Best Gun Safe Guide

What Is The Best Gun Safe?

Before you can find the best gun safe for your needs, there are many things to consider.  Obviously your main concerns will be to keep an unauthorized person from getting to your guns.  It could be a thief, a crazy person bent on destruction, or it could be just keeping your children or neighbor’s children away from your guns.  Maybe the disturbing issue with a newspaper in New York publishing maps of homes with guns (and the break-ins that happened after that map was published) or the Android apps that will mark your home as having a gun have motivated you to find the best gun safe for your lifestyle.

Best Gun Safe

Gunvault MV500

Whatever the reason, you will want a safe that will make it extremely difficult for someone to get into, but you also have to be able to get to your guns as quickly as possible in an emergency. Other concerns will be price, weight, size and location for your gun safe, as well as whether or not you want to be able to move your gun safe from time-to-time. If the gun safe is going to be kept in your home and you don’t want a burglar to steal it then a gun safe that can be bolted to the floor is a good option.

If you need to transport your guns then a smaller safe that is not permanently affixed to your home will be right for you. In that case something like the Gunvault MV500 might work well for you depending on how many guns you need to store.  The gauge is light but as long has you have control of the safe it is quite suitable for safe gun transporting.

If you have a basement then your problems are easily solved by storing your safe in that location.  It is a more difficult location for a thief to get in and out of.  Most burglars want an easy access area because they know the more minutes they spend in your home the more likely they will be caught. But if you don’t have a basement the next best place is a closet.

Best Gun Safe Chart

I’ve created a chart that shows some of the best gun safes on the market.  I’ve listed their specifications, such as size, gun capacity, weight, materials used, ratings and a link to the best deals.   When I was searching for the best gun safe I finally found the Titan Gun Safe as I’ve mentioned in a review here on Gun Safe Reviews ~ The Best Gun Safe.   It took me a long time to sort through all the details and I was very frustrated.  So I decided to create a chart that will give other people a comprehensive listing of the details of all the best gun safes all in one place.

BrandDimensionsLocksMaterial RatingPrice
BrandDimensionsLocksMaterial RatingPrice
Stack-On 22 Gun Safe

Exterior: 23 13/16" W x 17 5/8"D x 5' H

Interior: 26 5/8" W x 14 7/8" D x 4'7" H

Weight: 241 lbs
3 number combination lock with a drill resistant, hardened steel plate behind the lock. 14 gauge steel

22 long guns and storage for other valuables
4.5 stars out of 5 Click Here For Best Price
Barska Biometric

Interior: 16.25" x 7" x 14.25"

Exterior: 16.5" x 7.75" x 14.5"

Weight: 31 lbs
Fingerprint locking system with 2 emergency back up keys16 gauge steel

2 full size handguns, ammo plus room for other valuables & documents
4.5 stars out of 5 Click Here For Best Price
V-Line Closet Safe

Exterior: 5.8" x 16.8" x 53"

Interior: N/A

Weight: 58 lbs
5 button key pad combination lock. Plus 2 tubular keys for the top and bottom for extra security when you don't need easy access.Steel

2 long guns (with pistol grips, large magazines and scopes) plus extra room for other valuables
4 stars out of 5Click Here For Best Price
First Alert Waterproof, Fireproof Gun Safe

Exterior: 24.13" x 17.63" x 23.38"

Interior: 19.69" x 13.50" x 13.88"

Weight: 145 lbs
Digital lock and emergency override key.

Six locking bolts (four live, two dead) and pry-resistant concealed hinges
Steel w/ plastic cover. UL listed.

Withstands external temperatures of 1,700 degrees F for one hour.

Waterproof seal along the opening keeps valuables dry, even when safe is fully submerged

Can hold several handguns and other valuables
4 stars out of 5Click Here For Best Price
GunVault MV 500

Exterior: 11" x 8-1/2" x 2-1/4"

Interior: 10-3/4" x 6-1/2" x 2 "

Weight: 5 lbs
Patented No-Eyes Keypad with 12 million selectable access codes 16 gauge

1 handgun and some magazines
4 stars out of 5Click Here For Best Price
GunVault SpeedVault SV500

Exterior: 6.5" x 3.5" x 13"

Weight: 8.2 lbs
Digital KeyPad with override key.

