SURVIVAL

Best Gun Safe: Keeping Your Firearms Safely Stored

Best personal gun safe
Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

If you own a gun, then you’re probably looking for ways to store it around the house – keeping your firearm safely stored should prolong its durability. However, finding the best gun safe for your needs could seem like a mission impossible.

Ideally, the best gun safe will keep your firearm safely tucked away from curious eyes while at the same time, giving you quick access to your gun if needed. The safes offered out there come with a variety of features and locking mechanism that most buyers may find confusing – where to start?

That’s why we’ve decided to go over some of the basic features that matter when buying a gun safe. Moreover, we’ve also included a list of products that may fit your needs the most. Follow up with the article to find out more!

Our Top Picks

Product Name Dimensions WeightLocking System Price
SentrySafe PP1K Portable10.1 x 11.3 x 3.4 in.8 lb.Biometric lockCheck price on Amazon
Gunvault SV500 Speedvault 13 x 6.5 x 3.5 in.8.2 lb.High-strength lock mechanismCheck price on Amazon
Fort Knox Personal 12.5 x 9.5 x 5 in.19 lb.Simplex mechanical lockCheck price on Amazon
Hornady Security Rapid9 x 15.5 x 3.5 in.4.8 lb.Dual-lug locking systemCheck price on Amazon
The Gunbox Biometric 11.6 x 10.0 x 2.7 in.6.8 lb.Biometric lockCheck price on Amazon
LockSAF Personal Biometric 14 x 10.2 x 4.6 in.22 lb.Biometric lockCheck price on Amazon
Stack-On E-029-SB-C Elite Executive Fire73.7 x 50.2 x 53 in.155 lb.Three-number combination lockCheck price on Amazon

Features to Consider Before Buying

Before moving to the part with the top product reviews, we’ve taken the time to go over some more basic features that may matter to most users. However, don’t forget that depending on your personal preference, you may find some features to be more or less important than others.

Size & Weight

Gun safes may range from small touchpad steel vessels to modified room size vaults – choosing the correct size is a matter of preference and budget. Always choose a safe that will comfortably accommodate your firearm without damaging it or scratching it.

Most of the gun safes are smaller and ultra-portable – safes like that work best for securing a single gun along with ammo and a number of magazines. However, if you’d prefer to store other valuables alongside your gun, then a bigger safe may work better for you.

Gun-safe-size-and-features

The weight of the safe is in direct link with the size of it – bigger safes are usually heavier and vice versa. If you’d like to move your safe around more often – let’s say, if you decide to take your gun on trips with you – then you should take the weight into consideration as one of the main criteria.

Locking System

This is one of the most important considerations when shopping for a gun safe. There are two major types of locking systems: electronic and mechanical.

Electronic locking system may need circuits, biometric scanners, and keypads while the mechanical system may be fitted with even dual locks, a numerical combination lock or a key lock. The electronic locking systems are quick and efficient; however, they are not long-lasting.

Mechanical locking systems are usually bulky, open slowly, but they require minimal maintenance and last a lifetime.

Locking-system

When choosing a case for your gun, you should look for a locking system that will help you protect your firearm or valuables from unauthorized access. While it’s true that the electronic locks require a lot more maintenance and aren’t as long-lasting as the mechanical ones, they are more secure.

One more thing to take into consideration is the fact that there’s a way of unlocking mechanical safes without the owner noticing that they have been tampered with – keys can be easily copied and numerical combinations can be guessed. However, no one can guess your fingerprint when your gun case uses biometric locks.

Interior & Exterior Design

You should always opt for a gun case that has a resourceful, versatile, and user-friendly interior and exterior design. The exterior has to be made of solid steel construction, such as 18 gauge steel construction, 10 gauge steel construction, 12 gauge steel construction or 9 gauge steel construction. Steel is usually strong and extremely hard to break into.

Besides a reliable locking system, such as a biometric scanner, you need gauge steel structure. It is an added advantage if you select a safe with an electronic lock that uses patent-pending radio frequency identification or RFID for instant access.

