You can always rest assured when buying a Steelwater gun safe. Steelwater is known to produce some of the finest gun safes in the business, and their reputation speaks for itself. This is because the owner and designer of Steelwater Gun Safes has been working in the security for all his life.
Servicing, repairing and opening gun safes for more than 22 years, the owner of Steelwater Gun Safes gained firsthand experience and learned what could be improved in a gun safe to increase its security and reliability.
All of Steelwater’s gun safes are inspected twice; first at the manufacturing plant, and then again at the warehouse. This is done to ensure that nothing but the highest standard is met and that their reputation of top quality and professional gun safes is maintained.
Steelwater has a good selection of gun safes available to choose from. Today we’ll be going over their Long Gun selection.
Steelwater Long Gun Safes
Each of Steelwater’s Long Gun safes has a standard and a heavy duty version. As you would imagine, the heavy duty editions are made out of more robust materials and more intricate systems that allow for greater security.
Including the heavy duty editions of Steelwater’s Long Gun safes, there are a total of 10 safes in their Long Guns arsenal.
We won’t be reviewing each of them in intricate detail, but we will list the differences of the standard and heavy duty models of each safe.
We hope that this will provide you with clarity on the safes carrying the Steelwater birth mark.
As the name implies, 16 Long Gun safes are able to hold a maximum of 16 long guns. This is with the exception that they aren’t fitted with any accessories such as scopes.
Both of these safes have a pretty decent fire resistance rating, especially considering the fact that they are the entry model safes.
The 16 Long Guns safe is the most basic model in Steelwater’s Long Gun safe collection. For those who are simply looking to keep a couple of their hunting rifles and some other valuables safe, the 16 Long Guns are the most ideal options.
Other than that, this model is also on the affordable range of the spectrum. Steelwater is known for producing some of the finest gun safes in the world. So you know that whatever amount you pay for a Steelwater safe, you’ll be receiving every single penny’s worth of what you spent.
Upon first inspection, the most noticeable difference between the standard and heavy duty editions are the handles. The standard edition features a straight handle, while the heavy duty model has a tri-spoke handle.
Both models are lined with a grey interior which will prevent the guns from being scratched if they ever somehow slip around on the inside.
These models are basically the same as the 16 Long Guns safes, except for the fact that they are larger and have a greater holding capacity.
Both models have 10 one-inch locking bolts to keep the door tightly closed in the event of someone trying to break through with the use of power tools.
The steel used on the frame of the safe isn’t the thickest there is. On the standard model the steel used is 14 gauge, while the steel used on the heavy duty model is 12 gauge.
The inside of both models is upholstered with a grey interior to keep the guns from slipping as well as making it look a little more pretty than having nothing. At the back of the safes, there is a pre-drilled half-inch hole for those looking to install an electrical dehumidifier.
Steelwater’s safes all have an expandable door seal. So if a fire were to ever break out, the door seal would expand from the heat which would make it seal the door even more, keeping out any heat and smoke.
Now things are starting to get a little serious. Even though this might only be an upgrade of “two” long guns from the 20 Long Guns safe, its features absolutely crush the 20 Long Guns.
Okay, it could make sense that the 22 Long Guns in question is the Xtreme Duty model. Since there isn’t much of a difference between the 22 and 39 Long Guns safes other than their size, we’ll throw them both into the mix and list the features that are similar. If everything sounds the same, that’s because it is.
The fireproofing on these safes far exceeds that of any of the former mentioned safe models. These safes are fireproof for up to 2 hours at 1875 degrees Fahrenheit. Their fireproofing abilities come from the 9 gauge with which it was constructed, as well as the 5 layers of fireboard.
The doors are both 5 1/4” thick with a 1/4” solid steel plate. To finish this off, there is a total of 4 layers of fireboard.
The walls, floor, ceiling, and door jambs all have an additional 1/8″ “fire barrier”, along with the fireboard layers.
The locking system is gear-driven. The drill-resistant hardplate is 8x larger, protecting the re-locker, combination lock, gear drive, and linkages. The lock is a UL Listed Group 2 La Gard lock. So you know that the quality of the lock is far superior to any other lock.
On the floor, the safe has 4 pre-drilled anchor holes. Anchoring your gun safe to the floor will ensure that you keep the contents of your safe as secure as possible. The safe also comes with a UL Listed power supply with 3 AC outlets as well as 2 USB ports.
Steelwater Gun Safes are undoubtedly top of the line quality. The main thing you have to take into consideration when buying one is what will you use it for.
I guess there will always be a list of questions that you need to ask yourself before buying a gun safe. Why are you buying a gun safe? Is it because you feel it’s time to upgrade to bigger and better or are you a new gun owner? Will you be relocating to a different state within the next couple of years or are you planning on staying where you currently reside?
Another big thing to consider is whether or not you’ll be increasing your gun collection. If you’re happy with what you have, a hunting rifle, shotgun, and a handgun, then buying a gun safe that could house 20 or more guns would be unnecessary. However, if you plan on adding more firearms to your collection each year, then planning ahead by buying something like the 39 Long Guns safe would be a wise thing to do.
Also remember that you’re putting your guns in a safe to protect them (apart from abiding to the law in some states). You wouldn’t want to store a gun in a safe that cost three times less than your gun.
If you own a handgun, it is your responsibility to keep it away from children and unauthorized access. A handgun safe is a must if you store your guns at your bedside or carry them with you.
While there are many handgun safes present on the market, most of them are useless when it comes to utility. Many of these gun safes are not portable enough to be carried around or are too bulky to be stored in tight spaces like under your bed or in the drawer.
You need to be able to quickly access your gun in cases of intrusion. Opening a gun safe with mechanical, electronic or key locks can beat the purpose of having the gun safe at your bedside. This is where a biometric safe comes in. With a biometric lock, you just need to place your finger on the biometric scanner and you have access to your gun when you need it the most.
GunBox Biometric Handgun Safe
The GunBox handgun safe is one of the most versatile biometric gun safes on the market. This gun safe comes with a host of features which can be hard to find on any other safe on the market. These features add utility and convenience to your gun safe and you end up using it more often.
Premium Gun Storage Compartment with Hydraulic Door
GunBox biometric handgun safe is made from the finest materials. It doesn’t look anything like the other typical gun safes which can draw unwanted attention just because of how they look. The GunBox handgun safe is the leader in plain sight gun storage.
This biometric gun safe can add to the décor of your office or home without compromising on the security. The GunBox safe comes equipped with a hydraulic door which opens automatically when you unlock it.
Advanced Unlocking Methods
GunBox arguably has one of the highest numbers of unlocking methods you will find on a handgun safe. This safe comes with a biometric lock, a RFID lock which can be unlocked through the RFID cards (included) and key FOB (included).
GunBox has a proprietary app called the SafeTech app which can be used to unlock the safe from a distance. These unlocking methods add convenience to the safe and you will never find yourself locked out of the safe.
Charge Your Devices
The GunBox comes with a power brick and you can plug it in to enjoy all of its security features. This gun safe also has a battery backup and you can charge it for when you want to travel with it. The GunBox has a long battery life (12 months) and you can charge it on the go.
This safe can also turn into a portable charger for your electronic devices using the two USB ports present on the device. You can use the inbuilt battery in the device to juice up your gadgets.
Durable and FAA approved
The GunBox is made from aircraft strength aluminum alloy and is TSA/FAA approved for travel. Since this is a portable and lightweight gun safe, you can carry it with you wherever you go. You won’t have to take the GunBox out of your luggage during security procedures.
The GunBox comes with pre-drilled anchor holes so you can bolt your gun safe to your desk or any other sturdy surface. The drawback of bolting the gun safe is that the portability of the GunBox is wasted.
Interior Lights and Carpet
The GunBox is built keeping the convenience of the user in mind. In cases of intrusion, it can be hard to access a gun safe in the dark. The GunBox comes with an inbuilt light so you can access the contents of the safe when you need them the most.
This gun safe also features a neoprene interior lining which keeps your firearm securely in place and prevents scratching. Guns are prone to scratches and damages especially when you carry it with you.
The GunBox is equipped with an internal accelerometer that sounds an audible alarm if the box is bumped or moved. You can change the volume of the alarm or the sensitivity of the fingerprints through the SafeTech app.
In addition to the alarm, you can mount or secure the GunBox with a tether cable. This security cable comes in handy when you’re traveling and can’t bolt down the safe. Using the motion alarm and safety cable together adds an additional layer of security to the gun safe.
Comes with a plethora of locking options.
Pre-drilled holes for anchoring the gun safe.
Has an 12-month battery life and can be used as a power backup for your gadgets.
The GunBox is made from aircraft strength aluminum alloy and yet is lightweight.
Finding a gun safe that does everything you need it to do for a good price doesn’t come around very often. If you’re looking for a gun safe that has the highest UL ratings and storage space large enough to fit a family of four, then you’re going to have to pay a little more than what you’d be willing to give up.
It’s not as if all of us would need a safe like that. Some of us just require something that would simply keep our firearms away from thieves, survive a house fire, or just last long enough to be able to be passed down to your children’s children.
So, if you’re looking for the best gun safe under 1000 dollars, we’ve got you sorted. Here we’ve listed our top picks to help you make a decision if you’re looking for a new gun safe that will house your collection of firearms as well as whatever else you keep in your safe.
Why Spending Less Than $1,000 Is Worth It
We get that anything costing upwards of $1,000 is no cheap item, nor is it easy giving out that kind of money. However, when you’re investing in something that could possibly last you an entire lifetime as well as the lifetime of the inheritor of that thing, then spending close to $1,000 doesn’t seem like a bad idea.
Although the investment may seem good at first, you need to consider other things too before making the purchase. In this case, the investment we’re referring to is obviously a gun safe.
Before handing out that kind of money to buy a gun safe, you need to be sure about spending that kind of money on something that you might not even use on a frequent basis.
Even if you don’t interact with your safe on a day to day basis, knowing that it’ll keep your guns and other valuables safely tucked away will give you peace of mind. That peace of mind alone will be enough to persuade any gun owner to spend a big ole wad of cash on a gun safe.
The reason for this review is to show you that there are in fact top of the range gun safes that will do everything you require of it, and all for less than $1,000.
What to Know About A Safe Costing Less Than $1,000
Even though the price tag of the gun safe may not exceed $1,000, that doesn’t mean that its quality will be worse off than a gun safe with a price tag that does. Sometimes the reason why some safes exceed the $1,000 price range is because of the accessories and not because of the quality of the materials that the safe is made out of.
However, many gun safes that do cost more than $1,000 are because of their UL ratings. These safes are made with thicker steel sheets, great locking systems, have amazing durability against brute force attacks, etc.
So, buying a gun safe under $1,000 doesn’t mean that you’re compromising on quality or the safekeeping of your guns. Maybe that’s the best you can do, and if it is, then do it.
The Fort Knox Personal Pistol Safe is undoubtedly the best of its kind on the market. As it stands, there is no pistol safe/container that could equal the quality and toughness of the FK Personal Pistol Safe.
This safe is constructed with 10 gauge steel, making it tougher than many larger safes on the market. Fort Knox claim that it is the most secure box in the entire industry which they proudly back with a lifetime warranty.
It features a Simplex mechanical lock which allows for quick access in case you need to get to your handgun. There are also 4 pre-drilled bolt down holes, so it can be mounted securely wherever you see fit. Many people use this as a car safe, but it could also be used in your office, under your bed, etc.
This safe isn’t included on this list for its capacity to store firearms. It’s on this list because it’s simply the best of its kind. If you’re looking for some place to safely and securely keep your handguns, then the FK Personal Pistol Safe is your go-to guy.
The first long safe in our review is the Winchester Bandit 10. This gun safe offers everything that you could possibly want and need in a top quality gun safe.
The Bandit 10 is able to withstand temperatures of 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes in the event of a fire. The walls, ceiling, and door are all protected with UL rated fireboard. The door is lined with Palusol heat-expanding seal that expands more than six times its size when exposed to heat, keeping any heat and smoke out from the inside of the safe.
The body is made of 14 gauge steel that’s been welded together with the use of robotic welds. The lock is a UL listed Sargent & Greenleaf mechanical lock, but it doesn’t come with an override key. So if you somehow manage to forget your lock code, you’ll be in trouble.
The locking bolts are 1-inch thick, with 4 dead locking bolts and 4 active bolts. The door is recessed and the door jambs are reinforced to keep all prying attacks at bay.
To make the safe more secure, it comes with 4 pre-drilled holes to anchor the gun safe down.
Stack-On is one of the best in the safe-making business. Their TD-24-GP-E-S is both fire and waterproof and comes with the options of a backlit electronic keypad or a mechanical 3-number combination lock.
The interior is lined with carpet to protect the surface of your guns from getting scratched or damaged in any other way.
It’s fireproof capabilities are able to withstand an external temperature of 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit for 75 minutes. That’s more than enough time for the fire department to come and put the fire out. It also has a factory-installed electrical socket for those who prefer to have electrical dehumidifiers or to have some LED lights inside that safe for better lighting.
If you want to make most out of the storage capacity of this safe, you can remove some of the shelves and use that space to store more long guns. However, this would mean that the long guns can’t have any accessories attached to them, otherwise they won’t all fit.
This safe is also approved by the California DOJ as a Firearm Safety Device that meets the requirements of Penal Code section 23655.
Steelwater is another safe manufacturing company that knows a thing or two about rolling top level quality products off their production line.
Like the previous two safes, this Steelwater gun safe has a good fire rating to go along with it; withstanding temperatures of 1,550 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes. A single layer of 5/8″ fireboard is used in the walls, floor, ceiling, and door jambs. The door seal also expands to 8 times its size in order o keep out any smoke and heat.
It can store up to 16 long guns, but again, that would mean that the guns can’t have any accessories attached to them.
The steel construction is made out of 12 gauge steel which would provide a good amount of protection from any brute force attack. However, it won’t do you much good against the right set of power tools. The chances of the safe being breached by use of power tools can be minimized if you surround the safe walls with concrete, as well as bolt it down, using the pre-drilled anchor holes.
The locking system makes use of a total of 10 1-inch locking bolts, of which 7 of those bolts are active, chrome plated bolts, and 3 inactive bolts that are on the hinge side. The lock system is gear-driven, adding strength against prying and drilling attacks.
There is also a drill-resistant hardplate that protects the digital lock, the re-locker, linkages, and gear drive.
On the inside, the safe has a pre-drilled hole at the back for those who want to install an electrical dehumidifier or LED lights inside of the safe.
When buying a gun safe, you need to, of course, consider your finances, where you’re going to put the safe, how often you’re going to open and close the safe, how much you’re going to store inside the safe, etc.
If you’re going to be using your safe on a frequent basis (open and close it almost everyday), then having an electronic keypad lock would perhaps be a better option as opposed to having a mechanical dial lock. The reason being that the keypad lock opens in under 10 seconds, where the dial lock opens in under 45 seconds.
In case of emergencies, having a keypad lock would also be better than having a dial lock. But if you have a handgun case/safe that you use purely for emergency situations, then by all mean, get the electronic keypad lock.
However, if you want to have a locking system that will last you a lifetime, then a mechanical dial would be the next best thing to have.
Consider the number of firearms that you have and that you want to store in a safe. If you’re planning on increasing your collection of guns, then planning ahead and going big from the get go should be a thought that you need to entertain. There’s no point in spending a good amount of money on a safe that will perfectly fit your number of guns, only to buy more in the future with no place to store them.
The safes we’ve listed in this review are the best of their kind for the price that you’re paying. However, if you can afford to buy a true safe (a safe that meets the highest ratings), then by all means, do it. That would truly be an investment of a lifetime.
But you’re here reading this because you’re looking for the best safe that money can buy for under $1,000. We hope that this review shed some light on your decision. On a personal note, I would go with the Steelwater SW592818.
Liberty is the largest manufacturers of gun safes in America. They’re also the number one sellers of residential safes in the US. Liberty Safes has two sister brands; Centurion and National Security. Liberty Safes was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Payson, Utah.
Liberty employs around 500 people. This brand is arguably the most aggressive marketer in the gun safe industry. Their service is top notch and will cater to your queries if you’re facing any problems. Since Liberty is the largest domestic gun safe manufacturer, they’ve invested in modern infrastructure like robots for welding which brings the cost down while maintaining constant build quality.
Reasons For Buying a Liberty Gun Safe
Liberty is the biggest producer of heavy-duty gun safes in the USA. Liberty offers unparalleled quality, reliability, and service when it comes to their gun safes. Your Liberty gun safes will protect your valuables against fire and authorized access.
Liberty offers a range of safes you can choose from. They offer more than 30 models of the finest home, security and gun safes, available in more than two dozen colors. If you’re choosy about the color and graphics on your gun safe, you will surely find the right safe for yourself at Liberty.
Liberty offers a lifetime warranty which is unmatched in the home safe industry. If your home, office, or gun safe ever experiences an attempted break-in or a fire, Liberty will repair or replace your safe for free. You can surely have peace of mind with such an extended warranty.
Best Liberty Gun Safes
While there are numerous gun safes by Liberty present on the market, we want to draw your attention to four gun safes in this article. The first is a handgun safe, the second is an entry level ‘big’ gun safe with the capacity to hold 18 guns, the third is a larger gun safe which can hold up to 36 guns and the fourth is a giant gun safe which can store up to 48 guns.
Liberty HDX-250 is a handgun safe which allows for quick and secure access to your valuables by using a fifth generation biometric finger swipe technology. The biometric technology on this handgun safe is the most reliable on the market, with supreme accuracy and the lowest fail-rate.
The HDX-250 is setting records with its speed. Entry using the Biometric swipe can be obtained in 1 SECOND when utilizing the AC adapter (included) and under 2 seconds (1.63 to be exact) with the 9v battery (included). This speed will ensure you reach to your firearms when you need them the most.
The Smart Vault can save up to 15 different fingerprints. One of the coolest features of the HDX-250 is, it has an auto-opening door, just swipe your finger and the door opens automatically. You just need to lift a finger, literally. Liberty has provided mounting holes in the bottom of the safe for direct mounting, an optional accessory mounting bracket is also available.
Liberty takes pry bar attacks seriously and uses 14-gauge steel door which has built-in anti-pry tabs and a reinforced latch system specially designed to resist pry attacks and other attempts to gain entry. Liberty provides a five-year replacement warranty on any defects.
Liberty Centurion provides 30 minutes of fire protection @ 1200°F which is more than its entry-level competitors which have a single layer of fireboard for fire protection. The Centurion safes come in three variants which can hold 12, 18 and 24 gun safes each.
We have chosen the 18 gun model for this article because it is only a $100 more than the 12 gun variant and provides a better bang for the buck when it comes to the space available inside the safe. The 12, 18 and 24 gun safes have an interior space of 5.3, 9.7 and 11.5 cubic feet respectively.
The 18 gun safe has almost double the interior space as compared to the 12 gun variant. On the other hand, there isn’t much difference between the 18 and 24 gun variants. The Liberty Centurion 18 is a California-approved firearm security device which has 10 4-inch wide military-style locking bars, internal hard plate, and relocker to add a level of security to the safe.
The Centurion 18 comes standard with an S&G’s UL Listed mechanical lock. All Centurion safes include two layers of 14 gauge steel in the ceiling and door, achieving 62,000 BTU heat resistance. They also come with a palusol heat-expanding seal which expands up to 7 times its size in a fire at 212°F.
The Centurion 18 comes with a lifetime warranty.
More fireboard than the competition to achieve 30 minutes of fire protection @ 1200°F.
Palusol heat-expanding seal which expands up to 7 times doesn’t allow the fire or smoke to enter the gun safe.
This safe comes with a carpet on the floor which protects your firearms from damage.
Comes standard with S&G’s UL Listed mechanical lock.
No water resistance.
