It is no laughing matter that if you own a gun, you should also own a gun safe, preferably one such as our top pick, the Sentry Safe Biometric Quick Access Pistol Safe Model which comes to you with amazing reviews and an even more amazing price. Everyone with a gun worries about one thing, finding their gun in the hand of the wrong person. This could be either an innocent child who doesn’t understand the gravity of the toy he has just found or a thief or a burglar. You could of course hide your gum in a presumably safe place. But is it really safe hidden under piles of linen in your linen closet? Why not stop the worrying and ensure the safety of your loved ones by investing in a gun safe?
Our top pick is a small, biometric gun safe perfect for keeping a handgun or a pistol safe. It comes to you with a biometric and electronic key pad, single handed access, and a quick and whisper quiet entry. It is also made of solid steel and is pry resistant. Everything you look for in a good pistol safe.
When it comes to gun safes, we are all about best sellers. Our budget pick, the AmazonBasics Security Safe 0.5 Cubic Feet is extremely pocket friendly.
It is a small, steel security safe which can easily double as small gun safe, which is what most of its customers use it for.
The Mesa Safe Company MBF6032E 14.4 Cubic Foot 30 Rifle Gun Safe with Digital Lock is not for the weak of heart. It’s a full sized long gun safe of thirty cubic feet, big enough to store rifles. All in all, it is not even in the same range as our top pick and our budget pick, but is for someone who knows their guns.
Out of all the other long gun safes we looked at we chose the Mesa Safe Company MBF6032E 14.4 Cubic Foot 30 Rifle Gun Safe with Digital Lock as our step up pick, because not only does it have amazing features, but also because it’s made by Mesa Safe Company which is renowned for their safe and reliable gun safes.
Why Should you Buy a Gun Safe?
If you are reading this, the chances are that you are already looking into buying a gun safe. If you already own a gun, here are the reasons which may just persuade you into investing in a gun safe.
First and foremost, to prevent unauthorized access to your guns. This could be your little ones, grandchildren, babysitters, any curious visitor or on the malignant side, intruders and burglars. Guns if not locked up pose quite a danger to your little ones, a topic which we will elaborate on later.
You must also remember that if you live in the USA, that laws in some form or another call for locking up you guns in a safe. These laws include child access prevention laws and firearm locking device laws. While you are on it, it is noteworthy to mention that your homeowners’ insurance might not cover the loss of your firearm unless it had been under lock and key.
If you also happen to have a concealed carry permit, it would save you the headache of wondering if your gun was safe in your car while you are in your workplace.
To know more about why you should invest in a gun safe please read, this article on the reasons to own a gun safe.
The Safety of Your Loved Ones
According to the CDC, there had been a recorded number of 33,636 firearm related deaths in the USA in the year 2013. You can read more on these statistics on the CDC website.
It is also no secret that an alarming number of casualties related to firearm injuries are children. These injuries occur when parents or caretakers do not take adequate measures to keep their guns under lock and key. Children are naturally inquisitive and have no idea that guns are not toys and can cause them harm.
Whether you have children or not it is crucial that you keep your gun in a safe as there no house which at some point is not visited by a child, and in some states, it is actually the law so that the children are protected.
What to Look for in a Gun Safe
What we looked for in a gun safe and what you should look for all come down to the same reasons.
First, how big is the safe you are looking at how big a safe do you want. This also includes what you intend to keep in your safe. A handgun or a pistol would require only a handgun safe while a rifle would require a long gun safe.
Second, the weight of the safe has to be taken into consideration. The heavier the safe the more difficult it would be to break into.
Third, what kind of lock type does it have? Is it biometric, electronic, and mechanical, combination or digital? Depending on the kind of safety you need from intrusive fingers, the type of lock would come into play.
Fourthly, is it rated against natural disasters such as fire and water?
Our Top Pick
Here’s what makes the Sentry Safe Biometric Quick Access Pistol Safe Model our top pick. First of all, it has a dual protection entry system which ensures that no prying hands can get inside your gun safe. It has a biometric scanning system into which two fingertips can be programmed. In addition to the biometric system, there is also an electronic keypad which is also programmable. In the case of an emergency and you have no time to key in digits, the keypad can be overridden with a key.
Secondly, the Sentry Safe Biometric Quick Access Pistol Safe Model is extremely quiet with no feedback when you are using the keypad or the biometric entry. It also has a whisper quiet gas strut. If you facing the threat of an intruder and want to take out your handgun without alerting him, the quietness of the gun safe would be rather handy.