The interior design must be reliable or else your firearm will suffer scratching and other damages. You should not go for gun cases with moisture barrier interior material, such as polystyrene. This kind of material keeps moisture against the finish of your firearm.

This leads to surface rust, which can cause pitting (the formation of small holes in the inside of the barrel as a consequence of corrosion). The most common interior materials are foam blends, injection molded plastics, and leather. Therefore, choose a gun safe with respect to the environment in which you will place the safe, as far as humidity levels are concerned.

Price

The price of the safe is another aspect you may want to think about. Most of the time, top-notch gun safes come at a higher price. However, going on and doing the investment may pay off in the longer run, as a safe should usually be pretty durable.

fingerprint-gun-safe-nightstand

Apart from keeping your firearm safe from any unauthorized use, a decent-quality safe should keep your gun free from humidity and corrosion. On top of that, safes should keep your firearm away from common damages that could happen in your house, such as flooding or a fire happening.

Other Considerations

Search for padded interior flooring, interior lighting for dim light or total darkness access, and an accessory door-component shelving. As far as a single gun case is concerned, choose a safe that has some form of interior strapping or belt that firmly secures your gun.

Moreover, take a look into the warranty and whether it covers part replacements and repairs. Individual requirements may include a pistol rack, motion sensors, and a tampering alarm. You should also make sure the safe has pre-drilled holes for mounting on a solid surface, such as a wall or floor.

Hopefully, by now you’ve got a basic picture of what you’re looking for in a safe – let’s move on to the actual product reviews.

Best Products on Today’s Market

Here are some of the best products on the market.

SentrySafe PP1K Portable Pistol Safe SentrySafe PP1K Portable Pistol Safe

Price: Approx. $70

Weight: 8 lb.

Dimensions: 10.1 x 11.3 x 3.4 in.

Specific features: SentrySafe biometric quick access; solid steel construction; quick entry; pry-resistant top lid design; high compression foam; a clutch system for cable; portable pistol innovations; in/out of vehicle usage; & CA DOJ approved

Best use: Pistol safe

Description: The SentrySafe PP1k Portable Pistol Safe is a great product if you’re worried about being able to move your safe around. Weighing only eight pounds, it has an amazing design that is not only compact but also fully equipped for securing your gun.

It has a strong gas strut and pry-resistant top lid design that opens the lid quickly. A feature unique to this unit is the SentrySafe biometric quick access. You shouldn’t be skeptical about the reliability of the biometric lock, as it should work almost perfectly. In addition to the biometric lock, the safe is equipped with a digital lock along with an override key.

Its reader unfailingly detects your fingerprint, thus allowing you quick and single-handed access to your pistol. The pre-programmed code that comes with the safe should work without any problems. However, you can easily program a code into the unit and then configure the fingerprints.

All you have to do for this to work is follow the instructions as they are given. Don’t get confused about all the buttons – just press a button and they will all display in blue for a while. This should allow you to master the buttons’ position and be able to access them even in dim light. It is made to hold a medium-sized firearm and two or three magazines. Also, it is fitted with holes for wall mounting.

PROS:

  • Light enough to be carried around
  • It allows for wall mounting
  • Offers quick access

CONS:

  • Batteries could drain faster
  • Nothing else can fit except a gun

Related: The Hoppe’s No.9 Lubricating Oil is ideal for any firearm you might have around the house. Even if not used, the oil doesn’t harden up nor does it expire – you could get years use out of a single bottle. On top of that, the bottle comes with a tip that allows for more precise application.

Check the price on Amazon

Gunvault SV500 Speedvault Handgun Safe Gunvault SV500 Speedvault Handgun Safe

Price: Approx. $100

Weight: 8.2 lb.

Dimensions: 13 x 6.5 x 3.5 in.

Specific features: Quick access digital keypad; high strength lock mechanism; included backup override key; multiple mounting options; 18-gauge steel construction w/ protective foam-lined interior and fast activation drop down drawer.

Best use: Handgun safe

Description: The Gunvault SV500 Speedvault Handgun Safe should keep your handgun well-secured and ready whenever you want to use it. Its high strength lock mechanism should work perfectly most of the time, ensuring that your gun is secured inside the vault.