The door hinges are on the outside which can make it easier for the burglars to pry open the safe.
Liberty Big Boy 36 has a thicker 12 gauge steel body with 1″ composite steel fire and security door increases pry & fire protection. Big Boy 36 has a 30-minute fire rating. This safe can survive a fire for 30 minutes @ 1200°F.
Liberty Big Boy 36 includes two layers of fire board in the ceiling and door, achieving 62,000 BTU heat resistance. The Bog Boy 36 has been awarded UL’s Residential Security Container burglary classification.
This safe features triple case hardened steel plates which protect the lock from a drill attack. The Big Boy 36 has also been equipped with a defensive barrier of 1″ diameter locking bolts. This Liberty safes comes with a palusol heat-expanding seal on all models which expands up to seven times it size in a fire at 212°F. This can prevent the fire and smoke from entering the gun safe.
UL certified burglary classified RSC
Has a palusol heat-expanding seal to protect against fire.
Uses two fire boards while the competition uses a single fire board.
Liberty FATBOY Jr. is a wide-body safe which can hold up to 48 guns. This gun safe has a 60-minute fire rating. The FATBOY Jr. can hold up to 60 minutes in a fire @1200°F or 83,000 BTUs. This is one of the best fire protection you’ll find on a gun safe in this segment.
The FATBOY Jr. has been awarded UL Residential Security Container burglary classification. FATBOY Jr. has a thicker 11 gauge steel which makes it tough and heavy. This gun safe features triple case hardened steel plates which protect the lock from drill attacks.
FATBOY Jr. has a UL Listed S&G™ Group II electrical lock which can provide a quick access to your valuables or your firearms in times of need. Just like the Centurion 18, the FATBOY Jr. comes with a palusol heat-expanding seal which expands up to seven times its size in a fire at 212°F.
This gun safe features defensive barrier of twelve total bolts on all four sides of the door. Since this is a Liberty safe, it comes with a lifetime warranty where the company will replace your gun safe in cases of fire or an attempted break-in.
UL certified burglary classified RSC
Uses 11 gauges of steel in outer walls which are industry leading figures.
Has a palusol heat-expanding seal to protect against fire.
Fire insulating material on the ceiling, door jambs, and door with two layers on the walls
Comes in a single color.
No fireproof rating by UL.
This gun safe is not water resistant.
Fatboy is a wide safe which can take up a lot of space wherever you put it.
If you’re looking to buy a gun safe, Liberty offers some of the best gun safes. To make the deal more attractive, Liberty gun safes offer the best in class customer service and warranty. Whether you own a few guns or a significantly higher number of guns, Liberty has a safe for you.
Liberty Safe also give you the option to customize your gun safes. For the bigger gun safes you can choose from different colors, locks, and accessories to add to your gun safe. These accessories can add utility to the gun safe and you might end up using the safe more often.
All the gun safes mentioned in the article have the highest number of utility and security features in their respective segments. It is always advised to get a bigger gun safe than you need as you can use the extra space for the guns you might buy in the future.
If you have any questions or queries about buying a gun safe, please feel free to drop them in the comments below and we will be happy to help you.
Despite the safety that gun safes offer to whatever is being kept inside (we’re guessing mostly guns and one or two valuable items), they may not all offer security against the elements, which in this case, is fire.
In the event of a house fire breaking out, having a fireproof gun safe would be highly beneficial, especially if you’re using it to store valuable items such as jewelry, important documents and, of course, your guns. With that in mind, it would be irresponsible to not invest in a gun safe that doesn’t have at least some form of fireproofing.
However, we’re here to present you with our tops fireproof gun safes so that you don’t have to go and do a ton of reading — we’ve done that for you.
On this list we have gun safes that vary in size, because we know that not everyone needs the biggest safe out there.
Why Own A Fireproof Gun Safe?
Buying a fireproof safe could be one of the best investments that you could possibly make in the long run. Storing things with great sentimental value as well as valuable documents such as passports and certificates inside of a fireproof safe could prove to be a very smart move.
For those who fear the threat of a house fire, investing in a fireproof gun safe is a must. And if you can afford to buy an extremely large fireproof safe, you could use that to store food and other survival items such as medicine, clothes, tools, etc., that you would possibly need if anything ever burnt your house down.
Fire Ratings of Gun Safes
Many of the conventional gun safes on the market don’t meet the requirements of the fire endurance rating UL 72 Class 350. To meet this rating, a safe must keep the inside temperature below 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 4 hours with outside temperatures of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
The things that mainly affect the fire rating of a safe are:
Outer shell steel thickness
All the above-mentioned things play a part in keeping the contents of the safe intact and working as normal.
The SentrySafe SFW123GDC is the most affordable fireproof safe in this review. However, the SFW123GDC isn’t an exclusive gun safe, it still does the perfect job of housing a handgun.
This safe, despite not being labelled as a gun safe, was designed to keep whatever is stored inside of it safe from the elements. Many people choose to keep valuables such as passports, money, jewelry, keys and other possessions that carry sentimental value, in their safes.
With the SFW123GDC, keeping these things safe from almost any form of disaster is possible. This safe has fireproof capabilities of resisting heat of up to 1,700-degrees Fahrenheit for about one hour. That provides more than enough time for the Fire Department to put out the fire without the contents of your safe succumbing to the heat of the flames.
The SFW123GDC is UL Classified, providing the contents of the safe with the best protection against fires. The safe features a locking system makes use of four large 1-inch locking bolts, has a pry-resistant hinge bar for added security, interior lighting, and has bolt-down hardware as well.
Considering what you’re paying for this safe, its capabilities of safe keeping and fire resistance are outstanding.
Just like the above SentrySafe, the First Alert 2096DF is also a small safe designed to keep small items and a handgun safe from harm.
Not everyone is a gun enthusiast or collector, so having a smaller safe such as the 2096DF will be more than enough to meet and satisfy the needs of someone who owns a handgun for self defense purposes.
If this safe ever gets caught up in a fire, it will maintain an internal temperature of 350-degrees Fahrenheit and can withstand external temperatures of up to 1,700-degrees Fahrenheit for up to one hour.
This safe features an electronic keypad, however, if you are unable to gain access to the safe because you forgot or lost the entry code, you can use the override keys that come with the gun safe to open the safe.
On the inside, the safe has adjustable shelves that can be moved around to allow you to make more space if you desire to do so.
The features that come with this safe as well as its safe keeping capabilities makes this safe a good option for anyone looking for a quality safe to store their handgun and other valuables in.
Now we’re getting into the bigger gun safes. The Steelwater Standard Duty Gun Safe is for the gun owner who has one or two long guns that he or she would like to keep safe from fire. This safe comes with an electronic keypad and electrical system that is EMP-proof.
On top of that, it is able to withstand fire temperatures of 1,550-degrees Fahrenheit for up to 45 minutes. It may not equal the fire resisting capabilities of the smaller fireproof gun safes, but that doesn’t mean that this gun safe should be ignored as an option.
The reviews that this safe has on Amazon are 99% positive, giving it a good reputation among gun owners who like to keep their guns safe.
Other than being a great safe to protect its contents against fires, it also does a superb job of meeting all the other safety requirements of a top-notch gun safe.
This safe has a 5-inch composite door with two layers of fireboard. The ceiling, walls, floor, and door jamb all have a single layer of 5/8″ fireboard. The door seal is heat-activated and expands up to 8 times its thickness during the event of a fire, which greatly increases the safe’s ability to keep smoke out.
The lock also features a hard plate and a spring-loaded relocking bolt in case anyone tries to drill their way into the safe.
The safe is made with 14 gauge steel which wouldn’t do much when someone tries to gain access using the right power tools. However, if this safe is placed where its sides and back are surrounded by concrete and bolted down, then you wouldn’t have to worry much about that.
Here we have the second big safe in this review. Stack-On is a world-renowned safe manufacturer with products that speak for themselves.
The FS-14-MB-E has an overall positive rating with gun owners on Amazon.
This gun safe has the capacity to store up to 7 guns along with other things. If you want to use the safe to just store long guns and nothing else, then that number increases to 14. But beware, this means that the long guns can’t have any accessories attached to them like scopes.
It features a molded barrel rest and adjustable shelves. This safe makes use of a two-way locking system with six locking points as well as steel deadbolts.
The FS-14-MB-E makes use of an electronic keypad that comes with backup keys in case the batteries die. It does, however, warn you when the batteries are running low, so the likelyhood of you using the backup keys are slim. Just remember where you keep your backup key just to be safe.
This safe is able to withstand temperatures of up to 1,400-degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Stack-On claims that this was verified by an independent laboratory.
There are gun safes out there with better fire protection than the above-mentioned safes, but those safes would cost you an arm and a leg. The safes mentioned in this review are for the gun owner who’d simply like the extra security of a gun safe that would offer protection against a fire, if one ever broke out in your house — which we hope never happens.
So with that in mind, the safes in this review are aimed for those of us who aren’t serious gun collectors or enthusiasts. These fireproof gun safes are affordable when you consider their fire resistant qualifications.
A safe in every home is a must. Home safes provide safety against unauthorized access. It is an incredibly effective way of keeping children and burglars away while and your valuables from fires and floods.
There are many kinds of things you could store in your safe. You can keep your firearms, jewelry, cash and important papers in the vault. Most of us have precious and often irreplaceable items in our homes. A home security system isn’t effective against people who know the way around your home.
Getting a home safe is one of the best ways of safeguarding your valuables from sneaky guests, thieves, children and natural disasters. There are numerous home safes present on the market and you could end up buying the wrong one. We have put together this article to help you make the right decision.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Home Safe
Things You Will Be Keeping In The Safe
You should have a clear idea about what you’ll be storing in the gun safe. If you’re getting a gun safe to store jewelry and important papers, your gun safe will be small in size. You can’t expect to store guns and other heavy material in the small safe.
Where Will You Put It?
The place you install a gun safe in will be a major determinant in buying a gun safe. If you don’t have a lot of space available, you would want to opt for a smaller safe. Also, you should store the gun safe in a place which isn’t an obvious guess like the master bedroom. We wrote an entire article about where you should put a safe, check it out here.
What Do You Want To Save It From
Different people get a home safe for different reasons. One might get a gun safe to keep his valuables safe from unauthorized access while the other might get it to save himself from fires and floods. Choose a safe which will give you protection against these threats.
Home safes come with an array of locks. You can choose between mechanical, electrical or biometric locks. We recommend you should always go with a home safe with at least two locking options. One of the two, in this case, will be the primary lock and the second will be used in cases of emergency when the primary lock fails.
The Size of The Safe
If you own a long gun, you should opt for a long gun safe. If you own a single gun, there are chances you might buy new ones in the future. Keep this in perspective and opt for a gun safe which will have room to accommodate your present valuables and will have room for the new ones you buy in future.
Portability of The Safe
Some people need to carry their valuables like important documents or firearms with them when they travel. In such cases, you should have a portable safe. You need to choose a safe which is lightweight but doesn’t compromise on the security features.
Best Home Safes
Listed below are the three safes which are perfect for storing your most valuable possessions like cash, jewelry, guns and important papers. If you have these valuables at your home, it is a good idea to save them from eager eyes and unauthorized access by storing them in a safe. These three safes will satisfy most user needs. Further down in the article we review more specialized safes in case you need something larger, smaller or more secure.
The First Alert 2092DF is arguably one of the best home safes on the market. This home safe has an all-around protection and includes burglary, fire and water protection. The safe’s anti-theft features include patented pry-resistant concealed hinges, a programmable (use your own personal 3 to 8 digit passcode) digital lock and 4 solid locking bolts.
This is one of the only safes on the market which doesn’t lose its fire and water protection even after you bolt it to a floor. This safe from Fire Alert is one of the biggest and its interiors are large enough to store a full sized laptop which makes it the perfect home safe as most of your valuables can be stored in it without a problem.
This First Alert fire safe is UL classified for 1 hour to withstand an external temperature of 1700 degrees Fahrenheit while maintaining an internal temperature of lesser than 350 degrees. The composite construction with watertight seal prevents water damage to the contents caused by flooding or by water used in fighting a fire.
A big storage capacity of 1.31 cubic foot makes it one of the biggest safes on the market.
5 year limited warranty, with an after-fire replacement guarantee.
Waterproof even when fully submerged and will keep the contents in the safe dry. The safe will float on water during floods so you can recover it easily.
Backlit digital keypad with emergency override key.
4 live door bolts and pry-resistant concealed hinges.
UL certified to withstand an external temperature up to 1700 degrees for 1 hour.
The digital lock can be hard to set up and can be unreliable at times.
Liberty HDX-250 allows for quick and secure access using its 5th generation Biometric finger swipe technology. The biometric technology used in this gun safe is the most reliable in the industry with the lowest fail rates. Entry using the Biometric swipe can be obtained in 1 second while using the AC adapter and in 2 seconds using the 9V batteries, which are both included.
The Smart Vault can store up to 15 fingerprints. The 14 gauge heavy duty steel door has built-in anti-pry tabs and the reinforced latch system is specifically designed to resist pry attacks and other attempts to gain entry. The door on the HDX-250 opens automatically after you scan your finger. This feature provides you quick access to the contents of the safe.
The 9G HDX-250 comes with a key override feature for the times when the AC adapter and the batteries fail. This home safe is small in size and can only store your most precious possessions. You can store a handgun, jewelry and some important papers in the safe. This Liberty Smart Vault come with pre-drilled holes so you can bolt this to a sturdy surface.
The biometric lock on this safe is quick and has the lowest fail rates.
HDX-250 has an auto open door with lighted interior.
Comes with built-in anti-pry tabs and the reinforced latch system.
Has key override option when the AC adapter or the batteries fail.
Small in size.
A little expensive for its size ( 7 x 11.5 x 12.5 inches) as compared to the other safes on the market.
The SentrySafe SFW123DSB makes it to the list because it’s value for money and provides high-quality protection. This safe has four pre-drilled holes so it could be bolted to the floor or a solid surface which makes it theft resistant. The SFW123DSD weighs 101 pounds which can make it hard for the burglars to carry it.
The SentrySafe has a pry-resistant hinge bar and four one-inch locking bolts. The theft-resistant features make it hard for the thieves to break into the safe. The SFW123DSB comes with a unique feature. You can’t reset the combination lock on this safe. There is one combination which is pre-set by SentrySafe, and you’ll find it on the back of the manual.
The SentrySafe is fire and water resistant. In case your house catches fire or is flooded, the SFW123DSB will be one of the few things which will remain unharmed. There have been cases where condensation has formed inside the safe because of its fire and water-resistant capabilities. You will need to use a dehumidifier to safeguard your valuables from the moisture.
Fire, water and theft protection.
Weighs 101 lbs and can be bolted to the floor which makes it hard for the burglars to carry it.
Spacious and has compartments to store documents, firearms, keys and electronic devices.
UL classified to survive in a fire for 1 hour, up to 1700°F
Handle is made of plastic and isn’t as sturdy as the rest of the safe.
Comes with a non-changeable combination lock.
There have been cases of moisture forming inside the safe.
While the safes reviewed above are the best types of safes you can get for general purposes and smaller things, there are other safes which are much bigger and are for specific purposes like storing guns, portability, installing in specific places, etc.
The RF703620X6 is the ultimate safe. This safe by American Security comes in the ‘True Gun Safe’ category and provides you with the best security measure against theft and fire. This safe is UL TL-30X6 certified, which means it can protect your valuables from 1850 degree fires for 120 minutes. The RF703620X6 has a lifetime warranty against fire and theft.
The sheer size of the size can be intimidating for the thieves. The American Security safe weighs 4578 lbs and comes with four pre-cut holes for anchoring the safe to the floor. This safe is UL TL-30X60 certified for theft protection. This implies that the trained professionals will take at least 30 minutes to gain access to this safe.
The RF70360X6 comes with a ton of features and customization options. This safe comes with pre-installed interior LED lights for better visibility, an option to choose from three lock types, storage cabinets and a dehumidifier. This safe by American Security is primarily for the purpose of storing long guns but it has ample space to store all your valuables.
Lifetime warranty against theft and fire.
UL TL-30X6 certified for being fire and theft resistant.
Customization options to modify your storage space according to your needs.
Comes with four pre-cut anchor holes and weighs 4578 lbs which makes it near impossible for the burglars to carry it.
This safe is not water proof.
The RF70360X6 can draw unwanted attention just because of its size.
SecureIt is a known brand name when it comes to firearms storage. SecureIt calls itself an intelligent firearms storage company and also manufactures tactical firearm storage units to the military. You can rest assured this company knows what it is doing since it is associated with the army. The Model 52 is one of the best and fairly priced gun safes on the market.
The SecureIt Model 52 Gun Cabinet is a premium, heavy-duty firearm storage gun safe. The Model 52 does everything a gun safe does without being horribly heavy or hard to move. This safe by SecureIt comes with a patented KnockDown technology which makes it incredibly easy to disassemble and transport the Model 52.
You can customize the Model 52 according to your needs. The SecureIt Model 52 comes with a CradleGrid technology for adaptable and organized storage. You can adjust the safe with the CradleGrid system to store any long gun without using any tools. You can store your full sized guns (up to 50 inches), jewelry or electronic devices in this safe.
Comes with highly customizable CradleGrid technology.
Can store up to six long guns with enough space left to store other valuables like jewelry and important papers.
The KnockDown technology makes it easy to assemble, disassemble and transport this gun safe.
Comes with a 90-day ‘no questions asked’ refund policy.
The Model 52 is not water or fire proof.
Doesn’t come with pre-cut anchor holes for bolting to the floor.
The lightweight of this safe can make it easier for the thieves to carry it.
SecureIt Fast Box Model 47 is an under bed gun safe. If you don’t have enough space to install a gun safe in your home or if you want to keep your safe concealed, under bed gun safes are the best option. Underbed gun safes are great at saving your valuables from unauthorized access.
SecureIt has an exclusive line of component-based modular storage solutions which are portable and yet don’t compromise on security. The Model 47 comes with boltable sides so the safe could be anchored to the bed or the floor. The Fast Box Model 47 has enough room to store a rifle with handgun, ammo and other valuables life cash and important papers.
Model 47 has an electronic locking system which is quick and effective and has a key override for times when the electronic keypad fails. The SecureIt Fast Box has a pad insert to cushion your valuables so they don’t get scratched. You can even carry this gun safe while you’re traveling as the Model 47 fits perfectly in the trunk of your car.
Comes with pre-drilled anchor holes so the safe can be mounted to the bed or the floor.
Model 47 comes with a key override in the event the battery of the electronic keypad dies or if you forget the code.
Just like the Model 52, Model 47 is modular and lightweight. You can easily assemble and disassemble it.
You can convert the Model 47 into a vertical safe.
The Model 47 is lightweight which can make it easier for the burglars to carry it.
GunVault SV500 is the quickest unlocking handgun safe on this list. If you live in a neighborhood which has a high burglary rate, you should have this gun safe installed in your home. Although this safe can only hold a single handgun and nothing else, it is worth the investment. The GunVault SV500 can be installed at your bedside, in your cupboard or under your desk.
The SV500 has a high-strength lock mechanism which is virtually impossible to pry open in cases of burglary. The SV500 has an audio and LED low battery warning for when the electronic lock is running low on battery. GunVault also provides a key option to open the handgun safe if your batteries run out of juice.
The SV500 has a foam interior which protects your gun from damage and helps to prevent rattling. There is also a light inside the safe which turns on when you open the gun safe. The SV500 has an 18-gauge rock solid steel housing. GunVault provides a five-year full warranty on fire and burglary on this gun safe.
Multiple mounting options.
High-strength lock mechanism which is virtually impossible to pry open in cases of burglary.
Portable and you carry it with you while you travel.
Key override feature for when you forget the access code or the battery runs out.
