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Gun safe recommendations

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by myrdraal0, Sep 16, 2010.

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  1. myrdraal0

    myrdraal0 Member

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    Hey guys!

    I've been reading everything I can find on gun safes and I'm having trouble making a final decision. In the last 7 years, I've owned 2 gun safes - and this will be the third. My problem has been that I constantly underestimate the size I need and I keep outgrowing them...

    Anyway, this time I'm going with the largest model that I can fit into the house - basically a 72"x40"x28" model. It seems like most manufacturers have a safe in this size range.

    Unfortunately, I'm going to have to tear out a door frame to get this in; so, I want to get the best safe I can without completely breaking the bank. I'd like to be in the $3K range, but I can go as high as $5K if the more expensive safe is truly worth the extra money.

    Here are the models I'm looking at:
    AmSec BF7240 - ~$3900
    Fort Knox Executive 7241 - ~$4600
    Liberty Presidential 50 - ~$4900
    Fort Knox Titan 7241 - $5100

    Most of the threads I've read have been on this sight, so I figured I'd post here. Any opinions or suggestions would be highly appreciated!
     
  2. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    Compare the construction of the AMSEC to all of the other safes you have mentioned, and then look at the price on top of that, and I think you'll find your answer.
     
  3. rtpzwms

    rtpzwms Member

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    You may want to read this before you buy.

    ???? why the safe has a 28" side most doors are 30" wide or larger and 80" tall.....
     
  4. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    I've seen this link posted many times, and it's a good source of good information. It's a source of bad information as well. Although the author had good intentions, his inclusion of information from those he interviewed has allowed good and bad information to be mixed together.

    I could go through piece by piece, but will point something out from the first page.

    For fire protection, he suggests a UL rating with a 1 hour minimum. I agree, but the biggest problem is that no such gun safe exists. There is currently no gun safe on the market that carries a UL fire rating, so it's impossible to make that recommendation.

    The author also goes on to interview a representative from Brown safe in the middle of a discussion on UL rated safes. Brown doesn't built UL rated safes to my knowledge. This would be similar to interviewing Daisy for an article dealing with hunting rifles.

    Again, I think it's an honest attempt to educate people, but as with everything else, you have to be able to sort through it all to find out what is and is not good information.
     
  5. myrdraal0

    myrdraal0 Member

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    I was leaning toward the AmSec, but I was also wondering about the thickness of the steel. Everything I've read has indicated that 11 gauge just isn't thick enough to give any security at all. I know that the AmSec has an external 11ga layer and an internal 16ga layer; but, to me, it doesn't seem like that would be as effective as a single 7 gauge layer of steel.

    In the case of the Fort Knox Titan, it has an external 7 gauge layer combined with an internal 10 gauge layer. The other 2 safes I mentioned have a single 7 gauge external layer.

    The door on the AmSec seems to have as good or better specs than all of these - so maybe I'm spending too much time thinking about the body.

    Is the AmSec body stronger than it looks on paper? In other words, am I wrong that the 2 thinner layers of steel won't be as strong as a single thicker layer?

    Also, I can't find even close to the same info about the Fort Knox safes as the other brands. All I have found from users is the occasional reference to how secure they are - and I'm wondering why. Is it because they have so many bolts?

    There is a ton of info about the Liberty safes - but it all seems to be spewing out of the company itself. So, based on that info, the Liberty safes look really good. :)
     
  6. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    Yes. Your average gun safe uses gypsum board which offers no structural strength in addition to the steel. The AMSEC has a cast "cement" insulation which does offer structural strength in addition to the steel.

    Most people who speak about how secure their gun safes are have never had one broken into, so there's not much actual experience to speak from. Manufacturers are typically just as bad if not worse.
     
  7. myrdraal0

    myrdraal0 Member

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    The door I'm having a problem with is only 24" wide. Because of that, I've gone smaller than I should have on my previous safes - but this time I figured I'd just tear it out and put in a full size door. I'm seriously considering replacing it with a solid-core door anyway.
     
