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The best gun safes offer a good mix of security, affordability, and ease of access. In this guide, we listed the top gun safes based on high-temperature resistance, steel plates, drill resistance, fire resistance, and price. Theft alarm and override key features are optional but should be considered for added security.

Why Get A Gun Safe?

best gun safesA good gun safe should be secure, spacious, and durable. Owning a gun definitely has its perks. However, if you’re not a responsible gun owner, accidents can happen. And when it comes to guns, accidents can mean life or death (Source). That’s why part of being a responsible gun owner means owning a decent gun safe.

Also, it is now a requirement by the law, in most states, for gun owners to keep their firearms locked away whenever they are not using them.

Best Gun Safes [ Top 10 Modes]

Product Name
Price
Stack-On GCB-908 Steel Security Cabinet
Barska Biometric Rifle Safe
Stack On Convertible Double Door Gun Safe
HomeGear 5 Rifle Electronic Gun Safe
American Security Defense Vault

1. Winchester Ranger Deluxe 19-7-E- 24 Gun Safe – Best Overall

If you’re someone who knows their guns, then you’ve probably heard of The Winchester Company. It’s quite reputable, dating all the way back to 1866. The company’s known for producing all kinds of equipment, from scopes and firearms, to some of the best gun safes on the market.

The Winchester Ranger Deluxe is an all-around great gun safe that comes at an even better price. Couple that with impressive features and elite quality, and you’ve got one hell of a safe.

Build quality

The Winchester Ranger Deluxe is a heavy-duty safe weighing about 560 pounds. On the inside, you’ll find a surplus of 12 pockets for storing as many firearms and accessories as you’d like. It also comes with an accessory door panel, modifiable shelves, and auxiliary shelf covers.

Security

Rest assured, with The Winchester Ranger Deluxe, no one will have access to your guns but you. Intruders don’t stand a chance. Good luck breaking into its nine 1.25- inch locking bolts. In case of fires, the Ranger Deluxe comes prepared with a 12 gauge steel plate of one-inch thickness. It can withstand the onslaught of 1400 degrees Fahrenheit for up to an hour.

Even more impressive is that the Ranger Deluxe comes with advanced lock protection features that are only found on more expensive models. It’s actually the cheapest model manufactured by Winchester, yet it comes with all the best features.

What We Liked 

  • Great price
  • Large interior
  • Advanced lock protection features
  • Good fire protection

What We Didn’t Like 

  • Some might prefer a more secure bolt size

2. Stack-on Armorguard  40-Gun Safe – The Vast Interior

Here’s a safe that is California D.O.J approved for safety. You can sleep peacefully at night knowing that the Stack-On Armorguard will protect your guns from fire, theft, and trespassers.

Stack-On A-40-MB-E-S Armorguard

Build Quality

The Stack-On is quite a beauty with its black finish paint and a thin silver lining to go with it. As classy as the door is, it’s not just for show. It’s actually filled with fire retardant material for added protection against fires.

The interior is just as impressive housing a few carpeted barrel rests, along with pouches attached to a door organizer. It’s divided into several compartments, 2 for guns, and a few others for accessories and ammo.

The Stack-On’s features don’t stop there. It comes equipped with backlit, automatic lock, and powerless keypad number visibility. You’ll be able to get to your guns even if the electricity’s out.

Security

Like the last two safes, the Stack-On is also fire-resistant, although considerably less. It can take a fire of about 1400 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 30 minutes. Not the best resistance on this list, but it can still take a punch.

In addition to fire-resistant material, you’ll find an impressive 4-way locking system, along with 1.5″ live locking bolts. Good luck forcing that open. Perhaps even more impressive than the physical features is the Stack-On’s entry error feature. If someone tries to guess your passcode and fails 3 times, the safe automatically times out.

The Pros 

    • Separate molle strips for your ammo and precious items
    • Several pockets
    • Entry error feature
    • Vast interior
    • Customizable interior

The Cons 

  • Some have complained about the keypad not working every now and then
  • Fire resistance could be better

3. Steelwater Heavy Duty 22 Gun/Fire Safe – The Reliable Over Time

The Steelwater Company makes some of the best multi-feature gun safes you’ll ever find, all at a reasonable price. Steelwater’s founder has 5 years’ experience in law enforcement. He’s also well-versed in the locksmith trade. All the servicing, repairing, and opening of gun safes.  The whole deal. All of this knowledge has gone into protecting your guns.

