In the United States, over 200,000 firearms are stolen each year, and most of those are stolen during a home burglary. For that reason, you will want to protect your guns, especially as you add more to your arsenal, and the best way to protect your guns from theft is by purchasing a quality gun safe.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why Are Gun Safes Important?
- 2 The Best Sized For Your Firearm
- 3 The Steel Matters
- 4 Think About The Quality Of The Lock
- 5 Protect Yourself Against A Fire
- 6 Bolt It Down
- 7 What’s On the Inside?
- 8 Gun Safes To Consider:
Why Are Gun Safes Important?
All too often, I hear stories about people who tuck their guns away in closets and under their beds only to come home after a vacation or a day at work to find that their home has been burglarized and their guns are gone. If you think you have hidden them well, then you should think again because burglars know the most common places that people hide guns, and they will look for them and destroy your home in the process. Gun safes make this process much more difficult for burglars, and if you purchase the right gun safe, it can be nearly impossible given the time that a burglar is willing to stay in your house, which usually falls somewhere between 90 seconds to 12 minutes.
Aside from burglaries, gun safes also protect you against fire damage for a reasonable duration. In 2015, over 500,000 structural fires occurred in the United States, and you never know when one may occur in your house.
The Best Sized For Your Firearm
One of the first things you will want to consider when purchasing a gun safe is the size that fits your needs. You should start by adding up how many guns you already own and then how many guns you plan on buying in the near future to ensure your safe will have the capacity to hold them all. Otherwise, you might have to buy an additional safe in the future. My brother has a tenancy to buy a new gun multiple times a year, and he is already having issues fitting them all in his safe, so bigger is never a bad thing when it comes to a gun safe.
You also want to think about where in your house the safe will go because safes for long guns, such as rifles, are large and difficult to move around (one of the benefits if a burglar breaks in though), so you should make sure you have space for whichever size you choose. However, if you only need a safe for your pistols, it should be much easier to find a place to put it as those safes are much smaller.
The Steel Matters
The gauge of steel used to make a gun safe is one of the most important qualities that will protect you if a burglary occurs. You do not want a safe that can be easily penetrated with a drill or cut through with a saw since these are common methods burglars use to get into gun safes. Of course, if a burglar has time and the proper tools, they can get through any metal eventually, but you can still make the process as difficult as possible. Besides, a burglar that causes a lot of noise is much more likely to get caught.
It’s important to note that stronger steel has a lower gauge, so 10-gauge steel is much stronger than 14-gauge steel. You will want to keep this in mind because good deals can often be deceiving if the safe has weak steel.
Most companies recommend a gun safe with at least 10-gauge steel. However, these safes are hard to find and usually expensive. Besides, customers seem to be happy with safes that are made out of 12-gauge steel. The important thing is to settle on what makes you feel most comfortable.
Think About The Quality Of The Lock
Locks come in different forms: fingerprint identification, manual locks, and electronic keypads. I have seen people swear by manual locks while others have moved onto fingerprint identification.
With fingerprint identification, you have to be present for someone to access your safe because your fingerprint is unique to you. This also allows quick access since you do not have to enter a code. However, if your finger is dirty or wet, the fingerprint reader might have trouble identifying you. This could be a problem in an emergency.
Manual locks might seem out of date, but they are still one of the best ways to protect your safe. Manual locks either have key entrance or dial combinations. Keys have the possibility of getting lost, but they do provide easy access if it is not too dark and you can see what you are doing. Dial locks require a little more time than some of the other options but are still a safe bet for protecting your home against break-ins.
Electronic keypads are another option that is offered on many gun safes. With these keypads, you digitally enter a code that allows you access to the safe. The one problem is that an electronic keypad can go bad, then you have to drill into your safe.
Protect Yourself Against A Fire
Aside from burglary protection, fire resistance is another feature you will want to consider when purchasing a gun safe. No safe is completely fireproof, but most quality guns safes can offer you some protection from a fire.
Fire protection is usually determined by how long a safe will last under a certain temperature. Most safes will last at least an hour in temperatures over 1500°F. However, that does not mean the safe won’t heat up on the inside during this time, potentially damaging items that are stored.
Bolt It Down
When looking for a gun safe, make sure you have the option to bolt the safe to the ground or wall. This way the safe can’t be moved or knocked over. It will also keep a burglar from running off with a smaller handgun safe.
What’s On the Inside?
The interior of gun safes vary. Some are lined with a type of scratch protection material like foam or carpeting to keep your guns from getting scratched up. Others only have the metal surface. I have guns given to me by my grandfather that I like to keep in top shape, so scratch protection is important to me.
Gun safes also have various shelving options, especially long gun safes. Depending on your needs, you can use these shelves to store ammo, hand guns, or other important belongings.