  8. myrdraal0

    myrdraal0 Member

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    That is great info about the AmSec and it makes me feel better about going that route. I know these aren't completely theft-proof safes, but I'd like to think it will be enough of an obstacle to protect my guns...

    I'm also thinking about ordering online, but a local dealer made it sound like that can be a really bad idea with a safe. Obviously, he isn't impartial. He also wasn't a very big fan of AmSec safes, although he does sell them - which is what got me looking at other brands.

    Has anyone else bought a large safe like this online and then moved it in themselves - or is it better to just stick with a local dealer and pay more?
     
  9. adirondack

    adirondack member

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    myrdraal0,

    In that price range you might want to take a look at Sturdy safe. They are a great company to deal with and with a few customized options, you'll get a better safe for the money especially for fire protection.

    http://www.sturdysafe.com/model4824-6.htm
     
  10. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    If fire protection isn't at the top of your list, the Sturdy is a good option. They use heavier gauge steel for the bodies of their safes as well. Without the fire lining, they are also priced right.

    Although the bodies of safes are the weakest, the door is the most often attacked. The construction of the door is more important than that of the body when it comes to security.

    Is your local dealer a real safe company or just a guy who sells gun safes? If he's a real safe company, then I would listen to what he has to say. If he's just some guy selling gun safes then buying from him won't be any worse than buying online.

    If you haven't visited my site yet, I have the AMSECs and a private label that's built even heavier listed under the gun safe section.
     
  11. adirondack

    adirondack member

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    Well I agree with everything that a1abdj said except for the part about the fire protection. If fire protection is a top concern, Sturdy Safe's design and use of materials is far superior to the rest on the list. In fact, as calculated on a previous thread, probably around 2 1/2 times better than what the AMSEC BF series offers.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
  12. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    I don't know who's doing the calculations, or what they are basing those calcuations on, but UL is certainly sets the standard when it comes to fire resistant safes.

    Once somebody shows me one, yes, just one safe with a UL fire certification using ceramics as its primary insulation, then I'll start to believe it's as effective as what a minority of people say it is.

    The truth is there are thousands of safes with UL fire certifications that use cast insulations, and zero that use ceramics. That should say something.
     
  13. Vitrophyre

    Vitrophyre Member

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    If you go w fort knox get the Ivory
     
  14. Brown Safe

    Brown Safe Member

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    Brown Safe

    Hey Guys,

    I'm new to the forum, just saw the post and decided to provide some information.

    Brown Safe does manufacture TL-15 and TL-30 rated gun safes that offer both fire and burglary protection. These would be our E-rated, E-COM or F-rated and F-COM safes. Most fire/gun safes have an inferior construction, lacking solid steel which provides little to no burglary protection. In addtion, few manufacturers use a concrete amalgamate substance for their fire protection, which provides the highest level of fire protection as well as additional burglary protection.

    Takea look at this video if you have a moment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBhOjWHbD6M&feature=player_embedded

    Here is what to look for when purchasing a safe, even if you don't buy a Brown Safe, this will help you make an educated safe purchase. We like to provide our clients with as much information as possible to make the right choice: http://www.brownsafe.com/categories/faq/faq.htm

    Here is a link to our single and double door weapon/gun safes: http://www.brownsafe.com/categories/commercial_gun_safes/gun_safes.htm

    Here is a link to our more elegant and luxurious weapon/jewelry safes: http://www.brownsafe.com/categories/estate_gun_safes/estate_gun_safes.html

    Please call or e-mail me anytime with questions.

    Matt Goldstein
    Brown Safe Manufactuirng
    760-233-2293
    matt@brownsafe.com
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2010
  15. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    Matt,

    Do those E and F rated safes carry a UL label?

    I should point out there is a difference. A big difference when an insurance company is involved. Although a steel plate E rate safe is pretty much the same as a TL-15, and a F rate safe is pretty much the same as a TL-30, they are not the same. One has a UL burglary rating, and the other does not. No UL tag = No UL burglary rating.

    Not a huge deal for this discussion since these safes are much heavier than what the OP is looking at, but just figured I'd point it out in case anybody else runs across it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2010
  16. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    Do a search for Sturdy. Proud and happy owner here.
     
