For any avid gun lover, investing in a pistol safe is not only a necessity. Even though you have your gun to protect yourself, in the wrong hands, you will only be causing more harm than good. To ensure only you have access to your firearm, you need the best pistol safe.
The major issue with buying a gun safe is that you never know which one will hold up when it is put to the test. If you invest in the wrong unit, the result can often be disastrous. So you need to put in hours and days of research before you can settle on the right device for your needs.
But with our help, you can make the process a lot smoother. In this article, we will give you an ultimate rundown of all the different models out there on the market that promises to give you an excellent value out of your investment.
Why Do You Need the Best Handgun Safe?
Before we head into the nitty-gritty, let us start off with why you actually need to invest in a gun safe. Well, the answer is quite simple for security.
The number of deaths each day due to gun violence is quite high, and surprisingly most of these issues are due to accidents. Misplacing your firearms in your house can often result in it falling into the wrong hands.
If you have little kids running around the house, the necessity of buying a gun safe is even higher. The last thing you want is a curious little child getting his hands on a loaded gun that you kept on your bedside table .
Furthermore, a gun safe lets you keep your gun secured in case there is a break-in at your house. Even if a burglar gets to your safe before you, he will not be able to arm himself with your weapons.
As long as you invest in the right gun safe, accessing your weapons quickly should not be an issue. There are many quick access bedside gun safes in the market, and we even covered some of them in our handgun safe reviews.
Besides, it is common courtesy to keep your guns out of sight. By keeping it in a gun safe, you will not be intimidating any friends or family visiting your house.
Top 10 Best Pistol Safe Reviews
Buying a pistol safe can be quite tricky for the sheer volume of units littering the market. And considering how essential it is to home defense, you really cannot afford to make any mistakes. Without understanding which devices on the market deliver the best value for cost, you can easily end up with the wrong gun safe.
To save you from the trouble of going through tedious days of research, we have compiled a list of the best handgun safes in the market so that you can simply pick out the perfect one for your requirements.
1. Vaultek MX Series Safe High Capacity Smart Handgun Safe
Starting off our list, we will be looking at Vaultek, a brand renowned for bringing many innovations to the world of gun safes. The MX series of their lineup comes with many modern features, including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity to your smartphone to remotely monitor or access your device.
The primary security mechanism of the unit is biometrics. However, it also uses an electronic keypad and manual keyed locks as backup means of access. Apart from that, as we mentioned, the app connectivity option also gives you another handy way to open the safe from afar.
Looking at the quality of the sensor, you have nothing much to complain about. The scanner is fast and immediately picks up on the fingerprints that moment you place your finger on the scanner. In addition, the keypad comes with eight digits giving you plenty of flexibility and security in the access code you set up with it.
Another excellent side of the unit is its excellent build quality. This unit features a 16 gauge steel construction with anti-pry reinforcement bars, impact-proof dual-latches, and internal hinges that give no prying leverage to intruders. The door itself is made of 12-gauge steel, which really speaks a lot for its strength.The internal storage of the unit is also quite good, allowing you to store at least eight standard pistol s and handguns inside it. Apart from the pistol racks, where you can store your gun like a holster, you also get a top shelf where you can store two extra handguns or other valuables without any hassle.
2. Vaultek 10 Series Lightweight Handgun Bluetooth Smart Safe Pistol Safe
Up next, we will be looking at another Vaultek product, but this time it is aimed at people who do not require too much out of their gun safe. You might say the 10 series by the brand is a toned-down version of their MX series, getting rid of some of the less used features for giving you a better price.
Despite being oriented towards budget spenders, the quality of the scanner in the unit is similar to the one you saw in the MX series. The scanner captures high-resolution images of your fingerprints and instantly gives you access if it finds a match. You also get a five-digit LED-backlit keypad as another access method.
Apart from the two battery-powered access methods, you get two backup keys to access the safe if the battery runs out. However, the battery life in the unit is quite decent, giving you a lasting use out of it. To top it off, the LED light in the keypad and sensor is also equipped with proximity sensors that activate when it detects your fingers.
