There probably hasn’t been a time in history when it has been more important to have and to use the best gun safe that you can buy. It is difficult to read a newspaper or to watch the news without hearing about a shooting event that has taken place somewhere. Most of the guns that are being used in those crimes were guns that were stolen or obtained illegally. This means that there is quite a market for stolen guns and if you don’t keep your firearms locked up, you run the risk of having them ripped off.
Gun safes are also to prevent people in the house or office from having easy access to your guns. They may not be wanting to steal the weapon at all, but if the firearm isn’t locked up, it is a great temptation for someone to use it when they shouldn’t. It is tragic when a child obtains a gun that should have been adequately locked up and ends up shooting themselves or someone else because they had access to the weapon.
The good news is that there is a wide array of different gun safes to choose from, so it is quite possible to get the best gun safe to fit your needs, whether your firearms are handguns, rifles, shotguns, the magazines and ammunition they use or a combination of these. The goal isn’t to just buy any safe, but to buy the best gun safe you can find that meets your needs.
If you are in a rush and just want to know our top picks of gun safes in each category you can see that in this table below. If you want more details on each, and a few more recommendations you can scroll down or use the table of contents that follow to quick jump to a particular safe of interest.
Kinds of Gun Safes
Before selecting the best gun safe for you, it is worthwhile to get an idea of what is most commonly available. Much of this has to do with the locking mechanism and it is also important to know that there are gun safes that may combine different locking mechanisms. What follows are in regard to only the most frequently used kinds of gun safes, not the only kinds of safes that can be purchased or built.
Combination Lock Safes
This is easily one of the most common, as well as being one of the most popular kinds of gun safes. The locking mechanism is released by use of a combination, such as by a rotating tumbler or dial. Rotating the knob allows tumblers inside the lock to move into place so that the door can be opened. If someone doesn’t have the correct combination, they can’t easily open the safe.
Combination lock safes are one of the longest lasting kinds of safe, whether the safe is for guns or other valuables. They are also among the oldest and most durable safes that were ever made. There are still some combination safes in existence that were originally produced and used in the American west of the 1800’s. Though those safes were normally for use in banks rather than for guns and not all banks had a safe, their longevity says a great deal.
The combination gun safe may also be fitted with a single dial or multiple dials. It doesn’t especially increase the security by having multiple dials, though it can make it easier for the owner to open the gun safe. The choice of single or multiple dials is mostly according to the preference of the person purchasing the safe.
Some of these safes are also fitted with a second lock. This is true of most kinds of gun safes. The idea is that in order to open it, both locks must be opened correctly. The addition of the second lock also means that more than one kind of lock can be used. There is a sacrifice in the amount of time involved in opening the door if there are two locks, but the security is increased.
The number of tumblers in this kind of safe is also important because the more that there are, usually the more difficult it is for a person who doesn’t know the combination to pick the lock. A possible downside to this kind of gun safe is that the combination must be remembered, if you want to open the safe. If you have any difficulty in remembering sequences of numbers, you might want to think twice about getting this kind of safe lock, especially if it has a dual locking mechanism.
One such dual system requires a key to allow the dial or discs to be turned. Thus it isn’t likely that someone is going to open the safe unless they have both the key and know the combination. This makes the dual system more secure, though it takes longer to open the gun safe to get to the guns that are inside.
Keypad Combination Gun Safe
A keypad safe is a variation of a standard combination safe. Instead of relying on a manually turned mechanism, the combination is entered by a small numeric keyboard. This can be better for people who have trouble viewing the small marks on a circular dial or rotating disks.
The drawback of this kind of safe lock is that it relies on an external power source, normally electrical, or on battery power. This means that if there is any interruption in the power, you aren’t going to be getting into the gun safe to retrieve your guns, unless there is an alternate method of opening the safe. Keypads combination safes also have the same shortcoming than regular combination locks have; you must remember the combination.
What makes this kind of safe more secure than a standard combination gun safe is that it isn’t hard to tie it in to home or business security systems, including those that will automatically send a signal to the police when the wrong sequence of numbers have been entered in a given amount of time, or after a certain amount of tries.