You will never be denied access to this unit because it comes with backup override keys. The interior design is remarkable; when you open the vault, the interior courtesy light illumes your handgun in a low-light environment. The exterior is made of heavy-duty 18-gauge steel housing that ensures no one can break in and gain access to your valuables.

The 18-gauge steel construction is fitted with a protective foam-lined interior that protects your gun from rattling and damage. It is quite easy to install. You need less than half hour to read the manual, decide on a mounting option and complete the mount.

It has a programmable electronic entry along with physical key backup. You can effortlessly program and modify settings by just holding the small button down for a couple of seconds at a time. It has a fairly quiet opening system; all you will hear before it pops open is a slight mechanical whirring, which is not disturbing.

PROS:

  • Multiple mounting options
  • Great interior and heavy exterior
  • Smooth opening system

CONS:

  • Batteries may drain faster
  • It’s not very versatile in its use

Related: If you’re looking for a reliable set of batteries to go with your safe, then the Energizer Ultimate 9V Batteries may be a good buy. The batteries might last up to 20% longer than regular batteries and have a 10-year shelf life when not used. All of the batteries included are leak-resistant and can perform even in extreme temperatures.

Check the price on Amazon

Fort Knox Personal Pistol Safe Fort Knox Personal Pistol Safe

Price: Approx. $180

Weight: 19 lb.

Dimensions: 12.5 x 9.5 x 5 in.

Specific features: Spring assisted hinges; 1081 user combinations; quick access; Simplex mechanical lock and 10 gauge body

Best use: Pistol & personal valuables safe

Description: The Fort Knox Personal Pistol Safe is uniquely designed and is definitely heavy, but firmly secured. The design is reinforced with durable 10 gauge solid steel construction, allowing you quick and whisper-quiet access to your valuable without bargaining the integrity of the unit.

The 3/16-inch plate safely opens when you key in the correct combination. You should expect the door to open swiftly in the vertical position allowing you to reach your gun without any problems.

The structure features a reliable simplex lock mechanism, which has no electronics and it is manual. The input system is simple, allowing you to effortlessly set your own combination. The Simplex lock is noise free and it does not need a constant supply of electricity in order for it to open.

The 1081 user combination is extremely safe and it is practically impossible for an unauthorized person to open. The structure is fitted with pre-drilled mounting holes that you can use to anchor the unit to a solid surface, such as a wall or on the floor.

PROS:

  • The locking system is mechanical
  • Versatile and spacious
  • It can be anchored to the surface on which it stands

CONS:

  • Heavy – not very easy to be moved around
  • Could be a bit pricier if you’re looking to get only a gun safe

Related: The Howard Leight Sharp-Shooter Shooting Glasses can be a handy addition no matter whether your hobby is indoor or outdoor. The lenses feature an anti-fog coating which means that the glasses can be used even in rainy weather conditions. Considering the price and the durability of the glasses, they should make a worthy purchase.

Check the price on Amazon

Hornady Security Rapid Gun Safe Hornady Security Rapid Gun Safe

Price: Approx. $100

Weight: 4.81 lb.

Dimensions: 9 x 15.5 x 3.5 in.

Specific features: Heavy duty construction; fast, touch-free entry; 16-gauge steel construction; child-resistant design; reliable 1/4in steel dual-lug locking system; multiple access options

Best use: Handgun safe

Description: The Hornady Security Rapid Gun Safe is one of the most portable gun vaults in the market. It has a heavy-duty construction made of 16-gauge steel along with a durable and robust steel dual-lug locking mechanism. The structure is further reinforced with a 39-inch, 1500-pound cable for extra theft protection.

The fast, touch-free entry uses patent-pending radio frequency identification for quick, reliable and secure access. All you have to do is place the RFID device over the reader and the unit will open, providing you access to your gun.

As aforementioned, the unit uses patent-pending radio-frequency identification (RFID), which works through RFID card, key fob or bracelet, providing you with multiple access options. It is engineered to provide you with the best child-resistant structure.

