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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. SafeGuy

    SafeGuy Member

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    Sorry to keep you waiting as I've been selling safes while you've been talking about them.:D

    First, I never said that gypsum board is just as good as cast insulation. That's painting with too broad a brush. What I said is, the fire test of the BF Series AMSEC shows basically the same numbers as those on the Triumph Series Champion I showed as a comparable safe. Again, for whatever reason, you don't want to believe the test numbers and still maintain the BF series is better despite the fact the numbers on the Champion indicate otherwise. Need I remind you that AMSEC had two different fireboard-insulated safes with two different fire ratings, one of them being a UL 30 minute fire rating? They have a history of playing games with their fire ratings and actual safe weights.

    Maybe it will better help you (and others) understand if we just look at AMSEC's test numbers on their cast insulated BF series vs their gypsum insulated series.

    Here's a link to their SF Series gun safes using gypsum (though they don't call it that) where the test shows a 1,200 degree / 60 minute rating with three layers. Note the Mercury Class II rating (which is meaningless).

    http://www.amsecusa.com/gun-safes-SF-main.htm

    Here's a link to their BF Series using cast insulation where the test shows a 1,275 degree / 90 minute rating. Yep, you guessed it, that one has a Mercury Class III rating which is still meaningless.

    http://www.amsecusa.com/gun-safes-BF-main.htm

    AMSEC is following the lead of other gun safe manufacturers by offering a class 1, 2, 3, and 4 "rating" to enable a dealer to bump a customer up to a higher level of fire/theft security. Notice there is nothing to indicate ramp up times for their fire testing or any information whatsoever other than these so-called "Mercury" ratings which are in-house terms that are meaningless in the industry.

    Here is a link to Champion's bit about their fire ratings and testing procedures. Substitute "Mercury" for "Phoenix", and you'll start to get the picture. At least they provided some of their test criteria.

    http://www.championsafe.com/fire.html

    Here's a link to Fort Knox which shows a very detailed chart regarding ramp up times along with inside temps after a specified exposure time. To their credit, there are no meaningless catch phrases used to describe their fire ratings. They let the numbers do the talking.

    http://www.ftknox.com/redesign/advantages/fireprotection.htm

    Bottom line is, both Champion and Fort Knox are backing up their numbers where AMSEC is not. Even if they were, it would still not prove that their BF series is superior to the equivalent (or higher rated) Champion or Fort Knox. To claim otherwise just doesn't make any sense. Would you claim that AMSEC's numbers for their SF Series are overstated?

    Again, ANY safe can be destroyed by fire under the right circumstances. Rather than pick out a few photos of fireboard-insulated safes which burned up in a total loss situation, come up with some photos of the interiors of these different safes after they've been subjected to laboratory testing. That would better tell the tale.

    There is no doubt anybody could come up with more photos of fireboard-insulated safes which have gone through fires as there are simply more of them in use. As for that Browning not surving an obvious totally involved house fire, you can bet no other comparably rated AMSEC (or other brand) would have survived either.

    As for me having first hand knowledge (by your definition), there is never a reason for me to go and personally inspect a safe that's been through a fire. They are covered by the manufacturer's warranty, and locksmiths are called in to drill open the damaged safe as to allow its contents to be removed. After that, the safe is replaced either through the owner's insurance or the manufacturer's warranty.
     
  2. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    I'm glad you're busy, but you're going to need to step it up quite a bit if you want to catch up with guys like me. Like I said earlier, we sell single products that you would need to sell over 100 mid priced gun safes to match price on.

    Now you're getting it! I don't believe the claims made by gun safe manufacturers. You may believe everything that you read, and why shouldn't you? You have no real life experience.

    When the majority of gypsum lined gun safes that I open after fires have the contents destroyed, it's a pretty good indication that the safes will not protect in the same fashion that the manufacturers lead you to believe.

    When the majority of safes using cement type fill materials that I open after fires have the contents mostly intact, it's a pretty good indication that the safes work as advertised.

    In some cases I get really lucky and see both a gyspum lined safe AND a cast product safe in the same fire. Can't blame one's failure on the conditions of the fire since both were in the same fire.

    You're good at repeating what these manufacturers tell you, but again, have no real world experience of any kind to back this up.

    I claim that ANY SAFE, from ANY MANUFACTURER, using GYPSUM BOARD for ir'a PRIMARY insulation WILL LIKELY perform POORLY in a FIRE. If somebody expects any real level of fire protection, they will need to purchase a safe using some sort of cast product.

