Best Gun Safe Reviews and Complete Buying Guide

best gun safe reviews

Have you been searching online for the best gun safe reviews? There is no shortage of them, but which one can you trust? You don’t have to look further as I have here the top rated gun safes. As any responsible gun owner will tell you, you can never be too careful when it comes to gun safes. This is where my reviews may be able to help.
I’ve gone through a lot of these firearm safes. After a thorough assessment, I have selected the top five. I’ve also included some pertinent information about buying gun safes.

Why need a Gun Safe


Control Access: If you have the best gun safe, you’ll be able to restrict access to your firearms from burglars, friends, helpers, babysitters, children etc. A gun safe ensures only those authorized have access.

Prevent Accidents: Gun safes reduce the possibility of accidents involving children and people in general. Even if you’re careful, it’s better to be safe. You don’t have to do much research to know what happens when kids get hold of guns.

Prevent Tampering: Gun safes keep your weapon secure. We often think of child safety and protecting other people. However, gun safes also protect your weapon from those who might tinker with it.

Complying with Local Laws: Your area might have laws stipulating weapons be stored. A gun safe ensures you comply with those laws. Even if there are no regulations yet, it’s best to be prepared.

Preserve Your Rights: Gun control is a sensitive subject. Everyone has an opinion about it. The main concern of critics is guns pose a risk to people. You can set their minds at ease by storing it in a gun safe. At the same time you don’t have to give up your rights to bear arms.

A secondary usage of gun safes is to secure other valuables like jewelry, cash and important documents. High end safes are waterproof and fireproof, making them good options if you want to hide something valuable. While they are not as secure as personal safes, they’re going to be hard for thieves to crack.

Electronic Vs Mechanical Locks for Gun Safes


Electronic Locks


Pros

  1. The best rated gun safes use electronic locks because they’re easy to use.
  2. Backlighting allows you to access the gun safe even in darkness.
  3. Lettering and font are larger than on mechanical locks. 
  4. Changing codes is more convenient compared to a mechanical lock.

Cons

  1. Vulnerable to power outages.
  2. An electrical failure makes content inaccessible.

Mechanical Locks


Pros

  1. As the best gun safe reviews will tell, mechanical locks are durable.
  2. Long lifespan.
  3. No worries about power shortage or low battery.
  4. Child safe.

Cons

  1. Manual relocking needed.
  2. Takes time to open.

Whichever you choose, make certain no one knows the codes except those you give clearance to. With mechanical locks, mix the number combination (high and low) so it will be difficult to guess.
Don’t let anyone tamper with your electronic lock. Entering the wrong combination too many times will cause the gun safe to lock up. If this happens you may not be able to open it again.
Both mechanical and electronic locks have their followers. Some gun safes even have electronic and mechanical combinations. Whichever you choose, what’s important is you follow the directions for their use.

Things To Consider Before Buying a Gun Safe


Capacity: The best gun safe should have enough room for all your guns. Safes come in a wide range of sizes. Handgun safes are compact and portable. There are also large safes for long firearms. Think of your future needs as well. If you’re a collector, get the biggest gun safe you can afford. Be through when checking the specs. Sometimes the depth includes the handle in the measurement. The best value gun safe offers enough space for long firearms.

Weight: The best rated gun safes are built from solid materials. They are also heavy to discourage theft. Even if the burglar can’t open a light safe, they’ll just carry it away. But if you have a 300 or 500 lb. safe, they won’t be able to do it. There is no such thing as the perfect specification as user needs vary. For serious gun collectors, a 750 lb. safe is ideal with 8 gauge (or better) walls. If you’ve got a lot of long firearms, spacious interior is recommended.

Lock: We have spoken in depth about locks earlier so no need to repeat them here. Most people now prefer an electronic lock because it is more convenient. We have mentioned the pros and cons already, but the fact is electronic locks provide quicker access. If there is an emergency in the middle of the night, fumbling for the combination lock takes too long. With an electronic lock, you just have to enter the code. Electronic locks are also visible in the dark so you don’t have to open the light.

