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Gun Safes: Looking for a recommendation

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by dehughes, Sep 29, 2009.

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  1. docsleepy

    docsleepy Member

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    Wow, I learned a lot from just looking at some of those pictures....


    There is one instance in which you might prefer a digital safe. I elected the Sentry with the digital, because it allows me to have THREE combinations that work. One is fixed at the factory (and can never be changed) -- and if you don't remove the stickers on the safe, an enterprising teen could socially engineer the combo out of Sentry....

    The 2nd is the one that I use.

    The 3rd is the one that I give to family members who should have access. If at any time I think they should NOT have access, then I can change that 3rd combination. I still have access; they don't. You can't do that with fixed mechanical locks, so that's why I bought digital.

    (the situation in the US seems so sad at times that my wife gets down in the dumps....if she gets too down in the dump, I'll just surreptitiously change that code )

    I can't speak for long term reliability. It has worked flawlessly for a year now, with hundreds of openings. I check with Sentry and hacking off the protruding digital part and doing something to the wires will NOT allow a thief to get in. So at least it provides SOME security. But not much. I'm just trying to protect against children, teens, and dumb thieves.

    gordon
     
  2. Keizer

    Keizer Member

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    I talked with another safe distributor that sells AMSEC safes, as well as Fort Knox, and some of the other brands. He said the AMSEC BF series are now shipping out with 11 gauge outer steel, and 11 gauge inner steel, with the drylight in between. He also said the hand wheels are now five spoke, not three spoke.

    I kind of like the idea of two layers of 11 gauge steel v's 10 gauge outside, and 16 inside.
     
  3. Guns and more

    Guns and more member

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    Give it time. Someone will tell you that whatever you just bought is a piece of junk, and any experienced safecracker could have it open with a plasma cutter in a minute. And the fire rating won't survive a nuclear meltdown, so you gun collection will be melted.
    But they will have a good deal on a used bank vault for $10,000.

    Augh, now my safe with the three spoke hand wheel is obsolete. Darn.
     
  4. heeler

    heeler Member

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    Keizer...I would ask Amsec if that is really true about the 11 gauge double wall.
    That would be nice but I am not so sure that it is true.
    Perhaps the guy is thinking of his Ft.Knox safes as they can be ordered with a 10 outer and 10 gauge inner wall....

    Guns and More...From my own home owner experience most burglars break into your home with a pry bar or smash a window with a blunt instrument to gain entry.
    I have been the unfortunate victim of this very thing three times.
    Unless they specifically know you own a safe,they are usually not sophisticated enough to bring plasma cutters,16 pound sledgehammers,five foot pry bars,the jaws of life,etc.
    I still believe most gun safes with at least a 1/8 body in a residential setting will thwart most burglars attempts at your guns and other possesions you have locked up in said gun safe.
    If of course they come back later AFTER discovering you own a safe all bets are off because they then have more time to plan how to get in that gun safe.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2009
  5. al123

    al123 Member

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    The numbers I hear tossed about are 11 Ga outer and 16 ga. inner with 2 in. of Drylight and of course in THR I've heard 10 Ga and 16 Ga.

    From this video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6k9iGGWQ1w

    However that video (could be dated) has has a three spoke wheel as standard while the latest AMSEC catalog has a five spoke wheel. The catalog does not specify steel body thicknesses :scrutiny:

    As to over-all body protection there probably isn't a whole lot of difference.

    Update: I've just spoke to AMSEC technical support and they've said 11 Ga outer with 16 Ga inner. This is what I've believed mostly from the past month. I've heard 10 Ga/16 here and sometimes 11/11 outer-inner here and elsewhere, but according to their first line tech support it's 11/16 Ga. FWIW.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2009
  6. Keizer

    Keizer Member

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    Yep, I talked to them too this afternoon, and can confirm the 11 gauge outer, and 16 gauge inner.

    I thought I saw all over the forums, as well as searches that the BF series had a 10 gauge outer skin.
     
  7. lebowski

    lebowski Member

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    I've read just about every safe thread on THR in their entirety, and I haven't found that to be the case. I have found a lot of good information, a little bit of bad information, and a large number of opinions - honest opinions of products are sometimes negative.

    I'd much rather hear it all, the good with the bad, than have to rely solely on manufacturers websites and "reviews" from fellow consumers who have never had their safes tested in an actual fire or attempted burglary.
     
  8. lebowski

    lebowski Member

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    I was under the impression the BF was 10 ga outer steel and 14 ga inner.
     
  9. Keizer

    Keizer Member

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    Here's a video with the guy stating that the AMSEC gun safe has 10 gauge outer, and 10 gauge inner. Who knows, maybe the model he is talking about does indeed have those specs.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8WRDY0dOkE
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2009
  10. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    I will call AMSEC when I get a chance and verify with somebody slightly higher up the food chain than the customer service reps.

    Unfortunately AMSEC is a large company with a number of people manning the phones. It is not uncommon to hear two different answers from two different people because each is looking at something different in their books.

    The last time I verified the construction of the BF gun safes, it was 10/14.
     
  11. Keizer

    Keizer Member

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    I would be really interested in what you find out. The lady I talked to at AMSEC did not leave me with a good sense that she knew what she was talking about. I told her "I thought the BF series originally came with 10 gauge outer, and 16 inner". She replied, "Well, there was rumor early on that they were going to do it that way, but it changed". :banghead:
     
  12. Keizer

    Keizer Member

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    By the way, how does this guy sell his AMSEC BF RSC's so cheap? Well, not really cheap, but at least $350.00 cheaper than my lowest price from others.
    http://www.safes4you.com/supContact2.html

    I snooped around the internet, and actually found some really good things about the guy. He's been selling safes for years, and has been on the TV news, and in newspaper articles. Plus I found some very happy customer reviews online.

