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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. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    In non UL rated safes, the floors are always lightly insulated, if at all. The bottom 2" of the safe will not get very hot in a fire.

    As far as why they use a raised floor, and not the cement fill, it's due to the construction method. The body of the safe, minus the bottom, is set upside down. The material is pumped in from the bottom, then the bottom of the safe is added.

    This is normal, and is also seen in most other gun safes out there. When you're building something out of sheet steel, it's not going to be completely square.

    Difference between plate and sheet.
     
  2. LRHOGFAN

    LRHOGFAN Member

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    It's likely the sturdy safe would not bulge as mentioned or at least not as much as some others that use a lighter gauge steel. Of course, I have never been bothered by the bulge and in fact, have not even really noticed.
     
  3. Keizer

    Keizer Member

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    I tend to notice things like that on just about anything I come across. Gun safes, cars, houses, etc. It's a curse, but I have gotten better as I have gotten older.

    It doesn't bother me enough to dismiss the AMSEC as my #1 choice. Like I said, they are really nice RSC's. As far as the sheet rock in the floor, I kinda figured it was because there isn't much protection needed in that area.
     
  4. lebowski

    lebowski Member

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    I just got a pack of heavy duty furniture pads/sliders from home depot. The pads double as sliders so they helped in the final manuevering into place, before bolting it down.
     
  5. Keizer

    Keizer Member

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    I've been giving the electronic lock allot of thought and really think it is a bad idea. The clincher that helped change my wifes mind was using our automatic gate opener as an example. It opens our big iron gate out front. We have had it for years, but probably at least once a year, it requires some maintenance because it malfunctions. It has an electric lock that uses a solenoid to pull the arm back in the same fashion as these electronic gun safe locks. This solenoid lock occasionally gets stuck. It's an easy fix usually only requiring cleaning. But, if it were a safe, you would be in a bad situation.

    Also I had a question. I was wanting to find a good safe vault guy locally so I could use him down the road for preventative maintenance with my gun safe. I found plenty of locksmiths, but only found one guy that claims on his web site that they are members of:
    Safe and Vault Technicians Association (SAVTA).

    I looked up SAVTA and found out what it is. But, what does that do for a safe/vault locksmith when they are a member? Does it make them more knowledgeable than a locksmith that isn't a member?
     
  6. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    It does not make one more knowledgeable, it is merely a professional organization. It does mean that those who are members take the safe and vault field seriously.

    Locksmiths install deadbolts and work on car ignitions. Safe techs work on safes.
     
  7. Keizer

    Keizer Member

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    I guess I'm a locksmith then. I have installed hundreds of entry doors, door knobs, and dead bolts over the years for customers. But that was the easy part. Building the structure that the doors and hardware were installed in was the hard part.
     
  8. al123

    al123 Member

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    Just received my AMSEC BF safe today. It took 2.5 hours for the delivery people to get it into a small, tight utility nook. I was expecting a refrigerator dolly but they used a palette jack instead up to a certain point. The rest of the way of the way they had to use steel rods as rollers. Of course I had it bolted down - anchors and lag bolts.

    Weight distribution, for me was a consideration. I found these URLs helpful in giving rough guidelines:

    http://badmanstropicalfish.com/articles/article28.html
    (ref: http://freshaquarium.about.com/cs/tipsandtables/l/bltanksize.htm)

    While not directly related with gun safes it gave a good overall explanation of weight limits. The concern is what a heavy object will do long term to a typical residential wood floor (i.e. permanent sagging).

    In general, the weight equivalent of a 55 Gal tank, 625 lbs should be no problem anywhere in the house. From 625 lbs to 1400 lbs, a good structural location free from significant defects is recommended, and above 1400 lbs proper reinforcement is in order. I'm more conservative and my personal limit would be a 1000 lbs. My chosen location is close to a bearing wall with help from overlapping joists underneath.