Fire Rating: The best rated gun safes have fire protection. The best ones have outer and inner metal plates. These plates cover a material that acts as a fire insulator. Look for safes with an Intertek ETL or Underwriters Laboratories UL rating. Some gun safes have multiple gypsum layers scattered through the door and interior. Layers vary from 2 to 4, and the more layers the better. These are not as durable as those with fire insulators and steel plates. However they are still good provided it has an Intertek ETL rating. There are also safes with a single or double gypsum layer. These are also positioned around the door and body. These do not have an ETL or UL rating. Their ratings are based set by the manufacturers.

Gun Safe Brands in Market


Stack-On: Stack-On has been manufacturing safes and other security products since 1972. Aside from safes the company manufactures storage solutions for garages and organizers.

Barska: Barska is well-known for their sports optics products. However the company also makes high quality safes, vaults and related products.

GunVault: GunVault is known as the manufacturer of some of the best gun safe products in the world. Their safes are known for the use of biometric technology and secure locks.

SentrySafe: SentrySafe makes several high quality gun safes. They are also recognized for various media storage products, chests and home defense products. Today SentrySafe manufactures a wide range of safes and accessories.

SnapSafe: SnapSafe is synonymous with quality. Some of the best rated gun safes we have seen are made by this company. Through the years the company has earned a reputation for quality vaults.

Our Pick For Best Gun Safe


We made a short list of 5 best gun safe for you. That will help you to sort out the best gun safe that is suitable for you. Let’s take a look at our best pick.

Short Review Of Each Best Gun Safe


Here is the short review of each best gun safe that we selected for you.

1. Stack-On PDS-500 Drawer Safe with Electronic Lock


Stack-On PDS-500 Drawer Safe with Electronic Lock

The Stack-On is one of the best gun safe products I have seen from this company. It has an assuming appearance but is well built. The safe feels solid and heavy, which is how they should be. Design wise, the PDS-500 does not disappoint. The Concealed hinges add to the security and the live action bolts are well-designed. It’s easy to mount on a drawer as the needed hardware is included. The safe is perfect for pistols and handguns. There is also room for your ammo and other valuables. While it’s great for home security, it’s also suitable for use in the office.

Specifications:


  1. 2 steel live action locking bolts.
  2. Pre-drilled mounting holes and hardware for mounting to the bottom of a drawer.
  3. lock out for a specific period of time after 3 incorrect combination attempts.
  4. 2 manual back-up key is included.
  5. Weighs 12 lbs.
  6. Measures 11-3/4 x 8-5/8 x 4-1/4 inches.
  7. Limited 3 Years Warranty.

Benefits:

  • Secure lock.
  • Easy to use.
  • Durable built.
  • Key override feature included.
  • Easy to program.
  • Easily fit 2 compact revolvers.
  • Comes with a pry-resistant door.

Drawbacks:

  • Requires four batteries (included though).
  • Front cover and keyboard are plastic.
  • Keypad has no backlit. But you can identify each key easily without backlit.

Summary of Customer Reviews:


The best gun safe reviews have given the PDS-500 good feedback. The majority have awarded it 4 or 5 stars. Many reasons are given, but mostly it is for security. One reviewer says the PDS-500 keeps her valuables secure. Another customer who bought the safe said there’s enough space for all his valuables.
One reviewer says he was looking for a gun safe to keep his firearms away from his children. He says with the PDS-500 he has found the right solution. One customer gave the PDS-500 5 stars, saying it is safe and reliable.
A couple of other customers also have it 5 stars for ease of setup and security. Another customer says the gun safe offers lots of room for his gun and ammo.
Some of the reviews are not as positive. For the most part however, the response the PDS-500 has gotten is good. While nothing fancy, it is a secure gun safe that does what it is supposed to do.

