There are far too many reasons for having the best gun safe. Securing your guns may not just be a matter of safety. It may be required by law. Over two dozen states and the District of Columbia require guns be securely stored. In some cases, it’s based on having children on the premises. In others, it’s simply about public safety. It may be mandated by your insurance company. On another front, you would not want an intruder to find your weapon.
Of course, the Catch-22 here is if your gun’s locked up, what happens if you need it?
We believe gun safety has to be paramount, but so does house defense. What follows is the information you need about securing your guns, the whys, quick access, types, features you want to look for and where to find the best deal on gun safes. We also have gun safe reviews and info on who makes the best gun safe.
By time you reach the end, you’ll be ready to buy a reliable and affordable gun safe.
- What is a Gun Safe?
- Different Gun Safe Types
- 6 Benefits of Having a Gun Safe
- Types of Gun Safe Locks
- Best Biometric Handgun Safe Reviews
- Best Quick Access Safe Reviews
- Best Long Safe Reviews
- Factors To Consider When Buying a Gun Safe
- Where to Buy the Best Gun Safe
What is a Gun Safe?
A gun safe is a secure and standardized way to store firearms and their accessories. They are used to proactively prevent unqualified or unauthorized access to weapons and for burglary protection. These devices are also used to protect these possessions during floods, fires and natural disasters.
Accidental shootings are one of the biggest reported hazards in a home where there is a firearm, especially among young children. In this regard, a gun safe is a practical and responsible option. In many states, gun safes are required by law. Gun owners are also required to have adequate insurance.
Gun safe regulations can vary from state to state. In general, if you have one, it will likely have to meet the following criteria:
- They must be able to fully hold firearms and accessories securely.
- They will need a locking system.
- If there is bolt work, said work must have a minimum number of locking bolts applied and a specific thickness that intrudes from the door into the body of the safe which is then operated by a separate handle and secured by a lock.
- Walls and doors may require a specific thickness.
- Hinges on doors must be secured to prevent the door’s removal. Standard setups include hinges being inside the safe, dead bars, interlocking designs and locking bolts, both active and inactive.
- The device needs to be certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory and meeting Underwriters Laboratories Residential Security Container rating standards.
Before looking into gun safe brands, check with local law enforcement or your insurance provider to find out exactly what’s required of you as a gun owner. After doing so, you can go through gun safe ratings and top rated gun safes to find the best one for your home.
Different Gun Safe Types
Knowing the different gun safe types is the first step to finding the best deals on gun safes.
Biometric Gun Safe
A biometric gun safe uses technology – such as fingerprint recognition – as a means to access the safe. Fingerprints are our most unique characteristics. Using them as an access code for storage systems comes with little risk. The best biometric gun safe is the most reliable way to keep firearms away from others.
Quick Access Gun Safes
Many gun owners argue what’s the point in having a firearm for home defense if, when you need it most, it’s locked away.
A quick access gun safe alleviates this issue. They are the best gun safes for the money when you want to ensure your weapons stay out of the wrong hands but gives you swift access when it’s necessary. These can be small gun safes in convenient, secure places. The best quick access gun safe will use a biometric system that offers fast, single handed access with a quiet entry.
Long Gun Safes
Long gun safes are traditionally tall and not necessarily discreet in design. While they can hold all types of firearms, these safes are for organizing rifles and other long weapons. These top gun safes are perfect for the gun collector, the hunter and the enthusiast. These safes can be quite large which means they will need a good sized space, such as placement in a secluded corner or in a wall or large closet. As this safe is more likely to be visible, its security system has to be top notch.
Nightstand Handgun Safe
The nightstand gun safe is a small gun safe that is secure, hidden and close by. The design of a nightstand gun safe is simple and deceptive, making these devices a smart way to keep your weapon close and out of harm’s way. For quick access, these are the best pistol safes as getting to your firearm may not even require getting out of bed.
Corner Gun Safe
The corner gun safe is designed to sit in, well, the corner. These affordable gun safes are the way to go if you have limited space or you cannot have a wall safe. While space will be limited, these small handgun safes have the capacity to hold a couple of handguns and you could squeeze in a few valuables or paperwork.
Even the best gun safes on the market won’t have universal solutions. Whether you’re choosing a bedroom gun safe or looking at Browning gun safes, you want to consider the following aspects.
- The safe should prevent the gun from being fired. This does not necessarily mean the weapon has to get into the wrong hands. A fire could heat up the gun and cause it to spontaneously shoot. A sturdy gun safe can prevent potential disasters.
- Speaking of your investments, you want a safe that protects your weapons from damage. Water or a landslide could damage an expensive investment.
- Safes are the most reliable theft deterrent you could get your hands on. They safeguard weapons, jewelry, cash and important papers. No one will be able to touch any of it without your permission. Thieves will not be able to remove them.
