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Old November 14, 2008, 01:23 AM   #1
skeeter
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Question for safe experts ?

There is a company I never heard of before called Sturdy Safes. How good are their safes? How do they compare to what appears to be the best bang for the buck in safes, AMSEC? Especially concerned with fire protection.

Also, what would a Liberty Lincoln manufactured in 1994 be worth assuming it was in like new condition? It is their 60 x 24 x24, 775 pound safe, 3/8" plate steel door. I am thinking of selling it and not sure what to ask.
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Old November 14, 2008, 11:53 AM   #2
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Sturdy builds a safe built to higher standards than most of the brand name gun safes. Most importantly, they use heavier steel.

I believe the AMSEC still has the edge when it comes to burglary protection, and is definately superior as far as fire protection. Graffunder and AMSEC are the only two companies using composite injection construction methods, which are the most simliar to "real safe" construction.

If you're in the market for an AMSEC, buy it today. AMSEC announced a price increase of roughly 20% effective Nov. 15 (tomorrow).

If you don't need to get rid of your old Liberty, keep it. The older safes use much heavier steel than their new siblings, and are much more secure. We would sell a safe simliar to yours in the $750 range (which includes a complete inspection and repairs if needed), depending on condition. We buy them for $300 or so.
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Old November 15, 2008, 02:25 AM   #3
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Sturdy Safes really puts down the poured concrete fire protection that AMSEC uses as junk. They also question the strength of the safes body saying AMSEC does not even say how thick the walls are rather only that the walls are 2" thick which has nothing to do with the thickness of the metal. Do you know how thick the walls are? Are they as thick as the 8 ga.or optional 7 gage of the Sturdy Safe?
Sturdy SAfe also really puts down the fire rating of the AMSEC saying they do not consider a real cool down period as you would see in a real fire. Instead they say the safe is cooled right after it reachs 1 1/2 hours (there rating time) and then opened. They say their test is the reach the hour rating then wait until the safe cools natural as in a fire then open to see if paper is ruined.This is all very confusing to someone who is not a safe expert or even new to the purchase of a safe.
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Old November 15, 2008, 12:03 PM   #4
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Sturdy Safes really puts down the poured concrete fire protection that AMSEC uses as junk.
AMSEC is one of the largest safe manufacturers in the US, and has been building safes for over 80 years. The 60,000 to 80,000 safes they build each year can be found in banks, jewelry stores, high volume retail businesses, as well as in homes.

Since they only build junk, I'm curious as to how many Sturdy products are used by those same businesses listed above that count on the functionality, reliability, and protection that they rely on day in and day out.

I will add that this particular method of construction (two layers of steel where the hollow void is filled with "concrete") has been used as the most common type of safe construction for the previous 150 years.


Quote:
They also question the strength of the safes body saying AMSEC does not even say how thick the walls are rather only that the walls are 2" thick which has nothing to do with the thickness of the metal. Do you know how thick the walls are? Are they as thick as the 8 ga.or optional 7 gage of the Sturdy Safe?
The AMSEC BF series uses a 10 gauge outer wall, roughly 2 inches of fill, and a 16 gauge inner liner.

Doing some rough math on the steel alone:

8 gauge single steel layer = .1644"
7 gauge single steel layer = .1793"
10 gauge (.1345") + 16 gauge (.0598") = .1943"

So not only does the AMSEC have more steel than either of the Sturdy safes, but it also has the fill material which produces a rigid monolithic wall with it's sandwiched configuration.

Sturdy builds OK safes, but their math skills are lacking.

Quote:
Sturdy SAfe also really puts down the fire rating of the AMSEC saying they do not consider a real cool down period as you would see in a real fire. Instead they say the safe is cooled right after it reachs 1 1/2 hours (there rating time) and then opened. They say their test is the reach the hour rating then wait until the safe cools natural as in a fire then open to see if paper is ruined.
Again, AMSEC has a very good reputation in the security business, and I tend to believe in their test results. They wouldn't still be in business after 80 years if their products couldn't perform as advertised.

