Gun Safe Reviews and Buying Guide

For securing and protecting your firearms or ammunition, a best gun safe is a necessity.  They will avert entry by untrained and unapproved people.  They are used to protect you against burglary, damage from fires, floods, or other disasters from nature.  In many states in the USA, it is mandatory to have a gun lock, gun safe, or metal gun cabinet.

Used many years ago, gun cabinets were made of the best wood with glass doors by the Amish and Quakers.  Many were ornate with cow hoof feet, etched glass, embossed tin, and copper, antlers, and much more.

The antiques can still be bought at a hefty price but do not offer the safety of today’s gun safes.  Gun safes give added security for water protection, fires, and some have digital or combination locks to include fingerprint identification.

Many safes have electronic and mechanical locks.  You will have the greatest dependability with mechanical locks.  They might take more time to open and some mechanical combination locks also have keyed locks to keep the combination dial from turning.  This can stop efforts by thieves or others to open your safe.

Life locking technology and metal such as steel will prevent prying open.  Others have protection against fire and water damage.  Some safes offer a minimal amount of protection from smash and grab thieves or your kids getting into them.

The more expensive walk-in gun safes have vault doors for the serious arsenal collector.  Safes are fashioned to not be seen using fake walls with hinges.  When you install this type at the end of a closet, for example, it can deter burglars from its presence.

What Defines “Safe”?

Safe means protected, secure from harm, loss, and danger, out of harm’s way of curious youngsters, to include safe access to the items.

  • Safes are engineered, designed, and manufactured for particular gun types such as handguns, rifles, and shotguns
  • Safes give easy and quick access
  • Safes are made that offer water and fire protection
  • Safes are made for your vehicle
  • Choose from mounted gun safes, hidden gun safes, portable or hidden gun safes
  • Selections are offered for a single gun and a collection of guns
  • Safes are made of hardwoods and metal

So, finding the “right” gun safe that serves you well depends on your own individual needs.

Gun Safe Types

There a few types to include under the bed, in the nightstand, corner wall safes, heavy duty, and those listed below.

  • Biometric Fingerprint Gun Safes are technologically cutting-edge and the most secure. Your own fingerprints are used to open the safe.  Conventional gun safes use combinations or passcodes to enter the safe but the departure from this type is to simply use your fingerprints at the scanner to open the safe instantly.
  • Waterproof and Fireproof Gun Safes are typically made of fireproof steel that only melts at 2750 degrees F. The high heat will go through the metal to alter the guns inside.  You will want a fireproof rated gun safe because even though a house fire will not melt a steel safe, it will destroy your treasure of guns.
  • Mounted in-the-Wall Gun Safes are stationary and fitted in-the-wall, not outside on the drywall. No one can steal your guns in the safe with this type of installation.  They can be electric keypad, combination lock, or fingerprint types for opening.  They are available in many sizes to fit your gun collection.
  • Hidden Gun Safes look more like an item of furniture rather than a gun safe. This distracts attention and can be hidden in book cases, shelving, picture frames, and mirrors.  Clever people can create other ways to hide their gun safes from prying eyes right in plain view.  Most burglars will not see it yet it’s not as strong from those having pry bars or drills.
  • Truck Gun Safes can hide your guns with either handgun or rifle models. Some types convert your console into a built-in gun safe.
  • Car Gun Safes are usually intended for one handgun and is a better way for storing rather than in your console or glove box.

You see it on the news constantly where a 4-year old killed himself fooling around with a gun he found lying around or in an unlocked gun safe.  You will suffer the consequences in those states having laws against neglectfully storing guns or having them be on a piece of furniture for kids to get.  Be safe, not sorry.

Qualities to Pursue for a Gun Safe

Safe and accountable gun storage is vital.  It is the most critical thing you can do as a gun owner.