If you have cash, jewelry, guns or other valuables at your home, you should get yourself a home safe. While there are many home safes on the market, the ones mentioned in this article are the best in their respective categories.
If you have any questions or doubts while buying a gun safe, drop them in the comments below and we will be happy to help you.
When buying a gun safe, it’s important to know why you want it. The most common and logical reason is to, well, store your firearms. But you can’t just walk into a gun shop and buy the first safe you see or the safe that appeals most to your visual senses. That would be making an uninformed decision which could lead to issues and ultimately, regret, in the long run.
So, we’ve written this review to help you get started and to provide you with the correct know-how on what to look for in a gun safe when making a purchase.
What Should You Consider Before Buying A Gun Safe?
What do you want to store in your gun safe?
It’s a simple question but some people might take a minute or two before giving you an answer. The most obvious reason for getting a gun safe is to store your firearms, but it’s not always the only reason.
Many folks get gun safes first for their guns, and second for their valuables.
However, some people have an array of accessories for their firearms as well as a good amount of ammunition. These things should also be taken into consideration when deciding on a gun safe. Although it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a separate safe to keep your ammo and valuables in, at the same time, you could buy a larger safe instead of having two.
What’s the value of the items you wish to keep safe?
This is important to think on as you wouldn’t want to store items valued at thousands of dollars in a safe that doesn’t have a high-security rating. Just because it’s called a ‘safe’ doesn’t mean that whatever you’re keeping locked away will be kept safe and out of the hands of thieves.
Will the safe be used on a frequent basis?
What I mean by this is, will the safe be opened and closed every day or once in a long while? You should think about how often you open your safe, so you don’t limit your options.
For example; if you use the safe to store your trusty daily self-defense gun, then you’re probably opening and closing the safe at least twice a day. If it’s used to store a home self-defense weapon or your hunting rifles, then it’s probably only being opened once every few months.
Depending on what you use the safe for, you’d want to consider grabbing yourself two safes. One for your larger firearms that aren’t being used frequently, and the other to store your daily carry-on.
Where do you want to keep the safe?
This must be one of the first things you should take into consideration before buying a gun safe. Do you know where you want to keep the safe? Are there any weight or size limitations that you should take note of? Will the safe fit through your doorways when it’s being delivered to your house?
If you want to insure your weapons or valuables that you’re going to keep in your safe, then you should check with your insurance company or the company to see if the safe meets their requirements for insurance.
The Size of the Gun Safe
The size of the gun safe is an important factor to take into consideration, especially when it comes to storage space and the amount of space it takes up.
Manufacturers of all sorts of goods have a way of tricking potential customers into buying their products. For example, they’ll advertise that their products can hold this amount of goods or can sleep that number of people.
In most cases their claims will be true, however, it only fits the bare minimum requirements. This means that if a safe says it can store 5 or 8 long guns, it’ll probably store that number of guns but then those guns will have to be void of and modifications.
If you have any sort of modification on your gun, like a scope, a holographic site or whatever else, that could possibly limit the number of long guns or carbines that you’ll be able to store inside your safe.
Apart from that, if you do manage to fill up every slot inside the safe, it’s bound to be a really tight squeeze. And if your guns are tight for space inside of the safe, gaining access to a specific firearm will prove to be a mission every single time.
For example, if you want to remove a certain gun from the safe because you feel like having a day at the shooting range or it’s time for your annual hunting trip, then odds are that you’ll first have to remove most of the firearms first in order to get to your desired choice. On top of it all, because you’re constantly having to remove your guns and put them back, you’re risking the possibility of causing some damage to your firearms by bumping or knocking them into each other as well as scratching the barrels or stocks.
So, it is highly recommended against filling a gun safe to full capacity as it makes simple tasks more difficult and increases the chances of you dinging one of your precious guns.
As a rule of thumb, when deciding on a gun safe, double the number of guns you want to keep inside of it and find yourself a safe that can house that number of guns.
When deciding on your safe, it’s vital to know what the true dimensions of the safe are. Sometimes the advertised size of the safe can be a little off. The exterior dimensions won’t always be an accurate or exact representation of what’s being advertised.
Sometimes the exterior dimensions will be off by half an inch — sometimes more. Speculation for this is that manufacturers are competing with one another, so they’ll “adjust” their dimensions to match that of their competitors.
If you’re planning to build around your safe and not have an already-prepared spot for it, then it’s best you go and measure the safe in person instead of going by the advertised dimensions. We’re not saying that all companies falsely advertise their products, we’re just saying that it’s better to be safe than sorry.
When buying a safe, many folks compare the exterior dimensions and completely forget about what’s going on inside of the safe. When you’re comparing safes, always remember to compare the interior dimensions.
Even if the safe looks big enough on the outside, if it has great fire protection, then the walls will be thicker which leads to less storage space on the inside.
Rather Safe Than Sorry
We’ve all heard that bigger is better. In some cases, it isn’t, but in most cases it is. In this particular one, bigger is definitely better.
For example, if you’re enthusiastic about guns, chances are that you’re going to fill up your safe in a few years (if you haven’t already done so). So what do you do when you’re sitting with a safe full of guns and a desire to acquire more but you can’t because you don’t have the storage space for it?
Well, you could either stop collecting more guns or you could just buy another safe. If you’re like me, the first choice isn’t an option that I’d consider — not even close.
So the next option would be to buy another safe.
If you’re planning on collecting guns but haven’t really gotten started on that or if your safe is already quite full, then perhaps you should consider going big — really big.
Remember, it’s not just guns that you keep in your safe. Many people keep all kinds of stuff in there. Apart from guns, most people store ammunition, cleaning equipment, jewelry, binoculars, scopes, and other kinds of valuables.
If you can afford to go big on the gun safe, then we highly recommend that you do. After all, a high-quality gun safe will be the investment of a lifetime.
Security & Burglary Ratings for Gun Safes
Gun safe security ratings are vital when it comes to insurance coverage that’s available to you. In some states, like California, you are required to get a safe with a security rating of UL 1037 Residential Security Container (RSC).
Whenever you buy a new safe, if your guns are insured, ask your insurance company what their burglary and security rating requirements are. This could prove to save you money in the long run as you would possibly pay less when you have a safe with a higher security rating.
However, if you don’t have any insurance on your firearms and would like to consider that as an option, below is a table that provides you with some idea of what the replacement value of the contents of your safe would be should anything happen to it.
Replacement Value of Contents (USD)
Up to $4,000
UL 1037 Residential Security Container
Up to $12,000
*Exceptional UL 1037 RSC
Up to $50,000
$50,000 to $200,000
$200,000 to $500,000
E-Rate or UL 687 TL-15
$500,000 to $1,000,000
F-Rate or UL 687 TL-30
RSC Gun Safes and Below
A residential security container is just that, a secure container. Technically speaking, an RSC is not a safe, it is a container for your firearms. However, for a container to get a UL 1037 RSC rating, it has to be able to withstand a 5-minute attack from one man using a quarter-inch drill bit and other basic hand tools.
Although, what may take one man to do in little over five minutes may take two men half that time to do, especially if they’re using crowbars and an assortment of power tools.
So, you could buy a cheap safe, but that doesn’t mean that it will have a UL 1037 RSC rating. If that’s the case, you’ll be better off grabbing yourself a locker or gun cabinet.
When it comes to selecting an RSC safe, you’ll have an array of choices to choose from seeing how the prices of these can start quite low—as low as $200, if not lower—and then you’ll get some on the other end of the spectrum which could end up costing more than $10,000.
Experts in this field would agree that the difference between the lower end and the higher end RSC safes are not that vast. An expensive RSC safe could last a few more minutes longer against an attack than a cheaper option would.
There are also different security measures that will possibly push the price up a bit more, like biometric scanners and so forth.
However, with the knowledge of an RSC safe being a glorified container, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater just yet. There is a higher classification of RSC safes, and that is Exceptional UL 1037 RSC. The exceptional RSC’s are able to withstand a fair amount of physical attacks aimed at breaking through the safe.
Now we’re getting serious. When you have an expensive collection of firearms, you wouldn’t want to keep it stored away in a safe that you know won’t do a proper job of keeping intruders out.
True safes start with a B-Class rating. B-Class safes should have at least 1/4″ thick steel plate walls and 1/2″ thick steel plate doors. True protection against attacks start with B-Class rated safes and going by the door and wall thickness, it’s no wonder.
But don’t think that B-Class safes are entirely penetration-proof. The rating above B is C. C-Class safes offer better protection than that of B-Class rated ones, but it’s not entirely invincible against the right set of power tools.
If you’re looking for a safe that would withstand attacks from power tools, then you’d be looking at getting a UL 687 TL-15 rated safe.
Setting A Budget for Your Safe
Knowing how much you’re going to spend on a safe is an important decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. When looking at the prices of gun safes, you should consider the total value of everything that you’re going to store up inside of that safe.
If the total value of what you’re going to keep inside the safe exceeds $5,000, then it’s only logical to get a safe that would cost you between 10-30% of the total value of its contents. However, it should be the original retail price of the contents by which you should measure, not the current retail price.
For example, if your firearm collection has an original retail price of $10,000, then you would have to look at a safe that costs between 10-30% of that. So, if your collection has a current retail price of $8,000, then you shouldn’t work the percentage out based on that number.
The 10-30% rule is just a guideline to help you make the best decision for your buck and for the safe keeping of the contents of your safe. You wouldn’t want to keep $10,000 worth of firearms and accessories in a $400 “Made In China” safe, would you?
The 10-30% rule depends on the insurance, the type of guns that you keep in your safe, and the value of your firearms.
For example, handguns are a favorite among thieves and are therefore a high-risk weapon. On the other hand, bolt-action rifles have a lower risk of being stolen. But this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t invest in a proper safe for your bolt-action rifles.
The price of steel keeps rising, so investing in a safe that seems expensive today won’t be a bad decision in a few years time. If you can afford to, buy the best safe you can today, and save the money in the long run.
The Weight of the Gun Safe
If you’re unsure about the quality of the safe that you want to purchase, a surefire way of being sure about its quality is to check its weight. A true safe will always weigh heavier than an RSC gun safe — even the top of the line ones.
You could take two safes that are just about the same in size and compare their weight. The heavier safe will undoubtedly be of better quality than the lighter one.
However, if you find two safes of the same size, same price but different weight, then you should have a deeper look. The lighter safe will almost surely have a fancy finish or more cosmetic features than its heavier counterpart. Don’t be fooled.
If your aim is to keep the contents of your safe protected and out of the hands of criminals, then you should always go for the heavier, dull-looking safe over the fancy one sitting next to it.
So, as a rule of thumb, always check the weight differences between the safes that you’re interested in buying.
The weight differences between an RSC gun safe and a B-Rate safe of the same size can be vast, even up to 1,000 pounds in difference.
The only downside of having a heavier gun safe is when you have to move. If you’re moving a lot due to work responsibilities, then having the heavy safe might not be a wise decision to make.
Gun Safe Steel
The most expensive part of a safe is the steel. This is because it’s the first line of defense against burglary.
To ensure that you have a top-notch gun safe, it’s important to check the thickness of the walls and of the door. Without meeting the minimum requirements of steel thickness, any safe could be broken into within a matter of minutes.
Most gun safe manufacturers mislead their customers and potential customers by providing false information, in a sense.
They’ll state that the door is this thick or the walls are that thick. Although what they’re saying is the truth with regards to thickness, the underlying story is what’s misleading.
The total wall thickness would often time be advertised as being two inches thick. Although this might tickle your fancy, the outer shell would be made from something like 14 gauge steel with a few layers of drywall.
Despite how impressive it may sound to boast two-inch thick walls, it’s still not as impressive as having two-inch thick steel walls. Don’t get caught in this trap.
Many safes have the appearance of sturdy-looking doors, but in reality, their bark is bigger than their bite.
Although the doors may look robust and sturdy, only a small portion of the safe door is actually steel. Most of the door is just drywall covered in sheet metal. Just like with the walls of the safe, the door might be advertised as being this-many-inches thick, but that doesn’t even come close to representing the steel thickness.
Here’s another gimmick that marketers like to use; combined steel thickness. They advertise the combined thickness of the different sheets of steel to make it sound like the steel being used in the safe is actually quite thick.
Although this may sound impressive at first, the outer sheet may be something like 10 gauge steel and the inner sheet will be about 16 gauge steel. And these two sheets will then also be separated by some drywalling.
Have someone equipped with the right tools and they’ll break right through that safe in a matter of minutes.
Here are some guidelines that you could follow when looking at the thickness of the steel for a gun safe.
Generally speaking, the walls of any gun safe are always made of thinner steel than the door is, making it the “easiest” part for a thief to hack through.
With the safe keeping of the contents of the safe and keeping intruders out being your number one priority, getting a safe where the thickest wall sheet is no-less thicker than 10 gauge steel is a must.
We know that 10 gauge steel isn’t the thickest, nor will it be able to withstand a brute attack. However, if you place the safe strategic and intelligently, then having 10 gauge steel is more than enough.
What we mean is that if you bolt the safe down while blocking access to the walls and the top of the safe, then you’re already well on your way to keeping the baddies out.
When looking at the thickness of your safe door, you should be looking at 7 gauge steel for the thickness of the outer sheet of the door. Having a thick outer sheet is always a good thing.
Having a door with an outer sheet made of 7 gauge steel is better than having a door made of 12 gauge steel wrapped around some drywalling.
A joint properly welded with full penetration is stronger than the base metal. When welding steel, the area around the weld can get hot pretty quickly, causing the steel to expand and possibly deform the steel.
In order to avoid this from happening, a welder would do something called skip-welding. Skip-welding is when a welder welds short sections at a time and later coming back to fill the gaps until a continuous weld is complete.
With cheaper gun safes, skip-welds are not connected and are therefore typically filled with a plastic filler compound, making the integrity of the safe much weaker. As if that wasn’t enough, the filler compound used is oftentimes a flammable product. So in the event of a fire, the outside of the safe would open right up due to this cheap fix.
Many gun safe welds present a problem when the weld is cosmetic. In many cases, welded joints will be ground down and polished, but with base metals that are thin, it’s not uncommon that the joint gets damaged as a result from over-grinding it. Whenever that happens, they simply need to weld it and grind it over again, but that’s too time-consuming.
When it comes to welding, some companies take the risk of cutting corners. One such example is that of using cold welds.
A cold weld allows for faster and longer welds before the metal starts to deform. However, with cold welds, the penetration is much less, making the weld weaker than the surrounding metal. To illustrate, for someone trying to break into a gun safe that’s been cold-welded, all they need is a hammer and voila!
Because of this, the UL 687 ratings require a continuous 1/4-inch penetration weld.
However, as welding is a time-consuming process, some companies make use of bending sheet metal, which eliminates the need for welding joints together.
As human nature, most people tend to go for the item with the most attractive price. In other words, the cheapest product. With gun safes, we know that buying the cheapest could result in potential problems in the event of a fire breaking out or an intruder trying to get his hands on whatever you’ve got stowed away in your safe.
When you’re inspecting gun safes before making your decision on which one to buy, have a look at the welding quality and if you’re unsure, ask the store help for more info or just get in touch with the safe manufacturing company.
Holes for Anchoring the Safe
To make the most out of a gun safe’s security, it needs to be bolted down into the ground. A safe that isn’t anchored doesn’t offer the same amount of security that a bolted-down safe does.
When selecting your safe, it should have proper bolt holes which should be at the outer corners of the base. This makes it harder to jimmy a pry bar underneath the safe. Be careful about the country of origin in which the gun safe is made in.
Some Chinese-manufactured safes place the anchor point in the middle of the base. This would make it way too easy for someone to get a pry bar underneath the safe. So be on the lookout for safes with center-based anchor points. The moment you see that, turn around.
Gun Safe Doors
Gun Safe Door and Frame
Gun safe doors and frames are one of the weakest areas of the safe. When looking at the doors of any safe that you wish to purchase, avoid composite doors at all costs.
If the safe door has a solid out steel sheet, then that would be more preferred than a composite door, despite looking thinner.
The majority of safes on the market have a pretty large door gap — big enough to fit a tool in for prying. If possible, these safes should be avoided.
If you have a look at true safes, you’ll find that their door gap is so small that in some cases you won’t be able to fit even a credit card in between the door and the doorpost. In terms of security, having such a small gap between the safe door and doorpost is essential.
With such a little gap, it would be impossible to jam a pry bar or any other tool into the door gap.
Although there might be a competition of aesthetics when it comes to door hinges being internally or externally located, they have absolutely nothing to do with security, provided the gun safe is properly made.
Internal door hinges only allow the door of the gun safe to open 90 degrees. This can eventually become a hassle if you’re opening your safe on a frequent basis to remove or replace your firearms. Internal hinges can’t be adjusted either, so this means that doors with internal hinges can’t be removed.
Having a gun safe with external door hinges allows the door to swing open 180 degrees, which is what you’ll want if you’re constantly removing and replacing your weapons.
External door hinges can also be adjusted and removed. This is beneficial for when you’re moving the safe. You’ll be able to remove the door and thus lighten the body of the safe by quite a bit.
Door seals help the dehumidifiers inside of your safe to keep the moisture to an absolute minimum. A gun safe without a door seal is an absolute no go. Stay away if possible.
Other than working as a safeguard against moisture, door seals provide protection against fires, smoke, hot gasses, etc. If a fire does break out and your gun safe happens to be in the midst of it, without a door seal, the contents of your safe that are not made of steel, like wooden and composite gun stocks and any paper (emergency cash perhaps?) will quickly burn to ashes.
If the safe you’re looking at has a door seal, check that it has an intumescent door seal. This kind of door seal expands with heat. The hotter it gets, the more it expands. This helps a lot to keep any smoke out of the inside of the safe.
Gun Safe Locks
UL certifies both UL 768 Standard for Combination Locks for mechanical dials and electronic keypads. Key locks, on the other hand, are certified under UL 437 Burglary Resistant Locks and Locking Mechanisms.
UL 768 locks are referred to by their groups as Group I and Group II.
UL 768 Standard for Combination Locks
In order to be certified as a UL 768 Standard for Combination Locks, a specific set of requirements must be met first.
General Construction Requirements:
The clearance between the tumbler wheels and the fence face must not be less than 0.025″ when the bolt lever is raised by means of the driver cam, and no less than 0.015″ when the bolt lever is raised by any means other than the driver cam.
The lever must be secured tightly and must fit snugly on the post. The fence must be perpendicular to the plane of the tumblers.
There must be up to 1,000,000 theoretical combinations. This means the dial numbering is from 0 to 99 on a three-wheel combination lock.
Tumblers must be placed in the right angles in relation to the tumbler post.
UL 768 Group II:
The tolerance for a three-number wheel lock are 1.25 dial graduations on either side of the correct number.
The tolerance for a four-number wheel lock are 1.50 dial graduations on either side of the correct number.
UL Group I:
The tolerance for a three-number wheel lock are 1.00 dial graduations on either side of the correct number.
The tolerance for a four-number wheel lock are 1.25 dial graduations on either side of the correct number.
The lock bolt of a Group I lock will become immobilized if the lock is punched.
The lock must resist against 20 hours of non-authorized access.
Protection against manipulation must include advanced features that aren’t found in conventional designs. These manipulation tests include:
Walking the tumblers
Expert manipulation techniques
Feeling tumbler gates
Sighting the variations on the tumbler
UL 768 IR:
Is compliant with all of Group I requirements.
Is secured against 20 hours of radioactive attacks that do not exceed 10 curies of cobalt-60 at a distance of 30″.
UL 768 was developed for mechanical dial locks, so not all of the UL 768 specifications are applicable to electronic locks. However, most electronic locks will meet the specifications of Group I.
Then there’s the matter of Group IR locks. This group isn’t a very common thing on gun safes seeing how the materials are made out of plastic to prevent x-ray imaging.
