A Complete Guide to Buying the Right Gun Safes for Gun Owners
As guns are designed specifically with the potential to be extremely lethal, the right to own a gun also comes with several responsibilities. Among these responsibilities include safely keeping these weapons away from the hands of both outside threats and innocent civilians.
Fortunately, there is a selection of gun safes made by reputable manufacturers to choose from. The question, however, is which one should you purchase that will most definitely provide for your specific needs. As such, picking the right gun safe for you will require careful and thorough consideration.
2019 Best Gun Safe Reviews
Now that you have a basic overview as to what to look for in a safe, it would be a good idea to know which gun safes are considered the best on the market right now. Here are some of them:
Liberty Fatboy Review
Developed under the Liberty brand, the Fatboy is a long gun safe known for its spacious interiors and durable frames. A base model can store up to 64 guns along with accessories, ammunition, and equipment. Also, the Fatboy is customizable from its interior colors, the material to cover your equipment with, and the type of lock to be used.
As for durability, the Fatboy is able to withstand temperatures as high as 1200°F for up to 75 minutes. It also comes with 14 1.25 inch diameter bolts and triple-case hardened steel plates that could repel power tools like drills and saws.
However, a major complaint with the Fatboy is it’s price. The basic Fatboy package could set any gun owner back by $300.00 at best.
Barska Large Biometric Safe Review
This safe can store up to 12 long-barreled weapons such as AR-1o and AR-15s, and can remember 120 fingerprints at most. It also comes with a five deadbolt locking system and cushioned interiors to keep the weapons in good condition.
However, the Barska is not fire-proof. You may have to add additional insulation outside of the safe to protect your guns from fire damage.
Paragon Lock & Safe Review
Considered as one of the better secured gun safes on the market, the Lock & Safe has a heavy steel protection, which makes it impervious to power tool attacks. Inside, the safe can store up to 8 long weapons and has a matted cushion at the bottom.
Simplicity is also one of the Lock and Safe’s strong points. It features two interior and exterior locks, while two large bolts keep everything sealed once locked. Lastly, the Lock and Safe comes with a number of hidden hinges which give the safe extra protection should thieves pry the main locks open, if that were even a possibility.
Bighorn 19ECB Review
This gun safe is built with 12-gauge steel that is 1.5 inches in thickness. This means it can’t be drilled, it can’t be hacked with an axe or saw, and it can’t be forced open by a crowbar. Also, the 19ECB comes with eight 1 inch bolts that lock on to the frame once the combination lock is activated.
Its only drawback is its utter reliance on that combination lock. If you are in panic or you forgot about the sequence, accessing your weapons can become problematic if you have to respond to threats.
Despite this, the safe allows for easy storage of long and short weapons as well as other valuables. This is made possible through different levels of shelves. All in all, 20 long barrels can be stored comfortably inside the safe.
The Gunbox 2.0 Review
Unlike other conventional safes, the Gunbox was designed to store 2 handguns at most such as the 9mm and pocket pistols, and a meager amount of ammunition. However, what the Gunbox lacks in size and storage capacity, it more than makes up with a myriad of features.
The Gunbox can be opened with an RFID Keycard in conjunction with a fingerprint scanner and the Gunbox mobile app. If someone tries to pry the box open, built-in motion sensors will alert the owner. Also, the box runs on a rechargeable lithium battery, which, at 100% power, lasts for a full year.
Why Should You Invest on a Gun Safe?
Before anything else, it is best that you determine first the exact reason why you are going to purchase a gun safe. More often than not, your reasons could be under any of these three different categories.
An oft-repeated maxim for responsible gun owners is to always keep their weapons away from those who have no understanding of the concept of gun safety. Even if everyone your household is trained to use a gun (including children perhaps) the potential for reckless use increases if more than one person has access to these weapons.
Gun Maintenance Costs
The last thing you want to have in an emergency is a faulty weapon. With a gun safe, your gun can be protected from the elements, which include rust and moisture.
Also, the presence of guns in the house becomes thrice the hazard in the event of a fire. Bullets can explode when introduced to fire, which could harm anyone within the vicinity. On the other hand, guns are an expensive investment, and you’d rather have them stored in a fireproof receptacle.
Naturally, the best defense against gun thieves is not broadcasting the fact that you are a gun owner. However, in some cases, this might not be possible. Perhaps, you have been seen frequenting the local gun range or your name has come up in the receipts of local gun stores.
Either way, defense through anonymity is no longer a feasible option. Your next best line of defense, then, is a container that thieves will have a difficulty prying open.