Build quality

The Steelwater truly is a heavy-duty safe. Rugged, solid, and durable. It’s made from the highest quality material of 12 gauge steel, making this gun safe virtually unbreakable.On the inside, you have adjustable and removable shelves that can house around 14-18 long guns comfortably. For added space, you can remove the shelves to accommodate up to 22 long guns.

Security

This is another fire-resistant safe, although not as fire-proof as the Mesa. The Steelwater can stay strong for up to 60 minutes under a fire of 1875 degrees Fahrenheit.

The gun safe’s door is drill-resistant, along with a gear-driven lock and bolt system. In other words, the Steelwater can’t be drilled or pried open. Neither fire nor mechanical methods of forced entry will work on this gun safe. The Steelwater is actually one of few safes whose qualities surpass the regulatory standards of California D.O.J’s residential safes. Take about security!

What We Liked 

  • Impressive 12 gauge steel build
  • Fire-resistance for up to an hour
  • Steelwater’s customer service is exceptional
  • Lifetime warranty

What We Didn’t Like 

  • Normally doesn’t include a digital combination lock, although some newer, improved models have one.

4. Mesa Safe MBF2620C All Steel Burglary and Fire Safe – The Best Fire Resistance

The Mesa Safe company isn’t quite as old as The Winchester. That being said, they’ve spent the last 40 years producing some of the best quality all-steel safes on the market.

Build quality

The Mesa Company favors an all-steel, impenetrable build. This safe in particular is a burglary and fire safe which means it’s designed to withstand fires and thefts. Its fire-resistance actually rivals that of other, more expensive safes on the market.

Security

Mesa is known for its unique locking systems which have been designed with a former locksmith’s expertise. Couple that with extremely sturdy hinges and a solid steel plate, and you’ve got a fortress to keep your guns safe.

You’ll also find a powerful mechanical dial lock covered with a thick, drill-resistant plate. Right beside the plate you’ll see some impressive 1″ live locking bolts. There’s practically no room for a forced entry.

In terms of fire resistance, this Mesa can withstand an onslaught of two hours at up to 1830 degrees Fahrenheit. Most gun safes can only hold their ground for an hour or so. Luckily, the Mesa isn’t like most gun safes. It’s on a whole different level.

Pros

  • Drill-resistant plates covering the dial lock
  • Added spring back locks for protection
  • Allows 2 combination locks
  • Impressive fire resistance

Cons

  • Relatively expensive, yet still under 1500.

5. Sports Afield SA5520 Standard Series Gun Safe  – The Loud One

The Sports Afield SA5520 is the loudest safe of the five. If anyone tries to force their way into the gun safe, it’ll immediately set off a theft alert audio alarm.

Build Quality

The Sports Afield is strong, rugged, and durable, thanks to its 14 gauge steel walls. On the inside, there’s the standard adjustable shelves and door organization. It also has USB ports and a removable external power cord.

Security

The Sports Afield is somewhat average in terms of fire resistance. At 1200 degrees Fahrenheit, it can last for about 40 minutes. It does, however, incorporate an expandable Palusol fire and smoke seal for added safety.

The 6 large 1.25″ steel bolts, along with the 14 gauge steel walls, make a thief’s life infinitely harder. Not to mention there’s a programmable, illuminated electronic lock that comes with an override key. And let’s not forget the best part about the Sports Afield: the loud theft alert audio alarm.

Pros

  • Override keys included
  • Durable
  • Organized, adjustable interior
  • Theft alarm

Cons

  • A bit expensive
  • Fire resistance isn’t the best

6. HomeGear – Best Electronic Gun Safe

In addition to a large storage compartment with a capacity to hold 5 full-sized guns, this safe comes with a dedicated compartment for storing your valuables, such as jewelry. The remaining space may be used to store up to 5 shotguns or full-sized guns. Even so, you will still have some space left for storing ammunition as well as other gun accessories, such as night vision scopes in the safe.

The HomeGear Electronic safe is made of heavy-duty steel with 2 mm thick walls and a door thickness of 4 mm. the locking mechanism of the gun safe is easy and quick to access, using an electronic keypad. To access your guns, you just need to punch in the right code and then turn the lever on the safe door.

