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Posted: 6/30/2013 4:12:27 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/23/2013 4:50:13 PM EST by Melvin_Johnson]
If everything goes right, I'll be passing through Grace, ID tomorrow morning. I'm going to see if I can stop by Heritage for a quick visit and hopefully a tour of the facility.

Does anyone have a question(s) he'd like me to ask while I'm there?

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Link Posted: 6/30/2013 6:22:46 PM EST
I was able to see a heritage in person about a month ago. It seemed quite nice.

Although I have never seen a Summit the Heritage seemed to be an upper end RSC in line of what I would have expected of a Summit (from reading about them).

Please let us know how your visit goes
Link Posted: 7/1/2013 8:59:48 AM EST
I swung by pretty much unannounced but the nice lady at the front counter was more than happy to take me through the facility.

Heritage is off the beaten path in Grace, Idaho which is east of Pocatello. The shop is in an unassuming tin building and I wouldn't have found the place without having the aid of a GPS. There isn't much in Grace and the town is surrounded by grazing cattle and fields. It is a nice drive and probably worth the detour based on the scenery alone.

The shop was busy with a new shipment of Fortress Safes being unloaded.

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Link Posted: 7/1/2013 2:33:37 PM EST
The shop was busy with a new shipment of Fortress Safes being unloaded.

Are these imports? You mention "unloaded".

As I recall Grace builds in Idaho but do they build some and import another line or maybe it depends on the model.
Link Posted: 7/1/2013 6:02:23 PM EST
Originally Posted By BGENE:
The shop was busy with a new shipment of Fortress Safes being unloaded.

Are these imports? You mention "unloaded".

As I recall Grace builds in Idaho but do they build some and import another line or maybe it depends on the model.


Sorry about that. I lost signal while on the road and then had a dead battery. I had a decent amount of data rolling around in my head that I had immediately planned on posting to the web while it was still fresh. I hope I don't forget anything.

Yes. The Fortress line is a Chinese product. Made to Heritage specs but a Chinese safe none the less.

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Link Posted: 7/1/2013 7:38:35 PM EST
Okay. So back on topic!

Heritage is a surprisingly small business that was started by a gentleman from Soda Springs. He went shopping for a safe and didn't see anything he couldn't make himself. He made his first safe in his garage. He quickly sold this safe and started the business from there.

Heritage currently has four brands sold/produced under one roof. These include the Fortress line of Chinese imports, some of the safes sold by Summit, the Sports Afield line sold by Costco and the Heritage line.

The shop itself is a surprisingly small facility with everything from bending the safe bodies and welding the doors together to painting and interior being done right there. My tour guide did tell me the locks are bought from S&G. I think she also said the locking bolts were bought from an outside source and of course the Sheetrock fire liner is bought outside.

Anyway, the safes start out as flat sheets of steel and the bodies are bent from one solid ?" plate. Once the bodies are shaped, the tops and bottoms are welded on. Right on the same floor, the doors are welded together from solid sheets with a solid steel edge running around the outside. How thick the door is depends on the model.

From here, safes are sanded and any small surface imperfections are filled with body putty. Two paint booths are used for painting. One booth is for textured and the other is for gloss. Next, the interiors are added. Four ladies were hard at work fitting carpet to gun racks and shelves. Fire lining is installed and then the safes go on to the the lock work installed, door seals added and graphics silk screened on.

Start to finish, it takes about a week to make one safe and Heritage is currently running about twelve weeks behind!

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Link Posted: 7/1/2013 8:04:04 PM EST
Safe models are all UL rated as RSC's and individual models are fire rated by two different test facilities. One facility is located in Utah and I forget now where the second facility is located. No fire testing is done on-site there in Idaho.

I asked my tour guide if any of the Heritage brand had ever been successfully pried open. She said they have yet to hear of a successful pry attack on a Heritage but she did know of one Fortress model that had been pried open. This was an older safe and I think she said it was before the introduction of their notched locking bolts. Yes, they have had a few safes that have been cut open over the years.

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Link Posted: 7/2/2013 2:30:03 PM EST
Interesting, thank you for sharing. How about a trip to Graffunder in Washington. I guess I should make that trip and do an AAR.
Link Posted: 7/2/2013 6:57:59 PM EST
I've got a few pics. I'll post them eventually. I took a couple of the warehouse area that I'll post.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 6:57:49 AM EST
Bump to remind myself to get those pics posted!

Unfortunately the pics aren't anything too fantastic but they do help to show the size and scope of Heritage's operation. The tour guide asked that I not take any pictures in the actual manufacturing area and I, of course, complied.
Link Posted: 7/23/2013 4:14:14 PM EST
Here's a view from the parking lot. As you can see, Heritage is located on the outskirts of Grace and is in a nondescript building. The only thing showing that the building is home of Heritage Safe is a logo on the front door. If I hadn't noticed the crew unloading a shipment of safes (the tractor/trailer can be seen on the right) I would not have know I had the right place.



This is the main "warehouse" area that's located on the right-hand side of the building. Here are a few safes in various stages. At this point, the safes are all but completed and ready to go. Note the large safe in the foreground is a Sports Afield sold by Costco. From what I recall, the SA safe was only awaiting its intumescent door seal. Also present here were a few Fortress safes that had been damaged during shipment.




Here's a view looking the other way. On this side, the interiors are installed and the locks are put on.



