- 1 Types of Gun Safes
- 2 Important Gun Safe Qualities
- 3 Best Gun Safes on the Market
- 3.1 BEST BIOMETRIC GUN SAFE:
- 3.2 BEST CAR GUN SAFE:
- 3.3 BEST FIREPROOF GUN SAFE
- 3.4 BEST QUICK ACCESS GUN SAFE:
- 3.5 BEST PORTABLE GUN SAFE:
- 3.6 BEST LONG GUN SAFE:
- 3.7 BEST HOME GUN SAFE:
- 3.8 BEST BEDSIDE GUN SAFE:
- 3.9 BEST HANDGUN SAFE:
- 3.10 BEST GUN SAFE UNDER $2000:
- 3.11 BEST GUN SAFE UNDER $1500:
- 3.12 BEST GUN SAFE UNDER $1000:
- 3.13 BEST GUN SAFE UNDER $500:
- 3.14 BEST GUN SAFE UNDER $300:
- 3.15 BEST GUN SAFE UNDER $200:
- 3.16 BEST GUN SAFE (OVERALL):
- 4 Best Gun Safe Conclusion
A gun safe is the metal container that can store firearms, ammunition, and other valuables such as jewelry or personal documents. Gun safes are designed to lock out burglars and other unauthorized people such as children, while also being able to resist physical damage and fire for an extend period of time. In today’s world, gun safes have largely eclipsed wooden cabinets as the best way to store guns. The reason why is because the best gun safe is meant to provide protection and security, not look pretty.
No two gun safes are created equal. There are many different gun safes that use different locking systems, constructed from different materials, or are made for different purposes. If you’re on the market for your first gun safe but don’t know what to get, we’re here to help.
In this extended article, we will cover the different types of gun safes on the market, the pros and cons of each, the qualities you need to look for in a gun safe, and then the best gun safes by category.
Short On Time? Here Is The Bullet List
- BEST BIOMETRIC GUN SAFE: GUNBOX BIOMETRIC SAFE
- BEST CAR GUN SAFE: GUNVAULT MV-500 STD
- BEST FIREPROOF GUN SAFE: STACK-ON EXECUTIVE FIRE SAFE
- BEST QUICK ACCESS GUN SAFE: V-LINE SLIDE AWAY
- BEST PORTABLE GUN SAFE: SENTRY PP1K PORTABLE PISTOL SAFE
- BEST LONG GUN SAFE: MESA 30 GUN FIRE RESISTANT SAFE
- BEST HOME GUN SAFE: BARSKA BIOMETRIC FLOOR SAFE
- BEST BEDSIDE GUN SAFE: GUNVAULT SV5000 SPEEDVAULT HANDGUN SAFE
- BEST HANDGUN SAFE: FORT KNOX PERSONAL PISTOL BOX
- BEST GUN SAFE UNDER $2000: SNAP SAFE MODULAR TITAN SAFE
- BEST GUN SAFE UNDER $1500: STACK-ON 28 RIFLE FIRE RESISTANT SAFE
- BEST GUN SAFE UNDER $1000: MESA COMPANY 14 RIFLE GUN SAFE
- BEST GUN SAFE UNDER $500: STACK-ON FIRE RESISTANT GUN SAFE
- BEST GUN SAFE UNDER $300: STACK-ON 10 GUN DOUBLE DOOR STEEL SECURITY CABINET
- BEST GUN SAFE UNDER $200: STACK-ON 8 GUN STEEL SECURITY CABINET
- BEST OVERALL GUN SAFE: STEELWATER EXTREME DUTY GUN SAFE
**Below are our more detailed reviews. Click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Types of Gun Safes
In its most basic form, a gun safe is simply a secure storage unit for holding firearms, ammunition, and other valuable and that can be locked. In some areas of the country, gun safes are required for gun owners because certain jurisdictions require that all firearms be held secure. Even if you are a gun owner and not required to own a gun safe to store your guns where you live, you should still consider buying one. The best gun safes can protect your guns and valuables against burglars, children, fire, natural disasters, and water.