2. Sentry Safe Biometric Quick Access Pistol Safe Model # QAP1BE


Sentry Safe Biometric Quick Access Pistol Safe Model # QAP1BE

Some of the best gun safe reviews I’ve read are for the Sentry Safe Biometric Safe. What I like about this safe is its roominess. You can put a full sized semi-auto pistol and a revolver without a problem. The Sentry Safe is whisper quiet. Opening and closing doesn’t produce any loud noises. The digital keypad is easy to program. Once set up it adds a layer of security. I love the construction too. It is 12 gauge steel and heavy duty. The gun safe requires batteries, but setting up is easy. There are certain qualities you look for in a gun safe. These include security and durability. The Safe Sentry provides that and more. The instructions are straightforward and anyone can follow it.

Specifications:


  1. Pry-resistant top lid design.
  2. Single handed access.
  3. Dimension: Exterior: 3.2 in(H) x 12.0 in(W) x 9.9 in(D)
                          Interior: 2.2 in(H) x 9.7 in(W) x 6.6 in(D)
  4. Weighs 11.9 lbs.
  5. Includes Override key.
  6. 1 year limited warranty.

Benefits:

  • You can operate it with single hand.
  • Door cannot be pried loose.
  • The digital keypad is easy to program.
  • Multiple access options.
  • Roomy interior.
  • Easy to follow instructions.

Drawbacks:

  • Some complain of short battery life. It requires 4 AA batteries.
  • One customer says the lid makes a noise when opened.

Summary of Customer Reviews:


The reviews for the Sentry Safe are on the positive side. One customer says it is the best gun safe he has owned. Another one praised the spacious interior. One person wrote a short review and says it is the perfect place to store your gun. Another online reviewer wrote saying it’s a good investment.
A few customers have criticized the gun safe. However, the vast majority are content with it. One customer says it’s the ideal gift for a gun owner. Still another one says she is happy with its quick access.
The common consensus is the Safe Sentry is secure. A few customers nit-pick some features, but most are happy with it. After reviewing the gun safe I have to go with the majority.

3. GunVault SV500 SpeedVault Handgun Safe


GunVault SV500 SpeedVault Handgun Safe

The GunVault SV500 is a beautifully designed and fully functional gun safe. Your handgun should fit in nicely. The best gun safe reviews have given it the thumbs up for quick access. It is very secure, and the backup override key is a nice touch. One of the strong points of the SV500 is its versatility. You can mount it on walls or under your desk. Either way it is easy to do. The required hardware is included so it’s easy to set up. The digital keypad is easy to program as well. If you have a pistol and want to have quick access, this one will do.

Specifications:


  1. keypad offers 12 million possible combinations of access code.
  2. Fast Activation drop down drawer, for quick access.
  3. Multiple mounting options.
  4. 18-Gauge steel construction, with protective foam-lined interior.
  5. Backup override key included.
  6. 9 Volt battery is needed.
  7. Dimension(HxWxD): Exterior: 6.5″ x 3.5″ x 13″
                                         Interior: 2.25″ x 5.75″ x 8.5″
  8. Weight 6.61 lbs.
  9. 5 Years full warranty.

Benefits:

  • Good mounting options.
  • Floodlight is a nice feature.
  • Programming option is hard to break.
  • Durable construction.
  • Quick access.
  • Audio and LED low battery warning.
  • Easily switch to silent mode for stealthy and secure access.

Drawbacks:

  • Battery warning activates only when keypad button is pressed.
  • Wood screws could have been bigger.

Summary of Customer Reviews:


The best value gun safe gets good reviews and the SV500 is no exception. One reviewer says it is ideal for securing his gun. More than a few customers have expressed delight with the effective design. Another reviewer says the gun safe is “perfect” and runs as advertised.
Customers who bought the gun safe also like the light as it illuminates the content. Another person who purchased the GunVault online says it is practical and easy to access.
Some reviewers have posted minor criticisms. Mostly it involves the safe not being large enough for their guns. But most of the reviewers are happy with the gun safe. One customer says he likes its simple operation. Another said he didn’t like the beep but was able to turn it off easily. From the looks of it, most of the customers who bought it are happy with its performance.

