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Best Handgun Safes: Fast & Secure Firearm Access

BEDSIDE HANDGUN SAFES FOR EVERY TYPE OF PISTOL. SAFE, FAST, AND SECURE FIREARM STORAGE FOR HOME DEFENSE

Choosing a good handgun safe can be a bit of a chore, especially if you’re looking to get something that is both secure from unauthorized access, but still quick to get into if you’re in a situation where you need access to the gun in a hurry. 

Balancing these two needs can be a bit of a headache, and it has driven something of an arms race in the industry as everybody and their brother tries to make a safe that will successfully keep thieves (and inquisitive little ones) out, while still allowing quick access in an emergency. 

To help relieve some of that headache, we’ve spent some time testing and reviewing a number of the most popular handgun safes on the market right now. 

What we’ve found is… not confidence-inspiring all the time. Make no mistake, some of the safes you find on Amazon absolutely suck, and shouldn’t be used. 

Fortunately, there are some out there that are clearly well-made, well-thought-out, and well-priced. Let’s take a look at how to spot the difference, and which ones we think you should take a look at first.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A HANDGUN SAFE

There are several things to keep in mind when selecting a handgun safe. Let’s take a sec to talk about each of them.

SIZE

First of all, you’ll need to think about the size of your safe. That means both internal and external.

The internal measurements will determine how much the safe will fit. Obviously, it needs to be large enough to fit whatever handgun or handguns you want to fit. But if you also want to put other things, whether that’s spare mags, ammo, or just other valuables, you’ll need to make sure that the safe provides enough room for those things too.

Maj toure EDC
Need a bigger safe if you want to store all of your EDC items in it!

You’ll also need to consider the external measurements of the safe though, so you know where you can put it. For example, if you plan on keeping it inside your nightstand drawer, it obviously needs to fit inside that drawer. 

ANCHOR TYPE

A safe doesn’t do much if a would-be thief can just carry the safe off and work on opening it at their convenience and with better access to the right tools for the job. This is especially a problem with handgun safes since they’re lighter and smaller than safes for long guns. 

Fortunately, most handgun safes come with mounting hardware and the necessary holes pre-drilled. This makes attaching them easy to attach to a drawer or shelf. 

We… don't recommend WikiHow's idea of anchoring a safe.

The downside of this is that it’s not especially portable for you. If you’d like a handgun safe you can take with you to a hotel or use in a car, you’ll want a safe that uses a security cable. Unfortunately, security cables aren’t as secure as mounting is, so there’s a trade-off. 

LOCKING MECHANISM

Once you’ve used an anchor to make sure a thief can’t just walk away with the safe, the safe’s locking mechanism is the primary thing keeping them out. 

There are a bunch of different types of locks, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. 

Keyed locks are the most basic, traditional type of lock. In fact, most safes have a keyed lock as a backup, even if they use a different type of lock as well. Keyed locks are easy to use, aren’t prone to jamming or failure, and don’t require any power. 

Liberty SecuRam -- EMP tested!
Liberty SecuRam — EMP “proof” for… reasons

The downside is that they aren’t particularly quick to open, especially with an unsteady hand from nerves. You also have to actually keep up with the key while also making sure that a thief can’t easily find it. A well-made lock is difficult to pick, but many locks aren’t well made. 

Combination locks, come in both mechanical and electronic flavors. I don’t like mechanical ones because they’re slow to access, so instead, let’s talk about electronic combination locks. 

These locks use a keypad, which is much faster to use than a mechanical combination lock. The keypads are also usually backlit for easy use in the dark. 

On the other hand, they do require power. Many have both an AC adapter and a backup battery to prevent power loss, though, and they generally have a light and/or tone to indicate when the battery is low. 

Biometric locks are the last major type of locking mechanism. These locks use fingerprint scanners to allow access to the safe. The upside is that they’re quick and easy to use, will usually save a bunch of different fingerprints, and they don’t require you to remember a code or keep a key on hand. 

Vaultek safe
Vaultek safe with biometric lock

The downside is that they require power and the reliability of the scanner can vary widely. All of the biometric safes on this list, however, are known to have reliable scanners.

CONSTRUCTION

Finally, a fancy lock doesn’t mean much if the thief can just grab some tools from your garage and cut through the side of the safe or pry open the door, so you’ll want a safe that resists all that. Look for a pry-resistant door and thick, solid steel walls. 

If you’re keeping other items in your safe, like important documents, you may want to go with a safe that’s fireproof. If you’re just storing your gun and ammo, though, that’s not necessary. 

To protect your gun’s finish, you’ll want to make sure the interior of the safe is lined. 