The build quality of the unit is also exceptional, providing you with high levels of security and protection for your firearms. IT features two anti-impact latches and anti-pry bars to prevent any sort of tamper attempts. Anyone trying to break into the gun safe is in for a lot of trouble.The best part about the unit is, despite its tough quality, it is quite compact and portable. As a result, you have a lot of options as to how you want to use it. The interior of the gun safe is fully carpeted, ensuring the cosmetic finish of your weapons remains intact.
3. Fort Knox PB1 Handgun Safe
Making a list about the best small gun safe is quite impossible without mentioning the PB1 by the brand Fort Knox. It might not have many modern features that you will find in some of the other products we reviewed, but where it shines is in delivering you an extremely secure and sturdy device.
When it comes to the security system, the simple approach of this unit is both practical and functional. It comes with an analog Simplex combination locking system. Since it is completely analog, you do not need to think about replacing the batteries every few months.
Although it does not feature any biometric or electronic locking system, the security in the unit is quite impenetrable. The Simplex combination allows you to potentially set up thousands of different combinations, giving you extreme flexibility in setting up the combination lock.
The door in the unit also comes with a gas strut compressor meaning the opening and closing of the safe will be smooth and quiet. It features a tough and rugged construction made with ten gauge steel and a tamper-resistant wrap around door. This simple pistol box is basically a fortress.Internally, the box comes with enough space to store two of your regular firearms without running out of space. You will still be able to store a couple of rounds of ammunition to load up your gun when you open it. It also comes with pre-drilled mount9ing holes to help you set it up properly.
4. V-Line Top Draw Locking Tactical Gun Storage Box
If you are looking for a compact unit that does not make a compromise when it comes to security, the Top Draw Locking Tactical Box by the brand V-Line is worth a consideration. It even comes at a reasonable price tag, which makes it a smart investment for any gun owner.
Similar to the Fort Knox PB1, this unit also features a Simplex Combination locking mechanism. So you know you are getting your money’s worth of security with the unit. This analog lock, with all its simplicity, is one of the most efficient forms of locking mechanism you will find in a gun safe.
However, despite following the footsteps of PB1 in terms of locking mechanism, this unit does not feature gas strut compressors. So you will have to sacrifice a bit in terms of speed. But if your sole purpose is security for your weapons, this unit does not disappoint.
Further enhancing the security, you get a strong and robust steel construction with your purchase. The welded door hinges actively protect you against any prying attempts. Because of its seamless design, forcing it open is next to impossible. So as you can see, you can rely on this unit to keep your items safe and sound.The interior space of the unit also does not disappoint if you want to store two of your favorite handguns and a couple of small items inside it. You can safely store your cash, jewelry, or sensitive documents without worrying about someone breaking into the hidden gun safe.
5. SentrySafe QAP2BEL Gun Safe with Biometric Lock
Making an appearance on our list, we have SentrySafe, a well-known and respected brand in the industry. The QAP2BEL by the brand is one of their finest creation, giving you plenty of modern options to ensure the full security for your firearms and any other valuables you store inside it.
The fingerprint recognition technology of the device needs no introduction. It is one of the finest you will find on the market both in terms of responsiveness and accuracy. With the high-quality sensor, you will have no trouble accessing your weapons within seconds in your time of need.
It also comes with a backlight four-digit keypad that lets you set up an access code as a backup means of opening the safe. Because of the backlight, you will have no trouble operating it in complete darkness. In addition, you also get a pair of backup keys if the electronics fail or the power runs out.
Looking at the build quality, the heavy-duty steel construction will ensure the unit stays strong even under impact or any tamper attempts. It comes with pry-resistant hinges to prevent any attempt to break in through the door. The doors also come with gas strut compressors that open the safe automatically after you input the proper code.For such a compact unit, the interior compartment is quite spacious. You have enough space to store two handguns along with a few rounds of magazines or other small items inside it. It even features a blue LED on the inside to help you retrieve your weapons in the darkness.
6. Viking Security Safe VS-25BL Biometric Safe
Coming up next, we will be diverting our attention to another top-notch brand in the industry Viking Security Safe. It is slightly larger than the rest of the gun safes in the market and is perfect for users who can make use of the spacious interior. In addition, the unit is extremely secure and practically built like a tank.