  17. myrdraal0

    myrdraal0 Member

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    Wow guys!

    I just got back from dove hunting and was expecting maybe one or two responses. I suspect it will take a bit to digest the newly provided info.

    As far as the Sturdy safes go, I would seriously consider them if they had a safe in the same size as the BF7240. Unfortunately, based on the info on their website, they just don't have anything that quite fits the size I'm looking for.
     
  18. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Just another suggestion - while you're looking at new, check with your local locksmith that sells safes for a used one someone traded in on an upgrade - you might be able to find more for your money
     
  19. myrdraal0

    myrdraal0 Member

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    I think I'm finally settling on the AmSec BF7240, but I do have a couple more questions for anyone who has access to one:

    The specs say this safe is 26" deep, does that mean it will fit through a 26" opening (if not, how about 27.5")?

    Is the safe door removable?


    I'm just trying to figure out how much I'm going to have to widen this doorway in order to get the safe in. If possible, I'd like to move the safe in and then install a new 24" doorway instead of installing a wider door; but, if the safe ends up needing a 30" opening, I'll probably just end up framing a new doorway.
     
  20. Brown Safe

    Brown Safe Member

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    Yes, all our TL-15 and TL-30 residential and commercial safes have the UL Label. We don't typically install them on the luxury safes as they are rather unpleasant looking, we can however put them on if requested.

    My 7228 would be the closest size I have to the 7240 AmSec.

    Our safe doors are all on ball and roller hinges and do come off with the door at 90 degrees.

    Thanks,

    Matt Goldstein
    Brown Safe Manufactuirng
    760-233-2293
    matt@brownsafe.com
     
  21. Guns and more

    Guns and more member

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    My safe fit through a interior door by 1/4" with the door off the hinges (house), and the handle off the safe.

    But........if this is your third, and you need big, maybe you should consider one of the companies that sells safe DOORS, and make a safe room! Now that's the ticket.
     
  22. myrdraal0

    myrdraal0 Member

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    Seriously, I'd love to make a safe room! Although, I doubt the wife would share my enthusiasm.:confused:
     
  23. Brown Safe

    Brown Safe Member

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    If you're interested, here are links to information about our vault doors.

    Just like our safes, we start with burglary protection first and add fire protection as an option. We offer many levels of protection including doors constructed with ballistic armor plate and copper inserts.

    We have our GSA contract and build vault doors for the government as well. Let me know if you have any questions.

    Overview: http://www.brownsafe.com/categories/estate_vault_doors/vault_doors.htm

    Models and pricing: http://www.brownsafe.com/features_standard_vaults/Estate_Vault_sizes.html

    Protection: http://www.brownsafe.com/features_standard_vaults/protection.html

    Lock Type: http://www.brownsafe.com/features_standard_vaults/lock_type.html

    Optional Features: http://www.brownsafe.com/features_standard_vaults/optional_features.html

    In addition to building your vault door, we will coordinate all delivery and inside installation of your unit, ensuring a pleasant experience.

    Thanks,

    Matt
     
  24. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    So I'm assuming you're just here to sell safes?
     
  25. myrdraal0

    myrdraal0 Member

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    Well, I was fully decided on the AmSec, so I called a couple of local dealers this morning to tell them I wasn't going to buy from them. One of them is trying to get a new business going and he ended up knocking over $700 off the price he quoted me before on a Liberty Presidential 50 - so now I think I'm going to go that route.

    Since both safes are about the same price, it seems like the Liberty has a thicker body and the AmSec has a thicker hard-plate in the door. The Liberty does add an additional ball-bearing hard-plate in front of the lock, but I'm not completely sure how effective that really is. The Liberty also adds a lot more bolts - but that just helps compensate for the thinner hard-plate in my opinion.

    The Liberty also has a lot higher fire rating - although I realize that these ratings aren't directly comparable, and the Liberty uses fire board instead of DryLight.

    Overall, I suspect they both offer very comparable security; so, being about the same price, I think the Liberty has a nicer interior and a better warranty.


    Now, I guess it's time to start tearing out this doorway... :eek:
     
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