    I have since discovered other lawsuits regarding gun safes in fires. Every time the manufacturer claims the fire must have exceeded the safe's design. If this is the case, isn't that proof that the manufacturers know that they're building a product that will not perform well in a home fire? If they're testing these safes at 1,200 degrees, and homes are burning at 1,500 degrees, they might as well just test their safes at 100 degrees.

    Are people buying safes to protect them from ovens, or from home fires? I don't care what a safe looks like out of an oven unless the test was so brutal that it would overshadow real world scenarios (like the UL testing does).

    The safes may look good coming out of ovens, but they don't look good coming out of fires.

    Really? You sure about that? I have all sorts of photos of safes that have survived worse fires with their contents intact. Guess what they used for insulation?

    So again, you have no hands on experience with anything you sell, you simply sell gun safes and proclaim to be an expert.
     
  3. SafeGuy

    SafeGuy Member

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    Uh... excuse me, but isn't the AMSEC BF Series tested at 1275 degrees per their test data I posted above?

    This is getting pretty boring A1, not to mention redundant. I have nothing to prove to you and am secure in my knowledge. The OP asked for opinions, I gave him mine while you've chosen for whatever reason to make this personal between the two of us. You claim to have no faith in the fire claims by these manufacturers, yet you insist on the AMSEC being superior.

    Tell you what, you pick up a BF6636 Series AMSEC with a 90 minute factory rating, I'll pick up a Fort Knox 6637 with a 90 minute factory rating. We'll pick a common lab to run the numbers and have the safes delivered to them. If the Fort Knox doesn't perform as well as the AMSEC, I'll pick up the tab for the total cost of the safes and the testing. If it does, you get the tab. In other words, put your money where your mouth is, Mister ExSpurt.

    If you're not up to the challenge personally, contact AMSEC and see if they're game. I'll bet you money Fort Knox would be.

    popcorn.gif
     
  4. Keizer

    Keizer Member

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    The way I read it, is that a1abdj simply has more faith in a safe (AMSEC BF series) that uses cast materials as an insulator. Since that is what has been used for years on high end safes used to protect valuables in a fire.

    Why aren't they using sheet rock instead?? The answer is obvious to me.
     
  5. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    It sure is. Of course I don't care if they test it at 1,000, 1,200, or 1,000,000 degrees. I don't care what they claim (except in cases where the statements are false). I don't care what the independant lab says.

    The only thing I care about it its ability, under real world conditions, to perform as advertised. I'm assuming that since you have posted no photos, no lawsuits, or no other evidence, that you haven't found any of these types of safes (AMSEC or otherwise) that have failed?

    Why is it that I can post photos all day long of gypsum lines safes that have failed, but you can't post any of safes using cast products that have? Perhaps it's because they don't?

    The only cast product safes that I have ever seen fail to the same degree as the Browning in the photo above were involved in wild fires. Ironically, the same wild fires that many gun safe manufacturers claim their safes survive. Of course I have photos of gun safes from those fires as well, and as always, the gun safe manufacturers aren't being exactly honest.

    Only because you're failing to provide any evidence to the contrary. You said you could come up with some photos. I'm anxiously awaiting.

    Again, I'm not selling safes designed to pass a lab's test. I'm selling safes to perform under real world conditions.

    I have no interest in paying a lab to test a third party's products. I have photos showing Fort Knox safe failures (although they do tend to use more gypsum board than their competitors). I'm still waiting on your photos showing failures of safes using cast construction.

    I think you're mistaking my praise for the AMSEC's BF series gun safes for some sort of love affair I have with AMSEC. To be honest, I'm not AMSEC's biggest fan. They just make a good gun safe for the price.

    I have also sold some Fort Knox safes and vault doors. Just like I like the AMSEC BF series, I like the vault doors Fort Knox makes. My first few orders with Fort Knox were for their Yeager line.

    Still doesn't change the fact that I think their method of insulating their safes is substandard (although less substandard than other manufacturers).

    Anyways, whenever you're ready go ahead and post those photos you promised.
     
  6. SafeGuy

    SafeGuy Member

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    They do use sheetrock in their other models. AMSEC uses the cast material for one reason only... to sell safes. AMSEC's test numbers speak for themselves.

    Yes, when used in sufficient quantity, cast insulation is better. The penalty comes with increased weight and decreased interior volume.
     
