Best Gun Safe for the Money

Whether it’s for safety and self-defense or for hobbies like hunting or collecting, guns have a vital role in an owner’s life. Depending on the type of firearm and permit, owners can carry their gun with them for self-defense or have it safely tucked in somewhere in their house, ready to be used in case of emergency.

Owning a gun is a big responsibility; there are rules and laws to follow, safety measures must be set, and firearms also need to be maintained and taken care of. This is where safes come in; just like how you’d keep your money safe in a bank or your precious jewels in a safe, guns must also be stored in a secured container.

woman holding a rifle

Is it worth it?

Investing in one is a must when you’re a gun owner. Yes, it can be quite expensive and would require effort to install in your house, but it’s definitely worth it. First and foremost, a gun safe ramps up your safety and security, whether it’s against robbery or tragic accidents. Guns should only get to the hands of those who are trained and have good will in their hearts.

Furthermore, there are storage laws that all gun owners must adhere to, which include the Child Access Prevention laws. I’m sure all of us have heard of accidents wherein a toddler got ahold of a loaded weapon and fired it accidentally, which is something that no one should ever experience. Thus, if you have a gun in the house you should secure it in a locked storage to eliminate the possibility of such accidents from happening.

A gun safe, like any other safes, are built from the sturdiest materials and designed to stay locked and secured at all times unless opened by a designated key or lock password. These can withstand heavy forces exerted from outside, resisting getting opened by force, to keep your belongings inside unscathed.

The mere weight and installation of one can also hinder robbers from stealing the whole safe with your guns inside. Compared to a lock box, safes are significantly more secure for storing firearms.

There are different types, varying in terms of structure, material, and installation type. Depending on these variations, the pricing will also differ. It’s important to choose one that’s best suited to the type and amount of guns that you have to get your money’s worth!

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Are they bad for guns?

mesa gun safe

A gun safe, as the name implies, is made to secure your firearms from theft and misuse. And if it is made to serve a specific purpose, that is, to safeguard and house important things for a significant amount of time, then it’s obvious that it would be designed in such a way that won’t let the precious items inside it to get harmed or to deteriorate. You should, however, regularly clean your guns, as per usual.

What to look

What to look for
Sizing Capacity Installation type
Lock type Material

1. Proper Size

Just like how you should pick the right wire size and extension cord for the safety of your electrical appliances (and yourself), you should also carefully choose the size. It’s a no-brainer that handguns would require a significantly smaller one compared to shotguns and rifles.

One that can accommodate two dozens of long guns is too big for a couple of handguns. You wouldn’t really need the excess storage space and it would cost you extra, so make sure to buy one with the appropriate sizing.

However, do not gauge the capacity of them based only on its external dimensions like height, length, and width! It’s not really black and white; pistols don’t always match with a small one. The capacity of one is measured based on the number of slots it has, which is different from the number of guns it can hold.

The capacity is rated based on unscoped shotguns or rifles. Also, they differ in the maximum weight that they can carry, much like how different lengths of extension cords and wires (from 70 to 600 amp!) can only carry a certain amount of electricity. Capacity in terms of weight is usually measured in kilograms (kg).

Should you really opt for one that can hold the exact amount of guns that you have? Actually, my suggestion would be to size up! Most dealers and consumers get to a point where they wish they’ve brought one because their collection grows as time passes.

Some owners, on the other hand, opt to keep other valuables inside the safe instead of buying a separate one, which is also something I recommend to eliminate extra costs! A rule of thumb is to buy one that has a capacity to hold twice the number of guns you currently have. This way, you won’t have to buy a new one when your collection grows.

2. Capacity – Adjustable Interior & Shelves

To maximize the capacity, I suggest that you opt for a model that has adjustable or customizable interior or shelves. Some brands and manufacturers offer tailored interiors, so you can plan the layout. Other models have removable or stack-on dividers and an array of sliding shelves, which will allow you to switch up the interior, so it can accommodate your whole collection. If you want to be extra sure about the size, check the dimensions of the interior space and your guns to see if everything will fit perfectly. You can use this SAE to metric conversion chart to properly gauge and compare each measurement.

