasonable in cost and programable so that you can set it to call your cellphone if someone trips the sensor which is in the room with your safe. Get the motion sensor which also has the built in camera so you can see who or what trip the sensor in real time.

    Another thing. If you have any tools or a cutting torch around which could be used to breach your safe. Don't leave them out and about where a thief could possible find them and use them to breach your safe. Even a incompetent thief can use a cutting torch so there is no sense making it easy for them by providing them the tools to get into your safe.

    On a whole, the Liberty will provide enough protection against the average risk most home owners would experience
  14. mikechandler

    mikechandler Well-Known Member

    I woke up this morning thinking about the whole risk bit... and my biggest risk is fire, not professional thieves. Like you said, my biggest theft fear is juveniles looking for quick cash or prescription drugs - or my ADHD/bi-polar teenage daughter (the whole Newtown thing made me reassess my gun storage). The RSC will do fine for all this.

    The fire department is less than half a mile from me - and they don't have to cross any stop lights either, they're right at the entrance to the community. I have an ADT alarm, but I don't have the motion sensors turned on during the day because of our dog. I'll be sure to activate everything when we leave town. My house has no basement - it's on a cement pad, and the safe will be bolted down. I don't have any grinders, fireaxes, pry bars, or a cutting torch.

    My next safe will be a TLTR60x6 vault in a secret room and all. I feel more educated now - and as others stated, it's too bad I didn't know more up front - but all in all, I think I'm okay. I could have done worse.
  15. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    You're suffering from buyer's remorse. The cure is to make a buying decision then stop shopping.

    Any RSC is in reality little more than a speed bump to a determined and well-equipped thief. I bought a Liberty after doing what I considered to be rational research. It's big and roomy and holds everything I need it to hold securely enough to deter the average burglar, and it will provide decent fire protection. That's all you can really hope for unless you have mega bucks.
  16. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

    I'm no expert, but think Liberty is inferior for the money.

    I have no frills safes made by Sturdy. I've been very happy with their product and customer service. Much more affordable at 1/2 or 2/3 what you spent.


    I would immediately cancel the contract and do your homework before committing on that large of a purchase.
  17. mstirton

    mstirton Well-Known Member

    $3200 delivered for a 7 gauge steel body and ceramic fire liner.
    That's what I'll get when my budget allows. Meanwhile, since I have to have a RSC to hold my guns, I went cheap with the 10 gauge GS5940H that I got a few years ago for $1300 delivered.

    I figure if I have to settle, why pay a premium to what still pretty much amounts to a sub-par safe?
  18. CB900F

    CB900F Well-Known Member


    I've gotta admit that phrases that imply that true safes cost "mega-bucks" do kinda jerk my chain. I don't know what a mega-buck is, and I don't think there's a good definition in Webster's either.

    So, I'll give as a concrete point of reference, the data for a true U.L. B rated Graffunder that's on my showroom floor right now, 12/22/12.

    This safe is a Graffunder B7248. It is approximately 6 feet tall by 4 feet wide by 27.5 inches deep. It weighs 2340 lbs empty. The door is 1/2" thick plate steel. Every other exterior surface is 1/4" plate steel backed with approximately 1.5" of a proprietary concrete mixture containing a vermiculite fiber. The fiber is in there to make it harder to get a hot-spot going & burn into the safe. Interior to the concrete is a continuous liner of guage sheet steel that's very comparable to the exterior skin of an RSC. The interior layer of steel is also continuously welded. It keeps the vermiculite out of your enviroment and provides additional structural rigidity to the safe. The door has an upgrade gloss enamel panel with gold hardware and graphics. The interior is also upgraded with 48 slots for guns in three E-Z out bays. The bays have shelf tracks and additional shelf units for convertibility.

    If your concern is thermal protection realize this: If you put more and/or denser material between the heat source and what you want to protect, you get better protection. Therefore juxtapose sheet metal and gypsum board or foam, to plate steel and concrete. Graffunder lists 1750 f for one hour, every minute of the test hour spent at 1750 f.

    The freight has been payed from the factory to the shop. The showroom price also includes delivery at ground level to a radius of approximately 25 miles from the shop.

    If you want to know the price, PM me. But it's well under what I think you guys think mega-bucks are.

  19. Steel Horse Rider

    Steel Horse Rider Well-Known Member

    There are probably some end of the world survival shelters for sale at a discount right now, maybe that would make a secure environment to store your guns. :D From previous threads I can tell you that no matter what you would have purchased for even little or nothing someone would have been critical of your decision. :uhoh:
  20. Tim the student

    Tim the student Well-Known Member

    CB900F - Would you mind giving a price range? FWIW, I'd expect that safe go for around 5k, but it is really nothing more than a very slightly informed guess.

    If we shop judiciously, how much would we be looking at for a safe that is actually a safe, not a RSC? Say 36 long guns.

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