The 5 Best Gun Safes in 2016 (Don’t Buy a Gun Safe Until You Read This)

Certain countries such as the United States have fairly liberal gun buying laws enabling people to purchase one or more firearms. However, since these things are potentially dangerous, there are rules and regulations for owning, handling and storing weapons. One of the most common ways gun owners choose to store their handguns/rifles is in a gun safe.

These handy devices bring a lot of features and benefits, both safety and convenience related. If you’re planning to buy a gun or already own one, you have to consider getting a gun safe. That’s why we’re here today – to find the best gun safe you can find on the current market.

What is a gun safe?

Gun safe is a protective container used for storing one or more firearms, and in some cases, ammunition. They are usually made from steel and are classified according to the type of weapon being stored (handgun or long gun), or on the type of locking mechanism used (digital, combination or fingerprint lock). In some countries in the world, these products are required by law for all gun owners.

If you were wondering why would one decide to buy this thing, here are a few reasons:

  • Firstly, to prevent access from unauthorized users such as kids, other family members or friends. It also protects the weapon from being stolen, and it’s a good way to show that you are a responsible gun owner.
  • Second, it keeps the firearms safe from physical damage which might be induced by flooding, fire, earthquakes or other potential dangers.
  • Lastly, it is determined by law, so whether you like it or not, you have to abide.

Gun safes types & categories

As previously mentioned, there are quite a few types of gun safes.

Division based on the type of weapon stored:

  • Handgun safes are small and compact and are usually designed to keep only one pistol or handgun. Some models can even fit inside of a drawer which makes them easy to store. They are light and less expensive than large safes so many people opt for them.
  • Long gun safes are larger since they are made for storing rifles, bigger guns, and in some cases multiple weapons. Depending on the number of guns you want to store, you can get these safes in various sizes. Many of them have additional compartments for storing other valuable items. If you own more handguns and like to keep them safe and organized, this product is perfect since it provides plenty of space for this purpose.

Division based on the type of locking mechanism:

  • Biometric gun safes provide a fingerprint lock feature. They come in various designs, and most can be programmed for several fingerprints, meaning that more people can unlock them. The great thing about these safes is that they can be opened very quickly and you can gain access to your weapon within seconds. What you need to be careful about is the brand, so always choose a high-quality one to make sure it is reliable.
  • Dial gun safes, as the name implies, require a dial combination to unlock and open them. They are one of the most reliable types by far since this technology does not fail easily. Compared to biometric safes, they are slower to access, and you cannot change the unlocking combination.
  • Electronic/digital gun safes contain a digital dial pad and need a code to be opened. Many of these safes run on batteries so make sure to have an extra battery supply in order for it to function properly. Also, it is important to change the code now and then since the dial pad can wear out over time and there will be a visible trace left in the places where you were pressing it. This might compromise the safety of the weapon.

Now, having all this in mind, let’s go through some reviews of top rated products from all mentioned categories.

Top 5 Gun Safes (currently on the market) Reviews

1. GunVault SV 500 SpeedVault

Small and stylish, this product is one of the most unique models on the market today. Made from 18-gauge steel, it is compact and easily mountable (vertically and horizontally) on desks, nightstands or any place of your choosing.  It also has a drop down drawer which holds the firearm and it uses a fingerprint lock to open, which is quite fast.

The memory of the hardware enables you to save more fingerprints, and no matter which finger you use, it will open. The electronic lock mechanism requires a 9V battery to operate so, battery drainage might occur at times. If you are worried about this, it might be a good idea to get an override key just in case the lock mechanism fails.

The inside of this safe is covered with soft foam which diminishes rattling noises and prevents scratches on the firearm. There is a light incorporated into the interior as well.

Things I liked:

  • Stylish design and unique appearance
  • Mounting options are plenty and flexible
  • Quick and easy to set up, and can be fully operational within 20 minutes
  • Keypad sounds can be configured to mute
  • It has override keys for backup

Things I didn’t like:

  • It makes a small noise when locking/unlocking
  • Low battery indication can only be seen if you touch the pad
  • For some users, the light might be too bright
  • The screws for mounting are too short

2. Artemis Biometric Gun Safe / Handgun Safe

Made from polycarbonate plastic, this product is light, discreet, easy to put away and carry along. The polymer this safe is made from is the same material used for bulletproof glass or body armor. It includes a programmable fingerprint lock which can memorize up to 200 fingerprints.

