A Guide to Finding the Best Gun Safe in 2021

With great power, they say, comes great responsibility. Gun ownership is no exception. Owning firearms is a big responsibility. That means we need to have proper training, maintain constant awareness of our surroundings, and keep our composure when handling firearms. 

We must also be responsible about where we keep our arms while we are not bearing them. Since guns are idle about 99% of the time, improper storage may be a more serious danger than improper handling.

That’s what gun safes are for.

A gun safe does more than keep your gun safe. It keeps you safe. And your home. And your family.

The number-one concern when keeping a weapon in the house should be making sure it is out of reach of children. Then there’s protection against robbers and intruders, protection of firearms against heat and humidity, and protection against misplacing your weapon and not knowing where it is in crucial moments.

Finding the best gun safe for your particular needs requires thorough research, which eats up valuable time. We’ve invested that time on your behalf and made a definitive list of the sturdiest and best-made products made by the best gun-safe brands on the market.

Our Top 3 Recommendations

FROM $1,077.61
FROM $2,095
FROM $799.00

Gun Safe Reviews

Fatboy by Steelwater Gun Safe

Fatboy by Liberty Gun Safe - best gun safe
  • Extensive weapon capacity and storage space

  • A wide range of optional features to customize

  • Extremely durable and well built

  • Steep price tag

Fatboy is the granddaddy of gun safes. If you’re serious about keeping your guns safe and you’re willing to pay the price for top-quality equipment, the Fatboy is the product for you. The materials, manufacturing quality, and storage space it provides make the Fatboy the go-to pick for gun collectors and enthusiasts.

You can choose among three models: the standard Fatboy, the Fatboy Extreme, and Fatboy Jr.

The Fatboy holds 64 firearms, with two collectors’ racks holding 32 guns each. The Extreme is a large gun safe with three racks holding 20 pieces each. And the Jr can store 48 weapons – a nice option, since it costs about half as much. All Fatboy models have ample storage space for accessories and valuables. All models come with a lifetime guarantee.

With an 11-gauge steel body, 12¼” locking bars, and 75 minutes of certified fire protection, the Fatboy is an immovable object that’s ready for an unstoppable force.

One of the biggest upsides is the level of customization Liberty offers. You can add a Suretight three-spoke handle or a rugged and durable electronic lock. You can specify the color of the interior. And you can choose among many more optional features.

The downside is simple – the price. Starting at $2,449, the Fatboy is for those who are deadly serious about keeping their gun collections safe. On a budget? Consider the Fatboy Jr, which holds plenty of weapons but starts at a much more reasonable $1,699.

Liberty Fatboy specifications:

Capacity: 64 pieces

Body steel thickness: 11 gauge

Lock: mechanical (key with locking dial) – electronic lock optional

Bar/Bolt: 4-inch military-style locking bars, 12¼” thick 

Fire protection: 75 minutes at 1200°F

Dimensions (H x W x D): 60.5″ x 42″ x 32″

Weight: 896 lbs.

Starting price: $899

Zanotti Armor Modular Gun Safe

Zanotti Armor Modular Gun Safe - best gun safe
  • Super-thick gauge panels

  • 20-minute assembly

  • Right or left door opening

  • External hinges

  • Low fire-resistance rating

Moving is always a hassle. Packing, boxes, vans, calling in favors from friends – nobody likes it except movers, and they wouldn’t like it either if they didn’t get paid. Moving with a safe – that’s a whole other world of hurt.

That’s why a modular safe may be the way to go. This type of gun safe comes unassembled from the store and you put it together yourself. If you have a DIY mentality, a modular safe may be the best gun safe for you.

This may sound unsafe for a safe, if you’ll pardon the pun. You may have the impulse to think that a thing that is designed to keep your valuables from falling into the wrong hands should be put together by professionals. But modular safes are just as secure as the pre-assembled models. Besides that, they are not at all difficult to put together, especially the Zanotti models we are reviewing here.