When deciding about the lock rating that you need to get when purchasing a safe, get one with a combination lock of UL 768 Group II or better. This will ensure the best amount of security against intruders.
Electronic keypads may not seem as reliable as their mechanical dial counterparts are. Many seem to think that you could just rip the keypad off and unlock the safe via some computer trickery. These people have seen too many movies.
The keypad to a UL rated electronic lock works very much the same way that a keyboard works for your computer. So that means that there is absolutely no information stored within the keypad of the electronic lock.
Electronic locks that aren’t rated UL 768 will often have the lock electronics built into the keypad. Whenever this is the case, the manufacturer obviously tried to cut costs at the expense of the gun safe security.
With non-UL 768 rated locks like this, it’s possible for someone to hotwire the lock by removing the keypad. Non-UL 768 rated locks present a high possibility of being breached if the intruder knows what they’re doing.
But even if there’s no risk of anyone breaking into your gun safe, you’ll still run the risk of the electronics malfunctioning at one point or another if it is cheaply made. When it comes to the reliability of locks, mechanical locks always come out on top above electronic locks.
Always be on the lookout for safes that don’t have an RSC rating or for locks that don’t have a UL rating. When this is the case, these locks will almost always be made in China and be of much lesser quality than those made in the USA.
These locks will be in risk of locking out, forcing you to either get the help of a locksmith which could end up costing you an arm and a leg, or you could just simply try opening the lock yourself with the help of some brute force. Option two might end up costing you less than getting a locksmith to open your safe, only to have your safe lockout again in a few weeks time.
When you’re on the lookout for the best lock manufacturers, you’re going to want to keep an eye out for these following companies: Sargent & Greenleaf, AMSEC, La Gard, and Kaba Mas.
The upside of UL 768 locks is that each one is individually tested. This makes the UL 768 rating more important than the brand or manufacturer themselves.
When looking at the best in the industry, Sargent & Greenleaf have set the standard for mechanical dial locks. S&G have been in the lock making business since 1857 but were acquired in 2005 by Stanly and have reportedly outsourced work to China which could have an effect on the quality of their locks.
As for electronic keypad locks, La Gard has the edge here. La Gard is a brand of Kaba Mas, which is located in Lexington, Kentucky, USA.
S&G have reportedly had issues with their electronic locks (this most likely has something to do with outsourcing work to China), making La Gard the wiser choice when looking at electronic locks.
As mentioned earlier, steer clear from Chinese gun safes and locks. Don’t even think for a second that you’ll be able to make a good buy because the safe looks okay.
Often you’ll find on Chinese safes that they try to imitate the logos of known and trusted American lock manufacturers. These imitations have fooled many but when the safe has a lockout a few months or weeks later, then you’ll know.
However, despite the similarities in these logos, if you have a closer look and know what to look for, then you’ll be able to easily spot the difference.
Replacing/Upgrading A Gun Safe Lock
Many companies offer upgrades to the locks on your gun safe, however, some safe manufacturers have exclusive agreements with only one lock manufacturing company. For example, S&G locks are found on Fort Knox, Browning, and Liberty gun safes.
All you need is a locksmith to have a new lock installed on your gun safe if you wish to make an upgrade from your current lock.
Remember that if you’re going to upgrade to an electrical keypad, then La Gard is the go-to option as they have more reliable electronic locks than most other brands on the market.
If you have all the correct tools and know-how, then replacing the lock yourself is a doable thing. However, if you do proceed to make the upgrade or replacement yourself, then that means that you assume all responsibility for if the lock doesn’t work. The warranty will also be void if you do proceed to do the installation yourself.
Although, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. There’s nothing wrong with getting someone to do the installation for you.
Gun Safe Lock Types
When you think of two gun safe lock types, you’ll almost always think of a mechanical dial lock and an electronic keypad lock. After all, these are the most popular locks being used on gun safes today. Since its invention in 1878, the mechanical dial lock hasn’t changed much in its design or mechanics.
Some safe manufacturing companies make use of a mechanical dial and electrical keypad lock on their safe doors. This provides added security measures as some of these safes require both the mechanical dial and electrical keypad to be unlocked first before the safe door can be opened.
However, some safes might have both locking mechanisms on the same safe door but will only require either one of the locks to be used to open the door instead of using both.
In 2012 La Gard discontinued their 2441/6441 hybrid model due to reliability problems that it presented. It made use of a four-wheel dial lock and an electronic keypad on one lock. AMSEC has recently also introduced a safe lock of the same nature as the La Gard hybrid called the Duo Lock.
The Duo Lock hasn’t been on the market long enough to say whether or not it will have long-term reliability issues, so beware when going for the Duo Lock.
Mechanical Dial or Electrical Keypad?
When deciding on a gun safe, we’ll always look at the locking mechanism first. Some people may choose an electronic keypad due to its look and seemingly more modern feel. And then you’ll get those who stay true to the old school and always go with a mechanical dial.
Both of these locking mechanisms have their give and takes. Refer to the table below.
Very little problems
Problem with majority of locks
Great if rated Ul 768
Great if rated Ul 768
Lubricate once in few years
Replace batteries yearly
Can't be seen in dark
Buttons on keypad light up
Under 45 seconds
Under 10 seconds
Opening Under Stress
Fine motor skills required
Locks out for multiple wrong codes
Number of Combinations
100,000 to 4,000,000
100,000 to 1,000,000
Susceptible to EMP's, needs batteries
Easy, can store multiple combinations
More than 100 years if maintaned
3 to 10 years
10% of gun safes
90% of gun safes
5 years to Lifetime if maintained
1 to 3 years
Common User Issue
Forget to turn dial to re-lock
Keypad wear pattern
If there’s one thing to be said about mechanical dial locks, it’s that they’re as reliable as it gets. If the mechanical dial lock on your gun safe is properly maintained, it will literally last you an entire lifetime. And if the safe is passed down to one of your children and they maintain it with proper care, then the mechanical dial lock will more than likely last them a lifetime too.
With regards to electronic keypad locks, there are quite a few things that could go wrong. Having an electronic keypad lock could almost certainly guarantee that you’ll have to get your safe drilled open at one point or another during its lifetime. This might not happen to everyone but many can testify that they’ve had their safe drilled open because there were some issues with their electronic lock.
Not only will you run the risk of having the electronics malfunction but the lock itself is prone to fail within a few years of use — typically between 8-15 years.
If you buy a safe with an electronic keypad, always buy a spare keypad in the event that the keypad on your safe fails or gives you problems. Just don’t keep your spare keypad inside of your safe.
With electronics, there are a lot of things that could go wrong; electronics and solenoids could fail, the motor gears could strip, corrosion inside of the keypad could develop if you’re living in a region with high humidity or near the coast where the air is salty.
If you start experiencing problems and issues with your electronic lock, keep the door of your safe open until you can get the electronic lock fixed. We know this isn’t proper safety practice, but it’s better than having your safe drilled open.
With that being said, looking at an electronic keypad lock in comparison to a mechanical dial lock, there’s really not much persuading needed to tell you which one is the better and more reliable option.
However, I’m not knocking the idea of having an electronic keypad lock entirely. I’m just simply stating that for reliability, there really is no better longterm option than having a mechanical dial.
In this comparison, we’re only looking at UL 768 Group I or Group II rated locks. So we’re not even going to consider unrated locks as an option.
Security-wise, both locks offer about the same amount of security. However, if both mechanical dials and electronic keypads were subject to a fire, then both locks would melt or burn up externally. If that happens, there’s no way you’ll get the safe open other than calling a professional in to help you.
As mentioned earlier, mechanical dial locks can last a lifetime if maintained properly. Mechanical dial locks should be lubricated every 5 years. This is usually done by a locksmith who has to come out to your house for the process. This could cost you anywhere between $75-125.
With electronic keypad locks, you’ll have to replace the batteries every year. The convenience of replacing batteries is that it can be done without the help of a locksmith. Batteries can be replaced from outside the safe, usually behind the keypad. If the battery dies, the safe will not be able to open but the combination will still be remembered.
Regardless of what lock you use, the locking mechanism needs to be lubricated anyways. However, even if you only lubricate mechanical dial lock once every 10 years, it will still work fine. You wouldn’t be able to get away with replacing the batteries on an electronic keypad lock once every 10 years.
It’s clear which one of the two safe locking mechanisms wins here. When you’re in the dark, having the keypad light up sure does help out quite a lot when trying to access the contents of your safe.
The same can’t be said for dials. You’ll need some sort of light to be able to see the numbers.
Electronic locks on a gun safe are a convenience, which is why they’re so popular with many gun safe owners.
Opening a mechanical dial safe can take anywhere between 20-45 seconds. While on the other hand, electronic keypad locks can be opened in under 10 seconds.
Opening Under Stress
As we’ve just read, opening a safe with a mechanical dial takes a more than a few seconds to do, not to mention some decent motor skills. For that reason, don’t keep your home defense weapon inside a safe with a mechanical dial.
Opening a mechanical dial safe takes a while, but opening it under stress would seemingly take a lifetime for someone who isn’t trained to react under pressure.
On the other hand, having a safe with an electronic keypad lock in such a situation would be much easier to open than having to focus on getting the combination right by turning the dial under stress. But that’s not to say that keypads won’t have their own set of problems in such situations.
Some locks have a time-out period of the combination is entered incorrectly more than 3 or 5 times, leaving you locked out of your safe for a period of time.
Number of Combinations
The number of combinations that your safe lock can have is very important, especially if you have children.
Dial locks usually come in 3-4 wheel types which have 3-4 digits to the combination of the lock. To meet UL 768, each wheel on a 3-digit dial is marked from 0 to 99. This means that there are 1,000,000 theoretical combinations.
We say “theoretical” because of the mechanical tolerances of these numbers. To illustrate, if you have a lock with a 1.0 number tolerance, the lock wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between 10-03-25, 09-02-24, 11-04-26. This means that if you dial one combination, you’re pretty much dialing 9 other different combinations.
If you look at it that way, the correct number of possible combinations that you’ll have for your dial lock would be something like 111,111. That’s a pretty big drop from the theoretical 1,000,000.
Dial locks also have dead zones. This means that the last number in a combination would be restricted to numbers ranging from 0 to 90. This prevents any issues from happening inside the lock.
Electronic keypad locks don’t have issues such as dead zones or tolerances, but getting into an electronic lock by entering keys instead of turning a dial is so much easier and quicker that it could potentially present a risk of entry by your children. But this could be avoided if the electronic lock has a “timeout” or lockout feature in place. This prevents the incorrect code to be entered too many times.
Having this feature could prevent a child from getting access to his/her parent’s gun safe. 30 minutes is all it takes for a child with a clever brain to gain access to the contents of a safe, provided that the safe has an electronic lock.
It won’t take too many tries for a child to eventually get the correct combination. For that purpose, it’s unwise to use a birth date or anniversary as a combination for your safe.
A mechanical dial lock is the way to go if you’re preparing for an all-out attack or an apocalypse.
If that ever does happen, then having a mechanical dial lock in place is a much more secure option than having an electronic keypad. In the event of a nuclear weapon taking out the power grid and rendering the electronics of your gun safe lock useless, you would have a pretty hard time getting to whatever it is that you’re keeping safely tucked away inside your safe.
Changing the Combinations
Want to change the combination to your mechanical dial lock? Well, you’d might have to call a safe technician for that. It’s unfortunate that mechanical dial locks are so troublesome when it comes to changing the combination. However, the dials usually don’t show any sign of wear, so it would be impossible for someone to gather which numbers are used in the combination.
So the need to frequently change the combination on a dial lock is rare.
On the other hand, we have electronic locks. Changing the combination on an electronic lock is much more simpler and hassle-free than doing so on a mechanical dial lock.
The majority of electronic locks come with a master combination that could be used to unlock the safe in the event that you forgot your combination or to reset your current lock combination.
Some electronic locks allow you to store multiple combinations which will give you access to the safe.
On that note, it’s important that you change your combination with your safe door open. Many people forget their combination as soon as they’ve changed it. This can have some detrimental consequences.
Again, if maintained with proper care, mechanical dial locks are bound to last a lifetime, and even if they aren’t maintained, they’ll most definitely outlive any electronic keypad lock on the market.
It’s not hard to believe that the more modern electronic keypad locks are more popular than the old school mechanical dial locks are. Electronic keypad locks outsell mechanical dial locks 9 to 1.
But despite the tremendous sales volume of the electronic keypad locks, these locks aren’t found on the high-end gun safes, instead, they are more common on low-end gun safes.
High-end gun safes are typically found with mechanical dial locks.
The warranty depends on which type of lock you purchased. Mechanical dial locks have different warranties to electronic key pad locks.
Most mechanical dial locks dial locks have a warranty ranging from 5 years to the lifetime of the owner. Electronic keypad locks usually only have a warranty that ranges from 1 to 3 years.
It’s important that you note that the warranty of a lock is usually honored from when the lock is manufactured and not when it is sold. It’s important that you know this because the safe could have sat in the showroom for quite some time before you buy it. And by the time that you do buy it, there are only about 2 years left on the warranty (that is if you get a safe with an electronic keypad lock).
As you would expect, safe lock manufacturers have a set of conditions in which if all are met, they’ll honor the warranty. But if even one of these conditions are not met, then the entire warranty would be void.
It’s uncommon for a gun safe manufacturer to cover the most expensive part of a lock in their warranty. This is usually the labor of a locksmith drilling the safe open.
If there’s anything you should take away from this, it’s that you should buy the best quality gun safe lock that you can afford. This, in the long run, will potentially save you heaps of cash and you’ll also get a pretty sweet warranty too.
Common User Issue
When a mechanical dial lock is unlocked, then all the tumblers are lined up and allows the safe to be opened. When the safe user closes the safe, they should always remember to turn the dial in order to lock the safe again. Many people have forgotten to lock the safe after closing it by turning the dial.
As long as the dial remains unturned after the safe’s been unlocked, then anyone can have access to the safe.
The above issue doesn’t occur with electronic keypad locks. However, due to the ease and possible frequency of changing the combination, people could easily forget their new combination after changing it.
Lock Bolt Pressure Issues
Locks typically have a deadbolt that extends into the bolt work when the safe is locked. Some locks can present issues that are caused by bolt pressure.
The life of electronic locks can be shortened by bolt pressure because bolt pressure causes a higher current draw in solenoid, which can lead to overheating and failure.
However, high end electronic locks make use of motors to retract the deadbolt. These motors us gearboxes to retract the deadbolt despite the pressure of the bolt. Although, due to the pressure and load caused by the bolt, it can lead to the gears being stripped over time and cause motors to overheat and eventually wear out.
Here are some things you can do to prevent any issues with your lock:
Check that nothing gets closed between the door and door fame.
Check that nothing interferes with the closing motion of the door.
Keep the handle in the locked position before you enter the combination of your lock.
Check that the inside of the door frame is clear and that nothing gets stuck or in the way of the locking bolts.
Get to know what the proper position for your bolt handle is when fully extended. This way you’ll quickly notice if something isn’t right and that the bolts aren’t fully extending.
If you think that your bolts have issues, it’s best that you test them out to be sure. If you have the door open and the bolts won’t come out when you’re trying to turn the locking handle, this meant that there could be a detentpreventing the bolts from coming out. Check to see if you can find a detent release pinon the hinge side of the door.
The locks and bolts should always work and operate smoothly. If it doesn’t, then you should check the door frame to see if anything is hindering it. If your lock and/or locking mechanism is giving you trouble, then you should think twice about locking your safe door.
Gun Safe Bolt Operation
When talking about bolt work, we’re referring to the locking bolts which keeps the safe door closed and locked, the handle and linkages which operates the locking bolts, relockers, and the linkage that is immobilized by the lock deadbolt.
Locking Bolt Size
First off, let me stay that you shouldn’t necessarily pay attention to the size of the locking bolts. Most of the time, the door frame of the safe is quite weak, so don’t pay too much attention to the locking bolt size.
It doesn’t matter if you have a plethora of locking bolts to keep your safe’s door locked. What matters is the design of the locking bolts and how they are supported by the safe’s door.
Many of the top safe manufacturers in the world only make use of three moving locking bolts on the hinge side of the door as well as on the opposite side.
What’s important is is the level of resistance that the bolts have against being pried. The bolts should not bend or become deformed from a prying attack. Locking bolts that extend deep into the door have a lot of resistance against prying attacks.
However, even if the locking bolts extend far inside the door and are resistant to deformation as a result of being pried, it won’t be of any help if the door and door frame are weak and susceptible to being bent.
The Bolt Work Designs
I don’t know if you’ve see some bolt work and designs in some safes. Some of them are way too unnecessary and complicated that it makes you wonder why it’s even in production.
If you’re a little too impressed by all the complicated mechanics that move the blocking bolts, like too many gears and moving parts, then perhaps you should should steer clear. Gun safe manufacturers who have bolt work like this are only trying to impress the customer with the visuals.
Safe’s that have fancy bolt work are often times the least secure when it comes to prying attacks.
KISS — Keep it simple, stupid.
Bolt work should be kept as simple as possible. Simple always works best.
Shear Pins and Clutches
Gun safe bolt work can easily be damaged if excessive force is placed on the door handle. Manufacturers have found an affordable way around this issue so that they don’t have to spend more money by adding more steel to the bolt work.
So, instead of beefing the bolt work up, they instead limit the amount of force that the locking handle can endure in order to add protection to the bolt work. They do this by incorporating clutches and shear pins.
For use in a gun safe, a small hole is usually drilled in the shaft of the internal bolt handle in order to insert a pin. When enough stress (force) is applied to the bolt handle, it causes the shear pin to break.
When this happens, the bolt handle spins freely, sometimes even coming off. If a shear pin is broken, you’ll need a professional to come and drill your safe open.
Unfortunately, shear pins are a once off deal. So, gun safe manufacturers have come up with something else instead — a clutch.
A clutch works almost the same as a shear pin except that it doesn’t break when enough force is applied to it. However, the lock handle will still spin freely if an excessive amount of force is applied to it.
A clutch will allow enough force to open a safe that’s unlocked. On that note, it won’t allow enough stress to be applied that it breaks the bolt work of a safe. Although, if a clutch does fail, then you’ll need a safe specialist to come drill a dreaded hole in your safe.
Clutches need to be adjusted after the first installation. This is usually done by a safe specialist or technician. However, clutches are found more commonly on low-end gun safes, meaning that the clutches often never get adjusted because the safes are usually installed by the owners themselves.
If you experience a broken shear pin or failed clutch mechanism, don’t worry. These things happen more often than you know. For example, if there’s something in the door frame like a gun sling, and you close the safe door, you’ll probably need to apply extra force to get the locking bolts in the locked position. This could cause a shear pin to break.
With true safes it’s a little bit different. True safes are designed in such a way that the locking mechanism won’t fail in circumstances involving a large amount of force.
Also known as a hard plate, anti-drill plates are there to protect the locks from drills. Anti-drill plates are made from a hard material that is able to shatter and disable drill bits before they can even reach the safe’s lock.
Anti-drill plates need to be properly hardened, circular, cover the area of the lock and relocker, and must float freely in order to properly work.
Anti-drill plates should be located between the door skin and the lock, positioned at an angle for any drill bits they may come its way. Along with being positioned at an angle, the anti-drill plate should also be loose, circular, and super hard. If it meets these requirements, it’ll prevent any drill bit from getting through.
And if the drill bit does manage to get through, then the hard plate will bind the tip of the drill bit, snapping it right off.
Although anti-drill plates are such a wonderful prevention tool, it’ll only work so well if the gun safe is made out of quality, thick steel. Many gun safes are made with thin sheet metal that are easily drilled through.
Don’t get entirely caught up in the hype of an anti-drill plate. Many gun safe manufacturers will boast about the hardness of their hard plate but forget to mention how thin the steel that covers their safe is. Although it may be cheaper to buy a safe with a hard plate than a safe with thicker steel around the the safe, you need to consider which of the two options will be more worth your money.
