Gun Safe Reviews
Having guns in your home, especially if there are children present, is something that should always be taken with the utmost seriousness. If you grew up around guns, chances are you were taught at a very early age that they are not toys and very serious consequences can arise when they are not taken care of and treated properly. Guns have the ability to end someone’s life in the wrong hands. There are sadly, many stories on the internet of children playing with mom or dad’s guns and accidentally having it go off with fatal consequences. This does not have to happen. Proper respect and education about guns as well as taking responsibility for properly storing them can eliminate accidents that can injure or kill someone by accidental means.
One of the best ways to safely keep guns protected is to own a good quality gun safe. Choosing the right safe for your gun needs is very important and should be considered an investment that you will have for a long time. There are many different things to consider when looking at different gun safes. All the different options and choices can make it difficult to choose which one is the right one for your needs. The biggest factors in determining the right gun safe for your home are the type of guns you have, how many guns you have and what kind of accessibility you want to have to your guns.
The purpose of this guide is to help you understand the different options available and how to narrow down the choices so you can choose the right gun safe for your home that will provide everything you need to keep your guns safe, protected and also provide you with the access you need.
Gun Safe Buyer’s Guide
Types of Gun Safes
There are several different types of gun safes on the market that you can choose from when you are looking for a safe for your personal guns. We have listed three of the different types below along with information about the features you should look for regarding each type. This information will help you decide which type of gun safe will work the best for your specific needs.
Quick Access Gun Safes
A quick access gun safe is a safe that will hold your gun while allowing fast access in the event of an emergency. This type of safe is good for keeping in the bedroom, office, or even the den; wherever you spend a large amount of time.
Quick access gun safes are small in size and can be either carried around where you need it to be or mounted to a larger structure. Many people mount them underneath their nightstand for quick access if they hear someone trying to break into their home.
Mounting the safe somewhere out of sight but still easily accessible to those who know where it prevents a thief from being able to simply pick up the safe and carry it away. It is never recommended to keep cash, jewels or other small valuables in a quick access safe because they can get in the way of you grabbing your gun when you need it. Keep those items in a larger, mounted safely.
Important Quick Access Gun Safe Features
- Locking Mechanisms – There are several different types of locks that can be used in a gun safe. Look for locks that are pry-resistant and that have a minimum of 4 bolts if you can find them.
- Easy Entry When Needed – You don’t want to purchase a gun safe that is easy for everyone to get into, nor do you want to get one that is difficult for YOU to get into. Quick access gun safes are designed to keep out those you want out and to allow those you want to allow access to, to get in easily and quickly if needed. A keypad that holds 3 to 8 digit numbers can be very good, just remember to use a code easy for you to remember but not easy to guess.
- Construction – Look for gun safes that are made of solid, 18-gauge steel. 18 gauge steel is very strong and durable and resists attempts at break-ins. Most gun safes you will find are made from solid steel so just read the description to ensure that is the construction material used.
- Warranties – Warranties are always important when you are purchasing a product as important as this one. Make sure that the warranty is a good one. Many companies offer 5-year warranties or even better.
If you don’t need to access all of your guns quickly, and/or you have larger guns such as rifles and shot guns, you will need to find a good gun cabinet to store them in. These are also called long gun safes. These gun safes are much bigger and heavier than the quick access safes.
Most gun cabinets have adjustable shelves inside to allow for the different types of guns that you are storing them in. Depending on the model, they may also be able to attach permanently to the wall or floor for added security although these types of gun safes are much harder to pick up and move. Don’t let the size give you a false sense of security though, someone determined enough can still get help to lift it into the back of a truck and take off with it.
If you have many different kinds of guns it is probably to your advantage to purchase two safes, a quick access safe for the gun you use for home security and a gun cabinet to store the remaining guns in. Gun cabinets typically have very good fire ratings and are typically harder to break into due to the added anti-theft features like hidden hinges that are tamper proof, live locking bolts and much more.
Important Gun Cabinet Features
- Size – It is important to purchase a gun cabinet that will hold all of the guns that you want to store with the exception of your main security weapon which should be stored in a quick access safe somewhere else in the home where you spend the majority of your time. Gun cabinets are usually more expensive so you don’t want to purchase one and then find out it isn’t big enough to hold all you need it to. If the gun cabinet is big enough, you can also keep your family’s valuables in there as well. It’s very easy to fill up space in a large gun cabinet.
- Fire Resistance – No safe is actually 100% fireproof but some models and makes last longer in fire and can take more heat than others can. Check the fire resistance rating of the safes that you are looking at to make sure that it can handle a lot of heat for as long a period of time as you can find.
- Anti-Theft Features – Look for gun cabinets that have a lot of anti-theft features such as tamper resistant hinges, heavy-gauge steel construction, relockers that trigger when the safe is tampered with and much more. At least two relockers are a good idea. Also look for live locking bolts, at least 4 is best.
- Mountable – Drilling through steel is not something that everyone has the tools or capabilities to do. Look for gun cabinets that are pre-drilled so you can mount it to the floor or wall easily. This is even more important when the gun cabinet is made from heavy-duty gauge steel as heavy steel is even harder to drill through. You will really appreciate those pre-drilled holes when you see how thick the steel is.
