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Idunno
June 14, 2009, 01:02 PM
I'm new to this forum but have been reading it for a while as a guest.

I've been reading the threads about safes and RSCs and have some questions. I want to upgrade from a gun cabinet to a safe/like RSC. I know these have probably been asked and answered before but I still have some questions and questions about specific products.

I know you get what you pay for. I know thickness of the steel is king but I am on a budget. Also, I've read about different security features and I don't know which ones are necessary or not.

I'd prefer external hinges and a dial/combination lock. I'm not sure what else I need. I would like 10 gauge but don't know if I can afford it.

So here goes:

1. Are Cam drive bolt locking systems necessary?

2. Are slip clutch handles necessary?

3. Do I need to have bolts in all four sides of the door?

4. How much more resistant to break in or brute force is 10 gauge over 12 gauge? I saw the picture somewhere of the 12 gauge safe that was broken into with a sledge hammer. How much tougher would 10 gauge have been?

5. How important is it to have the CA DOJ or UL RSC rating, or do they even matter?

6. How important are re-lockers?


I looked at the Liberty Centurion 20. It's 12 gauge steel, 445 lbs, and has internal hinges but it's available at Lowe's for only $697.00 so no shipping charges. I don't know if this is a decent box or not.
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=291281-10283-CN20-BK&lpage=none
http://www.libertysafe.com/safe_centurion.php

At least it's not a Stack-On. I looked at those and was not impressed by their quality (lack of) or their use of 14 gauge steel.

I've read about Steelwater SW593024. At 615 lbs it has 7 1 1/2 live bolts and 3 dead bolts. It has a 12 gauge body and a 4 gauge door and is priced at $965.00 I think this is a good box but I'm not sure.
http://www.steelwatergunsafes.com/Store/V8/Products.aspx?ProductId=5

I looked at the Diamondbacks at the Zykan site. I liked the ZES-28 and ZES-24. I liked the 10 gauge steel on both and the 1/4 inch door on the 24.
http://www.zykansafe.com/diamondgunsafes.html

I've actually learned alot from reading Mr. Zykan's posts. (thanks for all the info)

I've looked at the SafeCo safes but they look just like the Diamond backs. Their DL5928L-C seems to have the same specs as the ZES-28. I was wondering if they were the same safe?

Finally, I found Pioneer Safe by United Merchandising.
http://www.unitedmerchandising.com/Safes/index.html

They claim to be a Class B Residential Security Safe. But they only have a 1/8 inch body and 1/4 inch door. I thought Class B was 1/4 body and 1/2 inch door. It seems well made but what do I know? They sell them on ebay, free shipping.

http://shop.ebay.com/merchant/marc17522

The guys at the local stores are not "safe" guys and I don't really think they know their facts. I caught some of them making exaggerated claims or mixing up their facts. I just figured I'd throw my questions out there, hope the guys with the know would chime in.

Sorry for such a long post.
That's all, Thanks :D

a1abdj
June 15, 2009, 12:50 AM
I'd prefer external hinges and a dial/combination lock.

You're on the right track here.

1. Are Cam drive bolt locking systems necessary?

Almost all safes will have some sort of cam/gearing that operates the locking bolts.

2. Are slip clutch handles necessary?

Almost all safes will have something like this also. This prevents a theif from using the handle to force the boltwork into the lock, breaking the lock. The theory is that the handle should give way before the lock does.

3. Do I need to have bolts in all four sides of the door?

In a residential setting, this feature is more important on safe with thin steel than it would be on a safe built of heavy plate. Since the thinner steels will flex when prying, the additional bolts will buy you some time during a pry attack.

On the downside, it's one more moving part that has the potential to break. There are many burglary rated safes that only have live locking bolts on the opening side.

4. How much more resistant to break in or brute force is 10 gauge over 12 gauge? I saw the picture somewhere of the 12 gauge safe that was broken into with a sledge hammer. How much tougher would 10 gauge have been?

10 gauge is roughly 1/8", and 12 gauge is roughly 1/10". It will buy more time, maybe a few minutes.

5. How important is it to have the CA DOJ or UL RSC rating, or do they even matter?

They don't really matter.

6. How important are re-lockers?

Most of the guys that would attack your safe in your home don't know much about safes. It is very common to see a burglar knock the dial of a safe off in order to attempt entry. This is where a relocker is important.

If a safe doesn't have a relocker, it is not that difficult to punch the lock and gain entry to the safe. If the safe is using a UL rated lock, there will be a relocker internal to the lock as well.


I looked at the Liberty Centurion 20. It's 12 gauge steel, 445 lbs, and has internal hinges but it's available at Lowe's for only $697.00 so no shipping charges. I don't know if this is a decent box or not.
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...-BK&lpage=none
http://www.libertysafe.com/safe_centurion.php

The photo you have seen of the safe with the hole in the side is a 12 gauge Liberty Centurion.