  • Reliable lock that is secure and necessary and is easy to find. Choose from a combination, key, or biometric or blend of these.  Needing no electricity to operate are the simple mechanical locks with a number pad that opens easily and fast.  Biometric safes using fingerprints can be defeated by a burglar cutting off your fingers or using a plasma cutter.  Few burglars do this however in real life.
  • Hinges mounted on the inside are a standard with high-end gun safes. Hinges mounted on the outside will let anyone in.
  • Weight will give you a safer gun safe. Steel is heavy and will deter a thief from picking it up and taking it away to break into when you’re not looking.
  • Bolt it down to the floor or wall making it more challenging for a thief to steal. If your safe is heavy enough, a thief cannot carry it away, but if it’s small, they could, so bolt it down.
  • Space is a huge consideration. People with one gun tend to buy more.  Abundant space is good to have for those buying more guns.  If you don’t plan to have more guns, it’s a safe place to put jewelry, valuables, important papers, the Deed to your house and insurance policies.  It’s always better to buy a larger safe even for its heavier weight.
  • Fire resistantFire protection is usually offered for 30-minutes minimum for entry level safes. More high quality safes will give you many hours of fire resistance.  You will want to check for UL (Underwriters Laboratories) certification and ratings and not the rating of the manufacturer that could be worthless.  Notice the temperatures rated for the fire reaching specific areas of the safe.  The floor shelf will be cooler than the top.  Check the ratings to know if your plastic items such as media discs will be safe.
  • Humidity control is very important for the storage of guns and ammo. Some of the better models will have a method to remove humidity.

Best Gun Safe Reviews 2019

Top 3 Best Biometric Gun Safes for the money

This information should help you when thinking about buying a best gun safe.

1. Barska® Quick Access Biometric Rifle Safe

The Barska® model number AX11652 is a super gun safe.  Barska® has been making the best gun safes since 1994.  You will have quick access to the guns and rifles you want to be safe with this top seller on®.  You can allow access for users you want to open the safe without a combination or key with its silent access programmable mode.  The silent access feature lets you mute the beeping notification.  It has an optical scanner that analyzes all users’ fingerprints in its 120-fingerprint memory.  For your safety, only those individuals you have approved for access will be able to open the safe.  This is stored in the biometric module database.  The safe also has a 3-point dead bolt made of 1-inch steel locks for added security.

Barska Quick Access Biometric Rifle Safe AX11652The gun safe has an adjustable 4-position rack for rifles with a removable shelf.  The removable section will let you keep your rifles lined up ready to use.  You will have more security when you mount the safe with its 6 predrilled mounting holes at the back and 4 on the floor.  Secure it to the wall, floor, or any other flat surface.  The faceplate is removable for the backup key lock if you should have dead batteries.

Mounting Gun SafeThe safe uses 4 each AA batteries.  When the door is shut and you hear 3 repeating beeps and the indicator light ‘E’ flashes red, it means the batteries are low.  Replace the batteries at once by removing the battery compartment ‘B’ cover and replacing the dead batteries.  Close and its ready to go.  All registered fingerprints will stay stored.  You will receive 2 back-up keys and an external battery pack.

It is not fire or water resistant.  It is California DOJ (Department of Justice) approved.

The outer dimensions are 8.6-inches long x 9.8-inches wide x 52.17-inches high, and the inner dimensions are 6.3-inches long x 9.7-inches wide x 52-inches high.  The safe weighs 66 pounds.

You will receive a User’s Manual and a 1-year Limited Warranty.  The safe comes fully assembled; you will need to install the batteries included.

See the video for biometric fingerprint scanning using the Barska® here.