The unit features a large panel at the front that includes a 12 button electronic keypad and a large biometric scanner. Its fingerprint recognition prowess is admirable thanks to the 500 DPI sensor that it comes with, allowing it to instantly find a match when you place your finger on the sensor.
With the included keypad, you can easily set up a backup pin code if you do not feel like using the biometric scanner. In addition, you get a manual backup key to access the interior in case the battery runs dry. The key even features a four-pronged design, which makes picking the lock nearly impossible.
The unit also comes with motorized deadbolts in the interior to further enhance its sturdy and impenetrable nature. With a door that is 5mm thick, anyone planning to break into the gun safe is in for a hard time. As an added security measure, the unit features a warning alarm if you leave the door unlocked.Because of the larger size of the unit, obviously, it is not very portable. However, the larger interior space can really come in handy for owners of multiple handguns or for those who want to keep some extra goodies inside the safe. The gun safe even features an interior LED to help you see inside it in the dark.
7. Stealth Handgun Hanger Safe Quick Access Electronic Pistol Security Box
If you want a gun safe that allows you to access your gun quickly in your times of need, the Stealth Handgun Hanger Safe might be the best option out there. It features a robust set of features and comes at a reasonable price tag, making it a smart investment for any gun lover.
Even though it does not feature any biometric scanning, its tiny four-digit keypad is capable enough to ensure complete security for the gun safe. You can set up an access code of up to six digits that you must input in order to gain access to the safe. Additionally, the audio feedback from each keypress really comes in handy.
You can even turn off the audio feedback if you want no sound out of your safe when opening it. If you do not like changing batteries every few months, the Powerport adapter that comes with the unit will be to your liking. You can get continuous power from a wall plug without consuming any battery power.
The build quality of the unit is also superb, featuring robust 3/8 inches of steel door. Its anti-pry tabs keep intruders away, and the contents of the safe secured until you open it. Thanks to the spring-loaded door design, as soon as you input the correct combination, the door pops open instantly.Inside the safe, you have enough space to store three of your regular or compact handguns in the gun holders. In addition, the interior comes with foam lining that protects the cosmetic integrity of your weapons. It also comes with a high-strength anchoring cable to keep it tethered and safe from being snatched.
8. Stealth Portable Handgun Safe Mechanical Pistol Box
If the last product on our list could not convince you of the quality of the unit you can expect out of this brand, the Portable Handgun Safe by Stealth surely will. It comes in a much simpler design but still maintaining a high level of security features to keep your items safe and secure. This unit comes loaded with the effective, time-tested locking system Simple combination trigger lock.
It features five buttons and a large dial, which allows you to input a previously set combination lock to gain access to the interior contents. This system is highly secure and also quite efficient at giving you quick access to your weapons. Since it uses a completely mechanical lock, it does not require any batteries.
So that takes away from any of the upkeep costs that you might have to spend if you needed to keep buying batteries. It also does not come with any backup keys, so make sure you do not forget your combination lock. The unit is constructed using 14-gauge steel, ensuring it can survive any sort of abuse. Its steel dead bar, along with two steel hooks inside, protects it from people trying to pry it open.
Breaking into the safe is extremely unlikely even if you fall victim to a robbery. Despite its lightweight and compact nature, you can easily store two handguns inside the gun safe without any hassle. It even comes with a chrome carry handle on the top that can make transport easier. For people who do not care for mobility, the pre-drilled holes allow you to mount it securely to any surface.
9. Alfuheim Biometric Gun Safe, Smart Handgun Safe with 4 Digits Code
In the world of gun safes, the brand Attemailmn might not be as well-known as SentrySafe and Fort Knox, but when it comes to quality, one cannot overlook the design of their biometric gun safe. As an added bonus, you do not need to shell out big bucks when going for this unit.
This device comes with a biometric scanner that is capable of storing up to 20 unique fingerprints in its database. As a result, you can give access to a couple of other people to the gun safe if you ever need it. The scanner is responsive and can find a match within seconds of placing your finger on the scanner.
