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Old April 26, 2006, 11:27 AM   #51
a1abdj
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Quote:
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.
I'm not a lawyer (although I originally went to school with that idea in mind), but I'm pretty sure that any attempt you make to secure your weapons would be a defense to negligence. Negligence would be leaving your guns out in the open.

If anybody is hell bent on stealing your valuables, they are going to get them no matter what you use to secure them.

Quote:
Then comes more laws to restrict gun ownership and freedom of use, like the non-sense about trigger locks.
California has already addressed this issue, and their Department of Justice has a list of requirements for gun safes. Most gun safes available today meet those requirements...even the light duty ones.

Quote:
So what's overkill now?
Buying a $15,000 safe for a $1,500 collection of guns.

Quote:
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.
Although on the face this is true, regardless of a safe's rating, the body is usually weaker than the door....even on a X6 rated safe.

Quote:
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:
I appreciate you citing some of my work for others to see.

There are plenty of burglar rated safes which are also fire rated. Any modern day composite safe (safe made out of high density concrete materials instead of solid steel plate) are like this. Feel free to check out some of the examples here:

http://amsecusa.com/composite-safe-am-vault.htm

http://www.meilinksafe.com/gib30x.html

There are also many steel plate safes which have a composite type construction with a fire liner. Graffunder builds premium gun safes which use this type of construction:

http://graffundersafes.com/

Even 100 years ago they built "fireproof" steel safes. A normal "fireproof" safe was thin steel and concrete fill, but they also made safes that had several inches of laminated steel in addition to a concrete fill.

In some cases, this was also achieved by the photo shown above. A burglar rated safe placed inside of a fire rated safe.

Quote:
Until very recently, only the CHUBB Europlanet series had a UL listing for a unitary body safe with both fire and burglary resistance
There have been others. Some with UL ratings, some with independant ratings, and some with foreign ratings.

Quote:
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
True, with one exception. UL requires that a safe which passes it's testing must be built at the factory identically to the safe which was tested. In many high security safes, each safe is built with random configurations to help maintain that security. This can prevent a safe which would otherwise pass the testing from being able to display the tag.

Quote:
You don't get to have your cake and eat it too, unless you've got the $$$
This is also true. Many gun owners expect the highest rated safe for $500 including delivery. You really do get what you pay for when it comes to safes.

Quote:
You're not referring to a vault door, are you?
No...just a safe door.

Quote:
The 'vault' doors sold by Liberty or Fort Knox, etc. aren't worth the sheet metal they're made from.
I agree 128%

Quote:
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.
All of the companies that I've ever dealt with will sell single doors. It's not something that you see listed in the catalogs, as they are usually purchased to replace a door that has been damaged.

Quote:
KC Safes sells the 'Phoenix Condor', which they call a "TL-30 equal. But is it UL tested? Hmmm...no?
I am not familiar with this safe, and I have not gone to the link to look. However, the UL is a US based testing agency. There are other testing facilities located outside of the US (where many of these safes are imported from).

The ratings issued by some of these groups are equal to that of the UL rating system here. Just because it doesn't have a UL label, does not mean it's not a good safe with a proper rating. Insurance companies will accept many of these foreign ratings just the same as they will accept a UL rating.

All in all, I'm not disagreeing with much of what you say. A good burglar rated safe would be the ideal for anybody wishing to secure their valuables.
But in many cases, the items being protected simply do not justify the expense of these types of safes.
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Old April 27, 2006, 07:54 AM   #52
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Once more unto the breach!

Quote:
Originally Posted by a1abdj
I'm not a lawyer (although I originally went to school with that idea in mind), but I'm pretty sure that any attempt you make to secure your weapons would be a defense to negligence. Negligence would be leaving your guns out in the open.
If anybody is hell bent on suing you, they are going to sue you no matter what you use to secure your guns.

Remember back when storing your guns out of reach with the ammo seperate was considered adequate?

Now you need a 'gun safe' and biometric trigger lock, with the ammo stored off-premise in a safe-deposit box requiring a notarized letter from the State Attorney Generals office before you can go shooting at a State approved range with police escort to and from. (For the dense, I'm being sarcastic in the previous sentence.)

California is the source of a lot of this kind of nonsense, and saying that they

Point being, NO amount of 'due diligence' will save you from being charged by a DA up for re-election in a liberal county. The ONLY thing that can prevent you from being an NRA poster boy against gun-control is keeping your guns out of the hands of people who would misuse them.

