A handgun safe serves as a secure, high-quality storage bin for your firearms. In some cases, it may also serve as a protective barrier or deterrent.
The best gun safe for you depends on the sort of guns you store and how much security you need against burglars. A simple steel box that locks with a keychain is one option, while a complex vault that can be opened without any keys at all is another. Your decision will also be influenced by the safe’s size and structure, with larger safes having more space and heavier safes offering better protection from fire and crowbars. You can choose the gun safe that best meets your needs from the variety of models listed below.
What To Consider When Choosing The Best Handgun Safes
There are several factors to consider while looking for a handgun safe. The most crucial factors to take into account while choosing the best handgun safe for your home are covered in the section that follows.
The first thing you need to determine is how much space you have available in your home where you can stow away your gun. This will impact both the size and type of firearm safe that you choose.
- If you’re looking for a small pistol safe, you don’t need an oversized vehicle like a pickup truck. You’ll find plenty of options that are big enough to hold your handguns without taking up too much room in your garage or workshop.
- For large-caliber weapons, such as AR-15s, you’ll want something more substantial. A heavy machine like this requires extra padding to prevent damage during transport, so make sure you factor in the weight if you’re looking for a rugged, durable option.
A quality lock is essential when it comes to keeping unwanted guests out of your guns. There are several different types of locks for you to consider including keyed, combination, digital, and keypad.
- Keyed locks require you to enter a code to unlock the safe. This method is simple but easy to forget, especially if you lose your keys. However, unlike with a traditional padlock, you cannot simply cut through a keyed lock with a bolt cutter; instead, you must use a special tool to open it.
- Combination locks feature multiple numbers that you combine using a calculator or a dice roller to open the lock. These locks are very secure but finding the right code can be challenging. They Are also prone to mistakes if you ever misremember the combination.
- Digital locks use electronic keys to open the lock. Unlike with a traditional mechanical key, which has a distinct shape that only works with the corresponding lock, these keys look just like any other digital key. Digital locks are extremely secure but finding the correct code can be difficult.
- Keypad locks allow you to enter a code by using a numerical pad on the outside of the safe. Like with a digital lock, finding the correct code can be challenging, though simpler because it’s not based on memory.
The next step is determining what level of security you want from your handgun safe. While all safes offer a measure of protection, each one employs various methods to achieve that goal.
- Low-security applications, such as a private residence or a work locker room, may benefit from a less complex locking system that uses basic latches and bolts. In high-risk environments, such as a factory floor or a military base, a higher degree of security might be needed. In those cases, a stronger lock could include a cable attached to the handle or a wheeled trolley that moves the gun around the facility.
- Medium-security applications typically fall between low and high risk, making them ideal for a home office or a hobby room. Here, a sturdy latch and bolt would probably do the trick.
- High-security applications, such as a government facility or a business desk, might benefit from a heavier duty lock that includes a combination or digital lock.
In the unfortunate event of a fire, a well-built handgun safe should stop most flames before they reach your firearms. To avoid disaster, make sure your new handgun safe meets the requirements set forth by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
These standards cover three areas of concern regarding safety in case of emergency: construction, contents, and fire resistance.
- Construction: As mentioned earlier, a good number of handgun safes are made from steel, which is a notoriously flammable material. If you notice a wooden frame inside a steel cage, then you know it’s likely filled with sand or water to help put out the fires.
- Contents: Your handsets aren’t the only expensive items kept safe here. Make sure whatever you store in your handgun safe won’t easily catch fire and burn along with it. Waterproofing features built into plastic containers are a great way to keep moisture and dust away from your guns.
- Fire Resistance: Finally, check to see whether or not the build of your handgun safe complies with the requirements set forth by the International Standards Organization (ISO), which is an independent organization that develops standards for manufacturing products. Essentially, ISO certification means that what you’re buying is manufactured to last and withstand intense heat for a certain amount of time.
Types Of Handgun Safes
Handgun safes come in a variety of different sizes and designs. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into before making your purchase.
Most modern gun safes use digital keypads or biometrics (like fingerprint scanners) for their access features. These are much more secure than traditional key-based safes because they can’t be opened with just a generic set of keys; the lock on these safes is specifically designed to only work with the owner’s fingerprints. This makes them far less susceptible to theft since even if someone gets hold of your safe, they’ll have a hard time opening it without damaging the lock mechanism.
The downside of this type of safe is that most won’t be as big or heavy as a standard one. Larger safes will take up space on the ground floor and be relatively cumbersome to move around the house. Smaller ones may not meet building codes in some areas. Biometrics aren’t very reliable at times either – sometimes they’ll work when you want them to and other times they mightn’t even function properly. In addition, there’s always the chance that an imposter could print off a few counterfeit fingers and try to open the safe with that instead of his/her own.
Some smaller safes are portable. That means they can be taken out from the room where they’re stored and used in another part of the home. They usually weigh less than 10 pounds and don’t exceed 40 inches long. Safes under 10 pounds tend to be flimsy and unreliable while those over 40 inches tend to be too bulky and difficult to carry around the house. Keep in mind that moving a safe isn’t easy; you’ll need to clear both ends of the driveway and make sure you’ve got plenty of help lifting it onto the truck bed.
A good place to start looking for a quality handgun safe is online. There are many companies who offer reasonably priced, high-quality products that can protect all kinds of valuables. You can learn more about which types of safes are available and how well each one performs by reading reviews written by people who have owned one previously. If you do decide to buy one of these safes, make sure you get one with multiple locks, so you’ll have options to choose from if something happens to the primary lock. Also, pay attention to how quickly the company can deliver your product. Some companies offer next day delivery or free shipping.
How We Chose Our Top Picks
We started by searching for the best-rated free-standing handgun safes that aren’t too expensive. Anything over $1,000 before shipping and installation was not considered.
The budget-friendly safes we were looking for have to be able to keep the gun from being dropped or misplaced while also allowing for easy access when necessary. There are many possibilities for short firearms if you’re into that sort of thing, but for the purposes of this review guide, we mainly focused on long gun safes as the majority of individuals have one for personal security.
Frequently Asked Questions About Handgun Safes
What is the most difficult gun safe to break into?
The most difficult gun safe to break into is one that’s made by a company you’ve never heard of, and it probably isn’t filled with anything valuable.
How much do gun safes cost?
Most budget-friendly options are going to be very basic. In the neighborhood of $200 to $400 dollars depending on features such as biometrics or mechanical locking systems. Mid-tier prices range from about $500 up towards $800 for higher quality items. The top end of the scale is limited only by your imagination.
Are there any safety concerns when buying a gun safe?
There can always be concerns when purchasing a firearm safe, but they usually fall under three categories: Fire rating, theft rating, and who/what is inside.
Is it legal to have a gun safe in my house?
That depends entirely on your locality. Certain places (usually public) require you to lock up your firearms when they’re in storage, while other places don’t care. As always, it’s best to double-check your local laws and restrictions.