Top 8 Best Handgun Safes Reviews

Best Handgun Safes Reviews

Owning a gun comes with a lot of responsibilities, one of which is keeping it safe from misuse, abuse, as well as from other people who shouldn’t be touching your gun. That’s why gun owners have safes to store their property.

You naturally want the best handgun safe for your needs, so we are breaking them down for you. Read up for our reviews and recommendation.

Our Picks

PLAN

Number

minutes

Price

Price for 1 minute


Mike's Top Choice

(The one we like the best)

VAULTEK VT20i Biometric Handgun Safe

Four locking system options

With rechargeable battery

Portable and compact

16 gauge steel body

Quick open access



Cheapest Option

(Check current price down below)

Stack on PDS 1500 Drawer Safe Electronic Lock

Penal code requirements

Pry resistant doors and concealed hinges

Pre-drilled holes for easy mounting 

Low Battery warning

Time out period after 3 unsuccessful attempts


Here are the 8 BEST Handgun Safes we looked at:

  1. VAULTEK VT20i Biometric Handgun Safe
  2. SentrySafe Quick Access Biometric Pistol Safe
  3. AmazonBasics Security Safe
  4. GunVault SV500
  5. First Alert 5200DF Portable Handgun or Pistol Safe
  6. Stack-On PDS-1500 Drawer Safe Electronic Lock
  7. GunVault GV2000C-STD Multi Vault Standard Gun Safe
  8. ShotLock Handgun 200M Solo-Vault (Mechanic

Here you can learn more:

Comparison Chart

PLAN - PRICE

text

text

text

text

text

text

text

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Material - Steel

Rechargeable battery

Size - Portable

Lock - Four locks options


Material - Steel

Four AA batteries required

Size - Heavy, Not Portable

Lock - Three locks options


Material - Steel

Four AA batteries required

Size - Heavy, Not Portable

Lock  - Electronic lock


Material - Steel

1-9 V Battery required

Size - Slim

Lock - Lock included


PLAN - PRICE

text

text

text

text

text

text

text

text

Material - Steel

2 AA batteries required

Size - Portable

Lock - Lock available


Material - Steel

AA batteries required

Size - Portable

Lock - Electronic lock


Material - Steel

1 9V batteries required

Size - Bigger, Not Portable

Lock - Keypad Security Safe


Material - Steel

No batteries required

Size - Heavy, Not Portable

Lock - mechanical locking system


Best Gun Safe Reviews

VAULTEK VT20i Biometric Handgun Safe

Vaultek isn’t a brand that your grandpa used to own. This company is only a few years old, and yet here it is, competing with the big boys with its top-rated gun safes. Boasting innovative and modern safes, Vaultek says it carefully tests each product to ensure the highest quality. Its products are American-designed, China-made.

ProsCons
  • Four locking system options
  • With rechargeable battery
  • Portable and compact
  • 16-gauge steel body
  • Quick open access
  • App response is a bit slow
  • Interior space is constricted

Specs:

  • Features anti-pry bars, two-point anti-impact latches, interior mounted hinges, and new interior security brackets for the ultimate prevention against break-ins.
  • Heavy-duty 16-gauge carbon steel construction with durable powdercoat finish preventing corrosion and ensures long-lasting protection of your belongings for years to come.
  • Quick access to your valuables, documents and firearms from the automatic opening door. Get in quick when it matters most during rapid fire backlit keypad or biometric fingerprint scanner.
  • Smart safe technology a highly interactive experience from your smartphone. You can easily toggle on/off using the available hotkeys if desired and still maintain all other safe functions.
  • A rechargeable lithium ion battery provides power up to 4 months and charges in 2.5 hours with the included micro-USB charging kit.
  • Responsive LED lighting in low light situations so you can locate your safe with the backlit keypad and easily view your safe contents with an adjustable interior LED light.

At 5.2lbs and 11.5x9x2.75″ size, the Vaultek VT20i is a true portable handgun safe. This small case promises to house two full-sized handguns while still being compact enough that you can slide it under the bed or put it inside a bedside table, truly the best bedside gun safe. If you need to travel with it, it’s also not a problem because it meets TSA firearm guidelines. You can travel with this just fine.

