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lucked out on a TL-30 safe. story & questions

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by jmr, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. jmr

    jmr Member

    Hey guys, this is my first post.
    I've been lurking around the internet gathering info for my 1st safe purchase. After much research (& watching youtube videos) I came to the following conclusion: Most gun safes aren’t safes at all.
    I decided that I better up my budget and look for a good class B type safe. I got a few quotes and decided on a safe. Then by chance I decided to check out good old craigslist. The ad was just placed and read TL-30 safe going out of business $500. The pictures attached showed a grey decent size safe.
    I called the number and the safe was still available, I told the nice lady that as long as it worked I would buy it. She gave me the address and told me to bring lots of help as the safe weighed 2700 LBS. I left work early and called several safe movers on my way home. Luckily I found a mover that was available that afternoon. We all met at the address 1 hour later, it was a jewelry store. The safe looked like a tank. I asked the mover if he could handle it and he said "don't worry I'll get it”. The owner gave me the combo and it worked great. I paid for the safe and had it back at my house about 3 hours later. The mover was great and I paid him a well deserved $410 bucks.
    I plan on removing all but 1 shelf and am going to install some type of gun rack for my long guns. The safe seems extremely well built.

    Here’s my questions:
    1. Do I need to bolt this safe down? (It currently does not have holes in the bottom)
    2. There are two long keys in the safe and a Key slot in the front with a round sliding tab over the key hole. Can the keys be used to open the safe?
    3. Does anybody know anything about this safe or know where I can find info? (I can’t seem to find anything on the internet about this specific safe, it appears Merlo is now part of Patriot)
    4. What is the approx. value?

    This is what I know,

    The safe is approx 30 years old.

    The Tag on the inside of the door says:
    Merlo Safe
    TL30 Plus Model
    Six-Sided 2 hr. Fire
    And is stamped MFR AMS
    (mover thought it was a Merlo safe maybe made by American Security)

    The Tag on the lower front of the door says:
    Manufacturer U.L. TL-30 File No. BP1017
    Serial No. F 103427
    MFG code KZR

    The safe dimensions are:
    62" tall X 31" wide X 29" deep (outside)
    55" tall X 24" wide X 23" deep (inside)

    It has a S&G combo lock
    It has a total of 10 EA. 1.5" locking bolts (4 on each side, 1 on top, 1 on bottom)

    Thanks for any help/info,

    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  2. a1abdj

    a1abdj Well-Known Member

    Could you post a photo or two?
  3. heeler

    heeler Well-Known Member

    Sounds like a killer deal for a total out lay of $910.
    Good find.
  4. jmr

    jmr Member

  5. heeler

    heeler Well-Known Member

    You did very well jmr.
    It wont be hard to set up a rifle rack.
    Or better you might opt to put in a rotary rack which then would have you buy it and put inside the safe.
  6. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Well-Known Member

    Most people with commercial safes leave them on the shipping pallet and add trim around the bottom to make it look finished. Looks like you got it sitting directly on the floor so I guess you can't do that! Number of bolts is irrelevant since it's a TL-30. The only manufacturers that fuss over bolt size and count are gun safe manufacturers.

    The long keys are the high security keys. You need to dial in the combo AND use the key to get the safe open but it sounds like the key lock is disengaged right now? There are two locking mechanisms working in series to release the boltwork. It's added security and how a lot of commercial safes are set up. Don't lose the keys...I think they're about $50 ea to replace.

    For under $1000, that's a heck of a Craigslist score. A safe of that size and security rating is at least $5000. The only thing the pros here might suggest is getting a safe tech to service it, to make sure it's in good functioning order. You might even want to contact the jewelry store and find out who they used to service their safe.
  7. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    You scored! Congratulations.
  8. a1abdj

    a1abdj Well-Known Member

    Doesn't matter who makes it, the price makes it a very good deal.

    It does look like an AMSEC to me. AMSEC has made safes for other companies who then rebadge them. That could explain the Merlo sticker.
  9. jmr

    jmr Member

    Thanks for all the feedback guys. I opened up the door panel last night and found out the key lock is disengaged. That’s fine with me because I only want to rely on the combo lock to get in. Everything inside looks to be in great condition. I definitely need to practice the 9 digit combo, as it's a little tricky. I'm looking into gun racks to place inside the safe. Any recommendations? Thanks again.
  10. hueyville

    hueyville Well-Known Member

    Local locksmith had two of those same safes. Keys included and said would set combos to my choice. Sat under an awning for three years. He wanted 1,200 each. I stopped about once a year and tried to buy them. He never got under a grand each. He ended up selling for scrap metal at less than half what I offered. Asked why and he said too valuable as safe to sell cheap so decided better to scrap than sell at a deal. I found a new locksmith. Thought he was being rude and wasteful. Good job on the safe. You are correct about most gun vaults. Just a really nice dope on a tin can.
  11. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Well-Known Member

    $1200 is a deal. Even $2000 would be a deal considering a similar-sized TL-30 AMVAULT is $4000-5000 new. Was he rude because he refused to sell it to you at a price you felt comfortable with?
  12. Teachu2

    Teachu2 Well-Known Member

    Scrap prices are for scrap. If he's sold it to you for $800, he would have eroded the market value of a lot of his inventory - at least in his mind.

    Welcome to free-market economics. You don't have to buy, and he doesn't have to sell.

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