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Old April 11, 2006, 12:29 AM   #26
SaltySteve
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At this point I'm leaning towards the Amsec BF 6032 or 6030 models or the Fort Knox Protector 6041 maybe the defender 6041. I wonder what the real diff is between the two Fort Knox safes are? If I had access to a phone I would just call them, but all I have is their ad that says they are mostly the same except for cosmetics. Well at least I'm narrowing it down some. By the way what Brand safe is that?
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Old April 11, 2006, 12:17 PM   #27
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I sell a lot more of the AMSECs than I do Fort Knox. Most of my AMSEC sales are to buyers wanting a secure safe, and most of my Fort Knox sales are to collectors wanting a showpiece.

The Protector has gloss paint, pin stripes, and gold dial/handle. The Defender has textured paint, no stripes, and chrome dial/handle. They are both the exact same safe otherwise.

The safe in the photo I posted is a Liberty Centurion.
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Old April 11, 2006, 09:04 PM   #28
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check out DRMO

When you get back to port check out DRMO and see when they will have their next auction. I picked one up from my old bases DRMO for about 300 bucks that is mil spec and is fire and water resistant to mil standards, plus it came with an X09 lock worth a lot. If not I would also go with the winchester.

Also once you get it, don't foreget about a good dehumidifier to absorb the moisture. Check out www.midwayusa.com for good dehumidifiers.
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Old April 11, 2006, 10:54 PM   #29
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ramen has some too...

Quote:
Also once you get it, don't foreget about a good dehumidifier to absorb the moisture. Check out www.midwayusa.com for good dehumidifiers.

Don't Ramen noodles come with free dehumidifiers????

LoL, after spending this much on a safe, I won't be able to buy anything but a hi-point

maybe a summer job...
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Old April 12, 2006, 10:48 AM   #30
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So how do Champion Safes compare?
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Old April 12, 2006, 11:23 AM   #31
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Most of your brand name safes are pretty similar. Browning, Liberty, Fort Knox, Champion, Cannon, etc....

The weak link is the thin steel. All of these companies use 12 gauge steel on their lower models, and 10 gauge on some of the others. At the end of the day, nothing else matters....1/10" steel is 1/10" steel.

I sell imported safes that all sell for less than $1,000 which have more steel in them than some of these brand name safes that are priced at $4,000. With a gun safe, you are paying more for a name and cosmetics than you are real protection.

With that said, you have to understand there's a tight rope act that these safe companies are putting on. The safe has to be big enough for guns, but light enough to go into a house. It has to have a fire liner, but it can't be moist because it will damage the guns. It also has to be cheap, because gun owners are notorious for wanting to spend as little as possible on a gun safe.

Many of these gun safes are OK for normal weapons storage. I have a problem with the companies that claim their gun safes are suitable for protecting the family jewels, photographs, and other things that they are not designed to protect.
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Old April 12, 2006, 06:01 PM   #32
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remember your safe math. its the same formula used for tent buying. it is based on the chinese perfect woman formula.
X divided by 2 - one = Y
therfore if you are buying a 30 gun safe it will actually hold 14 guns.
sound mathmatics i asure you.
6 man tent?
anyone
anyone?
2 people (or 3 midgets).
perfect woman?
46 year old man? 22 year old woman. works everytime.
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Old April 13, 2006, 10:23 AM   #33
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Quote:
LoL, after spending this much on a safe, I won't be able to buy anything but a hi-point
Now that would be funny - a $4,000 safe full of hi-points.

a1a, thanks so much for the excellent information - I can't *believe* that a sledgehammer can do that to a Liberty centurion safe in 5 minutes - a real eye-opener there. Mine's a massive POS about like that one I suppose - it's a 'Bear' brand safe. Geez, time to get a better one, I think, definitely. Interesting too about the UL ratings, but hmmm, I could have sworn I've seen some safes with a UL fire rating sticker. But that "Omega" thing on the libertys was suspect to me. UL I've heard of; Omega, notsomuch. I could make safes and also start a company called omega to test my safes - whaddya know, they're the highest rated on the market after my other company's "indedpendent" testing.