The great thing about this is that it has a four locks options. It has a biometric system, a number keypad, a traditional lock and key option, and a mobile app. All of these, according to user reviews, work efficiently.

And if there’s an award for best handgun safe quick access, this would win, hands down. Once you’ve entered the correct code or inserted the key, it opens so quickly that some say it’s almost to a fault. It also has hidden hinges so it’s nearly impossible to be pried open. With its 16-gauge steel for a body, it isn’t easy to smash—or even dent—it as well.

There are a couple of negatives about this, though. The app, while a cool and contemporary inclusion, responds slower than expected. The interior could use a bit more space as well. With its protective foam, the insides look a bit too snug. It can still house one or two full-sized pistols, but it doesn’t leave a lot of space for wiggle room.

Although not exactly the most affordable safe on this list, the Vaultek VT20i ticks a lot of things that you need and more. It does seem to be the best pistol safe for this price point.

SentrySafe Quick Access Biometric Pistol Safe

SentrySafe is one of the biggest safe manufacturer in the world. It’s safe to say that it has plenty of experience in making quality safes. Its Quick Access Biometric Gun Safe QAP1BE isn’t an exception.

ProsCons
  • Fast and accurate biometric scanner
  • Quiet entry
  • 3 lock options
  • Dense foam padded interior
  • 12-gauge steel
  • AHas vulnerable gab between lid and base
  • Heavy at 12lbs

Specs:

  • Biometric lock with fingerprint scanner
  • Quick, quiet entry with compression gas strut that opens the door silently and holds open for single-handed access
  • Has a pry-resistant door and solid steel construction
  • Biometric safe complete with at-the-ready pistol presentation and an override key for convenient back-up access; Fingerprint safe is certified to California DOJ Requirements
  • Exterior dimensions: 3.2×12.1×9.9
    Interior dimensions: 2.2×9.7×6.7
  • Four AA batteries required (not included)
  • Price: >$100s

This pistol safe is as stealthy as it can get. One of the most remarkable things about this safe is its “whisper-quiet” entry. When you open it, it doesn’t emit any creaky sound that many other gun safes do.

Its biometric scanner is another incredible feature. Yes, it looks like an ordinary fingerprint scanner, but it is a bit more special just because it works flawlessly. Most biometric scanners take a while to work or sometimes don’t work at all. But according to many handgun safe reviews, its fingerprint scanner works all the time and fast.

It has a three lock options so you have backup in case you ran out of batteries or forgot your number code. You can use its key, enter a passcode, or scan your fingerprint. Any of the three options works well. Some reviews have noted, though, that in order to use the number keypad, press a random number first and then press your code. The reason behind this is that the keypad needs to be woken up first, and the way to do that is to press a number, whatever number, before pressing your passcode.

At more than 12lbs, it is quite heavy. It is small enough to hide in tight spaces, but it’s too heavy to be travelling with. Also, reviews have noted the vulnerable gap between the lid and the base. A quick prying using a thin metal shaft can open this.

Durability-wise, SentrySafe is a can’t-go-wrong brand. It’s made in China, but by many accounts, it’s a very sturdy little piece.

AmazonBasics Security Safe

The brand is Amazon, which is an online market and not exactly known for gun safes. However, the AmazonBasics Security Safe 0.5-Cubic Feet isn’t half bad. It can compete with the heavyweights in the industry, and at just a fraction of their price at that!

ProsCons
  • Affordable
  • Large storage space
  • Reprogrammable passcode
  • Reprogrammable passcode
  • Pry-resistant door
  • Adjustable interior shelf
  • Keypad has sound and no backlight
  • Heavy, not portable

Specs:

  • 5-cubic-foot security safe with electronic lock and 2 emergency override keys
  • Steel construction with carpeted floor to protect against scratches and damage; Safe is not fireproof or waterproof
  • 2 live-door bolts and pry-resistant concealed hinges; adjustable/removable interior shelf
  • Reprogrammable digital access; uses four AA batteries (not included)
  • Four bolts included to mount safe to wall, floor, or shelf
  • Exterior measures 13.8×9.8×9.8 inches; Interior space measures 13.5×8.75×9.5 inches and door is approximately 2 inches thick
  • Price: Budget

If you want the best gun safe for the money, this is it. This is an affordable option that you wouldn’t want to pass up. It’s a standard gun safe that works. It is sturdy and has a large storage space that can fit up to four guns inside.

