When you aren’t cleaning, training with, or carrying your firearms, they should be locked away in a safe, secure location.
This can mean a lockbox, gun cabinet, a heavy-duty safe, or even an expansive gun vault. However, what it means to you may mean something different than what it means to someone else.
A family with a single handgun for self-defense doesn’t need a $2,000 in-closet gun vault. A collector with three dozen antique firearms needs a more secure solution than several cheap gun cabinets.
So, to help you decide what’s right for you, here are the top-rated gun safes to fit all budgets and needs. You’ll be able to find a method for securing your firearms whether your budget is $50, $500, or $5,000.
I’ll cover the security features of each safe, their fire resistance, entry methods, and anything else that can help you determine whether or not a given safe is right for you. Some safes are more for a self-defense firearm and others are for securing entire gun collections.
I will also include how many guns each safe can hold and whether owners have been able to fit that many guns in the safe at home. Note: Almost nobody can get as many guns into a safe as the manufacturer claims.
And if you’re not sure what exactly you’re looking for, there’s a buyer’s guide at the end that covers everything you need to consider when purchasing a gun safe!
17 Best Home Gun Safes of 2021: Outdoor Empire Reviews
- Best for the Money: Liberty Centurion 18
- Best Overall: Browning Black Label Mark IV
- Best Budget Pick: Hornady Rapid Safe AR Gun Locker
- Best Looking: Rhino Metals Ironworks CIWD6030X
- Best for in a Closet: Barska AX13100
- Best Biometric for Long Guns: Barska Quick Access Biometric AX11780
- Best Overall for Handguns: Fort Knox PB1
- Best for the Money for Handguns: Stealth Quick Access Handgun Hanger
- Best Budget Pick for Handguns: Hornady Lockbox
- Best Upgrade Pick for Handguns: Liberty Safe HDX-350 Smart Vault
- Best Biometric for Handguns: Vaultek VT20i
- Best Fireproof for Handguns: SentrySafe SFW123DSB
- Best Nightstand Case for Handguns: Hornady Rapid Safe 2700KP
- Best Hidden: Timber Vaults Alpha Gun Concealment Mirror
- Best for Hiding a Pistol in Plain Sight: PS Products Mantel Concealment Gun Clock
- Best Gun Cabinet: American Furniture Classics Model 600
- Best Gun Vault Door: Rhino Metals Out-Swing
Check out the table below to compare our top picks at different price points!
|Category||Best Budget Pick||Best for the Money||Best Upgrade Pick||Best Overall Handgun|
Hornady RAPiD Safe AR Gun Locker
Liberty Centurion 18
Browning Black Label Mark IV
Fort Knox PB1
|Exterior Dimensions||42″ x 15.25″ x 6.75″||24.25" x 22" x 59.5"||43″ x 25″ x 60″||12.5″ x 10.375″ x 5.25″|
|Weight||55 lbs||340 lbs||910 lbs||24 lbs|
|Capacity||2 carbine-length guns and a couple handguns||18 long guns and about 4 handguns||43 long guns and multiple handguns||2 handguns|
|Lock Types||RFID, electronic keypad, backup keys||Mechanical or electronic||Electronic keypad||Simplex mechanical keypad|
|Made in USA||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|What We Like||Quick access and you can put it almost anywhere||Fireproof and holds enough guns and valuables for the average hunter||Lots of compartments, storage rack on top, looks good and beefy||Simple design, heavy duty, reliable lock, mountable|
|Cost||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
Best Long Gun Safes
1. Best Home Rifle Safe for the Money: Liberty Centurion 18 Gun Safe
- Exterior Dimensions: 24.25″ x 22″ x 59.5″
- Interior Capacity: 9.73 cu ft (18 Long arms)
- Lock Types: Combination dial
Liberty Safe is one of the biggest gun safe vendors in the world. These aren’t gun cabinets called safes, no, these are tried-and-true safe-quality firearm vaults.
Liberty’s Centurion line is their entry level safe. The 18-gun version offers a great balance between price and value. In order to buy a better safe, you will have to spend a lot more money.
The Centurion is not a very fancy safe. It’s made from 14-gauge steel and has two layers of fireboard to get modest fire resistance. It’s rated for 30 minutes at 1,200 F, which is not very hot for a house fire. Palusol activates when hit by heat to seal the door against smoke and water, though.
The lock is a mechanical combination dial that won’t suffer from a power outage or dead batteries. It’s also UL-listed and is the same type of lock that can be found on safes that cost thousands of dollars more.
The Centurion is designed to resist prying attempts through several methods, such as having folded inner lips and ten 4″ wide locking bars instead of locking pins.
Although this is an 18-gun safe, don’t expect to store that many long guns unless they’re all particularly thin.
The Liberty Centurion is recognized by the California Department of Justice as a Firearm Safety Device.
- A true safe for a gun cabinet price
- Heat-activated door sealant to protect the firearms inside from smoke and heat
- Made in the USA
- Relatively low fireproof rating when compared with similarly-sized safes
The Centurion 18-Gun Safe by Liberty is a simple yet effective safe for under $1,000 that will keep your guns secure from attack, provided you mount it in a good location.
2. Best Overall Long Gun Safe: Browning Black Label Mark IV 43-Gun Safe
- Exterior Dimensions: 43″ x 25″ x 60″
- Interior Capacity: 24.38 cu ft (43 long guns and some handguns)
- Lock Types: Electronic keypad
A massive, expensive safe, the Browning Black Label Mark IV 43-Gun Safe is just about the best gun safe you can buy.
The Mark IV safe weighs in at 910 pounds and is made from heavy-duty 11-gauge steel. The Force Deflector Locking System works with the SecuRam locking mechanism to keep the safe as secure as possible.
