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RSC Decision - AMSEC or Sturdy

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by Shawrco, Sep 22, 2013.

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  1. Shawrco

    Shawrco Member

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    I joined this forum because every time I did a search on a particular RSC most of the good discussions were found on THR. I had pretty much decided on an AMSEC BF-6636 but discovered that the spot in the place we will soon be moving to is only 34-3/4" wide... I know space limitations are not necessarily the best way to choose a safe, but this space is "hidden" so it gives an extra measure of security. I narrowed the choices down once again to a BF-6030 or Sturdy Safe 3224-6 with fire liner and side shelves. The outside dimensions are very similar, with the Sturdy being 2" wider, but a foot taller. I can't find the interior dimensions on the AMSEC 6030 to compare directly to see what the real difference in long gun storage capacity would be, but the extra height would definitely give an additional shelf up top. Does anyone know the ID of the AMSEC 6030?
    I got a quote on the standard body/door/fire liner, and added the twin lock option (one dial, one electronic) and then found the thread in this THR section about the dual locks. A La Gard 2441/6441 was mentioned as a dual lock. I haven't been able to find it on their website - how does it work? Sounds like it has both a dial and the keypad and you can use either to open up. Would that be a good way to go and instead of getting the twin lock spend the money on the 4 ga body & 3/8" door option.
    The overall size of the two and the lock option are the last two details I need to settle on before placing my order. Opinions welcome.
    And thanks for all the great info here on this forum...
     
  2. NotAGunNut

    NotAGunNut Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2013
    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    USA
    Dimensions:
    Outside: 59.25" H x 30.00" W x 26.00" D
    Inside: 55.38" H x 26.00" W x 18.50" D
    Interior Cubic Feet: 15.42
    Source: http://www.safeandvaultstore.com/amsec-bf6030-gun-rifle-safe.html

    I'm in a similar boat as you.

    It seems that the dual lock options offered are a standard lock + a day lock. In other words, you'd need to open BOTH locks before a safe would unlock. Only useful in a commercial settings and more points of failure. There are other types of locks where you get a standard combination lock and a key, but the key is only to prevent the combination lock from turning - in case you gave the combination to others but want to control when they get in/out of the safe.

    I'm no expert, but I've been reading a LOT about the BF and Sturdy as they're the two RSC's that are highest on my list. It seems there are at least a dozen threads out on the internet about these two and all of them turn into a big political battle. Let me sum up my understanding and you can Google for more if you're interested - though I'm sure others will chime in defending one or the other.

    Burglary protection:
    Sturdy offers thicker steel, but the BF offers a composite construction where the "DryLight" (cement type mixture) adds to the overall rigidity and provides somewhat different security as tools required to get into just metal would have to go through other materials and would lose their effectiveness. I don't know which is better of the two, but I do know the DryLight is just a poured mixture, not the same as the 50,000 psi stuff they put into their TL-rated safes.

    For an example of how tough the composite mixture is, watch this video, this really helped me understand how the cement mix can add security (again, keep in mind that the mixture in the BF isn't equivalent to this stuff): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtbGUbeM860

    In the end, I don't know which is better from a security standpoint as they're both UL RSC rated and aren't up to the industry "class-B standards." Even with the sturdy having the 4gauge upgrade.

    Fire protection:
    The BF series uses DryLight which is a proven insulator and is UL rated (1-hour 350F) in some of AMSEC's other safes, including some of the smaller BF series safes - though the pour is thicker.

    The Sturdy uses ceramic wool and glass which is used in industrial ovens and such. The material itself is a better insulator, but it adds no burglary protection. Based on the various calculations and explanations I've seen, I believe this is probably a better material from a pure engineering standpoint, however it hasn't been tested as it's not widely used in the safe world.

    To be more specific: even though the material *is* better for fire protection, Sturdy has never subjected their safes to any type of testing, that I'm aware of, so at least their design/implementation is unproven. Given that out of thousands of safes there are only a handful that even use this [or similar] material, but are well rated, doesn't necessarily mean that Sturdy can claim a win in this area either.

