- 1 Anatomy of a Gun Safe: Features, Extras, and Parts
- 2 Best Biometric Gun Safes
- 3 Best Pistol Safes (Handgun Safes)
- 4 Best Hidden Gun Safes
- 5 Best Long Gun Safes (Rifle Safes)
- 6 Best Fireproof Gun Safe
- 7 Best Cheap Gun Safes Under $150
- 8 Tax Rebate Potential for a New Gun Safe
- 9 How to Avoid Gun Safe Fire Damage
- 10 How to Avoid Humidity and Water Damage to Your Gun Safe
- 11 How to Avoid Theft of Your Gun Safe
- 12 Importance of Installing a Gun Safe at Home
- 13 Conclusion
Gun safes are often considered an acceptable way to store rifles, shotguns, handguns, and other firearm types. Some U.S. states, such as California, have specific regulatory standards which gun safes are required to meet. There are several benefits that come with having a gun safe on your property.
- You can prevent the theft of your guns during a burglary or robbery.
- It will keep your children away from your firearms when the safe is properly managed.
- Fire-rated gun safes can protect your firearms from heat and smoke damage.
- The best gun safes offer additional space to store valuables.
- You can add value to your home if you permanently install a gun safe.
With several manufacturers offering gun safes for sale, it can be difficult to know which models can provide you with the features and benefits your collection requires. By taking the time to read through the best gun safe reviews, you will be able to make the right choice, the first time around.
Anatomy of a Gun Safe: Features, Extras, and Parts
Before we get into the reviews, there is alot of information regarding key features to consider before buying a gun safe. Some gun safes offer some extras if you’re willing to spend a little extra. You will also find that there are some parts which may need a little extra care and maintenance than others on the modern gun safe. Here is a brief overview of the various features, extras, and parts you’ll want to know about.
- Alarm – The best gun safe alarms today will provide you with a lot of information. You’ll know when the door to your safe opens or closes, which is a big deal. Modern alarms will also sound if a humidity threshold is reached that could put your firearms in danger. You can set a high point and a low point on many alarms. Some alarms offer a motion sensor that triggers if the gun safe is moved without your authorization. You can also find alarms which offer heat sensors, temperature sensors, or fire sensors to let you know that your safe might be in danger.
- Anti-Pry Tabs – Gun safe manufacturers typically include this feature on their upper-end models. These tabs are secured on the pin-bar brackets of the safe to reduce the chances of someone using a crowbar or similar device to pry open the door. The anti-pry tabs are installed in the doors and frames, working with the bolts of the safe to keep intruders away from your items, even if they have time for multiple pry attempts.
- Ball Bearing Hinges – On the modern gun safe, the internal and external hinges are ball-bearing operated. For maximum protection, these hinges should be fully welded. They should include active bolts on all 4 sides of the door interior to prevent door removal as well. This feature allows a door to have a wider swing with an exterior hinge. For interior hinges, you’ll receive higher levels of protection against a prying attempt. The ball bearings will also add an automatic door stop to the gun safe to protect it against unintentional damage.
- Bolts – Bolts provide an active locking mechanism which secures the door of the gun safe to the rest of the frame. Depending on the model being purchased, you may find the bolts going through one side, two sides, or all 4 sides of the door. As a general rule of thumb, gun safes of a better series will offer you with more sides of coverage. On the higher-end models for most gun safe manufacturers, you will find anti-pry tabs installed with the bolts, especially near the hinge locations, to prevent prying attempts from being successful.
- Biometric Locks – A biometric lock provides gun safe owners with another layer of security against the unauthorized use of their firearms. This feature allows you to store fingerprint images as a password that can be used to open the safe. Most biometric locks include a numbered backup system that allows you to enter the safe if the biometrics aren’t scanning as they should. Using this feature is very easy. Place your finger on the biometric reader when prompted. The device will store the image. Then the lock opens when you place your finger on that lock once again. You can scan multiple fingers on most models to give you quick access in an emergency. You may also have the choice to scan fingerprints of authorized family members, so they can enter the safe too.
- Combination Locks – This locking feature is the traditional method of storing guns within a gun safe. By creating a unique combination, you reduce the chances that someone will be able to break into your safe. Combination locks may include a numbered code that you input with a keypad. It can also be the traditional dial-turning lock that you will find on personal padlocks and similar devices. To keep your gun safe fully protected, it is recommended that you change the combination on this lock every 90 days at minimum.
- Door Panel – The door panel is an interior storage option that can be used in a variety of ways. There may be slots for you to store handguns, ammunition, magazines, scopes, or other similar items. Door panels are also designed to provide a scratchless surface for your firearms and accessories while they are in storage. Some offer integrated pockets and holsters. You can sometimes purchase this feature separately from the gun safe. If you do, make sure the door panel cubic feet measurement matches the one on your safe.