Quote:
This is all very confusing to someone who is not a safe expert or even new to the purchase of a safe.
Which is why it is important to speak with those who work with safes as an everyday part of their business.

Manufacturers and salespeople sometimes make wild claims, and spread a lot of misinformation. Those of us that work with safes see them after fires and burglaries. We open them when they are locked. We know what these safes are capable of, because we see it with our own two eyes.
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Old November 16, 2008, 01:32 AM   #5
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Thanks for the valueable information. I am looking around for the best price on a BF6030 and wiull contact you for a price.
Something that I found strange is that one large safe dealer here in Mesa says his BF6030 safes only come with a Norelco combination lock (Made in China). Why would a US made safe put on the most important part of the safe with a Made in China part? I do not think he would have told me about this if I did not ask if the lock was a S&G group II .
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Old November 16, 2008, 04:18 PM   #6
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The vast majority of locks found on gun safes will be made in China. S&G, LaGard, LockOne, LP, etc..... all have locks manufactured in China.

When you get to their upper level locks, that's a different story. Most of the locks on gun safes are of the entry level variety.

I will also add that the Chinese LockOne lock found on the AMSECs operates much smoother than the Chinese S&G locks.
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Old January 22, 2009, 04:48 PM   #7
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AMSEC is one of the largest safe manufacturers in the US, and has been building safes for over 80 years. The 60,000 to 80,000 safes they build each year can be found in banks, jewelry stores, high volume retail businesses, as well as in homes.
That's right. They also have all different types of safes for (all different types of companies) and models, which include higher end and lower end versions of each. They have nicer higher end models (Who wants to pay that much for better security thou?) that offer thick steel for riffle/fire safes, but personally we dont think the higher ones are even that great in security. At least they have thicker steel than their lower end 12 gauge models.

Quote:
Since they only build junk, I'm curious as to how many Sturdy products are used by those same businesses listed above that count on the functionality, reliability, and protection that they rely on day in and day out.
Department of Justice, Evidence Rooms, Sheriffs Offices, Firefighters...just to name a few.

Quote:
I will add that this particular method of construction (two layers of steel where the hollow void is filled with "concrete") has been used as the most common type of safe construction for the previous 150 years.
A salesmen wouldn't know any better, so yeah they would try to get you to believe amsec uses real concrete, however it's a COMPOSITE, which means it's not a solid material, nor is it really cement. "Definition of -Composite Materials (or composites for short) are engineered materials made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties and which remain separate and distinct on a macroscopic level within the finished structure." This is a "special" fire liner only Amsec uses. This should raise some eyebrows. It's funny how it still doesn't get a better rating than most sheetrock liners do. Strange right?

Our insulator is used around high temp places in construction EVERY DAY. Commonsense should tell us it would do WAY better than a "COMPOSITE" substance that no one uses but the company.


Quote:
The AMSEC BF series uses a 10 gauge outer wall, roughly 2 inches of fill, and a 16 gauge inner liner.
Doing some rough math on the steel alone:
8 gauge single steel layer = .1644"
7 gauge single steel layer = .1793"
10 gauge (.1345") + 16 gauge (.0598") = .1943"
So not only does the AMSEC have more steel than either of the Sturdy safes, but it also has the fill material which produces a rigid monolithic wall with it's sandwiched configuration.
Sturdy builds OK safes, but their math skills are lacking.
Of course, someone who has never seen or really studied our safes would say this, however, our friend here is forgetting about our 14 gauge (.0747) inside steel liner, which, do the math, WOULD BE BETTER!