Just as it sounds, a key safe is a gun safe that is opened with the use of a key. This kind of gun safe is a little easier and faster to open. There are some downsides to this kind of safe, too. If the key is misplaced, you probably aren’t going to get into the safe without having a locksmith working to produce another.
Also, if someone else gets a hold of the key, the safe won’t be secure anymore, which rather defeats the purpose of having a gun safe. The fact that a good locksmith can produce a key also means that the safe isn’t as secure as the safe could be.
Further, key locks can be picked and opened by someone who knows what they are doing. Some of the locks are designed to make this far more difficult, but the security level would be thought of as moderate. Again, this can be increased by using a dual lock system, however it is still a shortcoming. Still, this kind of safe is popular and it is definitely far better than having no safe at all.
Biometric Locking Safe
This kind of gun safe is probably one of the most secure of all of the safes. Sometimes this kind of safe is known as a fingerprint safe, for good reason. The biometric locking mechanism is set to only open for specific fingerprints, which are naturally unique. This makes the safe extremely secure, because only your fingerprint or that of a representative you might assign can open the lock. This makes the safe easy and fast to open, but only by those who are supposed to have access to the contents.
In a variation, the locking mechanism can be set to open to specific retinal patterns. These are even more unique than fingerprints and are harder to fake. Optical scanners are specialty, though, and are usually substantially more expensive. Optical retinal scanners are rarely used for gun safes because of the increased expense. For that reason, we won’t consider retinal scanning safes here. They are only mentioned in passing to acknowledge that they do exist.
Likewise, some safes are fitted with a scanner that reads a magnetic strip, like those found on credit cards. Again, this kind of scanner is specialty and not often used on gun safes.
If the safe and the scanner is well-made, a fingerprint is one of the most secure gun safes, though it also has the restriction of normally requiring an external or battery power source. This means that the safe is more secure, yet quite easy and quick to open for the owner. The ease and speed with which the safe can be opened is a major consideration for choosing this kind of gun safe.
Another advantage is that if you have children around the home, there isn’t much concern since they won’t be easily able to easily get to the guns that are stored inside.
You might note that this kind of gun safe is often used by the military to secure firearms.
The biggest drawbacks are the need for external/battery power, as already mentioned. Also, less well made biometric safes tend to give more false scans when trying to open them, which means that they stay locked. It might be better to err on the side of security, but it means that a cut on your fingertip might be enough to throw the safe off when you try to open it. On those that rely on battery power, you may additionally get no scans if the batteries get low.
Gun Safe Extras
It needs to be mentioned that regardless of the locking mechanism that is chosen, gun safes also are made with a large number of variations. These help to make sure that the safe is the best gun safe you can get to fit your particular needs. Still, these are considerations when the best gun safe is purchased. Here are a few of the variations.
Gun Safe Size
A gun safe can range in size from quite small, adequate for a single, small hand gun, to large enough to hold a number of rifles, shotguns as well as multiple handguns. Some may be equipped with racks to hold the firearms and foam rubber or carpeting to protect them, regardless of size. Obviously, this isn’t a minor consideration. If you are looking for a gun safe for several deer rifles, you aren’t going to want a small safe that can’t contain them.
Likewise, it would make little sense to pay for a large gun safe that is big enough to handle a half dozen deer rifles and a couple of shotguns if all you have and plan to have is a little 25 caliber handgun. It isn’t a bad thing to allow for expansion of your gun collection if you are planning on buying more firearms, but there is no reason to go overboard. It is far better to get a gun safe that adequately fits your needs.
Water and Fireproofing
Even if a safe is made from high-grade steel, water can still get inside of them and fire can still destroy the contents. The purpose of the safe is to safeguard your firearms, so if they are protected from thieves and robbers but no thought is given to water or fire damage, the weapons aren’t fully protected.