You should buy this vault to keep your firearm away from the reach of your child/children. The interior of the Hornady Security Rapid is fitted with a sleeve that holds your gun at a convenient angle for easy retrieval. The sleeve is removable; therefore, you can store most of your revolvers on the assumption that the barrels are 6-inch long.

PROS:

  • One of the lightest gun safes out there
  • The entry is touch-free
  • Digital locking system

CONS:

  • No versatile use
  • Some users may struggle to first set up the product

Related: If you’re looking to further explore the multiple access options of the safe, then the Hornady Rapid Safe Security Bracelet should be on your shopping list! The bracelet allows you to swiftly open the safe and get your gun fast without struggling to find the keyboard in the dark. On top of that, it’s very light so it shouldn’t bother you while wearing it.

Check the price on Amazon

The Gunbox Biometric Hand Gun Safe The Gunbox Biometric Hand Gun Safe

Price: Approx. $400

Weight: 6.8 lb.

Dimensions: 11.6 x 10.0 x 2.7 in.

Specific features: RFID scanner; 360° biometric fingerprint scanner; internal motion or vibration sensor w/ audio alarm; RF wristband, ring & sticker; TSA/FAA-approved container; Kensington lock port; pre-drilled mounting holes; battery backup w/ shut-off switch; two USB ports

Best use: Gun safe

Description: Coming at a slightly higher price, The Gunbox Biometric Hand Gun Safe may be worth doing the splurge. This unit has a sleek design that includes an alarm mechanism that produces clear alarm in the event that unauthorized person tampers with the device.

As far as durability is concerned, the safe is made from heavy-duty aircraft aluminum alloy, which is TSA/FAA approved. Apart from keeping your firearm well-guarded it is also safe for travel. It has a neoprene interior lining that ensures your gun is firmly held in place to avoid scratching among any other damages.

The 360° biometric fingerprint and RFID scanner offer controlled, quick and secure access to your values. You are presented with three RFID quick access options: RFID wristband, ring, and sticker. This does not only make it easier to unlock the vault, but it makes it extremely hard for other people to gain access.

The sleek exterior design might be a good addition to your interior décor. You can simply place it in plain sight and no one will notice it’s there. Its compact design and weight help to keep it sturdy; therefore, you should not be worried that it will fall off. With that said, this is the smartest as well as the safest purchase you can ever make.

PROS:

  • Multiple access options
  • Modern design that fits well with regular furniture
  • Biometric lock that prevents unauthorized access

CONS:

  • More expensive than regular safes
  • It’s made for home and car use only

Related: Another great achievement by technology, The Gunbox RFID Sticker Label may be just the thing you need for your safe! The sticker needs to be programmed only once and then you can use it to quickly reach your gun. Apart from that, the sticker can be applied to whatever non-metallic surface you have around the house – even your phone case works well!

Check the price on Amazon

LockSAF Personal Biometric Safe LockSAF Personal Biometric Safe

Price: N/A

Weight: 22 lb.

Dimensions: 14 x 10.2 x 4.6 in.

Specific features: Next-Generation digital biometric swipe reader; supports up to 10 fingerprints; 4 pre-drilled mounting holes; included backup key; foam padded for additional protection; and heavy-duty 9 gauge steel.

Best use: Gun safe

Description: The Locksaf Personal Biometric Safe is one of the newer models of biometric vaults available on the market. Unlike most gun storage units in the market, this one is engineered to be highly secured. It is installed with the next-generation swipe reader that provides instant and reliable access to an established print.

The swipe reader is more reliable because of its newly industrialized algorithms. It has a long-lasting construction that is made of tamper-proof 9 gauge steel for strength and durability.

The four pre-drilled holes are resourceful for mounting the unit on a solid structure, such as a wall or floor. Its flip top is constructed to provide you with stress-free access to your firearm. The fingerprint recognition window is well-positioned on the front panel for quick access.

The unit is quite spacious because it provides additional room for ammo and speed loader. Your valuables are protected from scratching and any other damages due to the foam piece of rubber lining that covers the interior space. The instructions for adding extra prints may be confusing, but you can simplify the process by checking online for solutions.

