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amsec bf 6636

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by jetsfan-24, Feb 27, 2010.

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  1. jetsfan-24

    jetsfan-24 Member

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    hey guys i,m looking two get a amsec bf 6636 whats everybody,s opinon of them i,m getting it four around 2400 dollars is that a good price ?
     
  2. Pate

    Pate Member

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  3. heeler

    heeler Member

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    jetsfan I ordered the textured BF 66x36 this past October and received it in November and am very glad that I chose it.
    It's well made and has a lot of room inside.
    It would be a job for the smash and grab set of theives to breech and unless they had real working tools it's doubtful they would get into it.
    I did quite a bit of research and basically looked into every gun safe that practically exists.
    I will say I was very much considering the Sturdy safe but never could get a look at one as they do not have a dealer network and I could not risk that much money on a gamble of sight unseen.
    I paid 2299.00 for mine.
    Would I buy one again?
    Absolutely.
     
  4. jetsfan-24

    jetsfan-24 Member

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    any body else have an opinion ?
     
  5. JCinPA

    JCinPA Member

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    I would PM a1abdj here. A dealer can order from the company and have it shipped to you wherever you are. If I am going to go with an Internet dealer, I'd rather flip the order to him because he has been so helpful around here, and I'd even pop for an extra hundo or two over the best deal I've found because of that help.

    When shopping for one be sure to check shipping, I've found that varies a lot, too. I've seen quotes for shipping an Amsec to PA range from $485 to $750. You have to check out the whole package.
     
  6. ElToro

    ElToro Member

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    i just bought my bf6636 today just under 2900 delivered and installed including sales tax of about 9.75% in my county. i got grey textured and black nickel metal. i almost went with a 6030 for about 2100 in the door but i kept looking at it and thing that i would fill it up and have soem rifles left over. i like the extra shelf on top. plus it weighs 1300 pounds

    i almost went with a bit larger, lesser quality chinese import, but i figured, in a year i wont even remmebr it was 900 more. i figure its one less rifle.

    i live in a good neighborhood and im not too worried. but my neighbors garage burned down about 2 years ago.

    if i had some money i would buy one of those 6000 pound monsters.
     
  7. jetsfan-24

    jetsfan-24 Member

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    thanks guys keep them coming
     
  8. SafeGuy

    SafeGuy Member

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    An opinion on the price or on the safe?

    First, don't let the "MSRP" fool you. That's a fictitious number designed to make it look like you're getting a bargain when a dealer sells it to you for less than that. Nobody sells that safe for anywhere near that amount of money.

    Second, as for that one being the best safe for your personal needs, I would need to know what drew you to that one before I could offer you an opinion.
     
  9. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    $2,400 is dirt cheap on that safe. That aside, what $2,400 safe is out on the market that offers the same/similar volume, security, and fire resistance?
     
  10. SafeGuy

    SafeGuy Member

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    AMSEC claims a 1275 degree / 90 minute fire rating on that safe which measures 65-1/4" x 36" x 26". As for something comparable, how about a Champion Triumph Series T40 which measures 66-1/4" x 38 x 27" 1/2" with a 1500 degree / 90 minute fire rating for $1,995.00?

    I can give other examples if the OP wants.
     
  11. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    Let's set the manufacturer's claims aside for a minute.

    What is Champion using for insulation? Is there any UL rated safe on the market (one that has really passed a real fire test) using that same material?

    AMSEC is using a material that is engineered to be a heat resistant safe insulation, and this same material is used in UL rated fire safes.
     
  12. SafeGuy

    SafeGuy Member

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    What difference does it make if another safe passes the UL fire test when this AMSEC doesn't? A consumer has no choice but to compare apples and apples when only factory fire test results are listed by the manufacturer.

    As for security, the weight is very close (1218 lbs. AMSEC vs 1075 lbs. Champion), and both are UL listed as RSC's. I know from past experience that AMSEC has fudged on their gun safe weights, so who knows?

    Other than that, I fail to see your point.
     
  13. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    My point is one material is proven, and used often in the industry. The other material is unproven, never designed for the task at hand, and never used in the industry.
     
  14. SafeGuy

    SafeGuy Member

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    Unproven? Never used in the industry? Which industry is that?

    If you want to talk about fireboard aka gypsum board aka sheetrock, it is the industry standard where gun safes are concerned. No, it wasn't originally engineered to be used as insulation in a gun safe, but neither was concrete. Again, I fail to see your point. Bottom line is, the BF Series of AMSEC is not UL listed for fire resistance.
     