2. Sentry®Safe Biometric Quick Access Pistol Safe

The Sentry®Safe quick access pistol safe model number QAP1BE has a capacity of 0.08 cubic feet.  The door is pry resistant made of steel with a whisper-quiet entry when getting to your gun in a hurry with no alerting sound, and with a foam interior.  It will hold one J&K size revolver or full size semi-automatic hand gun.  The safe is for unauthorized access, not theft.  It has holes to bolt down and your ingenious minds can come up with creative cabling to hold it in place from thieves.

biometricThe biometric lock is threat protected using the digital lock with fingerprint scanner offering even more security.  Your security is as distinctive as your own fingerprint.  Select a biometric lock, zero-feedback digital keypad or an override key for quick, quiet access to your gun.  You can program 4 fingerprints.  You will not lose the fingerprint memory when you change batteries.  The keypad lights up with blue lights.  It uses 4 each AAAA batteries, included.

12-gauge steelIt is made of 12-gauge steel construction to be reliable and durable.  It uses single-handed entry in times of emergencies with its compression gas strut.  It provides in-or-out-of-drawer use.  There is a low battery indicator red light.  It is not water or fire resistant.  It is California DOJ (Department of Justice) approved.

The outer dimensions are 3.2-inches high x 12.0-inches wide x 9.9-inches deep.  The inner dimensions are 2.2-inches high x 9.7-inches wide x 6.6-inches deep and weighs about 13 pounds.

You will receive 2 override keys, 2 lag bolts and washers, User’s Manual, and a 1-year Limited Warranty.  The safe comes fully assembled; you will need to install the batteries included.

Sentry Quick Access Biometric Pistol Safe instructions here.

3. GunVault® SpeedVault® Gun Safe

GunVault® SpeedVault® model number SVB500 gun safe in black 18-gauge steel housing has a foam liner for protecting your gun from damage and clattering.  With over 20 years with biometrics, GunVault® has had the fewest reject and highest acceptance rates to provide you with a dependable and consistent vault with secure access always.  It is also available in the combination type safe.

The biometric fingerprint scanner will store 120 individual prints and has an activation button for security.  It also comes with 2 override keys.  You will like the fast-acting drop down front panel that will house your firearm for quickly getting to in emergencies at your home or business.

GunVaultIt can easily be mounted anywhere in different directions for effortlessly accessing with the included hardware.  The accurate fittings cannot be opened with pry tools.

The interior light lets you open your safe in low or no light conditions so you can see your gun and what you’re doing.

9V batteryIt operates with 1 only 9-Volt alkaline battery (not included).  The keypad is digital and you will have audio and LED low-battery warnings.  It does not have a spring-loaded door; it is a gravity drop and the door opens and stops on a rubber bumper.   It is California DOJ (Department of Justice) approved.

The outer dimensions are 6-1/2-inches high x 3-1/2-inches wide x 13-inches deep and the inside dimensions are 2-1/4-inches high x 5-3/4-inches wide x 8-1/2-inches deep weighing 7 pounds.

Gift-wrapping is available for a friend or loved one.  You will receive a User’s Manual and a 5-year Full Warranty for fire and burglary.

Top 3 Best Handgun Safes

1. AmazonBasics Security Safe 0.5-Cubic Feet

The AmazonBasics security safe is also available in 0.7-, 1-, and 1.2-cubic feet.  The model number 25EI secure 0.5-cubic foot safe comes with an electronic lock and 2 override keys if the batteries die or you forget your code.  It is made of black steel housing with the inside bottom carpeted to end scratches and damage.  It is not water or fireproof.

The interior shelf can be completely removed.  It is unaffected by pry tools and has 2 door bolts.  The hinges are hidden inside.  The back has 4 predrilled holes with 4 bolts included to mount to the floor, wall or anywhere you want it convenient for you.  It also has holes on the bottom.  You can put your firearms or valuable jewelry and papers inside for safe keeping.  The steel contains lead.

The 3 to 8 digital access passcode can be reprogrammed and it takes 4 each AA batteries (not included).  The safe is shipped locked.  To open for the first time, use one of the two override keys provided.

The outer dimensions are 13.8-inches long x 9.8-inches wide x 9.8-inches high and the inner dimensions are 13.5-inches long x 8.75-inches wide x 9.5 inches high.  The door is about 2-inches thick and will open 90-degrees.  It is not California DOJ (Department of Justice) approved.

