Gun safes may, at first glance, seem an unnecessary luxury—after all, a high-placed closet shelf will do, right? On the contrary, gun lockers are absolutely pivotal for all gun owners, ranging from an individual owning a single handgun for safety to avid hunters and marksmen. The potential safety issues at hand for gun owners without a gun safe range from self-injury to accidental injuries (or even death) at the hand of uneducated, innocent children. When looking for the best gun safes, seek out sturdy construction, a reliable locking mechanism, and a fail-safe means of storage including a rack or series of dividers. A handful of the best affordable gun safes are identified and reviewed below.
Products With Biometric Functions
GunBox Handgun Safe
This particular handgun safe is designed for a single handgun, and is intended to be used at home as a bedside safe, in one’s vehicle, or as a travel case. The device is able to hold several fingerprints allowing access to the gun, and contains two USB ports to assist in charging and equipping the device. Although it can easily be portable, the locker also possesses mounting implements allowing users to mount the safe in several different orientations and locations. For additional security, the safe has a built-in alarm, alerting owners to any attempts to rifle with the safe and its contents. A back-up battery is included with the device, providing peace of mind regarding one’s handgun security.
Customers were pleased with this particular gun storage device, as it is of sturdy construction and allows multiple people to input their fingerprints into the fingerprint reading device. User reviews also indicated that they were pleased with the number of USB ports, as they allow users to charge USB-ready devices as well as charging the storage container. Users reported satisfaction with the ease of use built in with the device, as users are able to readily access their weapons—while keeping out anyone undesirable. Finally, parents with a handgun in the home were extremely pleased with the security and ease of use, as they felt 100% safe with both children and a handgun in the home. Because the device can also be mounted, many parents choose to mount the device in a remote location, further removing it from the hands of curious little ones.
While the overwhelming majority of users expressed satisfaction with GunBox’s product, a small handful expressed some reservations regarding its effectiveness. One user reported that their device ceased proper functioning after only 3 weeks, while another few users were unable to get their fingerprints to work consistently. Fortunately, users who were disappointed in the device were able to return it for a full refund, and without a struggle from the company.
Winchester Safes eVault
Winchester’s contribution to the biometric gun safe is a solid steel contraption, capable of holding up to 15 different fingerprints to access the box. The box is intended to function with two handguns, and boasts a spring-loaded door. In addition to its solid outer shell, the locker has a padded interior and 2-second access time, making it an ideal option for a seasoned gun user seeking easy, safe access to household handguns. Like the GunBox, Winchester’s model possesses a back-up battery, providing users with a sense of security should the device’s plug or power supply fail. Unlike the GunBox, however, Winchester’s vault is not mount-capable, and must instead be stored.
Winchester’s reviews were somewhat mixed; however, the number of contented users did outweigh disgruntled customers. The chief source of contentment reported by customers was the box’s sturdy construction and back-up system, as both provided users with significant peace of mind regarding the safety and security of their handgun storage. Many users reported attempting to open the safe with fingers not initially entered in and consistently found that the box performed as expected and described. Users also reported satisfaction regarding the box’s size; in addition to storing two handguns, many users found they were able to store gun clips and ammunition, allowing all necessary implements to be stored in one place.
The prime source of frustration for users came from some units’ faulty electronic system. Some users found that, despite the unit working well initially, several weeks or months into purchasing, the electronic system on the safe failed entirely, requiring users to remove handguns manually. Although some users were okay with the need for manual extrication, others were frustrated by the time added by manually removing handguns.
BARSKA Biometric Safe
BARSKA’s locker, unlike the previous two, is not specifically designed to function as a gun locker, but is instead intended to be used as a safe-deposit box—including, but not limited to, gun storage. In addition to its biometric function, capable of storing up to 30 fingerprints, BARSKA’s model comes equipped with two back-up keys in case of an electrical malfunction. The locker is capable of being mounted, making it ideal for individuals seeking a more permanent fixture in their gun storage. The device’s locking mechanism is comprised of two solid steel dead bolts, offering customers security in the system’s heavy-duty equipment. The device requires batteries to function, also making it ideal for individuals hoping to place their firearms in an out-of-the-way area without ready access to a wall outlet.
BARSKA’s locker is regarded as a safe and effective means of gun storage for many families with younger children, as customers found that the safe would not open under duress or after deliberate fingerprint tampering. Users were also pleased with the safe’s dimensions; one in particular noted the ability to store guns, ammunition, and important documents, making this an excellent option for men and women seeking gun storage and a deposit box in one. Most users programmed several fingerprints into the system and found that the device functioned with greater accuracy if a higher number of fingerprints were used to open the device.
Individuals expressing discomfort or dissatisfaction with the safe generally had trouble with the locker immediately out of the box. The greatest error found was the door itself, as some users found that the rods used to lock the device did not lock into place entirely, allowing someone fiddling with the safe to open the door after repeated, forceful tugging on the door. Fortunately, users who were not satisfied with the product were able to return it without a hassle.