The six easy-to-handle steel panels can be assembled by two people in about 20 minutes using only a hammer. The sides are 11-gauge steel plates, while the door and the top, bottom, and floor panels are made of durable seven-gauge steel. The panels are connected by 3⁄8” solid steel pins.

Modular safes let you hang the doors with the hinges on either side, which means that you can fit your safe anywhere in the room.

Zanotti safes come with a dial lock. They come in three sizes, so no matter how big your gun collection is, you will find a safe that works for you.

Zanotti Armor Z3 5-foot modular gun safe specifications:

Capacity: different models hold from 20 to 52 rifles 

Body steel thickness: 11-gauge sides, seven-gauge top, bottom, and door

Lock: combination lock

Fire protection: 20 minutes at 1,200°F

Dimensions (H x W x D): 60” x 41” x 31”

Weight: 750 pounds

Starting price: $2,350

Large Biometric Rifle Safe from Barska

Large Biometric Rifle Safe from Barska - best gun safe
  • Biometric technology

  • Certified by the Department of Justice

  • Holes for mounting

  • Lightweight: needs to be bolted to boost security

  • No fireproof rating

Fingerprint technology is no longer used solely by police, especially when it comes to high-end security. Barska is in that business – it creates some of the best safes on the market.

A biometric lock is the perfect balance between safety and accessibility. The safe can store 120 verified fingerprints in its database. New fingerprints can be added to the database only in the presence of a verified user, which ensures that unauthorized personnel cannot reach the valuables stored inside.

The Barska Biometric Rifle Safe comes with two keys in case the batteries run out, plus an external battery pack for the same reason. 

What makes Barska one of the best biometric gun safe manufacturers is that the company lets you mute the beep that usually sounds when the safe is unlocked with a fingerprint. That’s a thoughtful, handy feature if you’re opening the safe in the middle of a home invasion. This attention to detail really makes or breaks a company.

The biometric module takes about 2.5 seconds to unlock.

With a clean bill of health from the California Department of Justice, this solid-steel safe has a five-point deadbolt locking system. The back panel has six holed for wall-mounting purposes.

This gun cabinet holds 12 rifles and has three adjustable shelves that you can set up in a variety of ways to maximize holding capacity. Spare storage can be used to keep jewelry and other valuables safe.

Barska Large Biometric Rifle Safe specifications:

Capacity: 12 rifles

Body steel thickness: 16 gauge

Lock: biometric (fingerprint); Keys in case of battery outage;

Bar/Bolt – 5-point deadbolt lock

Fire protection: n/a

Dimensions (H x W x D): 57’’ x 13.75’’ x 13.38’’

Weight: 114 lbs.

Starting price: $609.99

Steelwater Gun Safes

Steelwater Gun Safes - best gun safe
  • Plenty of versions and specifications to choose from

  • EMP-proof lock defends against electronic-pulse attacks

  • Holes for mounting on the ground

  • On the pricey side

Steelwater gun safes come in all shapes and sizes. If you’re in the market for the best long gun safe, you will surely find something to like among Steelwater models that store 16, 20, 22, 39, and 45 rifles. Various degrees of fire resistance and other customizable features are available, with each size coming in heavy-duty and extreme-duty versions.

The simple, monolithic design of these long gun safes discourages burglars from even trying to penetrate it. But the psychological impact of the design is just part of the story.

The bodies and doors of the 22 long-gun Steelwater heavy-duty safes are made from 12-gauge steel, they lock with 20 1½″ solid-steel bolts, and have a huge drill-resistant hard plate on the locking mechanism. The extreme-duty safes are even thicker and more impenetrable, with nine-gauge steel and two hours of fire resistance at 1,875°F.

Whether you opt for the $729 basic 16-gun version or a titanic 45-gun safe for $2,000 or more, you are guaranteed to get the best value safe on the market with Steelwater. By doing directly straight with Steelwater, you can save up to 50% on retailer, distributor, and installer fees.

