Gun safes might seem like just another unnecessary piece of furniture. However, while many states don’t require that your firearms be stored in a safe, there are several that do. If your state is on the list, you are required by law to purchase a special cabinet for your firearms and ammunition. Regardless of whether or not it’s the law in your area, if you own firearms, it’s a good idea to keep them locked away, preventing children or untrained persons from having access to them!
If you’re reading this guide, you’ve probably already made the decision to purchase one, which makes you a responsible owner. But–do you know which key points to look for when making your purchase? Do you know which choice will be best for you? How do you know which ones are really worth your money?
Don’t worry – we’ve helped hundreds of people easily buy security systems that they’re very happy with. We’ve put in serious time and energy to research the best models on the market. In this guide, we’ve compiled our own reviews of some great options for all types of shooters.
Let’s take a look at some of the big categories:
Best Biometric Gun Safe Reviews for Pistols and Handguns
Security is of the utmost importance when it comes to owning firearms. When you’re shopping for your new lockup, you’ll have a few priorities in mind: ease of access, security, storage space, and, of course, price. Biometric safes offer ultimate peace of mind. They keep your hand weapons secure, under a lock that only your own fingerprint can break.
While biometric versions might seem like a futuristic proposal for the average hunter, they’re actually preferable to traditional versions on a number of fronts. Most importantly, there’s no key. There’s nothing to lose, misplace, or have stolen. They’re quicker to open, and you don’t have to worry about hiding a key, or remembering to bring it with you. Biometric versions are also harder to break into than traditional lock-and-key setups. Plus, they’re sure to make anybody feel like Bond!
In the past few years, more and more of these have been hitting the market. As the market expands, prices keep on falling–and that’s good news for you! There are plenty of affordable biometric options out there, so you can have professional grade security without breaking the bank.
Now, take a quick look at our current most popular recommendations:
The Best Designed
The Top Rated
One Year Warranty
Priced very reasonably at around $250, the Gunvault SpeedVault SVB500 is a great option for pistol owners. This provides quick, easy access to your firearms, and its convenient size and lock are ideal for emergency and critical situations in both your home and businesses. It’s perfect for an under-desk storage scenario, or in the corner of a cabinet.
Like any good lock box, it’s built to stop any unauthorized persons accessing your weapons. It’s made from 12-gauge steel, which isn’t going anywhere. This one also has a number of smart features we love. It can store up to 120 individual fingerprints, so you can assign a few people permission to access the firearms inside. That’s convenient for members of your family, or for trusted associates at work. There’s also an override key in case of any malfunctions. The inside is foam-lined to protect your firearm, and a light turns on when you open the door, to help you see inside. Best of all, it’s covered and insured by a 5-year warranty.
Our take: This Biometric Pistol Safe isn’t great for storing multiple or large firearms, but it does its job of storing pistols extremely well. It’s simple, effective, and has great feedback from previous buyers.
Priced well below $200, the Sentry Biometric Quick Access is a more portable and affordable choice for people who want to store a firearm securely. It has a lot of the same features as the GunVault, including 12-gauge steel construction and anti-pry hinges.
Even though it’s budget-priced, it has plenty of smart security features. You can program in your fingerprint, or add a pin combination in addition to the biometric, for even more security. It’s also silent, which is especially important in an emergency. The door is “whisper-quiet” and the keypad doesn’t make any sounds. There’s a pneumatic door hinge, which holds the door open for you. That allows for one-handed access, so you can be dialing the emergency services with your other hand.
The Sentry is also more portable than the GunVault. It’s not as much of a holster design, and it can stay in a drawer a bit easier.
This one is cheaper, so it does lose a few of the features we liked on the GunVault. For instance, you can only program one print into this one. It’s also not mountable, so it’s harder to install in a permanent location. However, it’s much more affordable than the GunVault, and gets the same basic job done.