- Electronic Lock – Electronic locks work in a similar way as a dial lock does to protect your guns when equipped to a gun safe. The difference is that you must input the code on the lock. There is no dial or other manual mechanism that can be used to open the safe. The benefit of having an electronic lock is that it will block unauthorized users from opening the door to your safe after a set number of failed attempts. If you remove the keypad, the integrity of the lock and the safe are not compromised. Look for a gun safe which offers a lifetime parts warranty with this feature for best results. The battery for an electronic lock must be changed every 6-12 months to avoid a temporary lockout from the gun safe.
- Fire Seal – Gun safes often come with a fire seal installed along the door frame, much like you would see weather-stripping installed around a door jamb at home. A good fire seal will expand to 7-10 times its normal size when a certain temperature is reached. That expansion seals off the gun safe from heat and smoke, which would damage what you have stored inside the safe. If you install your own fire seal, make sure the fire rating of this product meets or exceeds the fire rating of your gun safe.
- Fire-Resistant Insulation – To make the best gun safes become more resistant to fire damage, insulation products are used to create a barrier against the heat. The materials are installed in a similar way to the insulation that is installed within the walls of your home. Several different materials may be used to create this insulation. Manufacturers have used everything from glass blankets to ceramic wool to help maintain the structural integrity of the gun safe under difficult conditions. Some safes even use sheet rock.
- Gauge (Door thickness) – For most gun safes, the quality of steel used to create the door thickness, or gauge, determines the strength of protection that you’ll receive. If you have a gun safe which offers a ¼-inch steel plate, then you will have a product that is 9 times stronger than a door made from 11-gauge steel. The best gun safes offer a gauge that ranges from ½-inch thick to 14-gauge steel. It is important to remember that steel thickness increases as the number goes down. That means 10-gauge steel is thicker than 14-gauge steel. Always go for the thickest gauge you can afford. Track the location of where the steel was manufactured as well. Steel that is produced in China tends to be lower in strength than from other locations.
- Internal Hinges – Some gun safes have incorporated internal hinges on their doors instead of an external hinge. This feature eliminates a common pry point that is used to break into the safe. When you have an internal hinge, it is safe from tampering. There is a visual element to consider with internal hinges as well. The door of the safe fits in line with the rest of the structure, creating a clean line that evokes a modern feel. The best gun safes with internal hinges will offer some type of stopping mechanism to prevent the door from being damaged should you open it too aggressively.
- Lighting – If you own a small gun safe, then this feature is pointless. Lighting for gun safes is intended for the larger models that store multiple firearms and accessories in one location. Lighting kits do not always come standard with a large gun safe. You may need to purchase this extra separately to enjoy its benefits. Most gun safes have enough room for a thin light to be installed along the interior wall, just inside the door. Most kits feature strings of LED lights. Look for battery-operated models to take advantage of their convenience.
- Locking Mechanisms – You will find three basic locking mechanisms available today in the gun safe industry. New technologies, including the slip-clutch locking mechanism from Liberty Safes, will add new options for owners in this feature area in the coming years. Direct-drive mechanisms are the industry standard for entry-level gun safes. These work in a way that is similar to your standard home-based deadbolt. Over-center locking mechanisms are used on safes where an extra point of contact is required for safety purposes. Gear-drive mechanisms are used on the best gun safes when additional safety is required.
- Locking Bolts – The locking bolts of a gun safe can be installed in multiple locations. Some provide a deadbolt-like action, providing a single point of protection against prying. Advanced models may include multiple locking bolts along each side of the door frame. Bolt design is something to consider. You want your bolts to be made of a thick gauge, with multiple bolts per contact area, for best results. Locking bolts with fewer moving elements tend to provide better long-term results as well, because more contact points can equate to more failure points. Then consider how far the bolts go into the frame of the safe. If there is a prying attack, a deeper carriage will provide you with a better defense.
- Media Box – This feature is designed to store the various types of media that you may wish to keep in your gun safe. Anything from your warranty paperwork to your favorite CDs can be stored in there. It can also be a good place to stick a flash drive that is filled with important information. To know what can or should not be stored in the media box, check the fire safety ratings of the gun safe. If the rating is for 400° or more, then paperwork should not be stored in there at all.
- Size – The best gun safes should hold your entire gun collection. There should be enough room for your accessories as well, without a lot of clutter. Most gun safes are rated for the number of rifles they can hold. It can be easy to underestimate the size of the gun safe when you own several rifles. You must check with the manufacturer to see what rifles were used for the size rating. Many new gun safe owners find that their rated rifle storage and actual storage are two very different figures.
Best Biometric Gun Safes
1. VAULTEK VT20i Biometric Handgun Safe
- UPGRADED ANTI-THEFT PROTECTION features anti-pry bars, two point anti-impact latches, interior mounted hinges, and NEW interior security brackets for the ultimate prevention against break-ins. Available with the entire Vaultek product line up including the new VT10i.
