Ultimate Guide to Handgun safes

Ultimate Guide To The Best Gun Safes

Having a gun in the home can be a great source of security. But if not stored properly, it can also become a source of danger to you and your family. That’s why it’s so important to get the best gun safe for your home. Read through this buying guide for tips and gun safe reviews of our choices for the 10 top gun safes on the market today!

Tips For Buying Gun Safes

While it might seem like any gun safe will do what any other gun safe will do, there are actually 10 different kinds available and choosing which ones are the superior gun safes for you will depend on a few different factors. So let’s take a closer look at this topic.

Gun safes can be designed to keep your weapons safe from 3 main threats:

  • Children
  • Intruders
  • Natural damage like fire and water.

Beyond that, they can be designed with other features. For example, some are designed to fit certain types of guns. Others are designed for easy access in emergencies. Others are designed to be portable. Still others can be designed to be hidden in drawers or in walls.

So you really need to think about exactly what you are hoping your gun safe will do and let that guide your research.

If your main concern is keeping the gun away from children, you might consider wall mounted gun safes or biometric gun safes that only open to your fingerprint. For thieves and intruders, the priority is being discreet and secure. Shop for:

  • Hidden gun safes
  • Under the bed gun safes
  • ​Concealable gun safes
  • Finger print gun safes

To keep your gun safe from the elements, you would want to look at fireproof gun safes or waterproof gun safes.

One of the favorite options are drawer gun safes because these can often provide protection against all 3 threats. They are discreet, heavy duty, and can provide protection against the elements. However, some can be bulky so you need to consider the dimensions of your drawer as well as your gun.

If you are on a relatively tight budget, you can maximize quality while keeping the price down by looking at small gun safes. If you have a pistol or hand gun, there’s no reason to get a rifle gun safe when there are plenty of fantastic hand gun safes on the market. And when you go for just as much space as you need, you can still enjoy some high end features because you’re not paying for all that extra space and material.

On the other hand, if you have multiple weapons, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to buy a bunch of individual safes (unless you need to store them in different parts of the home). In this case, you’re better off looking at sentinel gun safes that are made to store larger stocks of weapons securely.

In short, you should look through the best rated gun safes but keep your own needs and priorities freshly in mind so that you know you aren’t spending money unnecessarily or ending up with a safe that isn’t going to do what you need it to do.

The 5 Top Rated Gun Safes Under $100

Below, you will find our top 5 picks for gun safes that are still affordably priced. While there is a lot to be said for more expensive safes (and we will give them their space in the next section), you don’t need to spend a fortune for security.




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Stack-On PDS-500 Drawer Safe

Stack-On PDS-500 Drawer Safe

First Alert 5200DF Portable Handgun

First Alert 5200DF Portable Handgun

Gunvault MV500-STD Microvault Pistol Gun Safe

Gunvault MicroVault XL MVB1000 gun safe Biometric fingerprint

Fortress Alarming Quick Access Pistol Safe

Fortress Alarming Quick Access Pistol Safe

AmazonBasics Security Safe 0.5 Cubic Feet

AmazonBasics Security Safe 0.5 Cubic Feet

The following options do not offer every feature out there but many gun owners really only need their safes for very specific purposes. So if you know exactly what you need (and what you don’t need), you can get a great safe without spending too much money.

#1 Stack-On PDS-500 Drawer Safe With Electronic Lock

This top opening gun safe from Stack-On is ideal for mounting inside a drawer to keep it in easy reach but still safely secured out of the hands of children. For under $100, you can get one of these Stack on gun safes which are a surprisingly well designed and well-built safe when you choose this one.

Take a look at some of the key specs of the Stack-On gun safes below:

  • Concealed hinges for better security.
  • 2 live action locking steel bolts.
  • Mounting holes and mounting hardware for securing to the bottom of a drawer.
  • ​Automatic time out after 3 incorrect combination attempts.
  • Optional beeping sound for key pad.​
  • Solid steel plate construction
Stack-On PDS-500 Drawer Safe

One of the most important features of this product is the construction. It’s a solid steel safe with heavy duty hinges and bolts that cannot be easily tampered with. With the ability to mount it to a drawer or shelf, you also have the added security of knowing that it can’t be easily taken away.

If you are worried about theft, we would recommend bolting this to the floor. Shelves and drawers can be removed more easily than chunks of floor. Overall, it’s a great way to keep your guns and other valuables fully protected.

While it is made to be mounted, actually mounting it to either a drawer, shelf, or floor is not exactly a straight forward process. It does come with instructions but there are no pictures and it can sometimes be a little unclear. However, if you put in the time and have the patience, you will be able to figure it out eventually.

In general, this is a great option for people in need of a budget friendly gun safe that is still solid and secure. It’s ideal for keeping weapons away from children but it can also act as a secure storage location for other valuables.

#2 First Alert 5200DF Portable Handgun Or Pistol Safe

This smaller portable gun safe from First Alert could be the answer to your problems. If you’re just looking for something small and simple but still secure and well built, this gun safe could be the perfect choice for you.

