The rifle safe is a must-have accessory for gun owners. A reliable and well-made rifle safe keeps firearms secure while also minimizing the risk of theft. The best rifle safes are constructed with heavy-duty locks that can withstand crowbars, fire, and water. Though designed to keep your rifles safe, many people choose to use them for their personal protection or to show off their marksmanship skills. Because it’s possible to convert a standard door into a rifle safe with a simple screwdriver and some basic tools, many folks opt to do so if they need extra security for their guns or other valuable gear.
A good gun safe has several uses. They can guard against fire and water damage, with some versions even including door seals that guard against smoke damage, in addition to helping in preventing unwanted entry by kids, family members, and burglars. We’ve all heard or seen reports of mass shootings carried out by individuals having unfettered access to a parent’s or guardian’s unlocked firearm, or we’ve read or seen reports of individuals with mental health issues locating a family member’s weapon and using it to commit suicide. You can help avoid tragedies like these by always keeping your weapon safe.
What To Consider When Choosing The Best Rifle Safes
The following section contains some of the most important shopping considerations for choosing a new rifle safe. These include things like interior size, locking mechanism, and features.
Rifle safes come in various sizes and with varying levels of security. The smallest units may be designed specifically for handguns but can easily accommodate long rifles. Larger models are built more explicitly for guns and often have space for other valuable items such as knives, flashlights, and passports. It’s worth noting here that while these larger safes offer greater protection, they’re also much heavier and bulkier, which makes them harder to carry around.
- Smaller units generally provide convenience and ease of use because they don’t require keys or multiple steps to open. They’re great for keeping handguns tucked away without getting lost in the back pocket of jeans or buried in the glove box of a car.
- Larger units usually offer better protection because it’s harder for someone to break into than a smaller unit. However, they’re not always easy to get into either; requiring a key or multiple steps to unlock. It’s possible to lose track of your keys or simply make a mistake and lock yourself out of your gun.
Materials used for rifle safes vary greatly depending on price point and level of security desired. Cheap plastic options wont keep your weapons secure, whereas thick steel is typically found in pricier products. In general though, you’ll find that:
- Plastic is an inexpensive option that comes in a variety of colors and patterns. While it won’t rust or corrode, it does wear over time and eventually becomes brittle enough to crack or snap. This will allow thieves to gain access to firearms stored within.
- Steel is a popular material for firearm storage due to its strength and resistance to impact damage. However, this metal isn’t completely impervious to attack; cracks and holes can still be exploited by determined individuals.
When selecting a rifle safe, consider how many firearms you intend to stow away and what type of security you want to ensure against potential theft. For example, if you have a small collection of handguns and no intention of expanding the collection, then a simple padlock might suffice. On the other hand, if you have a large cache of firearms and ammunition, then a complex combination system might be a better bet.
In addition to a sturdy lock, look for features that help prevent prying eyes from seeing the contents of the safe. One way to do this is through a dark color scheme; however, a lighted display could also prove useful if the safe has a light sensor.
While standard locks and latches are sufficient for securing a rifle safe, there are additional features available that increase the overall security of the product.
- A dual-action latch allows the user to quickly engage or disengage the lock when necessary. This prevents the need to fumble for a key when trying to stop someone from breaking into the safe.
- A vertical bolt design helps prevent prying eyes from viewing the contents of the safe.
- Hard plastics used throughout the construction of the safe reduce the risk of fingerprints being left behind.
- Metal latches help prevent the opening of the safe unless the proper code is entered.
Fire and Water Resistance
Numerous safes are only tough, locked steel boxes. While these are suitable for a variety of uses, some of us prefer complete security for our priceless weapons and accessories. Today’s safes can easily endure extreme heat and torrential floods thanks to technology. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of the different levels of security, and always consider your budget before making a purchase. More security frequently equates to more money.
Yes, many of us vacillate between using a $100 safe and a $200 safe to safeguard firearms valued at $5,000. You don’t need to pay a lot of money to buy a decent safe, but a cheap one is probably more likely to cause serious damage to your weapons or let them get stolen.
Types Of Rifle Safes
Rifle 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.
Long gun safe
A long gun safe is the most common type of firearm safe found in homes today. They are designed to be large enough to store multiple firearms and ammo. The best ones have removable panels that can be slid out from one end to access the guns without having to move them. This allows for quick removal of just the firearms you need while preserving the overall integrity of the safe. Most long gun safes use standard key locks to secure them; some may require electronic keys instead.
The biggest drawback of this style of safe is their accessibility. Unless they’ve been built with extreme care, most will only work with the specific brands of locking mechanisms they were designed for. If you want to upgrade later on, you’ll probably have to pay extra for an aftermarket lock or find a way to adapt another brand’s mechanism to fit the safe you already have. These aren’t ideal situations to put yourself in.
If you don’t mind doing a little home renovation, you can get some really creative storage solutions by converting part of your garage or basement into a well-organized gun cabinet. A good quality door-to-door gun safe would make a great addition to any collection worth protecting, but there are plenty of smaller options available that won’t break the bank. Keep in mind that these cabinets tend to be much less accessible than long gun safes because removing a drawer requires reaching behind the wall, which isn’t always practical or possible. You also run the risk of damaging the unit if you aren’t careful not to let objects fall onto the drawers.
These types of safes offer more versatility at a lower cost. Instead of storing all your valuables in one big safe, consider keeping several small safes around the house. Small safes are relatively inexpensive and convenient compared to larger models. Some even include smart features like biometric scanners and digital recording devices. With so many compact safes on the market now, it’s easy to keep a few close at hand without compromising security. Just remember that these safes are still far less secure than a dedicated gun safe.
How We Chose Our Top Picks
When choosing rifle safes, we considered several factors. First and foremost, a good rifle safe must protect the firearm from damage or tampering.
Beyond that, we looked for durable construction with a focus on heavy-duty locking mechanisms. The interior of a safe should be waterproof or at least fireproof to IP45 standards (the highest level of protection available). For this review guide, we only included safes with these higher levels of protection.
Frequently Asked Questions About Rifle Safes
What is the most secure way to store a gun?
The safest place for your firearm to be stored is in a hardshell case. Hard-shelled cases are made from thick, durable plastic and have an integrated lockable front sight.
How much do rifle safes cost?
Rifle safe prices vary widely depending on materials, features, and brand. The best way to find out how much your desired item will cost is to go to one of the many online retailers that sell them and look around. Most manufacturers offer free shipping within the US, so you can expect to pay somewhere between $250 and $500 for a quality used unit that meets your needs.
Can I bolt my gun to the floor?
Yes, but make sure you use a long gun safety strap or some other form of locking device first. If you don’t, there’s always the chance someone could walk away with it while you’re sleeping or gone.