- TOUGH AND RUGGED heavy-duty 16-gauge carbon steel construction with a durable powdercoat finish preventing corrosion and ensures long lasting protection of your belongings for years to come.
- QUICK ACCESS to your valuables, documents, and firearm(s) from the automatic opening door. Get in quick when it matters most using the rapid fire backlit keypad or biometric fingerprint scanner.
This is the best handgun gun safe for those who are looking for mobile protection. It features two-point anti-impact latches, anti-pry bars, and interior-mounted hinges. Although the exterior is made from 16-gauge carbon steel, it still feels like a solid safe with its powdercoat finish.
- Instead of replacing your batteries on the electronic locking mechanism, the manufacturer has equipped this small gun safe with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. When fully charged, it offers you up to 4 months of power support. A full recharge takes just 2.5 hours with a micro-USB kit, which comes in the box.
- Manual keys are included with the gun safe as an alternative to the biometric locking mechanism. An illuminated keypad, equipped with proximity sensors, gives you a third entry option too.
- You also have the option to toggle the hotkeys on or off whenever you wish.
- This gun safe weighs just a little over 5 pounds, which makes it suitable to go just about anywhere. A small LED interior light is available to help you retrieve items in low-light conditions.
- There’s enough space within the safe to hold two handguns and a spare clip or magazine. The profile is slim enough that it can slide underneath a car seat, slip into a drawer, or be stored under the bed.
- Although it is not fireproof or water-resistant, you will find that it gives you the quick access you require.
- The biometric scanner can sometimes be a little stubborn about letting you into the safe but the multiple layers of security you receive when needing to store a handgun or two are well worth the investment here.
Vaultek Video Review
2. SentrySafe Biometric Pistol Safe
It is the quiet entry that is impressive about this biometric handgun safe. Once the lock scans your fingerprint and authorizes entry, the process is fast and quiet thanks to an equipped compression gas strut. That gives you single-hand access to your handgun if you need access in an emergency situation.
- The biometric lock is designed in such a way that it meets all current DOJ requirements for the State of California. You can also take advantage of either the electronic lock or the override key if the biometric lock isn’t working for you. A total of 4 fingerprints can be programmed into the system.
- Storage within the safe is fairly basic. The handgun sits at-the-ready, with just enough room for one standard pistol. The door is designed to be resistant against prying and features a solid steel construction.
- If you have children in your home and a single handgun to protect, then this gun safe will get the job done. There’s enough storage space to include a trigger lock and you’ll have fast access should there be a situation you need to handle.
- The only questionable aspect of this particular safe is the overall battery life. The manufacturer recommends 4 AA alkaline batteries, which are not included in the box. If the batteries die before you change them out, it can prevent you from getting into the box if you don’t have the keys available to you.
- This gun safe is not designed to prevent determine resistance either. Although it offers a pry-resistant design, it is designed to be more of a portable gun safe or a drawer option more than a permanent installation.
SentrySafe Video Review
3. BARSKA Quick Access Biometric Rifle Safe
In the world of the best rifle safes, most biometrics are equipped to small safes designed for one or two handguns. Finding an affordable rifle safe with biometric technologies can be a challenge. Thankfully, this model provides you with an instant way to improve your home defense capabilities. Not only will you be able to quickly access your rifles in an emergency, you’ll have another layer of security to prevent unauthorized use of your firearms.
- This gun safe features a solid steel design, incorporating 3 steel deadbolts and protective edges to offer protection against prying. Interior hinges add to the security provided by this safe.
- You have the option of mounting this safe almost anywhere because of its compact design. It is rated to hold up to 4 rifles. You’ll have space for handgun storage if needed as well.
- There is a hidden keyhole to give you access if the biometric sensor is not working or runs out of its battery charge. You can also equip an emergency battery pack to the lock to use the sensor if the power levels are low.
Make sure to activate the silent mode on this safe. Hold the red button for 10 seconds. This will prevent the safe from emitting its audible low battery alarm.
- If you like the idea of a biometric lock and have a few rifles to store, this gun safe will get the job done.
- We did find that this safe is a little on the small side for some rifles, so be sure the dimensions will work for you. The interior provides 52 inches in height, but only if the top shelf is removed. If you keep the shelf in place, you’ll have less than 39 inches of storage space for your rifles.
Best Pistol Safes (Handgun Safes)
1. GunVault SV500
- Quick access Digital keypad. Battery Usage : 1-9 V
- Fast Activation drop down drawer, for quick access
- 18-Gauge steel construction, with protective foam-lined interior
When you have a single pistol to safely store, this unique gun safe provides you with a quick access solution that is difficult to ignore. Using a digital keypad, you’ll be able to activate a drop-down drawer which places your firearm into a ready position.