3. Lock Type

They have different types of locks; there are combination locks, electric keypads, and biometric locks available on the market. Combination locks, whether it’s a mechanical keypad or a gear-driven lock system like a wheel and pin combination are the most traditional ones, typically seen in a traditional vault. Electronic keypads also make use of combinations of letters or numbers as a code for access, but, as the name implies, is powered by electricity instead of a lock-and-key mechanism.

Now that technology has advanced further, smart safes with biometric locks came into play, relying on fingerprints, voice recognition, or eye scans for identification. Nowadays, this type of lock has become even more famous because it has the lowest probability for unauthorized access.

However, these smart options can sometimes be limited in terms of positioning or placement because they require electricity. If you’re having problems with this, you can simply purchase the appropriate extension cord for it!

4. Material – Sturdiness, Weight, & Fire/Water-resistance

A basic requirement for all types is sturdiness. It must be able to withstand certain external forces to ensure that it can keep your valuables from getting stolen, so it must be made from sturdy steel. For safes, there are 8-, 10-, and 12-gauge steel variations—the lower the number, the thicker the steel (and the thicker the steel, the heavier it is). Other types of storage, such as a cabinet, have thinner steel but can still be a great storage area nonetheless.

Most people are quite satisfied with 12-gauge steel options, which weigh around 500 lbs, a considerable weight that burglars would have trouble lifting, especially if it is installed properly like bolted to your wall or floor. However, if you want more security, I recommend getting a 10- or 8-gauge steel option, which will be significantly heavier, around 700 lbs or more.

Other brands also have heavy duty models that really embody the word “heavy,” weighing over 1,200 lbs! It would be near impossible for burglars to dismount this from your storage area without getting noticed, and they’d need heavy-duty tools like a tri fuel generator or gasless MIG welder to cut through it. At the moment they’ve finally cut through such a thick, sturdy steel, I’m pretty sure you would have heard the commotion already and called the cops on them!

Another important thing to consider is whether it is fireproof and waterproof. Steel by itself is already relatively fire-resistant, melting only at extremely high temperatures (e.g., 2,800 °F). However, heat from the external environment can penetrate and heat up the inside, which will cause your guns to melt inside.

And just like how you’d protect your eyes from the flying hot metal debris caused by welding with the use of welding glasses, you have to protect your firearms from fires. This is where fireproofing comes in. Some fireproof models are designed to be able to withstand high temperatures for a certain time without letting the heat penetrate inside. For waterproofing, pick one that is leak-proof and won’t let any water come in the crevices. This way, you’d prevent rusting (and the guns inside).

5. Installation Type

Freestanding ones are one of the most common types in the market. These are typically installed against a wall, at a corner of a storage room, and bolted to the cement floor (or wall). This is the most portable type of installation, which allows you to dismount and mount it if you need to move it to another area (but bear in mind that it’s heavy, so the dismounting process will still be laborious).

If you want to save space or allow it to blend into the room, try an in-wall option instead. This is not as portable as the traditional ones, but having it installed in the wall adds security, making it harder for burglars to find it.

Another type that blends in perfectly with your home appliances and installation pieces is a hidden one, disguised as a certain artwork or furniture, hidden in plain sight. Most of the time, this type of cabinet is installed within your walls, posed as an artwork, or within the floor, covered up by a carpet.

If, however, you want your gun to be accessible even when you’re in your room, sleeping or lounging on the bed, check out under bed ones, which are usually ones that are designed to resemble a sliding drawer. This type enables you to readily retrieve a gun right out first thing when you wake up and hear an intruder in the house, with just reaching underneath the bed.

If you’re not too worried about keeping it out of sight, the usual freestanding one and an in-wall option are both good picks. However, if you’re in need of a discrete storage area, I recommend getting a hidden option or under bed gun one for ease of access.

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handgun

What is the best one for the money?

gun safe

Gun safes of high quality are definitely not cheap, that much is true. The more heavy duty and massive it is, the more expensive it gets. But as I’ve mentioned earlier, getting one is an investment that’s worth every penny—it adds security and will last a lifetime.

And if we take into consideration the storage laws that apply to guns, having one is actually more of a necessity than a luxury. But does this mean you have to splurge on the most expensive and heavy duty option that you can find out there? Definitely not!