Steelwater 22 Long Gun Safe specifications (HD – Heavy Duty, ED – Extreme Duty):

Capacity: 22 rifles

Body steel thickness: 12 gauge (heavy duty), 9 gauge (extreme duty

Lock: EMP-proof high-security digital keypad with bypass key

Bar/Bolt: 20 1½ ” locking bolts

Fire protection: 60 minutes (heavy duty) and 120 minutes (extreme duty) at 1,875°F

Dimensions (H x W x D): 59” x 30” x 24” + 3” for handle

Weight: 581 lbs. (heavy duty), 765 lbs. (extreme duty)

Starting price: $1,195 (heavy duty), $2,095 (extreme duty)

Amsec RF6528

Amsec RF6528 - best gun safe
  • Lots of customizable options

  • Lifetime warranty

  • Huge gun capacity

  • Might be too big for some homes

  • Steep price

Amsec allows a lot of customization for all gun safes they produce. No matter what size collection, wallet, or room you have, Amsec will surely have the model for you.

The color pallette on the Amsec website ranges from Pearl Essence to Satin Black Textured, with Rosso Corsa Red and Sapphire Blue in between. Disclaimer – be sure to consult your wife before choosing the color of your gun safe. If you happen to bungle the color choice, Amsec offers a “safe cloak” – a plain wood cover for your safe that will make it look like a regular cabinet. 

American Security gun safes are made in the United States. They come with a lifetime fire and burglary guarantee. The RF6528 is a massive, six-foot home gun safe behemoth that looks invincible. And it just may be: With 12- and 10-gauge body and doors, plus ceramic nuggets embedded in the steel for extra integrity, it weighs a massive 3,455 pounds. 

It can hold 50 guns in total, and it has movable shelves inside. You can add a handgun rack, a four-drawer storage cabinet, and a large jewelry drawer for an extra fee. There are multiple options for the locking system – combination locks, digital locks, or a Redundant Rotobolt lock.

If you’re looking for a cheap gun safe, you’d better read one of our other reviews. The Amsec RF6528 will set you back a cool $1,077.61 to $1,389.87. Given the size, materials, and specs, that’s a fair price. But it’s a lot of green.

Amsec RF6528 specifications:

Capacity: 50 rifles

Body steel thickness: 12- and 10-gauge body panels, 11-gauge door

Lock: combination mechanical, digital, Rotobolt Redundant locks

Fire protection: 120 minutes

Dimensions (H x W x D): 72″ x 35″ x 29.5”

Weight: 3,455 lbs.

Starting price: $1,077.61 to $1,389.87

GR Series from Champion Safes

GR Series from Champion Safes - best gun safe
  • Excellent price to quality ratio

  • Lifetime warranty

  • American-made steel

  • No bolt on options

  • Substandard fire protection

The GR Series is the most affordable line of gun safes that Champion produces. This Utah-based safe manufacturing company founded in 1999 is renowned for making top-of-the-line security products in a wide range of prices and safety levels.

Each safe Champion manufactures is handmade from American steel and features a four-way active boltwork system, a design lauded as one of the most secure in the industry.

You would be hard pressed to find a better-quality product than the GR Series in the lowest price range. The 3/4” composite wall has a 12-gauge outer shell and three layers of fire insulation, features commonly found in the upper echelon of firearm safes.

The door is made out of 12-gauge steel and has two layers of fire insulation, with a three-hinged handle for the vintage safe look.

The locking mechanism is also top-of-the line for this price range. The basic safe has a Sargent & Greenleaf dial lock which can be upgraded to an electronic lock, a diamond-embedded steel plate to protect it, and an auto-relock system. Fixed on the inside of safes, relock systems detect tampering such as drilling or heat exposure and lock the bars remotely. 

The GR Series includes models that hold 13, 25, or 29 firearms in plush velour-covered interiors that can be reorganized to meet your own needs and preferences. All of the models feature a lifetime warranty and a certificate issued by Underwriters Laboratories.