  15. JCinPA

    JCinPA Member

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    a1abdj, I'm pretty much set on an Amsec BF for total feature set and value/dollar for my needs. But having done a ton of research on these things, I have to admit getting really tired of the fire insulator discussion.

    In point of fact, Amsec did not subject the BF series to a U.L. test. I bet the material in the walls is the same (or almost so) as their fire safe series, but it is not quite as thick, I believe. I have total confidence it an Amsec BF's fire safety in an average house fire. But I have total confidence in my Liberty Lincoln for that, too, with 3 layers of gypsum board in the walls/doors, and 4 in the ceiling. I've seen photos of safe interiors after house fires on Liberty's site, Sturdy Safe's site, and Fort Knox's site, and they all have safes that held up well in house fires.

    But one thing I've learned is that the minutes/degrees claimed by manufacturers, including the Amsec BF series (what the heck is a "Mercury Rating"?) are just not comparable. A U.L. test is only directly comparable to another U.L. test, and Omega Point labs test is only directly comparable to another Omega Point Labs test, etcetera. But none of their 'ratings' are directly comparable to each other. You have to have the temperature vs. time graph for the tests if they are from different outfits and you want to do any kind of comparison at all.

    I'm not knocking Amsec's Mercury Rating or disputing you pointing out BF's use the material they use in their fire rated safes at all. I'm just saying I think an Amsec BF, or a Lincoln Liberty series or Sturdy's ceramic blanket insulated safes will all likely hold up well in a house fire. And any discussion about comparison of ratings is bound to be fruitless. In perusing most safe websites (not Amsec's thankfully) I've found most claims revolve around not how good their safes are, but how bad all the competitors' safes are, and that's a turnoff, at least for me. For example on Sturdy Safe's site, they say . . .

    For crying out loud, the S&G 6730 is THE lock standard of the home safe industry! It's probably found on 90% of the branded gun safes out there (Liberty, Heritage, Ft. Knox, Summit, Heritage, Amsec, etcetera, not the junk sold at Home Depot or Lowes). Everybody uses that lock! I don't want to pick on Sturdy, because I find this sort of thing on most safe websites, and it's very irritating. Some folks who use Amsec's fire insulator bash Sturdy's and others' use of ceramic blankets for instance. Those are used on industrial oven's for Pete's sake! To their credit, Amsec talks about their safes, not the competitions, and that is refreshing.

    I love the knowledge you bring to these discussions, so I don't want to sound like I'm arguing with you, you're a certified bank vault technician! But are the differences between the BF's insulating properties, compared to those of a Sturdy with ceramic blankets or a Lincoln with 3/4 layers of sheetrock likely to be that different? I mean functionally, like the difference between 12 gauge and 11 gauge? Even if the Amsec material is 'better', how do you measure the difference without ratings from the same agency, like U.L.? Their U.L. rated fire safes with 3-4 inches of the stuff are probably the greatest, but the BF thickness of it might not provide a meaningfully different protection than the Lincoln's thick sheetrock. After seeing photos and videos of several safe openings after house fires I'm pretty convinced the 'differences' are likely to be in the same category as you suggest the differences between a 12 gauge or a 10 gauge wall are likely to be. Yeah, 10 gauge is thicker, so by definition, it's 'better' but is there much practical difference?

    That said, I wholeheartedly agree with your comment that the Amsec BF series is a tremendous RSC product and about the best value for the money out there. There is no doubt in my mind that security-wise, that BF wall is more secure than any simple 10-11 or 12 gauge wall safe. I don't know about B-rated safes, but I'm not getting a safe with a 1/4" wall. I believe their drylight is an excellent insulator. I love the 1/2" plate in the door. For the same money, I don't think you can get a better safe than an Amsec BF. You may be able to get one close to it, but not better. For esthetics, functional security and fire protection, quality of manufacture, I think the Amsecs set the value proposition standard in their price range.

    I've looked at the Fort Knoxes and while they are gorgeous, I think it's ludicrous to put their door expense on 10 gauge safe RSC boxes. So what if it operates like a bank mechanism?? :rolleyes: Graffunder's mechanisms are much simpler, but I'd take a Graffunder any day (if I won the lottery)! The Liberty and Heritage lines are nice, but when you price them out, at similar price points they don't hold a candle to the Amsec BF series. You have to get to their 3/16" wall products to get close and then you're priced out. You can get to 1/4" walls with a Summit, for instance, but now you're talking a true B-rating and more money for the same size safe. The BF is just a terrific value in the RSC market in their price range.

