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a1abdj
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Posted: 3/22/2013 10:04:56 PM
[Last Edit: 3/22/2013 10:09:35 PM by a1abdj]
Everybody has to start by realizing that the locks on these gun safes, regardless of type, make, or model, have nothing to do with the safe manufacturer (with the exception of AMSEC). Safe manufacturers are approached by sales reps from the lock manufacturers, and like every other business, tend to look for the best deal/value. AMSEC is the only safe manufacturer that has it's own UL rated lock, and because they are such a huge company, offer locks from several major manufacturers. Just because one of their products comes with a specific lock, doesn't mean you can't order it with whatever you would like.

With that in mind, these locks all tend to be interchangable. If you already have a safe and would like a different lock, or the safe you are looking at doesn't have the lock you want, you can call a local safe tech and have it changed. Most of us have access to a variety that the manufacturers themselves do not.

A redundant lock simply means there are two systems which operate the lock. There are redundant electronic locks that use two sets of electronics, and are not available in the US. The redunant locks we speak of here in the US are the electronic/mechanical versions. These locks have a lot to offer for those that are worried about a lock failure.

I'm not a big fan of the biometric locks, because there simply isn't anything available, for a reasonable price, that is reliable enough to impress me. Electronic locks themselves have come a long way, but still have a much higher failure rate than mechanical locks. Electronic locks are able to do a number of things that mechanical locks can not, which makes a lot of sense in certain business applications. For home use, the only real benefits are the ease of operation, and the fact that you can change your own combination.

When it's all said and done, I still prefer the old fashioned mechanical locks for most applications. They are reliable, and easy enough to use.

When a safe retailer mentions liking one lock over another, ask them how many safes they drill open. It may surprise some to know that most gun safe retailers know very little about the technical aspects, and when they say they like one thing over another, have no real experience to base that opinion on.



a1abdj
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Posted: 3/22/2013 10:06:42 PM
[Last Edit: 3/22/2013 10:07:34 PM by a1abdj]
Double Tap.
CTHRASH
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Posted: 3/22/2013 11:58:14 PM
Frank, is the AMSEC BF7250 on the market (for sale) yet with the redundant locking system?

Thank you for such an in depth and informative response earlier.
motoguy
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Posted: 3/23/2013 12:54:53 PM
a1abdj was able to help me find one of the "old" lagard locks a few months ago, for a reasonable price. I installed it on my BigHorn 7144, and I LOVE it. I find I use my RSC much more often now, due to ease of access. My wife now knows how to get in, and has a much higher chance of actually -getting- in during a time of need, storing stuff in there for me, etc.

All in all, I'm extremely happy with a redundant lock, and don't know I'd consider a safe (or RSC) without one from this point forward.




AggiePhil
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Posted: 3/31/2013 6:46:05 AM
I'm gonna call AMSEC on Monday to ask a few questions. I'll also ask if they can make me a safe with redundant locks.

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CTHRASH
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Posted: 4/1/2013 12:13:51 AM
Originally Posted By AggiePhil:
I'm gonna call AMSEC on Monday to ask a few questions. I'll also ask if they can make me a safe with redundant locks.


Let us know what they say. I am leaning towards the BF7250, but want a redundant locking system.

AggiePhil
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Posted: 4/1/2013 9:15:54 PM
Spoke to a couple people at AMSEC today. The redundant lock they will be offering (more on that in a bit...) is called the NL Lock Duet Safe Lock. A Google search yielded the following information...

http://mobile.locksmithledger.com/article/10688372/protection-simplified-gartner-duet-safe-lock







I also found that NL Lock lists a "Bravo Entry Unit" lock on their website that appears to have a nine digit electronic lock and an "electronic key" lock. I don't know anything else about this unit. http://www.nllock.com/dbcTrade/premium/v404/ecaruse9bd.html?dbc=94855fa2856c7a9f391342268a501ebd&page=1598&productNo=br5010&pageType=

Now for the not-so-great news...