The Mark IV is rated to keep your guns safe from fire for 100 minutes at 1,680 degrees Fahrenheit. The average house on fire can heat up to over 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit, so this rating should be more than adequate.
The inside is customizable and can hold many guns as well as plenty of gear. You can move around the shelves and the barrel slots on the mounting tracks, which provide more support than the typical gun safe shelf system.
The door is full of gear pockets, too. There are handgun hangers and carbine loops that work with the cutouts in the door allowing you to efficiently store modern sporting rifles, which tend to occupy more space than classic rifles due to their pistol grips, magazines, and optics.
Internal electrical outlets let you charge accessories and plug in a dehumidifier.
There’s even a rack for gear on top of the safe!
- Extremely secure design
- Many firearm mounting options
- Strong shelving system
- Made in the USA
- The delivery fee alone is more expensive than lesser options
If you want the best safe you can get then the Browning Black Label Mark IV 43-Gun Safe will keep your rifles, shotguns, carbines, pistols, and revolvers safely tucked away in luxury.
Compare prices at: Cabela’s
3. Best Budget Long Gun Safe: Hornady Rapid Safe AR Gun Locker
- Exterior Dimensions: 42″ x 15.25″ x 6.75″
- Interior Capacity: 2.75 cu ft (2 Long guns)
- Lock Types: RFID, electronic keypad, backup keys
The Hornady Rapid Safe AR Gun Locker is an inexpensive gun safe that has a very limited capacity, but it makes up for this shortcoming with great functionality.
For starters, it has touch-free RFID technology so you can get into the safe faster than any non-rapid safe method on the market. This makes it an excellent choice for home-defense AR-15s or shotguns. There’s both a keypad and a mechanical lock for if you lose or forget the RFID devices.
The spring-loaded door pops open when unlocked. It’s loud, but fast.
The AR Gun Locker can only hold two long arms. This makes it a good second safe if you have more than two rifles or shotguns. Especially since it can fit under your bed!
This safe comes with dense foam cut to hold two long arms. This foam can be removed if you want to install a more customized gun rack.
There are pre-drilled mounting holes for permanently installing this safe either horizontally or vertically in a convenient location. Such as under the bed, in a closet, or even in your truck!
Note that you can fit multiple handguns on the floor of the safe if it’s horizontal. The safe is too narrow for this when it’s vertical, though.
However, the security features aren’t the best. The AR Gun Locker will keep children out, but it isn’t as secure against theft as other rifle safes.
- Opens fast! You get access to your firearms practically immediately
- RFID unlocking
- More child-resistant than theft-resistant
- Makes a loud noise when opened because of how fast the door flies open
The Hornady Rapid Safe AR Gun Locker is a child-resistant vault for two long arms that prioritizes speed over security.
4. Best Looking Gun Safe: Rhino Metals Ironworks CIWD6030X
- Exterior Dimensions: 30″ x 25″ x 60″
- Interior Capacity: Not stated (35 Long guns)
- Lock Types: Manual, electronic, biometric with keypad backup
Rhino Metals produces one of the most impressive looking lines of gun safes you can buy: The Ironworks series.
The Ironworks CIWD6030X is a great choice for a gun safe that blends beauty with safety without compromising either. The welded and bolted-on accents and hand-antiqued finish give it a timeless look, like a safe from a classic movie.
Those “accents” are also practical because they improve the anti-drill properties of the same. Other security features include 13 1.25″ door bolts, a ball bearing drill plate, an anti-tamper clutch system behind the lock, and a 12 gauge steel body all the way around.
Your firearms will also be safe from a 1,400 degree fire for 85 minutes thanks to the multiple layers of 5/8″ fireboard and heat-activated door seal.
The inside combines leatherette and plush to continue the visual appeal. Up to 35 rifles and shotguns can be fit inside. The door also has an organizer for handguns, knives, and miscellaneous gear.
There are also shelves for even more storage space. In fact, this safe is a great choice to store camera equipment and other valuables, not just guns!
Though the Ironworks safes look like they’re from the 19th century, they include 21st-century features such as a built-in electrical outlet that includes a USB port. This lets you add a dehumidifier without having to modify the safe. You also have your choice of electronic or biometric locks.
Larger models are available as well as similarly-sized Ironworks safes that are rated for 130 minutes of fire protection.
Also, Rhino will repair or replace any damaged Ironworks safes for free!
- UL Certified Residential Security Container with impressive security features
- Made in the USA and hand-distressed by American workers for a unique, classic look
- Upgrading to an electronic lock and/or adding a swing-out gun rack will add a substantial amount to the already high cost of this safe
The Ironworks safe by Rhino Metals is not only a great-looking safe, but it’s also one of the best safes available on the market today. However, it’s priced accordingly!
5. Best Rifle and Shotgun Safe to Put in a Closet (Under $500): Barska AX13100 Keypad Rifle Safe
- Exterior Dimensions: 13″ x 13″ x 52.25″
- Interior Capacity: 4.33 cu ft (“8” Long guns)
- Lock Types: Electronic keypad, backup keys
Barska’s AX13100 rifle safe is a surprisingly customizable rifle safe with some good features for the price, though it’s only good for small collections.
It’s made of 14-gauge steel and weighs 82 pounds, so you need to mount it for it to provide proper theft protection. Otherwise someone could just deadlift the safe and carry it out of your house. I’ve done that!
An electronic keypad can be programmed with two different combo codes to unlock the safe. It can be set for a silent mode, too. A set of four AA batteries keeps the safe alive for a year. You can use the hidden keyhole to unlock the safe as well. Also, Barska gives you a backup battery pack that can be plugged into a dead keypad from the outside.