4. Verifi Biometric Safe with FBI Fingerprint Sensor


Verifi Biometric Safe with FBI Fingerprint Sensor

The Smart Safe earns a spot in my best gun safe list. The highlight here is its fingerprint sensor with 3D imaging. This system has been certified by the FBI and it works without a hitch. It’s easy to add and remove users. There are a lot of other features, but what I like the most is its ability to recognize up to 40 fingers. The safe runs on 4 AA batteries and its lifespan is good. One of the most interesting parts is its ability to self-diagnose after each use. If there’s a problem you will be notified right away.

Specifications:


  1. Designed in the USA by Zvetco Biometrics.
  2. 10 fingerprints per person.
  3. AutoLock, NiteLite, Tamper Alerts, LCD Display, SelfCheck, Stealth Mode.
  4. 2 locking bolts, motor actuated, 2 high-security secondary access keys.
  5. Dimension(HxWxD): Exterior: 7.9″ x 13.2″ x 13.8″
                                          Interior: 7.3″ x 13.0″ x 9.5″
  6. weighs 30 lbs.

Benefits:

  • A key is included.
  • Can program fingerprints from different people.
  • Solid steel construction.
  • Biometrics is well-implemented.
  • It notifies you if there’s an attempt to access it.
  • Unique Boost & Pico power features provides worry free years of battery operation.

Drawbacks:

  • Instructions could have been clearer.
  • Some complain it’s too heavy, but it deters theft.

Summary of Customer Reviews:


The reviews are very positive. A lot of the customers who bought the Smart Safe agree it’s secure. Another reviewer says the customer support is top notch. What most of the customers agree on is how effective the biometrics is. There are a lot of gun safes which claim to have this feature but don’t work properly. However this one does.
If you read reviews for the Smart Safe, you’ll be hard pressed to find a negative view. Most are in agreement this is the best value gun safe today. As one customer review says, it works “flawlessly”. Most people also say this is one of the toughest safes they have tried.
Having gone through the reviews, it’s obvious the Smart Safe works. The security built into it is top notch. Even if you have kids they won’t be able to tamper with it.

5. SnapSafe Lockbox with Key Lock for Handgun Storage of Full Size Pistols


SnapSafe Lockbox with Key Lock for Handgun Storage of Full Size Pistols

SnapSafe is known for their top rated gun safes, and the Lockbox is a good example of this. The gun safe is constructed from 18 gauge steel. A look inside shows the interior comes with 1/2″ thick memory fitting foam, and your handgun should fit in nicely. This version of the Lockbox comes with a upgraded security cable and key for easy operation. The Lockbox is easy to operate that comes with two keys. This is designed for home use, but you can bring it with you while traveling. The Lockbox is also a good choice if you want to secure your gun. It doesn’t have much in the bells and whistles department, but it’s secure.

Specifications:


  1. 1500 lb. test steel security cable.
  2. Internal Dimensions are 9.5″ x 6.5″ x 1.75″
  3. Pry resistant.
  4. Meets TSA airline firearm guidelines.

Benefits:

  • Has CA DOJ certification.
  • Solidly designed.
  • Fits most handguns.
  • Security cable is included.
  • Lock system is easy to use.

Drawbacks:

  • The retaining slide could have been thicker.
  • One customer says it’s too small for large handguns.