The BARSKA Biometric is our favorite high-tech solution for storing multiple firearms. It’s around the same price as the Sentry, and it’s the only one on our Top Three list that is capable of storing a few small pistols. This one works great in both households and in offices. We also like that it can either be mounted wherever you like, with the included hardware, or stand alone. Either way, it provides easy and fast access when you need it most.
While it’s much cheaper than the GunVault, it includes a few features we really like on the more expensive model. This one can be programmed to accept up to 30 different fingerprints, so you can authorize other trusted people to have access to your weapons.
This one is quite a bit heavier than the other two options. The added weight makes it feel much more secure, and means thieves are less likely to carry the locked object away.
On the downside, it does make noises as you unlock it, so you won’t be able to get your weapons quietly. One thing we do like about the beeping feature is that it will start beeping to let you know if you’ve left it unlocked by accident. The timer kicks in after 5 minutes.
Overall, we think the Barska is a good solution for people who need a place to store a few firearms, but don’t want to spend the time or storage space on a big cabinet.
Best Large Gun Safes (for 14-30 Guns and Rifles)
If you’re looking to lock up multiple weapons, larger rifles, or other valuables, traditional standup versions are perfect for you. Some can get a little pricey, but with their large storage capabilities, and solid, secure build, the right one will be well worth your money.
We’ve compared and analyzed dozens of top models, and narrowed down the field to our Top Three:
The Mesa Safe Company MBF6032E 14.4 Cubic Foot 30 Rifle Safe with Digital Lock is our all-time favorite stack-on cabinet for many reasons. While it’ll cost you around $1,500, this stack-on cabinet delivers extremely secure storage with plenty of room for all your pistols, rifles, ammo, and other valuables.
It’s built like a tank, with completely steel construction that totals around 650 pounds. This isn’t going anywhere without a team of movers, so you can be sure that no thieves will make off with your valuables and weapons. You can also bolt it to your floor, with the pre-drilled holes.
This one is also one of the most secure on the market. The lock system is protected by an undrillable plate, to stop intruders in their tracks. In particular, we love the rugged bolts on this one, which are a full 1 1/2 inches thick!
It’s also fireproof, and is capable of withstanding much higher temperatures than the cheaper options. It’s rated for 1 hour at up to 1750 degrees!
We like this one because it combines the best of the old world and the new on one hulking package. The lock system is digital, with a programmable combination pad. That unlocks an elegant brass handle wheel, which cranks back 5 separate bolts to open it. If someone manages to damage the digital lock, a manual re-locker will kick in to make sure the system can’t be breached.
If you’re looking for the absolute best large safe, look no further! The Mesa is roomy, rugged, and backed by an unbeatable lifetime warranty. However, some previous buyers reported issues with glitchy keypads. Thankfully, that’ll all be covered by the warranty.
Priced a little lower than our #1 Stack-On pick at around $900 – $1,050, the Stack On Total Defense for 28 Guns (Model TD-28-SB E-S or C-S) proves to be a great alternative if you’re looking to get secure storage while saving a few bucks. One of our favorite features of this one is that it will hold large numbers of rifles and/or pistols, which means this one could be the only one you’ll ever need.
If you’re looking for a mid-range stack-on option, this Total Defense unit should be right up your alley. We love it because it’s almost as roomy as the Mesa, but costs a few hundred dollars less.
This one has room for up to 28 guns, and has customizable storage shelves and dividers just like the Mesa.
It’s protected against natural intruders as well, with fire and waterproofing. This model is rated to withstand over an hour at up to 1400 degrees. It can also handle up to 2 feet of standing water for 3 days. This makes it a good choice for people who have valuable heirloom weapons, especially if it’s going in a an area like a basement that’s vulnerable to water damage.
We love the door storage rack, which is a Velcro system for storing handguns and other small items without taking up shelf space further inside of it. There’s also a factory-installed power outlet at the back corner, which makes it very easy to install a humidifier or other equipment without drilling into it yourself.
We’d recommend the Total Defense to anyone who’s going to be keeping their firearms in a basement, as well as people who want a lot of room but don’t want to pay quite so much for the Mesa.