  7. SafeGuy

    SafeGuy Member

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    A1, please go back and quote a post of mine where I said I could post photos of failed safes which were cast insulated.
     
  8. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    You didn't. I was merely asking for those, pretty confident that you won't be able to produce many.

    You did however say:

    You've failed to post these as well. And I'd like to see photos that are not on the manufacturer's website or sales literature.

    Real life photos, showing real life safes, having been in real life fires, from your real life customers.
     
  9. Keizer

    Keizer Member

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    Exactly!!
     
  10. SafeGuy

    SafeGuy Member

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    For a guy who is so busy opening burned up safes that have failed in a fire, you sure seem to have a lot of free time on your hands. Thanks for admitting you made up the part about my claiming to be able to produce photos of cast safes which didn't survive a fire.

    Try reading this more slowly as to avoid any more misunderstandings. I do not personally go to the homes of those who have had their safe go through a fire. If you would like for me to contact the manufacturers I deal with and ask for photos, I'll be happy to do that. Of course given your paranoia, you'll claim the photos have been retouched or that they somehow won't count because I didn't take them personally. I assume you have to document these safes with photos in order to be paid. I do know that under the terms of their warrantees, manufacturers require that police/fire dept. reports be submitted when a customer files a claim. I assume that includes photos.

    Again, 90% of the safes I've sold over the past 30 years have been to out of state customers. My real world knowledge of what happens to these safes in a fire has been supplied to me by those customers. I have had only two safes in my general area which were involved in house fires, and I did see both of them. Oddly enough, both were identical AMSEC's which were lined with fireboard and carried a 1275 degree / 30 minute fire rating. One came through a fire (mobile home) with absolutley zero damage to its contents. The guy lost everything else in that fire and had no insurance. I did pick up that safe and bring it back to my warehouse after a local locksmith opened it. I was also able to convince AMSEC to allow me to replace his safe from my stock without his having to pay freight to and from their facility which was the requirement at that time. They conceded that they would just scrap the safe anyway, so I made several pictures and sent them in.

    The second safe was located in an attached garage of a two story home. The owner was out of town at the time of the fire, and by the time his neighbors saw the flames, the house was totally involved. By the time the volunteer FD got there, all they did was control the surrounding area while allowing the fire to burn itself out. There wasn't that much left at that point to burn, which appeared to be the case with the Browning you posted a photo of. That safe sat in a smouldering pile of crap for two days before it was pulled from the rubble. Nothing inside the safe survived. I have little doubt anything would have survived even in a UL listed one hour safe. Again, there is no such thing as a fireproof safe.

    Laboratory testing and the subsequent ratings are the ONLY means of verifying what a consumer can expect from a particular safe. As evidenced by the two identical safes I mentioned, not all fires are the same. It all boils down to making a personal risk assessment and buying accordingly.
     
  11. JCinPA

    JCinPA Member

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    Game over!

    Post #56

    Post # 28


    I'd say that's [/thread] game point to a1abdj. Sounds like you actually agree with what a1 posted?

    Liberty Lincoln 25 from Dean's Safe listed for $1,899

    http://www.deansafe.com/modellx25.html

    Amsec BF 6030 (approx the same dimensions) listed at Dean's for $1,799

    http://www.deansafe.com/amsebfseguns.html


    Probably both high quality safes, I have an older Liberty Lincoln. I'd take an Amsec over it any day of the week, however. All this convinces me that although their 'factory ratings' are very similar (lincoln 3 sheetrock walls, 4 ceiling, and the BF about 2" of cast material) I simply have more confidence in the BF design. Because all the true firesafe makers use stuff similar to theirs, none use sheetrock.

    To a1adbj's value point, the BF is (subjective, I know) more safe for the dollar. With the above models and pricing, I think that is pretty hard to argue with, subjective or not.

    Liberty, Cannon, et al don't stink . . . even a1adbj said that Buckhorn from Costco was a decent value (sheetrock, $1300 for a much larger interior volume), but know what you are getting.

    I'm more convinced than ever at the Amsec BF line's value proposition after this whole fracas. They cost more than the budget models at the sporting goods stores, but they don't cost more than the mid-level Liberty's and Cannon's and they cost a lot less than the Fort Knoxes. For what they deliver, the value is very good. And whether one holds out for 5-10 minutes more or less in an oven doesn't sway me. The cast material in a BF is never gonna look like the burnt sheetrock in that Browning photo. Never.

