Now, I want to be really clear about gun safe. Having a good full-size gun safe is essential but having an easily accessible gun safe for your pistol is also critical.
But, what we’re talking about here is your primary personal defense handgun that you carry with you on a daily basis.
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“How do I store my gun at home securely using a gun safe?”
How do I secure that? Well, there are a couple of things that I want to stress to you.
First of all, this is not something that you would put the gun in at home. I’m going to recommend that you carry the gun on your person at home.
That way you have it for immediate access if something happens at the door or get surprised in the backyard, on your own property.
So this is not an excuse not to carry your gun.
The first style is a tumbler style combination lock.
Here is an example which I recommend if you go this route: GunVault NV300 NanoVault with Combination Lock.
And all you have to do is remember what you set your code at, really just straightforward just like a luggage or a small lock box.
The second style has a key with it.
I recommend, having had both of them, use the tumbler style.
The reason is once you secure your gun in here, you may be separated from that key, they maybe in your pants’ pockets, on the floor of your bedroom, maybe somewhere in your hotel room, you may have left it in the car.
You may have put it in a briefcase.
It could be in a number of places.
There’s no way that you can misplace this combination.
So simply put – all you do is you set your combination, factory default is usually 000.
Once you got this set, you simply open it up.
This will secure a relatively full-sized hand gun, most of your Glock, your 1911’s, all fit in here.
Here is a key lock gun safe we’d recommend if you choose to go this route: GunVault NV200 NanoVault with Key Lock, Fits Full Size 1911 Style Pistols.
When I was traveling a lot, what I would do is put my gun and a couple of empty magazines, maybe a pocket knife, a cigar cutter or whatever I had that TSA really didn’t care for, and lock it up and put it inside my check bag, didn’t take up a lot of room and I could have my kit ready to go.
Oftentimes I’d put the gun in the holster in there as well so when I got to the airport, got my check bag,
I can load up and I was ready to go get my rental car.
This is the minimum level security.
Now, let me just talk about a couple of things I don’t like.
First let me talk about the little slot that you can put a cable through, loop the cable back around, has a little crimp on it.
This prevents it from just being simply grabbed.
You can put it around the bed in a hotel room, a piece of furniture; put it around the car seat, anything that would be closed loop.
It’s not going to be permanent.
It’s not going to prevent it from someone with tools but it will prevent a casual grab of the box.
A couple of detracting things I don’t like.
The mechanism on the top, can be kind of moved around and it wears down as you access the box.
And this is just what you just got to expect that you’re going to have to be careful with.
There are better solutions out there but I like it just as a first line of defense and also for travel, it works really well.
And I would call this in a low threat environment and really it’s a tamper-resistant device that meets the requirements of storing the gun.
The second safe, is what I consider to be an electronic, biometric gun safe, meaning, I entered the combination with my fingers.
Some of them have fingerprint scanners that you can program for different things.
It also has a key override on it as well.
This safe in theory is really great because at night you can walk up and simply feel the buttons and this one I’ve set a really simple combination.
But if you don’t enter the code right, it’s going to start beeping.
If I need to access my gun in the middle of night because I think someone is in my home it’s going to be making a lot of beeping noise, this safe may not be the best choice.
And the reason I say this is it’s going to alert anyone who can hear in a silent house that I’m doing something, that I’m awake, that it’s going on.
Biometric gun safes to consider:
- Sentry Safe Biometric Quick Access Pistol Safe
- BARSKA Biometric Safe
- Viking Security Biometric Safe
When the safe opens, it kind of opens vigorously but not all the way.
And in this safe, you can have a little problem when you try to get a full-sized gun out of safe because you really can’t access the gun firmly and get the gun out.
The problem is with this safe, I don’t like because it makes a lot of noise.
It’s not particularly small, but yet I still can’t put my hand in and access a full-sized hand gun.
It always beeps.
Enter too many times, this thing perpetually beeps until you pull the battery pack out of it.
I’m not a big fan of this safe.
I’m not a big fan of the biometric gun safes.
These things lock up and it could be difficult to get into.
Premier personal gun safes
Gunvault SpeedVault gun safe
The one I like that woks for me is made by Fort Knox, made in the USA, Fort Knox FTK-PN Personal Pistol Box Handgun Safe.
It has a combination lock that you push buttons on. But NO BEEPS.
You turn this latch, it’s on hydraulics.
It opens up for you.
And then you can access your gun.
What I like about this safe is I can literally put a full size weapon gun in and access it.
Couple of things I like about this safe from Fort Knox, first of all, I can just simply close this safe and if I don’t turn the tumblers, it’s still open even though it’s closed.