PSE, yeah I think JayCo used that formula on my popup camper trailer - supposed to sleep 6 - yeah, OK, sortof - if a couple of them are kids and you don't mind crawling over the kids to get in and out of bed, and have absolutely no room left for ya know, clothes & gear.

a1a, is zykan your company? What's the best value going - what do you recommend we buy from you?
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Old April 13, 2006, 11:21 AM   #34
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Quote:
I can't *believe* that a sledgehammer can do that to a Liberty centurion safe in 5 minutes.
I can. But then I used to work for a living. Now what I call working is more like thinking and it pays a heck of a lot better.

In my younger days I would have bet I could cut that safe completely in half in less than 5 minutes with an 8# splitting maul. And somebody would have been paying up too. 5 minutes is a very long time for something to be pounded on with a sledge, especially one with a cutting edge. These days I have to leave tricks like that up to my sons.....
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Old April 13, 2006, 11:34 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a1abdj
I'd sure like to see the opposite sides of that safe - got more pics?
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Old April 13, 2006, 08:34 PM   #36
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That damaged safe is easy to believe when you consider that 12 gage is only 1/10 of an inch. These guys http://www.drakesafe.com/ use 1/4" (<3 gage) for everything, and it's not a cumulative thickness, it's all in 1 piece. They use very few seams.
It looks, to me, to be a pretty rationale way to build one without going overboard.

Material thickness:

STEEL
Gage (inches) (mm)
3 .2391 6.073
4 .2242 5.695
5 .2092 5.314
6 .1943 4.935
7 .1793 4.554
8 .1644 4.176
9 .1495 3.797
10 .1345 3.416
11 .1196 3.030
12 .1046 2.657
13 .0897 2.278
14 .0747 1.897
15 .0673 1.709
16 .0598 1.519
17 .0538 1.367
18 .0478 1.214
19 .0418 1.062
20 .0359 0.912
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Old April 13, 2006, 11:25 PM   #37
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Quote:
a1a, is zykan your company? What's the best value going - what do you recommend we buy from you?
Zykan Safe is my company. I've been in the safe business since I was 16 years old, but have done many other things as well. The safe business doesn't make me rich, but it's something that I really enjoy.

As far as value...it really depends on a persons specific needs. I always tell anybody, that for the price, the AMSEC BF series is one of the best gun safes in its price range. I am very picky about what I sell. When one of my distributors started selling imported gun safes, I had them send me two samples which we promptly tore down in the shop. I will only sell products which I have personally had the chance to look over, so that I know what it is and what it isn't. I'd rather see for myself than read it out of the manufacturer's catalog.

We sell new gun safes starting at around $500, and going up into the $10,000range. Sometimes it's less costly to buy something from me, and sometimes it's less costly to buy elsewhere. I'm the type of guy that will send you to a competitor if I think their product is a better suited for you.

I'm also more than happy to locate professional safe techs (not just retailers that sell safes) in your area in the event you're looking for something used, or need work done.

I have another photo showing the front of that safe above. I'll post it when I find it.
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Old April 14, 2006, 09:50 PM   #38
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safes

Find the threads relating to safes that I started and commented in in 2005 when I was going through this exact decision.

Bottom line, a lot of the safes on the market are inferior because they don't appear to stand up to the necessary heat generated by a fire nor do they have superior burglary protection.