Quick Access Safe
Sentry Safe Quick Access Pistol Safe
Sentry Safe’s model is a small gun safe designed to handle a single semi-automatic handgun or large revolver, and is equipped with a biometric locking mechanism for easy, fast access. The locker, being designed with rapidity in mind, is created to be used one-handed, allowing users access to their guns quickly and easily. In addition to the biometric function, Sentry Safe’s quick access gun safe is equipped with an electronic keypad, providing users with multiple points of entry. Unlike many other safes, this one comes equipped with a silent opening mechanism, allowing individuals to remove their handguns without the possibility of alerting an intruder to their actions. Finally, the locker is comprised of heavy steel, providing customers with a heavy-duty, strong source of gun storage.
Users typically expressed contentment with this particular safe, due largely to the spacious nature of the safe, and the quick, effective locking mechanism. Most customers found the fingerprint reading mechanism quite effective, regardless of the number of fingerprints recorded. Customers were also pleased with the size of the locker; many found that they were able to store a more than adequate sum of guns and ammunition, in addition to other items in need of protection. Customers were also pleased with the safe’s built-in mounting holes, as they made for more effective, permanent storage.
While the majority of users were pleased with the safe, there was a consistent complaint found among customers: battery life. Operating the safe on batteries, numerous customers found that the battery life drained far too quickly, making getting into the safe in an emergency problematic. Many users were willing to overlook the poor battery life, however, as the safe is comprised of heavy-duty material and provides ample storage space.
Fireproof and Double-Door Safes
Stack-On Fire Resistant Safe
The Stack-On is a fire proof gun safe is a large gun rack, designed to hold 14 guns. The inside of the safe is lined with carpet, and possesses four shelves, allowing users to customize their storage space. Stack-On’s model comes with an electronic lock. The device is also fire resistant, upping the ante where storage is involved, and ensuring that a household’s guns are not susceptible to being ruined or set off by fire. The locker may also be used as a combination safe, wherein guns are stored alongside important documents or valuables. Stack-On’s device is made up of reinforced steel, as are the locking mechanisms, making the safe an ideal option for individuals seeking a hardy, fire-resistant safe.
Most users found this locker was perfect for storing guns, ammunition, and various small, important documents and valuables. The size of the safe was also commended, as it provided ample storage while fitting readily into closets, sheds, and other small spaces. Users were also pleased with the unit’s padding, as it allowed guns to be stored in a well-cushioned, well-insulated area. Customers expressed satisfaction with the customizable nature of the safe, as some users needed the included shelves, while others needed more room for rifles. Finally, customers were pleased with the ease of use of this electronic safe, as access was considered safe and easy by most.
Stack-On customers expressed satisfaction with the overall function and appearance of the unit, save one item: many users found that the electronic mechanism drained batteries too readily, resulting in most users resorting to the use of the back-up key. Fortunately, most users were so pleased with the layout and usefulness of the locker that the potentially faulty nature of the electronic safe lock was not a strong deterrent.
Stack-On Double Door Safe
Stack-On’s double-door safe model is similar to the model mentioned above, save the space inside, and the addition of a second steel door. Like the fire-proof device made by Stack-On, this locker is lined with carpet and is designed primarily for gun storage and safety, though it may also be used for the storage of valuables and important documents. For greater permanence, the device comes equipped with pre-drilled holes, allowing users the mount the device to the floor. Capable of storing 10 guns, Stack-On’s double-door safe is an excellent addition to the home of any individual seeking superb, top-of-the-line gun storage. Unit also comes with padded shelves and boasts both a keypad and keyed lock.
The overwhelming majority of users were pleased with their Stack-On purchase, citing impeccable quality for an unbeatable price. Some users were (somewhat) pleased to report the cabinet’s durability following a break in; though other parts of the home were burgled, the cabinet remained unbroken. Most users recommended that the safe be bolted down, as this provides added security and peace of mind. Others suggested potential customers install a gun safe dehumidifier to protect all stored equipment. The cabinet was also praised by parents seeking a means of keeping firearms away from children; it provided a hardy, secure means of gun storage not readily accessible to children and young adults.
While there were not outright disgruntled customers of Stack-On’s double door locker, some customers did point out that the cabinet is made primarily for rifles and other large guns, as the storage slots are not adjustable. Some customers were able to fashion blocks allowing shorter gun models to fit comfortably within the unit’s pre-made slots. A handful of customers also reported receiving a damaged item upon delivery, but were quickly compensated for their trouble.
Conclusion and Verdict
Given the vast number of options available, which gun locker is best for you and your family’s needs? This will depend largely upon the size and number of firearms needing to be stored, and the desired level of security. For handguns, one of the first four devices will likely be the best gun safe for the money; all are small, portable, and capable of effectively and safely storing handguns. Each has its own set of perks, however; Winchester and Sentry Safe’s models are likely to serve handgun storage needs best, as both:
- boast higher customer satisfaction ratings
- are comprised of high-quality, heavy-duty materials
- possess strong, durable locking mechanisms
Other cabinets may be prone to mechanical failure.
Individuals seeking a gun cabinet for rifles and other large guns may want to consider the double-door locker from Stack-On. While the 14-gun cabinet is certainly useful for individuals with a greater collection of rifles, the 10-gun cabinet may be mounted for better security, and possesses a stronger locking system. This is ideal both for security from potential intruders and from unwanted little hands.