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Old January 20th, 2016, 10:00 PM #1
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My experience in purchasing a safe***heavy read disclaimer***

Hey fellow MDS members!
I've never written a serious review, There are always other gun experts here
that I can draw information from where I don't feel necessary to add my
mediocre input. But I thought that it was about time I may have some equal
footing on a gun related item that other MDS members may benefit from.
Buying a safe actually takes up ALOT of time and energy. The following is my
experience. ***note super long story disclaimer***

I always appreciate reading good reviews about stores, shops and services
related to guns. So I figured I would share with you my recent experiences with a recent Champion TR-30 safe purchase (as well as a shortened story about my friend's TR-40) from -Safe and Signs Co- in Thomasville, outside of the York area in Pennsylvania, just over the MD border.Like most gun enthusiasts purchasing a firearm or anything gun related, one would be performing indepth research on a product they will invest in. Likewise after reading and searching for hours after hours about safes I finally decided on a brand and model that made the most sense for the level of protection I needed that also fell within my budget. The Superior and Champion gunsafe models were finally listed in my final target range.

Next step! Find a dealer to actually fondle, touch, caress, however one may
want to interact with a safe before purchasing...I know some of you like to
get really close up on their rifles...umm... Upon research on where to
purchase, locally here in Frederick and nearby areas, I decided to go check
out the most recommended dealer from MDS threads. After couple messages and calls, I could not get in touch with anyone at the showroom, but after few
days later, I called and connected, but no schedules were available for me to
go check out the safes at the showroom as the owner's schedule was already
booked for deliveries and was going out hunting for a week.
I'm happy that this business owner is able to make enough money to stay happy
enough to open their doors anytime they want...but I wanted to make a move on
a safe and their operating time and non-returned calls just didn't work well
with me. So I moved on to the next available Champion dealer that was listed
in the Champion Safe's website. Actually, at this point, I was so ready buy a safe that I had considered heading up to Hagerstown to check out some AMSEC
safes but I knew that the same caliber/class of safe from AMSEC was going to
cost several hundred dollars beyond my max budgeted limit, just because of
the name.

This is when I found Safe and Signs to be the next most nearest-to-me dealer
from the Champion Website and I made a trip up to PA the very first Saturday. Before I headed out, I contacted them via Facebook messenger and I received a response from Jake within 15 or so minutes. Got general information and direction to a Thomasville's Morningstar Marketplace where they have presentation booth with about 10 safes or so. When I arrived, I thought that it was clever to have a display booth in a marketplace...lots of good temptation for food and other handmade crafts to buy (so if you plan on heading up, go with an empty stomach). Also, Brad informed me that they also go to alot of gunshows.
Safe and Sign guy at the booth, Brad, was very welcoming and friendly and was
not the pushy-make-sale type at all. I told him right away that I wanted to just check out the safes. Though he had couple of other customers anxiously waiting to be helped, he focused on helping me and answered every question I had and offered his knowledge of safes. I started with a Superior Safe which is a sister company safe owned by Champion and then to the latter. Both safes were very nice and to open up a solid steel plate safe door was world of a difference than my TractorSupply safe. The turning mechanism was smooth and solid and crisp. Brad opened up several of the different models of thesafes they had and showed me the internal mechanisms and how they functioned. Eventually, we got to the TR model and that's when I decided to pull the trigger on one. One will find that the Superior door hinge is placed on the outside allowing the door to open all the way 180 but since that would place constant dents on my drywall and door frame he advised me that the Champion safe hinge being on the inside would limit the door opening to just past 90 degrees and recommended this to help prevent future frustrations (this advice ended up being perfect that the drywall and room door frame clears the safe door and turn handle by half inch! It looks as if I had it custom planned...not. So Brad flipped through what was available from the local distribution warehouse and made some calls...but after all that time spent, I realized that I had forgotten some dimensions...of the pathway of the safe. Every turn and door way matters or that safe may end up just seating in the garage. Brad was patient with me and wasn't pushy at all and advised me to go home, measure and check back. In fact, I'm glad to have measured because the model I originally wanted would not have fit where I wanted it to go.

Over the course of the week, I exchanged at least 20 emails on models available that would fit and colors...etc...but those safes were going fast like hotcakes at a charity breakfast. Then finally, I made the decision to purchase two smaller safes! I cringed at the idea because at that point, I had gone over my budget, but actually, since Safe and Signs Co pricing was much much lower than other local dealer, I was easily able to justify the purchase(s). I special ordered two TR-30 and also added on the black chrome hardware upgrade (oh man it looks good) as well as the executive shelving instead of another gun layout. To be honest with you gun enthusiasts, the second one is for my wife's scrapbook, for heranniversary gift. Honestly, the time and effort she puts into those scrapbooks are worth far more than my guns (shock!!!) Also, I scored some huge husband points for letting her know that I valued her work on preserving family memories. At first, I was thinking one large safe and put my guns and her scrapbook, but I'm glad it ended up this way than buying just one. Since the safes were custom, there was a lead time...but the good news ended up being that my two safes would end up having consecutive numbers and were the first 10 and 11 safes made in 2016.

Anyway, I had to brag to my buddy from work that I had ordered two safes. He
asked me all about my purchase experience --shared with you now-- and he decided to do some of his own research. He came back to me a week later and
said that he had researched enough about Champion safes and based on my
experience with the dealer I used, pulled the trigger on a TR-40 (a few weeks
later though because his dog cost him $2k in surgeries that same week he
wanted to purchase the safe). When he made the decision, again, to purchase,
he contacted Safe and Signs and they had the model and color he wanted in
stock...delivered in three days from time of committment. My buddy rubbed
that fact into my face and I had to hear it for a month. He raved that the
movers were incredible getting the safe into the cellar/storm door. It
barely made it through and somehow, the Safe and Signs guys did it without
any damage. Moving 1100lbs safe on it's side, going through low height and
making turns may not always work out that well.