The inside has an 11-position long gun rack and two removable shelves you can position where you want to hold handguns and other gear. Barska claims that you can fit eight rifles inside. Maybe if they are all break open single shots! 5 is a more believable claim, and even that may be stretching the limits of the safe if you are storing particularly wide guns.
There’s even a hanger for two pistols as well, though you may need to remove the hanger to store some rifles or shotguns.
- 11 slots for long guns so you can find a configuration to fit your guns
- Good value for the price
- Slim and can fit in small closets, which also makes this safe easy to hide
- Poor instructions
- The second shelf can’t be installed if you have a long-barreled rifle or shotgun inside
Barska’s Keypad Rifle Safe, model number AX13100, is by no means a large safe. What it is, however, is a fairly priced gun safe that’s good for a moderate number of firearms.
6. Best Biometric Long Gun Safe: Barska Quick Access Biometric 16 Rifle Safe AX11780
- Exterior Dimensions: 19.63″ x 16″ x 57″
- Interior Capacity: 9.34 cu ft (up to 16 guns)
- Lock Types: Fingerprint reader, electronic keypad, backup keys
Another gun safe by Barska, the AX11780 is one of the rare upright gun safes to have a biometric fingerprint scanner.
More rare is the biometric rifle safe that can hold more than a dozen longarms, which this can.
The AX11780 can be thought of as a larger and more technologically advanced version of the AX13100 while sporting many of the same features. For example, you can power the electronics using a backup battery pack.
However, the AX11780 adds a biometric scanner to the mix. You can have 120 different fingerprint records on file in the scanner to maximize the chances of opening the safe with the first finger swipe.
Barska recommends swiping your finger on the scanner at multiple different angles. This takes a couple of seconds to perform but it is still faster than typing in a PIN.
Inside you get 16 barrel slots, two shelves, and a four-handgun hanger rack. That rack comes positioned high enough to interfere with the door closing properly but you can easily lower the rack to avoid this.
- 120 fingerprint records available (most biometric safes only allow 15-30)
- Three forms of access, including biometrics
- Not as heavy-duty and theft-resistant as non-biometric safes at this price point
- You have to reposition the pistol rack to close the door
The Barska AX11780 Quick Access Biometric Rifle Safe is not the most secure safe on the market. However, it offers fast access and storage for a good number of rifles.
Best Hand Gun Safes
7. Best Overall Pistol Safe: Fort Knox PB1
- Exterior Dimensions: 12.5″ x 10.375″ x 5.25″
- Interior Capacity: 0.16 cu ft (2 handguns)
- Lock Types: Simplex mechanical keypad
The Fort Knox PB1 is a simple handgun safe. It doesn’t have many features. What it does have, though, is a massive amount of security for the handguns you will store inside.
It’s made from 10-gauge steel, which is thicker than some standing safes, and the door wraps around to prevent thieves from being able to pry into the safe.
The only entry method into the PB1 is a Simplex mechanical keypad. There are 1,081 potential combinations you can program yourself. Once you have your combo set, pressing the buttons is tactile and satisfying.
There are pre-drilled mounting holes, so you can attach the PB1 to the floor, shelf, truck bed, or wherever you want it to go.
The inside is lined with removable egg-crate foam and can fit two 1911-sized pistols along with several magazines.
The door has gas struts that open smoothly, though not quickly.
Also, the mechanical lock is a bit loud, though not as loud as an electronic keypad beeping at you.
- Made in the USA
- Smooth gas-strut door
- Very strong for a small safe
- Only one entry method
- Opening this safe is louder than other options
If you want a simple and impenetrable pistol safe that doesn’t depend on batteries then the Fort Knox PB1 is an excellent choice.
8. Best Small Gun Safe for the Money: Stealth Quick Access Handgun Hanger Security Box
- Exterior Dimensions: 9″ x 12″ x 9″
- Interior Capacity: 0.42 cu ft (5 Handguns)
- Lock Types: Electronic keypad, backup key
The Quick Access Handgun Hanger Security Box is a small gun vault made by Stealth that holds multiple pistols at the ready.
There are four buttons on the top of this steel cube; the first has a tactile marker so you can find it in the dark and a backlight helps you see the rest if needed. The light is not too bright and is flush with the buttons so you won’t blind yourself or give yourself away by pressing the buttons.
Enter the passcode and the 3/8″ steel door springs open, revealing the interior of the safe and its contents. It comes with a hanger for up to three handguns that holds them grip-first, ready for you to grab and go!
Two more can be laid on the foam-lined floor of the safe. You can also store spare magazines there.
A red interior light reveals the inside of the safe without blinding your night vision.
The buttons come set to make a beeping sound after each press, though you can enable silent mode. However, you need to leave about a half-second delay between each button press or else it won’t register properly, which may slow you down if you need to use the safe in an emergency situation.
Both the keypad and the interior light require power, which can come from either a 9 volt battery or by plugging the safe into a wall.
- Easy-to-press combo entry buttons with lights that won’t flood the room
- Holds three handguns ready to be grabbed and several more on the floor, along with spare magazines
- The center handgun can block the interior light
- Processing delay between key presses
- Subcompact pistols and pistols with lights may not fit without unbolting the interior pistol hanger
The Stealth Quick Access Handgun Hanger Safe is an efficient use of space to store up to five pistols or revolvers and presents them in an easily grabbable angle when opened.
