The best way to store your handgun is by securing it in a safe. As a responsible gun owner, storing your weapon in the best handgun safe will ensure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, does not get damaged by fire or water, and will be readily accessible when you need it the most. Because there are many low-quality handgun safes currently on the market, it can be difficult to find a model that has what it takes to keep your gun safe and secure, and essentially theft-proof. As a longtime gun owner, I’ve come across handgun safes that don’t deliver the level of protection that the manufacturers claim they do. Because of this, I decided to put together this buyer’s guide, which lists all of the features to look for that will indicate quality, and a safe that can’t be stolen or cracked. I’ve also tested out several of the most popular models, narrowing it down to eight safes that offer the level of security you need and models that are built tough and reasonably priced. Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that includes each model, their top features, and how they rated.
Handgun Safe Comparison Chart
Awesafe Gun Safe
This model by Awesafe will provide secure storage for up to one large pistol and extra ammo or two standard handguns. This safe features a digital keypad that offers advanced protection. The safe is made out of solid steel, complete with a door design that’s pry resistant. The safe comes with a gas strut, in addition to LED lighting, both of which will allow you to quietly open the safe and easily access your firearm. This model is also highly portable, with a lightweight, compact design that’s perfect for use on the go, when traveling. The smaller size will also make the safe easier to conceal. Unfortunately, the safe doesn’t have any predrilled holes, so you cannot secure it to the wall or floor. This can make the safe vulnerable to theft.
- Electronic keypad
- Compact design
- LED lighting
- Cannot be secured to the floor or wall
This model is covered by a one-year product warranty. For some, the small, compact, and highly portable design will be a huge plus, since it makes the safe easier to stash and hide from intruders. Additionally, the design also makes the safe travel-friendly, or for use in vehicles. The biggest drawback here is that, should a thief find the safe, they can carry it off and crack it open at another location. However, if you’re not looking for a handgun safe that can be secured to the floor, then it’s portable, compact design gives you every reason to buy.
RPNB Gun Safe
This safe features a four-point entry. It also features a RFID key fob for immediate access. The keypad is backlit, so you can quickly and easily access the contents of the safe. This model features a dual-layer steel housing, with a welded steel body and door that’s pry-proof. Unlike many competing handgun safes in this price bracket, this model comes with pre-drilled holes, so you can secure the safe to the floor, preventing thieves from running off with it. The digital keypad allows you to choose from over 20,000 unique combinations and offers positive feedback for a faster entry. The safe is also equipped with a handle that’s shockproof.
- Shockproof handle
- RFID key fob for fast access
- Pre-drilled holes and mounting hardware
- Dual-layer steel housing
- Fingerprint reader is difficult to use
This compact, durable handgun safe can keep your firearm safe and secure. Because you can bolt the safe to the floor using the included mounting hardware and the pre-drilled holes, you can also prevent intruders from carrying off your safe during a break-in. The digital keypad and key fob will allow you to enter your safe quickly in the event of the emergency. Additionally, this model is covered by a 100% satisfaction guarantee and a one-year warranty.
Vaultek VT20i Handgun Smart Safe
This model can secure one handgun, some extra magazines, and can easily be mounted in a desk or nightstand drawer. The sleek design also makes it a great option if you’re looking for a safe for vehicle use. This model is made out of thick sixteen-gauge steel with a powder coated finish that will prevent rust and corrosion. The safe also comes with anti-pry bars, dual anti-impact latches, and bolstered interior hinges.
The biometric scanner can store up to twenty unique fingerprints and comes with a backlit digital keypad for fast and easy access. This model uses smart safe technology that allows you to toggle the hotkeys on and off, view safe history, check power levels, and detect tampering.
- Smart technology
- Sixteen-gauge steel
- Dual anti-impact latches
- Can store up to twenty unique fingerprints
- App is difficult to use
This model comes with plenty of bells and whistles including hot key entries, a backlit keypad, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, and a fingerprint scanner. The safe can also easily be hidden out of sight, mounted to a floor or in a desk or nightstand drawer, or it can be a great option if you’re looking for a tough safe to keep stashed under the seat in your vehicle.
