Reply To: Safe Gun Safe?

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I have both a large American Security "gun safe" and a large AmSec TL-30 safe. The first one is larger and holds more firearm-related content. It's also lighter and is UL listed as a Residential Security Container. It is NOT a safe. However, when bolted to the concrete, as both of mine are, a quality RSC can cost a thief enough time that defeating the RSC isn't worth the effort. If not bolted to concrete, you might as well have a glorified tin can. On its side, an RSC is dead meat for a competent thief with decent pry bars.

The TL-30 grade safe is a completely different story. First, it's a legitimate safe. Most insurance companies will cover the contents for $250-500,000. The smaller TL-15 and larger TL-30 are commonly used by businesses selling jewelry, watches and other very expensive products. The TL-30 weighs EMPTY over 2,200 lbs.! Having made the unfortunate mistake of raising up (from accessing something inside the safe) before I had fully cleared the opening, I'll say that I've never hit my skull against anything THAT solid and unforgiving. Brutally solid. I think I still have the lump to prove it!

The fire rating between the two is significant. An RSC is probably up to 90 minutes / 1,400˚F. The TL-30 is 2 hours / 1,850˚F. That's a pretty huge difference. The forced entry resistance between the two technologies is also comparable with the TL-30 being far more resistant to a forced entry. Bolted to concrete, the TL-30 is truly formidable.

In practical terms, the RSC is a Humvee. The TL-30 is an Abrams tank. Both can work. Both will make a thief's job more difficult. The tank costs more than the RSC. It also weighs a whole lot more. And when not under their own power, only one of them isn't getting moved by a company of soldiers.

Buying a TL-30, look for older safes too, ones used by retail stores that have closed up shop. Instead of paying upwards of $3,500, you might find a good pre-owned TL-30 for less than half that. Get it checked out by a locksmith and have the combination reset to your liking. And don't be stupid. PAY TO HAVE IT MOVED AND INSTALLED. A blown out disc in your back just isn't worth it and moving a safe is not like moving a refrigerator.