Gun safes have grown to become essential accessories for ammunition and arms. They provide much-needed storage for guns keeping them safe from intruders or kids in the house. With a steel-constructed body constituting its thickness measured in gauges and secured with one (or more) of the three major lock technologies, security for firearms couldn’t be more necessary.
Things to consider when buying a gun safe
Searching for the right safe could be a little daunting and understandably so, because there are so many safes available for sale and you are spoilt for choice. The availability of many different safes though has called for extra considerations and assessments in order to be sure to make the right choice.
More frustrating, in fact, is that some of the safes put up for sale are nothing short of a sham. Some vendors sell safes that are as good as not having any at all because they are easily broken into therefore questioning the essence of the safe.
What size of gun safe do I need?
Nothing would be as painful as buying a gun safe before buying the gun or not considering the size of the gun before purchasing the safe only to find out that the gun does not fit into the safe. Before purchasing a safe, you should at least know the kind and size of the gun you are looking to secure and it is wise to have some extra allowance in it for expansion later on.
The weight and thickness of the safe
Most safes are built with steel, folded into sheets and layers to form the thickness of the body. Steel sheets are usually measured in gauges and the smaller the number of gauges, the thicker the sheet. Simply put, a 6-gauge body is thicker than a 10-gauge body.
The thickness of a safe is related to its weight so you have to consider the weight of the safe too especially with regards to where it would be placed. A heavy safe implies a large weight exertion on the holding area and more positively, more difficult to steal away.
UL ratings ascertain that UL has tested representative samples of the product and deemed it standard enough. Therefore, it is important to check the rating of the safe you intend to buy to be sure of its quality and resistance to any attempted break-in and also fire outbreak.
Lock technology and protection
Safe locks come mostly in one of three ways: key locks, digital keypads or combination locks.
Key locks come cheaper than the remaining two as they are easier to manufacture but less secure. Combination locks take some time to be keyed in but are very secure while digital keypads are the most secure but are difficult to repair or replace.
Top 10 Best Gun Safes
1. First Alert 5200DF Portable Handgun – Best Pistol Safe
First Alert is America’s number one most trusted brand in home safety and this quick entry handgun safe is the ideal portable solution to safeguard your pistol and ammunition. This safe weighs 6.3 pounds and measures 3.5 x 9.3 x 11.5 inches in dimension. Constructed of 18 gauge steel with black powder-coat finish and electronic keypad with programmable 3 to 8-digit “no see” passcode, it provides secure theft protection. Its spring-loaded door locking mechanism opens quickly upon entry of the passcode to allow fast access to contents in the event of an emergency and its interior is foam-padded to protect its contents from scratches or dents
2. Gunvault MV500-STD Microvault Pistol Gun Safe – Great Portable Safe
If you have been looking for the right safe for that pistol of yours, congratulations because you just found it. Gunvault has been an industry leader for 25 years now and have developed different gun safes and security solutions for handguns and firearms.
This pistol safe weighs just 5 pounds and has a dimension of 11 x 8.5 x 2.25 inches. It is secured with a no-eyes keypad that allows for quick access. The safe has a high lock mechanism that is secure and reliable keeping your weapon safe at all times from damage and thieves. It has a back-up override key that permits access for you at any time. It is built as a 16-gauge steel housing resistant to fire and virtually impossible to pry open.
Our more in-depth review of Gunvault MV500-STD Microvault can be found here
BARSKA, renowned for its unique technology, is committed to delivering superior products to customers at affordable prices and that includes its range of gun safe products. This safe weighs 28 pounds and has a dimension of 16.5 x 7.75 x 14.5 inches.
It is compact, secure and reliable with a biometric lock technology that ensures easy and quick access to your weapon when in need of it and comes with mounting hardware and two emergency backup keys. It could also be used to store other valuable items such as jewelry or sensitive items as there is enough room to house your firearm along with other things.
BARSKA, renowned for its unique technology, is committed to delivering superior products to customers at affordable prices and that includes its range of gun safe products. The safe has a solid frame and body that is made of steel and weighs 65 pounds.
Its dimension is 52.2 x 9.8 x 8.7 inches and its biometric technology can store up to 120 identities; includes 2 back-up keys giving you the ability to quickly and effortlessly access your weapons in the time of an emergency. It has a shelf to store a pistol and also offers a manual three point solid dead bolt locking system that can be quickly opened with one hand turn motion.
- Comes with four AA batteries (included) for up to 2 years of use
- Pre-drilled anchor points for securing safe to floor or wall
- Very good biometric pad
- Fingerprint safety
- Not fire resistant
- Not friendly to guns with pistol grips
- Majorly for keeping the kids away
Our more in-depth review of BARSKA Quick Access can be found here
5. Stack-On GCb-908 8-Gun Steel Security Cabinet, Black
Stack-on has supplied a wide range of storage solutions since 1972. This brand surely stands out as one of the most reliable manufacturers of security hardware. The safe underlines its secure ability to keep guns and firearms of various kind safe from damage and theft as its full-length welded and staked steel piano hinge provides greater security. This security cabinet weighs 60.6 pounds and measures 10 x 21 x 55 inches.