If a gun safe has external hinges, then it should also have hinge side locking. If it doesn’t, then you should definitely stay away from that safe.
An alternative to hinge locking bolts are to have a tongue on the door on the hinge side. The idea is that even if the hinges are removed, the door will stay shut.
Relocker immobilize the bolt work if there’s any tampering going on.
The best location for a relocker should be on the lock assembly because it’s a fragile part of the bolt work. The reason for this is because the mechanical dial lock will often get hit with a heavy object like a pry bar or a hammer.
Locks that are rated UL 768 Group I and II typically have internal relockers. They immobilize the lock deadbolt in the event that the shaft is punched out. The relocker is activated if the rear cover of the lock is broken off.
Bolt work relockers make use of a hardened spring-loaded plunger that is connected to fragile steel cables. These cables can be severed by being cut or attacked otherwise, which then triggers the relocker. Other relockers use glass plates that shatter when being drilled through, while others are triggered by high levels of temperature.
If a relocker has been triggered, then a safe specialist will need to be called in to reopen your safe. And when the safe is opened, then they’ll have to repair any damage done to it.
It’s recommended that all gun safes have a relocker of some sort, however, a relocker won’t add much to the security of the safe if the walls of the gun safe aren’t thick enough that you can just get through with an axe.
A lot like hard plates, gun safe manufacturers talk about how many relockers they have in their safe, and putting a relocker in a safe is also cheaper than having the safe made out of thicker, higher quality steel.
Unless the safe is made out of top quality, thick steel, then having a relocker would be of much benefit. This is the case with true safe — thicke steel for the walling and door as well as having a relocker for added security.
Safes that are rated TL-15 and higher will have a relockers installed in a random spot to make it even more difficult for any intruder to get into the safe.
The Bolt Work Handle
This is pretty straightforward; avoid anything that will attract any unnecessary attention to your gun safe. The less flashy the gun safe, the better. With that being said, if you prefer to have a flashy accessory attached to your safe, then go ahead.
I’d rather prefer to spend the money you would on a flashy handle to get a safe that would be more reliable instead.
Fire Rating On A Gun Safe
Most conventional gun safes on the current market don’t meet the minimum requirements of fire endurance rating of UL 72 Class 350. There are a few things that will determine how well a gun safe will managed in a fire. Those things are:
Welds — If a safe is welded by means of non-continuous body welds, then it will open up in a fire which will allow hot gasses and smoke to enter into the safe.
Door — The doors need to be sealed with intumescent door seals.
The thickness of the insulation,
The type of insulation,
The coverage of the insulation,
Reinforcement of the insulation,
Structural integrity of the insulation.
The door and body of the safe must be strong enough and able to resist any deformation caused by high temperatures. And in more sever cases, they need to be able to withstand anything falling on top of the safe such as beams and other heavy objects in the event of a fire.
Outer Shell Steel Thickness
Thicker steel on the outer shell of the safe will not only add to its structural integrity but will also retard the increase of heat in the event of a fire.
Type of Fire Insulation
In life there are only a few things that you can cut corners with, and your gun safe isn’t one of them. When looking at a gun safe, try to get the best fire insulation that you can afford — don’t go cheap because you think “oh well, what are the chances of a fire anyways?”.
Here is a list of the most common types of fire insulation (from best to worst):
Poured concrete amalgamate.
High temperature fiberglass.
Gypsum drywall fireboard reinforced with fiberglass.
Paper-backed gypsum drywall.
Poured concrete amalgamate not only provides great fire insulation but also offers some level of structural support to the safe’s design.
If you’re going to have gypsum drywall as your fireproof solution, then having it reinforced with high-temperature fiberglass will be best. The gypsum drywall will fall apart in a fire, but the fiberglass will keep it together in any such event.
However, as time goes by, gypsum drywall can fall apart which could possibly interfere with your gun safe’s bolt work.
Thickness of Fire Insulation
The thicker the fire insulation material, the better. In this case, always go for thicker.
When having gypsum drywall as a fireproofing solution, having the sheets overlap one another as well as interlocking, will help to block the transfer of any heat during the event of a fire.
Always look out for cutouts in the fire insulation or any thin areas.
Inner Steel Liner
Having a continuously welded inner shell is a must for any decent fireproof safe. This shell will protect the contents of your safe any moisture that the fire insulation releases as well as adding an extra barrier that prevents any heat and steam exchange during a fire.
However, conventional gun safes don’t typically have inner steel shells.
Other Features for Gun Safes
Gun Safes Made In the USA
When buying a gun safe that was made in good ol’ USA, you’re saving on money, not compromising on quality, and you’re supporting American business and well as its workers.
If you’re buying a gun safe from overseas, you’re either going to risk buying something that is of subpar quality or you’re going to pay an arm and a leg to have it shipped over to the States.
And if that’s not enough to convince you to buy a locally made gun safe, some Chinese gun safes have fake UL RSC (Residential Security Container) rating stickers as well as faux locks. If there’s something that Chinese companies are good at, it’s replicating an original product, but they’ll change this or that to make it seem not 100% identical to the real deal.
Sometimes they’ll even try to recreate the problem of the original product to try and match its authenticity, but it reality, this only makes things even more complicated and even less reliable than it already is.
So, think twice before buying Chinese.
However, we should always beware of the wolf in sheep’s clothing. There are companies who boast that their products are made in the USA, but is it really?
Some companies, including gun safe manufacturers, will claim that their product is “Made In USA” but all they’ve really done was import 95% of their product from China or some other country with dodgy labor laws, assemble the items in the US and say “Here you go — made in the US!”
A product that can fully boast the “Made In USA” tag, has to actually be made in the US.
Warranties are often used by marketers to “seduce” potential buyers into actually buying their products. Something with an appealing warranty often sells better than a product with a less appealing one.
Gun safe manufacturers could state in their warranty that they’ll replace your safe with a brand spanking new one if it’s broken into or gets damaged in a fire. However, many folks, including gun owners, have house insurance. Things covered in their homeowners insurance will also include their safe and its contents.
Although warranties are appealing and play an important role for the sale of a product, sometimes the things contained in a warranty will never even happen or the chances of it happening are rather slim.
Who wouldn’t like a fancy interior for their gun safe? Just like the warranties are a high point for marketing, so are gun safe interiors.
Gun safes come with an array of customizations that can be choosed from. These features can set you back quite a bit and are often not even necessary. And if they are useful or necessary, you could buy the same customization for cheaper and install it yourself instead of paying the gun safe manufacturer to do the installation for you.
Having electricity inside of your safe isn’t such a bad idea. For one, having an electric dehumidifier requires a minimum amount of maintenance, if any. You may be spending quite a few bucks getting an electric outlet installed in your gun safe will save you money in the long run, especially when it comes to having a dehumidifier in your safe.
Another reason to consider having electricity within your safe is so that you can have a light installed. For those of us who have our gun safes hidden out of sight in a space where there is a little amount of light shining, having an LED light within the safe is extremely helpful.
LED light are cheap and easy to install. Some come in kits that have motion sensors that can be installed in the safe so that the light comes on each time the safe door is opened.
It’s important to note that you shouldn’t use lighting that would generate a lot of heat. This heat can cause damage to the insulation of your gun safe as well as cause shorts.
If you want to have an electrical connection within your safe or if you’re looking at a safe with an electrical connection, then it should be wired through a sealed hole at the bottom of the safe. Holes also need to properly be grommeted in order to prevent any electrical short. This will help to avoid electrical fires inside your gun safe.
Remember to never plug any devices in your safe that aren’t going to be used or that will just plainly be unnecessary. Just stick to lights and a dehumidifier.
Personally, I’m not one for a flashy gun safe, this isn’t to say that I oppose the idea of anyone having chrome or a gloss finish on their safe.
In some instances you have to think about practicality. For example, if you’re going to keep your gun safe stored away out of sight, will it really be worth it to have a fancy finish or cosmetic features? Well, if you think so, then go ahead and pimp your safe out. I’d rather spend that extra money on a more secure and higher rated gun safe.
Most people get a gun safe to keep their firearms out of reach of children and unauthorized access. While you would want to lock your guns in an ultra-safe place, you don’t want them to be inaccessible in times of need.
In events like an intrusion, you should be able to reach to your guns in time otherwise it beats the entire purpose of having firearms at your home. Underbed gun safes are a great tool to have in place to keep your guns secure and have easy access to them.
Knowing that your gun is just under your bed can give you peace of mind. Having your firearms around you can make you feel secure and at ease. The best under bed gun safes are the ones which give you easy and quick access to your guns while maintaining strict security standards.
Since the under bed gun safes are secretive gun safes you can store other valuables like jewelry, cash, important papers and electronic gadgets in them. Most of the under bed gun safes are big enough to accommodate your most precious material possessions.
What to look for when buying an Under Bed Gun Safe
1. Things You Will Be Storing
An under the bed gun safe can be used to store more than just guns. You can store other valuables like jewelry, cash, and electronic equipment in your under the bed gun safe. The size of the gun safe will depend on these factors.
If you own long guns and if you want to store other valuables in it, you will need a long gun safe. Depending on the things you will be storing, you need to check the security ratings and capabilities of the gun safe.
2. Height of the Bed
Since you will be putting the gun safe under your bed, you need to keep in mind the height of your bed. If your gun safe is taller than the empty area under your bed, you will have to look for other places to install it.
Most of the under the bed gun safes have a similar height. If you don’t have appropriate space under your bed, you can opt for the substitutes for the under the bed gun safes like the bed bunker gun safes and the bed buddy gun holders.
3. Type of Lock
You should always choose a gun safe with a locking system you’re comfortable using. Underbed gun safes come with different types of lock like the mechanical, electrical and biometric locks. The biometric locks can be fast but they might fail to operate when you need them the most.
While the mechanical locks can prove to be reliable, it might take way too much time for you to open the gun safe in cases of burglary. Weigh the pros and cons of all the locking systems and go with the one you’re most comfortable with.
Some people like to buy an under bed gun safe which they can carry around with them when they’re traveling. If this is the case you should buy a gun safe which is light in weight since carrying a heavy gun safe isn’t easy and you might stop packing the gun safe with you to avoid the inconvenience.
You might also want to check the size of your car’s trunk since it is the place where you will be storing the under bed gun safe. Having foam on the base of the gun safe will be a good idea in this case since it will save your guns from damage while it is in the car.
5. Material of the Gun Safe
The cost of the gun safe majorly depends on the material used in making the gun safe. You can choose between a metal or a plastic gun safe. Needless to say, the metal gun safe provides superior security as compared to the plastic safe.
The plastic gun safe should only be an option if you’re trying to keep the firearms away from children. It is incredibly easy to break into a plastic gun safe with pry tools and they’re so light that the burglars can just carry them away.
SecureIt is one of the most innovate gun safe companies. SecureIt has an exclusive line of component-based modular storage solutions which are portable and yet don’t compromise on security. The Model 47 comes with boltable sides so the safe could be anchored to the bed or the floor.
The Fast Box Model 47 has enough room to store a rifle with handgun, ammo and additional gear. Model 47 has an electronic locking system which is quick and effective and has a key override for times when the electronic keypad fails.
The SecureIt Model 47 has a heavy-duty all welded steel construction with black textured powder coat finish. You can store a firearm up to 46.5″ in this gun safe. There is also a pad insert to cushion your weapons in the Model 47.
Since the safe can be mounted to the bed or the floor, the burglars might not attempt to carry it away.
Model 47 comes with a key override in the event the battery of the electronic keypad dies or if you forget the code.
The gun safe has a modular built and is lightweight. You can easily assemble and disassemble it.
Fast Box Model 47 has enough room to store a rifle, handguns, ammo and additional gear.
You can convert this under the bed gun safe into a vertical gun safe.
Model 47 is incredibly lightweight so you shouldn’t store it under the bed without anchoring it.
American Security is one of the biggest gun safe manufacturing companies in America. They use robots and automation techniques to manufacture their gun safes. DV652 Defense Vault has an electronic backlit keypad which is easy to use in the dark.
The defense vault also has a slide-out gun tray which makes it easier to access your gun safe so you don’t have to go under the bed or pull out the entire gun safe. The slide-out tray is padded to save your guns from damage. The DV652 Defense Vault comes with pre-anchored holes so you can mount the safe to your bed or the floor.
Whether you currently have a safe or not, the American Security Defense Vault should seriously be considered for any gun owner. The high-security electronic lock on the DV652 is easy to use, and in a matter of seconds, the vault door is open and the weapon is in your hand.
Backlit keypad makes it easy to open the gun safe in the dark.
The DV652 has a slide-out tray which makes it convenient to use the gun safe.
The Defense Vault has an in-built beeper to notify you when the gun safe’s battery is running low and you need to replace the battery.
This gun safe is big enough to store multiple guns and ammo.
Has 4 pre-cut anchor holes to help anchor the gun safe with the mounting kit which is included.
There is no key override feature. If your batteries run out, you will be locked out of the gun safe.
The keypad is of a cheap quality which can be busted out with little effort.
The steel is 14 gauge thin and can be easily opened by an experienced burglar.
MonsterVault Underbed gun safe is probably one of the biggest gun safes present on the market. You could install your MonsterVault under your bed or in your full-size SUV or Truck. This gun safe comes with a seven-year consumer warranty.
The MonsterVault has a solid steel construction and has three cubic feet of storage. This gun safe comes with pre-drilled holes at its bottom so you can mount it to the floor or the bed. MonsterVault has a padded slide-out tray to save your guns from damage.
MonsterVault comes with a digital programmable combination lock. This vault has a black powder coating inside and out. This under bed gun safe has a capacity of 100 lbs in the drawer. You can store multiple guns, ammo, and handguns in this gun safe.
The safe is large enough to store multiple long guns, handguns, ammo and additional gear at the same time.
The MonsterVault has a monster weight (140 lbs) so the burglars might hesitate in carrying it away.
This gun safe comes with an override key in case the battery dies or you forget the password.
Comes with pre-drilled holed to anchor the safe to the floor or the bed.
MonsterVault Underbed gun safe is expensive as compared to other under bed gun safes on the market.
This gun safe is not fireproof or waterproof.
MonsterVault can prove to be too heavy to carry around.
You need a tool to remove the iron plate so you could use the override key.
The RAPiD Safe AR Gunlocker has a fully enclosed design which provides tamper-proof security. Its front-end spring loaded door makes it a perfect companion under a bed, in the back of an SUV or mounted in a closet.
Hornady RAPiD Safe AR Gunlocker comes with arguably the most number of security options which include RFID Wristband, RFID Key Fob, RFID Stickers, Keypad, Key (for power outages). It is an electrical gun safe and comes with a security cable for securing your gun safe.
The AR Gunlocker comes with foam inserts which can accommodate up to two tactical length rifles and/or shotguns. The RAPiD Safe Gunlocker comes with a 1500-lb rated cable for added security. The advanced unlocking techniques of this gun safe can push you to use this vault often.
RAPiD Safe AR Gunlocker is an electrical gun safe so you don’t have to worry about running out of batteries.
Comes with a variety of security options so you can choose which is the most convenient for you.
Hornady Gunlocker has a security cable included for locking down your gun safe.
Can be used as a vertical gun safe.
Foam inserts which can accommodate up to two tactical length rifles and/or shotguns.
RAPiD Safe AR Gunlocker is not fireproof or waterproof.
No pre-drilled anchor holes. This gun safe comes with a security cable instead.
This gun safe is lightweight and can be carried away by burglars.
If you don’t have space for an under the bed or other full sized gun safes, you can opt for bed bunker gun safes. The bed bunker gun safes keep your valuables out of plain view and secure by concealing them with mattress which lay right on top of the bed bunkers.
Bed bunkers add an extra layer of security to your guns since most burglars don’t look under your mattress. Apart from the bed bunkers, you can also opt for couch bunkers if you need additional space to store your valuables.
The BedBunker Twin Size Bed Bunker eliminates the need to have extra space under your bed to store a gun safe. The BedBunker has a two-hour firewall which dramatically boosts the odds of your guns being saved from searing temperatures since it is just a few feet above the floor and it keeps your guns up to 500 degrees cooler.
A BedBunker also reduced floor stress by 78% as compared to a standing gun safe. A traditional upright safe with comparable internal size to a BedBunker, stands in about a 7.87 square foot area, weighing 1300 pounds. That works out to 165.18 pounds per square foot of floor stress. A queen-sized BedBunker requires 37.5 square feet, also weighing 1300 pounds. That works out to just 35 pounds per square foot — a 78% reduction in floor stress over the upright safe.
The BedBunker comes with an option of a key lock and a mechanical dial lock. You can also choose to convert your BedBunker into a King or a Queen sized bunker. This gun safe comes with pre-drilled bolts for anchoring the gun safe to the floor.
The BedBunker gun safes are incredibly heavy (1300 LBS) which makes it hard for the burglars to carry them.
In cases of a burglary, the intruders might not look under the mattress for a gun safe.
Comes with two locking options, a key lock, and a mechanical dial lock.
Keeps your guns 500 degrees cooler and has two-hour fire protection walls.
Capacity up to 30 rifles in a twin and 60 rifles in a queen and larger bedbunker plus numerous pistols and ammo
Can be hard to install and move around.
The BedBunker is an expensive gun safe.
It can be a tedious task to access the gun safe as you will have to remove the mattresses every single time.
Underbed gun safes can be lifesavers in times of need. These safes are essential if you have children at home. For maximum safety, you should bolt your gun safe to the floor or the bed if you have a sturdy bed.
While there are many under bed gun safes on the market, the ones on the list are the best. You might end up using your gun safe more often than you think so we recommend you consider the things mentioned in this article before buying a firearm vault.
An under the bed gun safe should be installed in a place where you can have quick and easy access to it in times of need. Choose from a gun safe with your preferred locking system. If you’re not good with remembering access codes or patterns, we suggest you go for a biometric lock.
If you live in a neighborhood which has high chances of flood or fire breakouts, you should buy a gun safe which is fire and waterproof. If you have queries or doubts about buying an under the bed gun safe, drop them in the comments below and we will be happy to help.
When it comes to choosing a large traditional safe for securing your firearms, nothing beats the quality of Cannon. They have been in the industry for over 40 years with some of the most iconic, durable and quality large gun safes.
For a responsible gun owner, the safety of his firearm is one of the biggest concerns. When you buy a gun safe, the first thing that comes to mind is how effectively will this safe prevent unauthorized access and minimize any damage to your weapon. Cannon safes ease these concerns.
Cannon gun safes, apart from being large, are also rigorously tested for burglary protection and fire safety.
They bear a high price tag but come with more prominent features, durable construction and are backed by a solid warranty. Best of all, Cannon safes are capable of powering and connecting your electronic equipment like Ethernet and USB cables from outside.
With all that said; here are some of the best Cannon gun safes you should consider when buying a large safe for multiple firearms.
Cannon Gun Safe Reviews
We have done substantial research and pulled out these three best-selling models of Cannon so far.
This large safe bears a 42-gun capacity and is fire rated. It is designed mainly for storing rifles, however; you can also secure those long shotguns inside. The safe has a roomy interior with two compartments and multiple pouches on the rear of the door for storing smaller items.
This safe is capable of storing up to 42 guns. You will still be left with plenty of space for smaller guns, important documents, cash, jewelry, magazine, and ammo. Its interior has two compartments separated by a single non-removable shelf.
On the rear side of the safe’s door are ten storage pouches of different sizes. These are made out of durable fabric, which can withstand the weight. You can store some handguns, magazines, ammo, documents, and cash in them.
The All Rifle 5936 safe has been tested for fire at 1100 degree Celsius for 45-minutes. It comes with a triple-fin smoke seal that further adds protection to your valuable possessions.