Thankfully, there are gun safes that are insulated, air-tight or both. This means that the contents of the safe could survive a fire or a flood. Some of these safes have even gone through tremendous situations and while looking bad on the outside, still had the contents in great condition.
How important fireproofing and waterproofing will be largely depends on how likely fires and floods are in the location the safe is going to be used. However, this is still a consideration when selecting the best gun safe.
There are certain standards that must be met for a safe sold in the US to carry an approved label. One of those sets of standards is set by Underwriter’s Laboratory and is called the UL Residental Security Container standards. The second is from the California Department of Justice and this is one of the strictest set of guidelines to be found in the country.
REGULATORY GUN SAFE STANDARDS
An acceptable gun safe is either one the following:
A gun safe that meets all of the following standards:
- Shall be able to fully contain firearms and provide for their secure storage.
- Shall have a locking system consisting of at minimum a mechanical or electronic combination lock. The mechanical or electronic combination lock utilized by the safe shall have at least 10,000 possible combinations consisting of a minimum three numbers, letters, or symbols. The lock shall be protected by a case hardened (Rc 60+) drill resistant steel plate, or drill resistant material of equivalent strength.
- Boltwork shall consist of a minimum of three steel locking bolts of at least 1/2-inch thickness that intrude from the door of the safe into the body of the safe or from the body of the safe into the door of the safe, which are operated by a separate handle and secured by the lock.
- A gun safe shall be capable of repeated use. The exterior walls shall be constructed of a minimum 12-gauge thick steel for a single walled safe, or the sum of the steel walls shall add up to at least 0.100 inches for safes with two walls. Doors shall be constructed of a minimum one layer of 7-gauge steel plate reinforced construction or at least two layers of a minimum 12-gauge steel compound construction.
- Door hinges shall be protected to prevent the removal of the door. Protective features include, but are not limited to: hinges not exposed to the outside, interlocking door designs, dead bars, jeweler’s lugs and active or inactive locking bolts.
A gun safe that is able to fully contain firearms and provide for their secure storage, and is certified to/listed as meeting Underwriters Laboratories Residential Security Container rating standards by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL).
Gun Safe Location
By location, we’re not talking about what town, state or province you are in. The reference in this case is to where in the home or office that the safe is going to be located. Many safes are free standing, meaning that they look like what most people think as a safe; basically a big (or small), sturdy box. Other safes might be built right into the wall or floor.
Only you can decide if a free-standing or built-in safe would better suit your needs. However, a wall or floor safe is usually easier to conceal than a free-standing safe. Thus, in this consideration, it isn’t just the “best gun safe”. You are deciding on the best gun safe for you. It can also be noted that most good safes can also be bolted to the wall or floor for additional security. This makes it harder for someone to walk away with the safe and everything in it.
The Best Safe for the Money
With the information previously discussed, you probably have a much better idea of what you want and need, as well as what might be available. The next step is to select the best safe for the money. This will be one that has the features you desire, but which isn’t priced so high that you’ll never be able to afford to get the safe.
It is likely that you will be able to isolate which important features you honestly need and which are features that would be nice, but ones you could do without. It is a good idea to write out a list of what you really need in a safe and another list that includes those things that would be nice, but which aren’t vital. Keep in mind that the more that the safe will do, the more expensive it is likely to be. Thus, it might be wonderful to have biometric dual lock safe, but if a combination safe will fit your needs, anything above or beyond the combination gun safe could be considered to be an extra.
There is considerable latitude in what is available, so the prices can vary widely. In fact, discussing the best gun safes in every possible category and combination would be almost futile. That would defeat our purpose here, so we will focus on the safes that would be the best for most gun owners.
Best Rifle Safe Reviews
A good rifle safe needs to be one that is large enough inside to hold the rifles that will be stored there. It should be heavy enough that a would-be thief isn’t likely to walk away with the safe and all. It should also have an interior that will hold the rifles securely without causing damage to the stock, workings or scope. It naturally also must be secure once the safe is locked.
None of this is asking for too much and there are many rifle safes that will do all of these things. They also range in both price and value. Here are some of them.