So, if I’m a situation where I don’t have small children or things like people that I don’t know come into the bedroom I simply turn this latch and now my gun is secure.
The other thing is this is significantly heavier than either one of these two.
So, in a safe, I don’t want the safe moving around as I try to access it.
All of these can be secured but this one I like because it has some significant weight to it.
The next thing is if I was going to attack a safe, most people will tell you that you’re going through the corners.
You put a pry bar in here.
You pry it down.
You’d break the safe open.
Rather than just going at it from, straight from the metal, you always go to the opening.
What I like about this safe is that we have overlapping corners.
We have overlapping corners on the inside.
So you can’t just get a crowbar in there and get leverage on it.
What you’re going to do is start bending the heavy outside metal.
The other thing that I like is it comes with two layers of foam in the safe.
With two layers of foam, I can set it up so that I can put any gun at the top of it or I could put a gun and a holster and extra magazine.
What I oftentimes do is take my daily carry rig which it will be a flashlight, it could be an extra magazine.
I can place all of them in there as well.
When I get ready to leave in the morning, all my gear is ready to go.
I think if you’re going to have a home safe, this is the one to invest in.
Let me just review for you real quick why I like this.
One, it gives me the option of closing it without locking it.
It gives me the second option of once I try to access the safe, I don’t have any noise going on.
It’s heavy but yet it’s hydraulically-assisted on the opening so I’m not going to fumble with it and I can access the gun with a full firing grip when I get into the safe.
This I think is the way to go if you can afford it.
This safe is around about $200 but it’s the only one you’ll ever have to buy.
It also makes a good alternative if you can’t afford a full upright safe.
This is a great alternative.
Even to store a couple of handguns in, one underneath the lower foam, put your daily carry gun here.
You can secure those.
Here are two other handgun safes I’m might purchase for another part of my home and business:
Gunvault Mini Vault Deluxe Gun Safe
Gunvault GV2000S Multi Vault Standard Gun Safe
Vehicle Gun Safe Comparison
“How do I store my gun in my vehicle securely using Gun Safe?”
Here to review personal Gun Vaults or Gun Safe for your vehicle.
It’s a gun box put under your seat.
It doesn’t provide full gun safe security but if you need to stop at a parking lot, you can at least know that’s going to slow people down.
So this is the one that I’ve had for a few years.
This is called the GunVault NV300 NanoVault with Combination Lock by GunVault and it’s a real solid piece of material.
It probably weighs five pounds and has a little padding in it.
It holds a full size 1911 and the way it works – it’s obviously the most simple thing you can get too.
The way it works is you would take the cable and run it around the base of your seat bracket.
And the run the cable through the cable notch.
You could either leave it like that or you can wrap it around the lock catch and it provides a way for you to be able to pull the thing out from under the seat, put the gun in it, lock it and go on your way.
It takes about 10 seconds to do.
Another great option is called the Gunvault MV500-STD Microvault Gun Safe.
Right off the bat, it’s not quite as heavy which is a little strange.
It’s a little bit taller.
So theoretically actually it will hold more at that point.
The locking mechanism is different so instead of being hinged, you actually slide it out.
So based on the size of it, I’m going to say it might be a tight fit for a full sized 1911. It may. It will definitely hold a compact which is what my daily carry is.
The way this one works is you put the cable obviously around the seat the same way as the other one and put the end in and when you lock it, it latches onto the cable.
So now you cannot it slide out because the base of the cable is in the way. Personally, that is kind of annoying to me.
I’ve got to pull the cable out and that’s attached to my car. But now the cable is detached and I’ve got to go fishing for it.
This box is actually a little bit lighter.
I think the material is about the same but it doesn’t feel quite as solid as the other one.
So pretty much that’s all I can say about them. They both work. They’re both about in the same price range.
I bought these both on Amazon and so I hope this has been helpful. I know there’s not much to it but that’s pretty much it.
Here is other Car Gun Safe if you have the room I HIGHLY recommend the Gunvault SpeedVault SVB500 gun safe.
What to Look For When Buying Quality Gun Safe
Quality Gun safe – For anyone who owns guns, you have to make sure that your guns stay out of the reach of children.
Moreover, if you have a valuable gun collection, you have to make sure they are secure from burglars.
To cater to these needs it is best to make sure that you make necessary arrangements to keep your guns safe.
The best and safest option to keep your guns out of reach of children and safe from thieves is buying a gun safe.
The purpose of this review is to provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision as to the best gun safe for you.
Other gun safe reviews:
Why Should You Invest In A Gun Safe?
Buying a gun safe is a viable investment. It protects your guns and also portrays you as a responsible gun owner.