Interior light.
18 gauge 1 handgun4.5 stars out of 5Click Here For Best Price
Premium Drawer Safe

Exterior: 11.75" L X 8.75" W X 4.5" D Interior: 11.5" L x 8.5" W x 2.5" D Weight: 13 lbsDigital locking system1/8 inch steel

2 handguns
4.5 stars out of 5Click Here For Best Price
Sentry Safe Defense Center

Exterior: 8.8" x 8.8" x 46.9"

Weight: 108 lbs
Programmable electronic locking systemSteel

Shotgun and handgun
4.5 stars out of 5Click Here For Best Price
Fort Knox Personal Handgun Safe

Exterior: 4-1/4" H x 12-1/2" W x 10-3/8" D

Interior: N/A

Weight: 19 lbs
Mechanical lock with over 1,000 combinations10 gauge

2 handguns
4.5 stars out of 5Click Here For Best Price
Titan Gun Safe - Fireproof

Exterior: 17.5" x 22" x 59"

Interior: N/A

Weight: 365 lbs
UL Security Listed SecuRam digital lock.

Eight chrome steel live locking bolts.

Spring-loaded relocker
3/16 solid steel door and 1/8 steel panels

Fireproof for 1 hour 2300 degrees F

6-12 long guns depending on their configuration and with the shelves you can fit a handgun and other valuables
4.5 stars out of 5Click Here For Best Price
Cannon Safe P40 Patriot Series

Exterior: 49" W x 59" H x 24" D

Weight: 600 lbs
Commercial grade Group 2 lock with key-locking dial with Active-locking bolts Surefire multiple re-lockers12 gauge

18-36 guns depending on the configuration of your guns
4 stars out of 5Click Here For Best Price
Liberty Explorer

Exterior: 59.25"H x 28"W x 22"D

Weight: 440 lbs
Electronic lock with override key12 gauge

30 min fire to 1200 degrees F

Up to 22 long guns
4 stars out of 5Click Here For Best Price
Paragon Gun & Rifle Safe

Exterior: 55'' H x 19.75'' W x 12.5'' D

Interior: 55'' H x 19.5'' W x 8.75'' D

Weight: 118.5 lbs
Uses secret PIN code or included 2 keys codes can be changed infinitely. Also has a separate Interior locking cabinet with a different set of keys11 gauge

8 guns up to 47.5" long
3.5 stars out of 5Click Here For Best Price

As you browse further on this page you will find more information on specifications that will help you to make the right decision on what safe is right for you. A gun safe is a personal decision.  There really is no “best gun safe” because each person has different needs.  But there are gun safes that are better than others.  That is what the above list represents – the better gun safes available on the market for the needs most requested by customers. So you need to determine what type is going to work best for your lifestyle. The following will guide you to determining what features will work best for your life and safety. I hope this list helps you with your decision to purchase the best gun safe for your needs.

Steel Gauge

For top security a heavy gauge steel safe (with multiple locking bolts) is what you will need.  Keep in mind that the lower the gauge  the stronger and thicker the safe will be.  Good thickness gauges run from 12 to 7, with seven being the strongest. Any gauge higher than 12 is one you should stay away from if you think you will be vulnerable to someone hacking away at the safe. A 12 gauge steel safe is lighter and you can move it around more easily – but then so can the thief.

And a 12 gauge can reportedly be hacked away at with an axe on the sides and bottom.  So try to get a heavier gauge if you can afford it. While a 10 gauge will be stronger and heavier, thereby making it extremely difficult for a thief to hack open, it will be more expensive.  So you have to figure out how vulnerable you are, that depends on your neighborhood, who is living in your house, etc.   You also need to figure out how much you can reasonably spend on a good gun safe.  If you think you need a 10 gauge steel gun safe then keep in mind it will cost about $1500 and up.  I would actually recommend 8 gauge but it all depends on your needs and budget. The upside to spending more on a gun safe is that you will have it forever.  It’s not like this is an expense you will have over and over.  A better safe is a good investment in your safety and peace of mind.

Locking Systems

The locking system is what keeps thieves and children from getting your guns but the locking system mechanism is also where most thieves or children will start working first to break in.