The steel gauge isn’t mentioned, but according to handgun safe reviews, it could be about 12 to 14 gauge steel. The general consensus is it’s a strong enough steel used for the body.

It is not portable, though, as it is both heavy and bulky. It won’t probably not fit under your bed as well. But you can mount it on the wall if you want. It has four mounting bolts for that purpose. Stealth isn’t its strong point as well. The keypad has sounds that you can’t turn off.

But if you want cheap gun safe with spacious storage, the AmazonBasics Security Safe is your best bet.

GunVault SV500

GunVault has been around for decades, making name for itself as one of the most trusted safe-makers in the world. The SV500, although it looks nothing like the first gun safes discussed above, is just as dependable and efficient as GunVault’s many products.

ProsCons
  • Quick access
  • Slim
  • Multiple mounting options
  • With backup override key
  • Indicates incorrect attempt at keying in passcode
  • Holds only one gun

Specs:

  • Quick access digital keypad
  • Battery usage: 1-9 V
  • Fast activation drop down drawer for quick access
  • 18=gauge steel construction, with protective foam-lined interior
  • Multiple mounting option, hardware included. Backup override key included
  • Exterior product dimensions HxWxD (including keypad and lock): 6.5×3.5x13in; Interior product dimensions: 2.25×5.75×8.5in
  • Price: >$200s (official site)

The GunVault SV500 isn’t like the other safes on this list. This is the slimmest option that we have. It’s so slim that it can only accommodate one handgun. For some gun owners, this is the ideal safe because it can be mounted almost anywhere discreet, like under the table, beside the bed, on the wall where a thick curtain can cover it, etc.

If you want the best handgun safe quick access, the SV500 can be it. It does open quickly and quietly, allowing you to retrieve your handgun discreetly.

It uses 18-gauge steel construction, which is adequately tough. It has an indication of the number of wrong attempts at keying in the passcode, letting you know if anyone has attempted to open it.

This may not hold a lot of things other than a single firearm, but the SV500 can be the best pistol safe for you if you are looking for a single firearm safe that can be discreetly and quickly accessed.

First Alert 5200DF Portable Handgun or Pistol Safe

First Alert may not be the first brand that comes to mind when it comes to gun safes. The company manufactures gun safes, true, but it also manufactures other home and security products, including smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and fire extinguishers. Nevertheless, it does have a lot of safes that are highly rated. The 5200DF is one of them.

Pros and cons:

ProsCons
  • “no-see” passcode
  • Portable
  • CA DOJ-certified
  • Spring-loaded doors for easy access
  • Affordable
  • Drains batteries fast

Specs:

  • Gun safe constructed with durable 18-gauge powder-coated steel
  • Programmable keypad with 3- to 8- “no-see” entry code
  • Spring-loaded locking door mechanism allows for quick access
  • Interior foam lining protects contents during storage
  • Secures with included steel cable or by bolting to shelf or floor
  • Price: Mid-Price

Here’s another contender for the best gun safe for the money. At its budget price, this power-packed gun safe is, as its name says, truly portable, both in terms of size and weight. Like most top rated gun safes, it does have a backup in case it runs out of battery and you are unable to open it. It does also come with a lock and key.

According to First Alert, this made-in-China gun safe is certified by the Department of Justice in California, which could probably mean the safe is recommended for the state’s own law enforcement personnel.

The most common complaint about this, though, is that it drains batteries fast. Other than that, it is a great find.

Stack-On PDS-1500 Drawer Safe Electronic Lock

Stack-On has been around in the business for decades. A recent development in the company, though, sees it sharing a mother company with GunVault and another safe-maker, Cannon. So if you see Stack-On sometimes being called Alpha Guardian, it’s because it is its mother company.

The PDS-1500 is Stack-On’s answer to portable and personal gun vault. The specs below, which are lifted from Amazon, is a bit confusing if you are expecting a safe with both biometric and keypad locks. The PDS-1500 is available in either biometric lock or keypad lock, both of which has a lock-and-key backup system.