One of the main reasons for owning a gun safe is to keep children safe from accessing your firearms. Children are curious by nature and properly securing them in a gun safe is the responsible action to take.
Moreover, there are many states that require gun owners to keep their firearms safely secured.
This is to keep the children safe from gaining access to them.
You also save quite a lot of money if you own a gun safe. Most homeowner’s insurance gives you a discount if you protect your guns against theft and fire.
To Show That You Are Responsible With Guns – Gun Safe
There are many anti-gun groups that are constantly trying to portray gun owners as irresponsible. This is mainly done to stop people from purchasing guns.
However, owning a gun is your right as a citizen of the USA.
But it is also your responsibility to abide by the laws of the state and make properly secure your guns and one effective way is via a gun safe.
This is why it is best to get a gun safe.
Keeping a gun safe will show that you are a responsible gun owner.
It portrays that you are fully aware of the severity of gun related accidents and are doing your part to prevent them.
Owning a gun safe will also give you peace of mind but also reliable access when you need it.
To Prevent Access to Children
When you have guns at home, there is always a danger that your children, or children visiting your home, may gain access to them.
Teens and children are not aware of how a gun has to be handled and should be kept out of the reach of children without proper supervision.
Or an unfortunate accident could take place and end up hurting others or themselves.
Most individuals make it a point to lock their guns in a cabinet or cupboard, but that is quite frankly unreliable and easily accessed by children.
A gun safe is meant to secure the firearm and only you will be able to access it.
To Keep Your Guns Safe
Most gun owners have a valuable gun collection.
While some guns may be brand-new and easily replaceable, others have sentimental value or are vintage or classic. Such guns are difficult or impossible to replace.
Thieves often look for such guns and why it is essential that you keep your guns safe.
There are certain gun owners who have special guns.
These guns may be heavily modified or customized made to order.
In most circumstance, modified and highly customized firearms are not usually covered by homeowners’ or Homestead insurance.
If such guns are stolen, the owner would only be covered for the actual cost of the gun, if at all.
The hundreds of dollars spent on modification and customization would not be covered.
Discounted Insurance Rates
Homeowners’ and Homesteaders insurance covers each and every item that is in your home including your guns.
But there is a coverage limit up to which the value of guns is covered.
If you own more guns than the coverage limit, you will not be covered for it.
On the other hand, if you want to get extra coverage, you will have to secure a rider and possibly pay a hefty sum.
However, if you get a gun safe, you can get a significant discount on the insurance rates. This will not only keep your guns safe, but it could save you money as well.
What to Look For When Buying a Gun Safe
Buying the right safe for your situation is essential.
There are many things to consider when buying a safe, including your budget, quality of the safe and where you will be using the safe.
An important factor to consider is the build quality of the safe. If it is not a quality constructed safe, it will not be the secure solution you are seeking and money could be wasted.
Lastly, you should consider the type of guns you own.
Build Quality of Gun Safe
The build quality of a gun safe is one of most important thing to consider.
Most standard safes come in 12-gauge steel. The steel is quite strong, but it can easily be defeated by a dedicated burglar with the proper tools like a sledge hammer and/or a crowbar.
Depending upon the size of the safe, it may not be quite as heavy as you would like. A couple of thieves can easily carry it out of your home and then open it elsewhere.
A 10-gauge steel safe, on the other hand, is a whole different story. It’s much heavier and tougher. As steel gauge gets smaller, the thicker, heavier and harder it gets.
You should also inspect the fit of the door and seems to be sure it doesn’t allow for easy prying and can’t be opened without a plasma cutter or grinder.
The heavier the steel gauge, the more expensive and studier the safe is.
Suitable Budget for Gun Safe
Determining the budget for a gun safe is a personal factor.
There are times when you absolutely need a topnotch gun safe. There are gun owners who do not require, or can afford, extra protection or features.
A standard gun safe without all the bells and whistles can meet their needs.
If you have an expensive gun collection, then a top of the line gun safe is the best option.
We highly recommend that you purchase the best quality gun safe you can afford and fits within your budget.
It all comes down to your personal preference. If you have money to spare, then you should get the best quality gun safe you can afford.
Determine Where You Will be Locating the Gun Safe
There is no point in buying a gun safe that you can’t get into the location your home where you want it.
The first and foremost thing you should do is determine where you want to place the gun safe.
The best place is a location that it remains out of view of visitors, thieves and burglars. Options might be:
- Room with no outside view and that you can control access
Take measurements of the area where you want to place the gun safe.
But the most critical factor is weight! Most gun safes are heavy, bulky and usually come assembled.
Positioning your gun safe will/could impose significant challenges.
Pre-planning properly will help ensure that the gun safe you purchase is a perfect fit for your home.