    If you find the threads and read them all (I did) your head will spin with the back/forth, engineering data, etc. In the end, I think both parties are correct, but are talking slightly different languages.

    So, which of the two is better? Wish I knew, it would make my decision much easier as well :)

    EDIT: P.S. Given the toss-up, some things to consider are that you can see/touch/feel the BF at a local dealer and know exactly what you're getting and nobody will deny that the fit/finish on the BF is nicer. Before I get someone's panties in a bunch, when I say fit/finish I'm referring to how nice the safe looks to a person, not how precisely the door fits - as Sturdy is great at this. The "WAF" if you will. The BF is also considerably cheaper. But once again, I'm in the same boat as you, because if the Sturdy DOES offer better B&F protection then maybe the extra expense is worth it. I just don't know. At the end of the day, I do like thicker steel and if the BF had some more substantial steel on their body it would be a no-brainer.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  3. Shawrco

    Shawrco Member

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    RSC Decision

    Thanks for the inside dimensions on the AMSEC 6030 and the insight on all the key decision making parameters.

    I have read quite a few of the threads and you are SO ritht - gets to be overwhelming. I'm sure you had to do what I did and skip through some of the jousting and armwrestling to read the good stuff. One thing you pointed out, though, that I hadn't noticed, was that Sturdy doesn't post a fire "rating" on their safes... will have to go back and check that out or send them a question on it.

    The thing about my situation is, as I said in OP, a space limitation. The container that I end up with will be tucked back into a cubby hole in a "hidden' space inside the house. The front of the safe will stick out of the cubby just enough so the door will swing open 180 deg. I'm also having to get the left hand swing option (Sturdy charges $25 for a Lefty, but no big deal). That means that once bolted down there will be no access to beat on the sides/back at all... only access will be the top and the door. The AMSEC does have thicker steel in the door, even after the upgrade on the Sturdy. We are close to the local fire station, so the fire rating is probably a little less important than the break in protection.

    I wanted a little bit bigger safe, but I'm at the point where if I get a new gun I either sell one off or trade as part of the deal. I know the manufacturers' claims on capcity aren't going to be what applies to my configuration of rifles/shotguns, so that is why I'm trying to determine - which one has the interior set up to potentially hold the most guns in the stated size class. You are correct on the external asthetics - the AMSECs just "look" nicer and I really like their door organizers (adds 2 long guns to the count). Since the Sturdy is a foot taller, some of that additonal cubic feet is shelf space, which really doesn't factor into long gun storage.

    Once I settle the capacity question, then I'll figure out which way to go with the lock. My wife watched me "try" to open a dial lock on a box store safe this weekend and she obviously thought the electronic lock was the way to go... that's why I'm looking into the dual lock option. Of course if it were my unit and I had some practice with it I'm sure I could have opened it faster. I haven't been able to find any info on the La Gard 2441/6441 that was mentioned in another THR thread - other than it may take a little more fenagling to install in the door due to it's extra depth. That, and a post on another forum that indicates it may have been discontinued by the Kaba folks. What has been said leads me to think it has both the dial and an electronic key pad, but all I've seen is some installation instructions the show only the dial. Maybe someone with some experience with this one will shed some light.

    The quest continues...
     
  4. Elessar

    Elessar Member

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    I recently took delivery on a 3224-6 from Sturdy. One of the reasons I settled on this was the size. It is a near perfect fit for where I wanted to place it. I also wanted a 72" tall safe and I am VERY glad I did. For me, it makes the safe much more versatile and useable. A 72" tall safe but narrower than 36" is hard to find, so the Sturdy was a good fit for my needs in regards to size. I ordered non-fireline as I didn't need it for where I have the safe placed. I will say that with firelining, you may find the safe kinda cramped. I'm very glad I have those four extra inches (that's what she said).

    There are rumors of a new option on the AMSEC line, basically a 1/4" interior wall. If so, that may sway your decision.

