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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 protectiondefender gun safe 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

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Locking Bolts: There are 13 bolts around four sides of the door. Each bolt is 1.5 inches, which is a good size.
    4. 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

    1. 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.
    2. 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.

    Bottom Line

    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
                  Door Hinges              Internal
                  Locking Bolts – No.                13
                   Locking Bolts – Sides               4
                  Locking Bolts – Size               1.5″
                  Re-Lockers               Yes
                  Lock Rating               UL Group II
                  Lock Type               Combination
                 Lock Manufacturer               S&G
                  Lock Protection               Yes
                  Clutch Mechanism               No
                 Fire Protection:
                  Fire Rating Agency               Third Party
                 Fire Rating               90 min. at 1,680° F
                 Door Seal               Dual Seal Palusol
                  Insulation Type               Fiberboard
                   Other Considerations:
                 Interior Lighting               Kit
                  Water Resistant               No
                  Dehumidifier               Kit
                   Basic Features:
                  Exterior Measurement               72.5″ x 61″ x 30″
                  Weight (lbs.)               1,644
                  Capacity               84
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