Moutec Handgun Safe
This model promotes a fast access design using the biometric fingerprint scanner, spare key, or the backlit digital keypad. The safe is made out of solid steel with reinforced wall construction. The hinges and internal safety bracket offer maximum protection against unauthorized access attempts. The surface of the safe has a thick powder coating that prevents rust and corrosion, for long term protection. The fingerprint scanner is able to store up to twenty unique fingerprints, with a touch lifetime of more than 1,000,000 times. In low light situations, the LED light and backlit keypad will come in handy, allowing you to enter the safe and access your firearm in under a minute. The safe can also be placed on silent mode, which will prevent it from beeping as you enter, in order to avoid alerting intruders.
- Can be secured to the floor
- Fingerprint scanner can store up to twenty unique fingerprints
- Includes silent mode
- Fingerprint entry can take several attempts before door opens
This is a large capacity handgun safe that is covered by a two-year warranty. This model can store and secure up to two firearms, comes with predrilled holes that allow you to secure it inside a desk, or to the floor, and it features dual-layer steel housing for a safe that’s tough to crack. This model comes loaded with many of the features gun owners are looking for including silent mode, a fingerprint scanner, pry-resistant doors, and LED lighting.
ONNAIS Gun Safe for Pistols
This safe uses advanced biometric technology for a more accurate fingerprint scanner that’s able to store up to thirty unique fingerprints. The safe is made out of solid steel, with a pry-resistant door and three-way access. The safe’s interior is padded with thick foam, which will prevent damage to the surface of your firearms. The safe can easily be stored in a nightstand or a desk drawer, but it’s also a great option if you’re looking for a tough safe for travel, or a safe you can stash under the seat in your vehicle.
- Easy to use
- Can store up to thirty unique fingerprints
- Pry-resistant door
- Interior is covered in thick foam
- Does not include a warranty
- Cannot be mounted to the floor
This model allows you to enter the safe using the fingerprint scanner, one of two backup keys, or the digital keypad. This model is loaded with the same features that you’ll find on a higher priced handgun safe and scored well in terms of durability and ease of use. Unfortunately, the safe doesn’t come with predrilled holes or mounting hardware, the lack of which will make the safe vulnerable in the event of a break in, since thieves can carry it off.
FUNSHION Gun Safe
This highly portable handgun safe is perfect if you’re looking for a model you can stash in your nightstand, in your vehicle, or a safe you can use when you travel. This model’s fingerprint scanner can store up to 120 sets of unique fingerprints and earned a high accuracy rating from buyers. The safe itself is well-built and durable and comes with a pry-resistant door. The manufacturer claims that you can enter the safe in one second, which is pretty impressive. This is due to the safe’s fingerprint scanner accuracy. Many competing models have issues with fingerprint scanner accuracy, which can require the user to try accessing the safe several times with no success. You won’t have to worry about that with this model by Funshion.
- Stores up to 120 sets of unique fingerprints
- Pry-resistant door
- Accurate fingerprint scanner
- Fast entry
- Not able to mount the safe or bolt it to the floor
This model by Funshion may come equipped with one of the most accurate fingerprint scanners that I’ve come across, but for some buyer’s the inability to mount the safe inside a drawer or bolt it to the floor can be a deal breaker. But, if you’re specifically looking for a safe that’s highly portable, this model is a great buy. If you need a durable, easy to use safe to bring with you when you travel or you simply want a pry-resistant model you can keep in your vehicle, then hit that buy now button.
Alfuheim Biometric Gun Safe
This biometric safe by Alfuheim allows you to store up to twenty unique fingerprints and offers a reliable and more advanced level of protection. This model can store up to one large pistol or two handguns. The safe is made out of durable sixteen-gauge carbon steel and comes complete with a pry-resistant door. This model comes with an extra level of protection that will alert you if someone that’s not authorized attempts to enter the safe. This level of protection comes in the form of an audible alert that will go off for a period of five minutes if someone enters the wrong password five times in a row.
- Audible alarm alerts owner to attempts to access safe
- Accurate fingerprint scanner
- Made out of sixteen-gauge carbon steel
- Does not include interior lighting
This safe is covered by a one-year warranty and a thirty-day full refund policy. It’s compact, durable, and easy to hide. It features an accurate fingerprint scanner for faster access, and the type of rugged construction you need in a safe that’s designed with portability in mind. If you need a safe that’s travel-friendly, durable, and easy to use, this model by Alfuheim is it.