Electronic or Digital Lock Gun Safes

There are electronic button locking systems but they do require batteries. There have been numerous complaints about them malfunctioning.  For example, if you are in a situation where you need to get to your gun quickly but the battery has died you are out of luck.  These electronic locking systems are only as good as your battery.  Some have the battery pack in an easily accessible location and some don’t.  Nevertheless, would you want to go find some batteries, put them in the safe battery compartment while you are under duress? But, if you are a diligent person and you check your battery life on a regular basis, then you should not have a problem with this type of locking system.

Mechanical Lock Gun Safes

Mechanical dial locks are better, or at least more reliable and longer lasting than the electronic systems.  These are commonly known as combination locks.  As long as you remember your combination and haven’t given it out to anyone, or written it down where someone can find it then this type of locking system is just fine. Just be aware that recent articles in Forbes magazine and others have proven that even a 3 year old can work on a combination locking mechanism and get into a gun safe. There are more expensive combination locks that will lock-up if someone tampers with the lock, so that is a feature that can be very desirable if someone breaks into your home to steal your guns or if you have curious and precocious children.

Biometric Lock Gun Safes

By far one of the safest and most reliable gun safe locking systems is the biometric locking system.  Basically the lock can only be opened and locked with your fingerprints.  All you do is swipe your fingers over the lock and you are in.  You can also have another designated person or persons have their fingerprints logged in to the locking system as well.  So if you are a husband and wife who use the guns you can both get into the safe but your children or a thief cannot. If they can’t get in through the locking system they usually start to pry at the corners of the safe and get the door to move away from the actual body of the safe. The door is locked with large steel pins.  The more pins and the heavier they are the less chance someone will get into your safe.  Look for a gun safe with pins in the corners, top and bottom.  Again, this will be more expensive but harder for the thief to open the safe.

The Fire Rating

 The fire rating of your gun safe is also something you need to consider.  The average fire lasts from 25-45 minutes and reaches 1200 degrees in that time. There are safes that can withstand a 1200 degree fire for 30 minutes, 60 minutes and some for 100 minutes to 200 minutes. You can also spend more and get a fire rating of 1400 degrees for an hour, two hours and two and a half hours.  Winchester Safes are the best for this type of fire protection.

Best Gun Safe

Winchester Ranger Deluxe Gun Safe

The Winchester Ranger is an excellent choice for fires of 1400 degrees for one hour.

So to figure this out a common sense approach would be …how far do you live from the Fire Department? If you live near a fire department maybe you don’t need 100 minutes, surely the fire department will get to you sooner than that.  It depends on what else is in your safe.  If you have other valuable items besides your guns then you might not want to take a chance that the fire department can put the fire out quickly enough to save your valuables.   For instance, if you live in any area of the country where you are subject to wild fires then you know it really won’t matter if you have 30, 60, 100 or 200 you probably are going to lose your valuables.  But if the odds are that you will get your fire put out somewhere within those 100 – 200 minutes then you decide how much of a chance you want to take and pick the rating that is best for you and your wallet.

Gun Safe Size

The internal size of the gun safe is important.  Depending in what type of gun you are putting in your safe you can usually figure that if the manufacturer says you can get 30 guns in the safe cut that in half.  That has been my experience and from what I hear it is pretty typical of any gun safe.  So prepare for a larger safe if you have various types of guns, for example if you have scopes on your guns or bolt action rifles, etc. You will find that buying a gun safe bigger than you currently need is a wise choice.  You may want to add to your gun collection in the future and you may want to put other valuable items in the safe besides guns.  You won’t be sorry that you have the additional room in your safe.

Bolt It to the Floor If You Can

One sure way to make sure no one takes your gun safe out of your home is to bolt it to the floor. If you are buying a gun safe that you want to bolt to the floor make sure the safe already comes with holes drilled out on the bottom.  If you are able to bolt your safe to the floor we recommend you do so.  Not only does this stop someone from taking your entire gun collection but bolting it to the floor is an extra safety precaution. Another reason to bolt the safe to the floor is that the door to some safes is so heavy that it can topple the safe over when it is open.  And, some safes are so heavy that this could actually cause harm to you or a family member if it were to fall on someone.

Gun Safe Weight

The weight of the gun safe is determined by the weight of the gauge.  Gun safes can be a few hundred pounds to 500 pounds and over.   Check to make sure what weight your floors can realistically hold.  And, make sure you get the safe delivered to your home, whether curbside or actually placed inside your home for an extra charge.   How to Keep Your Gun Safe Dry