    The S&G mechanical lock is easy to work with. It's certainly slow in comparison to an electronic keypad, but it really doesn't take that long to open the safe after a little practice. I was a little concerned since I once had a cheap firebox that I had to do a lot of spinning. It was an exact replica of a direct entry lock that was pictured in this thread. Ironic, more work but less security.

    Anyways, thanks to everyone here. The information provided has been very helpful.
     
  9. Keizer

    Keizer Member

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    It should be a concern with anyone adding one of these heavy safes to their floor system. I have decided to change where I am going to put mine. The new location is right over one of the main support beams for the floor. Right under that beam is one of the support posts that goes directly down to one of the concrete pads.

    For anyone that is setting a heavy safe between the support beams of the floor system, I would advise that you go under your house and do whatever it takes to add support in that area. I know this has already been mentioned in other threads, but I figured this will be another chance for people to stumble across this good advice.
     
  10. lebowski

    lebowski Member

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    I did the same thing. I went into my crawl space and poked around a bit. My home appeared to be well constructed under there, but I still chose a location next to an exterior wall w/ joists supported by a concrete pier. Then I added 2 screw jacks about 18 inches out from the concrete pier (underneath where the safe would be).

    It ended up not being a whole lot of work, but makes me feel a lot better about the weight on my floors.
     
  11. meef

    meef Member

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    Allot?

    Allot?

    Good grief, get out your Webster's and look up the definition of allot.

    Geez.... rampant illiteracy.

    :banghead:
     
  12. Keizer

    Keizer Member

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    Woops, I even misspelled this word that doesn't exist......my bad. I always love to see the grammar police in all their glory. You must be a busy guy chasing after the millions of people using this word in everyday life and the movies.

    Seriously, if you can't contribute to the topic at hand, quit crapping in the thread.....it stinks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2009
  13. meef

    meef Member

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    You have no idea just how busy it can be.

    Please note that the word "allot" does exist. It just has no relevance to the way you used it.

    :p


    And for the record... my comment about rampant illiteracy - my bad. Uncalled for and over the line. :eek:

    I'll try to be more careful in the future.

    It's not easy being me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2009
  14. heeler

    heeler Member

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    Since nine out of ten homes in the south are on cement slabs i have never given the idea of floor reinforcement much consideration.
    However i do have a question to you guys that have homes that require a lot (allot? :) of attention.
    Did you worry about taking the safe across the floors of the house to get it to it's beefed up final destination?
    Any of you have any damage to the floors?
    I started a thread recently about heavy safes and flooring as i recently had laminate flooring put in my home and was worried enough about it that i had the contractor put a 3'x4' pad in the corner of the bedroom of very hard 18"x18" porcelin tile for the Amsec to sit on and be bolted through.
    It's just the concern of getting it to that specific spot i am thinking about.
     
  15. Keizer

    Keizer Member

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    Imagine a party at your house, and you and three of your friends are standing right next to each other chatting. You each weigh 230 pounds. Not an uncommon scenario. Do you think it's going to be bad for your floor? You guys all combined weigh about the same as some of these gun safes.

    If your floor system is sound, I would say you have nothing to worry about as far as getting your gun safe to its final beefed up destination.

    I would be a little concerned with tile floors I guess, but a good safe mover probably has techniques he uses for situations like tile and laminate.
     
  16. alfack

    alfack Member

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    Heeler,

    I had a sheet of 3/4" plywood that had been ripped in half. I would lay them end to end and when I was off the first piece, I would move that piece to the front. Of course, I was on carpet, but still didn't want marks or damage. For final positioning, I tried the golfball trick, which worked surprisingly well, until I ended up in the corner and couldn't tilt the safe enough to remove the golf balls from underneath. A couple of wooden dowels, about an inch and a half thick, did the trick from there.
     
  17. INMY01TA

    INMY01TA Member

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    Brought my safe thru the front door strapped to a hand truck. One of it's wheels did bend the little metal strip under the front door ever so slightly. Barely noticable.
     
  18. lebowski

    lebowski Member

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    Many homes in the south, particularly older homes, have a crawl space.