Pros and cons:

ProsCons
  • Meets California’s Penal Code requirements
  • Pry-resistant doors and concealed hinges
  • Pre-drilled holes for easy mounting
  • Low battery warning
  • Time-out period after 3 unsuccessful attempts
  • Plastic front cover makes it vulnerable to tampering

Specs:

  • AA batteries required, works best with Polaroid AA batteries
  • 2 live action steel locking bolts and concealed hinges for greater security
  • Backlit biometric fingerprint lock accepts up to 20 fingerprints
  • Easily programmed electronic lock
  • Internal dimensions 11.5×8.25×2.25 inches WxDxH
  • External dimensions: 12×8.75.4.5 inches
  • Time-out period after 3 incorrect combination attempts
  • Pre-drilled holes for mounting the safe to the floor/shelf and wall, fastening hardware is included

This nifty little China-made handgun safe is the ideal size to keep under your bed. The interior, which is nicely padded to keep things snug, can hold one pistol and a few valuables, like money, keys and bits of jewelry.

With solid steel for the body, it’s a sturdy piece of equipment that is also pry-resistant. The keypads have sound to let you know if you have pressed a key. However, you can turn it off if you would want to go for stealth instead. And for those who think your passcode is easy to guess, they only have three attempts before the safe goes on a time-out period, which goes on longer the more unsuccessful attempts they input.

The common complaint about this, though, is that the plastic front cover is a vulnerable part that may be tampered. Other than that, for an inexpensive, solid steel storage for your gun, it can be considered as the best handgun safe for the money.

GunVault GV2000C-STD Multi Vault Standard Gun Safe

The second GunVault product on this list, the GV2000C-STD Multi Vault Standard Gun Safe is for those who have more than one handgun. The first one, the SV500, can only house one gun. This big boy can house three handguns and some ammos and other small items.

Pros and cons:

ProsCons
  • Quick access
  • Large space
  • No eyes keypad
  • With warranty
  • Removable interior shelf
  • CA DOJ-approved
  • Consumes battery fast
  • Battery warning goes off too late
  • Heavy at 14lbs

Specs:

  • Precise fittings are virtually impossible to pry open with hand tools
  • Built-in computer blocks access after repeated invalid keypad entries
  • Mounts almost anywhere, in any direction
  • Protective foam-lined interior, with extra storage capacity and a removable interior shelf
  • “Learn Buttons” make it easy to program over 12 million user-selectable access codes
  • Price: >$200s

Like the first GunVault above, this multi-vault standard safe is also DOJ-approved in California. It is also a quick access safe and can be mounted in multiple ways.

The difference is this is a bigger safe, one that can store three handguns and a few smaller things. This is also not slim or exactly portable. It’s bulky and heavy at 14lbs. You can’t just carry it with your wherever you go, but you can bring it in your car or RV for a road trip.

With a 16-gauge steel, which is a good enough body thickness. It is also pry-resistant and so it would be difficult for others to force it to open.

The problem with it, according to people who bought it, is that its warning battery sound only goes off when its batteries are already too weak to even turn on. That’s too bad because it also apparently drains batteries fast.

With the simplicity of its design, some are calling it the best handgun safe at this price point.

ShotLock Handgun 200M Solo-Vault (Mechanical)

The only handgun safe that has a mechanical locking system on this list, the ShotLock Handgun M200 Solo Vault is the best pistol safe for those who hate charging or replacing batteries.

Pros and cons:

ProsCons
  • No batteries required
  • With pre-drilled holes
  • With felt interior lining
  • 14-gauge steel
  • With warranty
  • Heavy

Specs:

  • Secures full-framed handguns up to a 1911 size
  • Military grade 14-gauge steel frame with dual internal locking points
  • Carrying handle and cable holes (cables not included) for portability
  • The 200M Series lock is a unique 8 button, all-mechanical, programmable lock. It provides over 1,500 four-digit combinations, and includes a key override
  • 2-year limited warranty
  • Price: >$200

The Shotlock 200M Solo Vault proves that not everything requires external power to function. As some calls it the best pistol safe, this gun safe uses mechanical system for its keypad code. There are no batteries required, which is the best thing about this. If you forgot your passcode, you can override the locking mechanism with the included key.