One of the AMSEC technical people was under the impression that the Duet can already be spec'd on new safe orders. However, Barbara in sales said it isn't and suggested I "call them back in a month." OK... So I don't think they know a timeframe at all. And I'm looking to order fairly soon so I'll probably just spec their standard e-lock for now and consider changing over to the Duet at a later time if it gets favorable reviews.
robpiat
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Posted: 4/1/2013 10:00:49 PM
Originally Posted By AggiePhil:
Spoke to a couple people at AMSEC today. The redundant lock they will be offering (more on that in a bit...) is called the NL Lock Duet Safe Lock. A Google search yielded the following information...

http://mobile.locksmithledger.com/article/10688372/protection-simplified-gartner-duet-safe-lock

http://r3.cygnuspub.com/files/cygnus/image/LL/2012/APR/600x400/03dialopeningindexchanginginde_10688382.jpg

http://r2.cygnuspub.com/files/cygnus/image/LL/2012/APR/600x400/02keypad_10688381.jpg

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/45284_514633168593362_692502519_n.jpg

I also found that NL Lock lists a "Bravo Entry Unit" lock on their website that appears to have a nine digit electronic lock and an "electronic key" lock. I don't know anything else about this unit. http://www.nllock.com/dbcTrade/premium/v404/ecaruse9bd.html?dbc=94855fa2856c7a9f391342268a501ebd&page=1598&productNo=br5010&pageType=

Now for the not-so-great news...

One of the AMSEC technical people was under the impression that the Duet can already be spec'd on new safe orders. However, Barbara in sales said it isn't and suggested I "call them back in a month." OK... So I don't think they know a timeframe at all. And I'm looking to order fairly soon so I'll probably just spec their standard e-lock for now and consider changing over to the Duet at a later time if it gets favorable reviews.



Not trying to be Johnny Raincloud, but I wouldn't want to be getting anything "new" from AMSEC if they will only warranty it for a year. If I went Amsec, I was planning on getting a simple Mechanical lock. While your local locksmith could fix/replace, its a pretty costly proposition.

You'd think AMSEC would sell an extended warranty for $199 or something. They'd make out like bandits.
a1abdj
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Posted: 4/1/2013 10:10:08 PM
Not trying to be Johnny Raincloud, but I wouldn't want to be getting anything "new" from AMSEC if they will only warranty it for a year.


Locks are typically not covered under the "lifetime" safe warranties, because they are not made by the safe manufacturer. The locks tend to be warrantied by the lock manufacturer, for whatever period that manufacturer chooses.
AggiePhil
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Posted: 4/1/2013 10:10:30 PM
Honest question for the safe techs... How big of a deal is it really to have a safe drilled when its electronic lock fails? I realize it could be 30 years from now but I'm buying the nicest safe I can afford so it'll last even longer than that. So...when it happens, is it a huge deal? Is the safe's appearance and/or integrity permanently affected?
a1abdj
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Posted: 4/2/2013 10:19:29 AM
How big of a deal is it really to have a safe drilled when its electronic lock fails?



For a typical gun safe, it's not that big of a deal. The higher security the safe is, the larger of a deal it becomes.


Is the safe's appearance and/or integrity permanently affected?


The integrity is rarely affected, as a proper repair is often stronger than the material around it. If it is just the lock, rarely is the appearance impacted, as the work is usually done behind the dial/keypad where it will be covered. Boltwork or relock issues may require drilling in a visable area.

robpiat
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Posted: 4/2/2013 10:58:42 AM
Originally Posted By a1abdj:
How big of a deal is it really to have a safe drilled when its electronic lock fails?



For a typical gun safe, it's not that big of a deal. The higher security the safe is, the larger of a deal it becomes.


Is the safe's appearance and/or integrity permanently affected?


The integrity is rarely affected, as a proper repair is often stronger than the material around it. If it is just the lock, rarely is the appearance impacted, as the work is usually done behind the dial/keypad where it will be covered. Boltwork or relock issues may require drilling in a visable area.



Cost wise wouldn't it be $5-$600 to replace, weld over the holes, and touch up?
a1abdj
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Posted: 4/2/2013 11:27:59 AM
You don't want to weld on a gun safe. The steel is usually so thin that you'll cause extensive heat damage to the paint. We do cold repairs that are strong enough.

The ultimate cost will vary from one area to another. Here in the St. Louis area, you'd be looking at $350-$400 for an open and repair. A new lock would run $100+, plus the labor to install. You could easily be in the $600 range when it was all said and done.

AggiePhil
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Posted: 4/5/2013 11:43:09 AM
Originally Posted By a1abdj:
You don't want to weld on a gun safe. The steel is usually so thin that you'll cause extensive heat damage to the paint. We do cold repairs that are strong enough.

The ultimate cost will vary from one area to another. Here in the St. Louis area, you'd be looking at $350-$400 for an open and repair. A new lock would run $100+, plus the labor to install. You could easily be in the $600 range when it was all said and done.


Awesome, just what I needed to know. That doesn't sound like much fun but, all things considered, it wouldn't be the end of the world and wouldn't total out the safe (at least, not a really good one). I think I'll take a chance and go with a quality electronic lock. I don't know what kind of lifespan you usually see with those (again, the good ones, like AMSEC's) but if it's at least 20 years, I don't think that'd be a problem.
FireStalker
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Posted: 4/6/2013 2:16:04 PM
Originally Posted By AggiePhil:
Originally Posted By a1abdj:
You don't want to weld on a gun safe. The steel is usually so thin that you'll cause extensive heat damage to the paint. We do cold repairs that are strong enough.