Liberty Signature Series Long Gun Safe (#1 Best Gun Safe)
Best gun safe over-all
Liberty is an American brand name that is well known for the quality of their safes. They’ve been around since 1988 and have become a recognized leader in the industry.
The Signature series gun safes are popular and secure. The safes in this series range in weight from 660 pounds to 1035 pounds, so it isn’t likely that the entire safe is going to be stolen. They also range in size and capacity. The regular price ranges from about $1,800 to about $2,600.
The interior is designed with protection of the guns in mind. The Signature safes are also made with plate steel and they can withstand up to 1,200 degrees of heat. They have a manufacturer’s lifetime transferable warranty against fire and burglary, too. There is little doubt that Liberty backs these safes and that they are quality-built.
The Signature 25 is 60.5 inches high, 30 inches wide and 27.5 inches deep. The safe will hold up to 27 rifles, according to Liberty and is available with either combination or electronic lock systems.
The Signature 64 is larger. This gun safe measures 60.5 inches high, 42 inches wide and 32 inches deep. It has room for 64 rifles. The Signature 64 is also available with either a combination dial or electronic locking system.
Because of the weight, sturdiness, size, features and the fact that it is fire resistant, the Signature 25 would be the choice of the best rifle safe. The safe is well made and the interior is designed to protect rifles from wear and tear, scratches and bumps. It is capable of safeguarding the rifles, whether you have only one or two, or quite a few more than that. It also has enough room for the ammunition, so the safe will allow the guns and ammo to stay together, protected and out of reach of people who shouldn’t have access. Though the Signature 25 isn’t inexpensive, it is built to last and may be the last safe you’ll ever need.
Based on all of this, I would give this safe a rating of 5.
Liberty ProVault Safe
Liberty also produces a smaller safe that is also a free standing safe. As with the Signature safes, the ProVault is also designed to withstand 1,200 degrees. This series ranges in size from 59 inches high, 18 inches wide and 16 inches deep to 59 x 28 x 20. The variation in weight is 247 pounds to 370 pounds. The regular price range is from about $420 to $630, which might better suit someone who isn’t a gun collector but who wants to ensure the safety of their rifles.
Winchester 24 Gun Safe
Best gun safe under $1,000
It seems somehow fitting that since Winchester produces great rifles, that they would also produce a good rifle safe. As it sounds, this safe holds up to 24 rifles. It is 60 inches high, 28 inches wide and 20 inches in depth, so it doesn’t take too up too much room. The safe weighs 435 pounds and the price is about $650. This is a fireproof safe, withstanding up to 1,200 degrees of heat. The interior of the gun safe is built to protect the stored rifles. This safe has a combination dial locking mechanism and it is from a well-known name in the gun making industry.
If this safe has a drawback, it is that it comes with a pre-set mechanical lock only. However, it is made in the USA and is made of solid, 12 gauge steel, so not counting the fact that it only comes with a combination-style lock, this is an excellent safe. The Winchester 24 gun safe also exceeds the standards set by Underwriter Laboratories.
Although this safe is heavy enough that it isn’t likely that it is going to be stolen along with the contents, it can be bolted into place.
Considering how roomy the safe is, how well constructed it is, the fact that it is fire resistant and solidly made by a well-known manufacturer of firearms and the price, this would be my choice for the best gun safe for under $1,000.
I would give this safe a rating of 4.5, with the weak point being that it is only available with a combination locking mechanism.
Barska FV-1000 Fire Vault Safe
Barska produces a dandy electronic lock rifle safe that is of an intermediate size and which is fireproof, without being extremely expensive. The FV-1000 can be purchased for around $900, though the value is actually much greater than the price would indicate.
This safe is rated to hold up to 14 rifles and it has a removable rack that makes it easy to arrange the guns. The outside dimensions of the FV-1000 are 20 inches by 18 inches by just over 59 inches. The inside is roomy at 18.39 x 13.87 x 57.44. This solidly built safe also weighs over 270 pounds. Additionally, it comes with mounting hardware and a pre-drilled bottom to make it even less likely that someone would steal the entire safe, even if the weight wasn’t enough of a deterrent.