Summary of Customer Reviews:


If you’re looking for the best gun safe reviews, you’ll find a lot for the SnapSafe Lockbox. Customers who purchased it like its security, convenience and ease of use. One reviewer bought the Lockbox for his truck. He says the gun safe is secure and the foam keeps the gun in place.
Another reviewer says he “highly recommends” the Lockbox. Another satisfied customer says he uses the safe to store money and feels secure. If you read the other reviews you’ll notice that many use it to store valuables. There are a few negative reviews here and there. But a high percentage is content with its features.
Several customers who bought the Lockbox did so because they wanted a compact but reliable gun safe. The Lockbox fits the bill. My own assessment of this safe has proven to me that it’s as good as advertised.

Accessories for a Gun Safe


Maglula Ltd. UpLULA Pistol Magazine Loader/Unloader


Maglula Ltd. UpLULA Pistol Magazine Loader/Unloader

The best gun safe reviews show how important it is to have a magazine uploader / unloader. The UpLULA lets you fill a magazine with a press of a switch. This is compatible with 45, 357 and 9mm pistols. Whether you’re a long time gun owner or not, a magazine loader and unloader will come in handy.

Hoppe's BoreSnake Pistol and Revolver Bore Cleaner


Hoppe's BoreSnake Pistol and Revolver Bore Cleaner

Even top rated gun safes can only do so much to keep your gun clean. With the Hoppe’s BoreSnake you’ll be able to remove all the dirt easily. Unlike other cleaners, you don’t need to do multiple passes. No matter what gun you own, cleaning is essential for maintenance.

The Ultimate Suede Leather IWB Holster


The Ultimate Suede Leather IWB Holster

Snap Caps have a lot of uses. But the most practical is for trigger pull adjusting and checking. You will also find these Snap Caps useful for releasing the hammer springs tension. If you are into dry firing, these will be very useful.

MTM 380/9MM Cal 100 Round Flip-Top Ammo Box


MTM 380/9MM Cal 100 Round Flip-Top Ammo Box

There are different types of holsters, but when it comes to quality it’s hard to top the MTM. It is durable, comfortable and keeps your gun secure. Most holsters today are made from low quality materials and synthetically produced. The MTM on the other hand, is handmade and genuine leather. 

Snap Cap Pistol 9 mm Luger 5 Pack


Snap Cap Pistol 9 mm Luger 5 Pack

They are reat for practice. These are used for 2 purposes. To dry fire your weapon; and to practice loading and cycling without using live rounds. Whatever your needs, Snap Caps are handy and inexpensive.

Reasons You Should Have a Gun Safe


Preserve Your Guns: The top rated gun safes know how valuable your guns are. Guns serve as home defense, yes. But there are also people who love to collect firearms. There’s no better way to take care of them than by storing in a safe.
Even if you don’t have a huge collection, a small gun safe is going to keep your pistol in good condition. Cleaning alone won’t do as it must be stored properly.

Fire Protection: Even the most basic gun safe provides some degree of protection from fire. The higher quality safes have fortified walls that protect the content even when exposed to fire for several minutes or hours.

Protect Your Other Valuables: Gun safes are designed mainly for firearms. But there’s nothing to prevent you from using it to store other valuables. Most gun safes come with shelves and drawers. They are designed to store handguns. But you can use it to store documents, jewelry and other valuables.

Easy Access: Today’s gun safes come in different styles, but what they all share in common is ease of use. When the time comes you need to access the content, just unlock it or press the code. During times of emergency, you can quickly reach for your gun and defend yourself and your family.

Keep Burglars From Getting Your Gun: Guns can be sold for a good sum of money, especially if it’s an antique. Storing it in a drawer isn’t enough. The most secure option is to place it in a safe where it can’t be opened by anyone who doesn’t know the combination.

Legal Protection: In case there is a burglary, you have to prove that you have a gun safe and followed the law, i.e. you own a gun safe.

How to Keep Your Guns Good As New


The best rated gun safes can only do so much, as you also need to take care of the gun as well. Here are some suggestions.