For the best handgun safe quick access, take a look at a bedside pistol safe or a corner model. For your rifles or gun collections, you will have to go with a long safe. Be prepared to make room for it. Look at the ways these safes are designed. There’s biometrics, keys, codes and combination locks. Learn everything and gradually wean features down to the best gun safe for your house defense.
6 Benefits of Having a Gun Safe
- With gun ownership being one of the most contentious debates in our society, the responsible gun owner doesn’t want to feed into the controversy. Every use of a weapon and its repercussions can weaken your second amendment rights. By securing weapons, our actions reinforce the right to bear arms.
- Most states have laws concerning weapon storage, especially if there are children in the home. Even without the laws, a parent and gun owner should want to protect minors without incentives. The best rated gun safes are the only real way to prevent the worst possible scenario. States may have laws for weapon storage even if there are no children in the home.
- Your insurance company may require you utilize the best handgun safe. If not, they will not cover any incident that involves your firearm. Another factor is your insurer could have a limit on how much they will cover if your out-in-the-open weapons were stolen. If you have a collection worth more than your insurer will cover, you want to safeguard the investment. An insurance company may even give you a discount for having a gun safe.
- By securing your guns, you also minimize your liability should one of your guns be used by someone who got access to them. Thieves have stolen guns, killed someone with them and the victim’s family sued the original gun owner. If your child playfully shot someone else’s after finding your gun, you could be arrested. Personal injury law is very complex and the idea that you created an attractive nuisance could drain your bank accounts or land you behind bars.
- The best safe for the money protects your weapons from a broad range of natural disasters. Fire, water and even exposure to elements in the air can gradually affect your weapons. When purchasing a safe, look for a model that maximizes the protection of everything you put in it.
- Depending on why you have a personal weapon, you may be concerned with having a weapon that’s locked away. A quick access gun safe will solve that problem. They can be strategically placed where you can get to it fast – even under the bed – and using something like your fingerprint to gain entry without a lot of fuss. You’ll have your gun in seconds.
Types of Gun Safe Locks
Without a sufficient locking mechanism, a safe simply isn’t safe. Going through gun vault reviews and product descriptions, we see how much emphasis is put on the locking system. Manufacturers want to put the mind of the concerned gun owner at ease, so they strongly hype the locking system and how an owner’s weapons will be protected.
You may want the most sophisticated locking technology available, but you may not need it. Here are some safe lock types. Review them to find your best budget gun safe.
The most advanced and costly tech among the best home gun safes is the biometric system. It uses thermal or optical scanning to read info and automatically open the safe door. For all its complexity, biometrics is one of the easiest systems to use. Press your finger or hand against the scanner and the device reads the most unique characteristic we have to authenticate our identity. Some systems may stop there. Others might require a code to finish the process.
Electronic keypads can be found on many of the best value gun safes. While not biometric, these solutions allow complete control over who gets access to your weapons. The tech allows you to give others access. You may be able to assign temporary pass codes which can be deleted later. This is a great solution for a family or business that has a number of individuals that need access to content. Some systems can track who opened the safe and when. Electronic keypads eliminate the need for multiple keys for multiple users or, worse, leaving keys or combination info in a common area or near the safe.
Pattern Keypad Combination
A pattern keypad uses the same setup as the systems for unlocking phones and computers. The pattern system doesn’t necessarily remember numbers as it instead recalls the pattern of touched keys. There are lock, PINs and passwords. Lock patterns require the user draw a pattern directly on the keypad. The more complex the better. You can also use a numerical PIN of four to 17 digits. A full blown password can be whatever the user wants.
Number Keypad Combination
The number keypad is similar to the electronic keypad but is not necessarily as sophisticated. The numeric keypad combination gun safe removes the risk of lost keys and lockouts. It also greatly minimizes the possibility of theft as someone unauthorized entering an access code is highly unlikely. For the ultimate security and the most affordable solution, the number keypad will be right for many home defense situations.
Manual locks on gun safes have a turning dial. You turn the dial and stop at a number, spinning in the opposite direction after every number. When you reach the last number, there will be an audible click that indicates the door is open. It is one of the oldest techs in storage and security, but is still a practical application in the best gun safes.
The oldest technology in storage still has its place in the best gun safes for the money. You can grab a safe that can sit in the corner of a room, under the bed or in a drawer. Whenever you need to get into the safe, you would simply unlock it with the key. The biggest risk is losing the key. Another disadvantage is the lock on these mechanisms will likely be no challenge to anyone with a hammer.
Remember that gun safes come in a number of styles ready to align with any budget. Gun owners may have to decide what features they are willing to swap out to get the best tech for a safe, but they do not have to accept any single type. You can buy the strongest key operated gun safe or a similarly priced biometric gun safe with fewer features.