The concept of gun safes has existed for much longer than you may think. In the early 1700s when the United States was a colony of Britain, many gun laws existed. For example, in Boston it became illegal to fire a gun within city limits in 1713. Throughout the 1700s, the storage of guns, black powder, and ammunition in the home was regulated. It was during these times that the first gun cabinets become popular with Americans. People needed a way to keep their guns secure in their home. Granted, many of these cabinets were incredibly nice looking and in the home primary for decoration, but others had locking mechanisms that were designed to resist unauthorized individuals from accessing the weapons.
Eventually, someone got the idea to use metal locking cabinets instead of wooden ones to store guns, and the gun safe as we know it today was born. Today gun cabinets are almost exclusively reserved for decorative or display pieces rather than for serious security use because they have simply became obsolete in the wake of the gun safe.
Gun safes continue to evolve, and there are a great variety of safes ranging from their locking type to how many guns or the types of guns they can hold and so on. Some safes are more traditional and utilize a standard key lock for a locking mechanism, while others may only open when the correct code is typed into a keypad. Recently, gun safes have become even more advanced with the advent of biometric safes that use fingerprint recognition from an authorized person to open.
Gun safes are also available at a wide range of different prices as well, which we will talk about more closely in this article when we discuss the best gun safes by price. Others are designed to store just handguns and to be carried around in your car while others are still designed to hold multiple long guns in your home. Regardless of what you need a gun safe for or what your budget is, what’s important to note for now is the types of locks for gun safes. Let’s go over what the most popular types of gun safes are by lock.
We also have created specific gun safe buyers guides that offer more options. This article covers the over all best gun safe in each category but if you are looking for a specific type of safe check out the individual buyers guides.
Key Lock Gun Safe
A key lock gun safe is the most simple type of gun safe there is. It uses a standard lock and key in order to lock and open. Most key lock gun safes will come with at least two keys so that you’re not out of luck in the event that you use yours. Key lock gun safes are also reinforced with a strong and durable steel plating and live bolts so that they cannot be pried open or drilled through.
Electronic Lock Gun Safe
Electronic gun safes utilize a keypad locking system that is either electric or battery operated. The keypads vary in how many numbers they are programmable for but most safes vary from four up to six. The codes can also easily be reprogrammed for additional security in the event that you suspect someone has found out your current codes. You may still not trust an electronic gun safe if it’s locked only with the keypad. What’s to stop an intruder from bypassing the keypad and trying to open the safe to gain access to the contents inside? The answer lies in the physical design of the safe. Electronic gun safes use live locking bolts that don’t allow the door to be pried open on its own.
Most electronic gun safes are also constructed out of a very tough steel so that they cannot be drilled through as well. And since there are literally millions of different possible combinations for a six digit code, it seems heavily unlikely that an ordinary thief would be able to gain access into your electronic gun safe. It’s important that you take care of the keypad on your safe with great care because it is not invulnerable to corrosion, damage from water, or damage from fire. You also have to keep the code a secret at all costs because if anyone finds out about it, there will be nothing to stop them from getting into your safe.
Biometric Gun Safe
Biometric gun safes use more advanced technology. They come installed with a fingerprint recognition sensor that can program up to thirty authorized fingerprints in order to open.
The advantage to this is two-fold:
- This is one of the most secure methods of locking up your safe.
- It’s very quick and easy to unlock, meaning that you can open the safe and access your gun inside in a hurry in the event of a home invasion.
As with electronic gun safes, biometric gun safes also come equipped with a durable locking mechanism and a strong steel plating, so they cannot be pried open or drilled through.
The biggest downside to biometric gun safes is the price. Since they use a more advanced technology, they are naturally more expensive. You can buy a cheaper biometric safe if you want to but this is not especially recommended because they won’t be able to store as many authorized fingerprints. The cheaper versions also have a higher ejection rate than the more expensive models meaning they may not always recognize a fingerprint that has been authorized.
Wheel and Pin Combination Lock Gun Safe
With a wheel and pin combination lock gun safe, the pine wheel will have a combination of at least three numbers that will need to be turned in the exact order if the safe is to unlock and open. Many gun owners prefer this kind of gun safe because it is arguably the most resistant to fire or flooding; whereas fire or water can damage the biometric system or keypad of a biometric or electronic safe. For example, the wheel and pin combination lock gun safe will generally not be susceptible to these hazards. On the flip side of things, you also have to make sure that each of your chosen numbers are not close together. If the numbers are too close together, the dial may skip your selected number.