Apart from the scanner, the unit also features a four-digit keypad as a secondary access method. You can easily set up a pin code that you can use if the scanner does not pick up on your fingerprints. In addition, you also get a set of manual override keys if the electronics fail or the battery dies.
With lesser-known brands, the build quality is always something to be concerned about. However, the 16-gauge carbon steel housing that you get with the unit can put your mind to rest and ensure you of the level of security you will get out of this unit. Its pry-resistant door further promises to keep your contents safe and secure.The internal storage option with the unit is also quite excellent featuring carpet lining and giving you ample space to store anything you want. If you want to strictly stick to your weapons, you can easily place two handguns along with a couple of rounds of ammunition inside it.
10. Liberty Safe Handgun Vaults Quick Vault Combo with Auto Entry
To finish up our list of reviews, we will be looking at an excellent unit by the brand Liberty Safe. This unit features a unique design that might not be appealing to some people. However, when it comes to security, this is one of the best units out there to protect your valuables and handguns.
The primary locking mechanism of the unit comes in the form of a four-digit electronic combination lock. Since the keys are convenient located at the top, you have no trouble inputting the correct combination. The overall design and arrangement are made to ensure optimal efficiency in operating the unit.
Thanks to the design of the door, it offers easy and quick access to your weapon. It features a piston-activated design and pops open as soon as you hit the correct combination. In addition, the angled door ensures your weapons remain safe, and your draw angle is perfect.
Its 16-gauge steel construction further enhances the safety and sturdiness of the device. The seamless construction is free of any opening, which ensures there can be no tamper attempts. Additionally, the unit features pre-drilled mounting holes to help you get it set up easily.
You can store at least three handguns in the unit without facing any space issues. It even features an interior LED to help you see better in the dark. Despite being a combination of locking safe, it is digital, which means you do have to use batteries. However, since it uses 9v batteries, you get pretty decent use out of it.
Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Pistol Safe
Now that you have gone through our handgun safe reviews, we want to give you a few additional bits of information to make your shopping go smoother. Before investing in a gun safe, there are a couple of elements that you need to consider to understand if it suits your purpose.
In the following section of the article, we will give you a quick rundown of everything you need to think about when buying the best handgun safe in the market.
Types of Pistol Safes
Before we head any further, the first thing you need to understand is the different types of options that you can choose from. By types, we usually mean the locking mechanism that comes with a gun safe. Some high-end models even feature two or three locking mechanisms.
Before investing in your handgun safe, make sure to check which access option you have available to you. The four most common types of locking systems found in a gun safe are given below to help you get a better idea of what you can expect from each of them.
➥ Electronic Keypad Safe
The first and one of the most common forms of locking mechanism that you will find on the market is the electronic keypad. It is simple yet effective at keeping your content safe and secure. As the name implies, you get a simple digital keypad that allows you to set up an access code.
To access the safe, you need to input the access code from the keypad. Some models even lock itself up if it detects multiple wrong attempts. Since it is an electronic mechanism, it requires power, usually in the form of batteries. You can also find models that use ac adapter for power.
➥ Biometric Security Safe
Biometric security is arguably the best and most secure form of locking mechanism that you can find on the market. With this type of locks, you get a fingerprint sensor on the safe that takes images of your fingerprints to give you access to the interior compartment.
It comes with a database where you can store authorized fingerprints. When you place your finger on the sensor, it tries to match your prints to the ones stored in its database. If it finds a match, only then will it give access to the interior compartment. This type of mechanism is extremely secure and foolproof.
➥ Combination Lock Safe
This type of locking mechanism has been in use for a long time. Typically, you get a few digits or dials where you set up an access combination that you have to input correctly in order to access the safe. A special type of combination system called Simplex is quite popular in the market these days.
Combination locks can either be digital or completely mechanical. With mechanical combination locks, you do not need to worry about any power source. However, electronic ones require power, and you need to replace batteries every few months, similar to the electronic keypad or biometric locking system.
