Why Buy American Made Gun Safes?Author: Billy Wayne
And They Went to China
In the 1990's many USA gun safe companies turned their eyes to the Far East to reduce manufacturing costs and nowadays at least 75% of all gun safes are made in China. It was a shift that improved the bottom lines of those manufacturers, but one that inevitably reduced the quality of what is offered in the market because apart from the savings in cheaper manpower, there were also cost reductions in materials and design.
Upon first glancing of both, an American Gun Safe and a Chinese one, you might not see or know the difference among them and the difference is not small, so here we lay out the main factors contributing to the better quality of an American Made Gun Safe:
Quality of the Steel
Starting from the body to many interior parts, steel is everywhere in a safe. The vast majority of the steel used to build safes in China is 25% to 35% softer than American Made Steel, and when that weaker steel is used to construct the body, the safe becomes more penetrable by drills and other specialized tools. The same principal applies to any other part of a safe made out of mild steel; it will simply not perform its function under tough conditions, which is what a gun safe is made for.
One of the latent dangers on any household is Fire, and gun safes should provide adequate fire insulation to protect the firearms but also important documents, memorabilia, or jewelry. The main element to insulate against fire in almost all gun safes is fireboard (or drywall) layers, and as is very well known, Chinese drywall is of a low quality and, as recent events have shown, brings along some health concerns too. American made fireboard is of a much greater quality and contributes directly to a fire rating of a higher standard.
Here we refer to the 6 sided exterior body of any safe. The key consideration is how the six sides are brought together to conform the body. Chinese manufacturers have a strong tendency to weld all or most, of the six sides together, then grinding off the welds for aesthetic considerations, but weakening the body because what is a thin layer already is made even thinner on the edges, which is where it counts. On the contrary, most American Manufacturers create the body by "bending" one piece of steel, as opposed to ‘welding" separate pieces , thus what initially is a long plate of steel becomes a four (4) sided cube to which the door and the back are added, this is also called "uni-body construction", and it makes a much tougher gun safe.
Boltwork, Re-Lockers & Hardplates
The Boltwork is the locking system that grips the door to the body of the safe that is comprised of several elements which are made of steel. As mentioned above, steel made in China is much softer, and if you add the fact that their boltwork is also thinner, you have the right combination for thugs with a little experience to crack the safe open by drilling a hole in the door and pushing back the boltwork with a strike to overpower the safe.
Relockers are mechanisms that lock the safe during a burglary attack by re-enforcing the lock while the safe is under attack. For a punch and drill relocker It's usually an additional steel bolt that reinforces the safe, and if made cheaply, meaning smaller or weaker, it won't protect the lock for long because it only has to be drilled one time to be beaten.
Hardplates are layers of metal positioned before the lock to protect it, and if they are thin or if there are not enough layers, as usually happens with China manufacturing, its intended effect won't last for long. When it's about Boltwork, Relockers, and Hardplates, the "Made in the USA" mark means much better quality in the spot.
All safe manufacturers claim they offer the best Warranty in the market. Simply put this is not the case, inferior gun safes do not have the same kind of warranty than a top quality gun safes. We won't dwell into detail here, but you need to ask for a true "Lifetime Warranty" that includes free shipping replacement in case of damaged safe by Burglary or Fire (or Natural Disaster). Read the small letters and inquire with your safe specialist about the limits of the Warranty. In general terms "American Made" will have a much better warranty.
Investment for Life
When I bought my gun safe I only researched among "American Made". Of course budget is always important and a Gun Safe made in the USA tends to be pricier. But two thoughts come to my mind. First, a Gun Safe can be an investment for life and it's not worth to buy cheap and replace later, especially when heavy items are not the easy to transport in and out of a house. And second, if you have a budget, I bet you can find a great deal on an entry level American Made Gun Safe which sometimes are even better than many mid-to-top level Chinese ones. So in my humble opinion, don't waste your time and money with the cheaper option, and help keep our economy strong while you make the right choice.
Liberty Safe is the premier American Made Gun Safes Manufacturer. Liberty Safe sells more Gun Safes than any other manufacturer in the world, and that's for a reason. Visit our website at http://www.libertysafesusa.com for all you need to know about Liberty Gun Safes.