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American Rifleman -- An Inside Look at Liberty Safe

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by USBP379, Oct 27, 2017.

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  1. USBP379

    USBP379 Member

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  2. CaptHank

    CaptHank Member

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    I've had the "Franklin" model for about 12 years. My only complaint, should have purchased the larger model. As you can see, maxed out on long guns.

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  3. USBP379

    USBP379 Member

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    I know the "buy bigger than you need" is standard advice. But that doesn't really note anything about the safe's general construction or quality.

    Here's something interesting I came across recently. All the safes "tested" against the Champions have composite fire doors that allow for more flex and/or no reinforcement in the door jamb.

     
  4. Berger.Fan222

    Berger.Fan222 Member

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    For me the weak link in most newer gun safes is the electronic lock. A S&G type II dial combo lock will last 50-100 years. What are the odds any electronic device will last 50-100 years?
     
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  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    In that video the bolts are rotated in because they are not supported well, they rotated on the thin piece of metal they go through, like most gun safes out there. Locking bolts need to be supported in two spots. The Champion in the video looks like it does. I know the Sturdy does, it has thick steel supporting the bolts on both ends. Very difficult to make them rotate and let the door open. They would have to shear off. Liberty safes are over priced for what you get IMHO. My old Liberty has a 1/4" steel door with reasonably well supported bolts and 1/8" steel sides. The newer ones have thin sides and composite doors with thin sheet metal. To get good protection with Liberty you have to spend a lot of money. There are better options out there. IMHO of course.

     
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  6. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    Possibly.

    The question is not whether the door is made out of a composite, but what the composite is made out of and what are its mechanical properties?

    Composites can be harder than steel, stronger than steel while having the added benefit that they don't transmit heat like steel.

    When looking at a safe, the question you want to ask yourself is what do you expect the safe to do?

    Neither does the video you linked to.

    I'm sure someone driving a bulldozer over a bunch of safes may appeal on a visceral level, it is not at all a realistic test. A structure collapsing around a safe produces different stresses from a being run over by a bull dozer. And thieves wanting to steal your guns don't want them smooshed by the bulldozer. And the bulldozer says nothing of the ability of the safe to protect the contents from heat AFTER being subjected to external forces.
     
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  7. RavenTai

    RavenTai Member

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    I just sold my "45 gun" liberty Franklin, I bought it used and got %90 out of what I had in it when I sold it

    Excellent appearance, beautiful paint. and yes looks matter. it sat in my living room. the liberty looks very secure and I really liked the interior layout, very versatile, it was a 72" high model and the upper two shelves above the rifles got filed up quickly with important papers , wife's jewelry coins, network attached storage (DIY cloud) etc etc

    reliability, after I delivered it to the new owner the door and mechanism still worked flawlessly after at least 4 roughly handled moves, it was a S&G dial safe. (my preference)

    negatives: The wall thickness was not much better than the cheap safes, its well organized sheet metal, you are primarily paying for better assembly techniques and fit/finish not more metal.
    On mine the door was not removable that made it a bear to move and the main reason it was sold when I had to move,
    the bolts were very thick and solid but the mechanism that drove them and supported them was made of somewhat heavy sheet metal. not nearly as strong as the outward appearance of the bolts would indicate, this in not really a dig on liberty as everything in that price range and below has similar or worse construction.
    I would have liked to have seen solid wood or at least plywood shelves, the MDF is not as strong and has moisture problems here in Florida

    You can get a huge cannon from tractor supply, their 80 gun wide body was recently on sale for $800, the appearance, security and quality of construction are much poorer, you can get real security with a TL-30 rated safe. you will pay a small fortune for it. most of us will never really need that much security, you can get it all with a top of the line fort knox, your gonna pay a fortune,

    Liberty is a middle market player. they are nice and will work for most but like most gun safes it is a sheet metal residential security container, not a plate steel safe

    I am currently looking at sturdy safe, they are not as attractive or refined as a Liberty, looks more like something your favorite skilled welder would build in small shop less like a product of a large corp with a marketing department, what you give up in shiny you get back in thicker metal, still not plate steel but do I need that ? If I did get plate steel how would I move it?

    another is Zanotti armor trier neat trick is they come apart for easy moving, I am 41 and moving a whole safe as one piece gets less appealing every year a trend that will not reverse, fire resistance is a problem though, there is am import version, snap safe, less money, less quality.

    if money were no object I would look at American security or Fort Knox and hire good movers.
     
  8. SamT1

    SamT1 Member

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    I have a liberty FatBoy marked as a John Deere. It has a mechanical lock, metal door.
    It’s about as heavy as anyone can reasonably move by normal means.
    My dad has a tractor supply cannon. It’s not even close. I feel like I easily got the extra value from the liberty, but I did get it through a friend with connections so I’m not sure what they cost normally.
    I think if a guy has several guns or other valuables he needs a safe. You need one with room for expansion. And of course we’re all in a budget. A guy with 10k or less in guns probably just needs that $550 Winchester marked safe at tractor supply. A guy with 20k in guns probably needs a liberty. You get up to 50k and you probably need something more or to just list them on your homeowners. Most insurance covers a certain value in firearms without declaring them specifically or a policy rider.

    I’ve thought several times about trying to build one from plate steel and insulating it inside. The hard part is figuring out a door. I guess a guy could buy an old smaller safe and use a smallish door. My dad has an old Melink safe that’s about 4’x3’. A guy could make a door like that work ok. That sucker is super heavy.
     
  9. opsman

    opsman Member

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    I purchased a Superior Master Series M40, I researched every gun safe on the market at the time, I chose the Superior because of it's solid steel door, on the Master Series it is 3/8 inch thick. Every manufacture is going to tout their product as the best and will point out the various features of their product. Superior is made by Champion and the basic difference between the two is that the hinges on the Superior are external vs the Champion that have theirs mounted internal. I like the hinges on the outside, this allows for the door to be swung out to nearly a full 180 degrees, this allows for full access to the interior.

    I am not a fan of the electric locking system, reason being is that when I was still looking for my safe I went to look at a model that had an electronic lock on it, while I was entering the store default combo the entire outside panel fell off and was being held on by the wires that go to the inside. That sealed the deal for me, a mechanical dial was going on my safe.

    I solved the long gun storage problem, if you are out of room in your safe like I was go buy a product called Rifle Rods, the are available on Amazon and other places

     
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  10. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    I'll pass on shoving a plastic rod down the bbl. of any of my high end or target firearms.

    DM
     
  11. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    That's a neat idea. Thank you for sharing it.
     
  12. opsman

    opsman Member

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    Yes I will give a plug for a product that I like, and the Rifle Rods certainly do what they say they will. I have no problem placing a plastic rod in the barrel of my firearms. Most of us shove a cleaning rod through the entire barrel, even on our finest firearms, unless you spend some extra cash on a carbon fiber one piece cleaning rod you run the risk of the sides of your metal rod making contact with the rifling of your barrel, the plastic rod does no damage to the barrel, even if you wish not to put anything in the barrel you can with your other firearms and free up some much needed space in your safe.

    Buy the best safe you can afford, and by all means buy one bigger than you think, they fill up fast and you will soon find that you are looking for more room and wishing you had bought one bigger.
     
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