I purchased a Sturdy Safe and am very pleased.
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Old April 17, 2006, 09:27 AM   #39
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I bought a "Winchester" safe, made by Granite Safe Co. from Sam's for $581. It does have a UL inspection and electronic lock. Supposed to be a 24 long gun safe or 1/2 long guns and 1/2 shelves, that's the way I have it set up. Will it stand up to a sledge hammer for any length of time? Doubt it, but it will keep the average "kick in the door, grab what you can and run" burgular out. Like the ones that hit me before. I have it tucked in a little "nook" in my house with a curtain hiding it from direct view and it could only be hit straight from the front and not much room to swing. I keep other things in it too. Like insurance papers, Army records, my Dad's flag from his funeral, and my meds.
Perfect protection? Nah, but not many people know it's there, so I don't expect a professional safe-cracker to come to my house anyway, or someone carrying a sledge hammer that will spend the time to smash it open. My German Shepard inside and my "Black Barking Dog" outside would probably offer some diversion also. Not perfect fire protection either, but some. It beats hiding guns and other stuff around the house and I sure feel better when my grandkids visit.
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Old April 17, 2006, 09:45 AM   #40
SaltySteve
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Thats kinda where i'm at too. I think i'm gonna go with 1 of the Amsec BF models. A little more then I want to spend, but....if I remember correctly everything that i read then I think it will afford some Doc Protection also. At least better than some of the others.
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Old April 17, 2006, 02:05 PM   #41
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Anyone have a Diamond Back GS5922H

"H" Series Features:

1/8" (10 Gauge) Solid Steel Body Construction

1/4" Solid Steel Door Construction

LaGard Group II Combination Lock (Electronic Lock Optional)

(10) 1.5" Solid Steel Locking Bolts Which Locks Door On All 4 Sides

Gear Driven - Live Locking Bolts

Relocker For Additional Security

External Hinges

Universal Interior - Grey Fabric - Adjustable Shelving

2 Layers Of Fireproofing (60 Minutes @ 1250 Degrees)

Safes Come Drilled For Bolting To Floor

Durable Black Finish With Attractive Golden Accents
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Old April 20, 2006, 03:13 AM   #42
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another option. I have had boxes built 1/4 or 3/8 hard plate. shielded hinges and inset locks that have stood up for years on jobsites. They are about 800 bucks now if i get a new one from my neighborhood fab shop. I had one that some bozo tried to get open by ramming it between a loading dock and the forks of a bobcat. He finally got it open but had busted about everything in the box with the impacts.

Fire protection comes from 1/2 or 5/8 inch firerock, or treated drywall. easy to have it added or do it yourself. Adding the fire caulk to seal the gaps under heat is easy too. Intumescent caulking is available at ww graingers. not pretty as conversation pieces go but I have five of them that hold thousands of dollars of tools on jobsites everynight.
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Old April 20, 2006, 03:52 AM   #43
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Hmmmmm!
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Old April 23, 2006, 01:10 AM   #44
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Here's the site.

www.sturdysafe.com

shows a total burndown and everything in the safe survived because, unlike the mainstream safes (which use fire resistant gympsum board, aka dryall) sturdy uses ceramic/glass fireresistant blankets which work better.

also much better at burglary resistance. thicker steel, better locks, etc.

the safe i bought wasn't glamourous, but weights 900 lbs, 9 gauge steel, 1/4" steel door, commercial dial lock for something in the $1600 range. it was under $2000 delivered.
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Old April 23, 2006, 05:55 AM   #45
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Yeah, I'll certainly give them a call when I get back State side. There is no price list on their web site. I have to say though that I'm leaning toward the Am sec BF 6040 at this stage. Of course by the time I get back and start actually talking to dealers I'm sure to waffle a little.
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Old April 23, 2006, 06:29 AM   #46
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Some ideas...

If you have a house with a basement, or a place where you could break through the flooring (assuming you own the house!), then your best bet would be to get a large enough safe with a decent UL rating for burglary resistance, and setting it on its back into the hole in the floor, securing it in place with bolts (from the inside) to prevent removal.

Properly secured into place, it becomes a very resistant to fire damage, since heat rises up and water go to low spots, as well as very difficult to attack, as only the strongest side (the door) is exposed to a burglars tools.

You'd have to modify it a bit by adding a lift piston, like that found on hatchback cars, to aid in lifting the safe door (unless you like hernias...)

If it can't be set below floor level, then you could make a form that the safe would lie in and pour concrete around it, making it much more difficult to attack its vulnerable sides.