The scanner uses a 4 AA battery which can last up to 4000 scans or about one year of use. To ensure safety, this model has a loud alarm which will sound after five unauthorized fingerprint scans and can be switched off with an authorized one.

It is not mountable but is compact so it can be stored in various places easily. It has a padded interior, and it can fit a large pistol inside.

Things I liked:

  • Reliable and quality fingerprint scanner
  • Made from durable material
  • Able to store 200 fingerprints so more people can use it
  • Has backup keys in case the battery runs out

Things I didn’t like:

  • Not as secure as a steel safe
  • It doesn’t have any mounting hardware
  • It could probably be broken into with heavy duty tools
  • The lock mechanism runs on batteries, so you have to replace them

3. Ivation Electronic Gun Drawer Safe

This model is rather small, and it’s made from 16 gauge steel. It is very well secured against hand tool break in attempts since the hinges are hidden and covered. For additional protection and convenience, it has anchoring holes on the back so that it can be mounted to a wall or floor in any orientation.

There is a digital dial pad with rubberized buttons attached to the safe, and you unlock it by entering a code which you set. After several invalid code entries, the access to the safe will be blocked. This system runs on 4 AA batteries, and an indicator will note you when they are low on power and need replacing. In the case of empty batteries, there is an override key to open the safe.

The interior is lined with padding which covers the heads of mounting bolts.

Things I liked:

  • Dial pad provides quick access to the safe
  • It is affordable
  • It is mountable which could prevent theft attempts
  • Small and compact, easy to hide

Things I didn’t like:

  • The sounds of buttons cannot be deactivated
  • It is not fire resistant, so it’s not advisable to keep flammable objects inside
  • It is easy to pick up and steal if it isn’t bolted to a wall/floor

4. Gunvault MVB500 Microvault Biometric Pistol Gun Safe

This is a small handgun safe made for storing pistols but also has extra room for other valuables. It is made from heavy-gauge steel, and the inside of it is lined with a soft cushion to protect the weapon. The design of this product has very precise fittings meaning that it would be hard for anyone to get into it using tools.

It also features a four-foot security cable which allows the user to attach the safe to any fixed object. This particular product has a biometric lock mechanism which is opened by fingerprint scans and allows fast access. The system memorizes various finger positions so even if you don’t place the fingers perfectly every time, the safe will still open.

It is important to notice that the computer runs on 1.9 V batteries, and if they are low or empty, there is a backup key.

Things I liked:

  • Small and compact so you can put it away in a drawer or under a bed
  • Fast and straightforward lock opening mechanism
  • The safe locks after several incorrect entry attempts
  • The security cable provides additional safety
  • It is mountable

Things I didn’t like:

  • There is a sound when the safe is opened which cannot be switched off
  • It is lightweight so it can be stolen easily if it’s not attached or bolted to fixed objects

5. Hornady Security Rapid Gun Safe

This is a sturdy safe constructed from 16-gauge steel made for storing handguns. What’s particular about this product is that it has several entry options. Firstly, it has a programmable keypad like many other models, and it also comes with backup keys.

Besides this, it has a RFID bracelet which opens the safe when you reach your hand towards it. Lastly, key-fob and RFID cards are two more options available. Any of these methods can be programmed and used to unlock it.

Another unique feature is the gun carriage which holds the pistol inside the safe, and when it’s opened the carriage lifts it up angled to a user’s hand.

Things I liked:

  • It can be opened with RFID bracelet, RFID card, keyfob, keypad or backup keys
  • Powerful and resilient security cable
  • Sturdy and hard steel body
  • No sounds when the keys are pressed

Things I didn’t like:

  • The lid makes a loud sound when it is opened
  • Control panel is made from plastic and might be fragile
  • There isn’t much extra storage space
  • Some users complained that sometimes it might take more time to open

Conclusion

Based on the research and collected data, we would like to conclude that the winner of this roundup is GunVault SV 500 SpeedVault, due to various reasons. First one is the remarkably low price compared to other gun safes on the market today.

The 5-year warranty by the manufacturer is also beyond industry standards, even for some higher priced products. The only downside is the possible battery drainage, but this con is standard with all the products on our list today. Also, in contrast to other models, this one is mountable to easily accessible places such as desks or nightstands. Usability, features, price, warranty; with this model, you have it all.