SYCEES Digital Keypad Password Gun Safe
If you’re looking for a combination safe that offers quick access, a durable design, and a model that comes with a pry-resistant door, then you’ll love this latest model by Sycees. The safe is made out of steel with a powder coated finish that protects the safe against corrosion. This model’s slim vertical design can allow you to easily store it in a desk or nightstand, under the bed, or in the car. The safe can also be mounted to a wall or bolted to the floor. This will prevent thieves from trying to carry the safe off and crack it in a different location. The safe features a multi-purpose design and can be used to store one handgun, or jewelry, important documents, or cash.
- Easy fast access
- Can be mounted to a wall or bolted to the floor
- Powder coated finish
- Pry-resistant design
- Foam inside the safe is very thin
This model is a great choice if you want to take your firearm with you when you travel, you need a safe to secure your firearm in your vehicle, or you want a low profile safe for home use. The sleek design makes it easy to hide this safe from sight and allows you to add another level of security by bolting the safe to a drawer, wall, or the floor. The simple digital keypad is accurate, easy to use, and allows you to quickly access your firearm in the event of an emergency. Additionally, the safe also features the type of solid, rugged design that most gun enthusiasts are looking for, at a price that won’t hit your wallet too hard.
Handgun Safe Buyer’s Guide
Handgun safes are designed to keep your firearms secure. While a handgun safe may be easy to carry, they can also be incredibly difficult to crack. In order to keep your firearm secured, when you’re shopping for a safe, quality matters. Having your weapon secured in a top of the line safe will take away the stress that comes from worrying that your firearm will fall into the wrong hands.
With the right safe, you can use it to store not only your firearms, but other valuables as well, such as jewelry and important documents.
Handgun Safe Benefits
Gun ownership is a big responsibility. One of the best things you can do when you bring home a firearm is purchasing a safe. You definitely can’t leave a handgun stored loose in a drawer or under the bed. A child may find it, an intruder, or someone else that you don’t want to have access to your firearm. Fortunately, safes are more affordable than ever, with a wide variety of styles and sizes to choose from. There are also many other benefits that come with owning a gun safe, which I’ll discuss below.
- When you use a safe, you’ll always know where to find your firearm in the event of an emergency, and you’ll be able to get to it quickly.
- These safes are convenient to use and some can even be placed in your luggage at places where wearing a holster isn’t an option.
- Having a safe means that your handgun will be locked and secured, and only you will know the combination to open it.
- If you purchase a model that offers more storage, you can also use it to secure your valuables, such as jewelry, birth certificates, passports, and important documents. This will prevent thieves from making off with your valuables in the event of a break-in.
- Some small handgun safes are not fireproof tested, but the fact that most are made mainly out of thick steel and other types of heavy-duty materials means that they will be able to sustain hotter temperatures in the event of a fire. Because some models offer better fireproof protection than others, when you’re shopping for a new safe, be sure that you find one that comes with a high fireproof rating. If you leave a firearm out in the open, if a fire starts, you’ll risk losing it in the blaze.
- Some models will also offer excellent waterproof protection.
- One of the biggest benefits of owning a safe is that it will prevent any children in the home from getting their hands on the firearm. Around 89% of child deaths caused by firearms is due to the gun not properly being secured in a safe. Even if you trust your child not to touch your firearm, they may have friends visit who may encourage your child to show it to them. For much-needed peace of mind and your child’s safety, using a gun safe is crucial.
- An intruder is one of a homeowner’s biggest worries. If someone breaks into your home, they’ll have access to all of your belongings. If you don’t have a secure safe in the home, then they will have access to your firearm as well. Because guns are very valuable, they’re often the biggest target. Locking up your firearm will prevent an intruder from taking and using it.
Types of Handgun Safes
There are four common types of handgun safes including:
- Numerical Keypad
- Pattern Code
- Manual Lock
This type of safe is one that you’ll come across quite often, on your search to find the best model. A numerical keypad safe will allow you to set a safety code by entering any numeric value. After the code has been set, the safe will only open if you’ve entered the right combination of numbers.
A biometric safe is one of the most secure types of safes on the market. This style operates via a fingerprint scanner and will only open for the person that possesses the authorized fingerprint.
The pattern combo safe is pretty similar to the pattern lock on a cellphone. You’ll draw a shape of any kind. To open the safe, you’ll need to enter the correct pattern shape.