The locking mechanism is electronic, with a large, easy to read telephone-style keypad. The keypad operates on a 9 volt battery and one is included with the safe. The keypad has a low battery indicator light and is set with a lock-out mode to prevent the safe from being opened if the combination code is input incorrectly too many times.
There is also a secondary key lock entry system and keys, in case an alternate means of opening the safe should become necessary.
The safe can be set to a silent entry mode, to turn off the beeping input noises. This mode can be quite handy if you need to get into the safe while there is a home intruder in the house whom you don’t want to alert before you are armed.
The FV-1000 is made of solid steel and is built to withstand sustained 1,200 degree F temperatures for up to 40 minutes. This is a safe that is approved by the California DOJ.
This safe is well worth the money, in our estimation, though it does have one shortcoming. This safe is not manufactured in the United States, so it lacks the distinction of being made in the USA. Still, the company is based in the US, in Southern California, and does have strict standards for the construction of the safe, so this isn’t a shoddy-made unit.
Barska has been around for over twenty years and their product name is becoming better known worldwide as time goes by. This means that it is less of an issue that the safe is assembled outside of the United States and it is mentioned because many people in America refuse to buy a product that doesn’t have the “Made in the USA” label.
Browning Hell’s Canyon Gun Safe
Best Fireproof Gun Safe
With a well-known name like Browning, a person can rest assured that they are getting a great safe with this one. The safe is large enough to hold 65 rifles or a combination of rifles, handguns and ammunition. The interior measures 55 inches high by 52 inches wide by 17 inches deep. The lock is electronic and the safe is set up with an electrical outlet to keep the lock charged and ready. There is even a power outlet inside, in case you need to store something that needs to be plugged in. The fact that it is set up to plug into power and has an outlet inside is a very strong point of the Hell’s Canyon Gun Safe and it is greatly appreciated by owners of this product.
This Browning gun safe is made with 11 gauge steel and it weighs over 1,000 pounds. It is a fair bet that it isn’t going to walk away, even with help from a thief. This means that once you set it up, you probably aren’t going to want to be moving it around, but there is little need to do that anyway.
The Hell’s Canyon isn’t just fireproof, it is very fireproof. It is rated to withstand 1,680 F for an hour and a half. It should keep your guns and ammo protected even with a major house or building fire.
The inside is designed with nice barrel racks that are made to protect rifle scopes, too. Additionally, it has pistol racks and eight shelves. This means that the Browning Hell’s Canyon gun safe is great for any long rifle or handgun, as well as for ammunition for those firearms.
It is hard to find faults with this solidly made and well manufactured Browning gun safe. If there is a fault, it is probably in the expense. This isn’t a cheap safe. The cost is around $2,700. Then again, you would be getting high quality, a solid brand name and something that very well might outlive your children, if you have any. Though this one would be listed as one of the best long rifle safes on the market, it could just as easily be one of the best gun safes for both rifles and pistols. Additionally, it is made in the USA.
This safe is in a tie for the best long rifle safe for all price ranges. It scores a 5 for quality, dependability, features, weight and fireproofing, for a rating of 5 overall. It would also be the best fireproof gun safe that is available.
Best Pistol Safe Reviews
Handguns are obviously much smaller than rifles, so the best handgun safes can be and usually are considerably smaller than the best rifle safes. This being said, a great pistol safe should have many of the same traits that a superior rifle safe has. It needs to be secure, the interior needs to be unabbrassive to the handgun parts or finish, it should protect the handgun from both man and nature and it shouldn’t be easy to walk off with the safe and its contents. It is a good idea to look at some of the best pistol safes on the market today.
Sentry Digital Pistol Safe
This handgun safe is quite inexpensive as safes go and it is also not very large. It measures 12 inches in length, just under 10 inches in width and only a bit more than three inches high. Interior dimensions are 9.7 x 6.6 x 2.2. The locking mechanism is electronic, so it is fast and easy to open. The safe also includes a secondary key lock and key, in case you need to get into it manually. The price is only about $130, so it is one of the least expensive gun safes around. The electronic lock is powered by four AA batteries.
