Brattonsound RL7 + Sentinel gun security box
These days gun security is a serious issue and integral to whether or not you get your FAC or even keep it, as the now mandatory steel gun cabinet has to be from an approved source. This is not a big issue and as long as the cabinet is reasonably well made to a certain recipe and will defeat attack for a given amount of time. There are any number out there that will conform; usually made abroad and sold in the UK cheaply.
However, in a country/industry where the words ‘Made in Britain’ are rare; one name stands out in the area of gun security and that’s Brattonsound Engineering. After testing the RL7+ I would say they are masters of the craft with other company’s products being mere essays. They offer a range of safes to suit all needs, from compact, standard and vehicle safes too.
What I have here is the RL7 Sentinel PLUS, which is a level 1 security design, that might not sound too exciting, but testing shows a 100% build. Brattonsound have this to say about the product: “The Sentinel range is built and tested to BS7558/92 for gun security cabinets. We have sold in excess of 135,000 Sentinel Gun safes, and Police acceptance is guaranteed. Although Sentinel/Sentinel Plus are our entry-level range they have an extremely impressive specification, however, their prices are similar to other manufacturers entry-level products.”
All products are powder-coated with a durable light grey textured finish. They are iron phosphate pre-treated to BS 3189, for increased powder adhesion. The finished item is tested to BS 3900 Parts E2, E6, F9 & F12 for resistance to scratching, flaking, humidity & salt spray.
The main difference between the SL7+ and the RL7+ is the depth, which is more at 13.5” over the standard 10.5” of the former. This has been done to accommodate scoped rifles easily, obviously a shotgunner or iron sight shooter would not need this extra. But as a hunter who primarily uses glass then it’s a facility worth having.
A very safe, safe
The basic, Sentinel build is impressive with 2mm welded steel construction throughout, there’s a full-length anti-jemmy bar to stop access from the side of the door. The recessed door is of multi-folded construction along with its housing to maximise strength and resistance to attack. Inside is a foam gun divider and a base pad too, with 14mm holes pre-drilled in the rear and base for fixing purposes, along with a set of rawl bolts to suit.
Though a heavy unit the RL7+ is exceptionally well put together and the thick, 2mm construction makes for a rigid design that will not warp or twist with doors and locks working and opening/shutting easily.
Locking is by a strong, 7-lever deadlock with forged steel bolt with reinforced casing and internal mechanism. All full height models show extra door reinforcement. Moving up to the Sentinel Plus we have a double-skinned door with 5-point, 1” diameter, solid steel locking pins which are electro-plated. All this is controlled by a single, double-bited, double throw key (two supplied).
The RL7+ also feature a lockable internal top compartment (locking top), which measures 15 x 9 x 8.5” and is opened by a radial tumbler lock; again two keys are supplied. This is good for ammo, documents or rifle bolts etc, though is optional as you can get the same safe without it for less money.
The RL7+ measures 60 x 16 x 13.5” externally and inside offers a useable space of 51 x 15.5 x 13”. Given the sort of long guns you are storing (bolt-actions are a bit wider) you can get between 6/7 guns inside if you use the foam divider. Removed you can stack a lot more with care. What impressed me most was the generous capacity and the height, as 51” should easily accommodate scoped rifles even with moderators fitted.
Likewise the look and build of the safe inspires confidence; you just have to see the five, 1” security bolts slide across to know that door is going to be a bugger to open by force. I was talking to Peter Tagg of Brattonsound a few years ago and he told me that all their safes seriously exceed the minimum attack times laid down to make them government approved; which does not surprise me!
Equally impressive are the highly detailed fitting instructions included, with comments on what the police might suggest, how to secure it to different materials and even on where best to place it. A left hand corner is ideal as the door opens up to the right, there’s less room for a burglar to attack the lock.
And there’s more
Add to this a 3-year guarantee; all mechanical parts are covered for a year, with an on-site repair or replacement policy. Plus key-operated locks are covered for an extra two years too. In with the cabinet is a voucher to claim a free sachet of Napier’s excellent Super VP90 corrosion protector. Which in this wet and damp island of ours is a good bet for our guns; I use it all the time…
Brattonsound are a trade manufacturer only, so you’ll need to go to your local gun shop to buy them. However, prices are pretty good given the build and spec. I asked Pete Tagg for an ARP for the RL7+ and he said around £250. I then went on to Henry Krank’s website and it’s there for £242, so about right. However, if you like this model but don’t need a locking compartment, then the identical RD7+ (less interior box) retails at £177. Just about every decent gun shop will stock these items judging from the research I have done.
Overall some very impressive security cabinets if the RL7+ is anything to go by. OK maybe a bit more expensive than the foreign made, lower spec examples you might normally encounter, but the quality and design is superb and the peace of mind given by a superior product is well worth the extra…
• Superior design
• Highly effective
• Worth the money
All Prices Are Guides Due to the Changes in US & European Exchange Rates