The ultimate cost will vary from one area to another. Here in the St. Louis area, you'd be looking at $350-$400 for an open and repair. A new lock would run $100+, plus the labor to install. You could easily be in the $600 range when it was all said and done.


Awesome, just what I needed to know. That doesn't sound like much fun but, all things considered, it wouldn't be the end of the world and wouldn't total out the safe (at least, not a really good one). I think I'll take a chance and go with a quality electronic lock. I don't know what kind of lifespan you usually see with those (again, the good ones, like AMSEC's) but if it's at least 20 years, I don't think that'd be a problem.


Quality being the keyword. Go with a commercial grade such as the LaGard 33E. The keypad is a much nicer quality. It shouldn't show a wear pattern as easily as the cheaper ones. I have no complaints on mine... but still contemplating the LaGard redundant lock.

It looks like the LaGard redundant lock uses the keypad that appears to be similar on their e-locks. What are the chances I could continue to use the keypad off of my 33E and attach it to the redundant lock? The lock diagrams look like they use a similar electrical plug.
AggiePhil
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Posted: 4/6/2013 3:08:54 PM
Everything I've read about the AMSEC ESL10XL has been extremely positive.
motoguy
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Posted: 4/6/2013 4:41:46 PM

Originally Posted By FireStalker:
Originally Posted By AggiePhil:
Originally Posted By a1abdj:
You don't want to weld on a gun safe. The steel is usually so thin that you'll cause extensive heat damage to the paint. We do cold repairs that are strong enough.

The ultimate cost will vary from one area to another. Here in the St. Louis area, you'd be looking at $350-$400 for an open and repair. A new lock would run $100+, plus the labor to install. You could easily be in the $600 range when it was all said and done.


Awesome, just what I needed to know. That doesn't sound like much fun but, all things considered, it wouldn't be the end of the world and wouldn't total out the safe (at least, not a really good one). I think I'll take a chance and go with a quality electronic lock. I don't know what kind of lifespan you usually see with those (again, the good ones, like AMSEC's) but if it's at least 20 years, I don't think that'd be a problem.


Quality being the keyword. Go with a commercial grade such as the LaGard 33E. The keypad is a much nicer quality. It shouldn't show a wear pattern as easily as the cheaper ones. I have no complaints on mine... but still contemplating the LaGard redundant lock.

It looks like the LaGard redundant lock uses the keypad that appears to be similar on their e-locks. What are the chances I could continue to use the keypad off of my 33E and attach it to the redundant lock? The lock diagrams look like they use a similar electrical plug.

I think the keypads are the same. I think it's just the mechanical lock housing (not dial / ring, just the lock itself) that's different. The instructions for the electronic portion of my redundant lock are the same as the instructions for the standard electronic lock. I think the keypads are even the same part number.
a1abdj
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Posted: 4/6/2013 4:54:19 PM
Electronic locks are similar to mechanical locks in that you have options.

Electronic locks are mostly the same. Many of the differences as you go up in price deal with the lock's programming, and not it's phyical design. There may be several keypads that will work with a particular lock, just like you can get different dials and rings for mechanial locks.

bani
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Posted: 4/12/2013 3:14:22 AM
got a call back from amsec today.

amsec will not be offering the NL redundant lock. nor will anyone else. cannon now has an exclusive deal with them.
AggiePhil
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Posted: 4/12/2013 6:28:39 AM
I think that's just for the first year.
Andrewh
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Posted: 4/12/2013 6:26:02 PM
wow, I can't imagine cannon moving enough safes to make that worth the while.
bani
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Posted: 4/13/2013 9:41:31 PM
amsec said they were investigating other options.
FireStalker
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Posted: 4/13/2013 10:16:57 PM
Originally Posted By bani:
got a call back from amsec today.

amsec will not be offering the NL redundant lock. nor will anyone else. cannon now has an exclusive deal with them.


But will Cannon sell them as "upgrades" to people if you tell them you already own a Cannon. It works on a common footprint so should work on most safes.
AggiePhil
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Posted: 4/13/2013 10:49:52 PM
Well I couldn't wait any longer. Went with the standard AMSEC e-lock. If the Duet Lock is offered aftermarket (through whoever), I will consider it at a later time. If AMSEC offers true dual locks...I'll be pissed.

As an aside, California Safe Company's Facebook page has some good info about the Duet lock.
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