This massive 450-pound safe prevents burglars from prying open the safe. The Cannon All Rifle 5936 Safe is California DOJ approved and is constructed from durable steel.
Moreover, it has four-inch locking bolts, tru-lock internal hinges and a triple hard plate on the lock that offers maximum protection against intruders.
It uses a standard easy access electronic lock and a chrome three spoke handle. These premium features and flawless design makes it virtually impossible for burglars to gain any kind of access to your possessions. Needless-to-say, its heavyweight also prevents it from being robbed.
This attractive safe is backed by Cannon Safe lifetime replacement warranty. They promise to repair it if it gets damaged due to theft or any natural disaster. Also, you don’t have to pay for shipping cost. The company covers it. Best of all, their customer service is very cooperative and responsive.
Storage capacity of up to 42 guns
45-minute fire rating at 1100 degree Celsius
Electronic lock with triple hard plate protection
Backed by Cannon safe lifetime replacement warranty
The safe is too heavy to move. You have to hire a professional moving service
Its interior is mainly designed for storing rifles and long guns
The 5524-30-H1TEC-17 Foxtrot Safe by Cannon offers a 24-gun capacity and is protected by tru-lock internal hinges. It has three locking bolts and dual stage triple fin door seal that automatically expands during fire. Here are some of its best features:
This is a high-security safe with tons of useful features that protect your firearm and other items from burglars and fire. It is built to hold guns and other hunting equipment. Its high-security lock, operated by a smooth chrome handle adds more security to the safe and prevents unauthorized access.
Its compact design lets you easily slide it into smaller spaces. It measures 59” x 24” x 18” and weighs 290 pounds. Though it has got the weight, it isn’t as heavy as the Cannon All Rifle safe. Overall, it has a nice matte black finish with a chrome handle that looks attractive.
The Cannon Safe 5524-30-H1TEC-17 safe comes with a 30-minute fire rating, tested at 1100 degree Celsius. It features a triple fin intumescent seal that expands during fire and provides more protection for your valuables.
This expandable sheet sits between the front and rear side of the door and prevents the transfer of heat. It’s actually great since the rear side of the door has pouches for storing ammo, magazine, handguns, cash, jewelry and other valuables.
Protection from Intruders
With a thick layer of steel, three locking bolt mechanism and an advanced locking system, it is virtually impossible for thieves to pry this safe open. It is protected by Trulock internal hinges which makes the door rock solid. It uses an electronic locking system. Users can set a 4 to 8-digit secret code out of 12 million possible combinations.
This safe is backed with lifetime replacement of parts and one year of labor warranty. You also get an exclusive 5-year warranty in which Cannon Safe will repair or replace your safe free of charge if the damage is occurred due to fire or burglary.
They also have the option to include a 2-year or 3-year protection for a couple of extra bucks. If you think you need this, don’t hesitate to buy.
Electronic locking system with 12 million possible combinations
Lifetime repair warranty
Expandable sheet for maximum protection against fire
The CA594024 is a premium series safe and is recently launched in 2017. It comes with luxury features and an advanced security system. You have two striking color options to choose from: hammertone black and hammertone charcoal.
It comes with Cannon’s exclusive EMP lock. It has both an electronic lock function on the top of the unit and a mechanical lock on the face of the unit. This ensures quick access to your firearms in case of an emergency.
Triple Hard Plate
The triple hard plate features six hardened steel layers, which are packed around the lock for protection against prying it open and drills.
While the safe features a 4” thicker steel door as compared to other Cannon models, it also has three additional layers of extra hard, 60+ RC steel hard-plates for maximum protection of the lock.
Unlike other Cannon safes, this model has been tested for 90-minutes for up to 1200-degree temperature. This ensures maximum protection of your valuable possessions. Moreover, it has an expandable insulation layer in the door for further protection.
As a potential customer, you are under the Cannon Safe lifetime warranty. If the safe is damaged due to fire, the company will repair it for free. Their customer support is outstanding and very responsive.
Overall, this safe has smart ergonomics including active locking bolts and anti-pry tabs for maximum protection against intruders.
As a gun owner and a good citizen, you have been thinking, maybe its time to get a small gun safe.
It is your responsibility to secure your firearm from kids, neighbors, and thieves. Placing it in a hidden place inside your house isn’t an option. You must own a gun safe.
A gun safe is a great investment not only for the safety of your gun and people around you, but it also offers quick access to your firearm in case of an emergency.
Whether it be recreation or home defense, your gun safe must give easy and quick access to your weapon. Also, it must have the strength so that no one can break it.
You are probably here because you own a handgun and looking for a good way to secure it. Investing in a large bulky gun safe that will cost you $700+ is not a good option. You need a small safe that will secure your weapon and be reasonably priced.
Your goal is not to focus on the attractive things. The thickness of the steel, proper locking system, and secure assembly is what ensures the best safety of your weapon.
Best Small Gun Safe Reviews 2017
No matter your budget, these great bedside small gun safes will help keep your firearm secure, keep it out of children reach and give you quick access during an emergency.
Fort Knox is a brand you can always trust. Their small safes are made with simplicity offering maximum security and convenience. This handgun safe has a compact design and is user-friendly to install in a drawer or a corner of a closet.
Durable Steel Construction
Even at this compact size, it offers 10-gauge steel uni-body construction with a large 3/16” tamper-resistant wraparound door that keeps your firearm safe and secure.
Its body has a shiny and slippery surface with rounded edges. The silver coating on the body doesn’t scrape off easily and keeps it in good condition for a long time.
You should be able to easily fit a large revolver, two compact semi automatics, and a spare clip. The little extra room offered lets you store cash or other valuable items, but not much. Ideally, a handgun with a clip and some cash would easily fit inside.
Fort Knox (PBI) uses a Simplex Lock, which is user-friendly and durable. While it may not offer as fast access as digital or biometric locks, it still unlocks very quickly. Once you get used to its locking system, unlocking the safe is easy.
Door & Dimensions
The safe is made with gas-strut assisted heavyweight door, which makes it virtually impossible for intruders to break or pry open it.
Overall the safe measures 4-1/4”h x 12-1/2” w x 10-3/” d and comes with a lifetime warranty.
V-line is another small safe with a flat body and uses Simplex mechanical lock system. It is easily portable and comes with pre-drilled bolt holes for mounting it in your home. You can always purchase a mounting bracket, but that’s not recommended.
This small and smart gun safe can accommodate two pistols at a time along with a magazine. You can also store a few other valuable items like cash or important documents. Whether or not it will store two pistols depends on their size and bulk.
While it may appear thin, the steel used is thick and rock solid. V-line has invested more money in making the safe durable than fancy. This stainless steel construction has a rugged textured low gloss black powder coating along with gloss black V-line logo on top that looks great.
This CA approved gun storage safe comes with Simplex Mechanical Lock for quick access. This lock has five button combination with a push-button that is easy to operate. While it is a simple lock, it is double the strength as compared to most of the gun safes on the market.
Ease of Mounting
With pre-drilled holes, you can easily secure it in place. The mounting hardware comes along with your purchase.
SentrySafe is one of the best brands of gun safes. It features a digital lock and has a single gun capacity. Though the safe appears less sturdy, it has a thick steel construction that makes it rock solid.
The safe is built for only one standard handgun. However, there is still enough space to put in a couple of magazines and important documents. The safe may not be that large but offers an affordable solution for your firearm.
With an advanced digital lock system, it adds more protection and security. Simply push and unlock. There is a 4-digit combination that you can set and the safe unlocks within a couple of seconds of entering the code.
The safe is pry resistant. Its door and body are constructed from solid steel that adds more strength and security against unauthorized access to firearms. SentrySafe is tested for wear & tear and pry-resistance.
YUP! It comes with an override key for convenient backup access. While the safe offers leading-edge and tactical firearm storage, it is also certified to California DOJ requirements and is one of the best safe you’ll ever have.
Thousands of gun owners like GunVault multi deluxe safe for many reasons. The best thing about this gun safe is its storage capacity and two compartment interior that gives you plenty of room to store more valuable items.
This safe is 100% pry resistant and keeps your pistol or handgun safe from intruders. It is made of thick steel with a matte black glossy finish. The extra thickness does increase its weight, but it ensures maximum safety of your valuable firearm. It’s virtually impossible for any thief to break it.
Storage is its main selling point. With two compartments inside separated by a shelf. The lower compartment is normally used for storing the gun while the upper can be used for items like cash, jewelry and important documents. If you have two handguns, they both can be easily stored in this small safe.
It has an advanced locking system with built-in computer blocks and key pad entries along with patented no-eyes keypad which allows you quick access. The lock has ‘Learn Buttons’ that are easy to program with more than 12 million user-selectable access codes. This safe beats all the other electrical safes with its incredible strength, features, and affordability.
User-friendly electrical lock with 12 million possible combinations
Another beast by Fort Knox is their PB4, very similar to PB1 handgun safe. Both the safes have the same price tag and matching features. However, there is a slight difference in the design that distinguishes both models.
Strong Steel Construction
PB4 has a heavy 10-gauge steel body construction with a 3/16” plate door. It is 100% pry resistant and is virtually impossible for any intruder to break it. Its solid door has spring assisted hinges that push the door outwards as soon as you unlock it.
Like the PB1 it has a mechanical locking system with 1081 user combinations. The lock is easy to feed with your desired combination. The spring assisted hinges in the door gives you quick access to your firearm.
Premium Materials Used
Overall the safe is made with premium materials, all made in the USA. It has a nice textured gray, skin and brown color mixture that looks great. Though the extra thickness of the steel adds weight to your small gun safe, it also makes it strong and pry-resistant.
Browning Pistol Vault PV900 comes with a biometric pad and grants instant access with the touch of a fingertip. It has twice the steel thickness as compared to other small handgun and is loaded with some cool features.
Small hand gun safes usually have a mechanical or digital lock. The Browning Pistol offers a biometric locking system. It’s a user-friendly locking system, very easy to program and unlock with a touch of a finger. On average, the safe unlocks in less than three seconds. In addition to the biometric system, it has an extra backup entry option where you can program a personal code using the four-button keypad. The entire system runs on AA batteries (not included).
A manual key lock is also available in a backup mode if batteries go dead or you forget the code.
Browning Pistol body is constructed with 10-gauge steel while the door has 14-gauge thickness. This makes it extremely durable and pry resistant. Its body has a dotted rough texture in matte black color with Browning Logo on the front.
Inside the safe, you’ll find an LED lighting, which automatically turns on when you unlock and open the safe door.
Other than storing your standard handgun, there is enough space left for valuable items like cash, jewelry, documents, and camera.
If you have multiple handguns, you can store them instead. Perhaps a loaded magazine could be placed inside.
GunVault MV500-STF is a must have safe for handgun owners. It is a programmable safe with a user-friendly interface. The safe grants quick access to your firearm and has a compact enough size to carry in a backpack.
It has enough room to store two small handguns or a standard pistol along with some ammo and magazine. If you only have one firearm, use the additional space for storing other valuables like cash, jewelry, and documents.
Lock & Case
The safe body is constructed using a durable and thick 20-gauge steel with a black color finish that looks great. Its door has got strength and is pry-resistant. You can rely on it for its high-strength.
Its exterior is designed in such a way that there are no purchase points for a thief to pry or even try to break it open. This makes it ultra-reliable and 100% secure.
On the top, you will see a no-eyes keypad that is user-friendly to program. It allows you to store a secret code and make a combination out of 12 million possibilities. With that excess of different variations, your weapon is extremely safe from being accessed by unauthorized people.
Nonetheless, this safe is fully secure. It comes with pre-drilled holes in its body that allows you to attach a security cable (supplied by manufacturer) and is made out of steel. This strong cable can be used to temporarily attach your safe to the car seat or a desk leg so that it is immovable.
Tamper Detection Feature
For making the safe more secure, a tamper detection technology is added to the keyboard. If someone makes 24 incorrect entries, the safe will automatically go into sleep mode for 2-minutes. During this time, if an entry is made again, its safe beep warns that someone is trying to gain unauthorized access to your firearm.
A few other features of the safe include a protective foam cushion that prevents any scratches or damages to your firearm from steel casing.
A warning beep is also installed if 24 wrong entries are made. You can turn it on or off using mute button located on the unit.
Finally, it comes with a backup override key in case of battery failure.
The SV500 offers storage for a single handgun and can be securely mounted under a desk, next to your bed, inside a cabinet or anywhere else where you can quickly reach. It barely has a bit of extra space for a magazine and ammo. Still, you can rely on it for your weapon’s safety.
Installing SpeedVault is quick and easy. It comes with mounting hardware and takes only 10-minutes to install. A separate mounting bracket comes with your purchase that makes it easier to install the safe anywhere you want.
The safe also requires a 9V battery, which lasts for a year. You can use user Energizer Advanced Lithium Battery With 10 Year Back Up. While it may not last for that much time, still it is better than an alkaline battery.
You can access this safe with a combination lock and with biometric lock. This biometric technology can store 120 fingerprints.
IMPORTANT: The Combination Lock model is separate from Biometric one. You have to pay extra to get the biometric model.
We recommend the traditional push button lock since it is less expensive and a quick way to access your weapon. However, the safe only supports 256 unique combinations which is a drawback. But it is 100% safe and secure.
One of its best features is the tamper mode. It tells you if the last combination entered was correct. To use the tamper mode, hold down the 2 and 3 key together for five seconds. An LED will display with a red or green color. If it displays a green color, a correct combination was entered last time, and if red is displayed, somebody tried to gain unauthorized access, but the safe prevented it.
When you enter the secret code, it beeps on every key press. If you want to keep things quiet and calm, press the mute button inside the safe. To enable the beep, push the mute button again.
The SpeedVault features a padded foam that protects your weapon from damages and scratches. It has enough room for full-sized revolvers or semi-autos and can also fix an extra magazine inside.
To prevent corrosion in its interior, it comes with Flambeau Zerust Plastab. Finally, a top-mounted LED makes it easier to locate the firearm in the dark.
Stealth Handgun Hanger is one of the best-selling small gun safes on the market. It has a thick and sturdy feel with a lot of space. You can easily store four guns, a magazine, and ammo. It uses a keypad combination for entry and has four bolt down holes at the bottom.
Using its digital keypad combination, you can secure your firearm. An override key is also provided as a backup if batteries go dead. It is easy to program the digital keypad and even easier to unlock the safe.
No mechanics of the safe make any excessive noise. However, it gives a loud beeping noise whenever you unlock it, and there is no button to mute. This could be a potential drawback.
The interior dimensions of the safe are 8” H x 7.5” W x 10” D while the exterior measures 9” H x 9” W x 12” D and weighs only 15 lbs.
Solid 12-gauge steel construction ensures that no intruder can break or pry open the safe. Its 6-digit combination keypad is easy to program and use. Depending on your finger speed, it will hardly take three seconds to unlock it.
RED LED installed inside the safe for easy visibility in the dark
The GV 1000S mini vault is one of the best small gun safe for handgun owners, and it has been on the market for more than ten years. It is an attractive gun safe with a reasonable price and is perfect to store two mini handguns.
Learn Button Technology
A few individuals have trouble programming a gun safe, especially if it uses biometric or digital lock technology.
But not with GV 1000S!
It has a Learn Button technology that simplifies the tasks. It takes you through a step-by-step procedure to setup the lock and program one from 12 million possible combinations. This also ensures maximum security of your firearm.
Heavy Duty Construction
Don’t worry about thieves’ pry opening your safe. It is constructed of heavy duty steel that makes it virtually impossible to break it. It has a high strength lock mechanism and a 16-gauge steel housing that protects it from any damage.
Low False Reject Rate
Nowadays, a lot of gun safes, especially that are cheap have a high false reject rate. This can be frustrating and may panic you as well. However, GunVault 1000S has a very low false reject rate and grants quick access to your firearm.
Interior Foam Protection
People often fail to think about the inside of their gun safes. While the thick layer of the sheet on the outside helps protect it from intruders, the interior, if not properly designed may cause damage to your weapon.
For this reason, GV1000S comes with an interior foam protection that prevents any scratch or serious damage to the gun. This foam has a thick padding and ensures protection of the weapon’s materials.
Uses up to 12 million different access codes
Heavy duty construction
Its batteries drain every few months and must be replaced
A gun safe must ensure secure handgun storage. It’s, in fact, a crucial factor, and SnapSafe ensures it. It is a portable safe with enough space to secure your handgun and a few valuable items. Its smart locking system keeps the burglars away, and thick steel construction prevents pry-opening attempts.
It’s a roomy safe and is built to store two mini-handguns. Its interior measures 9.5” by 6.5” with sides reinforced with steel and makes the safe anti-pry.
Those who plan to keep two guns may not be left with any space for magazine or ammo. If you have a single gun, you can even store cash or important documents.
With 18-gauge heavy steel construction, no one would dare to break it. It has the strength, weight, and durability. It nicely fits your firearm inside and protects them from intruders. Its construction, feels solid and sturdy.
Recognized For Safety
A gun safe is useless if it cannot secure your firearm. This safe meets TSA airline firearm guidelines and is approved as firearms safety device by California Department of Justice. It has a heavy duty steel construction and keeps the intruders away and your surroundings safe.
As mentioned earlier, this safe has a thick foam padding inside and on the inner walls. This ensures that your valuables are safe from scratches or damage. Also, proper compartments have been engraved into the foam that keeps your valuables in place. You won’t have to worry about bumps while driving.
Your Snap Safe comes with a 1500 lb. rated security cable for more protection. It’s a patent pending cable that allows you to mount it on the bedside or to a wooden table. Holes required for mounting are pre-drill in the body of the safe.
Ivation pop-open safe is a great solution for small weapons like pistols and revolvers. It has ample of space and comes with pre-drilled holes for quick and easy securing to wall or floor. Best of all, each button on its keypad sits in its groove. This ensures quick access to your firearm.
Solid Steel Construction
With a 16-gauge steel construction, this safe is reliable and has the strength to prevent those pry-opening attempts. In fact, it is virtually impossible to pry open it. This safe protects your weapon from reaching wrong hands. In its interior is a soft protective foam liner and a removable steel shelf that lets you change the layout of the safe.
User-Friendly Locking System
The safe has four rubberized buttons with 256 user-selectable combinations. There is an onboard computer that blocks access after repeated invalid entries while audio feedback confirms each correct entry.
Four AA batteries power this system. Unfortunately, these batteries are not strong, and you have to change them after a month or two.
As a backup, override keys are included that are helpful in the event you forget secret combination or batteries go dead.
Since each button on the keypad has its dedicated groove, your fingers can quickly find their position in dark or emergency. Whenever unlocked, the spring loaded door flips open instantly giving you quick access to your firearm. During an emergency every second is critical.
The safe has pre-drilled holes in its body that ensures easy mounting. You get all the mounting hardware with your purchase and installation guide. It’s not that difficult. Grab the nuts and bolts and mount it to the bedside, inside a cabinet or on the side of a table.
Rapid pop-open door gives you quick access in case of emergency
Honeywall is a small yet a roomy gun safe for handgun owners. It is easily portable and features an advanced locking system with 10-digits and two special characters. The safe is FDA approved and made from thick steel for ultra-durability.
Programmable Digital Lock
At a very affordable price, this safe offers a programmable digital lock that protects your valuable possessions from theft and tampering. This lock is operated with AA batteries (not included) and is user-friendly to setup.
Best thing is it takes less than three seconds to unlock, which gives you quick access to your firearm. This lock lets you choose a 3-8 digit pass code.
California DOJ Approved
Honeywall safe is California DOJ Approved and is suitable for firearm storage. It keeps your firearms secure from children and intruders and ensures that no unauthorized users can access it anyway.