    If you are in the market for an RSC (and most of us are) I urge you to drive to a showroom that stocks Amsec BFs and handle them. Then email a1abdj. The price quoted here was an Internet 'no help' price, and I bet he can come close. But until you get your hands on an Amsec BF you can't appreciate them. Price out others with the same interior volume and I think you'll agree they are a tremendous value.


    Later edit: In the FWIW department, another reason I'm leaning toward the Amsec BF is that Amsec actually makes true burglary and true media protection (fire) safes. I'm talking safes with TL-30/6 ratings and very high U.L. fire ratings. They make bank equipment, also, and according to their website they manufacture 60,000 safes per year. To my knowledge (I am willing to be corrected) Liberty, Heritage, Fort Knox, Sturdy, Browning, et al, do not make true TL-30 rated or U.L. rated fire safes. That doesn't mean they don't make good gun safes, to be sure. But again, for the price points, and similar functional levels of burglary and fire protection in an RSC, I think Amsec is hard to meet, much less beat. But I take great comfort in the fact that they are designed and manufactured by a company that designs, manufactures and sells so many true burglary and fire safes. Gun safes tend to be distributed by gun dealers and Amsec is among them, but less popular with gun dealers than the other brands. Amsec is sold all over the place in locksmith and safe and vault stores.

    Doesn't make them the 'best', and I'm still spouting opinion, but take great comfort in the Amsec name because of their lines of business, longevity and respect in the true safe industry.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
  16. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    The safe industry. Gun safes are a very, very small percentage of the safe industry.

    Mostly because it is inexpensive and requires no tooling. Its only benefit to consumers is that it has a low moisture content, which allows you to store guns nearby without rusting.

    It was never engineered to be used as an insulation at all. Gypsum board is a flame barrier, nothing else. There are in fact cast products that are gypsum based, and are designed to be insulators. Gun safe manufacturers aren't using it though, because it's easier to cut up sheet rock and slap it inside.

    The bottom line is that gun safe manufacturers have been misleading consumers for years. Although the AMSEC BF series gun safe does not carry a UL rating, the AMSEC BF series home/commercial safes do. They both use the same insulation. Hundreds of other safe manufacturers use similar insulation. Nobody, except gun safe manufacturers, use gypsum board as the primary insulation.

    Those photos are all hand picked. I have several photos, representing several manufacturers, showing gun safes after fires. All of these safes had gypsum board for insulation, and some of them failed in grand fashion.

    This is where I, and a lot of "safe guys" differ. They will tell you how great their products will hold up in a fire. I'll tell you up front that they won't hold up that well. At least a buyer can make an educated decision at that point instead of living with a false sense of security.

    The difference between me and a lot of "safe guys" is that I'm really a safe guy. True I sell safes. I also move, install, drill, repair, and service them. Everything from little wall safes, all the way up to 20 ton vault doors. My advice comes from experience, and not what I've read or heard from a safe manufacturer.

    This is why the UL exists. It is sad that nobody has put forth the effort to get a gun safe rated for fire. Of course they'll have to stop using gypsum board if they want to do it.

    Yes. Anything will insulate, even air space. The problem is you're trying to keep a vast amount of heat outside of very small space.

    You already know my opinion of gypsum board. Ceramic blankets are used on industrial ovens to keep a lot of heat inside of a very small space. You will find this on your oven at home also. I have seen ceramic blankets used on the doors of safes only (that have a large air gap behind it), but not as the primary insualation of the safe.

    The only material that has been proven over and over again has been the cast products (poured liquid that cures into a solid). It has been this way for over 150 years, and nobody has come up with anything better yet.

    This is not as simple as pouring concrete around a box, although doing so would give you some protection. These materials are in fact engineered in such a way that they will not transfer heat, and that they encapsulate moisture which is released under certain conditions. There's actually a lot of science and study behind this, which is why manufacturers will not tell you how their insulation is made.
     
  17. JCinPA

    JCinPA Member

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    I agree, it's a shame more gun safe manufacturers have not gotten UL ratings. And I'm wondering why the "Mercury Class" ratings for the Amsec BF. I can only assume 2" of their drylight won't pass a U.L. test or they'd do it. I suspect it needs just a bit more thickness to pass a U.L. test.