➥ Keyed lock safe
The keyed locking mechanism has fallen wildly out of favor over the years. But it is still no doubt an effective locking system. In fact, most other electronic locking safes come with a backup key lock mechanism to access the safe in case the power runs out suddenly.
The best thing about this system is that it is simple and straightforward. However, a unit that relies solely on this locking mechanism is not very safe. Furthermore, it takes a while to open up a gun safe using keys. Although it is still a usable locking mechanism, you should look at it as a secondary system rather than a primary one.
Once you have the locking mechanism in check, you should consider the size of the gun safe too. Not to be confused with storage space, the size of the gun safe refers to its form factor. For instance, if you require a portable car gun safe for your pistol, you need to ensure it comes in a compact size.
However, for people who want a gun safe at the corner of their office, this becomes much less of an issue. But buying a larger gun safe also can increase your expense. A compact unit is typically more affordable and lightweight, allowing you to carry it with you anywhere to set it up easily.
Next, you also need to think about your storage options with the particular gun safe. When it comes to space, people tend to have varied preferences. Some might require storing a single handgun with a couple of rounds of ammunition, whereas others might want to store a few extra items along with their weapon.
So before committing to a particular product, it is always worth asking yourself how much storage space you need realistically. Some compact model at first glance might appear low on space. However, sometimes you will find that even compact models allow you to carry two handguns easily.
Fire and Water Resistance Capabilities
If you know anything about firearms, you would already know how much havoc fire and water can wreck to your weapons. So if you want the best security, you might want to consider investing in a unit that keeps your weapon safe from both fire and water damage.
However, buying a fireproof gun safe that also has water resistance might be a bit tricky as they tend to get expensive. When picking out your unit, check the fire rating of the unit as well as its water submersion performance. If both of these elements are ticked, your safe will give you a decent performance.
Thickness of the Steel
Any gun safe you buy from the market will feature some form of steel construction; that much is a given. However, the thickness of the steel that you get with your safe tends to vary from one model to another. If you want proper security, you need to look at the quality of steel and its thickness critically.
Ideally, you should settle for nothing less than 10-gauge steel construction. At that point, you will get decent protection against impact and blunt force, and your safe will not break open very easily. However, if you can manage, it is advisable to go with thicker steel for better protection.
Water Ventilation System
Some gun safes also come with a water ventilation system to drain water accumulation that might happen during a flood. This feature, although expensive, is well worth a consideration if you live in a location that is notorious for heavy rainfall throughout the year.
Additionally, with this feature, you will not have to worry about too much moisture building up inside the gun safe. You should also think about investing in a dehumidifier to get rid of excess moisture. It would go a long way to ensure the quality and performance of your weapons stored in the gun safe.
Ease of Use and Comfort
When investing in a gun safe, you obviously want it to be easy to use. Without the ease of access features, you will not have a very satisfactory performance out of your gun safe. Apart from fast access, you also want to look at the lock type to ensure it allows you the most comfortable experience.
As we already said earlier, not all people feel similarly when it comes to the locking mechanism they prefer. The same goes for the size of the gun safe. You need to think about your personal requirements and comfort when you are deciding on the size and design of the unit that you want to buy.
A gun safe until you mount it up properly is never truly secure. But you would be surprised knowing how many people tend to overlook this critical factor. When buying a gun safe, you need to consider the mounting options and the accessories you get with your purchase.
Some models do not even come with any mounting accessories, which means you need to invest in aftermarket mounts. This can add even more expense on your part, which might be a dealbreaker for some people. You should also see if the unit comes with pre-drilled mounting holes, as it would save you from a lot of hassle.
The factors that we mentioned above are of utmost importance, and you should never disregard them under any circumstances. But once you have those covered, you could look into some additional features to get even more value out of your investment.
These features might not seem much, but they can really come in handy in certain situations. We will give you a quick highlight of three of the most useful features that you can find in a gun safe.
➥ Unauthorized Access Alarm
Not all gun safes come with an alarm system, but this simple addition can add a lot of value to any device. Although you might find this feature on only some high-end models, the extra cost that comes with this feature is often worth it. And to be fair, you cannot really put a price on security.