Champion GR-30 specification:

Capacity: 25 rifles

Body steel thickness: 12-gauge

Lock: combination mechanical, digital

Bar/Bolt: up to 12 1-inch active door bolts

Fire protection: 60 minutes at 1,200°F

Dimensions (H x W x D): 34″ x 60″ x 24.5″

Weight: 575 lbs.

Starting price: $2,058.24

Fortress Long Gun Safe

Fortress Long Gun Safe - best gun safe
  • Affordable for the level of security it provides

  • Alarm system

  • Patented notch bolts for extra security

  • Relatively small construction steel gauge

  • Insufficient fire protection

Being able to afford valuable things is one thing, but being able to keep them safe and out of harm’s way is another. Your home needs to be a fortress. That is what a Webster, NY-based safe maker had in mind when it chose the Fortress brand name. Fortress has one simple mission – to make the best gun safe.

The Fortress safe company manufactures high quality gun and handgun safes of all sizes and capacities. One of the key features of Fortress products is the Alarm-U theft alert and deterrent alarm system, which notifies you when your safe is being tampered with. 

The company’s products really stand out if you’re in the market for a small rifle safe. While their 8EBF safes don’t have storage for much more than your guns, the internal layout of shelves and compartments is ideally optimized to hold eight long barrel rifles.

It’s the knowledge of marketing and customer needs that makes Fortress stand out as one of the premiere gun safe brands.

The 8EBF features external hinges that allow the door to be opened 180 degrees for complete visibility and access. It locks with three 1” locking bolts and features specialized notch bolts that increase the security of the safe. The safe is constructed out of 14 gauge steel and comes in an elegant and stylish black finish.

The most eye-catching feature of this safe is the approachable price tag. Starting at $398.57, the Fortress 8EBF is the best gun safe under $500.

Fortress 8EBF specification:

Capacity: 8 rifles

Body steel thickness: 14 gauge

Lock: combination mechanical, digital

Bar/Bolt:  three 1” active door bolts, two dead bolts

Fire protection: 30 minutes at 1,200°F

Dimensions (H x W x D): 55″ x 18.5″ x 15.25″

Weight: 231 lbs.

Starting price: $766.04

Paragon 7550 Supreme Rifle Safe

Paragon 7550 Supreme Rifle Safe - best gun safe
  • Internal lockbox

  • Anchor holes pre-drilled

  • Elegant design

  • Thin steel gauge

  • No fire-protection test

The benchmark price in the gun safe industry seems to be the $500 mark. 

We here at SafeAtLast.co hardly believe that reliable gun safes for that cheap a price can be found. What we recommend is the 7550 Supreme Rifle Safe with a price tag starting at $329.99.

The build quality and features that this Mancelona, Michigan-based company puts into its products at the most minimal of prices make us wonder about how its business model works. 

The eight-rifle 7550 Supreme Rifle Safe is constructed out of powdered 18-gauge steel and weighs in at 95.5 pounds. These are great specifications for a safe of this capacity.

Hinges on the inside of the door make for a tougher safe to crack. 

When you’re shopping for a home gun safe, be sure to consider where you’ll put it. In some locations you’ll want a door that opens to the right, while in others you’ll need a safe that opens to the left. Overlook this detail and your purchase could be a complete misfire. Incidentally: The door on the Paragon 7550 Supreme Rifle Safe opens to the right.

This product has ample storage for eight rifles and includes a lockbox for other valuables with a separate set of keys. If you’re forgetful and don’t like memorizing combinations, and if you don’t trust electronic locks, the simple key locking mechanism of the Paragon 7550 Supreme Rifle Safe is perfect for you.

The safe comes with pre-drilled holes for anchor bolts that tie the safe to the wall, making it hard to lift and steal.

Paragon 7550 Supreme Rifle Safe specifications:

Capacity: 8 rifles

Body steel thickness: powder-coated 18 gauge

Lock: key lock

Fire protection: n/a

Dimensions (H x W x D): 55″ x 19 ¾” x 12 ½ “

Weight: 95.5 lbs.