Choosing a Gun Safe: What to Consider and What to Look For
Once you have identified your reasons for purchasing a safe, the next aspect to cover is the safe itself. A gun safe can come in various shapes, sizes, and durability. To pick the one that is most suited for your situation, there are a few things you would have to keep in mind.
The general rule in this aspect is that if you can haul it in, thieves can haul it out too. As such, look for a safe that is designed to be bolted to the floor. This way, a thief would have to exert all possible efforts to rip the safe out of the floor. Also, carefully planning the location of your safe would also increase the difficulty for anyone who wants unauthorized access to it.
The Safe Structure
High-tech locking mechanisms and extremely durable bolts and hinges are not going to protect your guns if the safe itself has a frame made from substandard components.
Frame – A safe with only one layer of steel in its interior linings is easy to pry open even with a crowbar or an axe. Alternatively, several layers of tempered steel or any harder material, as well as insulation on the insides make for an extremely durable and heat-proof safe.
Safe Door – If the frame is of good quality, you can then look to the safe’s moving parts. The door, for example, should be made of the same material as the wall and have the right type of bolts that seals everything once locked.
The Door Jamb – This part should be made out of extremely durable material, while providing the right amount of clearance between the door and the walls. You don’t want a door jamb where your hands can easily slip through the hinges.
Gun Safes Lock Options
The locking mechanism installed on your safe is what keeps everything in the safe sealed. There are three mainline lock types used by safes nowadays, and each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
The oldest locking mechanism of the three, a combination lock requires little to no maintenance. It can operate indefinitely, provided that it remains in good condition. Also, it requires no batteries to operate.
The only downside with combination locks is that they are slow to operate. In an emergency, you’d rather not waste your time fiddling with locking sequences. You have to immediately respond to the threat. Also, there are certain combination locks that are easy to bypass, especially those made with substandard materials.
Lastly, changing the lock combination is not easy. If you want to change the sequence, you would have to call in a locksmith.
This locking mechanism is easy to use and cost effective. The locking sequence is easy to put in, and easy to change. Also, electronic locks are quite flexible as they can be used in tandem with a building’s existing security and surveillance system. Lastly, electronic locks come with multiple failsafes, including a penalty lockout if the wrong combination is placed for several consecutive times.
However, a major problem here is that the electronic lock is utterly dependent on you remembering the active locking combination. A common mistake with owners of this type of lock is using the same password that they have with all their other devices.
That means if the thief knows your usual password, they have better chances of prying the safe open. Also, if you happen to forget the current lock combination, you would have to call a locksmith.
The most recent of the lock types, biometric locks work similar to electronic locks, but are only released upon recognizing a fingerprint on the scanner. Thus, there is no need to memorize number sequences to unlock it. And since every person has a unique fingerprint, access to the safe is effectively limited to the owner of an authorized fingerprint.
However, biometric locks are expensive, and still a developing technology. Also, most scanners are not yet completely reliable. If your fingers are dusty or oily, they may reject the input. This can be problematic in case of an emergency.
It cannot be further emphasized that all three lock types are viable options for you. It is up to you determine which locks are ideal for your situation. Just keep in mind that each lock type also has its own set of flaws, for which you should find ways to deal with, especially if you need immediate access to your weapons.
Size and Storage Capacity
The safe you will purchase should match the type of weapons you have. If you only own short weapons, then a small to mid-size safe would be ideal for you. There are even portable safes available for owners of singular handguns.
However, if you own long-barreled weapons like a rifle or a shotgun, then a long gun safe would be ideal. These safes could store at least 3 long weapons along with accessories and ammunition.
Can a Gun Safe be Used for Something Else?
Although gun safes were designed specifically for the storage of weapons, there is nothing that could stop anyone from using them for other purposes. Aside from guns, the safe can be used to hide small valuables and other personal belongings provided that they fit.
There are even some creative gun owners who have modified their gun safes into seemingly ordinary furniture like coffee tables. There are even safes hidden behind wardrobes or seemingly incorporated into the building’s structure.
The thing to remember when making your safe multi-purpose, however, is to make it inconspicuous. You would rather not announce to the world that you are storing weapons inside your home or office so as not to draw unnecessary attention.
More often than not, having some place where you can safely store your weapons makes you a more responsible gun owner. This is why a gun safe is always a good investment for you regardless of the type of weapons you have and how many.
All that you need is to make sure that the safe meets your needs and your budget. What you’d be looking for is something that keeps your weapon away from the sight of those who should not use it while still giving you immediate access should the time come that you have need of them.