Check out some of the key specs below:

  • 3 to 8 digit no see keypad
  • Heavy duty steal construction
  • ​Foam padded interior
  • ​Durable spring loaded locking mechanism
  • Steel cable for securing to car trunk
  • Predrilled mounting holes for securing to floor or shelf.
First Alert 5200DF Portable Handgun

It’s small enough to be portable so you can keep it in your trunk or glovebox. But it’s also sturdy enough that it can be mounted or secured so that you can be sure it’s not going anywhere.

We love that it has a nice foam padded interior to make sure your gun doesn’t get dented or scratched. This is important even if you just plan to keep it in the house. But it’s even more important if this will go in the car with you. The bumps and jolts of the road can knock the gun around. With this padding, you know it’s not getting damaged.

As with any portable gun safe, it’s more lightweight than one that is meant to be stationary. That is exactly what you need if you want to take it on the go. But if you are looking for something that stays in one place, you will want to opt for something more heavy duty.

This is a wonderful small gun safe for those who just need something for a pistol or other smaller weapon. It’s simple but very well designed and will keep your gun secure without damaging it.

#3 Gunvault MV500-STD Microvault Pistol Gun Safe

Coming in at just under $100, this gun safe from GunVault is the ideal blend of affordability and functionality. It’s a nice portable gun safe that is still totally secure.

Check out the key specs below:

  • 16 gauge steel exterior
  • Foam lined interior
  • ​Quick button keypad
  • ​Emergency access key
  • Concealed pry-resistant hinges
Gunvault MV500-STD Microvault Pistol Gun Safe

This is a great little hand gun safe to keep in your car or to use for taking your gun with you to a shooting range. Given how lightweight it is, it’s not what you want if your goal is to keep your weapon secured at home (since a burglar could easily carry the safe away). But for portable needs, this is a fantastic option.

#4 Fortress Alarming Quick Access Pistol Safe

This is a great basic safe with a lot of great features for maximizing security.

Take a look at some of the key specs below:

  • Quick button keypad
  • Approved by the Department of Justice
  • ​Heavy duty steel construction
  • Programmable e-lock​
  • Spring loaded dropdown door
Fortress Alarming Quick Access Pistol Safe

The keypad is a really nice feature. It’s got 4 buttons which are arranged so that you simply place your 4 fingers on so that you can punch in the code without it being easily recognizable what the combination is.

It’s also surprisingly spacious inside so it’s suitable for weapons and other valuables. Overall, you get a lot of value for not a lot of money!

#5 AmazonBasics Security Safe 0.5 Cubic Feet

This is an extremely affordable gun safe that still manages to be surprisingly high quality.

Check out the key specs below:

  • Electronic keypad combination lock
  • 2 live-door bolts
  • ​Pry-resistant and concealed hinges
  • ​Mounting hardware to mount to wall, shelf, drawer, or floor.
  • Solid steel construction
  • ​Carpeted interior
  • Emergency override keys
AmazonBasics Security Safe 0.5 Cubic Feet

This can also be ordered in 4 different sizes so it can accommodate a few different gun sizes (or multiple guns). Overall, it’s surprisingly secure and well-built for how affordable it is. And amazon even offers professional installation (for an added fee) so you can get maximum security even if you aren’t handy with tools!

Final Word

With these lower priced options, we have hoped to show that it is still possible to find decent quality at affordable prices. But you need to be willing to do the research and you have to know what kind of features you should be looking for. If you shop smart, you don’t have to spend a fortune!

The 5 Top Rated Gun Safes Over $100

In many of the higher end models that you will see below, a major feature is the biometric fingerprint reader. This can be extremely convenient and provide extra security. You’ll also see more intuitive and secure designs as well as better overall material and build.




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BARSKA Top Opening Biometric Fingerprint Safe

BARSKA Top Opening Biometric Fingerprint Safe

Sentry Safe Biometric Quick Access Pistol Safe

Sentry Safe Biometric Quick Access Pistol Safe

GunVault SV500 SpeedVault Handgun Safe

GunVault SV500 SpeedVault Handgun Safe

Gunvault MicroVault XL MVB1000 gun safe Biometric fingerprint

Gunvault MicroVault XL MVB1000 gun safe Biometric fingerprint

BARSKA Biometric Safe

BARSKA Biometric Safe

#1 BARSKA Top Opening Biometric Fingerprint Safe

If you’re willing to invest in a quality biometric safe like this one from BARSKA, you will be rewarded. This is definitely one of the higher end models you can get but it’s important to prioritize quality are investing in a quality biometric safe like this one from BARSKA because a cheap one can backfire. Plus, you get a lot of features that make it worth the purchase.

Check out some of the key specs below:

  • Top opening
  • Fingerprint control can be programmed for up to 30 users
  • ​Predrilled holes and mounting hardware for optional mounting on shelves, counters, or floors
  • ​2 locking bolts made of solid steel
  • 1 motorized deadbolt lock
  • Protective floor mat
  • Emergency back-up keys
BARSKA Top Opening Biometric Fingerprint Safe

This is ideal for those who want to balance high security with easy and fast entry. Using fingerprint control, opening the safe is as easy as putting your finger on it. And, at the same time, it’s even more secure. A person might eventually guess your security code but they can never mimic your fingerprint.