Quote:
Again, AMSEC has a very good reputation in the security business, and I tend to believe in their test results. They wouldn't still be in business after 80 years if their products couldn't perform as advertised.
Be your own judge and do your own research! Dont let people tell you what to believe! I just called up Amsec right now an I asked them how they came up with their 90 minutes rating for there HIGH END BF series gun safes an they basically told me they made it up! Call them yourselfs to see. They did no real testing on the safe by any laboratory to get this number. Just their fire safes(not gun safes), which are 2ft tall have gotten tested in a real lab by UL (which is the only laboratory that gives real results). UL wont even test a fire safe lined with sheetrock in it, but there are other companies like OMEGA who will and they eliminate cool down time an point on no return to make sheetrock liners look better. Some safe companies say they have a UL listed 2300 degree fire liner, but thats just the material it's self, not the gun safe as a whole.

Quote:
Manufacturers and salespeople sometimes make wild claims, and spread a lot of misinformation. Those of us that work with safes see them after fires and burglaries. We open them when they are locked. We know what these safes are capable of, because we see it with our own two eyes.
So your a Locksmith? You sell Amsecs, am I correct? I can tell. Take care ya’ll!
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Old January 22, 2009, 11:18 PM   #8
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Department of Justice, Evidence Rooms, Sheriffs Offices, Firefighters...just to name a few.
I guess we now know why so much stuff turns up missing in those places.

Have a nice day!
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Old January 23, 2009, 02:36 AM   #9
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The Justice Dept, etc buy from the lowest bidder just like the Army.
Sig lost the Army contract because they cost a little more than the Beretta not because they were not up to standards.
I am sure some police dept's use Sentry Safes too that does not mean they are great. Are you saying no police dept. has an AMSEC product?
I do not believe AMSEC told you they just make up their fire ratings. Even if it were true why would they say that? I do not believe that and that makes me wonder if i can believe in your products. You understand the logic?
As far as thicker steel, it is also the quality of the steel used that matters. Where do you buy your steel from? Want to leave their phone number? I will post what i find.
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Old January 23, 2009, 11:45 AM   #10
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Gee, these manufacturers seem to take everything so personally.

Quote:
They have nicer higher end models (Who wants to pay that much for better security thou?)
People who have the assets to justify it.

Quote:
but personally we dont think the higher ones are even that great in security.
AMSEC is the only manufacturer that builds a gun safe with a UL burglary rating. Graffunder is one of two companies that I'm aware of that builds safes that probably could get a UL burglary rating if they ever decided to pay to have it tested.

Quote:
Department of Justice, Evidence Rooms, Sheriffs Offices, Firefighters...just to name a few.
So your safes offer enough security, that they are placed in the middle of police stations all across the country. Burglars beware.

Quote:
A salesmen wouldn't know any better, so yeah they would try to get you to believe amsec uses real concrete, however it's a COMPOSITE, which means it's not a solid material, nor is it really cement. "Definition of -Composite Materials (or composites for short) are engineered materials made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties and which remain separate and distinct on a macroscopic level within the finished structure." This is a "special" fire liner only Amsec uses. This should raise some eyebrows. It's funny how it still doesn't get a better rating than most sheetrock liners do. Strange right?
I am not just a salesman, and I'll get to that here a little further below.

Your definition is partially correct, but for this discussion it isn't really important to get into great detail.

AMSEC is not the only company to use this type of construction on a gun safe. Graffunder also uses this. But let's not stop at gun safes. Almost all modern safes found in jewelry stores use this type of construction. Modern day modular vaults and vault doors also use composite construction.

As far as the rating, AMSEC has never submitted their gun safe line to UL for ratings. However, they have submitted their smaller BF series safes that are built almost identically. The smaller safes do in fact carry a UL fire label. So the materials that they use do in fact meet the strictest fire testing standards. Are there any safes using the materials that you use in your safe that carry a UL tag? Are there any safes using gypsum board as their main form of insulation that carry a UL tag?

Quote:
Of course, someone who has never seen or really studied our safes would say this, however, our friend here is forgetting about our 14 gauge (.0747) inside steel liner, which, do the math, WOULD BE BETTER!
Send me one of your safes. I'll study it.