The lock technology is a 3-point locking system with key coded, double-bitted lock for greater security. It has a foam-padded bottom and a flush mount bottom for easier fastening to the floor with fastening hardware included. With a solid frame that stands tall both in structure and performance, it is one that you might too consider for both rifles and shotguns.
- Cheap and affordable for its size
- Steel locking plate behind steel door frame
- Foam padded bottom
- May not fit all rifles
Our more in-depth review of Stack-On GCb-908 can be found here
6. Gunvault GV2000S Multi Vault Standard Gun Safe
Gunvault stands out as a reputable manufacturer of safes of this kind and this is no different. This premium product stands out well amidst all other safes of this kind. Easy to position, mount or place and is the ideal choice for your pistol. Its built-in computer blocks access after multiple invalid entries giving a very high confidence of safety.
It weighs under ten pounds, measures 8.2 x 15 x 10.5 inches and can be easily placed almost anywhere. The safe possesses precise fittings that are almost impossible to pry open. It has a protective foam-lined interior, with extra storage capacity and a removable interior shelf and protected by a rock-solid 16-gauge steel to give unmatched security to your weapon.
- High strength lock mechanism
- Interior foam
- Enough space for a couple of pistols to fit easily
- Firearm could be left loaded in it
- Poor battery life
- Finger button failure at times
Our more in-depth review of Gunvault GV2000S can be found here
7. Sentry safe Biometric Quick Access Pistol Safe Model #QAP1BE
Unlike other gun safes with loud locking mechanisms and large clanging bolts, this sturdy pistol safe is specifically designed with a zero feedback lock and compression gas strut. This allows you to remain hidden to the potential threats of a home intruder while still empowering you to defend your home and family.
It weighs 12 pounds, measures 6.6 x 9.7 x 2.2 inches with internal storage space to hold at least 1 J & K size revolver; full-size semi-automatic handgun. Its lock technology consists of a biometric fingerprint lock and a programmable digital keypad with zero audible feedback.
- Pry-resistant top lid design
- Could be mounted just at the head of the bed
- Zero feedback lock
- Whisper-quiet entry
- Poor battery life
- Finger button failure at times
- Not very dependable for quick access
Our more in-depth review of Sentry safe Biometric Quick Access can be found here
8. Stack-On PDS-500 Drawer Safe with Electronic Lock
This drawer safe from Stack-On is pretty, reliable and secure to store your guns. It is designed with functionality and beauty in mind. A must have for all gun enthusiasts. It weighs 12.1 pounds and measures 11.8 x 8.6 x 4.2 inches in dimension.
Stack-On does not sacrifice cost for quality as evident in its two live action steel locking bolts and concealed hinges for greater security. It has a programmable silver-colored electronic lock with safety key override and comes with pre-drilled mounting holes and hardware for mounting to the bottom of a drawer.
- Heavy case construction
- Discrete key backup
- Easy to program
- Very good design
- Possible corrosion
Our more in-depth review of Stack-On PDS-500 can be found here
9. AmazonBasics Security Safe
This security cabinet weighs 16.5 pounds and its dimensions as 13.8 x 9.8 x 9.8 inches. The safe has a steel construction with carpeted floor to protect against scratches and damage. It is secured with a reprogrammable digital access and two emergency override keys.
The door is secured with two live-door bolts and pry-resistant concealed hinges helping to prevent intruder from accessing the contents of the safe. The safe possesses an interior shelf that could be adjusted to organize smaller items or removed to accommodate larger ones. It comes with a mounting hardware for easy mounting.
- Safe design for easy bolting to shelf, floor or wall
- Easy to program
- Comes with mounting hardware
- Emergency override key
- Fragile if not handled well
Our more in-depth review of AmazonBasics Security Safe can be found here
10. Stack-On GCB-8RTA Security Plus 8-Gun Ready to Assemble Storage Cabinet
Weighing 51.4 pounds and measuring 17 x 11 x 53 inches in dimensions, this Stack-on solid frame safe is built to hold rifles and shotguns with enough allowance in it to hold up to six rifles at the same time. It has an 18-gauge body steel construction with a removable steel top shelf that provides additional storage space.
It has a foam-padded bottom with pre-drilled mounting holes in the bottom and back of the cabinet for easy attachment to the floor or wall. The unit is easy to assemble with integrated, form-fitting parts fastened together and its fasteners are tamper proof from the outside of the cabinet. It has a 3 point locking system with double bitted, key coded lock.
- Foam-padded bottom
- Full length welded and staked steel piano hinge providing greater security.
- Removable top shelf
- Key coded lock
- Fragile if not handled properly
Our more in-depth review of Stack-On GCB-8RTA can be found here
Final Thoughts. . .
Different safes come in different form factors and sizes with varying features as seen from the best ten review above. They could have just one kind of locking mechanism or more than one. All the safes reviewed above have met the UL standard and are of a good quality.
The considerations have empowered you now to be able to make the right choice of safe for your ammunition. Good luck purchasing your desired product!