There are several drawbacks to this pistol safe. Because of its interior size, it won’t hold many handguns and is best suited for use with a single pistol. The safe also weighs less than 12 pounds, making it relatively easy for a thief to walk off with the entire safe. Further, the batteries need to be checked and replaced as needed, which isn’t all that easy to remember. Since the locking mechanism draws a steady, low drain from the batteries, they may need to be replaced frequently.
Still, for the price, this is a good pistol safe. It is a great deal better than none at all, if you only have one handgun. It is also a great safe to have if the main concern is just to keep the pistol out of easy reach of others in the household or office. This is one of the best gun safes for the money you spend.
Stack-On Strong Box Safe Model PS-15-20-B-P
The Stack-On strong box safe also isn’t expensive. The cost is about $150. However, this safe offers quite a bit for the low cost. It is relatively large, at 19.75 inches x 12.25 inches x 13.88 inches. The safe has two drawers that can be removed and the door is made with nine gauge steel while the rest uses 14 gauge steel. This makes it heavy duty enough that it isn’t going to be easily opened without the fingerprint scanner, if it is needed.
The lock on this safe is biometric, so it is fast and easy to get into.
The interior space is such that this pistol safe can handle several handguns and ammunition. I like the fact that it will hold ammo as well as handguns, as this makes it good for storing them securely together.
Although the Stack-On couldn’t be called huge, it also weighs 39 pounds. It isn’t likely that someone is going to easily walk off with it. The safe is also designed so it can be bolted down. This safe is an approved gun safety device by the California Department of Justice. In fact, this safe can be used to safeguard items other than guns and ammo. It does come with a key and key lock as a backup means of getting into the safe, too.
The drawback of this safe is that it isn’t fireproof or waterproof. Still, at the low cost, this can be expected. Also, the interior pegs that hold the drawers are made of low quality plastic that is prone to breaking. If you plan on using it with the drawers in, you might need to invest in metal pegs, which shouldn’t be very expensive.
Winchester Home 12 Safe
Best Handgun safe
The Winchester name is highly thought of for quality, well made gun products and the Home 12 is a great example of it. This 420 pound safe stands 42 inches high, 26 inches wide and is 20 inches deep. The interior is 38 x 23 x 12. The safe is fireproof and rated to keep your guns and ammunition protected for over an hour at 1,400 degrees F.
The body is made with 12 gauge steel and it has lots of drawer space and shelf space for both your pistols and your ammo. The Home 12 is also made in accordance with the standards set by Underwriters Laboratory and it exceeds the California DOJ requirements.
What is really neat about this electronic locking gun safe is that it has two standard 110 volt outlets, a USB port and an Ethernet port. This is a high-tech safe.
It goes a couple steps farther, though. The safe is drill resistant and it has a secondary security system built in. If a would-be robber manages to somehow get through the initial line of protection, the secondary locking system engages, bolting down the door with a number of big, hardened steel bolts, each of which is over an inch in diameter. The Winchester Home 12 is even made so it can be bolted to the floor, though at over 400 pounds, not many people are going to be walking away with the safe in any event.
This safe runs around $800 to $1,100, making it middle range for cost. The value can’t truly be measured, however. Although this safe isn’t large enough for most long rifles, it would have to be considered to be the best gun safe for the money, for pistols, ammunition and other valuables.
On a basis of quality, dependability, features, fireproofing, size and weight, I rate the Winchester Home 12 safe at a 5 and it would be the choice for the best handgun safe. It is much more than the best pistol safe, though. This safe is innovative and is backed by a major name in firearms; Winchester. It would be difficult to find a better gun safe than this one. The fact that it exceeds the CA DOJ standards says a great deal in regard to the quality of the Home 12.