In response to my statment of "So what's overkill now?":

Quote:
Originally Posted by a1abdj
Buying a $15,000 safe for a $1,500 collection of guns.
Please point out ANYWHERE where I said "$15,000", either directly or by implication, or anything even close to it. You can't because I didn't. In his post, he mentioned $1,200 as his limit, and that's what I've had in mind the entire time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by a1abdj
If anybody is hell bent on stealing your valuables, they are going to get them no matter what you use to secure them.
And with an army of henchmen and a white persian cat, I could break into Fort Knox and destroy all the gold! MWAHAHAHAA!



By that logic, why even bother? Hell, if they're THAT determined, they'd just hold a knife to your kids neck (or your neck if you don't have one), and demand you open the safe, something no safe can defend you against.

And if a thief has infinite time, infinite resources, and infinite willpower, than yes, they'll get into your safe.

The whole point of this thread is to provide the maximum protection for a small gun collection for minimum price.

Security is always a trade off between Time, Effort, and Expense. If he had the money, he could just by a huge safe that'd provide everything in one go. But, since he doesn't he'll have to expend time and effort in a DIY project to compensate.

If you expend more effort and time and resources in defense than the attacker can in offense, you'll likely prevail.

How long does the thief have to work on the safe before you come back? A weekend, perhaps? Assuming this is the case, does the thief have that much patience? Or will he pound on the safe with what he brought with him and what he can find around your house, leaving in defeat? If he goes out to get more tools, that's more chances he has to be seen by neighbors who might call the cops. If he can spend days with powertools and torches to work on your safe, then he will get in.

The idea is to make it SO time-consuming, SO risky, SO tiring, SO frustrating, that the thief will leave empty handed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by a1abdj
...regardless of a safe's rating, the body is usually weaker than the door....even on a X6 rated safe.
You're just repeating what I already said about bodies being weaker than doors, and in no way negate the truth of what I said. Perhaps I was too absolute in excluding an x6 from having sides more vulnerable than the door, but so what? That just makes the whole statement about surfaces being more vulnerable than the door even more true.

While I also think it likely that the door on an x6 is more resistant than the other five surfaces, the five sides are still, at a MINIMUM, equal to the rating of the whole safe. And the whole safe is rated by it's weakest aspect. So putting a TRTL-60 door on a TL-15 body, results in a TL-15 safe, not a TRTL-60.

Thus, if the safe is a TL30x6, Such as the Meilink Gibraltur shown in a link you provided, that means that EVERY side (door/walls/top/bottom), has withstood UL tests for the TL-30 rating. They don't keep testing until they penetrate, they test for the total net working time that the safe manufacturer has submitted their product to be tested at.

The testing only stops when:

A) The safe is breached to the mimimum requirements within the alloted test time

or

B) The alloted time for the desired rating runs out

Quote:
Originally Posted by a1abdj
I appreciate you citing some of my work for others to see.
Claim what's yours, not what isn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by a1abdj
There are plenty of burglar rated safes which are also fire rated. Any modern day composite safe (safe made out of high density concrete materials instead of solid steel plate) are like this. Feel free to check out some of the examples here...
I checked them out, and found them all lacking.

Firstly, the amsecusa.com link you provided was 404. The top-level domain was 403 Forbidden. Went to Google cache, but the links didn't follow. I'm assuming it's not just me.

However, having used an AMSEC safe on a daily basis at a grocery store I worked at, I know that (for that model) that the body was fire-resistant, but the burglary-resistant component was an inner compartment, not the whole body. Hell, the thing had a hole the big enough to stick your hand through in the side (drop slot), which automatically fails it (the main body) for a UL-burglary rating.

Regarding the Meilink safe you linked, that was another example of manufacturer misdirection.

First of all, only the three smallest sizes are specifically mentioned as having a fire rating. Does this mean the larger sizes are not fire-resistant, or did they just forget to mention it and hope you'll assume they are?

The fire rating is provided by a no-name laboratory, and the ASTM standard on the label, that the safe is supposedly rated for, is for BUILDING WALLS!

"Standard Methods of Fire Tests of Building Construction and Materials" NFPA No. 251, ASTM E 119, UL No. 263

They show a picture of the UL label for 1/2 hour fire resistance, but does that mean that the safe is actually rated for a half hour by UL, or did they just throw that picture in there to give the impression that it was also UL rated for fire resistance?

