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Fort Knox Gun Safe
Defender 7261 Safe Review
Quiet surprisingly, the Fort Knox Gun Safe, Defender Series, has better security and fire protection features than many other manufacturers’ best safes. Remember, Fort Knox has seven different safe series and the Defender is only one series up from their entry level option.
The Defender 7261 is the largest of the six different Defender models. Please be aware that there is a seventh model that is only forty inches high, but it does not hold long guns, so I did not include it here.
It is hard to really even imagine how big this particular safe is. The stated capacity is 84 long guns. This is 18 more than the Fatboy from Liberty and Remington. Wow! I think I have had apartments smaller than this safe.
But, do good things come in big packages? Let’s break down the features of this safe so we can understand where the rubber meets the road.
Fort Knox Gun Safe Key Advantages
- Steel: Steel is 10 gauge. Let’s repeat this. Steel is 10 gauge. This by itself is nothing to get excited about. However, the Fort Knox Gun Safes has 5 other series that are allegedly better than this series; it is remarkable to have this level of construction.
- Fire Rating: The Defender has a 90 minute rating at 1,680° F. Again, this is very good for a safe on the lower end of the spectrum for a company. Fort Knox states that it does use a third party to verify its fire rating, but does not identify what entity that is.
- Locking Bolts: There are 13 bolts around four sides of the door. Each bolt is 1.5 inches, which is a good size.
- Weight: This safe is 1,644 pounds. Wow! Make sure you put this somewhere that can hold this weight. Also, make sure you can get it into the space since the safe is 61 inches wide.
Fort Knox Gun Safe Key Disadvantages
- Dealer Network: If you have a close dealer you like, trust, and provides good pricing, this is not a disadvantage. If you like to shop around or live in a remote area, Fort Knox’s dealer network is a bit arcane. Even living in the Boston area, there is only one dealer 40 miles away. Also, at least one major Ft. Knox dealer lost its dealership status after posting prices on the Internet.I used to live in Rural Maine near the New Hampshire border. The closest dealer is well over a hundred miles away. The point is there are not a lot of choices for pricing, delivery and service.
- Appearance: You get four textured color choices. The Protector Series, essentially the same safe, offers 18 color choices, some in textured finish, most in gloss. You will have to pay extra for this in the Protector Series. The Defender is not cheap, so it would have been nice to get a better color choice.
Fit and Finish
As noted, you only get 4 different color choices. Not bad, but more is often better. But, you do get three different interior color choices. This is better than most companies.
Without more clarity on pricing and dealer service, I cannot definitively say that this is a must have safe. However, from a technical features side, it is very good, particularly when you consider it only one step up from Fort Knox’s entry level option.
Fort Knox Gun Safe Defender 7261 – By the Numbers
|Security Features:||Defender 7261|
|UL Security Rating||UL RSC|
|Steel Thickness||10 Gauge|
|Inside Bolt Holes||Yes|
|Locking Bolts – No.||13|
|Locking Bolts – Sides||4|
|Locking Bolts – Size||1.5″|
|Lock Rating||UL Group II|
|Fire Rating Agency||Third Party|
|Fire Rating||90 min. at 1,680° F|
|Door Seal||Dual Seal Palusol|
|Exterior Measurement||72.5″ x 61″ x 30″|