Everything You Need to know about Buying a Gunsafe
If you are unsure of where to start when it comes to gun safes, you are in the right place. Safes are a big investment, and you will want to make a sensible decision. As you start along this path, there are multiple questions that you will want to ask yourself. Answering them truthfully and honestly will help you along the way to finding the perfect gun safe that is best for you.
Why Should You Own a Gun Safe?
For most gun owners, this will be an easy question to answer. There are many reasons why you would want to own a gun safe, and many gun owners will have at least one or two of these needs in their situation. If you have children, protecting them should be your number one goal. Even if there isn’t a state law that requires a gun safe in place, even when a child is present, owning one can help keep your kids safe and out of harm's way.
In many states, there are local laws that require that you own a gun safe and that you keep your firearms locked within it when they are not in use. States like California have very specific requirements when it comes to gun safes, so be sure to check your local, state, and city laws wherever you live.
One of the most important aspects to owning a gun safe is protecting your investments. Guns are not cheap, and neither are the accessories for them. Gun owners tend to spend a lot of money on their firearms, and insurance companies may not always cover the total cost of your guns and accessories. Gun safes can help mitigate this worry of losing them, especially when they are rated as fire and waterproof.
Speaking of fire and waterproof, sometimes things happen and should your home ever fall prey to fire or a flood, you want to make sure that your firearms are protected. Some gun safes are rated to withstand temperatures of 1800 degrees Fahrenheit for up to one hour.
At the end of the day, you may argue that gun safes hinder access to your weapon, although that is not always the case. There are plenty of smaller safes that are designed to allow quick access to your weapons when needed, especially pistols.
What Do You Need Out of Your Gun Safe
Firearm protection is the number one priority when it comes to a gun safe, but there are still many other features and things to consider. Try making a list of things that are important to you, and think about all of your wants and needs. One of the biggest factors of any safe is the size. Before deciding on how big of a safe you want, consider the amount of space you have to put one. You should also consider how many firearms that you want to put into it, especially if you want to buy more in the future.
Another factor to consider is steel gauging. This is the most important thing that will keep your guns safe from outsiders that want access to your safe. The higher the steel gauge, the more unlikely they will be able to penetrate the exterior of the safe. Steel comes in a variety of gauges, but try to stay at or above 8 gauge at a minimum.
Another part of the safe that is important to consider is the door. A thick door will determine how resilient and strong your safe is as well. A thicker door, especially one more than 5/16”, will also help to prevent thieves from being able to drill, blast, or pry open your safe. A good door should also be strong and increase fire protection.
Good bolts are essential to a good safe. These parts are what will keep a safe from opening. When you engage the lock, they slide to lock the door of the safe into place, extending out from the door and into the body of the gun safe. The thicker the bolts the more durable they are, and you want as many bolts as possible. Some safes only have two while there are others with up to ten. The more bolts your safe has the better off it will be.
When it comes to the locking mechanisms themselves, you want a gun safe that provides quick access to your guns in case of an intruder. If quick access is a concern, you want to stay clear from keyed locks and even combination locks. Many high end gun safes are equipped with biometric scanning, so a quick fingerprint will grant you instant access. There are also locks activated through RFID signals and Bluetooth commands.
Even though your guns are in a safe, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are safe. Safes can be moved and stolen, so take that into consideration. A heavy safe can mitigate this fear, one that has mounts or anchors will as well. Try to mount and secure your safe for best results.
Some safes also come included with alarms, letting you when someone accesses your safe without your consent. Some safes will sound with alarms that go off when the wrong combination is entered too many times. Other alarms will sound off when a safe is moved or picked up. Speaking of entering a code, some safes will completely lock up when the wrong access code is entered multiple times. Just another added security feature to think about.
Anything electronic will require some power or batteries of some kind. Ask yourself if this is something that you want to handle, and if not, try to find a gun safe that has a backup option for access such as a key. At the end of the day, you want a safe that is as safe and secure as possible. This means steel that can’t be drilled into, locks that can’t be pried, a combination that won’t be cracked, and a safe that can’t be stolen. Finding the perfect safe will come down to many different personal choices, depending on needs and wants.
Do You Want Electronic or Mechanical Locks?
While both options have their pros and cons, and it comes down to which ones you want to deal with and which ones are worth the money to you. As we mentioned before, electronic safes will require batteries. At some point, batteries die and will need to be replaced. These safes typically come with a backup key to access the safe when this happens. The biggest benefit of electronic locks are that they are quick and easy to open. This gives you rapid access to your firearms whenever you need them. With mechanical locks, you will have to have the key each time you want to open it, but do not have to worry about batteries going dead on you. Each one will have its own set of advantages and disadvantages, though most people these days will opt for electronic safes as they offer the best of both worlds with their backup mechanical lock.
Gun Safe Laws
The last thing to consider is your local and state laws regarding gun safes. There are eleven states that require some form of locking device in place while transferring or during the sale of a gun, there are only four states that require firearms to be stored in a safe when not in active use. Massachusetts has a very strict set of laws that require firearms to be locked up when not in use, regardless of where in the state you are.