Multiple Lock Gun Safe
The multiple lock gun safe, as the name suggests, uses at least two locking systems in order to open. Most models will allow you to set only one lock or both of them if that is what you desire. A few models may require that both locks be secured and then unlocked to reopen the safe. These models are far better for security, but they also put you at a disadvantage if you need to get to your gun quickly should there be an intruder in your house. The most common types of multiple lock gun safes being sold on the market today are key locks with digital keypads or biometric systems with digital keypads.
Important Gun Safe Qualities
It can be an understandably difficult task to search for the best gun safe that fits your needs. Reading this article so far has hopefully informed you that there are more types of gun safes than you might have initially anticipated, but that doesn’t mean that the process for searching for one needs to be any more confusing. To help you think about what you need, we’ll go over the different qualities that you should look for when buying a safe. Remember that there is no such thing as a universally best gun safe, but there is such a thing as the best gun safe for your needs. Because not everyone will need a gun safe for the same reason, we will discuss the importance of size, quality, lock style, security rating, fire rating, weight, cost, and warranty when determining the best gun safe for your needs.
Size of the Gun Safe
This is perhaps the most important quality to look for in a safe. You shouldn’t spend money on a gun safe that’s too big for the few guns that you have, but you also would be wasting money on a small gun safe that can’t hold all of your guns. In fact, the number one reason for why gun safes are returned to the store is because they weren’t big enough to fit the customer’s needs. In order to determine the right size of gun safe for you, first decide the amount of storage you need.
- Do you want to keep in your bedroom or office to store your long guns?
- Do you want to have it bolted onto the wall by your bedside?
- Do you want to travel with it in your car?
Once you know what you need the safe for, then you will have a better idea on the size you need. If you’re only going to store one gun and a spare magazine in a portable car safe, for example, then your safe does not need to be very big at all. On the other hand, if you want to store your entire collection of hunting rifles, shotguns, and all of your ammunition, you’re going to need a pretty tall and wide safe.
Quality of the Gun Safe
Take our word for it: Not all gun safes are created equal. Some safes are higher quality than others, meaning they’re made out of more durable metals and can better resist fire and water. Regardless of what type of safe you want or what you will be using it for, quality is of utmost importance. A simple thin metal cabinet is not going to resist burglars or fires, so why would you want to waste your money?
Your safe needs to be high enough quality that it can last you for your entire life and be passed on down to future generations. A thin metal cabinet is not going to protect your guns from burglars or a fire, it also isn’t going to last you for the rest of your life. A gun safe is not just something that you buy and forget about – It’s an investment. Whether you’ve spent a lot of money investing in the guns you own or you inherited them from family members, it’s important that you have a quality gun safe to keep them secured.
Beyond the body of the gun safe, another important component that needs to be very well made is the door. After all, the door is what gives you access to the items inside, right? The door of your gun safe needs to be a minimum of a quarter inch of solid steel. The more expensive safes will use a steel door that measures up to a half inch.
Lock of the Gun Safe
We already talked about the locks that gun safes use in our discussion of the different types of safes, but we’ll talk about it again here. The type of lock that your gun safe uses is one of the biggest features that you will need to think about. Your lock is what determines how easily or with how much difficulty an intruder will be able to break into your safe. It also determines how quickly you will be able to open the safe as well in the event of a home invasion. While we can’t tell you what the best gun safe lock is, what we can tell you is a series of tips that will help you make a choice.
When looking for an electronic safe, look for one that is EMP resistant so that your safe will not be disabled in the event of an EMP attack. S&G safes tend to use electronic locks that are EMP resistant. If resistance against intruders if your first priority, then you should go with a multiple lock safe so that they have as many hoops to jump over as possible before they can get into your safe. If being able to access your guns quickly in a home invasion scenario is your first priority, then a multiple lock gun safe should be the last safe that you choose for the same reasons.
Since electronic locks are factory sealed, any kind of warranty they ship with should become void once they are opened so keep this in mind. Electronic locks are not as maintenance heavy as you may think – the only real maintenance involved is having to replace the battery every few months. If you opt for a mechanical lock system, you would be wise to have it service at least once every three to five years by a certified technician. Biometric, electronic, and wheel and pin combination locks offer the best protection against intruders. If intruder security is your top priority, avoid going with a simple key lock gun safe.