Its 14-gauge steel body looks and feels tough, but with such greatness also means heaviness, making it not as portable as one would expect. It comes with a felt interior lining, but if you want your gun and other knick-knacks to stay put, the advice of users is to add a foam interior as well.

You can’t go wrong with this. This is the best handgun safe that uses mechanical system in the same price point.

Mikes’s Gear Top Pick

Among the top rated gun safes above, Mike’s Gear Reviews believe that the Vaultek VT20i Biometric Handgun Safe is your best bet. It has it all and more. It is portable and meets TSA firearm guidelines so you can carry it on airports. Although it’s not exactly cheap, the VT20i is a robust little safe with a 16-gauge steel that can withstand abuse. You also have four options to lock and open it. You can use your fingerprint, enter your passcode, open it through the mobile app, or just use your key.

But if batteries are not your thing, get the Shotlock 200M Solo Vault. You never have to worry about batteries draining out on you. Again, $200 is not cheap, but it’s a lot less expensive than its counterparts. And with its 2-year limited warranty, it’s pretty much a grand deal.

Why Should I own a Gun Safe?

Guns are probably toughest and at the same time the most delicate thing you can own. They can protect you and your loved ones, but they also need special care because one wrong move is going to cost you a whole lot. This is why responsible gun owners store their guns in safes where unauthorized people and outsiders can’t reach for it.

A handgun safe is a protective storage container for your firearms. It’s a protection not only from other people who might want to get their hands on your gun, but also from damage from fire, earthquake or natural disasters.

Which Type of Locks Should My Gun Safe Have?

There are two types of gun safe in terms of locking device: mechanical and electronic.

Safes with mechanical locks

Safes with mechanical locks are those that don’t need battery, electricity or even solar power to function. They just need force and movement. This category includes the classic lock-and-key system, the mechanical dial lock and other types of combination locks.

Lock-and-key system, of course, needs a key. Although ever reliable, the problem with this type of locking device is it is entirely dependent on a key, one that is easy to lose and even copied.

Mechanical combination locks don’t use keys. You just need to remember the combination code. They can look like a circular dial or something that uses a rotating disc. The problem with combination locks, according to handgun safe reviews, is that it takes time to unlock the safe. This would be a nightmare for people in a hurry, say when there’s an intruder in your house and you need to retrieve your gun immediately. And if you want or, in some cases, need to change the combination code, you would have to call a safesmith for that. They aren’t uncrackable as well. A skilled burglar could crack the combination or open the lock without a key.

Electronic Locks

Electronic locks use batteries. Some also use an A/C adapter. This type of locking system includes number keypads, pattern keypads and biometrics (finger scanner, face recognition, eye scanner etc.). Modern handgun safes have electronic locks because they can be opened faster, with the top rated gun safes having safety lockdown mode, which lock the safe for a period of time if the wrong combination is entered.

But it’s more than just the lock that you should be concerned about when looking for the best pistol safe. Locks are important, but it’s just one of the criteria.

Most Useful Features in the Best Gun Safe

To make sure you are getting the best handgun safe, check its steel gauge, its size and weight, warranty, its manufacturer, and other protection features, which includes fire-resistance and water-resistance.

Lock

So you have a lock that is almost impossible to be cracked by unauthorized people. That’s great and all, but can you open your safe in record time? In cases of emergency, time is of the essence, and a few seconds more of retrieving your gun could have fatal consequences. You need the best handgun safe quick access because every second counts.

A safe with a biometric lock is might be the first thing that many people would recommend because it will normally open faster than other lock types. Also, the most obvious one, you wouldn’t have to memorize a combination or bring a key. You just need your body part. If it’s a fingerprint scanner, just scan your finger. If it’s a retina scanner, then your eyes. It seems perfect, but again, it’s a type of an electronic lock, which means it needs batteries and may be susceptible to electromagnetic pulse.

Some biometric locks can store as many as a hundred fingerprints in, but you must make sure first because there are also some that only allow a few.

Perhaps the best handgun safe is the one with a mechanical and an electronic lock system at the same time because both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Electronic locks are fast but could fail if their batteries run out. Mechanical locks work all the time, but they also take a lot of time.