Thirdly, this gun safe can be accessed single-handedly. If you find yourself in the above dangerous scenario and within minutes to defend your loved ones, you want to be able to open the safe with no fuss. The safe has been designed with the aforementioned gas strut which not only opens the safe quietly but also keeps it open for you to reach in and grab your handgun. You could be utilizing the precious minutes you have by calling for help while opening the gun safe with one hand.
Fourthly, the construction of this gun safe is solid and is made with 12 gauge solid steel. Last but not least, the door if the gun safe is pry resistant. Try as one might, the door cannot simply be pried open without using the biometric or electronic panel.
Flaws but not Deal Breakers
The only flaw the Sentry Safe Biometric Quick Access Pistol Safe Model can be accused of is that when you first buy and use it, it does tend to make a creaky noise when being opened. Now, because it is promised by the manufacturer that the gun safe is absolutely quiet, this might seem like a deal breaker. But it really is not. All you have to do is before you start using it, put a few drops of oil on the hinges and it will not squeak again. Therefore, we don’t think it’s a deal breaker at all, only a minor flaw which is easily fixed.
Our Budget Pick
But even with such a low price, a gun safe would not be good or serve its purpose if it didn’t fit into our judging criteria. When considering the safety of your family, the low price shouldn’t be the only deciding factor and thankfully, the AmazonBasics Security Safe 0.5 Cubic Feet fits our stringent criteria too.
While it might not hold to a very determined adult trying to open it, it will definitely a safe choice for storing your firearm if you want to discourage little fingers from finding it. The electronic keypad is easy to program and if you lose the passcode, it can be over-ridden by a key. This safe also comes with four bolts to be bolted down to the wall or floor.
Step Up Pick
Our top pick, the Mesa Safe Company MBF6032E 14.4 Cubic Foot 30 Rifle Gun Safe with Digital Lock is in a league of its own. But with its amazing features which guarantee the safety of your loved ones from your guns, anyone with a gun would wish they could buy one. Not only that, it looks sleek in black with gold lettering.
This gun safe is a good investment not only if you have long guns, but also of you want a bigger place to lock up all your valuables. It’s as if you had a burglar safe and a fire all in one. The lock is electronic and is battery powered. This electronic lock is protected by a spring-loaded locking device which is punch activated. The electronic key is also backed up by a manual key. And with a weight of 665 pounds, there is no chance for a burglar to get away with carrying this gun safe out of your door.
It is made from 1 ½ inch steel all around. To ensure that your valuables are not scratched, it also comes with a fully upholstered interior. The best safety feature of this gun safe is that it is fire resistant. It will withstand up to 1750 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour which is more than twice the range of other long gun safes.
Other Noteworthy Gun Safes
Apart from our top pick, which a biometric safe, our budget pick which is a general security safe and our step-up pick which a long gun safe we wanted to give you the run down on several other safes from different categories so that you get the full picture.
We have categorized the gun safes we chose into different types, i.e. long gun full-size models, hand gun safes, biometric gun safe models, and fire resistant gun safe models. One thing to remember however is that there might be an overlap of features in some models, which is to be expected.
Long-Gun Full Size Models
Steelwater Standard Duty 20 Long Gun Fire Protection
The Steelwater Standard Duty 20 Long Gun Fire Protection safe can withstand a fire of 1550 degrees Fahrenheit up to forty-five minutes. And if you are by any chance a prepper, here’s why you would love this gun safe. Its electronic lock system is EMP proof.
If a burglar gets to the safe, he will not be able to get to your valuables by drilling through the safe door as there is a drill resistant hard plate to resist drilling into the lock. In the event of a fire, the door seal gets activated by heat and expands so that no water or smoke can get inside the safe. The Steelwater Standard Duty 20 Long Gun Fire Protection gun safe also comes with a free dehumidifier to keep mold and mildew away from your guns.
Hand Gun Safes
Whether you work in law enforcement or have a handgun on hand to safeguard your family, it is important that you invest in a good hand gun safe. The following two handgun safes come with great reviews and even greater features.
V-Line Desk Mate Keyless Security Box with Quick Release Mounting Bracket
This is a front opening (The drawer slide out because of the quick release bracket) gun safe which is perfect to be kept under a nightstand or desk. The top of the gun safe comes with bolts to be secured to the underside of such a desk or nightstand.
Why many customers love this gun safe is because of the mechanical lock. Having a mechanical lock means that there is no need to rely on electronics anymore. There is no replacing batteries which would die out the exact moment you are in an emergency.
Stack-On PC-650 Portable Safe with Electronic Lock
The Stack-On PC-650 Portable Safe with Electronic Lock is even less expensive than our budget pick. But don’t be fooled by its price. This portable handgun safe is much more valuable than the price you pay for it.
If you are someone always on the go, this is the perfect handgun safe for you as it easily fits into a briefcase, and under any car seat. The lock is electronic with two backup manual keys. And the safe comes with a steel cable to secure the safe.