3. Stack-On FS-14-MG-C 14-Gun Fire Resistant Safe with Combination Lock
The Stack-On 14 Gun Combination Lock Safe in Matte Hunter Green is the cheapest model in our Top 3 Best Stack On Gun Safes List, priced around the $500 mark. This model delivers secure storage at a price that can’t be beat, and will hold a large amount of rifles and/or pistols. We like the simple, effective design, as well as the carpeted interior. While this is cheap, it certainly doesn’t look or feel that way!
This one is the most budget-friendly of our recommendations. It’s about half the price of the Mesa, and still gives you plenty of room for storing your weapons and other valuables. The Stack On has room for 14 guns, and uses a smart shelving and bracket system to help you customize your storage space.
The lock system is simple but effective. A big combination dial unlocks it, after which you simply crank the wheel to retract 3 big bolts. There’s no electronic system or biometric feature, so this one will please more traditional shooters who don’t want any technical details on theirs.
The entire interior is carpeted, to protect your rifles, and so are the shelves. It also has basic fireproofing, and is rated for up to 30 minutes.
However, you do sacrifice a few things by cutting costs. This model isn’t waterproofed, and it’s built more lightly than the other options. We also found that quality control is a bit lax on this model, so you’ll want to be sure to give it a once-over when it arrives, so that you can return it easily.
Best Large Multi-Gun Safes Under $1,000
When it comes to protecting your firearms and your valuables, you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg to do so. You also don’t want to skimp on price and end up with a product that doesn’t do its job very well, either. Once you’re armed with the information we’ve got for you here, then you can decide which option is best for you.
Big gun safes can get very costly. You can easily spend $3,000 for a solid, mid- to upper-range version. However, we know that most of us can’t afford to take out a loan just to store our firearms. That’s why we went looking specially for affordable options. Most of our recommendations are available for near or below the $500 mark.
With that said, if you can afford to spend a bit more, you’ll see a pretty noticeable upgrade in terms of quality. Between $500 and $1,000, safes get a lot heavier, a lot better built, and have more secure and sophisticated locking mechanisms. Overall, they’re simply a lot more “safe”!
If you’re looking for a model that costs less than $1,000, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve taken into account user reviews, size, features, security, and price, and come up with our Top Three under a grand!
Our top pick for Best Safe Under $1,000 also made our overall Top Three list for large safes. It’s very affordable, and provides all the basic features you need without costing an arm and a leg.
Priced reasonably at around $500, this bad boy will securely store a large amount of rifles and/or pistols, as well as ammunition and other valuables. It’s compact enough that it can fit nicely in your home or office, however, it’s not the best choice for traveling or for use in emergency or critical situations.
This model has space for 14 guns, and has spaces for both rifles and handguns. We like the smart shelving system, which uses brackets and slots to help you get your space setup exactly the way you want it without having to work around manufacturer settings. All the shelves and interior surfaces are carpeted to pad and protect your weapons and other valuables.
It’s the best choice for people who simply need a lot of space, and don’t want to spend extra on technical features or added bells and whistles. Just be aware that it’s not as heavily built as the more expensive models. That means it’s not quite as permanent, and it isn’t invincible against fire or water damage.
This Mesa Safe is a beast, and we think it compares to quite a few safes that’ll cost well over $1,000. We like the heft of this thing, as well as the security and storage features. It’s a full 1 1/2 inches thick, and it’s made completely from steel.
It’s 500 pounds, so it’s not going anywhere in a hurry. Previous buyers were overwhelmingly impressed by the weight of this one, which compared very favorably to other models they had seen in gun shops. You can also bolt it to the floor, with the included hardware.
It’s also loaded with great security features. The All Steel is rated fireproof for 1 hour at 350 degrees, and it activates the fireproofing automatically in high heat situations. This thing is also tested to handle a 2-story drop without breaking!
For a lock, there’s an electronic combination system which is backed up by a manual spring re-locker in case someone tries to break into your locker. Even though it uses a modern lock system, it looks like a classic bank safe, with an old-fashioned, elegant brass handle wheel and fittings.