    I called him, and he can get me an AMSEC BF 6030 to my door for $1,927.00. He came across as very informative, and answered all my questions accurately. When I told him That I wanted the AMSEC BF 6030, he told me that I must have really done my home work because there is nothing comparable in it's price range.
     
  13. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    Because AMSEC is not enforcing MAP pricing. I'm working on changing that. If AMSEC does not get on the ball as far as this is concerned, they're going to loose some volume dealers (such as myself).

    That price is not far from my wholesale cost.

    Some other reasons were discussed earlier in this thread. Unlicensed sellers, guys who know nothing about what they sell other than they can make $50, internet only businesses, etc.....

    He's probably read my threads =)
     
  14. Keizer

    Keizer Member

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    He has a brick and mortar store that has been around for years in Nevada. I would find it hard to believe that he's unlicensed, and hasn't been shut down yet.

    What regulations do you safe sellers have to go by? In the construction business I run, I can't advertise without a license number present on the ad. I can't get a license without proof of being insured and bonded. I can't get a building permit without proof of license. Basically, I would never make it in my business if I wasn't on the up and up.

    Are you guys not under the same kind of scrutiny?

    He sure knew how to answer questions like you do. Although, he was the one who told me the safe has the 11 gauge inner and outer panels. I can't hold that against him though if he is wrong, because I'm finding out that no one is really sure of the actual gauge........including people at AMSEC. By the way, that price he quoted me was with the electronic key pad upgrade.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
  15. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    He's probably legitimate. I see he sells used safes as well, and has a pretty heavy unit listed on his site. Not something that most amateurs would mess with.

    Each state (and some cities) have their own laws regarding licensing. If your state requires all of those hoops for you, they would probably require them for our business as well.

    Even some of the professional organizations that we belong to scrutinize us.

    I have not called AMSEC yet, but have been aware of two problems that lead to this previously.

    AMSEC builds several safes in the BF line, not all of which are gun safes. The smaller BF safes are built to different specs. In fact, when I spoke with them last, they told me they were 10/10, and the gun safes 10/14.

    Is it possible they switched to 11 gauge? Other safe comanies have. I just wouldn't understand why they wouldn't notify anybody of the change, especially since many of us are advertising the specs we were given.

    The second is the information available to the customer service staff. Who knows what they're looking at in the book, or when it was last updated. I would bet it's even possible that one person's book may have different information than another. Maybe they've finally upgraded to computers. The only people that would really know are the
    people who are responsible for the design or construction.
     
  16. Guns and more

    Guns and more member

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    Indeed. My comments were meant as sarcasm. I still contend, any safe is better than no safe. While you are saving up for that Ft Knox with the 5 spoke handle and the better fire rating, some crack head steals your guns out of your desk drawer.
    If you can afford it, go for it. If you can't, do the best you can. But lock those guns up!
     
  17. alfack

    alfack Member

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    That's who I ordered my BF 6032 from. He is a good guy and got my order correct with the specific manual dial lock I requested. The only thing is, it did not come with the key to change the combination. I was hoping it would. It was $3-400 cheaper than I could find elsewhere and that is a significant amount of savings for me.

    I installed it myself, including bracing the floor joists with tube jacks in the crawl space. Probably over-kill, but I like stuff to be solid.

    I read a bunch of Mr. Zykans' posts here, too. They were very helpful in my decision making process. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
  18. Otto

    Otto Member

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    I disagree. A gun safe can actually benefit a burglar since it tells him exactly where the firearms are stored. No longer does he have to search under mattresses, thru dresser drawers, closets, etc. Now the burglar can direct all his efforts toward that cheap-ass safe you bought at the home improvement store.
    Either buy a quality safe or none at all.
     
  19. jim357

    jim357 Member

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    a1abdj - Amsec does not enforce MAP prices.... What are MAP prices? Jim
     
  20. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    Minimum Advertised Pricing.

    This is a very common tactic used throughout the retail world. A seller is free to sell a product for whatever they would like, but they are not allowed to advertise a price below a certain level.

    This keeps everybody from trying to beat everybody else's price by $5 until everybody has to sell for $10 over their cost. Ultimately, this protects the value of a product in the eyes of consumers.
     
  21. Keizer

    Keizer Member

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    The guy must sell huge volume, and that is why his prices are so good. He doesn't ship the safes from the manufacturer, he ships them from his warehouse. I found some pics online of his warehouse, and it's full of all kinds of safes boxed up and on pallets ready to go. His store is also full of safes on display for walk in customers to look at.

    SAFE.gif
     
  22. jim357

    jim357 Member

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    Keizer - Do you have a recommendation on the type of manual dial lock? Amsec was putting both the S&G and a different brand that I can not recall on the BF safes. There did not seem to be any pattern, seemed to be what they had on hand at the time.
     
  23. alfack

    alfack Member

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    Jim,

    Not knowing jack about safe locks, I had them put the S&G 6730 in mine. It was originally listed with an electronic lock. FYI.
     
  24. Keizer

    Keizer Member

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    I don't have a clue. I don't even own a safe yet. Sorry!
     
  25. Keizer

    Keizer Member

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    By the way a1abdj, have you ever seen this drylight fire proofing up close and out of the safe walls? Is it like sand? Or is it hard, and all one piece? Is it poured wet, and then it drys, or is it poured dry?
     
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