Gift-wrapping is available for a friend or loved one.  You will receive a User’s Manual and a 1-year Limited Warranty.

2. Homak® Electronic Access Small Pistol Box

Homak® has been manufacturing steel kitchen cabinets and safes since 1947 in the USA.  The patented design for the model number HS10036683 small pistol box is flat black made of heavy 1.5 mm steel and has a tough finish of powder coated epoxy with a 15-minute security lockout after entering codes 3 times incorrectly.  You can reprogram it to your preferred codes or change the codes for you and those you trust.  This unit is also available in medium and large.

HonmakThe electronic keypad uses 4 each AA batteries and 1 each 9-Volt battery for backup entry (batteries not included).  The door has a piano hinge.  Secure your guns, ammo, and other valuables safely in this small box.  Mount it in your vehicle, on the floor, wall or anywhere you like.  The patented design keeps thieves out with their prying tools.

For mounting, there are predrilled holes in the back 5-1/2 x 4 inches.  Screws and anchors are included.  The door on the front will open to a clearance of 8-inches flat.  It has a rubber mat for the inside to prevent scratches and rattling of your guns.

There are no lockout keys with this safe.  The external 9-Volt battery is the external override system.  Be sure to write down the original passcode/password that comes with the safe when changing the batteries.  You will have problems without this code.  When the batteries die, use the default open code listed in the User’s Manual instructions.

The outer dimensions are 10-inches wide x 3.5-inches deep x 7.5-inches high and weighs about 10 pounds.

The inner dimensions are approximately 9-inches wide x 3-inches deep x 6-inches high.

Gift-wrapping is available for a friend or loved one.  You will receive a User’s Manual and a 1-year Limited Warranty.

3. Fort Knox PB1 Handgun Safe Pistol Box

The Fort Knox Original PB1/FTK-PB with 13.5-inch Dean Safe Pistol Sock is made with 10-gauge steel housing with a 3/16-inch wraparound door.  It is strong, heavy, and durable!  The antique silver powder coat finish is tough and good looking.  The inside has the egg-crate style foam to protect your guns and other items from scratches and keeps the items from rattling.  This one cannot be pried into with its protection.  The heavy-duty hinge is under the door for added protection for your guns.  The door has a gas struct for easy opening while it holds itself up for getting inside.  The bottom has 4 predrilled holes to bolt it to the floor or wall.  It will hold up to 2 guns depending upon their size.

California DOJThe combination lock, also known as the mechanical push button Simplex 9600 Series lock is quick and easy to use with a possible 1081 distinct combinations.  The combination uses 3 digits.  It is a mechanical lock and has no backup keys.  It uses no batteries.  It is not waterproof or fire resistant.  It is California DOJ (Department of Justice) approved.

The dimensions are 4-1/4-inches high (5-1/4-inches high with buttons and knob) x 12-1/2-inches wide x 10-3/8-inches deep and weighs 22 pounds.

You will receive a User’s Manual and a Fort Knox Lifetime Warranty.  It is made in the USA.

Fort Knox Pistol Safes | Made in the USA video here.

4 Top-Rated Rifle and Shotgun Safes

1. STACK-ON® 8-Gun Ready-to-Assemble Steel Cabinet

The STACK-ON® black steel welded gun cabinet part number GCB-8RTA will hold 8 shotguns and/or rifles up to 52-inches tall.  The steel is 1.2 mm (8-gauge) thick.  This is a gun storage cabinet, not a safe.  The cabinet is not fire or water proof.

The finish is black glossy epoxy paint with chrome silver accents making this an attractive piece for your gun collection.  You can store your ammo and magazines on the one steel shelf at the top or remove it completely.  The inside bottom is foam padded with gun barrel rests.  The foam padding keeps the guns from touching each other causing scratches and eliminates them moving around creating noise.  The cabinet is also available in hunter green for a small amount more in cost.