Quote:
So your a Locksmith? You sell Amsecs, am I correct? I can tell. Take care ya’ll!
I'm actually a safe tech. I don't do much work typically associated with locksmithing. Now don't laugh at the photo:



http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/s...17/focus9.html

That's a 22 ton vault door behind me. I open stuff like this when it won't open. I also move and install them. I work with law enforcement agencies when they need some help figuring out how a burglar was successful.

I represent over 30 manufacturers of safes and vaults, and sell both new and used units. When it comes to safes, I may not know it all, but I know more than a lot of manufacturers.

Again, I'm not saying Sturdy makes a bad safe. I'm just saying I think the AMSEC BF is better overall. I also think Graffunder makes a better safe than the AMSEC. I also think Sigs are better Glocks.

Oh, I almost forgot. I have sent no fewer than 5 people to you guys (Sturdy) over the last month or two. They were getting ready to buy Liberties or similar, and I suggested they look at your products instead. You can google me to find my address if you'd like to send me a commission check.
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Old January 23, 2009, 03:10 PM   #11
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I am very happy with my safe it is a Pentagon Defender 72"X42"X28" 1/4" steel outer body plus 1/2" 2300 degree Ceramic & 5/8" fiberboard on the inside sides and back with a 1/2" hard plate door with 3 steps totaling 4" deep clients CA DOJ, LAPD, SDPD, & LBPD It also has two locks a S&G Dial and a Digital keypad lock for day use

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Old January 23, 2009, 06:48 PM   #12
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I think we will be hearing from AMSEC
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Old January 23, 2009, 06:55 PM   #13
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Here?

Or are they just going to have their lawyers send a letter that we'll never get to see?
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Old January 23, 2009, 07:15 PM   #14
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STURDY GUN SAFE QUOTE: but personally we dont think the higher ones are even that great in security.
Quote:
THE RESPONSE: AMSEC is the only manufacturer that builds a gun safe with a UL burglary rating. Graffunder is one of two companies that I'm aware of that builds safes that probably could get a UL burglary rating if they ever decided to pay to have it tested.
BF Series gun safes of theirs are not UL burglary rated. I should have been more clear when i stated this. I meant, when it comes to their high end BF GUN SAFES, (because we only make gun safes, not TL rated safes or jewelers safes, or anything like that, so thats all I'm ever comparing us to).

Quote:
I am not just a salesman, and I'll get to that here a little further below.
Your definition is partially correct, but for this discussion it isn't really important to get into great detail.
AMSEC is not the only company to use this type of construction on a gun safe. Graffunder also uses this. But let's not stop at gun safes. Almost all modern safes found in jewelry stores use this type of construction. Modern day modular vaults and vault doors also use composite construction.
As far as the rating, AMSEC has never submitted their gun safe line to UL for ratings. However, they have submitted their smaller BF series safes that are built almost identically. The smaller safes do in fact carry a UL fire label. So the materials that they use do in fact meet the strictest fire testing standards. Are there any safes using the materials that you use in your safe that carry a UL tag? Are there any safes using gypsum board as their main form of insulation that carry a UL tag?

I wouldn't have guessed Graffunder uses this as an insulator because majority of gun safe companies who do not clearly list what type of fire insulator they use, it's usually gypsum board. I wonder why they wouldn't list it on their site?

Comparing their "UL fire safe" with their "BF Gun Safes" is not apples to apples no matter how you slice the pie. The thickness of the wall is different, which means more fire insulation, their is a double fire gasket in the fire safe. Both play a HUGE part in fire protection. I dont have their safes in front of me so I'm not sure what else could be detrimental when it comes to a fire. Gauge thickness maybe? To say they are almost the same is very misleading. I understand that amsec does makes excellent safes, as well as cheaper ones, but you cant compare the two as if they are the same.

I called AMSEC direct an talked to a woman. I point blank asked her (after a series of other questions) "So if you didn't test this safe in a lab, how did you get the 90 degree rating?" She responded, "I'm not sure". I say, "So it's like you made it up?" She says, "I guess so." No joke, call them up if you dont believe me! 1-800-421-6142.