    In either case, I'm putting valuable papers, photos and media in one of these inside any safe, like I do now with my Lincoln.

    0004907411701_215X215.jpg


    I think (hope I'm not putting words in your mouth a1) that his point all along has been avoid the sporting goods shop cheapos, get decent entry level brands with UL locks and take all non-UL ratings with a grain of salt . . . from everyone . . . and when you get to the mid-level safes, Amsec is very hard to beat and likely to outperform similar sized and priced safes with sheetrock in a fire. That's all.

    For the dollar/volume ratio you get with the Buckhorn from Costco, I'd take sheetrock if I had to have the volume. For the dollar/volume ratio in the Amsec BF line, I would never take a sheetrock safe over the BF, there is nothing to induce me to do it. At the really high end of the spectrum . .. get a Graffunder.
     
  12. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    I have employees. I have computers in all of my trucks. I have an Iphone. It's pretty easy for me to keep up.

    You're the one that needs to slow down. I didn't make up anything. I was merely asking for you to support your position with real life evidence.

    So you don't have any. It's not the end of the world.

    I quoted the part about you offering photographs. I haven't seen any of those either. I don't know why you would need to contact the manufacturers. You said that your knowledge comes directly from your customers. None of them sent you photos?

    My customers send me photos all the time.

    I'm not paranoid. I may debate the merits of the particular fire exposure with you. The safe's surroundings will tell you about the amount of heat and length of exposure.

    Nope, sure don't.

    Some manufacturers want these burned and burglarized safes returned to them. I guess that's so I don't put them on display to give safe buyers a first hand look at how well they really work.

    It sure does. This is exactly why I've spent so many years here on this forum explaining the truth, and not repeating what the manufacturers claim.

    The truth is gypsum safes tend to perform poorly in fires. Safes using cast insulations tend to perform well in fires. Safes with a lot of gypsum will perform better than safes with little gypsum. Safes with a lot of cement fill will perform better than safes with little cement fill.

    One thing is always contant in fires. A building can be burned completely to the ground, and no gypsum board will remain. However, all of the concrete will still be there, and usually in decent shape.
     
  13. SafeGuy

    SafeGuy Member

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    Let's try wrapping this one up as I think we've beaten it to death. Have you ever seen or have personal knowledge of an AMSEC BF series going through a fire?
     
  14. SafeGuy

    SafeGuy Member

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    OK A1, sorry to leave you hanging, but I've got a little 1,000LB safe to deliver. Let's see your Walmart or Sears clerk do that by himself. :D
     
  15. PH/CIB

    PH/CIB Member

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    I have an Amsec BF gunsafe, although I was advised to buy a bigger gunsafe it is all the gun safe I need, the top shelf holds all my handguns, some knives and scopes. I took out the top rack with the cut outs for the barrels of the long guns and the middle wall also, leaving below the top shelf just a large empty carpeted box. I have a ton of rifles and shotguns in there each firearm in a silicone sock, half stored butt down the other half of the rifles and shotguns stored butt up, also with a goldenrod.

    I have two questions, I have thought of buying a second safe to store ammunition, stored in magazines or boxes, would this be safe?

    Second question the space shuttle uses ceramic tile on the outside to keep it from burning up when it reenters the atmosphere, while those tiles must be pricey, could not a cheaper ceramic tile be used to insulate gun safes for the relatively low temperatures of a house fire? THANKS
     
  16. JCinPA

    JCinPA Member

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    NO! Don't store ammo in a safe!

    Ammo actually is not explosive if not contained, it just burns fast with lots of smoke. It won't launch bullets either. They'll pop out and go a short distance but because the gas is not enclosed behind them in a barrel, they don't push the bullets far or fast.

    Put ammo in a safe and lock it up, then have the Palusol seal (if it has one) seal it up and you've now made your safe into a bomb. Depending on how much ammo you have in it, it could be very dangerous indeed.

    I leave my ammo on heavy duty plastic shelving from the home depot type stores in the basement. There's a dehumidifier going 24/7, so cool and dry, perfect. If you want to lock it up use something that does not seal and drill some extra holes in it. Truck bed tool boxes or Jobox brand boxes are not bad for an ammo locker with a few relief holes drilled.

    I'm no ceramic engineer, but as to the second question, cheap is probably the issue. And perhaps also weight. If there was cheap tile that was not weight or volume prohibitive that worked, I suspect it would have been used already. That's how markets work.
     