Nowhere on that page do they say "UL-rated fire resistant", because that'd either be a lie, or a less desirable truth (1/2 versus 1 hour).

By clicking on the fire-rating icon at the lower-left corner of the safe picture, you see that it equates to "Fire resistant unrated insulated safe". Not even meeting the minimum UL class 350 1/2-hour fire label rating. So why do they have the UL fire-rating picture on the safe page? Hmmm...

As for Graffunder products...not a single UL-listed safe on their site.

Oh sure, there's "U.L. approved insulating material" and "U.L. listed group II combination lock", but no UL-listing such as TL-15.

Building something from "approved" components doesn't mean that the whole is a functional integrated unit. I could say my new Uber-Gun is made from NASA tested materials made to NATO STANAG standards. That doesn't mean it'll shoot.

Lots of B and C rated, even an ER rated, but none of those meet minimum definitions for burglary resistance by UL standards.

What about 'factory fire rating'? That's an alarm bell! Tells you that the factory tested their product in-house and found it passed their test. Wow...that's objective testing! Bet they've never failed to pass, what with such high standards.

They say they manufacture safes and vaults with higher ratings, but why should I bother looking after such chicanery? Their FAQ states the reason they don't have any UL-rated products as "Randomization". If I toss a bunch of parts randomly into a box and call it a safe, does that make it a safe?

No.

Maybe the product is good, but how can I tell without testing it to destruction? And, if the product IS randomly assembled, how do I know the next one will be as resistant? I can't.

UL understands the need for security, and they make allowances for design variances in the interest of keeping burglars guessing, so that's no excuse.
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Old April 27, 2006, 07:57 AM   #53
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The reason why I keep emphasizing the UL testing is because it's based on a motive I can trust...GREED.

UL, which is Underwriters Laboratory, is a test lab ran by the insurance companies, to evalute the risk posed to the insurance companies by a product that may cause injury, death, or loss, that would result in a claim against them.

So, in order to mimimize their potential loses, they test products to ensure that they're not (too) hazardous or defective in their intended use.

In the case of safes, they test against the tools and techniques of burglars trying to get after thevaluables within. And they are experts at what they do. So they know that if their guys, with all the tools and schematics they need, can't break into a safe within a certain time, then there is no way a thief will either. And that is what they base their insurance rate on.

Manufacturers, in order to sell their products to the market, will get a UL listing if they can, because that means that they can sell to large corporations and companies who won't buy a non-UL rated safe because their insurance company either won't insure them against a loss if it's not UL-rated, or charge higher premiums to cover non-tested safes against possible losses.

UL provides a standard with which safes by different manufacturers can be judged by. Otherwise you're left trying to figure it out yourself and getting techno-babble from them saying that their product is better because it passed their tests.

The standards which foreign countries rate their safes by would have to be considered by UL as equivalent to their tests before I'd accept it as valid. Again, it's a matter of having reliable and repeatable standards for comparison.

If the insurance company who'd be covering your loss accepts a foreign rating as acceptable, then that's their business.

The 'Salamander' safes of the 1800's are one of the prime examples of why standardized testing was developed.

'Salamanders' were the first fire-resistant safes. They were so-called because of the folk belief that salamaders were impervious to fire.

Manufacturers would demonstrate their products by building big bonfires in public squares with their safes in the middle. After the fire dies down, they show the papers unharmed.

All well and good, except for the trickery that was often involved. Such tricks as having the papers at the bottom of the safe, which was sitting on the ground (not in the fire), where it was least heated. People often found that papers in such safes, in a typical house fire, would be charred to ash if it was at the top of the safe because of the rising heat. This was also caused by the insulation settling over time, away from the top of the safe.

Oh, and the lack of drop.

Burning houses fell on top of safes, or safes fell through burning floors, either one causing the safe to bust open, with the attendant destruction of the contents. This is the orgin of the UL drop-test for fire safes.

And more than a few times, the spectators were killed when the 'Salamander' exploded from the pressure build-up caused by the steam cooking out of the alum-sawdust insulation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by a1abdj
Many gun owners expect the highest rated safe for $500 including delivery. You really do get what you pay for when it comes to safes.
A statement I totally agree with. I blame a consumerist society for people expecting quality without cost. You ALWAYS pay. If you're cheap and chintzy, you will pay for it later.