    As to your other questions: In my opinion, the dual lock option is of limited value, especially as they are not redundant. So, a failure of one does not let you access the safe with the "back up" lock. As for extra security, I don't think it offers much. A serious locksmith attack is unlikely for a residential gun safe, and if it happens, if they can get one lock, I doubt a second one is a serious obstacle. In my opinion, far better to use the resources to guard against the more likely threats, physical attack. The extra welded pannels Sturdy offers are a great value for beefing up your body steel. The 4 guage upgrade is worth it for the door, the body...not so much. The extra body steel from 7 guage is so, so little (1/32"), i can't imagine it making a difference in any scenario. I would be tempted if I ordered another sturdy safe to skip the 4g upgrade and just do the panneling and an extra sheet on the door. Sturdy may even let you skip the body upgrade and just get a 3/8" door. Stainless reinforcement sounds great but would be extremely expensive as I don't see the point in reinforcing just one area of the safe. If they have a torch, they'll likely try other spots if torching the door doesn't work.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  5. NotAGunNut

    NotAGunNut Member

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    Ugh, what's wrong with this forum? I can't quote!

    "I'm sure you had to do what I did and skip through some of the jousting and armwrestling to read the good stuff."

    ^^ Nah, I love it. When someone is so passionate about getting the facts or their opinions across they'll go to great lengths to explain the details. Without the jousting we wouldn't have them.

    As both of you have said, the extra height in the 72" safe (without spending an arm and a leg to get it) is definitely a nice selling feature. Same as you, Shawrco, I'm on the fence about the locks but leaning towards dial. There's never an emergency to get into the safe, it's just a matter of convenience. What I wish is that other manufacturers had a well-rated U.L. lock which is like the Cannon EMP lock, which offers both. Electronic for ease of use and mechanical as a backup - all in one!

    Elessar, I think if you don't want the fire protection, then Sturdy is a no-brainer. You get to save money and space on something you don't need. Worst case if you want to store something you don't want to lose in the event of a fire just throw a cheap fire-rated Sentry safe in it and you're all set.

    Regarding steel thickness, you get an extra 25% steel thickness in the body which is nothing to sneeze at. Probably not something the OP would need since the body wouldn't be exposed, but it's an extra 1.5/32nds.

    EDIT: Forgot to ask... with the 4gauge upgrade, do you still get "one-piece" BENT steel or do you get welded plate steel at that point? I ask because I've never seen pictures of the 4gauge Sturdy. Additionally, when you're relying purely on steel for protection, do you know the type of steel that Sturdy uses? With a true, TL-rated safe from AMSEC, Meilink, Gardall, MESA, etc. where the concrete amalgamate is part of the protection and exists all around, it doesn't even matter since you know it's rated. With an RSC you just never know - especially when RSC's are only rated on the front of the safe and plenty of "gun safes" get UL RSC ratings even though you can punch through the side of them with a few hand tools.

    I really wish Sturdy had an independent lab (U.L. :)) do some fire testing, that would make it a much easier decision. The fire lining is really what makes this a toughie. It seems in theory Sturdy could be better, but without independent verification it's just pay and pray.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  6. Elessar

    Elessar Member

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    The sturdy 4g is built exactly the same way, one piece body. The 4g really is just barely thicker than 7. Hard to even tell by eye or touch.

    Sturdy has said they use grade 50 when available and A36 minimum. It is isn't specified anywhere so I suppose there is no guarantee. They do use American steel and I doubt they use crap steel. if you call I'm sure they'd tell you.
     
  7. Shawrco

    Shawrco Member

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    More Thoughts on RSC Choices

    "I ordered non-fireline as I didn't need it for where I have the safe placed. I will say that with firelining, you may find the safe kinda cramped. I'm very glad I have those four extra inches"

    Elessar - I've been re-thinking the fire liner... hard to tell who's right on how good their fire material really is (or any of them for that matter), but I checked the Fire Dept location from where we're moving and response should be < 10 min, 15 min at the outside; can't ever predict, but RSC will be located away from where a fire would "likely" start.
    I have < 20 long guns but want to get the side shelves - what is your interior config and what would you say is realistic count for storing long guns, i.e. did the 4" really make a difference?

    I'd definitely be interested in an AMSEC w/more interior room, but do you mean 1/4" liner on inside? sounds like that would give even less storage space.