- Just reach into the safe, grab your pistol, and then load it. You’ll be ready to defend yourself in seconds with the wall-mounted design offered. The hardware for mounting is included in the box and you have multiple options available to you, including side and vertical mounting, to give yourself the best possible results.
- The pistol safe is constructed with 18-gauge steel. A foam liner is included with the interior. You can also access the safe by using the lock situated on the front of the device.
- An interior courtesy light is included with the gun safe as well. You’ll need to have 9V battery to power the locking mechanism.
- Because of its unique drop-down device, this gun safe is surprisingly difficult to pry open. The manufacturer has included a high-strength lock mechanism that will help to keep your pistol or valuables more secure as well.
- The safe itself is a one-size-fits all solution. You can fit everything from a Ruger SR9 or a .44 Special to a smaller .380 without difficulty.
- Our one issue is noise. It opens quickly, but does not necessarily open quietly. You’ll need to make sure your mounting screws are properly installed in certain placements to make sure the vault opens as it should too.
2. SentrySafe Quick-Access Two Pistol Safe
If you’re looking for affordable gun storage for two standard handguns, then this is one of the best gun safes to consider. There is a little flexibility with this design as well. You can also choose to store a larger handgun and some extra ammunition if you prefer.
- The locking mechanism is pretty simple. There are four keypad buttons which allow you to create a unique combination. You can also override the electronic lock with a back-up key if you prefer and still benefit from the quiet opening.
- The quick-entry design of this gun safe is nice. Like other models by this manufacturer, it features an internal compression gas strut which keeps the opening process silent without compromising your speed of access. The strut will also keep the door open for you to give you single-handed access to your firearm.
- You have an interior light equipped with this gun safe as well. Unlike other models, you have the option of disabling this feature if you wish. You can also program it to provide 10 or 20 seconds off light upon opening.
- The door on this gun safe is pry-resistant, supported by a solid steel frame that limits unauthorized access to your pistols. Each handgun is stored in an at-the-ready position.
- As for the size of the gun safe, it is the perfect solution for someone wanting a pistol within reach from the bed in a nightstand or drawer. It also slips under most beds nicely. You have the floor mounting options if you wish as well.
- On some of the models (very few), the buttons may not register. You may find yourself entering the code a few times to unlock it. In this case, contact the manufacturer and either request a replacement or refund.
3. Stack-On PDS-1500 Drawer Safe
This is one of those handgun safes that gets all of the basics right. The size, shape, and weight of the gun safe is perfect to fit inside most drawers or night stands. It features two live-action steel bolts, giving you more security than other models, which only use the locking mechanism for security.
- You gain the benefit of a biometric fingerprint lock with backlighting. It accepts up to 20 fingerprints, which means you can scan your fingers from multiple angles to ensure that you can have emergency access to your pistol if needed.
- The electronic lock is very easy to program, featuring numbers instead of a row of push buttons. You’re only given 3 attempts to get the combination right before a time-out period begins instead of the 5+ attempts other models offer.
- You’re also provided with pre-drilled holes with the safe to have it mounted to the floor, your drawer, a shelf, or even the wall. All the fastening hardware you need comes in the box.
- The keys for the electronic lock do beep when pressed. That’s why the PDS-1500 is a better investment than the manufacturer’s PDS-500 model. The 1500 offers a mute button to give you a quiet opening when needed. It also features design improvements over the 500 model, including additional lock-picking resistance, to enhance its functionality as a safe. You can tell the difference between the 500 and the 1500 from the color of the top keypad. The 500 offers a silver top, while the 1500 offers a dark keypad.
- There are Youtube videos of people (and kids) opening this safe with a paperclip!
- Reports of the handle breaking within a few uses.
- Also, a very few of these safes came with bad corner welds, leaving the gun safe very vulnerable to prying open.
4. First Alert 5400DF Portable Handgun Safe
This is another one of those gun safes that is an ideal solution for those who need a portable storage solution. The foundation of the security this safe provides comes from its electronic keypad. You can program what the manufacturer calls a “no-see code” which consists of up to 8 digits.
- The exterior of the gun safe is constructed from 16-gauge powder-coated steel, supported by a spring-loaded locking mechanism that gives you fast access to your firearm.
- Like most safes that hold handguns, you’ll find an interior foam lining that protects the contents fairly well. You can also secure the safe with a 1,500-pound-tested steel cable and it can be bolted to the floor.
- Without any items, this gun safe weighs just four pounds. In return, you’ll receive a handgun safe that is large enough to comfortably hold a full-size 1911. If you prefer subcompact models, there may be enough room to store two handguns and a spare magazine or two as well.
- The one potential issue spotted with this particular model is its battery life. It lasts about 6 months under normal use with some of these models only lasting for 1 month. When the battery begins to run low, a flashing light will offer a warning indication. If the battery dies on you, then you’ll need your keys to get back into the safe.
- A very small percentage of the models experienced problems with the locking mechanism. Some stopped working and an instance where the locking pins fell out were noted.