Solid Steel Construction & Smart Design
Its solid steel construction makes it pry-resistant. It is virtually impossible for any thief to break it. It has concealed hinges and recessed door. This keeps your valuables protected from unwanted users and prevents prying of the door.
Moreover, two live steel locking bolts on the safe further add protection to your possessions. While the exterior has a nice shiny surface, its interior features a carpeted floor mat that protects your gun and other items from scratches or damage.
At the bottom of the safe, you can see pre-drilled mounting holes. You are also provided with all the mounting hardware and instructions. Simply use the nuts and bolts to mount your safe to wall, floor or inside a cabinet.
While it has a little room inside, you can still store one or two mini-handguns. It doesn’t have a slant in its interior which reduces available inside storage space. It will barely fit a Glock 19 or J frame revolver. Mini-handguns fit easily.
This safe is a perfect option for small areas of storage. It is light weight and measures 10” W x 3.5” H x 7.5” D. Overall, the safe is compact to carry around.With a small interior, don’t expect it to store a large gun. However, it effectively secures your firearm and prevents thieves from prying it open.
Along with a handgun, it has a bit of space left for a magazine or ammo or jewelry. Choose wisely what you want to store.
Its interior has a rubber mat that protects your possessions from scratches. The body of the safe has pre-drilled mounting holes and comes with hardware required to install it.
Positioning The Gun
Whether it be a small or large gun safe, you must know how to position your firearm inside the safe for quick retrieval. The best placing would be organizing two boxes of ammunition on the bottom and then the handgun on top with its handle pointing towards the door. This will give quick retrieval.
Its electronic locking system is worth a mention here. The safe has all the basic characteristic of a smart gun safe. You are assured 100% safety of your weapon. All the parts of this safe are made from premium materials that increase its lifespan and makes it durable.
Its advanced locking system prevents any unauthorized access while the thick steel layer of the safe makes it virtually impossible for thieves to pry open it. Two override backup keys are included that allows to unlock it manually.
Moreover, it has a lockout mode that automatically activates if wrong entries are repeatedly made.
With an advanced biometric locking system, the Ivation Portable Gun Safe is one of the best safety equipment to store your handgun. It unlocks within a couple of seconds and can store as many as 32 unique fingerprints. It is easily portable and lightweight.
Safety At the tip of your finger
This safe is perfect to store your firearms, cash and other valuable possessions. It has a solid steel construction and comes with an advanced biometric fingerprint sensor. It runs on 4 AA batteries (included) and gives you access within seconds.
Because of a very low false-rejection rate, you always get access in the first attempt.
Being capable of storing as many as 32 unique fingerprints, you can scan the desired finger from different angles to ensure fast access.
A red LED alert when the batteries are low.
32 Programmable Fingerprints
Whether you are living alone, with your spouse or girlfriend and want them to have access when you are not around, this safe makes it possible for you. It scans each fingerprint smartly and properly, taking scans at different angles and unlocks quickly.
Don’t worry if the batteries go dead and the biometric system stops working. You can use manual override keys to manually unlock this safe and access your gun and other valuables. While it’s rare that the fingerprint sensor gives an error, but for any reason, if it doesn’t work, use override keys.
Easily Fits in Glove Compartment
Though this safe has a bulky design, solid steel body and biometric system, it still fits easily into a glove compartment. You are also provided with a 34” (rated at 1500 pounds) steel security cable for tethering it to car seats, bed side or cabinet.
Overall, this safe can hold a single regular sized firearm with a few other valuables.
Biometric + Bluetooth technology! What else you need at such an affordable price? YUP, Vaultek is a biometric and Bluetooth operated small gun safe with a rock solid design and smart ergonomics that gives ample of room for storage.
Control With Your Smartphone
You can connect Vaultek safe with your smartphone easily. It is done using Bluetooth technology. There is an instruction manual inside the box that takes you through the setup process. Once connected, you can check the remaining battery life, unlock the safe, turn off/on the sound feedback, manage stored fingerprint and view history log when the safe was opened. All done directly through a Bluetooth app installed on your smartphone.
Vaultek safe has a compact and flat design. It is made of thick steel, which makes it virtually impossible for any thief to pry open it. Inside the safe is a thick foam padding which is properly engraved for organizing your firearm in a better way.
It has a bulging Vaultek logo in red color on a rugged black surface and biometric system on the edge of the top opening door.
This compact safe is perfect for storing a standard sized gun. There is a little more space left for ammo, magazine, and cash. Its interior dimensions are 11.0” x 5.75” x 2.0” and is advertised to hold a J&K size revolver or a full-size semi-automatic hand gun.
This safe comes with a biometric fingerprint scanner, digital keypad combination and overrides key as a manual backup. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are included that last up to 4 months and a micro-USB charging kit which charges in less than 2.5 hours.
Using the Bluetooth technology, you can view battery status, the brightness of the interior light and even unlock the safe.
Its steel body has a 16-gauge thickness, and the safe can be moved around fairly easily. Overall, this safe is perfect for handgun owners and is pry-resistant.
Adir safe comes with a programmable digital lock and features a compact design, which makes it easier to slide it into the smallest places. It has concealed hinges with a soft and slightly padded carpet cover along with four pre-drilled mounting holes.
Durable & Sturdy
With a strong steel construction, this safe is built to last long and prevent thieves from prying it open. It offers the best physical protection from forced entry. The safe has a nice matte black finish with a shiny surface. For interior protection, a carpeted floor is added, which protects your valuable possessions from scratches and damage.
Programmable Digital Lock
The Adir safe comes with a programmable digital lock. You can use it to create your secret combination, which is then stored in the safe’s memory. This digital keypad is operated via two AA batteries (included) and also includes two override keys as a manual way to unlock the safe. They can be used if you forget the passcode or batteries go dead.
Top Notch Security
While the safe has a solid steel construction and an advanced digital lock, it has other security features that ensure maximum safety. The door has two live bolts, pry-resistant concealed hinges with a pry-resistant steel door. Its design also prevents intruders from forced entry.
Finally, this safe is easy to install and use. It has four pre-drilled holes that make mounting to the wall simple. You can also fix it to the floor or a cabinet.
The GV2000S is a small safe but has enough capacity to store two handguns and other valuable possessions. It comes with some smart features that ensure your firearm is fully protected from intruders.
GV2000S uses a unique combination. It has four buttons on the top with 12 million possible combinations. You can easily program it with your desired secret code, which will be saved in the safe’s memory.
Best about this lock system is a separate groove for every button. Whether it’s an emergency or complete dark, you can easily type in the code and gain access to your firearm.
Two override keys as a manual backup are also added.
The safe has a very compact design from outside but has a roomy interior. You can easily store two handguns along with ammo, magazine and a few other valuable possessions like cash or jewelry.
There are two compartments, separated by a thin shelf. However, the shelf cannot be removed.
To make it pry-resistant and prevent any other means of forced entry, this safe is built using 16-gauge steel. It is 8.4 inches at the front, 15 inches goes back and approx. 10 inches wide.
Though it has a solid steel body, the safe weighs only 10 lbs. and is easily portable. You can carry it around.
Virtually impossible to pry open with hand tools
Advanced locking system with 12 million possible combinations
First Alert is one of the largest and most recognizable company when it comes to safety. They have been in the industry for over 50 years.
The 5200DF is one of their top-selling small gun safe. It is a reliable and dependable equipment for protecting your firearm.
You get access within seconds. It features a ‘no see’ keypad with 3 to 8 digit code. Simply program it, and the safe will store in its memory. Moreover, a spring-loaded mechanism is triggered when you unlock the safe. It pop opens the door so you can access your gun in no time.
This locking system runs on a 9-volt battery with 8 hours’ backup.
Despite the 18-gauge heavy steel construction, this safe has a compact design to be carried on the go. You can easily store it under your car’s seat or slide it into a glove compartment.
Durable Shell Design
As mentioned above, it has an 18-gauge heavy duty steel construction that makes it virtually impossible for intruders to pry open it. Your firearm is fully secured inside.
While it offers protection from outside, its interior is designed with a padded foam lining that protects scratches and damage to your possessions.
Verifi is fast access biometric safe with FBI Fingerprint sensor. It is very similar to Vaultek but has great technology. Its reliable fingerprint technology is what attracts buyers the most. The FBI approved several government departments use fingerprint sensor installed.
With a sophisticated 3D sensor, it maps a detailed image of your fingerprint from different angles. This ensures quick and secure authentication.
Also, it runs a self-diagnostic test whenever you use it. This alerts if there is any error in the system. Results are displayed on LCD.
You can add ten unique fingerprints per user and 40 in total. It also has AutoLock and interior LED light for visibility at night.
Finally, the solid 14-gauge steel body and 8-gauge door construction make it virtually impossible for any thief to pry it open.
Gives quick access to your firearm
FBI approved fingerprint sensor
AutoLock, NiteLite, Tamper Alerts, LCD, SelfCheck and Stealth Mode technology
Buying a gun safe is the first step in securing your gun safe from unauthorized access and dangers like fire and floods. After you’ve got yourself a gun safe, your firearms and other valuables stored in the gun safe face another threat, humidity.
Since a gun safe is an enclosed structure, it has the same humidity levels and temperatures as the outside. Your guns are made of steel, iron, and wood which can be damaged when exposed to humidity. Different parts of your home have different humidity levels. Have a look at the table below.
Different Humidity Levels In Your Home
Laundry Room, No Dryer
Laundry Room, With Dryer
Living Room, No Fireplace
Living Room, With Fireplace
Mater Bedroom Closet
Other Bedroom Closet
For the longevity of your firearms, it is important you store your gun safe in a humidity controlled environment. Keep your gun safes away from chimneys, kitchen, garage, and the basement as they have high humidity levels.
If you only have space in the highly-humid areas in your home, you can still save your guns from being eaten away by excess humidity.
While you can’t stop humidity, you can save your guns from it by installing a dehumidifier inside your gun safe. The dehumidifiers cost a fraction of what the gun safes cost and are worth buying considering you can have thousands of dollars worth of valuables inside your gun safe.
Many people don’t open their gun safes very often which cuts off the air circulation inside the safe. Changing temperatures in the room where the gun safe is installed can cause the temperature inside the gun safe to fluctuate. This temperature fluctuation can cause moisture to develop which can corrode and rust your guns.
Different Types of Dehumidifiers
There are three types of dehumidifiers you can choose from for your gun safe. Each type of gun safe has its pros and cons depending on your needs. You will need one of these dehumidifiers to keep your gun safe moisture free.
The silica gel dehumidifiers are the basic type of dehumidifiers. The silica gel inside the gun safe is used to keep the moisture out of the gun safe. The silica gel dehumidifiers are also known as desiccant dehumidifiers.
If you buy a gun safe, it comes with a silica gel packs inside. This is the cheapest form of dehumidifiers and you can put them wherever you need them the most. You need to change these silica gel packs after a couple of months.
You can also put the silica gel packs in an oven to dry them out after reading the manufacturer’s instructions. A silica gel pack won’t stop the humidity from forming inside a gun safe but will soak the humidity already present inside the gun safe.
Absorbs excess moisture Can pull moisture from 100 cubic feet
No batteries required Designed with the usability and comfort
The electric dehumidifiers are the most expensive type of dehumidifiers present on the market. The electric dehumidifiers resemble a rod and can control the moisture formation inside your gun safe by providing a constant supply of heat.
Most people find the electric dehumidifiers to be the best solution to the humidity problem which justifies the few extra dollars you pay for it. The only drawback for this type of dehumidifier is, you need to keep it plugged into an electricity source at all times.
If you get an electric dehumidifier, you will have wires running through the walls of your gun safe. If you don’t have a pre-drilled hole in your gun safe, you will have to drill one yourself. Most of the premium gun safes come with a provision for electrical connections.
GoldenRod Original Dehumidifier is oldest and the most trusted electric dehumidifiers. The GoldenRod comes in four different sizes to be used in safes of different sizes and covers up to 100 cubic feet.
GoldenRod is set to keep your gun safe at around 70 degrees to keep the humidity away. The power plug of this dehumidifier comes unattached so you can pass the cord through the hole in the gun safe. The whole set up process takes around 10 minutes.
The GoldenRod Original Dehumidifier comes with a lifetime warranty. This shows the company is standing behinds its product. This dehumidifier has a six-foot cord which you can run through your gun safe to plug into a power source.
The cord can be removed from the dehumidifier so you can pass the cable through the gun safe. This is a handy feature since different gun safes have different sized holes. The GoldenRod can heat up your gun safe up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
Since the GoldenRod comes in four sizes, you will want to measure the inside of your gun safe to find the best fit. Doing this can save you a few dollars.
The Lockdown Dehumidifier rod is another popular electrical dehumidifier which keeps the moisture away by increasing the temperature of your gun safe. The Lockdown rod will heat up your gun safe to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
This dehumidifier rod offers a one year warranty and is cheaper than the GoldenRod. The Lockdown rod comes in two sizes, 12 and 18 inches. Like the GoldenRod, this dehumidifier has a six-foot long cord you can pass through your gun safe.
The Lockdown Dehumidifier Rod circulates warm air throughout the gun safe which keeps the humidity and condensation away so your safe does not mildew. This dehumidifier comes with mounting brackets so it can be mounted low in the gun safe.
The plug of the Lockdown dehumidifier is not connected to the cable. This allows you to cut the length of the cable to the size required to connect the rod to the plugging point. The detached plug also helps in passing the cable through the hole in the gun safe.
Same quality as the GoldenRod but cheaper
Short mounting stands to keep the rod close to the floor of the safe
Rechargeable dehumidifiers are wireless dehumidifiers you can set up inside your gun safe. The rechargeable dehumidifiers are best used with the silica gel packs since the fan inside the wireless dehumidifiers rotates the moist air inside the safe and the silica gel absorbs it.
There are some wireless dehumidifiers which have silica gel packs included inside them. These dehumidifiers are small and portable and you can put them anywhere in the gun safe. The rechargeable dehumidifiers have a lifespan of up to 10 years.
If you don’t have a provision for an electric dehumidifier or don’t want to shell out the extra dollars, the rechargeable dehumidifiers are the best option. The only problem with them is, you need to change the batteries every couple of week. If you forget to change them, moisture can damage your guns.
Eva-Dry is the top selling rechargeable gun dehumidifier on Amazon and is one of the best gun safe dehumidifiers. The Eva-Dry E-333 comes with a five-year warranty. The E-333 uses a renewable silica gel technology that works without batteries or power. The E-333 can be placed in an area up to 333 cubic feet and it will absorb moisture.
There is an indicator window on this dehumidifier which contains crystals. Once the E-333 starts absorbing humidity the orange crystals in the device will turn green. The humidity absorbing capacity of the E-333 is 4-6 oz.
Since there are no lights on the device, you will have to check the actual color of the crystals. The time taken in changing of crystals from orange to green can vary depending on the humidity conditions, but it usually takes two to four weeks.
Once the crystals turn green, you need to plug-in the device in a well-ventilated area for 8-10 hours. After 10 hours the green crystals will turn back orange and the device will be ready for reuse. The Eva-Dry E-333 has a 10-year life, so this process can be repeated for 10-years.
With the Eva-Dry, there are no spills and you don’t need to buy any refills. Even at full capacity, the E-333 will never spill a single drop of liquid. The Eva-Dry E-333 has a mess free anti-toxin solution which is child and pet safe.
Cheaper than most dehumidifiers
No refills or batteries required
Works for up to 10 years
Eco friendly, Non-toxic, child and pet safe
Needs to be plugged in every couple of weeks
No signals for when the beads turn green and need plugging in
The Stack-On SPAD-1500 is a no-nonsense rechargeable dehumidifier which will absorb the excess moisture from your safe or security cabinet. The SPAD-1500 can absorb excess moisture without having to drill holes or run electrical cords through your safe.
The SPAD-1500 works in 100 cubic feet and absorbs all the excess moisture from your gun safe. Since this is a small dehumidifier, you might need to use a couple of these if you own a big gun safe. SPAD-1500 is a rechargeable device so you won’t have to tangle with the cables.
Just like the Eva-Dry E-333, this dehumidifier has a moisture indicator on the front that will bring it to your attention that it needs to be recharged. You will have to recharge this device every 4-6 weeks depending on the amount of humidity in your gun safe.
The SPAD-1500 requires being plugged in overnight to be recharged so it can be used again. You need to plug it into a standard 110 electrical outlet. You should plug the SPAD-1500 in an area which is well-ventilated to recharge it faster.
You will need to keep the device plugged in for 8-10 hours before you could reuse it. The best time to recharge the SPAD-1500 is overnight. With no batteries required and the ability to pull moisture out from 100 cubic feet, this gadget is already far above other models.
Cheaper than most dehumidifiers
No refills or batteries required
Requires no wires, so you won’t have to drill holes in your gun safe
Needs to be plugged in every 4-6 of weeks
No signals for when the beads turn green and need plugging in
After recharging, the device is too hot to be touched for at least 30 minutes
While there are many different types of gun safe dehumidifiers present on the market, most of them are overpriced or don’t perform well. The first decision you need to make while buying a gun safe is to decide whether you want an electric, rechargeable or a silica gel dehumidifier.
Gun safes with a moderate amount of humidity can make use of a rechargeable dehumidifier. Go with the silica gel dehumidifiers only if your gun safe has close to no humidity. Spending a few dollars on a dehumidifier can save your valuables from moisture, mold and mildew, and musty odors.
The gun safe dehumidifiers on this list are the only dehumidifiers worthy enough to invest your hard earned dollars in. If you have any questions or queries regarding a dehumidifier, drop them in the comments below and we will be happy to help.
We hope by now you know if you own a gun, you need to buy a gun safe. Before you get a gun safe, you need to figure out where to put it. The place you will put the gun safe in will determine the shape, size, and weight of the gun safe.
There are many factors you need to consider before you get yourself a gun safe. In this article, we will cover all the aspects you need to keep in mind while setting up a gun safe in your home. This guide should be used as your checklist to decide where to place your safe.
Pre-requisites of Buying a Gun Safe
Before you buy a gun safe, you need to have clarity about a few things. These are the different types of gun safes in the market.
In-Wall Gun Safes
Hidden Gun Safes
Car Gun Safes
Under Bed Gun Safes
Heavy Duty Gun Safes
Corner Gun Safes
Truck Gun Safes
Nightstand Gun Safes
Other things you need to consider are the number of guns you own, their lengths and will you be keeping other valuables in your gun safe like cash, jewelry, important documents, or electronic equipment?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you need to determine how big a gun safe you want. Gun safes have different ratings for being fireproof, and for their locks. You also need to think about the chances of burglary, fire, floods, and humidity levels in your neighborhood. There are safes which cater specifically to these kinds of threats. The prices vary depending on the type of the gun safe you go for.
Know Your Home
The gun safe you choose will depend on where you will be installing it. Everyone doesn’t have an unlimited access to storage space in their homes or offices. You need a gun safe which will fit into your desired space.
Based on the places you can store a gun safe in your home, here is an overview of the levels of burglary, flood, fire and humidity threats.
Humidity / Temprature
No Washer / Dryer
With Washer / Dryer
Laundry Room, No Dryer
Laundry Room, No Dryer
Laundry Room, With Dryer
Laundry Room, With Dryer
Living Room, No Fireplace
Living Room, No Fireplace
Living Room, With Fireplace
Living Room, With Fireplace
Mater Bedroom Closet
Mater Bedroom Closet
Other Bedroom Closet
Other Bedroom Closet
Installing a Gun Safe
Before we get into where to put your gun safe, let’s talk about how to set it up. Knowing how to install a gun safe will help you in finding the best place to put it.
These are the things you need to install the gun safe
Location – Location is what we’re exploring in this article. The location of putting a gun safe can vary depending on your convenience, how many times you access it in a day, what threats do you what to save it from.
Path to move the gun safe in – After you’ve bought your gun safe, you need to move it into your home and to the place of installation.