The Best Biometric Gun Safes
Biometric gun safes have an obvious advantage of allowing you access to the contents of the safe only if you have the right fingerprint. Optical retinal scanners are also a possibility, but as they tend to be less common and more expensive, we will focus on those that unlock by using your fingerprint. Many of these safes allow you to allow multiple fingerprints to unlock the safe and most also offer a backup method of opening the safe, such as with key lock entry. Despite the technology that is used by these safes, it isn’t difficult to find good ones that are reasonably priced. Naturally, some of the sturdiest and best made are probably going to be expensive, but this is subjective. It will depend on what you plan to put into the safe and how much the security is worth to you. Also note that one biometric gun safe has already been mentioned above.
Liberty HDX-250 Smart Vault Pistol Safe
The HDX-250 is a vault-style safe is great if you have a couple of handguns that need protection. It isn’t too large with dimensions of 7 inches by 12 inches by 11 inches. Still, this is enough room for a couple of pistols, plus extra magazines and some ammunition. This Liberty safe also weighs around 15 pounds, so it is easy to move and to place where you want it to be. The safe is made of solid steel. This makes it hard for someone to get into it or pry it open if they want to steal your sidearms.
This pistol safe comes with a power cord and has a key lock backup in order to open it and the fingerprint isn’t accepted. Additionally, it has an alarm in case a thief tries to get into the safe. You can authorize up to 15 fingerprints to open this safe, so you can give access to plenty of people. The inside has a good, bright LED light, so you can easily see what is inside even in a dark room.
The price of the Liberty HDX-250 Smart Vault isn’t at all bad, at about $250 or even less, if it is on sale.
The drawback of this safe is that the small size means that a would-be robber could walk away with the safe and its contents, opening it later at their convenience. Still, the safe is small enough to hide easily and it does come with mounting brackets. A person could always bolt it down securely to prevent it from getting up and walking away. Another drawback is that this safe isn’t fireproof or waterproof.
Barska Model AX11224 Biometric Pistol Safe
This Barska safe is surprisingly roomy for a handgun safe. It has interior dimensions of 16.25 inches x 7 inches x 15.25 inches, which is plenty of room for several pistols and ammunition.
The biometric scanner also holds up to 30 fingerprints. The pad is powered by four AA batteries, which are included with the safe when you purchase it, so the fingerprint scanner functions even when there is a power outage. Barska indicates that the batteries will last up to two years.
The fingerprint pad is even set up to let you know when the battery is getting low. Upon closing the door, if three beeps are heard and the indicator lights flash red, you will know that you need to replace the batteries. I rather like this feature and find it to be innovative. It does come with a key lock and two keys, should you ever need them.
The safe weighs about 30 pounds and it comes set up and ready to be anchored to a wall or to the floor. Mounting hardware is included. The price is around $160, which is an excellent value.
The downside of this safe is that it isn’t American made. The Barska headquarters are in California, but assembly and parts are from their facility in China. If you want to buy strictly American made, this safe wouldn’t be for you. However, it is a well-built gun safe, despite not being made here. In comparison to many other pistol safes that cost quite a bit more, this safe is clearly superior.
It is recommended that new owners read the instruction manual carefully to learn how to properly set this safe up. Also, be sure that you double check the safe after programming in a fingerprint, to make sure that it was properly remembered. This isn’t a negative, as this is true of any biometric gun safe.
One drawback that is a negative, though, is that this safe is neither fireproof nor waterproof. Of course, for the small price, a person probably shouldn’t expect it to be.
Viking Security Safes VS-25BL Biometric Safe
Best Biometric Gun Safe
This is a biometric safe that is big enough for multiple handguns. The fingerprint scanner is advertised as being 500 DPI, which is quite good. The safe is made of coated steel and has a great appearance, yet it is small enough that it could be hidden.
The fingerprint system also has a keypad over-ride, in case you have difficulties when opening it with your fingerprint. The keypad can be programmed to accept pin numbers from four to eight digits long, so it doesn’t have the short-coming of only accepting four digits. The fingerprint scanner can be programmed to accept up to 32 fingerprints. There is a timeout period if multiple unsuccessful attempts have been made to open the safe and the safe will also beep if the door is left open for longer than a minute. This is helpful if there are children around, as well as reminding you that the door hasn’t been locked yet.