9. Best Budget Pistol Box: Hornady Lockbox for Guns and Valuables, Large
- Exterior Dimensions: 6.5″ x 9.5″ x 1.75″
- Interior Capacity: 0.05 cu ft (1 handgun)
- Lock Types: Key
The Hornady Lockbox for guns and valuables is a small and thin miniature safe that can hold one, maybe two pistols.
It comes in three sizes: Large, X-Large, and Alpha Elite. The Large version is sized to fit semi-auto pistols with a 4″ barrel or smaller and several magazines. The larger sizes are more expensive by about $5 for each step up, but they give you a bigger capacity. The X-Large, for example, is well sized for 1911s.
The Hornady Lockbox is made from 16-gauge steel. The barrel lock is the only entry method and works well enough for such a budget safe.
You can secure the lockbox to another object using the included four-foot steel security cable. It connects to the outside of the lockbox so it won’t take up any interior space.
The interior has egg-crate style foam to protect your beloved handgun from scratches.
The barrel lock is made to a higher standard than what you generally find at this low price point. So, while this is a “cheap” safe, it’s not a cheaply made safe!
- Good build quality for the price
- Available in three sizes
- Very inexpensive
- Small capacity
The Hornady Lockbox for Guns and Valuables can only hold a single handgun. However, it has a higher quality lock than other safes of the same size and price.
10. Best Handgun Safe Upgrade Pick: Liberty Safe HDX-350 Smart Vault Biometric Handgun Safe
- Exterior Dimensions: 13.5″ x 15″ x 8.75″
- Interior Capacity: 0.5 cu ft (2 Handguns)
- Lock Types: Fingerprint sensor, backup key
The HDX-350 by Liberty Safes is a biometric smart pistol vault that combines security, speed, and features.
There are two ways into the vault: You can swipe your finger on the 6th-generation biometric fingerprint reader or you can use the barrel key lock. Up to 30 fingerprints can be stored in the safe’s memory so trusted family members can have access as well.
If you have the safe plugged into a wall outlet using either AC or DC power then the door opens in under a second. It takes less than two seconds if the vault is running off a 9-volt battery.
The door silently falls open to reveal a removable drawer and an interior light. There is an interior USB port you can use to keep gun accessories charged, such as a tactical flashlight. Plus, there are two exterior USB ports.
The door is inset and resists prying.
You can mount the safe to a hard surface using the pre-drilled mounting holes. If you want to use it as a semi-portable safe then you can buy a mounting bracket.
The safe has enough volume to hold several handguns along with magazines, spare ammo, and hearing/eye protection. Full-size pistols and revolvers may be a tight fit, though. And good luck fitting a good set of electronic ear pro inside!
- Drawer for more pistols or other gear
- Fast, silent opening
- Internal USB charging ports
- Made in the USA
- Accessories are an additional expense
- Even the best biometric sensors can be finicky
The Liberty HDX-350 is a moderately sized handgun vault that has a fairly accurate biometric sensor, fast operation, and a way to keep accessories charged while inside the safe. However, it is on the expensive end and cannot store many handguns.
11. Best Biometric Pistol Safe: Vaultek VT20i
- Exterior Dimensions: 11.5″ x 9″ x 2.75″
- Interior Capacity: 0.07 cu ft (1 full size or 2 compact handguns)
- Lock Types: Fingerprint reader, electronic keypad, backup keys
The Vaultek VT20i is one of the top-rated pistol safes, and for good reason. Though it’s an expensive piece of technology, it offers advantages you cannot get with a lesser safe.
The VT20i has three unlocking methods. You can use the keys, punch your code into the keypad, or put your finger on the biometric sensor. The biometric reader has a resolution of 508 DPI to increase accuracy.
The electronics are powered by a lithium-ion battery that can go for six months without charging.
The VT20i has Bluetooth and can connect to your iPhone or Android smartphone. This lets you manage fingerprint records, keep track of access attempts, and more!
If you’re using this unit in a dark room then it’s still easy to use. A proximity sensor activates the red keypad backlighting. It won’t stay on indefinitely, though there is a button to turn it back on once the light times out.
The only real downside of the VT20i is that it has a relatively small capacity, though it can still fit a full-size 1911. You should be able to fit two compact pistols instead. If you’re unsure if your guns will fit, you can send a message to the Vaultek support team to receive a template of the interior space.
You can also use the VT20i as a permanent gun safe by using the pre-drilled mounting holes.
- Integrates with a useful app available on both iPhones and Android devices
- Multiple unlocking methods
- The proximity sensor turns on the backlight automatically
- Expensive for the capacity
- Small capacity of one full-size pistol or two compacts
The Vaultek VT20i is a high-tech pistol vault that benefits from the electronics and is a solid safe even when the battery is dead. Don’t expect much storage space for the price, though.
12. Best Fireproof Handgun Safe: SentrySafe SFW123DSB
- Exterior Dimensions: 16.3″ x 19.3″ x 17.8″
- Internal Capacity: 1.23 cu ft (5 handguns)
- Lock Types: Combination dial, secondary keys
Few handgun safes are rated for fire protection, and the SentrySafe SFW123DSB is one of them.
It’s rated to survive a fire of up to 1,700 Fahrenheit for an hour, even if the floor gives out and the safe falls fifteen feet! Fires tend to causes floors to collapse, so this guarantee is not just hot water.
Speaking of water, the SFW123DSB is also waterproof. It is ETL Verified to survive for 24 hours of 8-inch high water without any liquid entering the safe. Flooding can follow fires because of damaged water pipes, so this is an excellent feature.
Both the fire and water claims have been independently tested, too.
And if the world decides to test these qualifications? SentrySafe will replace your safe. For free!
You access the safe using an old-school combination dial that will continue to work even after getting scorched. There’s also a secondary locking key. It disables the combo lock for added security. Four bolts keep the door shut when locked and the hinge is partially internal and pry-resitant.