It can be done so that there's no permanent modifications made to the property (assuming you rent), and still allowing the safe to be removed if you move.

If you can't do the above, what about putting it in your backyard? Build a shed over it to keep it dry and out of sight. Anyone trying to break into it is going to make a racket that will alert you or the neighbors (assuming they're close enough), as well as making it immune from fire damage since there'd be nothing else in the shed to burn. (It'd be a very small shed, you see. )

If you don't secure ALL sides of the safe, then a burglar who knows his trade will attack through the weak sides, rather than trying to go through the door, which is almost always the strongest part.

Get a TL-15 rated safe, as B and C ratings are inadequate, and in a size adequate for your needs. Don't buy any safe that isn't UL rated for burglary resistance, otherwise you're relying on the manufacturers claims.

Quote:
Originally Posted by myself
A perfect example of this is the demo video by Rhino Safes.

They compare the locking bolts they use against an unidentified competitor, saying how "no thief is going to cut through OUR hardened locking bolts!", using a hand-held hacksaw to demonstrate.

First, no thief would try it in the first place, unless he's a brain-dead zombie, using a hand tool, nor given the sheer number of bolts to cut.

Second, they didn't bother mentioning how the competitors locking bolt is hollow because it has a free-spinning hardened pin in it that makes it resistant to even a cut-off wheel attack, something Rhino's unitary bolt is NOT.
Your budget wouldn't allow you to get a UL rated safe with an 'x6' rating (meaning all six sides are equally protected), so you have to remove 5 sides from the attackers access by burying it.

Since a burglary rated safe is not a fire-resistant, and vise-versa, you'll have to improve its ability to withstand a fire. Some things would be to run a pipe to the safe with a fire sprinkler head, so if there is a fire, there's a constant stream of water spraying on it to keep it cool.

I'm assuming you'd risk some rust rather than detempering?

Anything that can't take water should be bagged or tupperware'd, since the safe would collect water in it during fire suppression, and would be subject to flood damage if you're at risk from such things.

Gun 'safes', such as Liberty/Fort Knox/etc. are all jokes. They'll keep unmotivated punks out, but not a burglar who knows his trade. Give a thief 5 minutes, with a 7" Skil saw with an abrasive cut-off wheel in it, and he'll have a hole big enough to climb through!

I recently cut a 1' x 1' through 1/4" steel plate to install a toilet in a semi-trailer, and it took less than 5 minutes using the above tool setup. Noisy as hell, and sparks like 4th of July, but got the job done.

And this is why you won't see thieves using drills to bypass the hardplate and UL rated combination locks on this kind of 'safe'...because in the time it'd take to set up a drill, you can cut a hole in them.

You could possibly even pick up a real bargain by calling around to various locksmiths and safe techs, telling them you'd be interested in buying just the safe door from a safe that has been damaged by a burglar cutting in through one of the sides.

Since the safe is compromised by such damage, the owner can't really sell the thing, so he'd be happy to sell you the (undamaged) door, to recover some expense. At a drastic discount, of course.

You might have to wait a while for a thief to break into the kind of safe you need, but patience is well rewarded.
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Old April 23, 2006, 10:13 AM   #47
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I think your recommendation pretty much sums up what I have taken from this thread.

1) Buy a Gun safe and live with the shortcomings (but Fire protected)
2) Buy a Security safe and pay big bucks (no fire protection)
3) Buy either and use a little ingenuity to overcome any shortcomings.

The decision I need to make now is how for do I want to go with this?
My Firearms are not really that valuable, I just don't want them taken easily and used against myself or anyone else. I think I will be happy with them reasonably protected.
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Old April 23, 2006, 12:18 PM   #48
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Quote:
Get a TL-15 rated safe, as B and C ratings are inadequate, and in a size adequate for your needs. Don't buy any safe that isn't UL rated for burglary resistance, otherwise you're relying on the manufacturers claims
A "B" or "C" rated safe is often more than adequate. A "B" rated safe uses 1/4" steel plate walls, and a 1/2" steel plate door. That is far more steel than is found in the vast majority of gun safes. A "C" rated safe uses 1/2" steel for the bodies, and a 1" plate door. A TL-15 is an "E" rate and a TL-30 is a "F" rated safe.