Before buying a gun safe, see if it comes with a warranty. If a manufacturer trusts their safe, they will include some kind of warranty with it. You should also check out options for an extended warranty.
Gun Safes To Consider:
This Blue Dot Safe provides you security and size and a great price. It can be purchased on Amazon for $778.00. With the Blue Dot Safe, you get a one year factory warranty.
- The Blue Dot Safe comes with pocket organizers on the inside of the door, which includes holsters for handguns and ammo pouches. This is great if you need additional storage space.
- This safe holds up to 51 guns, so if you have a large collection, this safe might be the best option for you.
- This safe is certified to protect against fires for an hour at temperatures up to 1700°F.
- The locking system comes with a drill resistant plate to help protect it from forced entry.
- This safe is completely electronic and does not have a backup key. Therefore, the safe will have to be broken into if the keypad stops working.
- This safe does not have any material on the inside to protect your gun from the metal structure.
The Steelwater Extreme Duty safe is a great option with plenty of security measures and can be purchased on Amazon for $1,695.00. You also get a lifetime warranty against burglary and fires.
- As the only option on this list with 9-gauge steel, the Steelwater Extreme Duty safe is built to hold up against burglars, which might be exactly what you are looking for.
- Although this safe holds 22 guns, Steelwater offers options that hold 39 and 45 guns that are still part of their Extreme Duty series of safes, so you don’t have to sacrifice gun capacity for safe security.
- The door has an added ¼ inch still plate, which gives you more protection if someone is trying to break in.
- This safe has two hours of fire protection at 1875°F. This is great if you are worried about a fire breaking out.
- This safe has a drill resistant hard plate to protect the lock and mechanisms from getting tampered with. This is a common way for burglars to break into a safe, so you might want the added protection.
- The safe uses a UL Listed Group 2 combination lock, which means it is well tested.
- The Steelwater Extreme Duty safe has added security and features that some of the other options on this list don’t offer, but you have to be willing to pay for it.
- This safe does not have an organizer on the inside of the door, which would be beneficial if you needed more storage space.
If you only need a handgun safe, the Stealth Handgun Hanger safe is a great option that can be purchased on Amazon for only $129.99. Stealth also offers you a one year warranty with this safe.
- Not only can you bolt this safe down, but it also comes with a security cable that will help keep someone from running off with the safe.
- It holds up to five handguns with three of them in a position where they are ready to be pulled out and used. This will allow you easy access if someone breaks into your house while you are home.
- The safe has a red light inside it, which is a great feature if you need to remove a gun in a dark room.
- The inside of the safe is lined with foam to prevent your handguns from getting scratched.
- The safe uses an electronic keypad, but it also offers a manual key option if the battery dies or the keypad isn’t working properly.
- This safe only uses 14-gauge steel, so it is more susceptible to damage. You might want something stronger, but that will be hard to find with a traditional handgun safe.
The Mesa Safe is a great option if you don’t need to store a lot of guns but still want a quality safe. The price for the Mesa Safe is $979.98. It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
- The Mesa Safe has a one hour fire resistant duration for temperatures up to 1750°F. This will help protect your belongings if a fire occurs.
- This safe has a UL Listed Group 2 combination lock, which means it has undergone extensive testing. This might be comforting knowledge to have.
- The interior is lined with carpet, so your guns are protected from getting roughed up by metal rubbing against them.
- You can adjust the shelves and even remove them if you need more space for long guns. This is a great feature since it gives you multiple storage options.
- This safe only has a 14 gun capacity, which might not be enough storage for you.
- It does not come with a pocket organizer on the inside of the door, which would provide you with more storage space if it had one.
This SCOUT Safe is another option that offers numerous benefits at a good price as it can be purchased on Amazon for $839.00. You also get a one year mechanical defects warranty.
- The inside of the SCOUT Safe is covered with carpet to protect your guns from damage while they are stored. This is a great feature for any expensive or antique guns you might have.
- The inside of the door has extra storage pockets, so you have plenty of space to store ammo and handguns.
- This safe is a UL RSC rate safe, which means it has been tested extensively and provides plenty of protection. This rating might help ease some of your concerns while you are away from home.
- The SCOUT Safe provides one hour of fire protection at temperatures up to 1400°F.
- This safe uses an electric keypad but doesn’t have a backup key. This means you won’t be able to get in your safe if the keypad fails. Then, you will have to get the safe cut open.
All of these gun safes have benefits, but after looking through all of their features, the best gun safe is the Steelwater Extreme Duty safe. This safe might be expensive, especially compared to some of the other options on this list, but it is definitely worth that price. With 9-gauge steel, it provides protection that you won’t find with the other products. It also meets or exceeds all of the other gun safes in most categories, with the lack of door pockets being one of Steelwater’s only downsides. However, all of these gun safes are good, and if the Steelwater Extreme Duty safe does not work for you, perhaps one of the other options will.