These safes use a mechanical dial, allowing you to lock your handgun up securely by entering any number using the compass. After the safe is closed, you must place the mechanical dial back to zero.
Now that you know more about the benefits of securing your firearm in a safe, I’ll go over the different types of safes to choose from, and how to pick out the perfect model for your home and firearm.
Are handgun safes really big enough? Many handgun safes are compact and small enough to hide, but the drawback here is that you may need to upgrade the safe in the future if you decide to store your other valuables, or you purchase another handgun. Because of this, I recommend purchasing the largest handgun safe you can find. Larger models are out there and have a decent storage capacity. It’s better to have more room than you need, than not enough room, since you won’t have to worry about upgrading in the future.
Look for a safe that’s made out of eight-gauge steel. Anything lower than eight-gauge can make your safe more vulnerable to thieves.
A flood, or a leaky room can cause damage to your firearm. Safes that offer water-ventilation support can be pricey, but they’re definitely worth the extra cost.
A safe should be secured if possible. Many models of handgun safes are lightweight, which will allow a thief to carry it off. To prevent this from happening, choose a model that comes equipped with pre-drilled holes that you can use to anchor it to the floor or a wall. Some models will not come with these pre-drilled holes. While you can probably drill holes yourself, you’ll need to contact the manufacturer before doing so, since any type of modification made to the safe can void the warranty.
Some models will come with an alarm system that will turn on if someone attempts to access the contents of your safe. While this can alert you to an intruder, it can also be an added advantage if you have children in the home since the alarm will alert you immediately, should your child try to play with the safe or attempt to open it.
If the safe is a biometric or combination model, a burglar may crack it open after several attempts. Because of this, try to find a safe that comes with an auto-lock feature. After several failed attempts to enter the safe, the safe will go into auto-lock mode and can only be opened by following specific steps.
Adapter or Battery
An electric device will require power that comes from an AC adapter or batteries. Some safes are battery operated only, while others will operate via an AC adapter. Some will have a backup power system, such as an additional supply from an AC adapter, in the event the batteries die.
Safes that have BF certification will ensure the safe cannot be cracked with hand tools. Choose a model that has a BF rating or higher.
Many safes will come with a backup key, in the event you forget the combination, or your backup power source fails. Most models will come with one or two extra keys.
Number of Combinations
The larger the combination, the less chance a thief will be able to guess your code. A top of the line safe will offer tens of thousands of combination options.
Fingerprint Limit and Accuracy
Some models will only store one or two fingerprints, which can be limiting for some people. Others may store up to twenty or more. Low priced models tend to have issues with recognizing fingerprints. It can be very frustrating to try to access the contents of your safe several times in a row with no success because the safe’s scanner doesn’t recognize your prints. Additionally, some can have trouble taking the fingerprints in the first place, so you’ll have to enter them several times during the setup process. This is a common issue with low quality safes. If you’re looking for a biometric safe, make sure the model you’re interested in scored high for its ease of use and fingerprint scanner accuracy. You definitely don’t want to end up with a faulty fingerprint reader during a break in.
If you have a smaller handgun safe, then it probably won’t come with any type of interior lighting. Larger models will and this can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. While a light will allow you to quickly find what you need inside the safe, it can also be a drawback during a break in when you’re trying to sneak to your safe without alerting the intruders. Fortunately, most models will allow you to deactivate the light if preferred.
Definitely look for a model with a high fire resistance rating. A fire inside the home can damage your firearm, valuables, and important documents. While a manufacturer may claim that their safe is fireproof, it may not be as fireproof as you’d expect. This is because many manufacturers will use low-quality drywall as a fireproof material in order to save on production costs. In many cases, a safe will offer average fire protection. Because of this, most safe manufacturers will use their own fireproof rating standards, which allows for more flexibility, so they can alter their results. Fortunately, there are some factors that you can check out that will ensure the safe’s fireproof quality.
Currently, there’s no safe on the market that’s 100% fireproof. How fireproof a safe is will depend on the materials it’s made out of.
UL 72 stands for Underwriter Laboratories, and this is a type of standard examination that will evaluate a safe’s resistance to fire. The UL 72 rating is divided into a few classes, based on what you want to protect.
- 350 is a class rating that states that the inside of the safe must be able to withstand up to 350 degrees and is designed to protect materials such as paper.
