View Full Version : Sportsman Steel Safe Co. Review

07-11-2012, 11:02 AM
Recently I needed to find a compact safe small enough for my closet, yet large enough as to maximize the space I needed the safe to be in. My choices we’re: Cannon Safar 5521 (55x21x18 - $500 – 1 year warranty), (Patriot P14 59x22x20 - $899 – Lifetime warranty?) both from Dean Safe and the Limited Edition Champion Compact safe (60x20x18 - $550) from Turners. As I researched, I then stumbled onto a website, Sportsman Steel Safe Co. – Long Beach, CA. Google and you’ll find the link. This company They make lots of claims that you’ll have to read for yourself. They also claim to sell at the possible lowest prices and their safes are made in the USA. As I researched the company, I found mostly negative forum reviews. Reviews we’re about nightmare customer service, delivery/damage issues, and issues related to not getting exactly what was asked for. Another issue I found claimed the owner was an arrogant, obnoxious, aggressive, used car type salesman. I even found a couple of better business bureau complaints that appear to have been settled with a refund or credit. I’m sure there is one or two other issues that I missed but you get the picture. What struck me in this sea of negativity, was that I really didn’t find complaints about quality, but my initial impulse was to stay away from this company anyways.

I then learned that someone I know has one of these their safes and another on the way. I then decided to call them, not once, but several times. The following is my experience and thoughts.

1. First 3 or 4 calls – talked to different people that we’re very helpful, and gave me lots of insightful information.

2. 5th call – spoke to Kevin (owner apparently?), he has got the be the used car sales man I read about. No disrespect meant but yes, he spoke way to fast, bragged about not needing desperate to sell because of his house in Beverly Hills, etc., barely gave me a chance to ask questions, and when I did, I was confused about what was said. If you call talk to someone else. Seriously, this man needs a tranquilizer, but I’ve worked with successful high level people, and this MO seems to be an inherent part of their drive to being successful. I asked if they had a safe already built with the specs I was looking for. He said yes, that people usually order safes from them, then arrive at their place of business, and end up liking something else and trading up. So, ended up asking him to hold a safe for me that was already built.
3. Last call – spoke to another guy as I wanted to make sure of the specs, lock and some other details as Kevin just spoke way to fast.

4. So when I went to pick up the safe, I was greeted by friendly people. Tony was my contact. He is very helpful, informative and nice to deal with. The place of business is not like real show room but more like a working space, where they did have some samples and such. Tony was nice enough to give me a tour of their operation where they obviously had many safes in the works. I saw all the raw materials, steel sheets, fire proofing, steel bending monstrous machine, working spaces, and even got to see my friends safe, unpainted and under construction. So yes, their safes are built in the USA with better steel then the Chinese made safes. It is my understanding too though, that they will import cheaper made Chinese safes that compete with the other Chinese models from Canon, Liberty etc.

5. About my safe, when I first saw it, it looked really small compared to all the other customer safes that we’re next to it, but it was the correct size, 60x22x18. However, I was disappointed to find out that the width of 22” included the spoke handle. So be forewarned, the exterior depth dimension include the handle. They may have mentioned this on one of my calls but can’t remember. Tony could see the disappointment in my face and what I was saying and he quickly said he was happy to build me one to that was 18” deep not including the handle or how ever I wanted. This would take up to 7 weeks but I’m kind of an impatient person, and figured that one was still going to work anyway for my needs. The exterior safe appearance was nice with pin striping and a La Gard UL 1 Commercial E Lock. Life time warranty on the lock and safe.

6. Once I decided to take it, I paid, and Tony, gave me a lesson on how the safe works and asked any other questions I had. Honesty, this felt like I had just bought a new car at a dealer and I was being walked through it. I really appreciated that experience. They didn’t just load it up in my truck and sent me on my way.

7. Several weeks later. So how do I feel about the safe weeks later? Well…it’s still really nice. I like that it weighs over 400lbs. Construction feels like it can withstand an atomic blast. The interior safe is still ok for my needs and has room for growth. However, the shelves used are nicely carpeted but are 1” thick, and I discovered I wanted a few more shelves. For me 1” thick particle board is overkill just a waste of space, so I had some wood shelves cut at my local Lowes. I reused the carpeting easy enough, and Sportsman Safe Co. was nice enough to provide me with extra clips and more than enough extra carpeting to do the job of myself. I should mention that I am anal about stuff…

8. Incidentally, my friend’s safe, when completed was finished with the wrong color interior. But they made up for it by adding something that for him at no charge. So he was ok with it in the end.

9. It is my understanding from researching, that you cannot buy a safe built in the USA, with steel from the US for about $1k. Anything below that is usually an import.

10. So, would I buy a safe from them again? Yes but I would do things a little different. I would provide them a clear check list in large print of what I wanted so there are no mistakes. I.E. dimensions not including handle, exterior color in matt or gloss finish, interior color, type and brand of lock, color of lock, with or without key, color handle, type of handle spoke or regular latch. If spoke, how many, five or three, etc. Pin stripe, double pin stripe? color of pin stripe, logo, location of logo, design in the pin stripe at the corners of the door, etc.etc. They don’t have a check list as such but I think they should since they build everything there and with so many different possible finishes and details.

So that was my experience with Sportsman Safe Company, made in the USA to your specs but you must be very specific in writing to get exactly what you want. I also wanted to write this as I didn’t find the company to be as completely negative as what I read.

Hope my experience helps someone and I wouldn’t necessarily shy away them.

07-20-2012, 10:54 PM
Thanks for taking the time to do this review. Tagged for future reference.