Gun InsideThe 3-point locking system (top, bottom, middle) is secure with its double bit lock that is key coded with 2 keys provided.  Batteries are not required with this locking system.  The gun cabinet is easy to assembly by one person.  Included are the cabinet pieces that fit snugly and fastened together with the fastenings that cannot be viewed or damaged by a burglar.  You can further secure the cabinet with the predrilled holes at the flush-mount back and bottom.  The steel piano hinge offers added security for your collection of long guns.  The patented barrel standoffs allow for one position placement of your scoped rifles.  You can attach the door to open from either the left or right direction and will open 90-degrees.

The parts you will receive in the box are 3 tall metal plates (back and 2 side pieces); 2 endcaps; 1 shelf; 1 door; 1 door locking arm; 1 lock; 2 keys; 1 pack of screws; 1 pack of washers for the lock; and 1 pack of sticky-back foam.

It is California DOJ (Department of Justice) approved meeting the requirements and regulations of Penal Code section 23655.

The outer dimensions are 17-inches wide x 11-inches deep x 53-inches high and weighs about 50 pounds.

You will receive a User’s Manual and a 1-Year Limited Warranty for defects in material and workmanship.  It is made in China and packed in the USA.

How to assemble video here.

2. STACK-ON® 10-Gun Security Cabinet

The STACK-ON® hunter green steel welded cabinet part number GCG-910-DS will hold 10 shotguns and/or rifles up to 52-inches tall.  This is a gun storage cabinet, not a safe.  The cabinet is not water or fire proof.  It is also available in black.

Gun insideThe finish is double baked epoxy paint with chrome silver accents making this an attractive piece for your gun collection.  The top steel single shelf gives you storage space for your magazines and ammunition.  With the shelf located at the top back of the cabinet, you will have more space for your taller guns in front.  The shelf is not the full depth of the cabinet; it is about two-thirds of the full depth and the holes are on the sides.  The foam padding keeps the guns from touching each other causing scratches and ends them moving around rattling.

STACK-ON® welds the steel body housing and uses top-quality steel 3-place locks at the top, bottom, and middle behind the frame with a key coded double-butt lock.  The door hinge is secured with piano hinges on the right side.  The patented delineation in the barrel rest is ideal with the added standoffs for your guns with scopes and will not fall apart over time.  The barrels will be separated from one another with protection to your valuable scopes.  The barrel rests/standoffs can be removed and attached to any STACK-ON® cabinet.

With its flush mount and predrilled holes, you can attach the cabinet to the floor or wall so that thieves cannot pick it up and carry it away.  It comes assembled, all seams are welded, and all you will need to do is put in the shelf, barrel rests, and standoffs.  It is California DOJ (Department of Justice) approved meeting the requirements and regulations of Penal Code section 23655.

The outer dimensions are 17-inches wide x 13-1/2-inches deep x 53-inches high and weighs about 50 pounds.

You will receive a User’s Manual and a 1-Year Limited Warranty for defects in material and workmanship.  It is made in China and packed in the USA.

3. Best Choice Products® Large 5-Rifle Digital Gun Safe

The Best Choice Products® (BCP) new electronic digital locking gun safe is made of solid heavy-duty steel for security and safety storing your rifles and shotguns.  The bottom floor is padded with gray carpet so that your guns do not suffer from abrasions and scratches.  The predrilled holes on the sides, back, and bottom with anchors and 4 horizontal locking bolts let you mount it to the floor or wall for not moving by thieves.  It is not water proof or fire resistant.  It is California DOJ (Department of Justice) approved.

The programming is easy to do.  Create your own passcode and/or lock in manually with the 4 keys included.  It does not provide fingerprint recognition (biometric).  The smaller interior lockbox at the top has its key and is the safe place for your ammo and other small items of worth.  It uses 4 each AA batteries.  Be careful replacing them because the case holding the batteries is plastic and can easily break.  Remember, don’t lock your keys in the safe since you will need the keys to reset the keypad after changing the batteries.  Enter a 6-digit pin for entry.