- The 150 rating states that the inside of the safe must be able to handle temperatures below 150 degrees. This class is designed to protect both paper and non-paper items such as photos, computer disks, thumb drives, and records.
- The 125 class is designed to protect everything discussed above, in addition to flexible computer disks. The inside of a safe must remain below 150 degrees.
These class ratings have approval for a variety of time periods ranging from half an hour up to four hours.
Performing fire testing is pretty expensive for the manufacturer, which is why the testing procedures have not changed much over the last several years. A good safe with a fireproof design will use only premium materials to construct their safes. This involves using exterior steel covers that come with industry-grade concrete amalgamated fireproofing in the middle of the safe and heavily welded interiors.
During the manufacturing process, a safe is placed on a shaking table that’s designed to eliminate any air bubbles. The safe is then left in an oven to harden afterward. Once the safe has solidified, there’s no need for more steel support since the fireproof material is used as a weight support for the whole safe.
For maximum durability and protection, a manufacturer will add more ingredients into the cement to make the material denser. This process can involve adding perlite, fiberglass, volcanic rocks, vermiculite and other types of materials.
Gypsum drywall is a type of fireproofing material that you’ll find in many safes these days. This type of fireproof material is used to reduce the spread of fire. While using this type of material as a fireproofing solution can be very efficient, it can depend on how it’s used. Additionally, it will ultimately boil down to the manufacturer and whether or not the drywall method will be effective. In some cases, high-quality safes will also mix in materials to maximize its ability to protect against fires, however, there are several models of handgun safes on the market that are not designed to withstand fire exposure.
A poorly constructed safe will not stand up against fire like a high-end model will. Drywall isn’t the best solution against fire because it’s just a paper and gypsum mixture that will easily be destroyed when exposed to fire.
Because of this, the best option is a model with a steel constructed inner shell. The biggest benefit of this type of interior shell is that it will hold the safe together even when concrete materials begin to crumble. However, drywall tends to be the main material in budget-friendly safes since steel is not a cheap metal.
Before you order a new safe, take a look at its inner shell to determine whether it’s made out of drywall or steel.
The drywall technology in gun safes has improved over the years, but it will not offer the same level of protection that steel shells can.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Gun Safes Worth it?
Yes. Owning a gun safe is one of the most responsible things you can do as a gun owner. You’ll prevent the gun from falling into the wrong hands, such as an intruder’s or a child’s. Having a safe will also allow you to store other valuables inside, such as important documents, thumb drives, and jewelry.
Are Gun Safes Easy to Break into?
Some safes are pretty easy to break into. However, higher end safes will be more complicated to break into and will take more time to crack. These tougher safes are designed to deter intruders from attempting to crack them, especially since this will require the intruders to spend more time at the scene.
Should You Store Ammo in a Gun Safe?
You can, if you keep the ammo in an ammo can or some type of secure sealed container. This will prevent the natural elements from the air from negatively impacting the lead in the bullets.
How Long can You Store Ammunition?
Most gun enthusiasts agree that ammunition should not be stored for longer than ten years. Many manufacturers will also guarantee their ammo for up to a decade. However, the ammo must be stored in ideal conditions.
Should I Bolt My Safe to the Floor?
Bolting a safe to the floor of a home or the wall will improve the security of the safe significantly. When the safe isn’t bolted to the ground, a criminal can place a large safe on its side, using the leverage of their body weight to crack the door open. Bolting it to the floor will also prevent thieves from carrying off a smaller safe, so they can take their time and crack it open elsewhere.
Where is the Best Place to Keep a Safe in Your House?
The best and most secure place to have a safe installed is at the corner where a couple of outside walls meet. This will provide more support and protection for a large, heavy safe. In a house that has several floors, the safe should be stored and installed on the ground floor. Smaller handgun safes can easily be stored in the corner of a closet. Where the safe is stored and the best place for it will depend on the type and size of the safe and the layout of your home.
This buyer’s guide on the best handgun safes will help you find the perfect safe for your home, based on your gun collection size, your security needs, and mounting preferences. The products I’ve included here all earned top marks for their durable design, accurate locking systems, pry-resistant designs, and overall quality. With this detailed guide, you’ll have no trouble finding a safe that can meet all of your needs, and one that will also work with your budget.