Quote:
I'm actually a safe tech. I don't do much work typically associated with locksmithing. Now don't laugh at the photo:

http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/s...17/focus9.html
That's a 22 ton vault door behind me. I open stuff like this when it won't open. I also move and install them. I work with law enforcement agencies when they need some help figuring out how a burglar was successful.
I represent over 30 manufacturers of safes and vaults, and sell both new and used units. When it comes to safes, I may not know it all, but I know more than a lot of manufacturers.
Again, I'm not saying Sturdy makes a bad safe. I'm just saying I think the AMSEC BF is better overall. I also think Graffunder makes a better safe than the AMSEC. I also think Sigs are better Glocks.
Oh, I almost forgot. I have sent no fewer than 5 people to you guys (Sturdy) over the last month or two. They were getting ready to buy Liberties or similar, and I suggested they look at your products instead. You can google me to find my address if you'd like to send me a commission check.
Thats a terrific professional photo. I got a million of myself floating around. I have no doubt you know your stuff when it comes to construction of majority of any safe on the market (gun safes to TL's, to Vaults) an really do appreciate how your educating the public on what not to get, but to say amsec's best GUN SAFES are better overall than our gun safes... well I think you know how we feel about that. Lets just lay out ALL the info an let the consumer decide whats best.

We agree when it comes to Graffunder. He's doing an honest job constructing his door. I appreciate any american mfg. who's doing an honest effort and not selling the safe on gimmicks. I was just addressing the points you were trying to make on amsecs when comparing our safes to them.

Let me make sure of something, are you saying you think Amsec BF safes are better than our safes overall? or just their fire liner is better, or their construction? Or their amount of steel?

As far as sending you one of our safes for free... NO SAFE FOR YOU! lol, we will however take down your info and send you to our customers homes (if your in their area) for a break in if ever they were involved in a fire or burglary. That is, if you do that type of locksmithing too. Ya never know, you could be so high on the totem pole you'd send your workers to do it instead. We have a new warranty we just posted that covers it, so we'll be getting more work for locksmiths soon. www.sturdysafe.com/gunsafewarranty.htm

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Old January 24, 2009, 02:14 AM   #15
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Sturdy Gun Safe, to quote you you say in reference to a1abdj,"I have no doubt you know your stuff when it comes to construction of majority of any safe ..." Well a1abdj has been saying that the AMSEC BF line is superior to your safe though yours is still a good safe. I guess you agree with him then?

You were really putting down AMSEC's composite construction until you learned just now that Graffunder, who makes some of the best safes in the world, uses the same comstruction. It seems to me you do not know what you are talking about and just want to sell your safes.

You also never told us where you get your steel from. Mills in China where the quality of the steel is substandard? It is not just the thickness of the steel that matters but also the quality. So where do you get your steel?

Monday should be interesting as the "woman" from AMSEC gives her side of what she said.
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Old January 24, 2009, 03:00 AM   #16
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What I have learned from this thread:

1. Sturdy employs people who didn't pay attention in english class and don't use spellcheck.

2. a1abdj is a very patient and normal fellow who knows a lot about safes.

I wonder who I would go to if I was in the market for a safe?