Best Biometric Handgun Safe Reviews
Sentry Safe Biometric Quick Access Pistol Safe
Investing in a Sentinel gun safe is a safe (no pun intended) bet. This is one of the best gun safes under $500. Its small and compact, giving you the opportunity to put it almost anywhere for quick access. It utilizes whisper quiet hardware and is engineered with a pry-resistant exterior. You can use biometric scanning along with a keypad-inputted code via the programmable digital keypad.
The device has multiple ways for accessing content. It can manage up to two fingerprints. Our biometric safe reviews reveal the gun safe allows fast and single handled access to contents. You could actually call the authorities with one hand while retrieving your weapon with the other. It also has zero audible feedback. That means you can open the safe – even move it – without sound. This is the best biometric safe in its category.
|Product dimensions||6.6 x 9.7 x 2.2 inches|
|Weight / Shipping weight||12 / 12 pounds|
The GunBox Echo
The GunBox Biometric Hand Gun Safe has an aircraft strength aluminum alloy construction and mounting holes for placement where needed in any orientation. It comes with internal vibration and an audible alarm. There’s a backup battery with an on/off switch and two USB ports for device charging. The sleek GunBox has been called the next generation of gun safety. Excellent for home defense systems or the car (adapter sold separately), this one really stood out among all our gun safe reviews.
|Weight / Shipping weight||2.5 / 2.5 pounds|
|Model number||The GunBox Echo|
Gunvault GVB1000 Mini Vault Biometric Gun Safe
For the best small gun safe, you won’t do better than the Gunvault GVB1000 Mini Vault Biometric Gun Safe. It has a powerful locking mechanism and a design guaranteed to make entry impossible with hand tools. The compact gun safe comes with a set of backup keys for entry in case of a failure in the electric systems. The MiniVault has a broad range of mounting options or can be placed in a drawer or under the bed. It has visual and audio indicators for letting you know when the battery should be replaced. The foam interior promises to protect weapons and prevent rattling noises when you need them the least.
|Product dimensions||12 x 8.2 x 5.2 inches|
|Weight / Shipping weight||10 / 10 pounds|
Best Quick Access Safe Reviews
Fort Knox Personal Pistol Safe
The Fort Knox Personal Pistol Safe is a concealable security box that offers the kind of quick access a gun owner wants in an emergency. It has a heavy duty 10 gauge steel body and a 3/16th plate door. It comes with a Simplex mechanical lock that’s user friendly and capable of over 1,000 combinations. The interior’s plush cushioning prevents weapons getting scratched and is large enough to hold two to three guns and magazines.
|Product dimensions||12.5 x 9.5 x 5 inches|
|Weight / Shipping weight||19 / 19 pounds|
|Model number||PB4 Personal|
GunVault SV500 SpeedVault Handgun Safe
The GunVault SV500 SpeedVault Handgun Safe is a quick access digital gun safe. It has a fast activation drop down drawer that lets you reach in and remove the weapon. In poor lighting, the device’s interior courtesy light illuminates the handgun. It has GunVault’s usual rock solid construction and promises to make entry difficult without permission. It’s easily mounted and comes with an override key just in case of a malfunction. The foam lined interior will protect your weapon from damage and minimize rattling. One of the best budget gun safes, the GunVault comes with a five year full warranty if the device does not operate properly during a burglary or is damaged during a fire.
|Product dimensions||6.5 x 3.5 x 13 inches|
|Weight / Shipping weight||8.2 / 8.2 pounds|
|Model number||SV 500|
GunVault GV2000S Multi Vault Standard Gun Safe
The GunVault GV2000S Multi Vault Standard Gun Safe can hold your weapon and has an interior shelf for smaller valuables. The company’s proprietary No-Eyes Keypad offers quick access to content even when there’s no light. This safe has both an audio and visual low battery indicator, giving you ample time to get a replacement. The exterior is designed from a strong 16 gauge steel while the interior is a soft foam that will prevent damage to a weapon. This best pistol safe has a built-in blocker if anyone repeatedly enters invalid information.
|Product dimensions||15 x 10.5 x 8.2 inches|
|Weight / Shipping weight||9.7 / 9.7 pounds|
Best Long Safe Reviews
Barska Quick Access Biometric Rifle Safe AX11652
A relatively cheap rifle safe, the Barska Quick Access Biometric Rifle Safe AX11652 holds rifles, pistols and their accessories. With the scan of a fingerprint, you will have quick access to your weapons. This fingerprint gun safe has a beeping notifier that can be muted. It has a backup key in case of battery failure, a solid steel construction and a three point deadbolt locking system. The safe comes with mounting capabilities. Use them to reinforce the gun safe’s effectiveness by securing it to a floor, wall or other flat surface, preventing an intruder from easily picking the gun safe up and carrying it away.