I looked at the Diamondbacks at the Zykan site. I liked the ZES-28 and ZES-24. I liked the 10 gauge steel on both and the 1/4 inch door on the 24.
http://www.zykansafe.com/diamondgunsafes.html

I don't actually sell the Diamond Backs anymore due to some security concerns with how that distributor is conducting business. I do however sell the same safes sold through different distributors with their own names attached.

You mentioned seeing other safe with different names having the same specs. This particular manufacturer sells these safes under a variety of names, so it's very possible you're looking at the same safe.

I've actually learned alot from reading Mr. Zykan's posts. (thanks for all the info)

You are more than welcome. No need to call me Mr. though.

They claim to be a Class B Residential Security Safe. But they only have a 1/8 inch body and 1/4 inch door. I thought Class B was 1/4 body and 1/2 inch door. It seems well made but what do I know? They sell them on ebay, free shipping.

Technically, his claim is correct. A B rated safe is any safe using "up to" 1/2" plate in the door, and "up to" 1/4" plate for the body. Commercially, most of us in the business don't consider a safe to be a B rate unless it's using the full thickness.

Idunno
June 15, 2009, 10:53 PM
Thanks a1abdj for the info!

It will really help me narrow my search. I plan to look at some tomorrow and now I can better evaluate what I'm looking at. I can also ask smarter questions when speaking with the salesmen.

What other safes do you offer that are similar to the Diamondbacks? The Amesec's and High Security's are out of my price range. I'm also curious about the ZES 24 & 28.

Thanks again for the info. I really appreciate it.

Dead-Nuts-Zero
June 21, 2009, 10:34 PM
Very interesting info in this thread.

I was also looking at Steelwater brand online, did a forum search for them on this forum with only this one thread available for my search.

Anyone able to give us their thoughts on the Steelwater? I have not compared them with others as yet. It may be a little difficult to compare them as apples to apples without the great info found in this thread.


I see they use the name Superior Lock & Safe in the addresss...?

This is the link to their small lock boxes, they offer many styles including the multi gun vaults all with free shipping.

http://superiorlockandsafe2.reachlocal.net/Store/V8/Products.aspx?ProductId=6

http://superiorlockandsafe2.reachlocal.net/Store/V8/Products.aspx?ProductId=2

My current interest are for the small one or two handgun style lock box.

Idunno
June 30, 2009, 12:47 AM
I read that the Steelwater safes have 12 gauge bodies with 4 gauges doors. Thin body, thick door.
12 gauge is the same of many other lower end safes. Sentry, Cannon, Liberty to name a few. Here's a link of a Liberty safe that was broken into with an axe.

http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulletin/related-gear-equipment/39943-gun-safe-break-attempts-2.html

I personally want to get 10 gauge body or better if I can afford it. A little thicker, hopefully it would keep the crooks out longer. More time for the cops to arrive.

Anybody else have any opinion on this. I'm still learning about this stuff myself.

Adirondack
July 1, 2009, 10:48 PM
Idunno,

I just went through the same process as you and I ended up increasing my price target to get a gun "safe" that I thought would reasonable secure the contents but I think it was worth it for me in the end.

For myself, I decided to approach the problem as coming up with a solution that would likely prevent a motivated, moderately educated, but poorly equipped burglar from getting into the safe. That for me is a burglar using a pry bar, an ax or sledge hammer to try to force entry. Attacks using a hand drill are harder to prevent entry as I see it and that would be where I think the design of the safe itself is more important (of course that goes without saying but a lot of good safes seem to be defeated with nothing more than a portable drill). I looked for a safe with minimal linkage and all or most of it as well as the combo box protected with a separate hardplate that would deflect the bit making it more difficult to drill.

12ga as you have seen is pretty much worthless against a fire ax attack but 10ga really doesn't appear to be much better from the research I've done. It seems that 8ga steel is needed at a minimum but more likely 7ga is preferable as a minimum for the body to prevent entry using a fire ax.

On the locking bolts on all sides, a1abdj is definitely the expert on the subject here but I'd add that maybe a door that is reinforced around the perimeter and across its center would also prevent the door from bending in a pry bar attack and so might lessen the need for locking bolts on all sides. From my research, I found far too many cases of successful entries by attacking the linkage of the doors that had active locking bolts on all sides. Browning makes a good point on their website that their locking cam prevents transferring force directly to the locking mechanism in certain attacks but I found a couple examples of how their linkage and door had been defeated by simply drilling directly to the front of the door and cutting the linkage.

In the end, I bought a safe I feel pretty good about but also got some insurance too to cover the unexpected. Best of luck, let us know what you decide.

Idunno
July 15, 2009, 01:18 AM
Except for the internal hinges, I think I like the Pioneer Safe Co. They have 1/8 bodies with 1/4 doors. The price is nice too. Yeah, they're made in China, but they seem like sturdy boxes.

http://www.unitedmerchandising.com/Safes/index.html

Does anybody have an opinion on them?