  • Use your gun only as directed.
  • Disassemble your gun carefully. Make sure all the bullets have been removed. Also make certain each component is carefully taken out.
  • Clean your gun on a consistent basis. A clean piece of cloth is sufficient to remove dirt and dust. Lint free material is not required. Extensive use leads to a buildup of unburnt powder and oil. Wipe them off.
  • Clean the magazine inside and outside. Clean the chamber, guide rails and ejector. Look for areas that have black patches. Wipe it thoroughly.
  • Some components get so dirty they require solvent. Apply a small amount and wipe as thoroughly as possible. Allow the solvent to settle for a couple of minutes. All areas with carbon buildup and dirt should have solvent applied. While you’re at it, use a toothbrush to clean various areas.

These are general guidelines and should work for all firearms. However your gun may come with additional instructions for cleanup. Follow what is stated there.

Security Tips for Biometric Safe Owners


  • Even if you have the best rated gun safes, always test the lock prior to bolting. Test the fingerprint programming and the other security features.
  • Scan all of your fingerprints. It’s easy to remember what finger you used during setup. But if you sense burglars in the middle of the night, panic might set in. Better to scan all ten of your fingers so access is quicker.
  • Scan various fingerprint angles. Some biometric systems are very sensitive. They work only if the right angle is used.
  • Wipe the scanning area clean after using it. Traces of your fingerprints could be lifted by tape. They can then use it to open the safe. So you don’t forget, leave a piece of cloth near the gun safe.
  • Always buy from reputable companies. Safes from known brands may cost more. However you are at least assured of quality.

Maintenance Tips


The top rated gun safes don’t require much maintenance. They are built for long term –lifetime – use. For this reason there is no need to do every day cleaning like you would with other containers.
However, do wipe dirt and dust every week or so. If the gun safe is tucked somewhere, dust will build up. The more dust and dirt accumulates the harder it will be to clean. Every now and then, open the safe, remove the content and clean the shelves.
If the shelves are removable, take them out of the safe. Wipe with a clean cloth. If there is excess dirt buildup, use a damp cloth to remove them.
Do not use solvents, detergents or any other powerful cleaning solution. These solutions might damage the finish. This might seem odd given these safes are built for heavy duty use. However, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Frequently Asked Questions


1. Why should I buy the best value gun safe?
Answer: A good value gun safe ensures your guns are well protected. The difference between a good value safe and a cheap one is you get more from your money.

2. What features should I look for?
Answer: For the tightest security, get a biometric safe. It has fingerprint identification, locks and other security features. 

3. Should I buy a secondhand gun safe?
Answer: A new gun safe is better. The features on a used gun safe may no longer function properly.

4. What can I put in a gun safe besides guns?
Answer: Important papers, jewelry, personal items and other valuable stuff. The items you can store depend on the capacity. If it’s valuable you should put it in the safe.

5. Are all gun safes fire proof?
Answer: The best ones, especially those with a UL and/or ETL certification.

My Recommendations


All the five gun safes I have reviewed are high quality. Any one of these is going to keep your firearms safe and secure. But I have to give the edge to the Stack-On PDS-500 Drawer Safe with Electronic Lock. It is very easy to use. Its security feature is top of the line and it is one of the most durable I’ve seen.
There are a lot of products that deserve to be called top rated gun safes. The PDS-500 is one of them. If you’re looking for a gun safe that can be relied upon, this is it.

Another recommendation is the Sentry Safe Biometric Quick Access Pistol Safe because it has Electronic Keypad as well as biometric functionality. It uses 12 gauge solid steel construction for longevity.

Final Word


Gun safes have changed a lot through the years. Now more than ever you’ve got a lot of options to choose from, and that is exactly what a gun owner wants. In turn it could present some problems with making the right choice.
I hope this guide to the best gun safe has been useful for you. With my product recommendations you can buy a safe right away for your firearms. And if you’d rather look for one yourself, the buyers’ guide above has all the information you need. Bottom line: you no longer have to put up with mediocre gun safes.

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