BEST HANDGUN SAFES

Now that you know what to look for in a safe, let’s move on to the safes themselves. 

GunVault SV500 SpeedVault

The GunVault SpeedVault is probably my single most recommended handgun safe. What I really love about it is that it has a cradle inside, which holds your gun upright. When you unlock the safe, the front panel swings down with the cradle, presenting your handgun grip up and ready to grab in a secure positive grip. There’s even a light inside to help you grab the gun even faster. 

The digital keypad gets you from unarmed to ready-to-shoot in just a few seconds. 

GunVault SVB500 hidden gun safe
GunVault SVB500

The walls of the safe are made from 18 gauge steel and are predrilled on both sides for mounting. It’s great for putting underneath a desk or nightstand.

My main complaint about this safe is that it only holds one gun, no backup or spare mags. While you probably won’t need them in a typical home invasion, this is definitely a scenario where I’d rather have the thing and not need it than need it and not have it. 

Vaultek VT10i

The Vaultek VT10i is the handgun safe for tech junkies. 

It gives you four different ways to get inside the safe. There’s the Vaultek Smart App which connects to your phone or tablet with Bluetooth, a biometric scanner, a keypad, and, of course, a key. 

These sleek handgun safe will fit easily in most drawers, with external measurements of 10.5″ x 8.5″ x 2.125″. The 16-gauge steel wall is pre-drilled for mounting and the safe comes with both mounting hardware and a security cable. 

Vaultek VT10i handgun safe
Vaultek VT10i

Vaultek advertises that the VT10i fits a handgun and a spare mag, but realistically, you could probably fit at least a pair of spares. Maybe more if you’re storing a smaller handgun. 

Fort Knox Original Pistol Box

The Fort Knox Original Pistol Box is a more traditional lock box-style handgun safe. And, as the brand name indicates, it’s also very rugged and secure.

The walls of the safe are made from powder-coated 10 gauge steel and it has a 3/16″ plate door. It comes with pre-drilled holes for mounting.

To access the interior, the Original Pistol Box has a mechanical, push-button combination lock. It’s a little slow compared to a biometric safe but is also very reliable.

It’s also quite large relative to most other pistol safes, with an 11.625” x 10.25” x 3.625” interior and a 12.5” x 10.5” x 4.5” exterior. That’s enough room for a full-sized handgun, plus some extras. 

Viking Security Safe VS-50BLX Large Biometric Safe 

If the Fort Knox Original Pistol Box isn’t large enough for you, then this next safe might be your speed.

The Viking Security VS-50BLX Large Biometric Safe is the largest safe on this list and is great if you want to be able to store more than just a single pistol and a couple of spare mags. 

Viking Security Safe  handgun safe
Viking Security Safe

It has three adjustable shelves on the inside, so you can choose the configuration that works for your belongings. There is also a handful of hooks on the inside of the door for hanging keys and similar items. 

For the locking mechanism, Viking elected to go with a keypad and a biometric scanner. Of course, there’s also a pair of override keys.  

Hornady RAPiD Safe Vehicle Safe

If you’re looking for a handgun safe specifically for use in your car, then it’s hard to top the Hornady RAPiD Safe Vehicle Safe. 

Like the rest of the RAPiD Safe lineup (which I’m also a big fan of), the RAPiD Safe Vehicle Safe allows you to unlock the safe with RFID technology and comes with two RFID stickers, an RFID key fob, and an RFID watchband. 

Hornady Rapid Vehicle Gun Safe
Hornady Rapid Vehicle Safe

What sets it apart from the rest of the line is that it’s designed specifically for use in a car. An inflatable bladder that inserts between the center console and passenger seat holds it in place, positioning the actual safe part right in front of the passenger seat for convenient access. 

A security cable provides a non-permanent way to anchor the safe in your car or truck. 

SentrySafe PP1K

My last pick is the SentrySafe PP1K, an excellent option for those who just want a simple, lockbox-style handgun safe, need a portable option, or are on a tight budget. At most retailers, it goes for somewhere around $80.

It comes with two tubular keys to allow entry (though there’s also a version with an electronic combination lock for about $30 more). 

It also comes with a steel security cable for temporary mounting, but there aren’t any mounting holes or hardware. There’s even a convenient carry handle. 

SentrySafe PP1K
SentrySafe PP1K

Despite the low price, this safe is still pretty secure, with a pry-resistant door and alloy steel walls. 

LOOSE ROUNDS

Finding the right handgun safe for you isn't too hard of a project, but keep a look out for the no-name brands that are just out to take your money.

My personal favorites are the Vaultek and Hornady offerings.

Ready for more reading? Take a look at these:

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