Some states, such as New York, California, and Connecticut, have firearm storage laws but only in certain areas and cities. For example, cities like San Francisco and Albany requires that all guns be locked up when not in use. Even though your state may not have any of these laws, it is still a great idea to have a safe and lock up your firearms when you are not using them. This will keep your investments safe, as well as your family from any unexpected events.
Best Gun Safes On The Market
Now we are finally to the good part, the safes! While every top list is subjective, these are our picks for some of the best gun safes on the market today. We have selected a wide array of sizes, brands, and price points in order to give you a good sampling of what is available today. So with that being said, let's get started and take a look at some gun safes.
Barska Large Biometric Rifle Safe
This solid sized safe can hold up to twelve rifles and keep them safe with an electronic system that is capable of remembering up to 120 fingerprints. It locks with this biometric technology and five deadbolts, so breaking into this large capacity safe is not easy at all, maybe even impossible. The interior of the safe helps keep your firearms in perfect shape, as it is perfectly smooth and cushioned for the guns. This safe will also not tip over, as it is 57 inches tall and capable of being mounted to a foundation for even more added safety. Even though this safe can only hold twelve rifles and some ammo, the inside is big enough to not get overcrowded even when it is completely full. The biometric system allows you to access your firearms extremely quickly.
Safe owner can open the safe within seconds with just a fingerprint.
If the batteries die in the scanner, the safe comes with backup keys for entry.
Even though there isn’t a ton of space, shelves can be removed and customized for optimal storage.
This safe is not designed to protect your firearms from fires, leaving your guns susceptible to damage in a home fire scenario.
Besides the removable shelves, there aren’t any other storage compartments or pouches available for more storage.
Amsec BF7240 Gun Safe
This gun safe is super bulky and has plenty of compartments and storage for more than just your rifles. For organized gun owners, this safe is a dream come true. It features a heavy steel construction and a strong steel door that has insulation to help fire protection. It is fire rated for up to 90 minutes, and when the lock is engaged, there are 10 bolts that close it and keep it secure. It comes with a soft interior to keep your firearms safe and in pristine condition.
This safe is big and spacious, perfect for storing multiple rifles, pistols, and ammunition.
Fire proof and able to withstand temps of 1275 degrees Fahrenheit, this safe can protect your guns in a fire.
This safe is pretty pricey because of its security rating and other features.
Bighorn 19ECB Gun Safe
You can sleep well knowing your firearms are protected in this quality safe. It has a 1.5 inch thick steel that prevents drilling and prying, and eight bolts that secure the door even more. It has a combination lock and multiple levels of shelving that lets owners protect other items besides rifles. This safe has a fire rating of up to 30 minutes. At 59 inches tall and 28 inches wide, it is plenty big enough to fit up to 20 rifles and plenty of pistols and ammunition.
Guns are protected with a thick 12 gauge steel that is pretty much impossible to drill or pry.
Door locks into place with eight, 1 inch bolts that make it even more difficult for thieves to break into.
This safe has no backup key entry, which could be a problem is the combination is ever lost.
Steelwater Standard Duty 16 Safe
This excellent safe has a capacity of anywhere from eight to ten rifles, and has additional storage options that make up for its lack of long gun space. There are compartments built into the 4 inch thick door, which is also drill proof. The safe uses ten bolts to lock shut, making sure thieves cannot get in. This safe also provides some fire protection of temperatures up to 1875
degrees for up to one hour. Even the electronic combination lock is well made, making it able to be reliable in any situation. If you happen to forget your combination, this safe comes with backup keys to access it as well.
The interior of the safe is very well made and provides plenty of protection for guns.
Includes plenty of storage for all of your pistols and other accessories like ammo.
Locking system is one of the best on the market, making it very reliable and quick to open.
While there is plenty of storage, the amount of space available for long guns is not quite as much as other safes.
If you have the money to spend, you should take a look at the last pick on our list. The Liberty Fatboy is a great option for storing all of your firearms, and has a spacious interior. This safe is designed to hold up to 64 guns, which fit nicely with room to spare. This gives you plenty of room and organization options for not only your firearms, but as well as any other valuables that you may want to store. Another great thing about this safe is the level of customization. You can even pick out the color and fabric of the interior that you want. While this safe may cost a lot, it is unmatched in quality.
Best protection on the market, rated for up to 75 minutes of fire protection and impossible to break into because of its thickness and design.
Customizable from the shelves, layout, and even the color and fabrics inside.
Plenty of storage, and can fit up to 64 guns in many different configurations as well as pistols, ammunition, and other valuable items you want to store.
It's no secret that this safe costs a lot, and I mean a lot. It is a very pricey piece of equipment, but you get what you pay for and it is widely considered one of the best gun safes in the world.
Well there you have it, some of the best gun safes out there and a few different options to get you started in the world of firearm protection. Buying a gun safe is a major investment, and one that you should thoroughly research and think about. As you start to look at safes, there are many things that you will want to ask yourself and think about before buying. By answering them correctly, you can find the perfect gun safe that fits your space and budget and protects your firearms.
Written by Steven LInes
Steven Lines is a hunter and firearm enthusiast from Arizona, USA. He has been shooting and hunting since a child, and also enjoys long-range target shooting and collecting firearms. Steven works as a hunting guide in Arizona during his spare time and runs a Youtube channel dedicated to sharing his outdoor adventures with others.