    My floors are wood floors on 1x6 subflooring, supported by 2x8 joists set 16" apart. The joists are supported by concrete block piers, concrete block exterior walls, and 2x8? girders.

    Aside from scratching my wood floors, I wasn't worried about moving it through the house. As I understand it, the concern isn't that the floor will collapse in a matter of minutes, rather the concern is that over a period of years the weight of the safe will gradually cause the joists to bow under the pressure, which could cause problems. As a result, I was really only worried about reinforcing the permanent resting place. I also chose a spot up against an exterior wall on one side and a supporting concrete block pier on another. I then added screw jacks under the joists right where the safe would be placed.

    For my interior floors, I had professionals bring the safe in from the garage. They used cardboard and aluminum plates to protect the floors and spread the weight, up until we got to a tight corner where they rolled it on metal pipe. Finally we used furniture pads to slide it into place before bolting down. My wood floors survived the process without damage.
     
  19. LRHOGFAN

    LRHOGFAN Member

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    Had my AMSEC BF6636 delivered yesterday. Curbside delivery via Central Freight Lines. The driver was very helpful in getting the safe off the truck and into a good spot in my garage. I still need to get it off the pallet, but I appreciated the driver doing more than just curbside delivery. I ordered the safe from Bill Callos out of Sparks, Nevada. I would highly recommend him as he has been very helpful with any questions that I had.

    I ordered the safe with the black textured finish and it is much better than what you can see in pictures. I picked the AMSEC based on positive reviews here and what I considered a little better fit and finish in the interior compared to Sturdy. No real knock on Sturdy, but the fabric and interior of the AMSEC just seems more well thought out and of greater quality.

    Here are some pictures of the truck backing to my driveway, the safe in it's place in the garage, and an interior shot. The next step is to get the safe off the pallet and onto the floor. I purchased 20 hockey pucks from an online retailer to get the safe off the concrete floor. Hopefully 20 will distribute the weight evenly enough.

    034.jpg

    The safe before putting in the spokes of the handle:

    035.jpg

    interior shot:

    040.jpg
     
  20. heeler

    heeler Member

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    Wonderful!!
    My BF 6636 is being delivered this Friday from the dealer.
    I ordered mine in Sandstone color and like yours with the regular spinner lock as well as the nifty storit door shelves.
    I cant wait.
    Just curious...Did the interior come set up in it or did you have to put it in?
     
  21. LRHOGFAN

    LRHOGFAN Member

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    I had to set the top two shelves into place and put the stor-it shelves where I wanted them. There was nothing to it at all.
     
  22. Guns and more

    Guns and more member

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    I paid to have my safe delivered. It was worth every penny of the $125.
    As for the wood floors, they had a worker bring a bag with a bunch of wood 1x4's about 4' long.
    On one side was rubber, (against the floor), and on the other side was Teflon strips.
    They laid the boards like tracks across the floor. After they got the safe to the threshold, they got it on the strips, and it slid like it was on rails. Amazing.
    Getting it through the bedroom door required the door to be removed, the lock (electronic) keypad removed, and the handle unscrewed. It went in with 1/4" clearance, but they didn't scratch a thing. Then they positioned it and leveled it so the door would stay in one place.
    They were great. I could have done it, but I would have gouged the flooring, scratched the safe, and cursed a lot.
    My safe has a flat bottom, so I suppose it distributes the weight better (Champion). I wouldn't fear 4 guys standing on the floor, so why should a 900# safe fall through?
    If the safe has feet, then the plywood is a good idea.
     
  23. ReadyontheRight

    ReadyontheRight Member

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    Costco had a nice looking safe for $499 when I was there today.
     
  24. Avenger29

    Avenger29 Member

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    I will soon be welding up my own...

    Good practice for me, built to my specs.

    Now, just got to figure out a door system...
     
  25. Keizer

    Keizer Member

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    I really like that door shelf set up on your AMSEC gun safe. I have the BF 6030, and I may need to install one of those. I may just make my own in my shop. I have removed that door cover before and there is plenty of room below the locking mechanism for the door shelf.
     
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