|Product dimensions||52.2 x 9.8 x 8.7 inches|
|Weight / Shipping weight||65 / 67 pounds|
Steelwater Standard Duty 16 Long Gun Safe
Noted for being a best fireproof gun safe, the Steelwater Standard Duty 16 Long Gun Safe is rated for withstanding 1550 degrees at almost 45 minutes. One of the best gun safes under $1,000, this device has the capacity to hold eight to 10 long guns. It has a 14 gauge steel construction and 4 3/4 inch door. The hard plating prevents ballistic and drill break-in or interference. For added security, there’s a re-locking spring bolt that activates if the lock is ever removed. The entire design seals out smoke and water. The semi-glass textured finish is a powder black.
|Product dimensions||59 x 22 x 16 inches, not including 2 3/4 inches for handle|
|Weight / Shipping weight||305 / 305 pounds|
Steelwater Extreme Duty 22 Long Gun Fire Resistant Safe
The Steelwater Extreme Duty 22 Long Gun Fire Resistant Safe has a gear driven lock and bolt system, providing resistance against the most jarring attack, drilling or prying. It promises no less than 120 minutes of protection in temperatures as high as 1875 degrees. It can hold up to 22 long guns, utilizing a two section gun rack. There’s a pre-drilled hole for the installation of a dehumidifier and another set of holes for anchoring the rifle safe to the floor.
|Product dimensions||Height: 49 inches; Width: 20 1/16 inches|
|Weight / Shipping weight||772 / 772 pounds|
Factors To Consider When Buying a Gun Safe
- What and how much will you store in the gun safe?
- How valuable are the weapons?
- How often will you access the contents? This will be important. If you’re going in and out of the safe regularly, you may want it in a nearby and convenient location. That could affect everything from size to type of lock.
- How much fire and theft protection do you want?
- What location are you looking at and what are its limitations?
- Will you be insuring the weapons?
Once you have a better idea of why you need a safe and what it has to do, you can begin considering the physical criteria before you start shopping for gun safes at Costco.
Probably the most common mistake of the first time buyer is getting a gun safe that’s too small. We almost never consider not all weapons are the same. Wide fore-ends, grips, mag wells, scopes and long barrels all affect the way contents are stored. This is why it’s important to take a close look at everything you have to determine just how much of an interior you’ll need.
Weight by itself is a security boost. A one ton safe is probably going to be a lot more burglar-proof than one that weights a tenth of that. Of course, you have to consider where you’re going to put that massive product. That gun safe is also going to cost you significantly just to get it in the house. Our experts advise that to secure your weapons at home and if you need a big gun safe, stick to a 500 to 750 pound device. These will be large enough that moving them won’t be easy nor could they be tipped over, especially if bolted in place.
There are a number of locking mechanisms. While biometrics are all the range, don’t overlook the basic spin dial that’s done the gun community just fine for a century and a half. You can get an electronic lock or, with small gun safes, go with a key model. You should consider trade-offs like expense and where the safe is going. For example, if it’s in a common area, you may want a product with stronger locking measures.
You have to prepared for the worst case scenario. The safe’s fire, smoke and water resistance will be critical. Whether you’re going with a bedside gun safe or something that caught your eye while going through Browning gun safe reviews, you want a device with as high a level of fire protection as your budget can afford.
Where to Buy the Best Gun Safe
If you want to buy a gun safe, you can certainly get a product at Wal-Mart or purchase a Costco gun safe. But there’s no denying the best way to find a gun safe is on the Internet. There is a greater chance of finding even cheap gun safes via comparison and customer experiences that will promise a return on the investment. You’ll have immediate access to Champion safe reviews and significantly increase the possibility of learning what is the best gun safe for you.
The place to find the best gun safe is on Amazon. An Amazon gun safe is going to be a part of an inventory that includes the finest weapon safes in the world from the most respected manufacturers in the industry. From the best gun safe reviews to the best fingerprint gun safe, the world’s biggest store will connect you to a world of possibilities. Amazon is the best place to buy a gun safe.
We hope you enjoyed reviewing our guide on gun safes. We covered as much as we could in the limited space that we had but believe we have left you with a great start. While there’s still a lot to do, our resources should make the task a little less overwhelming.
We approached the subject with one frame of mind (safes keep guns out of the wrong hands) and found there was more to it than that. We ended up feeling a responsibility to present as much info as we could without hype and avoiding the misinformation that we came across.
Before we go, we would like to share one last piece of advice: It might seem like fun to talk about and show off your gun safe, but the idea is to protect and secure your valuables. Sharing this is akin to letting the world know you have something worth stealing.
Now, go buy that gun safe!