Security Rating of the Safe
The security rating of your safe is another important quality to look at, regardless of what you want to protect in your safe. Most people who buy a gun safe do so in order to protect firearms, ammunition, money, personal documents, old family photos, baseball cards, jewelry, or a combination of those items. As a general rule of thumb, go with a gun safe that has a BF rating at the very least.
Fire Rating of the Safe
Fire ratings are another top consideration that you need to take into account when on the market for a safe. As a general rule of thumb, go for a safe that has a fire rating of at least one hour. Any safe with less protection than that is not going to be very effective at adequately protecting your guns and other valuables from a home fire. A majority of gun safes being sold, however, are designed with a fire rating of only thirty minutes or less. Why would you want to spend your money on a safe that cannot protect your guns and other valuables from a fire for at least an hour? Many home fires can even last more than an hour!
As we mentioned before, gun safes are an investment. They are designed to protect your guns that you spent your hard earned money on or that otherwise have strong sentimental value to you. A fire rating of at least one hour is also imperative if you will also be using your gun safe to store important and personal documents. In fact, many people buy gun safes just for the sole purpose of storing their personal documents. Regardless, paper burns at a temperature of 451 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, most house fires will burn anywhere from 800 up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. A safe with less than one hour of fire protection is not going to protect your personal documents long enough for them to last through the house fire.
The overall fire rating on your safe will also be partially influenced by the fire seal on the door. Some cheap gun safes don’t even have a fire seal. A good fire seal provides two benefits for you:
- It helps to boost the fire rating of the safe by resisting heat and flames.
- It also helps to resist water and moisture, which are natural enemies of guns.
If any moisture or humidity gets on your guns, it can cause even the nicest of your guns to rust. What’s neat about fire seals, however, is what when a fire is occurring the seal will actually expand in order to block out the smoke and fire from entering the safe. It will also expand when in contact with water that may be sprayed onto the safe to put out the fire. The best fire seals are capable of expanding up to five or six times their original size, which will seal the entire space in between the door and frame of the safe.
Weight of the Safe
If a gun safe is constructed out of steel, it’s going to be heavier than any kind of a RSC safe. The point of this is that one way you can compare how quality your safe is will be to compare the weights. A steel safe is not just heavier than an RSC safe, it’s also more durable and offers more ample protection as well. However, even if the RSC and the steel safe are of roughly the same height, width, and diameter, the steel safe is going to be a lot heavier. Just by looking at the weight of the two safes should be enough to tell you which one is more durable even if you don’t know that one is steel and the other is an RSC.
Another reason to look at the weight of the gun safe is to determine how durable it will be because gun safe manufacturers will utilize all sorts of tricks in an attempt to get their customers to believe that their safe is better than the safes of their competitors. However, something that no gun safe manufacturer will be able to mislead their customers about is the weight of the safe. An RSC gun safe that’s about 60 inches tall will weigh anywhere from 400 to 800 pounds. Although this may sound like a lot, you will realize that a steel gun safe of the same height will way twice that much at around 1,000 to 1600 pounds. In fact, a 60 inch steel safe without any kind of fireproofing should weigh 600 to 700 pounds on its own.
The only real downside to a heavier gun safe is the fact it’s more of a pain to move. However, do not let the hassle of moving the safe influence your decision not to buy a heavier one. Remember that a gun safe is an investment, and it’s also one of the most important investments that you can make if you are a gun owner. A heavier gun safe is always going to be the stronger and more durable one, so it’s also going to be the wiser investment.
Cost of Safe
In the end, it all comes down to price, right? No one’s that denying that gun safes are expensive. Yes, you can buy models for only a couple hundred dollars, and we will discuss some of these models later when we talk about the best individual gun safes by category. Many of the highest rated gun safes can cost up to a 1,000 or more dollars. This may sound like a lot of money until you take into account the fact that your safe could be protecting $10,000 to $15,000 worth of guns and other valuables. Suddenly, a $1,000 gun safe doesn’t seem all that expensive, does it?