Price is definitely the main drawback here. And we do recommend buying reusable batteries. While it’s not as much of a drain on battery life as other gun safes, that cost can still add up so it’s better to have at least 2 sets of rechargeable batteries on hand so that as soon as one set dies, you have another charged and ready to go.

Overall, this is an extremely well made gun safe that is worth every penny. So if you’re willing to invest, you can be sure you are getting a safe that will last for years. It’s a great buy!

#2 Sentry Safe Biometric Quick Access Pistol Safe

This is one of the best biometric gun safes we have seen on the market.

Check out some of the key specs of Sentry gun safes below:

  • Super quiet hardware
  • Pry resistant lid
  • ​Biometric fingerprint reader
  • Single handed access
  • ​Programmable combination keypad for added security
  • ​Solid 12 gauge steel construction
  • Completely fulfills the California Department of Justice standards for firearm safety
  • Predrilled mounting holes and mounting hardware for floor or shelf mounting
Sentry Safe Biometric Quick Access Pistol Safe

The main things this product prioritizes are security and ease of access. With the biometric fingerprint reader, only you and the people you have approved can open the safe. And you can do that with just one hand. The top automatically and silently opens as soon as your print is recognized.

This lets you access your weapon in an emergency without your intruder even being aware that you’ve woken up!

This is extremely well built and very intuitively designed. The key drawback is that you do have to pay for that quality. It is an investment. But we think the level of security it can offer is worth that investment.

This is definitely one of the higher end models you can buy but it’s still very reasonably priced for what you are getting. If security and quality are your top priorities, you can get them at an affordable price if you get this gun safe!

#3 GunVault SV500 SpeedVault Handgun Safe

This one from Gun Vault puts a unique twist on the gun safe design that we think makes it worth your consideration. This safe offers all the standard features that you can’t live without but it also has a few extras that make it stand out.

Check out the key specs below:

  • Easy access digital keypad
  • Quickly activated drop down drawer
  • ​Heavy duty 18 gauge steel construction
  • ​Foam lining to protect gun from scratches and dents
  • Mounting hardware included and multiple mounting options
  • ​Emergency backup key included
  • Biometric fingerprint reader option
GunVault SV500 SpeedVault Handgun Safe

What really makes this safe stand out is the design. After entering in the correct key code, a draw containing your gun drops down so that you can quickly pull it out. It can be mounted on a wall, a shelf, or even underneath your bed. This means that you have the security of a gun safe but the easy access of a gun holster. It’s the perfect combinations for effective home defense!

Overall, this is a better solution for keeping kids away from your gun while still having easy access to it yourself. However, someone who is determined to get at the gun could likely break it and get inside. So if your primary concern is keeping valuables away from thieves, you’ll want something more heavy duty (and probably larger) than this.

This is one of our favorite designs for a gun safe. It’s perfect if your main priorities are combining effective home defense with keeping guns safely out of reach of children. It’s a convenient, well built, and super functional!

#4 Gunvault MicroVault XL MVB1000 Safe

GunVault makes a nice alternative to the biometric safes from Barska for a comparable price.

Check out the key specs below:

  • Optional fingerprint scanner or keypad
  • Store up to 120 different fingerprints
  • ​18 gauge solid steel construction
  • Foam lined interior
  • ​Pry-resistant hinges and locks
  • Emergency access key
Gunvault MicroVault XL MVB1000 gun safe Biometric fingerprint

In addition to these amazing features, one of the great things about this safe is that it can be mounted nearly anywhere. You can mount it vertically on a wall or horizontally in a drawer or on a shelf. Whatever makes the most sense for you and your home, this safe can be accommodated to that purpose!

#5 BARSKA Biometric Safe

This is another great biometric safe from Barska. It’s both compact and heavy duty.

Check out the key specs below:

  • Biometric fingerprint reader
  • Store up to 30 different fingerprints
  • ​Includes mounting hardware for floor or shelf
  • Side opening door​
  • 2 emergency backup keys​
BARSKA Biometric Safe

Despite being relatively compact, this safe weighs an impressive 31 pounds because it’s built with solid steel. That means this beast is not being broken into. Overall, it’s a solid safe that will serve your purposes if you’re looking for maximum security in a compact safe.

Final Word

Just from these short overviews, you have probably already gotten a sense of what kind of quality difference can be found in the different price categories. If you really need to be budget conscious while shopping, we recommend choosing a safe without the biometric fingerprint reader option. That’s a feature that needs to be done well or not done at all. So for lower priced options, you’re better off with a keypad system.


If you own a gun, you need to own a gun safe. And just as you probably wouldn’t just want to go with the cheapest gun you found because it’s the cheapest, you also shouldn’t necessarily be looking for the cheapest gun safe just because it’s the cheapest. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on a good gun safe but you need to make sure you shop smart.

Do your research, read through plenty of reviews, and understand exactly what your priorities and needs in a gun safe are. This is the best way to make sure you are getting every penny’s worth of your investment returned to you in the form of quality and functionality.

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