BioMetric Gun Safes
Biometric gun safes are safes that use fingerprinting technology to open the safe. They are also called fingerprint gun safes. With this type of gun safe, only those that have been programmed into the system by their fingerprints can access the safe. This technology is gaining in popularity and manufacturers are creating gun safes and cabinets with this fingerprinting technology.
When considering a biometric gun safe you want to ensure that you are dealing with a reputable company that produces safes that do exactly what they are supposed to and that have a strong warranty program backing them up. There are several things you should look for when shopping around that will ensure you are getting a high quality, reliable, biometric gun safe.
One of the things consumers like about biometric gun safes is that there are no codes or combinations to remember. With the fingerprint technology, all you have to do is scan your fingerprint and you’re in. It can save precious seconds in the event of an emergency that could make a big difference. Try to find biometric gun safes that still work even if your hands are sweaty. Sweat on your fingers can cause the safe to misread the print.
Important Biometric Gun Safe Features
- Fingerprint Recognition – you want to choose a safe that can quickly and easily recognize your fingerprints. Keep in mind that you would need to program the fingerprints of the people who are allowed access to the gun. Most biometric gun safes allow you to store several different fingerprints. The number of fingerprints that can be stored will vary from safe to safe. It is never a good idea to have only one person’s fingerprints recognizable. If you are ever sick, injured or simply not around, others that have been authorized by the gun owner to have access to the gun if needed can get in quickly.
- Reputable Brands – Brand recognition is very important. When you are looking for a reputable gun safe that will work the way you need it to. How popular the company is and the quality of their products is two important factors in how good the gun safe is that your purchase.
- Quick Fingerprint Access – if you can’t get to your gun quickly, it can’t do you much good in the event of an emergency. Make sure that the biometric gun safe you purchase has quick fingerprint access so you can get to your gun quickly. Ideally, you want to find a safe that processes the programmed fingerprints in 2 seconds or less.
- Price – Price is usually a major consideration when it comes to purchasing a biometric gun safe. Don’t let price be the only thing you are looking at when choosing a safe. While you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a good quality one, you don’t want to purchase a cheap one either and have it malfunction and not work when you need it to.
Type of Gun Safe Locks
Electronic Keypads – These two types of locks are common on many different kinds of gun safes. They are not accessed as quickly as a biometric gun safe but they are still more popular with consumers due to the face that they are sometimes more secure and are less expensive as well. Electronic gun safes usually use number combinations or pattern combinations to access their safes.
Many people like pattern combination locks more because there is no worry about forgetting the numbers. Remember the pattern you have set and practice it until it is automatic and then you will have no trouble even in the event of an emergency. Then most if not all have manual lock overrides in case you forget your passcode. Quick access safes can have either biometric capabilities or keypads that you type in a code to access the gun inside.
Manual lock Gun Safes – There are two types of manual locks: key locks and dial locks. We have provided you with some information about each of them below.
- Key locks – This is old school locking where you use a key to open the safe. This is not a good idea for quick access safes at all since the last thing you want to have to do in an emergency is fumble with keys and try to fit the key into the lock while you are potentially scared or stressed.
- Dial Locks – Dial locks also do not provide you with quick access to your gun. They are very secure but take a little bit to open. Many gun cabinets have a dial on the door that requires 3 to 5 number combinations to open. This is not a bad choice at all for a gun safe that you do not need to access in an immediate emergency.
Are Fireproof Safes Really Fireproof?
You may see the term “fireproof” when it comes to safes but this is a bit misleading since there really is no such thing as completely fireproof. There are some qualities regarding fire that are important to look for when you are shopping around. Fire resistant is the term you want to look for and you want to see what the fire ratings are. You want to find the gun safe that can withstand a super high amount of heat for the longest time possible.
An example of this is a safe that states it can withstand temperatures up to 1700 degrees for almost two hours. If the fire is hotter than that or it is subjected to those high temperatures for longer than 110 minutes it will burn whatever is inside the safe. The larger gun safes and cabinets usually have higher fire resistance ratings than smaller biometric and quick access safes.
Fire resistant and rating is important but you should concentrate more on the steel construction and locking mechanisms rather than fire resistance. Look for gun safes that offer all the security features you need and then look for the additional features like fire resistance.
Even though no safe is 100% impenetrable, you can find safes that make it almost impossible to break in. If you do additional security measures like mounting it to the floor or wall, that will increase the security even more. You also want to keep the gun safe out of sight, especially if it is a quick access gun safe.
The main factor to know ahead of time before you start shopping is the number of guns you want to store and the type of guns you have. If you have a handgun and several rifles you will need a quick access gun safe for the handgun that you keep next to the bed or desk and then a gun cabinet for your rifles and/or shotguns.
Make sure that the gun safes and cabinets you purchase are not kept out in the open where anyone can see them. People don’t need to know you have guns, even collectibles unless you want them to and that is not something we recommend unless you are showing them to close friends and family.
A good quality gun safe is an investment and one that will keep your family and valuables safe for decades to come if you take care to choose a well-made one. The information in this guide is designed to help you sort through all these choices so you can make the best decision for your needs.