    Still, I'm totally sold on the BF. I really do like the fact that it is designed and built by "real safe" people who have been at it for 60 years, and its construction is along the lines of 'real' safes. And most 'real safes' are designed in similar fashion, so the idea that a gun safe maker is going to somehow improve on their design is somewhat dubious, in my mind. I have handled one on a showroom floor, and am quite impressed. One gets the impression they spent the money on where it matters and not where it would photograph well for a marketing brochure.

    I still shake my head when I look at door construction on a Fort Knox with a 10 gauge body, and the door construction on TL-15 and TL-30 safes with dead bolts on the hinge side and a lot fewer active bolts on the opening side. All that stuff behind the glass lined doors in Fort Knoxes must sell a ton of safes for them though.

    I just looked at some Amsec fire safes with a U.L. two-hour 350 rating and just by subtracting the inside width from the outside width and dividing by two it seems a 2.75" composite wall thickness would get them a U.L. rating. So the 2" wall in the BF series does offer serious protection, but probably somewhere between a one hour and a two hour U.L. rating.

    Later edit: I just saw you mentioned the commercial BF series, a1abdj. Doing the outside-inside width measure yield about 2.6" wall thickness for a UL Class 350 one hour rating. So the Gun safes are a little less, based on thickness.

    One thing that is impressive about the U.L. tests, though, is they leave the furnace closed and let it cool naturally and the temperature inside cannot rise above 350 degrees. The internal temperature will be rising the entire time the furnace cools until the furnace temp drops below 350 degrees. Simple physics. That's impressive! The Liberty video of their furnace test on YouTube is less so now that I see how U.L. does their testing. They bake the safe in the oven for the allotted time, then open up the safe, and get the safe open pronto. Now I know why. If they left it in there with the furnace closed, just letting it cool over time, they'd never pass.

    Interesting stuff. Steer me more toward the Amsec . . . yet again.

    Description of U.L. tests: http://www.amsecusa.com/ul_fire_class.htm
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
  18. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    The crap these manufacturers come up with is amazing. I know it seems that I'm picking on certain manufacturers, but they are all guilty of this. The larger manufacturers just put out more evidence.

    I wish I could find a larger photo, but this will do for now.

    This photo is used in the Liberty catalog to show how their safe is superior. The competitor's safe is shown on the left with flames shooting out. The Liberty is on the right.

    Did the safe on the right do better?

    lvl2-pg%2021-safeburn.jpg
     
  19. ElToro

    ElToro Member

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    i spent the last 3 months REALLY agonizing over this. i told my wife i was earmarking up to $2K in tax return funds for a safe (daughter came early on New years eve, so she was a nice tax bonus) so i had my budget. she will tell you i had all the catalogs and spent much time shopping online. i paid just under 2900 installed and delivered.
    i wanted:
    a minimum of RSC rating. not b rated or worse
    US made
    60 mins of fire rating
    36 inch wide for double long gun racks.

    i live in a good neighborhood crime wise, and my next door neighbors garage caught fire a week after we moved in 2 years ago at 0'dark thirty with 100 things plugged into 1 outlet. the FD was there and putting water on it in less than 15 minutes. great way to meet all your new neighbors.

    i shopped hard and finally decided on the Amsec BF 6636 cuz it was a local seller whos has been in the commercial vault and safe business for 35+ years as well, so i felt good they would be there for service etc. i went to the Liberty store near me and also looked hard at the US made Brownings and Sturdy.

    i got a much larger than expected annual bonus so i decided to just go ahead get what i really wanted with the BF6636. i think i got an acceptable deal.

    for only $900 more ( after tax and delivery/installation) than a Chinese made Winchester Legacy 45 or Browning Deluxe27... remember sales tax in my county is almost 10% alone ! i could probly handle a 4 ft 500 pound safe and borrow a buddys truck and install it myself. im not going to fool with an almost 6 ft tall 1000+ pounds unit. i'll let those guys earn their money.

    i could have saved ~100 or os by driving to Reno and picking one up at a retailer up there, but again, thats an all day up and back drive + gas and then i'm left begging 4 pals to come get hernias. probly lost money on gas alone.

    i have 20+ longguns and 30+ handguns now and growing. is their HS a way nicer unit ? yes, and it weighs 6k pounds and costs about 10k. are there other vaults much better ? yes but the price goes up exponentially

    my seller is a commericial vault co. he took my in their warehouse and showed me some attacks. he showed me a TLx30x6 rated safe or whatever super top rating jewelry store safe that was busted into with a skillsaw and a carbide blade when the thieves had all weekend to work on it.

    given time and tools, any safe will be busted. i think i got the a good safe for my money and my needs and my worry level. Amsec has also been around a while and they have a good warranty
     
  20. Guns and more

    Guns and more member

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    Concrete? Doesn't sound so high tech now.
    I think Amsec is a good safe if you have the money. (even though the steel is thinner.)
    Many folks can't afford $3000-$4000 for the safe you sell.
     