I'll see if I could (though I won't) buy a replacement door from a few major manufacturers as, like I said, I've never heard of that. It'd be nice, though I wonder if they'd only sell to locksmiths, as 'criminals' might buy doors to practice on.
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Old April 27, 2006, 11:05 AM   #54
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Took a while to read all that. 1 small tip, about 2/3rds way through it gets a little dry. If you ever try to sell this as a Movie of the Week you will have to spice it up a little. Just kidding.:D Yes I'm still reading all this and learning a lot more than I ever expected. Oh, by the way, A few posts into it I upped my budget to $2400. This budget is hypothetical. If I can upgrade significantly for a few hundred more I have no problem in doing so.
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Old April 27, 2006, 10:22 PM   #55
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It'd be helpful if you gave me an idea of the type of structure you'd be installing a safe into. Is it a home or apartment? Do you own, lease, rent?

Basement? Type of flooring (wood beams or concrete slab), etc.
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Old April 28, 2006, 03:09 AM   #56
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This is a typical wood frame house built on a slab. I will be relocating early next year so I probably will not do anything elaborate with the install at this location. The next location will be a permanent move for me (I hope)(plan A). Oh yeah, I own this house and the next one. Also, no basements here. A basement here would be called an indoor pool.
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Old April 28, 2006, 05:09 AM   #57
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....the saga

Hi Steve

I just went through all the same problems and thoughts as yourself.
I finally settled on an Australian made safe made by lokaway.net
Have a look at the way the door locks. Something to think about
Goodluck
Sean
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Old April 28, 2006, 03:46 PM   #58
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Again, I don't disagree with much of what you say.

UL listed burglar rated safes are great if you have the money to spend on them. In this case, the original posters budget is not going to allow him to purchase a new TL rated safe, so he's looking for the best safe within this budget.

Unless you're a locksmith, contacting any manufacturer about a door will not do you much good. Just like the safes themselves, they usually are sold through dealers, and not directly to end consumers. If you are in the market for just a door, I'd be more than happy to provide you with pricing.

In the $2000 range, I will stand by my statement that the AMSEC BF series is one of the best safes available in that price range.

Some people (insurance companies included) insist on a UL label. I am always happy to sell a UL rated safe to those people. Having been in the safe business for a few years, I know that there are many unrated safes which would exceed the level of protection offered by a similar UL rated safe.

Most of my concern with gun safes it the amount of misinformation provided by many of the manufacturers.
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Old April 28, 2006, 10:00 PM   #59
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Thanks a1a, I value your insight on this topic and will probably go with your recommendation. I get off this Vessel next week and look forward to making the purchase and getting it in the house. The house I buy later this year will have a garage and then I will look into a used safe to install there. That should open up more options as I probably will not concern myself with Fire protection on that one (I can work around that issue). That should broaden the possibilities for a real Safe? However I definitely will buy a gun safe next week for the house. I have gone too long without any way to really secure my firearms and consider myself lucky up to this point that I haven't been taken to the cleaners.
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Old April 30, 2006, 03:04 PM   #60
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So what are you getting?
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Old April 30, 2006, 05:57 PM   #61
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I'd just like to repeat that you should seriously consider a sturdy safe from www.sturdysafe.com

I went through your same situation last year and was on a less than $2000 budget. After eliminating all of the "junk" safes on the market, I bought a Sturdy Safe and am very please. It's truly a great value and a great peace of mind to have such good burglary and fire resistant protection.

Good luck w/ your decision.
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Old April 30, 2006, 07:39 PM   #62
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At this point and with the info I have, it would be the Amsec BF. I sent Sturdy an email after you mentioned them in your post. I was asking for prices and have not heard back. But let me say this, I have limited comms out here. When I return Stateside next week I will be able to actually pick up a phone and call these different Dealers before I make that final decision. This conversation has been an EYE OPENER!
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Old May 1, 2006, 05:44 AM   #63
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Tagged so I can find this one later.
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Old May 2, 2006, 10:28 PM   #64
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I found what should be an acceptable safe for my needs...it is the Sentry G5251...I found it at Lowes for 397.00 It looks to be the same safe that is sold at costco.com under model number GQ5453 (costco typically has different model numbers than the manufacturer)...anyway, is this the same safe?