Steel Gauge

The lock wouldn’t matter if the body is easily penetrable. The body material should be solid steel. In reading reviews for the best gun safe for the money, you will often encounter the word “gauge.” It is a measure of how thick the steel of the safe’s body is. The higher the number, the thinner it is.

The best handgun safe also has an RSC rating. RSC stands for Residential Security Container, which means that the gun was tested independently at Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to make sure that the steel wouldn’t be able to be broken into in five minutes with just basic hand tools.

Size and Weight

If you need it for a handgun, you might be inclined to buy just a small one. If you have rifles and similar-sized firearms, you naturally need a large one. But another question that you should be asking is: Where are you going to keep the safe?

For many gun owners, they would want it either under their bed or beside it so they can retrieve it immediately in the middle of the night when needed. You might want to measure the space under your bed to make sure the best bedside gun safe can fit.

The weight of the safe would indicate whether it is portable or not. If you are someone who’s always on the move and you need your firearms with you, the weight would matter.

Warranty

The best pistol safe isn’t cheap. It’s solid steel with an impenetrable lock and body. It should cost a lot. And in case of need, having it repaired is also going to cost money. That is where warranties come in. For expensive items, warranties are essential.

But make sure to read the terms and conditions of the warranty first or read handgun safe reviews first before buying. There are some warranties that have coverage starting from the day of manufacture, not bought, which means that the warranty could be already in effect and running as the safe sits in the storage. And by the time you bought it, it’s already nearing the end of its coverage. There are also conditions that might make the warranty void. So first up first before agreeing and buying.

Manufacturer and Where It’s Made

Brand shouldn’t matter, as well as where the safe was manufactured. But brands garner reputation from reviews by consumers, who can also tell if a product is substandard by where it’s made. And as we are on the lookout for the best handgun safe, then it’s wise to listen to reviews.

Other Features

Here is where the lining of the safe, its fire- and water-resistant qualities come in. Lining, whether it’s also thick steel lining or foam, would protect your gun while it sits inside the safe.

There is no such thing as completely fireproof safe, but there are levels of fire-resistance. Everything, even the best handgun safe that you can buy, has a limit. Some manufacturers request independent testing of their products by the UL, which gives different ratings for fire tests. Tested or not, a fire-resistant safe is a bonus.

And there are no waterproof gun safes either. Again, you can only hope for water-resistant. Because although the inside of the safe is secured,  But again, water-resistance is a good feature to have in a safe.

Gun Safe vs Gun Cabinet

A gun safe may be mistaken from a gun cabinet since both have one function: to keep your firearms safe from prying hands. Unlike a safe, a gun cabinet isn’t necessarily made of steel. It can be wood or even plastic. You can have your guns displayed by glass.

Gun safes don’t display their content. They are more secure than gun cabinets because their body is impenetrable.

Gun Safe and the Laws (Yes, our Government is everywhere!)

Guns are not cheap, and so it follows that anything expensive and/or precious should be kept in perfect form. This includes giving it good storage.

But even if they were not expensive. Let’s say you just got a handgun for a few bucks on your local mall. It still needs a secure place for storage because it’s a dangerous object. It can maim and kill living things. So while it is a good thing that you are taking care of your gun because of its price, the more important thing is you are keeping it away from people who shouldn’t use it (children, unauthorized and unskilled people, and the bad guys). If your only objective is to store it properly, a gun cabinet would do. But to keep it away from other people and possible protect it from the elements, you would need the best handgun safe for that.

And besides, some states have laws that state you need to keep your gun locked away if not in use. Also, many insurance companies would be more inclined to give you good rates if they see that you are taking care of your firearm properly.

Our Picks

PLAN

Number

minutes

Price

Price for 1 minute


Mike's Top Choice

(The one we like the best)

VAULTEK VT20i Biometric Handgun Safe

Four locking system options

With rechargeable battery

Portable and compact

16 gauge steel body

Quick open access



Cheapest Option

(Check current price down below)

Stack on PDS 1500 Drawer Safe Electronic Lock

Penal code requirements

Pry resistant doors and concealed hinges

Pre-drilled holes for easy mounting 

Low Battery warning

Time out period after 3 unsuccessful attempts