In all of my buying guides, whether it’s to find the best lawn garden tractor, cassette toilets for RVs, or extension cords, the aim is always to lead you to the best item that will fit both your needs and your budget. To get the most out of your money’s worth, it’s important to choose one of the right size and type, something that will suit your collection the most. With the amount of models to choose from, I’m sure you’ll find one that’s within your budget and suits your taste!

Brands

Since proper storage and security is vital for all owners and sellers, a lot of brands came into the field to offer various kinds and sizes. With the abundance of options in the market, choosing the best one for yourself might take quite a long time.

Brands
Cannon Liberty Winchester

To help streamline this process, here are some of the best brands that offer high quality products that can fit your budget and cater to your collection, whether it’s for personal use or for a shop.

Cannon

From the year 1956 up to now, Cannon has been providing comfort and security to everyone with their high quality and affordable Home Office Safes and Rifle & Gun Safes. They have set the standard for topnotch and affordable protection for your most valued possessions. Cannon’s rifle and large storage options are fireproof, with up to 90-minute fire rated features, enhanced to deliver maximum security.

Other notable features of the locking system of these premium products are the following: Cannon’s exclusive dual access EMP lock, electronic lock, twelve or six 4” locking  bolts, patented Tru-Lock internal hinges, anti-pry tabs, dual stage triple fin door seal, dual relocker, and triple hard plates for lock protection.

Furthermore, the interior of these vaults are of premium quality, with lights, high quality upholstery, power supply media box, door organizer, and adjustable shelves among many others. There are various sizes of vaults offered by Cannon, so you can choose whichever you think is best for your personal collection. The dimensions range from 48Hx20Wx14D up to 59Hx48Wx30D, capable of housing small to large guns, with a capacity range of 12 up to 72.

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Liberty

Liberty Safe can cater to the storage needs of shops and homes alike, with the wide variety that they offer. Dubbed as America’s #1 maker and supplier of gun safes, fire safes, home safes, and vault doors, it’s always guaranteed that you’ll get your money’s worth! What’s amazing about Liberty is that they offer products with one of the highest quality and fireproofing on the market, such as the National Security category that include models having up to Level 8 Security rating and up to 2.5-hr fire rating at around 1,200°F.

They also have a much more affordable line of products that still boasts a lot of impressive features, such as the Colonial Series that starts at $1,849. Liberty’s Colonial 23, Colonial 30, Colonial 50, and Colonial 50 Extreme are worth checking out; these safes have an amazing fire rating of up to 75 minutes (at 1,200°F), level 3 security rating, up to 1000 lbs in weight, and a neatly organized interior layout. These are long gun safes that can fit within your budget but would still offer you topnotch security!

Winchester 

Unlike other brands, Winchester is heavily focused on producing products of the best value and quality. The features that these products have are brag-worthy, boasting a 45-minute to 2.5-hour fire protection ratings at 1,400°F. Winchester has various series that you can choose from, with each series differing from each other in terms of pricing, capacity, heavy-dutiness, and fireproofing: Bandit Series, Ranger Series, Big Daddy Series, Treasury Series, Silverado Series, Legacy Series, and Evolution.

Another wonderful feature of Winchester’s product manufacturing process is that they operate in an environment-friendly manner, using recycled materials for their packaging, interiors, and steel. They even steer away from VOCs and only use VOC-free powder paint finish, giving their models a sleek, modern look without risking the emission of chemicals into the environment.

This brand has become a favorite of many, not only because of their high-quality prodcts, but also because of their good service and long warranty. Each line and category are duly tested prior to each release, making sure that everything meets their requirements, complete with burglary and fire protection features. But if it does not meet your standards and is proven to be lacking, Winchester Safe has a replacement guarantee to offer, so you can have it repaired or replaced, or you can refund your purchase.

Brands to avoid

thief trying to get into a safe

Just like how usual house renovations go (whether it’s adding a shower to a half bath or installing a new laundry sink), you must always make sure that you’re adding a trusted product into your home, something that you won’t regret purchasing. I don’t really have particular brands in mind that I can list down and ask for you to avoid, but I do want to say that you must steer clear from ones that aren’t thick enough or aren’t secure enough.

Do not get swayed with super affordable pricing; most of the time, the quality would suffer just to cut down on costs. If you’re buying something that would ensure the safety of you and your loved ones, do not settle with cheap, knock-off ones (these two adjectives should never be seen together with the word “safe”). Invest in something that would be worth every penny!

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