Lowes... http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...251&lpage=none

As for the 8.2 vs 12.7...Lowes list the interior space while costco lists the entire size...both are 21w x 17 3/4D x 59H

costco... http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product...opnav=&browse=

they look the same to me but there is almost a 200 dollar difference...I know more than a few members here have one or the other so any imput is appreciated....TIA
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Old May 8, 2006, 06:35 PM   #65
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I bought a Browning Bronze series yesterday at Sports Authority. It was the floor model, and has a few dings. The lock is electronic. Mechanically its seems perfect. I put it in the old F-100 and hauled it home. Next week, I have an appointment for my locksmith to stop by and bolt it to the floor slab and wall. Nice safe. $999 + tax.
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Old May 8, 2006, 08:04 PM   #66
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I ran across a floor model here with one chip on the front. It's an american security BF 60x30x26 in the gloss finish. It also has an electronic lock which I do not like. But he will sell it for $1550.00. Sounds like a good deal but I will have to figure out how much a mechanical lock will cost me installed. It may be just as easy to buy one without flaws and with Mechanical lock allready installed.
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Old May 9, 2006, 12:19 PM   #67
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In the end...

I went ahead and bought a gunvault multi deluxe from Wal-mart. My family had to return a sentry safe, so I had $100 credit to burn.

I realize that they may not be the best, but are they ok? I need it to store one handgun. I also thought that these were concealable.
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Old June 1, 2006, 06:48 AM   #68
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I finally pulled the trigger and bought the AMSEC BF 6030. I chose the Granite textured finish and Mechanical Lock. I ordered it through a1abdj and could not be happier with it. MAN!!!!! what a job getting it inside and of course the room I needed it in was in the back of the house no fewer than 6- 90 deg turns to get there. AMSEC shipped the safe with a heavy duty undersized pallet but the shipper placed the Safe with its little pallet ontop of a reg sized pallet.(Quick tip, have them remove their reg pallet before leaving). I could rent nothing to lift high enough and move safe to the house. Long story short, 2.5 hours to move safe 5ft to front door (danged double Pallets) and 10 mins to slide it into position using a couple of towels. Thanks a1abdj for your help. I'm a satisified customer.
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Old June 5, 2006, 07:25 PM   #69
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Glad it worked out for you, SaltySteve .

I'm currently trying to figure out what to do. It may be that I can't get a safe into my basement. We'll see. I've got a brochure and price list on the way from Sturdy Safe. Other than that, I'm considering an AMSEC BF-series. In either event: I'll probably have to hire professional riggers to get it into the basement--the cost of that alone may kill the deal.

There's no place for it up-stairs. It's too hot & humid here in the summer-time, and too darn cold in the winter-time, to put it in the garage.

I may have to settle for a Zanotti modular safe.

I'd sure like to be able to leave the house, on vacation or whatever, and feel more comfortable about it.
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Old June 5, 2006, 07:54 PM   #70
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My advice, unless you are superman don't attempt getting a safe up or down a flight of stairs.

Mine weighs 900 pounds and could easily crush a person if it fell down some stairs. It took 5 strong men to move it into the ground floor of my home.
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Old June 5, 2006, 08:19 PM   #71
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Oh, not a chance I'd try to move a gun "safe" myself! In another forum, a1abdj already told me he wouldn't be able to do it with his equipment in my situation. That's why I mentioned I'd probably have to hire riggers if I want to continue to pursue this course.

I plan to explore all my options before I concede defeat.
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Old June 6, 2006, 12:03 AM   #72
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I just went to academy and purchased a Sentry safe for $354.00 including tax. This was to secure mostly military surplus weapons and some .22 cal rifles. It was a 14 gun safe. it wieghs 257 lbs empty and is solidly made with the hinges on the inside. Unless Joe crackhead/burglar has a torch they aint going to get in. If its a single intruder I would be very amused to watch them take the bolted down safes. The principle is usually that most of the thieves that break in are looking for a quick score they can carry away easily.

so for most folks you dont have to spend that much on a safe.
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Old June 6, 2006, 12:05 AM   #73
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Quote:
Oh, not a chance I'd try to move a gun "safe" myself! In another forum, a1abdj already told me he wouldn't be able to do it with his equipment in my situation. That's why I mentioned I'd probably have to hire riggers if I want to continue to pursue this course.

I plan to explore all my options before I concede defeat.
golf balls ftw once you get it up or down the stairs.
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Old June 7, 2006, 08:05 PM   #74
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Pistol Salfe

Hi all,

Anyone know a nice sigle pistol safe? Looking for something for the downstairs, have two kids.

Thanks in advance.
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Old May 28, 2007, 10:28 PM   #75
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a1abdj: a couple questions..

I notice you carry the Diamond Back safes. Tell me about them.
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