Floor – Some gun safes can be heavy. You need to make sure your floor can handle the weight of the safe.
Level the gun safe – You need to level the gun safe before installing it.
Bolt the gun safe – Bolting is a must if you need complete security for your gun safe.
Electrical connection – You might need electrical connections for your gun safe depending on where you install it.
Path To Move The Gun Safe In
Once you’ve bought your gun safe, you need to get it from your front door to where you want to install it. Depending on your needs, your gun safe can range from a bed side handgun safe to a full sized safe. The bigger the safe, harder it will be to move it and install it.
If you have never moved a gun safe or something this heavy (some gun safes can weigh more than 500lbs) before, consider hiring a professional. You might even need additional hands if you want to install the gun safe on the first floor of your house.
If you are adamant about moving the gun safe on your own, rent some moving equipment. Lay plywood on the floor to save your floor and the door thresholds. If there are more than three stairs, you will need professional help and equipment.
Floor To Support A Gun Safe
Just like humans, not every floor is created equal. It is especially true for the first and higher floors. Structures and things are rated by two type of weights: dead/static loads and live loads. Humans are live loads which can move around. Dead loads, like gun safes, on the other hand, are restricted and can’t move around.
If you want to install a gun safe on the first floor or higher, you need to get your floor checked so you know how much weight it can handle. Generally, you shouldn’t store a gun safe which weighs more than 1000lbs on higher floors. If you’re buying a gun safe through a dealer, you can ask him to check the strength of your floor.
You can also do this by yourself, to calculate the load bearing capability of your floor, you’re going to need to know the effective size, type, material, and spacing of the floor joists. You need to know the floor joists size because they might be overused from years of using. The joist might also get notched out while plumbing, electrical works etc.
If you want to install the gun safe on the ground floor or a basement, all you need to do is to measure the area. Once you have the details, you can take it to a carpenter or use an online calculator to know if your floor can handle the weight.
The floor surface also plays an important role in setting up a gun safe. It is much better to install the gun safe on a hard surface as compared to the soft surface like a carpet or other cushioned surface as it is harder to insert a pry tool under a safe if it is placed on a hard surface.
In case you’ve selected a gun safe which is more than 2000lbs and your floor can’t support it, there is a solution for it. You can get rid of some features to reduce the weight of the vault. For example, a gun safe with UL certification for being fire proof can be 1000lbs heavier than a non-UL approved fire safe. The non-approved gun safe will also be cheaper than the other gun safe. You can use the saved money to install a sprinkler over your gun safe.
Level The Gun Safe
Leveling a gun safe is a must before you bolt it down to your floor. Below are some primary reasons for leveling the gun safe.
The lock and the door can malfunction if the gun safe is not leveled and is kept at an angle. In this situation, you will need to call a lock smith to open the door.
The safe and the door can get misaligned if they’re not kept at a level for a long time. The misalignment will make the safe useless.
If your safe is not leveled, the door might open and shut on its own. This can hurt your guns and you. If you have a heavy gun safe like a true gun safe or a vault door, you can even lose your fingers or hand if the door shuts on its own.
You shouldn’t think of bolting the gun safe to your floor directly. Doing this will reduce the life of your gun safe and floor. Always use shims while installing a gun safe so it doesn’t wobble.
Anchoring Your Gun Safe
Anchoring your gun safe to the floor is a must. If you haven’t bolted down your gun safe to the floor, your vault can be easily moved around and carried away. Moving around a big gun safe isn’t much work for the experienced. Watch the video above to learn how to move, remove the pallet and level a gun safe.
If your gun safe doesn’t come with bolts, make sure you use ½” bolts to screw down the vault. If your gun safe isn’t leveled and is wobbling, use shims to stop the rocking. Make sure you bolt all the four holes inside the gun safe. Also, placing the gun safe against a wall is a safer option since the burglars can’t tilt it and tip it over.
Before you start drilling and bolting the gun safe to the floor, it is very important to make sure there aren’t any water, sewer, forced hot water heating pipes or wires under the floor. If you’re not sure about the location of the pipes or wires in your home, consulting someone can save you a lot of possible trouble.
Anchoring A Gun Safe To A Concrete Slab Floor
Concrete slab floors can prove to be the best place to bolt down your gun safes. Concrete slab floors provide the most security since they are one of the hardest surfaces you can anchor your vault to. There is a drawback to the concrete floor though. Concrete releases moisture which can corrode the bottom of your gun safe.
There are many ways to combat this problem. You could insert a hard rubber between the safe and the concrete floor to give space for the moisture to pass. Some people also use hockey pucks to add some gap in between the safe and the floor and then bolt the safe to the concrete slab through the pucks. We do not recommend leaving a gap between the safe and the floor which would leave an opening for pry tools.
Post tension concrete slabs – There is a specific type of concrete slabs known as the post tension concrete slabs which cannot be drilled through. The post tension concrete slabs got their name because they have high strength steel cables running through them under thousands of pounds of pressure. If this kind is slab is drilled and a cable inside it is damaged, it can fail and destroy everything which comes in its way. If you have the post tension concrete slabs, it should be marked “Post tensioned slab, do not drill cut or core.”
If you’ll be drilling through a concrete slab floor, you’ll need a hammer drill. You will waste a good part of your evening drilling with a traditional drilling machine. Your gun safe needs a hole too large and too deep to drill with a masonry bit and traditional drill. If you don’t own a hammer drill, borrow one or pay an expert to help you with it.
Since you’ll be bolting the gun safe to concrete, normal anchors won’t cut it. The moisture released from the concrete will eat away the anchors. You will need zinc-plated or galvanized anchors. Stainless steel anchors will also be a great option.
Here are a couple of anchors you can use to secure a gun safe to concrete. Don’t waste your time and energy with a traditional drilling machine. Get a hammer drill and make sure the concrete slab isn’t a post tension concrete slab.
Female Concrete Anchors
Female type of anchors are difficult to install when securing a gun safe to concrete. The female anchors are like lag bolts and drop in anchor shields. Once you drill them into the concrete they will make bigger holes compared to other types of anchors. The advantage of this type of anchors is, once you remove the bolts, there will be nothing sticking out of the floor.
How to install a gun safe with female anchors?
Set the safe where you want it
Mark the position for the holes on the floor through the gun safe
Move the gun safe away
Drill the holes for the shield of the female anchors with a hammer drill
Install the shield
Insert the bolts into the shield to make sure everything is fine
Remove the bolts, bring the safe into position and bolt down the safe to the concrete floor
Once you have the female anchors in place, it is close to impossible to move the gun safe. In case you have to move the gun safe, you will need to unscrew the gun safe by removing the bolts and nothing will be sticking out.
Male Concrete Anchors
Installation of the male concrete anchors isn’t as complicated as in the case of the female anchors. You don’t have to move the gun safe away to drill holes in the concrete. It can be done through the gun safe. Two types of male concrete anchors are useful while installing a gun safe.
Wedge anchor studs
You can buy these male concrete anchors at many places including retail stores and online on sites like Amazon. Make sure your anchors extend at least 5 diameters into the concrete after drilling. Anything longer than this will be poking out inside your gun safe. Shorter anchors can make it easier for the burglars to rip of the gun safe from the concrete slabs.
While drilling for the male anchors make sure you drill a little deeper in the concrete as the male anchors are not made to be removable. Following are the ways to take out the anchors in case you need to move the gun safe.
Hammer down the anchor completely into the concrete. This was the reason why you were asked to drill deeper than actually required.
You can cut off the stud to level the surface of the concrete.
Pull it out – a male anchor stud is stronger than the concrete. You will be able to pull the anchor out in most cases. You will need to fill up the patch made in the concrete.
The absolute right size for the anchors (both female and male) will depend on the contents of your floors. You need to make sure you don’t damage the piping or wiring of your house while drilling in the anchors.
Anchoring A Gun Safe To A Wood Floor
Bolting a Gun Safe to Wooden Floor Joists
Unlike the concrete slabs, while bolting the gun safe to a wooden floor, it is best to screw the gun safe directly into the wooden floor. Although, make sure you bolt the gun safe to the floor joists. Anchoring the safe to the plywood subfloor can make it easier for the burglars to rip it off by prying and rocking.
The next challenge for you is to find the floor joists. If you don’t already know the placement of the floor joists, you should get professional help. The installation of the gun safe can depend a lot on the placement and the distance between the joists. Once you know the location of the joists, you can go ahead with the installation of the gun safe.
While anchoring the gun safe to the wooden floor joists, you should use a lag bolt. Standard lag bolts have a hex head which can be installed with a socket wrench. You will need the entire socket wrench since the Phillip or slot head won’t do the job.
The best way of bolting the gun safe to the wooden floor is to drill into the floor first. This will prevent the cracking of the floor. You can then apply oil or soap to the bolt before anchoring it to the floor using a washer.
Bolting a Gun Safe to a Subfloor
Bolting a gun safe to a subfloor can be trickier than bolting it to the floor joists. The main risk in anchoring the gun safe to the subfloor is that the burglars can use the pry tools to rip off the safe by rocking and tilting. To add to the security of the gun safe, you can add more screws to the bottom of the gun safe.
To do this, you need to put a solid material in between the gun safe and the wooden floor. You will anchor the solid material to the wooden floor with multiple anchor holes as compared to the four bolts of the gun safe. You will then bolt the gun safe to the solid material using the four bolts.
You can either make your own solid fixture or get a carpenter to do it for you. You can also buy one if you want a quick solution. Make sure the metal fixture is at least as thick as five threads of your gun safe anchor bolts. If you’re using softer material like aluminum, you will need to go even thicker.
Cut the fixture to the size of the base of the gun safe. It will be fine if the fixture is larger than the bottom of the safe, but it shouldn’t be smaller. If the fixture is smaller than the gun safe, it will give an opening to the burglars to put a pry tool in the opening and tip the safe over.
You then need to mark the gun safe for the four anchor bolts. Drill and adjust the anchor holes. The bolts should be long enough so they go through the washer, the gun safe, the metal fixture and reach the floor.
Now, drill the metal sheet for the bolts which will be used to anchor the metal fixture to the floor. The optimum way is to drill a hole every 4-8 inches in the perimeter of the metal. While drilling, make sure the screws don’t stick up through the metal fixture since they can damage the gun safe and make it unstable.
The last part, screw the metal fixture to the floor. After bolting the metal fixture, set up the gun safe on the fixtures and install the anchors from inside the gun safe.
Anchoring A Gun Safe To A Wall
Anchoring a gun safe to a wall will require you to drill through the walls of the gun safes. A big problem with anchoring the gun safe to a wall is that it is hard to determine the right place to drill in the wall. There is a lot happening inside the walls of your house. There might be many pipes and wires running inside them. Drilling through even single one of them can create chaos.
The gun safe manufacturers recommend anchoring the gun safes to the floors. The biggest reason behind it is the fact that the door and the body of the gun safe can go out of alignment if the gun safe goes out of alignment.
Drilling through the walls of the gun safe can damage the fire proofing of the gun safe. The anchor holes in the bottom of the gun vault are the safest during a fire. This makes sure the gun safe is bolted to the place even in the case of a fire breakout.
You also need to maintain some distance between the wall and the gun safe while anchoring the gun safe. This space can give an opening for the burglars to put in their pry tools and rip it off the wall.
Anchoring to a wall should ideally be an option for people who don’t have a place to anchor their gun safes to the floor or for the people who have post tension concrete slabs.
Availability of Electrical Connections
If you’re installing your gun safe in a place where there is excessive humidity (refer to the table at the top) or if it is too dark, you will need some electrical connections. Most gun safes come with a provision for an electrical connection to power a light inside the gun safe or a connection point for a dehumidifier.
Humidity inside a gun safe can damage your guns and ammunition. While you can’t stop humidity, you can save your guns from it by installing a dehumidifier inside your gun vault. A dehumidifier is also a must if you’re planning to store other valuables like jewelry, cash and other important papers inside your safe.
Convenience and Easy Access
If you install the gun safe in a place which is too hard to reach, you will end up abandoning it after some time. Convenience and easy access play an important role in determining how much you will use your gun safe.
If you install your gun safe in a place where you can see it every day, you will use it often and chances are you might even run out of space in it. Some people get a big gun safe in anticipation of heavy use but install the gun safe in a far off place where it is hard to reach. Most of the space may go underutilized.
Before setting up your gun safe you need to think about how many times in a day are you planning to use the gun safe. What are the things you will be storing in it? Do you also want to keep your gun safe out of the reach of children and other people in your home?
At the same time, you need to think like a burglar. You need to figure out where a burglar would look first for valuable things. You also need to check the time it would take the burglar to carry away your gun safe out of the house from the place you’re thinking to anchor it to.
While you’re at it, don’t try to think outside the box. A place too far away from your living room or bed room can prove to be inaccessible in the long run. Install your gun safe in a place you can walk up to without the need to think about it twice or otherwise your gun safe is going to eat dust.
Best Place To Put A Gun Safe For Humidity and Temperature Protection
Gun safes are enclosed structures and pretty much have the same humidity and temperature inside the safe as outside the safe. You shouldn’t expect your gun safe to have a different temperature than the place you store it in. The only way to control the temperature and humidity inside the gun safe is to use electrical equipment like a dehumidifier.
For the longevity of your guns it is important you store your guns in a humidity and temperature controlled environment. Places like your garage and basements can expose your firearms to excessive humidity which can destroy your guns. Your upper floors, on the other hand, might be exposed to overheating in the summer, which can again cause harm to your arms.
Similarly, keep your gun safes away from fire places, chimney, and your kitchen. You need to put your gun safes in temperature controlled areas. Gun safes have the longest life in places like your living room, bed room, and office where the temperature and humidity are controlled.
Best Place To Put Your Gun Safe For Theft Protection
1. Bed Room
If your bed room is hard to access, there can only be a few other better places in your house to store a gun safe. Most people won’t come near your gun safe just because it is in your bedroom which is considered to be a personal space.
Sadly, burglars head to the master bed room after breaking into a house. They know if there is anything valuable in your house, it should be in your bedroom. If the thieves don’t find anything valuable, they head to the other bedrooms in the house.
After entering the bedrooms, the closets are the second option for the thieves. Many people consider closets to be a safe place to install safes. Unfortunately, burglars think the same way. This is the reason they go for the closets and dressing the first thing after entering a bedroom.
Though closets can provide ultimate safety to your gun safe if you install it between two exterior walls. It takes out any space for the burglars to put in a pry tool and to try to tip over the gun safe.
3. Living Rooms
You shouldn’t install your gun safe at a place where it is visible to people. A place where the gun safe is visible from the front door or the back door is a big no. Avoid installing the gun vault at places where it is visible from the outside through the windows since it might end up drawing unwanted attention.
If you have an office at home, it wouldn’t be a good idea to store your gun safe there. A home office can be a sign of wealth and power, and it might become the primary target of a burglar.
On the other hand, if you have an office in a commercial building with guards on duty, your gun safe might be in good hands. All you need to worry about are the employees looking to make an extra dollar off of you.
Gun safes in garages can have many advantages and disadvantages. Most garages have concrete floors which make for a great surface to anchor your gun safes. As we discussed earlier, anchoring your gun safe to a concrete slab can eliminate any space for a thief to put in a pry tool and pop it open.
On the negative side, garages are not humidity or temperature controlled. If you don’t control the environment of the gun safe manually, it can end up damaging your guns. Most people have a garage which can be scanned from the outside when it is open.
Since it is a garage, most people also store in their tools there. These tools can act as an aid for the thieves. Just make sure you install your gun safe in the garage where people can’t see it when the garage door is opened.
Basements can be one of the safest places in your house to store a gun safe. A basement isn’t also one of the first places a thief goes to when he enters a house. There is a reason behind it. No one wants to climb the flight of stairs carrying a gun safe.
Burglars would love for you to store your gun safe on higher floors since all they need to do is throw it down the stairs. Other than the humidity and temperature in the safe, the basement is a great place to install your gun safe. The only problem is, people tend to store their hand tools in their basements. Easy access to hand tools can make it easier for the burglars to open the safe.
The best place to store your gun safe inside the basement is to put it between two walls. This will restrict what a burglar can do to rip the gun safe from the ground. Make sure the anchor holes are completely bolted in the concrete slab in the ground.
Best Place For Flood Protection
You need to prepare for floods no matter how far away you live from a water body. While storing the gun safe in a basement can be one of the best options, it is the complete opposite in this case. Basements are one of the first places to be flooded in the case a river overflows.
To save your gun safe from a flood, store it as high from the ground level as possible. Don’t be too dependent on appliances like water pumps to eliminate the water from your house. The water pumps might fail in such situations and you can end up with big losses.
Best Place For Fire Protection
As a rule of thumb, the farther a gun safe is from the source of fire, the lesser damage it will face. Storing a gun safe in the kitchen could be a bad idea since your gun safe can be prone to be caught in the middle of a fire if it breaks out of the kitchen. You shouldn’t also be storing your gun safe in a room directly above or under the kitchen.
Similarly, storing your gun safe in your smoking room or near the fireplace can be a bad idea. You also don’t want to store your gun safe in your garage as it can have flammables like gasoline for the lawn mowers, chemicals, thinners and gas in the cars. The flammables can make the already existent fire worse or can even start a fire on their own.
The lower floors like the ground floor and the basement are the safest in cases of a fire break out since they are the coolest. Higher floors are generally hotter than the lower floors, especially in the summer and can cause extra damage to your gun safe.
Another risk of storing your gun safe on higher floors is, in cases of severe fires, your gun safe might fall through the floors into the lowest floor or the basement and can incur significant damage on impact.
Since in the case of fire, water that is used to extinguish fire can cause additional damage to your safe. In most fire cases whatever is left in the basement is not recovered. A bulldozer is used to flatten out the basement.
Your best bet against fire protection can be to buy a gun safe which is UL approved to be fire protected. These UL certified gun safes can stand up to one hour in fire without incurring any damages to the contents of the safe.
Where To Store Things Inside A Gun Safe
We hope this article has helped you find the right place for you to put your gun safe. Now the next task is to find the right place to store your guns and other valuables inside a gun safe. Different parts of a gun safe have different protection levels against fires and floods and you should know about it before storing your guns in the vaults.
While storing things inside a gun safe, think of the vault as a home. The higher shelves of the gun safe are hot and the lower shelves are relatively cooler. According to this, storing your valuables at the bottom of the safe will be the best option to protect against fires. On the other hand, the lower shelves of the gun safes are the most prone to floods.
Storing your most valuable guns in the middle and the lower shelves of the gun safe will be the safest option. You can store your least valuable guns at the top of the gun safe. If you have limited stuff to put inside the gun safe, use the middle and lower shelves first and then move onto the upper shelves.
Also, stay away storing flammables inside your gun safe. Don’t store ammunition inside your gun safe. Ammo has a high chance of catching fire in hot circumstances. If you have no other place to put your ammo in, store them in the bottom of your gun safe. The bottom of the gun safe is the coolest place inside a gun safe and ammo is relatively waterproof.
Most handguns are compact. Pay extra care while installing them since they’re more prone to unauthorized access and will be easier to pry free since they weigh significantly less than the big gun safes.
1. Put It in a Convenient Place
Since a handgun safe can only hold a couple of guns, you should store them in a convenient place so you can reach to them in time of emergency. At the same time, you need to make sure the gun safe is not visible to everyone.
2. Keep It Away From Children
If you have children at home, you should store your handgun safe at a place where children can’t reach it. Installing it in a high place is the best option if you have small children.
3. Bolt The Gun Safe
Letting the gun safe lie around at your home or office is ill advised. You should bolt your gun safe to a wall or floor. Doing this adds a layer of security to the safe as it makes it harder for the burglars to steal it.
This is all you should know about before you decide on a location to install your gun safe.