PROS:

  • A biometric vault system
  • Durable and secure
  • Can be mounted on the wall or on the floor

CONS:

  • Set-up may be difficult for some users
  • The safe is on the heavy side

Related: The LubeGard Gun Oil comes in a small and convenient bottle, making it easy to be stored and used – considering its size, you could easily keep it next to your gun, no matter where you store it. The oil offers premium lubrication while at the same time being completely odorless.

Check the price on Amazon

Stack-On E-029-SB-C Elite Executive Fire Safe Stack-On E-029-SB-C Elite Executive Fire Safe

Price: N/A

Weight: 155 lb.

Dimensions: 73.7 x 50.2 x 53 in.

Specific features: Fully carpeted interior; included fastening hardware; silver gray w/ black silk-screen door; black powder coat paint finish; three-number combination lock w/ a drill resistant; two adjustable shelves; and fire resistant

Best use: Keeping guns and other valuables safe

Description: Even though the Stack-On E-029-SB-C Elite Executive Fire Safe is definitely on the heavier side, it’s still one of the most versatile safes on the list. Considering its size, this may as well be seen as an all-purpose vault that can be used to secure different valuables apart from firearms, such as documents, jewelry or money.

Since it’s pretty heavy, moving it around won’t be as easy – skip this one if you’re looking to get something more compact. However, once you set it, you should be able to get the most out of it just fine.

The safe has a three-number combination lock that is drill-resistant – all sides of the safe are thick enough to ensure your valuables stay intact. At the same time, the locking system prevents unauthorized access. On top of that, the safe is ranked as being fire resistant as well.

As far as the interior is concerned, there are two adjustable shelves on the inside; both of them feature a fully carpeted interior that should provide with enough space for different items. The carpeting on the interior prevents any scratches.

PROS:

  • Pretty safe as far as security is concerned
  • No batteries are needed
  • The safe is drill and fire resistant

CONS:

  • Too heavy for moving around
  • Not the best safe if you’re looking only for a gun safe

Related: If you’re looking to add even more security to your safe, you could purchase a smaller safe like the SnapSafe Combination Lock Box – you might as well put it inside a bigger safe for a maximum protection. Apart from that, the safe is small enough to fit your gun while light enough to be taken with you on your travels.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

We hope that by now you’ve gotten a better idea into what matters the most to you when buying a gun safe. You can go over the basic features and the top product reviews at any time to help you grasp the concept even better.

Remember that a good safe will not only keep your firearm safe from damage, but it’ll also prevent any unauthorized use from taking place. However, do take all of the precautionary measures when handling firearms or gun safes especially around the house.

Last but not least, are there any great products related to firearm keeping that you think we might’ve missed? If that’s the case, do share with us in the comments and we’ll make sure to include those next time!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dennis Owens
Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.

  • Dennis Hughes

    Before buying a safe check all the guns sizes and take the maximum value. The safe must have a door opening greater than the maximum height of the gun so the gun can be easily inserted/removed (you can also add 30-50mm).
    You can also order a special stash for money or documents, it can be placed directly in the safe. Also, the ideal situation is when the location of the safe is planned before the construction. In that way the color of the box, outer trim is done according to the overall style of the room.

    • Dennis Owens

      One of the most common mistakes of gun owners, and it may sound funny, is the miscalculation of the gun safe size. They often buy gun safes that looks large, but they miss the point and tend to buy a cramped safe. I would agree with you with the idea to find a safe that has various compartments for other important items like money or documents.

  • Dominick Jannes

    Car gun safes – a very useful thing. As for masking, ideally the thieves should not notice the safe. To achieve this, people often use natural, technological and luggage niches, and a prepared places. If you intend to frequently use the safe, you should not overdo it with the disguise and turn it into inaccessibility. It is best to embed safe suitable places such as the space under the rear seats, the console between the front seats and a tool niche.

    • Dennis Owens

      Car gun safes are increasing in popularity because they are very useful, compact, and can indeed become a very valuable addition as a car accessory for protection of your guns and other documents that need to be with you wherever you go.

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