Unless you're talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of a collection, a "B" or "C" rated unit would be a great safe to use. Keep in mind that any of these safes large enough for guns are going to be much heavier than you would expect. A "B" rated safe may weigh 1,500 to 2,000 pounds, a "C" rated safe may weigh 2,000 to 3,000 pounds, and a TL rated safe will exceed 3,000 pounds.

Quote:
Your budget wouldn't allow you to get a UL rated safe with an 'x6' rating (meaning all six sides are equally protected), so you have to remove 5 sides from the attackers access by burying it.
Again, unless your purpose is to protect your collection from a serious attack, this is a little overkill.

Quote:
Since a burglary rated safe is not a fire-resistant, and vise-versa, you'll have to improve its ability to withstand a fire.
There are many safes on the market that are both burglary rated and provide fire protection. All burglary rated composite safes offer fire resistance. There are also some steel plate safes which have a composite interior lining giving them fire protection.

Quote:
Gun 'safes', such as Liberty/Fort Knox/etc. are all jokes. They'll keep unmotivated punks out, but not a burglar who knows his trade. Give a thief 5 minutes, with a 7" Skil saw with an abrasive cut-off wheel in it, and he'll have a hole big enough to climb through!
This is true. Even though some of these safes are built stronger than some of the others, they still don't offer any substantial protection. Many people assume that because it looks like a safe, it is a safe. Most of these gun safes use 1/10" steel (12 gauge). 1/10" is nothing to cut through.

Quote:
Since the safe is compromised by such damage, the owner can't really sell the thing, so he'd be happy to sell you the (undamaged) door, to recover some expense. At a drastic discount, of course.
We can usually repair even extensive damage to the body of a safe without it affecting its rating. If the damage is so extensive that the safe is no longer viable, generally the door isn't usable either. You can buy a safe door new, if you're only looking for a door.

Quote:
1) Buy a Gun safe and live with the shortcomings (but Fire protected)
2) Buy a Security safe and pay big bucks (no fire protection)
3) Buy either and use a little ingenuity to overcome any shortcomings.
There are literally hundreds of safe models available which cover just about any intended use you can imagine. The more functions the safe serves, the higher the price. There is some point where everything balances out, and the safe costs will reflect your comfort level with both your purchase and the protection it offers.

Keep in mind, that a safe is one of the cheapest insurance policies available, and it is also your last line of defense. If you skimp on the safe required for your needs, you may not like the aftermath of a fire or burglary. If you buy a $2,000 safe and it gives you 20 years of service, your cost is only $8.33 per month.
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Old April 25, 2006, 02:52 PM   #49
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Zanotti Armor Modular Gun Safes

Have you looked at Zanotti Armor? They make a really good "box that locks". You can take it apart and move everything yourself with the exception of the door. They have a website at http://www.zanottiarmor.com

Might be worth a look.
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Old April 26, 2006, 02:16 AM   #50
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Obviously, some clarification is needed...

Quote:
Originally Posted by a1abdj
A "B" rated safe uses 1/4" steel plate walls, and a 1/2" steel plate door. That is far more steel than is found in the vast majority of gun safes.
To which I say:

Quote:
Originally Posted by nbk2000
I recently cut a 1' x 1' through 1/4" steel plate to install a toilet in a semi-trailer, and it took less than 5 minutes using the above tool setup. Noisy as hell, and sparks like 4th of July, but got the job done.
Your response to my suggestion of burying the safe so that only the face is exposed is:

Quote:
Originally Posted by a1abdj
Again, unless your purpose is to protect your collection from a serious attack, this is a little overkill.
I say that anyone trying to steal your guns is a serious threat to your life, your freedom, and the lives and freedom of others. If some punk kid, or punk adult, steals your gun, and uses it to kill themselves/kill others/commit a crime, it could be your ass in prison for negligence.