From a pure value perspective, it is difficult to ignore the many advantages this option provides. For those with a single pistol storage need, this could easily be the best gun safe for you.
Best Hidden Gun Safes
1. Peace Keeper Gun Concealment Diversion Safe
- Fully functional and decorative rectangular clock modified to work as a diversion safe with a large secret stash compartment hidden behind the face of the clock that uses a hinge and magnetic clasp enclosure to open and close with ease
- The hidden storage space is great for hiding small valuables like keys, cash, jewelry, credit cards, etc. and also fits many types of handguns. It is felt lined to protect your belongings from damage
- It would not look out of place on a mantel, shelf, table or any other common area a clock might be found
A hidden gun safe doesn’t need to be installed inside a wall to be effective. Take this option, for example. It looks like your standard desktop clock. It is even fully functional with its clock mechanism. Why choose a diversion safe instead of a traditional gun safe? Research indicates that the typical burglar spends less than 10 minutes inside a home. They search common areas for valuables. Taking a basic desktop clock is not a top priority.
- Inside you will find a compartment that has been modified to store a single handgun. There’s enough room in their to store your credit cards, some cash, or other valuables if you wish as well. You can also choose to keep a spare magazine in there as well.
- The interior compartment of the safe is lined with felt, helping to protect your handgun from damage. You will need to store the gun vertically, with the barrel pointed downward, for convenient access.
- Although the front connects with magnets to keep the compartment closed, you do have the option to lock the gun safe with a small, basic key-based lock on the back of the item. When placed against a wall, the lock is not noticeable.
- You’ll need a single AA battery, which comes in the box, to make the clock operational.
- As for the actual clock, the ticking mechanism is a little louder than what one might expect from a similar clock. Storing items in the safe helps to reduce this sound issue.
- There is no locking mechanism, only a magnet that holds the compartment closed.
- A few models had come scuffed up and very cheaply made.
2. American Furniture Classics 611 (Rifles/Long Guns)
- Sliding gun storage behind curio display area
- Exclusively designed-Gun slider lock inside curio display area
- Lighted curio display area with glass shelves
- This diversion-based safe is one of the few that are suitable for rifle and long gun owners. It features a sliding storage area that fits behind a curio display area. The sliding mechanism locks into the curio to keep your firearms secured.
- As for the display area, it features tempered glass, adjustable shelves, and accent lighting to make it look like a well-constructed furniture item.
- In total, you can store 5 rifles in this gun safe. You can slide the cabinet in either direction for access.
- The sliding shelf is designed to work with rifles up to 48 inches in length. There is no space for handgun storage on the shelf, however, so it is designed for long gun owners only.
- It does come with locking storage behind the lower door, though the drawer is not really suited for handgun storage. You’d be better off investing into one of the best handgun safes if you only have a pistol or two to store.
- To keep costs down, the cabinet itself is not made from real wood.
- You’re also going to be responsible for the assembly of the gun safe, so give yourself a couple of hours to get the job done. The instructions are clear enough, though the illustrations can be a little confusing.
3. Covert Cabinets GS-1228 Gun Cabinet
- This unique gun cabinet offers a wall-mounted floating shelf that includes a hidden storage compartment. With its ball bearing hinge supports, the full pull out of the drawer can support up to 100 pounds.
- The interior provides you with enough space to store several handguns if you wish. You can install your own padding if you wish to increase the space. There is ample room to store multiple valuables or defensive tools for the home as well.
- In total the exterior of the cabinet is 28 inches wide and 12 inches long. The depth of the cabinet is a solid 3.5 inches.
- The lacquer finish on this cabinet is what you would expect from any furniture item within this price range. It looks good upon arrival, but needs good care to prevent scratching. If you pull the drawer out hard enough, you can jostle the contents in the drawer in a detrimental way.
- Once installed on the wall, this cabinet does look like a shelf at first glance. The drawer does not come with a handle, which helps to create the diversion effect. Accessing the drawer requires a pull from underneath, so make sure you’ve securely affixed the cabinet before use.
- There is enough space on the top of the cabinet to store items that you would normally place on a shelf, which helps to enhance the diversionary effect.
- This product cannot be classified as a gun safe because it does not lock.
- The hardware components such as the screws aren’t really good quality especially at this price point.
Best Long Gun Safes (Rifle Safes)
1. Steelwater Standard Duty 16 Long Gun Safe
When you’re shopping around for a heavy-duty long gun safe, you’ll quickly find that your options are limited. You either find entry-level safes that offer few protections or top-quality safes that offer more than what you need.
- This standard-duty option from Steelwater is one of the few good compromises between the two extremes you can find. It features 1.5-inch locking bolts, fire ratings of 1 hour, and you even receive a door organizer as part of the package.