    "I would be tempted if I ordered another sturdy safe to skip the 4g upgrade and just do the panneling and an extra sheet on the door. Sturdy may even let you skip the body upgrade and just get a 3/8" door" - I asked about this but they said the door would be too heavy w/out the body upgrade, making it tipsy... I guess they don't consider it will be bolted down. I would do the upgrade just to get the heavier door, and it's still won't be as heavy as AMSEC.

    "I'm on the fence about the locks but leaning towards dial. There's never an emergency to get into the safe, it's just a matter of convenience. What I wish is that other manufacturers had a well-rated U.L. lock which is like the Cannon EMP lock, which offers both. Electronic for ease of use and mechanical as a backup - all in one!"

    Not - I wonder who makes the Cannon lock, has to be someone like Kaba Mas/LaGard or S&G. I'll bet someone on the forum could post who makes it. I did find out that the LaGard 6441 redundant lock has been discontinued by Kaba... the sheet indicated that the ComboGard was equivalent (I don't think it has a dial though). I haven't been able to find anyone offering a redundant lock w/both a keypad and dial where one or the other opens the same locking device. My question about the dual lock setup is that if the electronic has failed, then you still can't get in w/the dial as Elessar points out. As you and others have said, getting in shouldn't be in an emergency situation, so the keypad is mainly for convenience/ease of operation.

    I'll be getting back in touch w/Sturdy to update my quote for a non-fire liner. Do they put anything on the inside walls with or without a liner, or is it just bare steel? That's one disadvantage of the Sturdy, can't see one in person - I guess they will send you better photos if you ask them? From what I hear they are very "plain".
     
  8. Elessar

    Elessar Member

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    They are very plain and simple, especially on the inside. If you like the fancy, carpeted residential look, you will likely be disappointed. The trade off however, if a better build quality and thicker steel. I didn't care about looks so it wasn't a problem for me. The sturdys have a very industrial feel to them. But the plain steel walls do provide a better anchor for the shelves than carpet, staples, and drywall.

    I ordered the 4g upgrade and I have the 3/16 extra welded panels on the sides and ceiling. This effectively gives me over 3/8" in most of the body. The extra panels are easily seen welded to the interior. Some may not like it.

    My interior. Ez out loop with side shelves. There is another rack under the side shelves for additional rifles when needed. This design is for convenience, but more rifles would fit with the hunters rack or the standard rack. My safe could hold 12 to 15 rifles in the main rack and another six in the rack currently under the side shelf.

    Only you can decide if you need fire but I wouldn't recommend this layout if you get fire lined. Keep in mind that you also lose some depth with fire lining. I believe the racks end up with one less slot. If fire lined, I'd recommend skipping side shelves and using the full width for rifle racks.

    Note that in mine, with no fire lining, I determined I'd have enough vertical space to utilize a third full width shelf. This requires rifles around 44" or less, so it depends on your stuff. I ordered a third shelf and am currently using it as a raised floor for the rifles. Underneath are outlets, goldenrod, power tools, etc.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013
  9. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    Fella's;

    And I'll bet more'n a nickle that neither AMSEC, Kaba-Maas, Ilco, LaGard, or S&G makes the Cannon EMP lock. My advice, forget the dual entry lock, get a U.L. USA built mechanical dial & learn how to use it.

    Myself, if I had to make the choice between the AMSEC and the Sturdy, I'd take the AMSEC. I've had experience with that company & those products. I've never even seen a Sturdy.

    900F
     
  10. Shawrco

    Shawrco Member

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    "My advice, forget the dual entry lock, get a U.L. USA built mechanical dial & learn how to use it."

    900F, your advice is solid - that LaGard 6441 lock seemed to be a great idea, best of both worlds... wonder why it was discontinued?

    The can't see it/touch it is one of the sticking points I've heard from many folks considering Sturdy Safes. Anyone on the forum in the Middle GA area have one?
     