My safes- So here's the review of my safe. First, the delivery was smooth!
From the warehouse (after they received it) to my home was six days; Only
because there was a three day holiday weekend. The fellas moved the safe
exactly where I wanted it and placed it on the double layered vinyl footings
that I made to create a thin gap between the basement floor and the safes'
bottom. Jake and Brad were both there moving the safes themselves. After
delivery and fine adjustments, they showed me how to use the combo, about the
importance of sending in the warranty cards and about how the lifetime
warranty works, etc. Jake inspected the safes for me to look for any damages
and I followed through with an inspection myself. I said it before, I'll say
it again, the quality, workmanship, Made in USA, is night and day difference
from my cheaper box store safe. My model has double stepped seal (look it up
on Champion or Superior website) so that if there ever happens to be a fire,
it'll have two layers of seals (heat expanding sealig strips) to prevent heat
and smoke getting in. It is rated at 1650F for 90 minutes for the internal
temp to reach 345F. Since I live 8 minutes from the nearest fire department,
I figure if there ever was a fire, it would be taken care of well before the
inside reaches that temp. I purposefully placed my wife's safe between two
layers of drywall (I built a new wall and closed in "secured" room just for
the safes) and my safe so that the scrapbooks would have extra protection
from the heat incase of fire. I purposefully chose the textured sandstone because I had finger prints on glossy surfaces and it also helps a little with the pricing. My safe model comes with built in motion sensor led lights and is nice and bright, though it would be nice to have lights from both sides which may actually be overkill. The carpeting is nice quality and I could tell that the shelving material probably won't bend like my cheaper
safe. My friend placed a 30cal can full of 5.56 ammunition on the very top
shelf and he said there was no bow on the shelving. The black chrome hardwares is a classy touch against the sandstone color with black "Champion
Safe" lettering. All in all, I am very happy with the purchase and there are
no regrets or thoughts about "maybe if I bought this one or that one", which
I have a tendency to do with gun purchases.

Finally, I highly recommend my fellow MDS members to inquire with Jake and
Brad on a Champion or Superior safe. These guys are on the ball. Very helpful and energetic. I appreciate that they didn't try to oversell me something I didn't need but had good recommendations based on the description of the location where they would go, etc. They are very good at moving and what they do..I'd be dead, crushed under a safe. Also, the truck they use is very generic, meaning there are no marks that they are safe dealers. I was happy that my neighbors would not see a "safe delivery truck". One last note. If I had purchaed a Superior instead of a Champion, everytime I opened my safe door, it would hit my wife's door probably make some marks. So I'm happy with the 90degree swing out.

I hope this long winded story about my safe purchase will help you in your future safe purchase. I read from a different forum: If you are willing to purchase an A grade firearm, why would you purchase a D grade safe to keep them safe. My well-to-do uncle once said, "there are only two things I will ever finance in my life, first a house then a quality safe. The safe will keep my other valuables safe." These make sense to me.

My only regret? I just regret purchasing that cheap safe in the first place...
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Old January 20th, 2016, 10:44 PM #2
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this is good to hear i planed on using them for my next safe
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Old January 20th, 2016, 10:51 PM #3
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Good god, are there cliff notes?
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Old January 20th, 2016, 10:55 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by protegeV View Post
Good god, are there cliff notes?
He buy safe, safe good, he happy.
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Old January 21st, 2016, 04:10 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by protegeV View Post
Good god, are there cliff notes?
Apologies for the line spacing and the way some of the paragraphs appeared out of alignment. It's really wierd that sometimes MDS web pages are out of wack on my phone so it's frustrating to even visit it.
When in edit screen all the paragraphs seem perfectly fine...

As for a cliff version, I would'nt know about it because I've never used it in grade school nor during college. I actually read the entire books assigned in classes.
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"Not that the heart can be good without knowledge, for without knowledge the heart is empty. But there are two kinds of knowledge: the first is alone in its bare speculation of things, and the second is accompanied by the grace of faith and love, which causes a man to do the will of God from the heart."
― John Bunyan

Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solus Christus, Sola Scriptura, Soli Deo Gloria
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Old January 21st, 2016, 04:47 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemike328 View Post
this is good to hear i planed on using them for my next safe
I was lucky that they showed up as the next dealer closest to me first.
When I checked back into the Champion website, two more popped up closer to my location (odd) and so when I inquired about pricing, those stores were not as aggressively priced.
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"Not that the heart can be good without knowledge, for without knowledge the heart is empty. But there are two kinds of knowledge: the first is alone in its bare speculation of things, and the second is accompanied by the grace of faith and love, which causes a man to do the will of God from the heart."
― John Bunyan

Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solus Christus, Sola Scriptura, Soli Deo Gloria
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Old January 21st, 2016, 08:54 AM #7
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He buy safe, safe good, he happy.
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Old January 21st, 2016, 08:55 AM #8
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As for a cliff version, I would'nt know about it because I've never used it in grade school nor during college. I actually read the entire books assigned in classes.
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Old January 21st, 2016, 11:46 AM #9
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Good Lord I am exhausted just reading this thing!

So glad I am in the safe business and don't have to deal with that crap.....

Last edited by safecracker; January 21st, 2016 at 01:56 PM.
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Old January 21st, 2016, 12:33 PM #10
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Just an advisory for potential safe buyers....

THINK before you buy one off the interwebz. If you do, it will be shipped via common carrier and it is YOUR responsibility to get it in the house.
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