However, some reviewers said they were pretty sure they wouldn’t be able to fit 14 guns in this one, even at a squeeze. You’ll be safe up to 10 or so, and after that you’ll have to get creative.Check Price on Amazon
Our biggest recommendation under $1,000 is this Stack-On model. It’s designed to hold a whopping 24 guns in total, and has plenty of room for your other valuables as well. We love the sheer size of this one, especially given that it’s on sale for well under $1000.
It’s smart, with a locking mechanism that uses an electronic combination keypad. However, it still looks old school, in the best possible way. This one looks like one of those bank vaults from a Western. Since you probably won’t be able to hide this safe in a closet, the great aesthetic is a big plus. It’ll fit into any hunter’s home with class and style. Plus, the sheer size of the thing is impressive to guests.
The bolts are impressive, as well, at 1.5″ thick. They’re more than capable of stopping even the most determined thieves.
It also uses space intelligently. You have a few options for storage: one big compartment for all your rifles, or a split chamber with one half for long guns and the other for cubbies with ammo and smaller weapons. We especially like the hanging door storage, which has holsters and slots for pistols, knives, and other tools. The entire interior is carpeted, and the shelves are easy to rearrange.
If you’re in the market for a big, hulking safe to keep everything in one place, this is the one for you!
Best Gun Cabinets and Safes Under $500 (for 8-12 Guns)
Are you shopping for your gun safe on a tighter budget? No worries! There are a wide range of options that are affordable to just about anyone. However, there are lots of subpar safes under the $500 mark, so it’s especially important to get the right one. You want to make sure you’re not wasting any of your hard-earned dough.
We put just as much effort into finding the best safes under $500 as we did in researching our other recommendations. These 3 models are rugged and reliable choices for shooters on a budget. We’ve found a few options for you to choose from, depending on how much room you need. Check them out!
The Stack-On 8-Gun safe is the most affordable model we’ve recommended. It’s better than the competition in the budget range for a number of reasons.
First, it’s built like a real safe, not like a lock box. This one uses fully-welded piano hinges which are impossible to pry open. It locks in 3 different places, to make sure all the major points of the door are secure. There’s a plate to keep people from trying to pry the lock, and a double-bitted lock keeps intruders from picking the keyhole.
It’s also designed to be bolted easily to your floor. It has a flush bottom, and comes with all the hardware you’ll need to do the job. That’s a simple way to double the security of your safe, so robbers can’t steal the thing with your guns inside.
Even though it’s the smallest of our recommendations, there’s plenty of room for an average collection of rifles. There’s room for 5 big guns up to 54″ tall. All the gun mounts are padded to keep your firearms scuff-free. There’s also a top shelf for keeping ammo and other supplies secure.
On the downside, it’s a pretty light cabinet, at just 60 pounds. You’ll definitely want to bolt this sucker to the ground, or you might have a thief make off with the whole thing. It’s also only covered by a 1-year warranty.Check Price on Amazon
Priced fairly low at just over the $250 mark, our #2 spot goes to the Stack-On GCDB-924 10-Gun Double-Door Steel Security Cabinet. It’s a bit bigger than the 8-Gun, and is more heavily built. You get even more room for all your guns and valuables, and the best part is that there’s a divider to keep them separate!
We like that this one has two separate cabinets, so you can have different keys for your rifles and your valuables. That means you can give different people access to each. It’s also a good way to avoid exposing your valuables and personal documents to risk every time you get out a gun to go hunting.
The valuables cabinet has 4 padded shelves. The gun side has sockets for up to 10 rifles, with a padded floor to protect wood butts from scratches and scuffs. We like the molded sockets, which keep guns secure and stuck in place while you move other things around in the safe.
Just like the 8-Gun model, this one has a 3-point locking system with an extra-secure plate to prevent pries. There’s the same fully-welded piano hinge to keep people from exploiting the joints as well.
While this one provides a pretty reasonable upgrade over the 8-gun model, it’s worth pointing out that the 16-gun still isn’t waterproof or fireproof, and it’s not quite as rugged as the bigger Stack-On models.