  11. PowderKeg

    PowderKeg Member

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    Location:
    Ft Knox, KY
    My 3627-6 firelined Sturdy was delivered a year ago and I 'd be hard pressed to be more pleased. When Sturdy says a particular model will hold X number of long guns, you should get real close if you don't hit the number, unless you're trying to stuff it with .50's and punt guns. Their standard rack used to be called the hunter's rack (fewer guns but better spaced to allow for scopes, etc), but according to Alyssa they got so few requests for their closer spaced “standard” rack that they they dropped it and made the hunter the new standard. So assuming you don't have a bunch of varmint rifles wearing big honkin' scopes and bipods, an arsenal of AR's or other modern .mil semi's, or a mixed multitude of oversized/overweight long guns, you oughta be in good shape (forget using the side shelves though, as you lose a row of rack space with them). Going by the Amsec's I've looked at, they appear to follow the industry max capacity “standard” of single shot .22 youth guns. Amsec, as pretty much every other gunsafe out there, also uses a vertical panel or two inside to support the barrel loops/holes/shelves, which further divides and cramps the interior. The open design of the Sturdy was a major supporting contributor to my eventual decision.

    The primary factors that swung me to Sturdy were:
    - the 7 gauge body with 14 gauge inner liner for the fire lining
    - the simplified offset linkage eliminating a complex mess of cables, pins, pulleys, brackets, arms, etc.
    - the long and fully supported locking lugs, and external hinges
    - the extra bend of the body that forms the back of the door frame and that the lugs contact on the flat and bend instead of just the edge
    - their use of a true insulator for fire lining instead of wall/fireboard

    One thing that surprised me was the minimal gap around the door. I can just fit a folded piece of notepaper into the gap on the locking side, and a double-folded piece on the other three. The backside edge of the door plate is very slightly beveled to allow the tight fit. Also, with the handle fully down there's zero movement/play/slop of the door and lugs against the frame. There is a very minimal amount of play that can be heard and barely felt with the the handle pulled up slightly against the the engaged lock, but I've yet to see any other gunsafe this tight – far too many have OH MY GAWD!!! slop when pulling back on the locked door.

    All that said, could I have been happy with an Amsec BF instead (my close second choice because of the DryLight insulation)? Most likely yes. Or a Zykan B Rate safe? Quite possibly yes as well. Both were within the $$$ range I finally had to limit myself to, which was somewhat above what I initially wanted to spend (don't we all want caviar on a candy bar budget?). Sturdy won out by offering more or different features from the norm that I felt were worthwhile.

    On a final note, I'm REAL glad I went with the 6 footer over the 5, even though that extra foot of height doesn't sound like much and doesn't add to the number of long guns it'll hold.

    On a final final note, while the Sturdy may not win a beauty contest with its plain Jane industrial look and simple lever handle, it ain't no pig either.
     
  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Not, it's not. Utilitarian, but not a pig.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Shawrco

    Shawrco Member

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    Looking at C E Safes

    Thought I had thinks narrowed down to an AMSEC or Study, but I've been looking at C E Safe's "private label" safes. C E has standard or heavy models available. The standard has a 3/8" plate door and 3/16" plate body; heavy has 1/2" door and 1/4" body. They will also make the safe in custom sizes (for a charge of course).
     
  14. guggep

    guggep Member

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    I believe that those CE heavy safes are made by Sun Welding in Simi Valley CA. Please share with all if you find out more from CE
     
  15. NotAGunNut

    NotAGunNut Member

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    Since I can't edit my original post, let me retract what I said about Sturdy offering better theoretical fire protection. After reading much more about this mode of insulation on another forum, I would NOT trust this RSC to protect my valuables in a house fire.

    I'm not an engineer, but the way I understand it is that the thermal barrier used in the Sturdy offers greater R-value, but has no way in which it "consumes" heat introduced into the container (even though it maybe slightly slowed in getting in there). This is where cement (and even gypsum) seems to shine.

    Again, I'm no expert, but wanted to throw this out there. I have since eliminated the Sturdy RSC's from my list of possible candidates as I want fire protection.
     
  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I recently had to tear a wall down to bare 2x4s in my house. I took advantage of that and ran a water pipe up into the attic. I am going to add a sprinkler above the safe. Between that, the insulation in my Sturdy (Insulation just slows heat transfer, whether it's in your safe, your wall, your frig, or in your attic), and a sprinkler, I will feel well protected from fire.
     