The outer dimensions are 13.75-inches long x 11.25-inches wide x 57.25-inches high and the inner dimensions are 13.50-inches long x 11.25 inches wide x 56.25-inches high and weighs about 99 pounds.

The small lockbox on the inside top is 13.5-inches long x 7.75-inches wide x 6.75-inches high.

You will receive a User’s Manual and a 60-day Warranty.  The safe comes fully assembled; you will need to install the batteries included.  The cabinet is a new product with factory packaging.

4. Winchester® Ranger Deluxe 24-Gun Safe

The Winchester® Ranger Deluxe gun safe is spectacular, functional, and a high-end safe for all it has to offer for the safe keeping of your firearms arsenal.  It has an electronic lock and the outside gloss finish is black with gray automotive grade interior on the model 19-7-E 24 (R-6028-19-7-E) gun safe and more.  Winchester safes are proudly made in the USA in Fort Worth, Texas.

With its 12-gauge steel box, it will provide one hour of fire protection at 1400-degrees F.  It has 3 layers of fireboard in the door with 2 layers in the body.  It has up to 18 each 1.25-inch solid steel locking bolts with a hard plate that cannot be drilled.  The 3-spoke handle is easy to turn for having a 4-way locking bolt scheme, recessed door, and reinforced steel return door jam.  The Chamberlain disk protects the lock.  The keypad is not backlit, but lights are available to do the trick.  It uses batteries and no keys are provided because keys are not used.

This safe has a spacious 19.4-cubic feet of interior space for storing your guns with a door organizer.  The Palusol® intumescent fire seals are a sodium silicate material surrounded in a thermoplastic profile.  When exposed to heat, it expands with the development of a fine-porous, compression resistant, non-combustible heat sealing foaming pressure up to 5 times its thickness.  This foam then fills joints and gaps preventing the penetration of fire and/or smoke for up to 60 minutes with evaporating water producing an added cooling effect.

The external door hinge offers you full fireboard protection with its 180-degree door swing.  The safe has predrilled holes for attaching to the floor with hardware to do so.

It is UL (Underwriters Laboratories) listed and is California DOJ (Department of Justice) approved, and approved for RSC (Residential Security Container) for burglary protection.  Winchester® also uses UL listed mechanical dial locks or EMP-Resistant UL listed electronic locks on all their safes being produced.

The outer dimensions are 60-inches high x 28-inches wide x 23-inches deep and the inner dimensions are 56-inches high x 25-inches wide x 14-inches deep and it weighs 560 pounds.

Winchester® Safes uses recycled materials whenever possible.  These recycled items can be found in the packaging, interiors, and even the steel itself, using a (volatile organic compounds) VOC-free powder paint finish that doesn’t emit chemicals into the environment.

You will receive a User’s Manual and a 2-year Lock Warranty for the S&G mechanical lock S&G electronic lock and LG electronic lock; and a Limited Lifetime Warranty for all gun and home and office safes.  Only curbside delivery is provided.  You will need to find a way to take it inside your location.

Winchester Safes | Made in the USA video here.

Final Thoughts

In the United States a home intrusion happens every 13 seconds.  Over 2.5 million home break ins are reported to law enforcement agencies.  With burglary threats being this high, you certainly want to secure your guns from thieves.  You also want to protect your firearms from youngsters who are killing themselves and others by guns misplaced or irresponsibly laying around.  Many best gun safes today are made of high quality steel with steel hinges, recessed doors, anti-pry tabs, and dead bolt locks.

Read Gun Safe reviews from customers online for their experiences with any of the brands reviewed above.  Always check for a great Warranty.  Happy hunting with your long guns and specific revolvers for meat to eat and fun doing it.  Teach your kids well and how to respect and handle all guns in your arsenal.

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