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Old January 24, 2009, 05:14 AM   #17
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I am a 4th generation locksmith and safe tech. I have been in the business for only about 12 years now. I learned most of what I know from my grandfather, however I have had extensive formal training in this field. I am a member of both ALOA (the Associated Locksmiths of America) and SAVTA (Safe and Vault Technicians of America) and I am currently serving as President of the Wyoming Locksmith's Association (WLA). I have opened a number of large vaults and countless government, commercial, residential, and yes gun safes and containers. I live in Wyoming where the only folks who don't own guns are the tourists. Gun safes are big 'round these parts. You can take all that pre-ramble for what it's worth, I only provide it in the interest of full disclosure.
in defense of sales people: A sales person who does not believe (even to a fault) 100% in the product he/she is selling should not be selling said product in the first place. So I cannot fault the person from Sturdy Gun Safe MFG for standing behind their product, even though I may or may not agree with all claims maid by Sturdy. I don't sell Sturdy Gun safes, but it's not because I think there is anything wrong with them, they just wouldn't give me a free one for inspection and display, LOL.
I have sold a number of AMSEC safes, however, and have been quite pleased with them. My customers have had good things to say about them too.
Even closer to the debate at hand, I have sold an AMSEC which was in a house that burnt down in early December about two years ago. The house was a total loss, the fire burned for much more than 30 minuets at I don't know what temp. The Fire Dept. did their job in trying to control and extinguish the fire, and the safe was exposed to extreme temperatures and a "real world" cool-down. It was about a week after when I was called in to open this ill-fated container. She wasn't a pretty site, nor an easy opening, but what was inside was little worse for ware. Minor damage to papers, cloth items, and various wood materials. Very minor damage. Most of us were dumbfounded, some even slack-jawed.
Any way....when I buy safes for my self, I use a company who will custom build to my needs and my specs. I know of several such companies, and if any of you are interested, email or pm me and I can get you any info you would like. Custom safes can get pretty pricey, though. But like the sign in the tattoo parlor read; "Good tattoos are not cheep, and cheep tattoos are not good." I think the same can be said of safes.

a1abdj: I have a pic of that exact vault on my laptop desktop, sans you, of course.
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Old January 24, 2009, 11:21 AM   #18
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It's good to see another pro around the gun boards. I think this may be the first time I've encountered another SAVTA member outside of Clearstar or SAVTA itself.

Quote:
a1abdj: I have a pic of that exact vault on my laptop desktop, sans you, of course.
Similar door, or exact same door? The door in the photo came out of a bank in Hannibal, MO that was built around 1910. When the bank was demolished, it was removed and restored by Don Marston (Monday Security), and sold to Duchesne Bank in St. Peters, MO. Duchesne was acquired by Lindell Bank, for whom I do service work.

Don has dealt with several of these huge round doors. His son in law, who is Brian Smith (I hope I spelled his name correctly), is one of the few guys who will rebuild those round doors in place. They do incredible work.
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Old January 24, 2009, 04:00 PM   #19
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I haven't been on Clearstar in forever, as a mater of fact, I think I let my subscription expire...too many folks quick to judge and find fault, too little help. As to the pic, I do not think it is the "exact" same door, just one which looks like the one you are posed in front of. When you get to see or better yet, work on one of these magnificent beauties, it's a great day IMHO. What rig is that you are holding? Did you say you opened this beast due to malfunction?
My apologies to our fellow gun enthusiasts for talking shop.....
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Old January 24, 2009, 11:27 PM   #20
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The photographer for the paper wanted me to hold a prop. That's my backup Strongarm mini rig. Certainly not something you would use on a door like this, and it's not even fully assembled. He thought photos were better when somebody else in the business may recognize something special. I guess he was right

That door has never been drilled to my knowledge. Although it could be drilled, I'd probably prefer to core the vault. I'm a really skinny guy, so the core method works well. We have drilled some of the modern doors, but I prefer to sub it out if it's an emergency. I'm the only one capable of doing it, and I'm usually tied up doing a million other things.
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Old January 26, 2009, 09:21 PM   #21
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Well, I have a Sturdy Safe and have sung their praises for a few years. And they have been very helpful when I've had follow up questions even recently - Terry, I believe, was very helpful.

I am in the market for another safe and will likely buy from Sturdy again.
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Old January 27, 2009, 12:54 PM   #22
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Again, I'm not saying Sturdy makes a bad safe. I'm just saying I think the AMSEC BF is better overall. I also think Graffunder makes a better safe than the AMSEC. I also think Sigs are better Glocks.
As a Sig owner myself and a recent AmSec 6030 purchaser (waiting for delivery), I appreciate your posts above. Thanks.
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Old January 27, 2009, 01:44 PM   #23
armsmaster270
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I gave my Son my Amsec 6030 when I bought my Pentagon Safe
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