Let’s get real. We all know that gun safes are a vital part of firearm ownership — both in terms of protecting investments and by protecting those who shouldn’t have access to our gun collections. But, it’s important to know that not all safes are created equal. Far from it. Besides obvious size, color, finish, and feature differences, the structural design, materials, and construction of gun safes make a dramatic difference in the security promises they can live up to.

Today we’re going to explore a handful of often-misleading claims you might hear while shopping for a gun safe. Before buying one for your home, car, or workplace, take some time to dig into the details and understand the construction and testing variables that can help your safe stand up to would-be intruders and damaging conditions.

At American Security (AMSEC), we’re proud of the extraordinary design, work, materials, and certifications that go into earning all of our safes the proper certifications consumers should look for in a safe, so forgive us if we brag a bit as we go.

1. It’s what’s inside that counts. Think about it, a safe manufacturers’ claim of 6” thick safe doors doesn’t necessarily mean it’s 6” of solid steel. Safe doors are typically constructed of layered materials, each with its particular resistance to intrusion and the elements. Lower construction costs and manufacturing corner-cutting can drastically diminish the security of its composition. Most safe doors start with varying thickness of steel, but just behind that glossy metal exterior can be almost any configuration of wood, drywall, cardboard (yes cardboard !?!), more steel, and one of several formulations of concrete products. What you can’t see can make a MAJOR difference in the purchase price and the protection against fire and pry attacks!

For example, American Security’s deluxe RF Series gun safes feature 6” thick doors constructed of steel plate with ultra-tough concrete fill and a proprietary interlocking steel configuration, reinforced by a double steel liner that together give the RF its unique strength and rigidity. It’s important to know that these are the only U.L. listed TL-30×6 burglary and fire-resistant gun safes on the market also making them the highest security gun safes available.

Do your homework, compare specs, and keep in mind that steel gauges measure the thickness of the metal and that the thickness goes down, as gauge number goes up. In other words, 8-gauge steel is thicker than 12 or 14 gauge.

2. Don’t all gun safe manufacturers make safety and durability claims? Some gun safe manufacturers like to claim their products “have been built to…” (insert certification here) and can withstand break-in attempts and exposure to fire, but, investigate a little deeper and you’ll find the safe doesn’t carry the label it claims. Take American Security’s BFII gun safe series. It’s one of only a small handful of US-made safes on the market with a UL RSC Level 2 Security Certification. Why is that? Verified safe testing and certification is expensive. Some manufacturers don’t want to pay for outside verification, or might be concerned their safe would fail. At American Security, we pride ourselves on obtaining independent certifications that confirm your safe is truly high security and has successfully resisted entry by an experienced, two-man UL safe technician team for 10 minutes attacking the safe by prying, drilling, punching, chiseling, and tampering. Phew!

Our safes are submitted to this rigorous certification program so we can honestly ensure that your gun collection and other valuables have more than double the security protection of most other models on the market.

3. Hot stuff! Did you know that not all fire rating tests are the same? Some companies run their own, undocumented tests, but American Security was one of the first gun safe manufacturers to validate our fire ratings using standardized test procedures from an independent laboratory. All of our BFll, BFX, NF, SF and TF Series gun safes are fire tested to the highest industry standards by Again, some companies may claim that they manufacture to laboratory standards but without having an outside agency verify fire resistance and flammability, there’s no way to know if those claims are true until it’s too late.

4. The thick (and thin) of it. In Section 1, we delved into the layered space beneath the surface of a safe door. Now, let’s take a closer look at the composition of a gun safe’s steel surfaces. A 1” thick door or surface layer may be hollow or solid and constructed of almost any gauge steel. The thickness of a safe’s steel outer body is determined by which model best meets each customer’s purpose and Assessing your gun collection’s potential risk of fire or theft, and the cost you feel comfortable allocating for its protection, is a good place to start when researching a purchase.

Keeping you, your family, and possessions secure is American Security’s utmost priority We construct ALL of our gun safe doors using solid steel plate of various thicknesses depending on the security and fire protections that suit your budget and needs. Rest assured, even our most economical models provide the appropriate level of security and fire resistance you’d expect at their respective price points

Before a break-in occurs, make sure your safe can live up to its promise and that you receive the best protection in your price range. Unlike some other safe companies, we’re U.S.-based so if you ever have a question, we’re here to answer!

  • Bright shiny objects catch your eye? Don’t be mesmerized by the series of gleaming door bolts inside the gun safe door you’re considering buying. Just because a safe door has an eye-catching arrangement of boltwork doesn’t necessarily mean it’s secure. There’s more to it. Those bolts have the critical responsibility of securing the gun safe’s door to its body. So, it’s important to find out what those bolts are made of, how they’re integrated into the safe door, how the door and the door frame are constructed, and how the internal boltwork mechanism is constructed. In well-made safes, it’s a complex design process that results in the boltwork securing the gun safe’s door to its body so that it can’t be opened until the locking mechanism is released. But it’s not only exceptional boltwork that is the key to keeping the mechanism from being breached and, in turn, safes from being broken into. In our BFX and BFII safes it’s the rigidity of the body that prevent the boltwork from tilting or slipping around the jamb. Doublewalled steel frames encase the proprietary Drylight™ fill that gives the safe bodies their overall thickness and makes them HIGHLY resistant to pry and other attacks.

At American Security, we know that the most important part of the safe is what’s hardest to see. While our safes are as handsome as they come and largely customizable, our main focus is on what’s inside. We’re all about maintaining the highest level of quality to keep you and your precious possessions safe and secure.