Starting price: $329.99

Capitol Series 24-Rifle Gun Safe

Capitol Series 24-Rifle Gun Safe - best gun safe
  • Lifetime replacement policy

  • Triple hard plate anti-drilling lock protection

  • Digital lock

  • No choice between left or right door orientation

Capitol has been making some of the best gun safes on the market since 1965. The company’s safes are reliable, sturdy, and well-built – you can be certain that your rifle collection will be secure from harm. 

Capitol safes come with a lifetime replacement promise. In case of a successful break-in, natural flood, or fire, the company will repair or replace your safe.

Constructed of 12-gauge steel panels, the 24-Rifle Gun Safe has half-inch holes in the back meant for anchoring your safe to the wall. This considerably raises the security of the product. Be careful, however – if you alter the holes in any way, the warranty will become void.

All Capitol safes come with electronic locks. The batteries last six to 12 months and will cause a lockout if they run out of power. The safe also enters lock-out mode if incorrect codes are entered five times in a row. Security mishaps that occur because of a dead battery are not covered by the warranty.

One of the premium features you can order for your Capitol Series 24-Rifle Gun Safe is an EMP lock, a combination digital key lock. The lock is protected by a triple hard plate to prevent burglars from drilling through it.

The most affordable version of this safe starts at $1,062.49.

Capitol Series 24-Rifle Gun Safe specifications:

Capacity: 24

Body steel thickness: 12-gauge

Lock: electronic or EMP

Bar/Bolt: six bars, 4” thick

Fire protection: 30 minutes at 1,200°F

Dimensions (H x W x D): 57.4″ x 24″ x 12.7″

Weight: 338 lbs.

Starting price: $1,062.49

SecureIt Agile Ultralight: Model 52

SecureIt Agile Ultralight: Model 52 - best gun safe
  • Lightweight and easily movable

  • Excellent internal organization

  • Easy to assemble

  • Not a real safe

  • Batteries for electronic lock not included

The best gun safe for child safety doesn’t have to be very heavy or have two-inch steel panels. A lock and handle at a sufficient height can keep firearms out of the reach of toddlers. That’s what SecureIt’s Ultralight is for.

A lightweight gun safe is easy to move, especially if it unassembles as easy as this model does. Its light weight doesn’t not mean it’s flimsy, however. Although it isn’t the most secure gun safe on the market, its 16-gauge steel panels combine with craftmanship and intelligent design ensure that it does a solid job.

The louvered back panel makes each gun accessible, so there is no need to rearrange or take out anything when you are looking for one specific rifle. 

The Agile Ultralight comes with an electronic lock. Batteries are not included in the package, something to be aware of when ordering this product. 

The interior stores six guns with ease – the cradle grid system on the back panel can support any type of rifle without any adjustment. We recommend you check out the accessories SecureIt offers, such as gun bins, shelf kits, and similar items that can improve storage  capacity.

If you’re looking for a lightweight, but still durable and tough, rifle cabinet, look no further than the SecureIt Agile Ultralight Model 52, which starts at a more than reasonable $629.

SecureIt Agile Ultralight Model 52 specifications:

Capacity: 6 pieces

Body steel thickness: 16-gauge

Lock: electronic

Fire protection: n/a

Dimensions (H x W x D): 52″ x 20″ x 15″

Weight: 105 lbs.

Starting price: $799

Gun Safe Features: A Buyer’s Guide

The gauge of the steel

The thicker the steel, the sturdier the safe. That’s simple enough. A good gun safe should have at least 12-gauge steel plates on the sides and 10-gauge on the doors.

It’s worth noting that steel gauges get thicker with smaller numbers – 10-gauge is thicker than 12-gauge. You can find gauge-to-inch conversions here.

Type of locks

Gun safes generally come with two kinds of locks – mechanical or electronic. Keys and combinations are resistant to technical breaks, but take more time to open. Electronic locks are quicker to open, but require batteries. 