- There are some advanced security features that you’ll find with this safe as well. The electronic lock is EMP-protected, which makes it one of the most dependable options in the industry today. Hardened steel protects the lock body from drilling and manipulation.
- As for the door, it is constructed as a 5-inch composite, which makes it very difficult to find enough leverage to pry it open.
- We love the interior of this gun safe, with its adjustable features and carpet interior, allowing you to customize how you store your rifles.
- There is an internal spring re-locking device that will even secure your safe if someone does manage to punch the lock out.
- With automated LED lighting included, you’ll find that this is one of the best overall investments in the industry when looking for a new gun safe. Install it today and the dividends will soon come.
- The primary protection for this safe comes from its locking cylinders. Anti-pry features are not included, so this safe is more about keeping children or pets out than keeping bad guys away from your rifles.
- It is possible to cut through the safe with a grinding wheel. For the price of this gun safe, it should be better at protection.
2. Paragon Lock and Safe 8 Rifle Gun Cabinet
If your rifle storage needs are more on the basic side, then this might just be the best gun safe for you.
- This safe is designed to hold up to 8 rifles, up to 47.5 inches in length.
- Gray carpet and padding are available on the inside and bottom of the safe to add another layer of storage protection for your long guns.
- As for the safe itself, it is constructed from a powder-coated 18-gauge steel. That may place the gun safe on the thinner side, but the overall security it provides for your firearms is still a benefit to the home.
- Within the interior, you’ll find another locking cabinet available to you for additional security. The interior cabinet locks with a different set of keys, which allows you to keep your ammunition separate from your rifles while still in the same gun safe.
- The safe itself is light enough that you can place it almost anywhere in the home.
- Keep in mind that this gun safe is not fire-rated.
- The interior design doesn’t work very well if your firearms have short carbines since the rifle separator is placed in such a high location. Some owners may find the included anchor bolts may be difficult to use with their intended setup as well.
If you need something basic and functional, without a lot of features or gimmicks, you will appreciate what this gun safe can provide for your home. It protects against a basic smash-and-grab while stopping the curious from playing with your firearms.
Best Fireproof Gun Safe
1. Mesa Safe Company Model MBF3820E
What makes this gun safe the best against a fire is the overall quality of its construction.
- It offers a ½-inch thick solid steel door that has been lined with fire-resistant materials, which help to give it a 2-hour fire rating. It also comes with a heat-activated seal to prevent heat and smoke from entering the safe.
- There are multiple setups permitted within this safe as well. You are given two interior shelves that can be removed or adjusted at your discretion.
- Comes with a pre-drilled anchor hole to reinforce your placement.
- The gun safe is large enough that it is difficult to move when fully loaded, yet small and light enough that you can place it almost anywhere in your home. Changing the combination is a simple process.
- There are no issues with the door as it opens and closes. The manufacturer has installed a power strip on the inside of the safe, giving you options for lighting or anti-humidity equipment.
- You can also install pistol racks within this safe to give yourself some extra room.
- The external hinges for the door are easily accessible from the front. Although the security options are very high and prying the hinges off is virtually impossible, some may see this feature as a potential threat.
- It should be noted that the fire rating comes from the manufacturer and not an independent verifier.
- The brand’s customer service has some complaints as they aren’t too helpful
All in all, this is a safe that performs as advertised.
Best Cheap Gun Safes Under $150
1. Stack-On GCB-BRTA 8-Gun Security Cabinet
- Includes a removable steel shelf
- Stack-On patented barrel rests are included
- 3-point locking System with double-bitted key coded lock provides greater security
If you’re looking for a way to affordable store your rifles or long guns, then this security cabinet provides an option worth considering.
- It is rated to hold 8 rifles or shotguns up to 52 inches in length.
- The assembly process is pretty straightforward and should take about 30 minutes to complete for most homes.
- One small shelf is available to you on the inside of the safe, which is about half of the cabinet depth. It’s enough space to hold a couple of magazines or a couple of boxes of ammunition.
- If you’re looking for a secure way to store your shotguns or rifles away from curious fingers on a tight budget, then this security cabinet might be just what you need.
- There is foam padding on the bottom of the safe, along with extra padding on the barrel rests, to help prevent common forms of storage damage.
- It is important to note that this product is not officially a gun safe. The steel of the product is about 18-gauge, so the walls are fairly thin. The locking mechanism is pretty basic as well, offering a 3-point system with a double-bitted coded key.
- For gun owners looking to protect against fire or flood damage, this product may not make the grade.
- If you have large scoped rifles, you may find the length requirements of the firearm exceed the capacity capabilities of the cabinet.
2. STEALTH Handgun Hanger Safe
- Holds 3 Handguns at the Ready and 2 Handguns Flat - Max Capcity: 5
- Quick Access Spring Loaded Drop Down Door with Red Interior Light and Optional Silent Mode
- Solid Steel Construction with Anti-Pry Tabs and High Strength Locking Latch - Straw and Pick proof with New Welded Lock Housing
If you only own handguns, then a large gun safe isn’t the right investment. Consider a handgun hanger safe like this one instead.