If you prefer a more modern approach then you can get the SFW123GDC, which has an electronic keypad and interior light.
- Free replacement if your safe gets damaged by a fire or flood
- Great fire resistance for a handgun safe
- The mounting points do not come pre-drilled so you will have to modify the safe if you want to bolt it in place
The SentrySafe SFW123GDC is one of the most fire and water resistant handgun vaults on the market and it can keep your other valuables safe, too!
13. Best Nightstand Pistol Safe: Hornady Rapid Safe 2700KP
- Exterior Dimensions: 8.7″ x 12.7″ x 2.9″
- Interior Capacity: 0.9 cu ft (1 Handgun)
- Lock Types: RFID, electronic keypad, backup keys
The Hornady Rapid Safe 2700KP is the perfect pistol lock box to keep beside your bed for quick access to a single pistol or revolver during the night.
It’s a child-resistant miniature handgun vault that can be cabled to your bed or mounted in place using the pre-drilled mounting holes. The 14-gauge steel is a bit thicker than most safes this size. That’s 0.075 inches or 1.9 millimeters.
What makes the Hornady Rapid Safe so great, though, is the RFID unlocking method!
The package includes a wristband, a key fob, and two decals, all with RFID tags. You pass these close to the Rapid Safe and it unlocks, giving you instant access to your gun when you need it! No more fumbling around in the dark, trying to find a number pad or cursing out a biometric sensor that fails to read your fingerprint for the umpteenth time.
You do still have an electronic keypad and barrel key to get into the safe if you want to, though.
The electronics are powered by either battery power or an AC connection. You can bolt it to your nightstand using the pre-drilled holes or use the 1,500-lb security cable for less permanent installation. The Hornady Rapid Safe is also great for airline travel because it has the TSA’s approval.
- Fits a full-size 1911 or smaller handguns
- Quick and easy RFID access to your gun without fumbling around in the dark
- TSA-approved for airline travel
- RFID tags may not work if attached to your phone
- You have to keep an RFID tag on you or by your bed to take advantage of this safe‘s biggest feature
The Hornady Rapid Safe 2700KP is a portable or permanent pistol vault that can use RFID tags for contactless unlocking in the darkest of nights!
Compare prices at: Cabela’s
Best Specialty Home Gun Safes
14. Best Hidden Gun Safe: Timber Vaults Alpha Gun Concealment Mirror with RFID Lock
- Exterior Dimensions: 18.75″ x 4.625″ x 56″
- Interior Capacity: 1.29 cu ft (3 hand guns plus some valuables)
- Lock Types: RFID
Sometimes, security can come through obscurity. In this case, hiding your gun cabinet as an ordinary, full-length mirror.
The Alpha Gun Concealment Mirror, made by Timber Vaults, does require modification to your home to install. It mounts between two wall studs for security and requires making a hole in your drywall.
Most mirror concealment gun safes require a magnet to unlock. Carrying a magnet with you can be problematic, so Timber Vaults solved this problem by using RFID technology instead of magnets.
It comes with an RFID key card, an RFID coin, and an RFID key fob, so you have your choice of how you want to carry the RFID tag with you.
The Alpha Gun Concealment Mirror runs on four AA batteries. If the batteries die then you can plug in the included emergency battery pack to power the RFID device.
The inside cannot hold many firearms, but it can hold a home-defense rifle or two.
You can get this concealment mirror with a white, black, or espresso finish so it will match your existing décor.
- Hides in plain sight
- Opens using reliable RFID technology
- Not hard to break into if you know it’s there
- Requires some home modification
The Alpha Gun Concealment Mirror by Timber Vaults is a great choice for hiding one or two longarms and multiple handguns in plain sight. It unlocks without contact.
15. Best Hidden in Plain Sight Pistol Box: PS Products Mantel Concealment Gun Clock
- Exterior Dimensions: 16″ x 9″ x 5.5″
- Interior Capacity: Small (1 handgun)
- Lock Types: Magnetic latch, key
If removing drywall doesn’t sound particularly exciting to you then the PS Products Mantel Concealment Gun Clock will let you hide a handgun in plain sight without modifying any part of your home.
This is a mantel clock, so it looks right at home on a desk, shelf, or above the fireplace. The clock portion works and requires a AA battery.
The front part of the clock drops down for you to access your gun. You can fit most full-sized pistols inside, and many revolvers, though particularly large handguns may not fit.
The door stays shut with a magnetic latch. The clock does come with a key to lock it in place, but the latch is not very strong.
Unfortunately, some people have reported quality-control issues with this product. Thankfully, returns and replacements are easy.
- Hides a handgun in an easily-accessed location
- Occasional QC issues
- Relies entirely on concealment to secure your safe
The PS Products Mantel Concealment Gun Clock is an inexpensive method for hiding a handgun in plain view.
16. Best Gun Cabinet: American Furniture Classics Model 600 8 Gun Cabinet
- Exterior Dimensions: 20.25″ x 13.5″ x 66.25″
- Interior Capacity: Not stated (8 Long guns)
- Lock Type: Key
Gun safes and gun cabinets are two different animals.
A gun safe keeps your firearms not only locked up but also hidden from the view of strangers. A gun cabinet, on the other hand, is designed to show off your guns while giving them a veneer of safety.
Like a wood veneer, the American Furniture Classics Model 600 8 Gun Cabinet looks beautiful but is not very tough.
It’s made of a combination of wood and wood veneer, along with a pane of tempered glass. Both the top door and bottom doors have a simple keyed lock. None of these materials will stand up to even a halfhearted attack.