Pros

  • Secure electronic keypad
  • Weights about 75 pounds
  • Easy and fast to unlock
  • Relatively large storage room
  • Dedicated storage box for valuables

7. Stack On Double Door – Best Total Defense Firearm Safe

If you are updated on the gun safe industry, you probably are aware that Stack on is one of the best manufacturers. With regards to functionality, security, and durability, the Convertible Double Door Gun Safe by this manufacturer is rated one of the best today. Being a big safe, this unit is relatively heavy—weighing over a hundred pounds. This alone is enough to deter burglars.

The two doors on the safe open to a large storage compartment that can hold up to 8 full sized guns, in a standing position. The interior of this safe is adjustable to suit the kind of guns you would like to store. For instance, you covert one side of the cabinet into a dedicated space for holding shotguns, ammunition and other gun accessories.

Alternatively, you may customize the interior of the safe to hold conventional, overly-large firearms or the modern sporting rifles. For the purpose of security, the safe features double doors and a three-point locking system. To unlock the safe and access your guns, you need to use the electronic keypad combination, hence is a fool-proof system.

Pros

  • Reliable three-point locking mechanism
  • Features an electronic keypad
  • Has a solid construction
  • Features double doors
  • Large interior space
  • Flexible storage space.

8. Stack-On GCB-908 Steel Security Cabinet 

If you are looking for a tough safe that can accommodate both shotguns and long guns, very few options can compare to the Stack-On GCB-908 safe today. With regards to the size, this cabinet measures 4.5 feet tall. This being the case, it can accommodate up to eight long guns. In addition to the main storage compartment, this storage unit features a top shelf.

This shelf may be used to store shotguns or gun accessories, such as ammunition and earmuffs. If you do not wish to store such additional accessories in your gun safe, you may as well remove the removable shelf to create more room for storing more of the long guns.

In order to protect your guns against impact and scratches or any other forms of wear and tear, the cabinet has foam padding throughout its interior walls. The safe is fitted with a full-length hinge that is welded to the steel door and main body. This, in addition to its three point locking system, offers enough protection against burglary.

Pros

  • Can store both shotguns and long guns
  • Fitted with full-length hinges
  • Uses a three-point locking system
  • Foam-lined interior surfaces

9. American Security Defense Vault – Best Hidden Gun Safe 

Being an American brand, you should expect nothing short of the best security features from this unit. Basically, the unit is considered to be a superior gun storage option for gun owners living in apartments. The size and weight restrictions of apartment floors restrict the usage of a large scale firearm safe. In this regard, the AmSec Defense rifle safe offers the concealable, lightweight storage solution you need for your apartment building.

Regardless of its compact design, this safe is large enough for storing relatively large guns. Since the model is meant to be hidden under something, such as the bed, the guns are stored in a horizontal position. The unit features a convenient digital keypad to operate the locking mechanism. As you can imagine, this allows for easy and quick access to your guns.

Pros

  • Large enough to accommodate a full sized AR 15 firearm
  • Compact AND Tough construction
  • Concealable
  • Features a digital keypad
  • Fitted with a reliable locking mechanism

10. Barska Biometric Safe – Best Small Gun Safe

When it comes to making some of the best biometric gun safes today, Barska is one of the well-renowned manufacturers today. As the name suggests, biometric safes have a locking mechanism that requires one of your unique biological traits, such as DNA or fingerprints to unlock. The locking mechanism in these Barska gun safes mainly rely on fingerprints to unlock.

With fingerprints recognition, you do not have to enter dial or even number combinations to unlock your safe. Upon recognizing your fingerprints, the safe will automatically unlock. This makes them easier and comparatively fast to open. Additionally, the safe has enough space for up to 6 shotguns or full sized rifles.

If you want to, you can add shelves to this safe in order to create additional storage for pistols, gun accessories, and even tactical knives. The fingerprints scanner used on this unit can be calibrated to accept up to 120 different fingerprints.

Pros

  • Unique and modern biometric scanner
  • Allows multiple people to access the safe
  • Large enough to hold 6 full sized guns
  • Features appealing modern aesthetics
  • Strong construction
  • Reliable lock

Things You Must Know Before Buying A Gun Safe

Now that you’ve seen some of the best gun safes on the market, you probably want to know why they’re considered the best. What makes them so special? What should you look for in a good gun safe? Here’s the deal.