Then comes more laws to restrict gun ownership and freedom of use, like the non-sense about trigger locks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by a1abdj
...it is also your last line of defense. If you skimp on the safe required for your needs, you may not like the aftermath of a fire or burglary.
So what's overkill now?

Since any safe that isn't a UL-rated x6 is more vulnerable on any of its sides/top/bottom than the door, that you need to remove that vulnerability by burying it, or building up a barrier to surround it.

This is all quite elementary, since it's been known since the 1800's that safes recessed into walls or floors are much more resistant to fire and attack by burglars.

Weight is not much of an issue, since this isn't something that needs to be moved around at whim. It's intended to be set in one place and left there for the duration. The more solidly it can be anchored, and the heavier it is, the better. (Within the ability of the structure to support it, of course.)

You're rather disingenious in stating that there are fire-rated burglary safes. This is achieved by placing a smaller burglary safe inside of a larger fire-resistant safe, such as shown below (on your website) - a Diebold Double Door Fire Safe w/ TRTL-30 Lug Door Interior Chest:



Until very recently, only the CHUBB Europlanet series had a UL listing for a unitary body safe with both fire and burglary resistance. 1, 2 (Still might be the only one.)

Fire resistance, such as that provided by fireboard insulation installed into a burglary-resistant safe, is not the same as that provided by a UL listed fire-protection rating. Neither in duration, nor temperature, nor resistance to shock loading.

You don't get to have your cake and eat it too, unless you've got the $$$ for a CHUBB, or similar unitary fire/burglary-resistant safe, especially for something big enough to fit a gun collection above ground.

Quote:
Originally Posted by a1abdj
We can usually repair even extensive damage to the body of a safe without it affecting its rating.
True enough when the safe isn't an x6, since the body is nothing more than plate steel. 3 Trim the hole neat, weld in a plate/plug, grind flat, repaint, and who'd know the difference?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a1abdj
You can buy a safe door new, if you're only looking for a door.
You're not referring to a vault door, are you? Unless he lucks out and finds an old bank vault door locally, the shipping on a vault door would be astronomical. The 'vault' doors sold by Liberty or Fort Knox, etc. aren't worth the sheet metal they're made from.

If you know of any safe manufacturer who sells new UL-listed safe doors as stand-alone components, I'd like to know who they are, because I've never heard that before.

REFERENCES:

1. Rated 1 hour fire endurance to UL class 350(USA)/VDMA S60P (Euro). 1 hour at 1000?C plus a 9 meter free-fall.

KC Safes sells the 'Phoenix Condor', which they call a "TL-30 equal. But is it UL tested? Hmmm...no?

2: Page 894 of Locks, Safes, and Security 2nd ed., Marc Weber Tobias

3:
Quote:
U.L. Label ?Burglary Classification TL-15:

Signifies a combination-locked safe designed to offer a limited degree of protection against attack by common mechanical and electrical hand tools and any combination of these means.

Construction Requirements:
  • U.L. listed Group II, 1 or 1R combination lock.
  • 750 lbs. minimum or comes with instructions for anchoring in a larger safe, concrete blocks or on the premises where used.
  • Body walls of material equivalent to at least 1" open hearth steel with a minimum tensile strength of 50,000 P.S.I.
  • Walls fastened in a manner equivalent to continuous 1/4" penetration weld of open hearth steel with minimum tensile strength of 50,000 P.S.I.
  • One hole 1/4" or less, to accommodate electrical conductors arranged to have no direct view of the door or locking mechanism.

Performance Requirements

Successfully resist entry* for a net working time of 15 minutes when attacked with common hand tools, picking tools, mechan-ical or portable electric tools, grinding points, carbide drills and pressure applying devices or mechanisms.

* Entry=Safes classed as TL-15 ? opening the door or making a six square inch opening entirely through the door or front face. Safes classed as TL-30 ? opening the door or making a six square inch opening entirely through the door or front face.
Previous discussion on TFL about building a vault room.
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