If you have young ones, be sure to teach them firearm safety!
As for fire resistance?
Forget it. This gun cabinet is made of fuel!
These are not actual cons, though. A gun cabinet still offers more protection than the typical curio cabinet and is a good choice if you want to exhibit your firearms.
What is a con is that you have to assemble this gun cabinet yourself. There were some teething problems when this cabinet first hit the market but the build quality has improved in recent years. Still, it will be helpful to grab a friend and a drill for when you put this gun cabinet together.
You may be able to fit eight rifles and shotguns into this cabinet but it may be a tight fit. The rear row of gun holders are circles cut into the wood rest you have to insert the barrel through, so not all firearms will fit.
- The lock is enough to keep children out (but not teenagers or burglars!)
- Shows off your firearms in style without the full expense of a custom-made gun cabinet
- Not all firearms will fit into the rear barrel rests
- You will have to assemble the case yourself, and assembly may be more involved than your typical IKEA furniture build
If you want to exhibit part of your gun selection then the American Furniture Classics is a good choice, provided you are comfortable assembling furniture and don’t need serious security features.
17. Best Gun Vault Door: Rhino Metals Out-Swing Vault Door
- Exterior Dimensions: 35″ x 8.52″ x 80″
- Interior Capacity: Up to you
- Lock Types: Manual, electronic, biometric with keypad backup
Even more impressive than a gun safe is a gun vault.
A gun vault has to be built into your house. It’s a room that’s dedicated storing firearms. And, naturally, it has to have an adequate door.
Rhino Metals has a line of vault doors that surpass adequate, provided you build the rest of the vault room appropriately.
The Out-Swing Vault Door V8035GL is a steel door frame and steel door with some impressive security features. There are 16 door bolts, each 1.25″ in diameter. A ball bearing drill plate keeps the lock protected and a spring-loaded relocker keeps the lock locked.
The frame has a clamshell design for fitting walls 8″ thick. You can add expansion anchors or lag bolts for even more security as well.
This gun vault door is also safe against a 1,400 degree fire for 120 minutes, though it’s up to you to ensure the rest of the vault is just as protected. Still, there are two expanding fire seals, so the door will not be the room’s weak point!
You can also use this gun vault door as a panic room door. The locking mechanism can be activated and released from inside the vault. This is also a good safety feature because it’s much easier to accidentally close yourself in a vault than it is to close yourself in a gun safe!
There are models available in widths of 30″, 35″, 40″, and 45″, and you can choose whether you want the door to swing inward or outward. You can also get a reversed vault door, in which case the hinges are on the left.
Also, the door comes in 12 different colors with 4 trim colors. Plus, you have your choice of three different locks.
- Free repair or replacement in case of fire or attempted burglary
- You can customize the size and colors that best fit your house
- These gun vault doors are expensive yet are only one part of building a gun vault
Gun vaults are immense, expensive projects. Give your investment the final touch it needs with a Rhino Metal Out-Swing Vault Door.
Why Do You Need a Gun Safe?
Anyone who owns a firearm needs to have a secure place to store it.
Whether it’s a .22 pistol or a 7.62 NATO battle rifle, any gun is capable of lethal injury when misused. You may know and follow all of the firearm safety rules, but does everybody else who enters your home know?
A good gun safe will keep your weapon away from children, uninformed guests, and anybody else in your home who may be curious about guns but doesn’t know how to be safe with one.
Child safety is of the utmost importance and you must remember that firearms hold a mystique for kids. Even children taught about gun safety should only have access to a firearm under strict adult supervision.
Leaving a revolver hidden under some socks in a drawer doesn’t protect your gun from tiny hands. Many kids, after all, get curious and look through their parent’s drawers at some point!
So, you should at least lock guns up in a cabinet, but unintended users are not the only threat.
Burglars can break into your home and raid it for valuables. They’ll often head straight to your closet and drawers because these are the low-effort locations many people use to hide expensive items.
A handful of rifles sat upright in the closet? Score! You just armed a criminal.
Rifles locked in a steel safe tucked in the corner of the closet and bolted to the floor and wall studs? Breaking into that would take too much time for a smash and grab. Better move on.
A gun safe will not only protect your firearms and family but will also help keep weapons out of the hands of criminals.
Long Gun vs. Pistol Safes – Should I Get Both?
Pistol safes are small vaults that can hold pistols. And not even all pistols. I don’t know of a pistol safe that will hold a rifle-caliber pistol such as a Romanian Draco.
Rifle safes, on the other hand, can store more than just rifles. Most come with shelves and some include pistol hangers. You can use these to secure handguns in the same safe as your longarms.
So, why might you want to buy both a pistol safe and a rifle safe?
A second, smaller safe might be used to store a gun or two you plan on using to defend your family from a home invader.
This smaller safe would be in a less secure location that’s more easily accessed. Often, this would be in (or under) your nightstand, under your bed, or hidden somewhere in your home.
Also, it should have a faster access method than a combination dial.
Depending on how concerned you are about safety, it might be a good idea to put your self-defense pistol in the bedside safe only when you’re at home.
This is a good plan for people with concealed carry permits, too. Keep your CCW in an easily accessible safe when you’re at home and keep it on you when you leave the house!
Why Not Use a Locked Gun Case?
A gun case that’s locked shut and cabled to a secure object with a security cable is better than nothing.
However, no gun case can offer the same level of security as a gun safe.
That’s because they’re designed for transporting guns while gun safes are designed to secure a gun in place. Gun safes are made of steel whereas cases are, generally, plastic.
Even the strongest plastic is vulnerable to quick attacks by a determined thief. You may be able to slow them down with a locked gun case but not for long!