The safe is 10 inches high, 14 inches wide and 10 inches deep. There is also an adjustable shelf and the interior is lined to protect your handguns and ammunition. The system uses four AA batteries and there is an LED light built in that requires another two AA batteries.
Although the battery power might be a drawback, it isn’t difficult to replace them and the system remembers the stored fingerprints and pin numbers even if the batteries are removed. The safe can also be set to function in silent mode, which extends battery life if you get into the safe frequently. The LED for the keypad also displays the charge of the batteries so you’ll know when you need to replace them. In a pinch, the safe can also be opened with a hidden key lock.
The safe weighs only 24 pounds, but it is drilled so you can anchor it securely in place. Once anchored, it isn’t likely that anyone is going to be walking away with it.
This Viking Security Safe is surprisingly affordable, at only about $140.
The drawbacks are that this safe isn’t fire or waterproof. The interior light is also not as luminescent as it could be, though it seems to produce enough light to see what is in the interior. Still, for the price, this safe is a great value. It is also surprisingly roomy.
The downside of this safe is that while it is designed in the US, it isn’t made here. It is made in China.
The VS-25BL Biometric Safe by Viking Security Safes is the choice for the best biometric gun safe for handguns. It is more than this, too. I rate it based on craftsmanship, features and expense as a 4.5, with only the fact that it isn’t made in the USA getting low marks. Even with this being the case, this Viking safe would be the:
- Best biometric gun safe
- Best gun safe for under $300
- Best gun safe for the price
Barska Large Biometric Rifle Safe
Barska also makes a very good biometric safe for rifles. This safe measures 57 inches x 13.75 inches x 13.75 inches and it weighs 114 pounds. It has a 12-position rack that can be taken out and the inside is fully lined to protect rifles against wear and tear. It is spacious enough to hold multiple rifles and ammunition without difficulties.
The fingerprint scanner can store up to 120 fingerprints. It also comes with a emergency key lock system and two keys. The battery pack that powers the fingerprint scanner is located on the outside and holds four AA batteries. The safe can also be switched from a sound mode to a silent one to help prolong the life of the batteries and to make it more secure in case you need to get into it when there is an intruder in the house.
This safe is heavy, though not extremely so, and it comes ready for anchoring. Six mounting bolts are even included, along with an Allen wrench for putting the bolts in.
A possible negative is that the safe has room enough for three or four rifles or long guns, as well as handguns and ammunition, but it isn’t designed to hold more rifles than this. Still, it was specifically designed this way and Barska does have a larger safe for the person who has more than three or four rifles.
More of a negative is the fact that this safe isn’t fireproof or waterproof. The cost is reasonable, though, for what the safe offers. The price ranges from a little more than $525 to over $1,000 depending on where it is purchased. This isn’t a bad price for a biometric rifle safe, especially considering the price of the rifles it will protect.
This safe probably won’t stop a determined thief, but the same could be said of most safes. For being biometric, this safe does exactly what it is designed to do and the fingerprint scanner works great. Unfortunately, this safe isn’t manufactured or assembled in the United States, it is made in China. To many people, that is a major drawback, although it doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t well-made.
A lot goes into the selection of a gun safe. Part of this is because a gun safe can have a large number of different features. They can have different locking mechanisms and different designs. The gun safes might be made primarily for handguns, for long guns or for both. They can be different in appearance, interior and exterior size, weight and even the level of security that they can afford a person can vary widely.
All of this is perfectly natural. Each person is going to probably have a unique set of needs. Because of this, what is of extreme importance to one individual might have a low importance to another. The goal is to get the best gun safe for your specific needs and we can certainly give solid reviews and recommendations, as we’ve done here. However it is up to each person to determine what they want and need. When you do this, the recommendations listed here can be of the most benefit to you.