  21. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    I use the word concrete so people understand what I'm talking about. When I say concrete I'm speaking of a cast product: Something that starts out in a liquid like form, is pumped into the safe cavity under pressure, then cures into a solid state.

    Some of it is quite high tech. Take high security safes for example. The concrete in your driveway is 3,000 to 4,000 PSI in strength. The "concrete" used in some of these safes exceeds 30,000 PSI, and can contain all sorts of nasty little things to keep it from cracking, chipping, or having holes put through it.

    I sell $700 safes, and I also sell $150,000 safes. Safes are tools, and like all other tools, the proper tool has its price.

    Many folks can't afford to drive Lamborghinis, yet we have a large dealership that sells them right here in St. Louis. You would be surprised at how many people buy those $100,000 cars. You may also be surprised at how many people spend $10,000 on a safe.

    My whole point with the AMSECs is this: Dollar for dollar, it is one of the best values in its price range. The $2,000 models will offer better fire and burglary protection than many of the other $2,000 safes on the market.

    Most the major gun safe manufacturers have brainwashed consumers through marketing to believe that their safes offer real bank like security, and the fire protection only found in real fire rated safes. It simply isn't true.
     
  22. JCinPA

    JCinPA Member

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    Interesting happenstance today . . . I had breakfast with a friend who recently experienced a house fire. I asked a lot of questions and we went to see the house after breakfast. Unlike most of our homes with frame construction, plywood sheathing and siding or some other outer covering, his house structure is made of large field stones. So the fire department couldn't knock any holes in walls to get at it, because if the house was to be rebuilt, the stone walls had to remain intact.

    Because of this, it burned quite a while. The fire dept arrived at about 7 and the last truck left after midnight. I'm sure some of this was cleanup and I'm sure that toward the end with windows knocked out and the fire fighting having gone on for quite a while the peak temperatures had probably long past . . . but this fire fight went on the better part of five hours.

    What struck me when we were in the house was that the owner said the fire started in the back of the house, ran up between the stone wall and inner walls and spread to the roof. The shingles are all still on and the roof looks good, but he said the structure is quite unsound. the whole house will be gutted to the outer stone walls and foundation and completely reframed on the inside. But his boys had some front bedrooms which were not touched by the fire AT ALL. Yet the owner said some of their plastic sports trophies had completely melted! He said the fire investigators told him because the stone walls were intact the house literally became an oven and temperatures were likely 1200-1500 degrees in the front rooms where there was no actual fire! For how long is anybody's guess, but it drove home to me the importance of this discussion.

    I feel somewhat lucky, I have a modern frame house (easier to knock out some walls to fight a fire, the fire hydrant is maybe 200 feet from my house, and I have smoke alarms that will call the fire department if we are gone. Still, fire protection is serious business.

    I have a Sentry file like this one inside my current safe, and I'd definitely have it inside the Amsec BF when I get it. For birth certs, citizenship papers (for the wife), military discharge papers for me and important photos, I'd go with a safe inside a safe approach.

    And because of what I learned from my friend, I now know that for important papers, at least (maybe not guns) you can only feel really protected with a true U.L. Class 350, 4 Hour rating. But who is going to get that in a safe big enough for rifles and other gear?

    I suspect important papers and cash are going to be fine inside a Sentry fire file inside the safe, a belt-and-suspenders approach. But I'd definitely get these to put in side whatever safe you buy or already have.

    0004907411701_215X215.jpg
     
  23. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    Keep in mind that those trophies were probably up on a shelf. During a fire, temperature low to the ground are usually survivable. It is amazing how much difference a few inches higher will make.

    This is true inside of a tall safe also. Many gun safes exposed to low temperatures in a fire may protect most of the contents, although everything on the top shelf is usually damaged.
     
  24. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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  25. JCinPA

    JCinPA Member

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    There's one born every minute.
     
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