Gun Safes Shopping.
Gun Safes shopping is always intresting to me.Â Last week my wife and I hit the road to Dallas, Texas to check out safes in general.Â There are several show rooms in the DFW area but considering you have a population of millions of people they were not very impressive.Â Each show room had around 40 safes. Most of which were gun safes.Â Though I did make it by a more high end show room in North Dallas that sold only the most expensive safes on the market. Like $100,000 for a medium size top of the line safe. WAY overpriced. But there is always someone out there with more money than sense.Â We sell a TRTL-30×6 for way under $10,000.Â Which is way better than that safe…but I digress.
Gun Safes I looked at were Liberty and American Security.Â I will say I liked the choices that the Liberty came in.Â They had a nice selection of 30 minute fireproof, one hour fireproof, and a couple that were 90 minute fireproof.Â
The 30 minute fireproof gun safes by Liberty were really much nicer and seemed of better quality than the American Security Gun Safes of the same fireproof and price range.Â The prices were good and the paint job of good quality. Typical liner though for this fire rating.Â It is meant as a lower end niche product and it serves this catagory very well.Â Each gun safe had a fun name like “Deputy”, “Sheriff” etc.Â Also they had a gun safe that I would have purchased just for the name alone called the “Fatboy”.Â Being a beefy fellow myself and a Harley fan.Â This one was kinda cool.Â Lock that was on it was a chinese made American Lock. Good lock but I stuff into the catagory of “Import UL listed locks”.Â If it were the American made version, I would have really liked that. But that is not suitable for this niche.Â The import versions of LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf locks have a nasty reputation of “drifting”.Â Which means if you spin the dial fast and often, you could move the combination from 20-50-70 to 21-50-70.Â Which sucks because it will not open and you won’t know it.
Gun Safes that are 45 minute fireproof are becoming few and far between. However, I almost forgot they did have 2 Liberty in the showroom that were.Â Very similar to the 30 minute. Just another 15 on fireproof. Similar quality so I won’t dwell on it here. Instead lets jump to the 1 hour fireproof gun safes.
1 hour fireproof gun safes are a class I really like.Â Most manufacturers strengthen their steel, upgrade the dial a little, nice paint work, and of course better fireproof.Â If I have a “real” fire and it burns down the house.Â I wouldn’t want my stuff in anything less than a 1 hour fireproof.Â A 30 minute is gonna cause me to cross my fingers and start praying to Jesus to take care of my stuff….ya know what I mean?
The Liberty and the Amsec SF series were both made with 12 guage steel.Â Fireboard for fireproof material and they had high gloss models on display.Â The Liberty paint job that really got me going was the “Marbled Grey” with the smoke chrome trim.Â That really looked good.Â Again they used the S&G lock. UL listed import.Â While the Amsec used their own lock brand.Â Which basically looked UL listed import.Â I put them both on that import catagory.Â Which is good.Â As long as it is UL listed with a relocker. Both were.Â The down side on the Amsec was there wasn’t many bolts, only 8.Â I’m a ten bolt kinda guy though I will admit that 8 is enough for most situations. One safe that was in the one hour fireproof series that should be heavily considered is the Hollon Gun Safes Republic Gun Safe. Such as the model RG-16, RG-22, RG-39, or the RG-45. Each one of these gun safes are rated for 1 hour fireproof. Plus come with a minimum of 10 bolts. All of which are 1.5 inches thick. (note that the RG-45 comes with 16 of these bolts). The steel is also 8 gauge on the body and 3 gauge on the door. Which is much thicker steel than the majority of gun safes on the market today. Now with that being said. Several locksmiths, including myself, have purchased the RG-45 with a dial for our personal use. Its just too good a deal to pass up!
Gun Safes in the 90 minute catagory really improved in quality. Amsec jumps to their BF series. Which is the only gun safe on the market that uses a concrete base fireproof.Â The price also reflects this.Â Liberty thickened up their fireboard. Both will do what they advertise.Â Interior liner jumped in quality and available add ons.Â It goes without saying when I compair the two.Â Which would hold up more to a sledge hammer or crow bar? The AMSEC BF with 1/2 plate of steel in the door supported by a concrete wall? Or The Liberty with 11 gauge steel and 5 layers of fire board? I’ll take the Amsec model on this one.Â Be sure to check your wallet before you buy it though…Pricey! But worth it.