Heritage's building is laid out in sort of a "t" shape. The leg of the "t" is the main reception office. Behind this is the warehouse and interior areas pictured above. The second half of the "t" is the actual manufacturing floor where the bodies are shaped and welded, doors are made and the safes are painted.

I know these photos really don't show much but I think it is interesting to note that we all seem to think many of these companies are huge conglomerates staffed with people in neckties all stuffed in cubicles. This certainly isn't the case here.



Link Posted: 7/23/2013 6:58:08 PM EST
Nice pics
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 3:16:19 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Bigshot64:
Nice pics
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Thanks. I wish I had been able to get some photos on the manufacturing floor so we could all get a better idea of what goes into making these.

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Link Posted: 7/24/2013 8:01:32 AM EST
Anything that you saw or they told you that would keep you from buying one of the Heritage safes?
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 9:09:28 AM EST
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Originally Posted By wpsharpshooter:
Anything that you saw or they told you that would keep you from buying one of the Heritage safes?
View Quote


Not really, based on production methods I saw while visiting.

With that said, there are a couple questions I would have to have answered before buying one of these safes. One is what kind of strength/rigidity tests have been done on the door? Composite doors in general have a bad reputation and what does the solid edge door behave when force is applied to the edges or the center? While the edge might help prevent a pry attack, will the non-reinforced center stand up to blows from a heavy hammer?

Otherwise, I am curious why Heritage doesn't offer anything thicker than 1/8" for the body. The Ultimate does have an additional steel liner but that is only 1/16" so it's pretty thin. My tour guide did tell me that one of the models that Heritage makes for Summit uses a 3/16" out shell. So why not use that same body on the Ultimate?


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Link Posted: 7/24/2013 9:09:42 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By wpsharpshooter:
Anything that you saw or they told you that would keep you from buying one of the Heritage safes?
View Quote


Not really, based on production methods I saw while visiting.

With that said, there are a couple questions I would have to have answered before buying one of these safes. One is what kind of strength/rigidity tests have been done on the door? Composite doors in general have a bad reputation and what does the solid edge door behave when force is applied to the edges or the center? While the edge might help prevent a pry attack, will the non-reinforced center stand up to blows from a heavy hammer?

Otherwise, I am curious why Heritage doesn't offer anything thicker than 1/8" for the body. The Ultimate does have an additional steel liner but that is only 1/16" so it's pretty thin. My tour guide did tell me that one of the models that Heritage makes for Summit uses a 3/16" out shell. So why not use that same body on the Ultimate?


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Link Posted: 7/24/2013 9:28:40 AM EST
I personally think the Summit version of Heritage would definitely be the way to go.
More choices of steel and beter yet outside door hinges.
Being able to swing that door open 180 degrees is a very nice thing.
Having owned a safe with internal hinges vs the outside hinges my Amsec BF has is all I need to know to never go back to internal hinges.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 9:42:16 AM EST
Heritage is using external hinges.


Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By heeler1:
I personally think the Summit version of Heritage would definitely be the way to go.
More choices of steel and beter yet outside door hinges.
Being able to swing that door open 180 degrees is a very nice thing.
Having owned a safe with internal hinges vs the outside hinges my Amsec BF has is all I need to know to never go back to internal hinges.
View Quote

Link Posted: 7/24/2013 10:02:08 AM EST
Really.
When I looked at them three years ago they were using internal hinges.
Glad they saw the light and I stand corrected.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 10:22:09 AM EST
Just bought this Heritage with ext hinges

Link Posted: 7/24/2013 1:35:33 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By wpsharpshooter:
Just bought this Heritage with ext hinges

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Nice!

Which model and size did you get?
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 2:38:27 PM EST
Great price for a gloss painted gun safe.
You could have done far worse at that price.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 3:26:00 PM EST
Originally Posted By Melvin_Johnson:

Otherwise, I am curious why Heritage doesn't offer anything thicker than 1/8" for the body. The Ultimate does have an additional steel liner but that is only 1/16" so it's pretty thin. My tour guide did tell me that one of the models that Heritage makes for Summit uses a 3/16" out shell. So why not use that same body on the Ultimate?

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Nice pictures. You definitely got me interested in the Summit safes again.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 5:58:28 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Melvin_Johnson:


Nice!

Which model and size did you get?
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View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Melvin_Johnson:
Originally Posted By wpsharpshooter:
Just bought this Heritage with ext hinges



Nice!

Which model and size did you get?



its the cx3360 Centennial (30 gun)

base price was about 2200 + 350 for gloss paint + 200 for the keypad+ 80 for the black chrome hardware.. The place that I bought it from was switching to browning safes... Basically wanted it gone. And at half the cost, I helped him out haha
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 6:07:16 PM EST
You sir got a smoking deal.
Congrats to your very good luck!!
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 6:15:44 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By heeler1:
You sir got a smoking deal.
Congrats to your very good luck!!
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Sheer luck for sure.. I went into the store looking for a shirt. I knew the guy sold brownings. I wasnt really interested in them, due to the cost. But was walking thru the store, turned the corner and saw this one.. I wasnt sure on the price so I came home and done a little research, Then called him and asked him if I could put some cash down on it to hold it for me. I had been looking for a safe, but really wasnt in a spot right now to shell out the cash.. But figured I couldnt let this one slip by.
Link Posted: 7/24/2013 6:40:03 PM EST
You stole it! I keep hearing about thieves packing up entire safes and driving away with them. I just never thought I'd see a member posting that he's guilty of that very thing.

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