1. Build Quality

When it comes to gun safes, some people make a beeline for the strongest, most durable safes on the market. Unfortunately, the interior’s usually quite cramped. Others prefer a spacious interior over durability.

Best Gun Safe Under 500 The average toughness of these units is mainly determined by the thickness of their walls. Therefore, you need to consider the thickness of the steel used in constructing your gun safe.

However, the numbers used to express the thickness of steel in these units can be a little confusing. In this regard, the figures used to express the thickness of steelwork in reverse, similar to bore sizes in shotguns. For instance, a safe with a 10-gauge steel sheet has thicker walls than one that has a 12-gauge sheet.

For the purpose of home storage of your gun, the thinnest steel thickness you should opt for in your safe should be 10-gauge steel. In addition to the thickness of the safe walls, you should also consider the thickness of the sheet used on its frame and door.

2. Capacity

Advertised capacity is one thing, and the actual capacity is a whole other thing. That’s why you have to think ahead. Let’s say you’re buying a safe to store 8 guns. Then you should buy a 16-gun safe, not an eight. Why? Simply because the advertised capacity is often referenced to average-sized guns. Yours might be larger and therefore, might take up more space.

Also, the mentioned capacity usually works only if you store the guns exactly as they recommend. And let’s not forget that sporting rifles take up much more space, thanks to their pistol grips and accessories.

Add a few scopes and you’ll find your 10-gun safe barely fits 5. Even if they do fit perfectly, you’ll find yourself taking all the guns out every time you need one. Point is: always think bigger when it comes to capacity.

3. Dimensions

Dimensions matter. Especially if you’re building a place for your safe from scratch or if space is a bit tight. Bear in mind that advertised dimensions can often vary by an inch or two from reality.

This is often done intentionally because companies adjust their dimensions to match competitors’. Don’t fall for it. Buy the safe first, and then design the space. Or even better, measure the gun safe at the showroom.

4. Security /Locking Mechanism 

Security is obviously an extremely important factor to consider. You should choose a locking mechanism based on how secure your home is. For instance, you do not need a safe with many redundancies and bolts, if you are to use the safe in the basement of a home that has a security system in place. While choosing the locking mechanism, these are the two options you should consider:

Mechanical/Spin Dial Locks

Although this is the traditional option, it is a simple, less expensive, yet reliable locking mechanism for a gun safe. With each lock having about a million potential combinations, this mechanism will keep burglars off. However, mechanical locks are comparatively slow to open.

Electronic Locks

Most gun safes today feature a security pad. As such, they have a higher number of possible combinations, of about to 1.2 million. You may love the fact that safes with electronic locks are easier to open, which comes in handy when you are under duress. Some of the leading manufacturers today also have fingerprint scanners on their electronic locks. This further boost the level of security offered by the locks.

5. Fire Protection

Fire resistance is one of the main factors that people look for in a gun safe.The fire rating is a measure of how hot the inside of the safe can become when exposed to high temperatures over a certain period

Some safes can last for 30 minutes, an hour, or even more under various degrees of fire. But what does that mean? Let’s say a gun safe can withstand 1800° F for up to 60 minutes. That means that the interior will also remain below 350° F for 60 minutes. Is that good enough? Definitely.

Bear in mind that paper chars at around 405° F and guns begin to take damage at around 500° F. In other words, the contents of your safe will be secure, as long as the inside remains around 350° F or below.

Generally speaking, if you want a fire-resistant safe, then look for something with at least 1-hour fire rating. Anything lower might not be your best choice.

6. Steel Plate Thickness

Don’t be fooled by numbers. Some people think that a 14 gauge safe is thicker or stronger than a 12 gauge. Wrong. It’s actually the opposite. Put in the simplest way possible, the smaller the gauge number, the thicker the steel plate. That’s because thickness is expressed in fractions.

A 12 gauge gun safe isn’t 12 inches thick. That’s not possible. It’s actually 1/12 inches thick. Likewise, a 14 gauge gun safe is 1/14 inches thick. Remember 4th-grade fractions? 1/12 is definitely bigger than 1/14. So remember the golden rule: smaller gauge, more thickness, better protection.

Ready To Buy The Best Gun Safe?

When it comes to choosing your gun safe, you sure have a lot to consider. But the most important thing is to have a clear picture of what you need in mind. Decide whether you prefer durability or capacity, build or size, and so on. If you need a safe for your car check this post about it.