  17. NotAGunNut

    NotAGunNut Member

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    I think [again, not a pro :)] if you have a sprinkler overhead, all this talk about fire insulation probably doesn't matter much. I'd just store things that can't get wet in waterproof containers or Ziploc bags.

    The nice thing about the Sturdy, is you can get them so large, for a decent price, that you could just stick Sentry safes inside for any non-gun contents. Guns would probably be covered under insurance for most anyway (maybe with a small rider). My guns can't be replaced, so I need everything to survive a fire.
     
  18. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    Very happy Sturdy safe owner here.

    I researched the heck out of these back when I was buying. I spent tens of hours looking into the various safes on the market, URL tests, whole house burn downs, steel thickness, locks, etc.

    I don't recall the specs on mine, but overall I feel quite happy that they are well made and up to the task for which they are designed. They offer very good theft deterrence and fire resistance. Made in the USA too. The price was affordable.

    I would buy another Sturdy safe with confidence.
     
  19. NotAGunNut

    NotAGunNut Member

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    Let me tell you a little story about a friend of mine. He's had the same insurance for an umpteen number of years and every year his agent assured him that the fence on his commercial property is covered by the insurance. He's been happy with the policy and has had no problems.

    One day a drunk driver ran into a lamp post and smashed up the fence causing $5,000 worth of damage. When my friend called the insurer, to pay for the damages, they told him that the fence wasn't covered under his policy. The driver had no insurance so my friend went to court and got an injunction against the driver to collect - unfortunately the guy had no assets nor a job for garnishments.

    You see, a safe is insurance. You don't use it until it's been burglarized or it has been in a fire. Opening and closing the door does not constitute use.

    Unlike my friend, I read my policy and the fine print prior to forking over the money. I want to make sure the insurance I think I'm buying is what I'm getting and it's there in black and white. So when you say "They offer very good theft deterrence and fire resistance." I have to ask: where are the test results for you to make such a statement?

    So far as I've been able to ascertain, Sturdy hasn't published, nor do they carry any labels relating to any type of fire testing. Thus, expecting fire protection, is a guessing game.

    I'm not saying Sturdy is a bad RSC; what I am saying is that it's an unknown. We don't know what a real fire will do compared to a lab test, but I want to know what I may possibly expect out of my insurance contract and how my coverage compares with other insurers.

    I hoe this makes sense...
     
  20. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    As I understand it, the UL labs testing is a gimmick and not representative of a real house fire.

    Sturdy does real testing on their safes. And here's a burndown where the safe contexts (even the paper and plastic) survived.

    http://www.sturdysafe.com/firelinertestcompare.htm

    http://www.sturdysafe.com/fireliner.htm

    http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_6_46/355967_.html

    Cheaper safes us non ceramic fire proofing, like gypsum board. Sturdy uses ceramic wool blend, which are more expensive. Does NASA use gypsum for re-entry, or ceramics?
     
  21. heeler

    heeler Member

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    I went through this same safe decision four years ago and chose the Amsec BF 6636 over the Sturdy.
    The reasons for the decision...
    I will not buy something that was costing over two grand sight unseen.
    To this day I have never seen a Sturdy gun safe in person.
    There were several Amsec dealers in Houston.
    There is no such thing as a Sturdy dealer.
    The fire cladding in the Amsec is the real deal.
    The jury is still out on the Sturdy.
    Both offer great residential burglary protection if placed correctly and bolted down.
    Neither will be able to ward off a tool attack but that's pretty rare with gun safes although we all know it happens.
    The fit and finish off the Amsec is quite nice.
    The pictures I have seen of the Sturdy's welds and a few other issues give them an industrial Russian factory look.
    Although some of the Sturdy's features are nice such as the ability to forego fire proofing material or adding thicker steel is pretty good.
    Fwiw Fort Knox will do the same and has a superb fit and finish and you will of course pay for that nicety.
    Either gun safe will do you and your firearms justice but I still dont completely trust the fire proofing of the Sturdy.
     
  22. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    Fella's;

    As I understand it, the U.L. one hour thermal test procedure is not a gimmick.