This features essentially causes the gun safe to let out an alarm when it detects multiple wrong attempts to access your device. Thanks to this feature, you can prevent a lot of break-ins and robberies because once the alarm goes off, the culprit has no option but to run away.
➥ Auto-lock Feature
Auto-lock is another nifty little feature that you can find in some high-end gun safes. The trigger to activate this feature is quite similar to that of an unauthorized access alarm. This means, once the unit detects multiple failed access attempts, this feature will kick-in.
It enables the safe to go into lockdown mode, and until you bypass it, no one will be able to access it. If you are someone who keeps sensitive documents in the safe, this feature is a must-have. Usually, the instruction to bypass your gun safe if it goes into lockdown is listed in the owner’s manual.
➥ Door Lock Warning
The door lock warning feature is quite a useful feature if you are the forgetful sort. A lot of people simply forget to activate the locking mechanism of the gun safe after opening it for some reason. To be honest, it could happen to anyone, especially if you are in a rush.
With this feature enabled, the gun safe will activate its lock automatically when the door is closed. Some models even allow you to remotely activate the lock by pairing it with your smartphone. This small yet effective feature is worth it for just about anyone.
➥ Battery or Adapter
When you are investing in a pistol safe with electronics such as a biometric scanner or digital locking mechanisms, you also need to think about its power source. Most gun safes using this type of locking mechanism rely on battery power; however, there are some models that can use an ac power adapter for continuous usage.
For those who are stuck with battery power, you need to think about the battery uptime. If your unit cannot utilize battery efficiently, you would be eating through batteries after batteries, which is not very easy on your wallet. So when you are investing in an electronic gun safe, think about how much uptime you will get on a single set of batteries.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I buy an electronic gun safe or a mechanical one?
The thing about gun safes is that you have a lot of options when choosing it. One such critical option is choosing between a safe with electronic features such as a keypad or biometric sensor or a safe with mechanical locks. The simplest answer to this question is, however, your preference.
You need to think about your comfort and ease of use when choosing your safe. Some people, despite all the improved features of a biometric scanner, feel safer using a simple mechanical combination lock. Each locking mechanism has its fair share of flaws and advantages.
So, in the end, it comes down to which type of locking mechanism gives you the most comfort and safety.
Does my pistol safe require any maintenance?
Yes, like any other device you own, you should give some love to your pistol safe from time to time. Thankfully, the maintenance process for your gun safe is not as frustrating as some of the other devices.
As long as you oil the moving parts in the gun safe such as the door hinges or the motorized deadbolts, once every few weeks, you should be okay.
What do I do if I forget the access code?
Do not be intimidated if you forget the access code of your gun safe. As long as you are the rightful owner of the safe, there is always a way for you to retrieve it.
If you are using an electronic safe, in most cases, it should come with a set of override keys. You can use it to bypass the electronic features and open your safe manually. Furthermore, you can even reset the code so that you have no trouble accessing it in the future.
However, for mechanical units, the process might be a bit more complicated. If you forget your combination, you might need to contact the manufacturers for the best way to solve it. But before you do that, it is a good idea to check the owner’s manual for any workaround.
What is a fire rating in a gun safe?
If you bought a fireproof gun safe, then you might come across a specific fire rating for your device. This information lets you know how long the safe can last in case a fire breaks out in your office or apartment.
The fire rating of a gun safe typically features two values. One is for how long it can survive the heat, and the second is for the temperature it can tolerate.
Do I need a Dehumidifier?
If you live in a particularly humid state, then it is often worth investing in a dehumidifier. Moisture can get trapped inside your gun safe, and once it gets too extreme, it can cause many issues to your firearms. With a simple gun safe dehumidifier, you can keep the air inside the gun safe fresh for your weapons.
Finding the right gun safe for your weapons is essential if you are a responsible gun owner. Your weapons should never be the cause of any disaster, and by investing in a gun safe, you will do your part in making it safe.
In our article, we gave you a complete idea of everything you need to know about investing in a gun safe. Our review of the best pistol safes should give you enough information to be able to comfortably pick out the perfect unit for your needs.