- Despite its compact size, there is still enough room to store 5 handguns in this safe. Three are stored at the ready for you, while two are able to lie flat on the bottom of the safe.
- It features a silent mode for access in an emergency situation.
- A red interior light allows you to comfortably see the interior of the safe in daylight or night conditions. The light is positioned centrally on the ceiling of the safe, so if you have a pistol stored in the center location, it will reduce the amount of interior illumination you’re able to receive.
- The design features a spring-loaded drop-down door that opens quickly once you unlock the safe. It has a solid steel construction, with anti-pry tabs added to the design, which makes it difficult to penetrate. The lock is also pick-proof and is set in a welding housing.
- As for the interior, it features a layer of high-density foam to protect your handguns. Scratch-resistant rods help to keep your firearms safe.
- To lock down this safe, it comes with a free security cable. You are also given for bolt-down holes. Since it weighs just 20 pounds when empty, some owners may be able to install this gun safe within a wall when properly anchored.
- A very few of the models came with defective locks or the keypad stopped working after a few months.
This is a solid gun safe and its affordability just makes it an even better investment.
Tax Rebate Potential for a New Gun Safe
At this point in time, there are no tax rebates offered in the United States when you purchase a gun safe. There are a handful of states which have passed laws which exempt gun safes from local sales tax charges. If you live in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, or Washington, then you can purchase your gun safe without paying the state’s sales tax. If you have the equipment, you can travel to one of these states to purchase your gun safe free from sales tax as well, which can be as high as 10% in some counties. For gun owners who run a business that involves their firearms, the purchase of a gun safe may register as a qualified expense that could be deducted from their business income. You will find that some manufacturers will also offer rebates or other special deals if you purchase a gun safe from them. Browning regularly offers special promotions which offer cash back with an easy-to-use rebate system.
How to Avoid Gun Safe Fire Damage
Although a gun safe holds your firearms, it will also hold personal records, some cash, and other valuables you want to keep safe. When considering the issue of fire, there are only a handful of locations that make sense.
- Those locations include the basement, the garage, or an insulated room within the interior ground floor of your property. The issue with any of these locations is user convenience. If you need to get into your gun safe quickly to protect your loved ones and property, then trying to access one of these locations takes a lot of time.
- That is why it is important to pay attention to the fire ratings earned by each gun safe. These fire ratings should be independently verified to ensure you’re receiving the highest possible protection against a fire. Fire ratings are based on the outside temperature which impacts the gun safe. You will receive a measurement based on the amount of time it can withstand that exposure. For example: if you purchase a 60-minute certified gun safe that is fire resistant at 1350°, then the interior temperature is guaranteed not to exceed the warrantied temperature for 60 minutes. The warrantied temperature is usually 350°, as the is the temperature where paper begins to discolor within the safe. Choose the length of time you believe will be necessary for emergency officials to respond, then extinguish a fire at your home. Fire safety ratings typically range between 30-120 minutes.
How to Avoid Humidity and Water Damage to Your Gun Safe
Even if you live in a low humidity location, you may find that moisture buildup within your gun safe can be problematic. If humidity levels are too high within the safe, then it can cause the firearms to start corroding. That means the internal parts may begin to stick, which could create a potential misfire if the gun was not properly cleaned and maintained before use. There are several ways that humidity and moisture can creep into your new gun safe. Internal environments tend to have more moisture. If you live in a tropical climate, then these levels will build very quickly.
- Your best option is to install a gun safe dehumidifier. These elements heat up to 140°, keeping the inside of the safe at a constant temperature, which reduces humidity levels inside the safe.
- If your gun safe is of a smaller size, then consider adding silica packets with your gun during storage. The silica will absorb the moisture within the safe to reduce humidity levels. Although you will find these packets with food products, like beef jerky, it is better to purchase new ones to store in your safe.
- You can also use certain authorized sealants to improve the water-resistance of the safe, such as silicone, foam, or caulking. For most safes, the sealant should be applied at the door jamb inside the case.
- If your gun safe doesn’t have a sealant to prevent moisture intrusion, you may void your warranty by making this modification. Check with your manufacturer before doing so.
- Then make sure you regularly inspect, clean, and maintain your firearms. Even with these measures in place, there is still a threat that corrosion could occur.
How to Avoid Theft of Your Gun Safe
If someone breaks into your home when you’re not around, the gun safe will become a top target. You have two issues to consider here: theft of your firearms and theft of the gun safe.
- Preventing the theft of your gun safe is fairly simple; just bolt your new safe to the floor or the wall where it will be installed. Look inside the safe to find the anchor holes. Then use a cement anchor for best results.
- You can also anchor your gun safe directly to the floor or wall studs if the weight requirements of the safe can be met at your installation location.