  17. SafeGuy

    SafeGuy Member

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    As was stated, ammo doesn't present a danger in a fire. As for ceramic tile and the space shuttle, that was the big sales pitch when ceramic wool hit the gun safe market as an insulator. Then as now, it was razzle dazzle with the advertised 2300 degree fire rating.

    Fort Knox used it as an alternative to fireboard, and they too just used the ratings for the material. With that, a customer could choose from their "fire and security package" which was rated at 2,300 degrees, or they could go with the 1,200 degree fire protection with fireboard. When they finally broke down and started doing real laboratory testing, they found they were getting better numbers from the more dense fireboard than they were with the ceramic wool. To their credit, they dumped the ceramic when they came to that conclusion.
     
  18. SafeGuy

    SafeGuy Member

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    OOPS!... missed this part. No way is your safe going to turn into a bomb by having ammo explode inside it. Sorry, but that's just wrong.

    Outside that, a Palusol seal does nothing more than afford additional protection from smoke and water damage when it is subjected to heat.
     
  19. JCinPA

    JCinPA Member

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    How dangerous is storing a large amount of ammo in a safe, then, SafeGuy? I just don't know, I've always heard it makes a safe, especially the less sturdy ones, a potential bomb. What are the dangers.

    I know it is not recommended, though, you want holes for venting burning gasses to alleviate pressure buildup, right?
     
  20. SafeGuy

    SafeGuy Member

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    First, you have to remember we're dealing with smokeless powder here. A large amount of ammo will just make a large amount of heat, but nothing will go boom. As far as dangers of ammo in a safe, there are none. As for venting, gun safes aren't air tight anyway, but I doubt very seriously it would matter if they were in terms of pressure build-up being a concern.

    There was a lot of talk about ammo and fire, and the NRA did a big piece on it several years ago. This was in response to claims that firefighters were in danger when they were battling a house fire where ammo was stored. There was something recently that came out where injuries were in fact blamed on exploding ammo, but it would seem this ammo was very old military issue with was either boxer or berdan primed, can't remember which. This allowed more pressure to build within the case which allowed the bullet to come out with more force. Normally a primer will come out with more force than the bullet.

    As a side note, I managed a couple of gun shops which is what lead me to getting into the safe business.
     
  21. JCinPA

    JCinPA Member

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    Hmmm. Sounds like you don't think storing ammo in a safe is a big deal, then. Interesting how it gets around the Internet so much. I've seen that before, though, misinformation repeated so many times it 'becomes truth'.

    I've been guilty of repeating it myself, if this is true about storing ammo in safes and it's not really dangerous.
     
  22. SafeGuy

    SafeGuy Member

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    Yeah, that's about as good as the myth that ceramic wool is a superior insulation in a gun safe. :D

    When in doubt, ask somebody who's not trying to sell you anything. In the case of ammo storage dangers, contact an ammo manufacturer. They'll confirm what I've told you. Given the cost and availability of ammo these days, a cheap safe for storage may not be a bad idea.
     
  23. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    Ammo or powder can be dangerous inside of a safe. There would have to be a large amount, and the safe would need to be fairly tightly sealed.

    I have never seen a safe explode in a fire, however, it is still possible. As such, I have to advise not to do it.

    Ammo cans are designed to vent as to prevent an explosion. Any flimsy cabinet would also work.

    I should also point out that most guns will fire cleanly through a gun safe. If any of your weapons are chambered, make sure they are pointed in a safe direction.
     
  24. Guns and more

    Guns and more member

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    That's exactly my point. I don't get a jackhammer to pound a nail, and I don't use a Barrett 50 on a rabbit.
    That safe was out of my price range. I am happy with my Champion.
    A professional safecracker will open either. A determined thief with a plasma cutter will open either. I don't think either have little 'ol me as a target. I bought the safe I have with the crack head, dope dealer, smash and grab guy in mind.
    Do you need a $3000 safe to store your $500 Glock in? Only you can answer that.
     
  25. JCinPA

    JCinPA Member

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    Dang! Never even gave that a moment's thought! One carry gun is always loaded, from holster to safe, to holster again. I don't unload it because I've driven the bullet in too deep from repeated rechamberings, so It just stays loaded 24/7 until I get to the range.

    It was pointed the wrong way! I never, ever thought of this. Thanks much. Now fixed.
     
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