Gun Safe Buying Advice and Important Considerations
There are many gun safes out there. Some cost under $40, others over $4,000. And, like most other product, you get what you pay for.
But that doesn’t mean that every safe that costs less than $500 is bad or that every safe that costs over $1,000 is good. Often, it comes down to what you need in a safe and how much security you’re comfortable with.
A huge, expansive gun vault is a liability when all you want to store in it is a Glock 17 to grab when something goes bump in the night.
If none of the above safes jump out at you then look over the following considerations. They’ll help you determine what’s the best safe for you and can keep you from dropping too much money on a safe with features you don’t need.
The Safe’s Purpose
The number one consideration that makes or breaks a safe as the right choice is what you’ll be using it for.
As I’ve said before, a giant rifle vault is a poor choice for storing home-defense firearms for easy access. And smaller gun cabinets are more vulnerable to theft and not a good choice for securing a valuable gun collection. If you’re a hunter with half a dozen rifles and shotguns, then a standard long gun safe in your closet will do the trick.
This may lead you to buying more than one safe. Thankfully, bedside safes tend to be on the less expensive side.
Looking to keep your gun locked away in your vehicle? Check out our other article on gun safes for cars.
Lock Types and Entry Methods
All safes lock. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be “safe!”
Smaller safes tend to use latches that rotate and catch onto metal bars. Bigger safes tend to use large steel pins. These are more secure than latches but are also more expensive.
How you unlock or lock the safe differs, though.
Keys are the simplest way to get into a gun safe. In fact, many safes with better locks include a keyhole for backup reasons.
However, keys are also the most vulnerable to unwanted entry. If you don’t hide the key then someone can find it and use it to open the safe.
Also, any keyed lock can be picked. It takes time and expertise, but there’s a reason why people say that locks only stop people who don’t want to get into somewhere.
Thankfully, picking, punching, or drilling a lock puts a thief in a vulnerable location, so unless you announced on social media that you’re going to be out of town for a week, keys are safe enough for most people.
Mechanical locks use cleverly designed steel mechanisms instead of electronics to accept a code and unlock the safe.
These locks come in two main forms: Simplex mechanical keypads and combination dials.
Combo dials are much like old-school lockers. Simplex keypads have buttons you press in the right order to access the safe.
Mechanical locks are more entry-resistant than keys and cannot lose power, unlike electronic keypads. However, using them is slow and a burglar with enough time to access your safe will eventually be able to figure out the combination.
Still, mechanical locks are the go-to when security is the most important factor.
A keypad that runs on circuitry is faster than a mechanical keypad and often comes with a backlight so you can see what you’re doing in the dark.
Most safes with electronic keypads have audible feedback when you press a button, though most of the time you’ll be able to silence those beeps.
These keypads are relatively fast and easy to use so they’re a good choice for many people.
However, they do rely on electricity. If the battery dies and the power grid goes down, you won’t be able to access your safe without using a backup entry option, and these are generally slower than using the keypad.
An even faster electronic entry method is a fingerprint reader.
This piece of technology scans the ridges, valleys, whorls, and swirls that are unique to your fingerprint. Swipe your finger and, hopefully, the safe opens!
However, biometric sensor technology is dependent on factors other than just your fingerprint. Moist fingers can cause the sensor to fail to read your finger. So can extra-dry fingers.
Biometric gun safes are convenient when they work and frustrating when they don’t. Thankfully, most biometric safes also have other ways of unlocking the door.
Radio frequency identification technology sticks a small radio transceiver in the safe and one in an RFID tag you carry with you. The safe radio powers the RFID tag, which returns an identification code.
If they match, the safe unlocks.
This is the fastest way of unlocking a safe and is more reliable than biometrics. It’s also cheaper technology, too!
However, you have to carry the RFID tag with you. And they are vulnerable to getting damaged or overwhelmed by electromagnetic fields.
For example, you may find it convenient to slap a sticker with an RFID tag onto your phone so you’ll always have it with you. However, your phone’s EM field will likely prevent the tag from working.
Some people found a workaround by putting the sticker on a phone case, which is a fine solution if you like decorating your phone case with decals.
Any safe with an electronic lock should have a way to enter the safe if the lock runs out of batteries.
Most include a backup keyhole that’s generally located in a hidden location, and some throw in an emergency battery pack you can plug into the safe to power the lock.
Beware of any safe that has an electronic lock without an alternative entry method! You may have to shell out $100 to a locksmith if the battery fails.
Another consideration is the size of your firearm collection.
You want to buy a safe that can hold as many firearms as you own. Plus a few more, perhaps, because gun collections generally grow over time!
Note that it’s rare to fit as many guns into a rifle safe as advertised. When a safe says it can hold X number of guns, what the manufacturer means is that there are slots for X number of guns. Most long guns are wide or tall enough to interfere with putting X guns in there.
You can generally expect to load a rifle safe with two-thirds of the advertised holding capacity.
However, handgun safes are more accurate in their advertising claims!
Gun Law Requirements
Some states have legal requirements that mandate certain qualities in a safe.
If you live in one of these states then make sure to buy a safe that complies with these requirements!
California is notorious for this. California-compliant safes will say that they have been approved by the California Department of Justice.
Gun loss due to fire is rarer than other methods by which people lose guns, but it’s still a consideration.
If your house catches on fire then you won’t have time to open a safe and grab an armload of rifles.
Many safes are rated to protect their contents from fire. Longer ratings are better, as is a higher temperature.
You can help maximize your safe’s chances of surviving a fire by installing it far from accelerants and fire sources, such as stoves and furnaces.
Check out our other article dedicated to fireproof gun safes.