GunVault NV100 NanoVault with Key Lock
The GunVault NV100 NanoVault with Key Lock is available in two sizes. Because it’s smaller and more compact than other handgun safes, it is easily portable but can only fit one gun at a time.
It is fitted with a key lock system which is easy to operate and is made with 18 gauge steel. There is a steel cable provided with the gun safe to secure it so that no prying hands can get to it. If you want it to be used as a permanent safe at your home, it also comes predrilled to be mounted on a wall.
When biometric access system first made an appearance, many people were skeptical of its usability having encountered it at banks and other similar places where they seemed more problematic than useful. Now, however, biometric access systems are everywhere and can be found in modern gun safes as well. They usually come combined with an electronic keypad for easier access and a host of other modern amenities.
Biometric safes scan your fingertip and store the image which is later pulled up when you try to open the safe. If the fingerprint matches, the safe can be opened.
BARSKA Biometric Safe
Barska is a well-known name when it comes to gun safes and the BARSKA Biometric Safe is outstanding. This biometric gun safe can store up to thirty fingerprints. It’s compact and small so that it can be stored even in a cupboard.
In this gun safe, there is no electronic locking system. The biometric access system is complemented by a solid steel two point deadbolt locking system.
Because it comes with its own mounting hardware it can easily be secured to a wall. And the four AA batteries which power the safe are also included in the package when it’s delivered to you.
When the door is being unlocked, it emits a long beeping sound. This is a good feature because if anyone in your family (read, a child) was to somehow get into the safe, you would be instantly alerted. If you are worried about alerting a possible intruder with the beeping sound, never fear, because the safe opens within three to five seconds flat and you would have your gun in your hand before the intruder could say beep.
If the door is left open by accident, this safe starts emitting beeps every five seconds alerting everyone that the door is not closed.
The GunBox Biometric Hand Gun Safe
The GunBox Biometric Hand Gun Safe is a portable handgun safe which can be used both at home and in a car. This gun safe comes with two locking mechanisms.
The first one is the biometric system which uses your fingerprint. The other one is the RFID system. The RFID system is fitted with a RFID scanner which scans an RF wristband, ring or sticker label which can also be purchased from the manufacturer.
Fire Resistant Safes
If you worry about natural hazards and fires destroying your valuables and firearms, then you need to invest in a fire resistant gun safe. Thankfully, there are fire resistant safes which come in all manner of shapes and sizes, so that should be no problem for you to easily pick one.
SentrySafe SFW123CS 1.2 Combination Fire Resistant Big Bolt Safe
This is a small fire resistant gun safe. It has been tested for besting fires at 1770 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour.
It is not just fire, but also water resistant. And because it is very heavy and sturdily built will deter even the more determined burglar from trying to break into it.
First Alert 2054F 1 Hour Steel Fire Safe with Combination Lock
This is another small fire resistant gun safe which has passed the one hour test and can withstand fires up to 1700 degrees Fahrenheit.
This gun safe has a dual access combo and key lock with an emergency override key. It also comes with a removable and adjustable shelf and mounting hardware.
First Alert 2092DF Waterproof 1-Hour Fire Safe with Digital Lock
This digital lock comes in the sizes of 0.94 cubic feet, 1.31 cubic feet, and 2.14 cubic feet and can be ordered with a carrying handle or without. The 1.31 cubic foot version of this safe is among the best out there.
This gun safe also boasts being able to withstand a fire of 1700 degrees Fahrenheit up to an hour while. Not only that in the case of such an extreme fire, it can also maintain an internal temperature of less than 350 degrees Fahrenheit, safeguarding your valuables from heat.
The Last Blast
Many people now choose to have a firearm at home in the case of an intruder or a burglar. They want to be able to protect their loved ones fast and hold off the intruders at bay while waiting for authorities to arrive.
However, having a firearm at home comes with its own inherent disadvantages and dangers. We cannot stress enough about the danger littles ones would be in if little hands found a gun lying about. On the other hand, anyone with no authority or permission to access your gun could pick it up and turn it on you or your loved ones in a jiffy. Which, is why as important as it is for you to have a gun at home, it is as or more important to have such gun securely deposited in a gun safe.
Before you buy a gun safe, read our reviews. Invest in a gun safe such as top pick, the Sentry Safe Biometric Quick Access Pistol Safe Model which is solid and easy to use by those with authorized access. It has a biometric access panel into which two fingertips can be scanned together with an electronic access panel. It will not open accidently. And the design of this gun safe is such that no pry bar or fingers will open it.
Secure the safety of your loved ones from your guns by investing in a gun safe.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.