    In a nutshell, it's this: The test container goes into the furnace upright, not laying on it's back. The door is closed & the gas is lit, but that does not start the test cycle, unlike most independent RSC tests. The U.L. one hour timed burn does not start until the interior of the furnace reaches test temperature, 1700 degrees f. The active burn continues for one hour, the temperature remaining at 1700 for the entire hour. At the end of the hour, the gas is shut off, but the furnace is not opened. The furnace does not open until the interior temperature of the furnace reaches laboratory ambient, 68 degrees f. This simulates the test container being cooked after the structure caves in on it. At no time during the test cycle can the interior temperature of the tested container exceed 350 degrees f.

    That test is not a joke, and you will not see a single RSC being marketed in this country at this time that has a valid U.L. 1 hr thermal test pass certificate on it.

    900F
     
  23. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
    St. Charles, MO (St. Louis)
    As CB900F said, UL testing is far from a joke. They test against worst case scenarios to ensure that the safes will perform as advertised.

    If you want to carry real insurance on a safe, the insurers will demand a UL rating. If you want to engage in certain businesses regulated by our government (banking, pharmaceutical, etc.) they will demand a UL rating. If a customer demands the best in protection against theft and fire, they should be shopping for safes with a UL rating.

    What is somewhat of a joke is their RSC rating, but it's my understanding that changes are coming.
     
  24. 2_ar

    2_ar Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Messages:
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    Wow, this is a first. Are we talking about the same UL with over 100 years of fire testing hundreds of thousands of products including safes and vaults? The same UL with the most comprehensive fire testing facilities in the world? The same UL that tests and certifies virtually all safes and vaults used by banks, numerous governments and almost all commercial entities in the US?

    Yep, that definitely beats UL testing. As a former manufacturer of toolboxes, Sturdy knows all there is to know about fireproofing and testing.

    LOL! The exotic and exorbitantly expensive shielding materials used by NASA are nothing like the simple and cheap wool used for the Sturdy fire-lining. And their applications could not be more different. This is like arguing that you have the best ridding mower because Ferrari also uses an engine that burns fossil fuels.

    Since you're linking threads you might want to read this one where an Amsec engineer with 20+ years of real fire testing experience and knowledge schools a Sturdy homer(who is an engineer but has no experience whatsoever in fire testing or fire-resistant product design) on thermodynamics and safe design:

    http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_6_46/401046_Questions_for_AMSEC_TheSafeGuy.html&page=5

    The whole thread is a very good read for security info as well.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
  25. Simson

    Simson Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Messages:
    18
    I don't believe the AMSEC BF has an actual UL fire rating, Amsec gives it a Mercury class III 90 minute rating whatever that is ...

    In leadcounsel's defense, an actual fire is a whole lot different than what UL does for their fire testing. In a real fire, the safes are filled with a lot of materials and in the case of gun safe's a lot of heavy massed thermally conductive materials. For an empty safe, a lining with a moisture baring insulating material like gypsum or concrete is going to look better to a thermocouple connected to a data recorder because of the phase change of water to steam that will hold the temperature at around the boiling point of water while water is still present. A passively lined safe such as what Sturdy is using isn't going to look as good over time in an empty safe because it is only slowing the rate of heat transfer and has only the mass of the air present in the safe to slow the temperature rise. Add a bunch of guns and other materials to a gun safe and that's where Sturdy's design will shine. Not only do the guns slow the temperature rise within the safe as they absorb the trickle of heat passing through the fiber insulation (anywhere from 1/4 to 1/60th the rate as gypsum or concrete) but the contents also remain dry because there is no steam being generated in the process.

    I'm not saying the AMSEC BF won't provide good protection in a fire because there is a recent example where it has done just that.

    Sturdy also has an example on their own website of a complete burn down where their safe did quite well.

    Compare the two photos and look at the contents of the top shelves (the hottest location in a safe during a fire), the plastic is undamaged and the paper is still bright white in the Sturdy Safe, on the AMSEC BF the edges of the paper are scorched showing that the temperature has likely exceeded 350F in the upper portion of the safe.

    Sturdy Safe after complete burndown:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    AMSEC BF after complete burndown:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
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