At the same time, you can’t buy a gun safe that you can’t afford. Spending money that you don’t have is easily the worst financial habit that you can get into and you don’t want to start here. Therefore, you’ll want to find a gun safe that strikes the right balance between both being within your budget and being high quality enough so that it’s actually a worth investment. A good rule of thumb to follow is for your gun safe’s retail price to be between ten percent to thirty percent of the total value of the contents that will be stored inside of it. Any gun safe that goes beyond this figure may just become unreasonable, while any safe that’s less is likely not going to be a worthy investment.
How a safe falls in that ten to thirty percent rage will be dependent on a variety of different factors. If you have ten guns that are each worth $500, then that’s a $5,000 collection of guns and in the ten to thirty percent range, you should expect to pay between $1,000 to $1,500 for a safe. What if you have a few guns in your collection that are worth thousands of dollars on their own? What if you have had guns passed down to you that have high sentimental value and are not replaceable? In this kind of an instance, it’s not implausible for your gun collection to be worth tens of thousands of dollars or for some of your guns to be even priceless to you.
This kind of a situation, under the ten to thirty percent guideline, would require that you buy a safe that cost several thousand dollars. If you don’t have this kind of money, does this mean that you just don’t buy a safe at all? The answer is no, but it does mean that you may have to break the ten to thirty percent guideline while still buying the best quality safe that is within your budget. Buying a safe that’s worth ten to thirty percent of the contents within it is only a guideline; it’s not a rule. It does at least give you a general idea of the amount of money that you should be prepared to spend on a safe if you truly value the items that you will be storing inside of it.
Warranty of Safe
Last but not least, you should not ignore the warranty that comes with your safe. Some safes don’t even come with a warranty, while others come with lifetime coverage for either the whole safe or the individual pieces of it. Only you can decide if a good warranty is something that you are willing to spend more money on. Replacing a broken lock on a safe can cost you anywhere from $500 to $1,000, so having a good warranty that covers that cost would be nice and save you money. In contrast to this, if you don’t think your lock ever will become damaged or if several hundred dollars is no issue to you, then there’s probably no issue to not having a warranty at all.
So far in this article, we have learned about the different types of gun safes and the qualities and factors that you need to take into account when on the market for one. For the rest of this article now, we’ll go over what we feel are the best gun safes available on the market by category. If you’ve been looking for a gun safe in a particular category, the specific safe that we recommend for that category should definitely the safe that you look into for your home or car.
Best Gun Safes on the Market
BEST BIOMETRIC GUN SAFE:
Reading this article you have learned about what the different types of gun safes on the market, the qualities to look for when buying a gun safe, and the best gun safes by category. This information is intended to help make your search for a personal gun safe easier, so you can more carefully narrow your choices and make the best educated decision. Thank you for visiting Reloadingpresso.com. If our article has helped you make a decision about the best gun safe for you, please click through to Amazon using one of our buy buttons. We are an Amazon Affiliate website and how we keep our website running is through the small commission we receive when you purchase a gun safe from Amazon after visiting our site. There is no extra expense for you – the price is the same as if you went to Amazon directly. For more information on gun accessories please visit our website.
BEST CAR GUN SAFE:
BEST FIREPROOF GUN SAFE
BEST QUICK ACCESS GUN SAFE:
BEST PORTABLE GUN SAFE:
BEST LONG GUN SAFE:
BEST HOME GUN SAFE:
BEST BEDSIDE GUN SAFE:
BEST HANDGUN SAFE:
BEST GUN SAFE UNDER $2000:
BEST GUN SAFE UNDER $1500:
BEST GUN SAFE UNDER $1000:
BEST GUN SAFE UNDER $500:
BEST GUN SAFE UNDER $300:
BEST GUN SAFE UNDER $200:
BEST GUN SAFE (OVERALL):
Best Gun Safe Conclusion
Reading this article you have learned about what the different types of gun safes on the market, the qualities to look for when buying a gun safe, and the best gun safes by category. This information is intended to help make your search for a personal gun safe easier, so you can more carefully narrow your choices and make the best educated decision.
Thank you for visiting Reloadingpresso.com. If our article has helped you make a decision about the best gun safe for you, please click through to Amazon using one of our buy buttons. We are an Amazon Affiliate website and how we keep our website running is through the small commission we receive when you purchase a gun safe from Amazon after visiting our site. There is no extra expense for you – the price is the same as if you went to Amazon directly. For more information on gun accessories please visit our website.