The Stack-On 16-Gun safe is our roomiest recommendation in the Under $500 category. It has room for a true collection of firearms, and a more secure lock system than the cheaper Stack-Ons. If you have a lot of guns to store on a budget, this is the safe for you.
Unlike the cheaper options, this one meets the CA Dept. Of Justice’s stringent requirements for gun safety. Even if you don’t live in that state, we think it’s worth knowing that your safe meets the grade. It’s extra peace of mind for you, and a sound investment in case more stringent gun control comes into law in your area.
Most of that qualification is down to the improved locking system. It’s much more secure, and much more ruggedly built than the smaller Stack-Ons. This one has 6 locking points, twice as many as the other two. It also uses thick, 1″ bolts to keep things locked down. The hinges also have steel dead bolts built in, which makes them even safer than the piano hinges on the other two models. Like the other two, there’s an anti-drill plate fitted over the lock, to be extra sure that nobody’s breaking in.
This is also the cheapest Stack-On to feature an electronic combination lock. It’s more secure than a key, since nobody can duplicate a key that you don’t use!
This one has a few of the same features as the smaller versions on the inside. It’s got a fully carpeted interior, with rifle butt holders that are molded to keep thing scuff-free and secure. It also has a few different options for shelving, and everything’s included in the package. There are also tray organizers and hooks which aren’t included in the cheaper models.
Overall, we think this is without a doubt the best you can do for less than $500.Check Price on Amazon
What to Consider Before Making Your Purchase
- The first thing to consider before buying a secure firearm cabinet is what you need it for. For instance, if you need a locker to keep the weapons locked away and out of the hands of children or untrained persons, a simple metal locking cabinet would do just fine. Make sure it has a solid lock system, and a sturdy build quality. You won’t need to worry about getting a model that weighs a ton, or bolts to the ground. On the other hand, if you need it to protect your expensive equipment against intruders, you might opt for a heavy gauge steel option, which deters theft with its thick walls and heavy weight. You can also bolt bigger safes to the ground, to make sure no muscly thief carries it away. If you’re looking for a locker that will do all of these things and keep your guns protected from environmental hazards or disasters, you may want to check out models with fireproofing and waterproofing. As a general rule, the more money you spend, the better equipped your lockup will be to deal with the elements.
- Before making your purchase, you will want to calculate how much you’re willing to spend for your lockup. With budget models available from $100 to higher end models that are priced in the thousands of dollars, it’s important to narrow down the field to what you can actually afford. Think about the value of the firearms and personal items you’ll be keeping in the safe. If they’re heirlooms, antiques, or collectibles, it’s probably worth spending a bit more for protection. If they’re under lock and key more for safety reasons than for any financial reasons, you can probably get away with a cheaper model that gets the job done without incurring too much extra cost.
- Another thing to keep in mind before making your purchase is the location where you’ll be storing your weapons. There are all sorts of options for lock boxes, from small holster-style models that can be mounted under a desk, to large pieces of furniture that require plenty of room and helpers to move. It’s important to have a solid plan on where to keep it beforehand. If you want to keep it near your bedside for protection at night, in this case, a smaller one is probably best for you. In an emergency, you’ll want to have your weapons close at hand, in a convenient location that’s easy to get to. For larger safes, it might make sense to find a location that’s out of the way, like in a basement or office. In any case, make sure you take some measurements and have a clear sense of space before you shop.
- Finally, consider what types of firearms you will be storing in it. If you’ve got a larger collection, including lots of rifles, you’ll want to look at some of the larger models. If you’re only looking to store a small revolver, a smaller option would provide plenty of room for your needs. Think about the guns you already have, and be a bit generous. While you might technically be able to fit 20 guns in a safe, you’re more likely to get 16 in comfortably. Think about that, and make sure you leave yourself some room if you’re likely to be expanding your collection.
Want to compare the rest of the best gun safes? Check out the best sellers on Amazon!