Size, Weight, and Your House
Generally, the bigger the safe, the more secure it will be.
If your safe weighs half a ton, well, a thief won’t be able to carry it out!
On the other hand, installing a half-ton safe on the second floor of your house might be a good way to drop a half-ton weight through your floor into the basement. Especially if a fire weakens the floor joists.
And a safe that doesn’t fit through your doorways is nothing more than a big waste of money! Unless you enjoy demolishing and rebuilding your home.
Measure the location you want to install your safe as well as the corridors to get there before ordering it. And make sure that the flooring underneath is strong enough to support the weight!
Best Gun Safe Brands
No beating around the bush: Rhino Metals is my favorite gun safe manufacturer.
This is for several reasons. Some people might point to how they have multiple lines of gun safes, from the Kodiak budget imports to the Ironworks fancy safes.
Other people might talk up their security features. Rhino Metals designs their safes well, so this is a good point. You won’t find any weak points when you buy a Rhino safe. They’re even certified by Underwriters Laboratory as Residential Security Containers, unlike many other gun safes!
What I like best about Rhino Metals is how they stand behind their products. Not just the limited lifetime warranty that covers any repair or replacement costs if the safe becomes damaged, no. I’m talking about how they’ll make sure you’re happy with your safe.
When someone buys a budget safe with the wrong lock and Rhino covers the locksmith’s cost for the lock replacement, this tells you all you need to know about how Rhino Metals takes care of their customers.
Even better is that Rhino is based out of Caldwell, Idaho, which is next door to the new Outdoor Empire headquarters in Boise, Idaho!
Hornady Manufacturing Company
Hornady is known as one of the biggest manufacturers of ammunition and ammo-reloading components.
But did you know that they have a line of gun safety products as well?
In fact, there are two subsets of Hornady that deal with gun safes and other security devices:
- Hornady Security
The former is Hornady’s in-house firearm protection brand. SnapSafe was an independent company acquired by Hornady in 2015, and both produce good safes.
Hornady has had a focus on safety for a long time. For example, they are one of the biggest supporters of Project ChildSafe, a project spreads firearm safety kits to families and also raises awareness regarding firearm safety, especially the importance of safe storage.
The company also works with projects that aim to rehabilitate veterans harmed, either physically or mentally, by war and to help them reintegrate into society. These include The Healing Road Foundation and Honored American Veterans Afield.
Hornady has a history of focusing on optimism, quality, and innovation. This extends to their gun safes, especially their Rapid Safe line.
Liberty Safe and Security Products, Inc
Liberty Safe is the number one manufacturer of residential gun safes in the United States.
Millions of gun owners keep their firearms stored in a Liberty safe. Each safe has a lifetime warranty and a fire rating, so you get plenty of protection for unforeseen events.
If anybody attempts to break into your safe or a fire scorches the outside then Liberty will replace your safe for free. That’s an easy claim to make for inexpensive items and Liberty holds true to this even for safes that cost thousands of dollars.
In fact, you don’t even have to be the person to have bought the safe in the first place! You can pass the safe down to your children and they’ll still be covered by the warranty as well.
Liberty’s quality is such that big names such as Cabela’s and Remington contract with Liberty to produce safes for them.
The company doesn’t just make good safes. They drive safe technology forward, too. Liberty developed locking bars that are stronger than locking pins. Liberty also developed more intensive safe testing methods that can even involve the use of explosives!
All of Liberty’s large safes are made in the United States. Payson, Utah, in fact!
1. How much does a gun safe weigh?
While the average is around a few hundred pounds, the lightest gun safes weigh 50 pounds and the heaviest rifle vaults can weigh in excess of 1,500 pounds!
How much a gun safe weighs depends on the size of the safe itself and the fireproof rating. Gun safes are made from thick steel, so they almost always weigh more than they look.
Even small gun vaults like the Vaultek VT20i weigh seven pounds. Rifle safes are much heavier.
2. Will a gun safe ruin carpet?
Gun safes, being as heavy as they are, will crush carpet. The lighter ones may not leave permanent marks, but the heavier ones can damage the carpet underneath them.
It’s a good idea to not place safes on carpet anyway because the soft surface can give an attacker room for a prybar.
3. Will movers move a gun safe?
Movers are good at moving heavy, bulky items, but some gun safes are too big and bulky for general moving companies. Some will charge extra for safes that weigh above a certain amount.
Specialized safe-moving companies exist if your favorite moving company thinks that your safe is too heavy for them to move.
4. Will a gun safe protect against EMP?
Safes with electronic keypads are susceptible to electromagnetic pulse damage. Some safe companies do harden their electronics against EMP, in which case the product description will note this feature.
However, even an “EMP-proof” safe may not protect against stronger EMP attacks, so it’s still a good idea to get a safe with a mechanical backup.
5. Can gun safes be stored in the garage?
Gun safes can be stored in the garage, but I wouldn’t recommend doing so for two reasons:
The first is that garages are easier to break into than the rest of the house. This puts your safe at a higher risk of being broken into or stolen.
The second reason is that garages are not as climate controlled as the rest of your house. Temperatures will rise and fall more and the humidity levels will swing. This can induce corrosion on firearms in the safe that would otherwise not corrode.
6. What gun safes are made in the US?
Due to the economies of overseas manufacturing, many gun safes are imported rather than manufactured in the United States.
There are several safe manufacturing companies in the US, though! Liberty Safe is one such manufacturer, as is the company that makes the Black Label Mark IV for Browning and Rhino Metals in Caldwell, Idaho.
I made sure to mark all safes made in the USA that made it onto this list. Look in the pros and cons sections!