Type of Guns You Own
You should also take into consideration the type of guns you own. Most big gun safes advertise a lot of space. In reality, those safes can only store half of the guns properly.
Yes, I’ve seen the picture of the interior of safes with the guns neatly and properly placed and it’s a perfect fit.
But, not all guns are the same size (barrel length, width and or course stock sizes can vary).
You might be able to store the specified number of your guns, but it might be a challenge and the space will be extremely crammed.
So much so that you will not want to unload even a few of them to get at the particular gun you want…which will always be the one in the back.
There is no point in buying a large gun safe if you own handguns only.
I prefer (and own) a gun safe that has both long gun space and dedicated handgun storage and selves for miscellaneous gear and items.
Also, keep in mind that at some point you might want to expand your collection and will need additional room in your gun safe.
These are a few reasons why the type of guns you and what uses, should receive close consideration when determining the type of gun safe you want to buy.
I recommend (and I practice this myself) that it is better to purchase 2 or more gun safes of higher quality but of moderate size to accommodate efficiently my needs.
Attributes of a Good Gun Safe
There are many attributes of a high quality gun safe. You should consider each aspect of a gun safe properly.
Make sure you ask the manufacturer or dealer detailed questions regarding the operation and safety features of the safe.
Keep in mind that the door will be the most fortified part of the safe and the walls noticeably thinner.
A good quality safe will be constructed of 10 gauge steel with 5/16th solid steel plate door.
Do not overlook the fit (gap) of the door of the gun safe. If a thief can get a pry bar in between they will be able to peel back the steel.
Heavy Gauge Steel
The best type of steel is a 10-gauge. However, such safes are quite heavy and difficult to move. But then again, these gun safes provide the best possible protection.
But you can also choose the 12-gauge steel option for average protection.
Number of Draw Bolts on a Safe
Gun safe doors are locked into place by draw bolts. Average safes have one or two draw bolts.
However, good quality safes have multiple draw bolts, the number of which will depend on the overall size of the safe.
One thing to keep in mind is that the more draw bolts a safe has, the more difficult it is to pry such a safe open.
Safe Fire Safety and Seal
Most safes are made of steel only. Such safes are not that fire resistant.
If fire resistant safes are an important feature, you should look for a safe that has concrete lining for fire protection, a fire seal and has a fire rating from the manufacturer.
The fire seal ensures that smoke and heat cannot get easily into the gun safe. This keeps your guns and other items safer if there is a fire.
Locking Mechanism Options on a Gun Safe
Bear in mind that each and every safe can be cracked, burned, cut or pried open given enough time and the right tools.
Low-end safes can easily be opened with minimal effort.
However, good quality safes require a lot of time to be cracked.
The better the locking mechanism of your safe, the more difficult it will be for thieves to gain access. The only difference is the time it takes.
You have four basic types of locking mechanisms:
- Keyed – do not recommend
- Combination Dial – do not recommend
- Biometric – lots of advantages
- Electronic Keypad – recommend
I’ve had the above types.
Keyed are definitely out. They are a pain to keep track of, and you have to secure them to secure access to the gun safe.
I’m just not coordinated enough to open a traditional spin dial on the first try… usually takes 2 to 4 tries.
It’s also a slow process and it never fails that as soon as I spin the dial I need to get back in there to put something back or retrieve something… never fails!
Biometric has two quirks that I do not like:
- Beeping noise if it doesn’t read your fingerprints correctly
- Sometimes it can take several minutes and tries for the reader to read your prints so you can gain access
I highly HIGHLY recommend an electronic keypad regardless if it is a full size safe or a handgun safe for your nightstand, office, or vehicle.
You can program it with an easy-to-remember number of your choosing. It is very efficient and fast to access the safe when you want.
Options for Bolting the Gun Safe to the Floor
Another option I strongly believe in but rarely implement, bolting the gun safe to the floor.
This will keep the safe from tipping over when you open the door. In addition, it will keep thieves from caring off with the safe altogether.
Make sure the bolts are secured with an over sized washers and bolts, it will defeat the purpose if the bolts can be pulled out from the floor or the gun safe itself.
Type of Gun Safe to Purchase
If you have handguns, pistols, rifles and/or other items you want secured, you should consider purchasing a full size cabinet gun safe.
This will have sufficient room for your rifles on one side and shelves for your hand guns, bullets and such gun safes can even be used for storing important documents, jewelry and other valuables.
For handgun safes and vehicle gun safes read reviews.
Always remember that the better the gun safe, the safer your guns are. This is why you should spare no expense and research when buying a gun safe.
One often overlooked safety precaution is ensuring that your safe is well hidden from view. If no one knows you have a gun safe, the safer it is.