Safety-wise, they are similar. The more important part here is the steel plate that prevents drilling. Consider your needs and preferences before deciding which safe is right for you.

If you’re  into technological innovations, check out our Barska fingerprint gun safe review. You can always lose a key, you can always forget a lock combination – but you can never misplace the tip of your finger. If you do, not being able to unlock your rifle safe will be the least of your worries.

Gun safe weight

Again, it’s simple arithmetic – the heavier, the safer. If you plan on moving often, however, lighter safes like the SecureIt Agile Ultralight models may be the right choice for you. The weight is what makes a gun safe different from a gun cabinet. 

Pre-drilled bolt-on holes

Sometimes when burglars can’t crack a safe, they try to carry it away. That’s why it’s crucial that you bolt a safe onto the floor or a wall. That’s doubly important with lightweight safes. Look for safes that have holes in the back or bottom panels so you can secure them to the wall or floor.

Gun safe fire resistance

Despite how manufacturers advertise, there’s no such thing as a fire-proof gun safe – only a more or less fire-resistant gun safe. Safes can offer only so much fire protection. 

Some companies don’t test their products to try to prove their model is “the best fireproof gun safe.

The average fire resistance for safes is 30 minutes at 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Door hinges and orientation

External door hinges allow for the door to be opened 180 degrees, but are more vulnerable to tampering. Internal hinges are the opposite – limited accessibility, but better protection. Consider what’s more important to you.

Take note of which way the door opens, left or right. Always ask the manufacturer if they produce models with reverse orientations if the default doesn’t fit your needs.

Internal organization

Smart design can make a difference between a jumbled and an efficient storage space. You don’t want to take out three rifles to get to the one you want. If the safe is advertised to hold 16 guns, it probably holds 10 guns comfortably. Keep that in mind when choosing your safe.

In many models, the shelves can be rearranged to your liking. A big gun safe will store not only rifles, but ammo and other valuables like jewelry and documents. Some even have internal lockboxes with separate keys.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best gun safe for under $500?

A lot of people are in the market for gun safes for cheap. We recommend the Fortress Long Gun Safe, starting at around $400. Digital lock, 14-gauge steel walls, eight rifles - it is the best budget gun safe with features and build quality that some top-of-the-line products don’t have.

What are the best safes?

If money is not an issue, we recommend the Amsec RF6528. Weighing in at a massive 3,455 pounds and made out of 10-gauge steel, this top of the line gun safe stores 50 rifles and will last you a lifetime. And it should, with a price tag of $7,500. If you’re on a budget, we recommend the Large Biometric Rifle Safe from Barska, which has fingerprint recognition, for just under $600.

Is liberty a good safe?

Yes. The Liberty Fatboy is one of the most sought-after models on the market. It holds 64 rifles, it’s made out of 11-gauge steel, and it weighs in at 896 lbs. It is one best home gun safes out there with a price tag starting at $2,449. If that is too steep for your budget, we recommend the Fatboy Jr, which holds 48 rifles for $1,700.

What is a good fire rating for a safe?

There is much controversy concerning fire-proof safes. A lot of people claim that a safe cannot be fire-proof, but only fire-resistant. Some say testing procedures are not relevant or comprehensive. The average industry result for fire testing is 30 minutes at 1,200 degrees, while the top-rated gun safes last up to 120 minutes.

What are the Underwriters Laboratories (UL)?

The UL is a regulatory body that gives certificates to safety equipment. Most gun safes have the Residential Security Container certificate, which means they have been tested to resist at least five minutes of expert attacks employing the most common tools - screwdrivers, wrenches, crowbars, and such. The California Department of Justice also issues certificates of safety, since it is law in this state for rifles to be kept in safes.

How heavy should a safe be?

The heavier, the safer. Around 900 pounds should do the trick. If you plan on moving often, the best gun safe is lightweight, like the SecureIt Agile Ultralight.