The bigger issue is making it difficult to remove your firearms from your property. There are several types of locks that you can use to improve the security of each gun.
- Trigger locks are designed to prevent a gun from being loaded or fired by an unauthorized user. Most new guns are sold with a trigger lock today.
- Gun cases provide a legal lock for firearm transportation. If your gun safe is large enough, this will give you two locks of security to protect your firearm.
- Cable locks are designed to block the action of your firearm, which stops the action of a shotgun or rifle from being closed. When equipped to a pistol, this safety measure prevents the magazine from being loaded.
- Padlocks can be used between the trigger guard and the back side of the trigger to prevent unauthorized use, though they don’t provide much against theft protection.
Securing your gun safe, then securing your firearms within the safe using these ideas, will be your best protection against theft.
Importance of Installing a Gun Safe at Home
Installing a gun safe is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your firearms from unauthorized use. Now you’re ready to take these final steps to ensure that your home can be accident-free.
1. Preventing Gun Theft
Although some people like to advertise the fact that the own firearms, gun owners should do the opposite. Firearms are not a toy. They are tools that are used to accomplish specific goals, from self-protection to sporting uses. To prevent gun theft, the first step must be to avoid talking about your gun safe. Don’t post pictures of your safe or your guns on social media. Make sure that your guns are properly locked when in storage as well. Leave your guns unloaded whenever possible. You may wish to consider purchasing a separate safe for storing your ammunition if you own several firearms.
Then use these common-sense tips.
- Remove any bumper stickers from your vehicle which promote gun companies and brands.
- Reduce attention to yourself by avoiding apparel which promotes gun ownership or use.
- Never leave firearms unattended in your vehicle, even in your trunk.
- Make sure that your guns, and any other expensive equipment, are fully insured.
The idea here isn’t to hide the fact that you support gun ownership or the Second Amendment. It is to make sure that your guns don’t get into the hands of someone else.
2. Promoting Gun Safety
There is a fear about firearms because they are viewed as a weapon instead of as a tool. Although the majority of firearms are purchased for self-defense, they offer a number of different uses as well.
- The best way to promote gun safety is to show others how to safely use these tools. Programs like Project ChildSafe bring education about firearms to parents and gun owners, providing resources that help to make sure everyone gets on the same page. Talk with your local law enforcement agency about gun safety programs they might offer in your community. If you have the time, consider volunteering some time there to help others understand what guns are.
It is also essential that everyone in the home follow the fundamental rules for gun safety.
- Keep the gun pointed in a safe direction at all times and away from people!
- Always keep your finger off the trigger of the gun until you are ready to fire it.
- Guns should be kept unloaded until they are ready to use, which should include an inspection of the chamber.
If you are unsure how to open the action of your firearm, or inspect its chamber, then leave it alone and get help from someone who can show you want to do.
Many communities are passing laws that hold gun owners responsible for the unauthorized use of a firearm for harm. The best way to protect your guns from unauthorized use is to properly and securely store them when they are not being used. That means every gun owner should own a gun safe of some type.
- If a gun safe is not in your budget, then at the very least, use the trigger lock which comes in the box with your firearm. Then store the gun in a location that is difficult for children to reach.
- From 1974-2000, 65% of attackers using a gun at school got their firearm from either their home or the home of a relative. Keep it locked up.
- Keep your keys in a hidden location. If your budget can manage it, purchase a gun safe which utilizes biometric locks.
- Never lend out your gun to a friend or family member. This may be illegal.
- Report any thefts immediately. If something goes wrong and your gun is used to commit a crime, that report will prove that your firearm was not taken with your consent.
4. Keeping Children, Pets, and Other People Away from Your Gun Safe
It can be difficult to balance the need to have your gun safe placed in a convenient location, yet away from the kids and pets in your home.
Here are some of the best options to consider.
- Under the bed gun safes can be secured to your bed frame, limiting access from curious fingers while still having quick access to your firearms.
- Biometric safes have locks based on your fingerprints, which means you can program who has access and who does not.
- For handgun storage, a drawer safe may be an option for some homes if the drawer is out of reach from children.
- Use the trigger locks that come with your gun. If you do not have one for your firearm, the gun manufacturer offers an affordable lock you can order from most gun retailers.
- Make sure that you change your combinations frequently.
- Keep your gun unloaded when you store it. If possible, store your ammunition separately.
Gun safes provide you with another layer of security on your property. They help to keep fire and moisture away from your firearms while preventing unauthorized access. With the many benefits they provide, a gun safe is a reasonable investment to consider. Hopefully, this gun safe guide has covered many aspects of gun safes you were looking for and maybe some details here that you weren’t aware of. The primary goal is to provide enough information to make a wise buying decision for a gun safe which provides the utmost safety. With all this new knowledge, go ahead and choose the best gun safe for your needs today!