Make Your Home a Safer Place – Searching for the Best Handgun Safe

Sporadic, halfhearted gestures toward gun control have not seriously compromised the constitutional right of every American to keep and bear arms. 43% of American citizens live in a household with at least one firearm.

We rely upon guns to keep our families and belongings safe. But an unsecured gun, no matter how well hidden, has a risk of falling into the wrong hands. The statistics are grim – more than 15% of all childhood deaths are caused by firearms.

Out of the 3,143 gun-related child fatalities in 2016, 1,228 were either suicide or accidental, a New England Journal of Medicine report states. These are preventable tragedies.

A handgun safe will make your home a much safer environment. They’re not even expensive – the best handgun safe will set you back $250, and even $100 will get you ample protection.

But what if a burglar breaks into my house?

Don’t worry – safes are designed to provide quick access to your firearms. Some are designed specifically with home invasions in mind, with a dropping door that primes the weapon in less than a second.

It’s actually much safer to have your guns locked up if you are the victim of a home invasion. You will know exactly where they are and you will be able to access them before the assailant does. Most gun safes have a silent mode, so you can still retain the element of surprise when confronting someone who has broken into your home.

Handgun safes are designed to be difficult to break into, so you can store other valuables along with your handguns to protect them from burglars. 

Most handgun safe manufacturers have models with biometric locks for quick access and instant shooting availability. In our opinion, the best safe for a handgun is the Fort Knox PB1, which has absolutely no electronic parts that can malfunction or batteries that can die. This model will truly keeps your weapons out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them.

The safes on this page have all met California Department of Justice security standards.

Check out our list of the best home handgun safes to see what options you have and decide what best fits your home. We have picked our favorites in all categories and provided details about options and special features. The only thing that’s left is for you to see exactly what your home and gun collection requires

Our Top 3 Recommendations

NO.
COMPANY
STATS
FEATURES
PRICE
9.6
FROM $249.99
9.2
FROM $224.99
8.8
FROM $257.00

Best Handgun Safe Reviews

SentrySafe QAP1BE

SentrySafe QAP1BE - best handgun safe
PROS
  • Quick-access biometric lock

  • Sturdy steel construction

  • Ample room for a gun with space to spare for other valuables

CONS
  • Weak bolting options

  • Lightweight

In a home-invasion scenario, the last thing you want is to be caught scrambling to find the keys to your handgun safe. You need to have at least one go-to weapon, a gun you can reach in under a second if the need arises. This shouldn’t mean that you keep a loose piece lying around. That would mean putting your family in danger.

The quickest and most reliable locking system for pistol safes is a biometric lock. With a simple swipe of the finger over the sensor of the SentrySafe QAP1BE, the door of the safe pops open.

It doesn’t just fly open – it glides smoothly thanks to the compression gas strut on the door. That also means you can mount the SentrySafe QAP1BE in any orientation on any surface and have the same quick and effortless action.

The process of programming your fingerprint into the system is straightforward. During the procedure, you will need to register your fingerprint at least 10 times from different angles. This ensures that the software learns your fingerprint thoroughly and that you can swipe your finger from any angle in a stressful situation.

The steel construction makes the safe sturdy and durable, while the lined interior keeps your gun pristine. If you are looking for the best biometric pistol safe – look no further than the SentrySafe QAP1BE.

SentrySafe QAP1BE specifications:

Exterior size (H x W x D): 3.2″ x 12.1″ x 9.9″

Capacity: 0.8 cubic feet

Weight: 11.90 lbs.

Lock: biometric, key

Price: $100-200

Quick Access Handgun Desk Safe by Barska

Quick Access Handgun Desk Safe by Barska - best handgun safe
PROS
  • Best quick-access handgun safe

  • Silent and inconspicuous

  • Digital lock

CONS
  • Holds a single weapon with no room for other valuables

Speed and silence are essential in an emergency situation. The best handgun safe allows for quick access – fumbling around for your weapon in a clunky and rattly lockbox is not an option. With the Barska Quick Access Handgun Desk Safe you will never be unprotected in your office or workspace.

The safe mounts on the bottom of a desk and, thanks to the smart design, you can even choose to keep it on the left side in case you’re a southpaw. 

This under-desk gun safe is optimized for one purpose alone: to keep your firearm right where you need it. The second you enter your unique PIN on the silent digital keypad, the bottom of the case drops and your handgun is primed and ready to be used. For an extra fee, you can order the safe with a fingerprint lock as well. The soft interior lining protects your firearm and keeps it from rattling when you take it out. 

The case itself is far from flimsy – the 16 gauge steel makes it durable and resistant to all sorts of abuse. However, the manufacturer warns its customers that the safe is not fireproof. This type of honesty and openness toward the consumer is what makes Barska one of the most respected gun safe brands in the industry.

The digital lock is powered by 4 AA batteries, and there is a mechanical key lock in case the batteries die.

Quick Access Handgun Desk Safe by Barska specifications:

Exterior size (H x W x D): 13.5″ x 3″ x 7.5″

Capacity: single pistol safe

Weight: 8.6 lbs

Lock: digital, key

Price: $139.99

GunVault GV1000D MiniVault Deluxe

GunVault GV1000D MiniVault Deluxe - best handgun safe
PROS
  • Patented “No Eyes” keypad

  • Holds two handguns

  • Anti-tampering alarm

CONS
  • Interior lining foam comes off with use

While some criminals wait for you to leave for work and invade your property when it is least protected, others lurk in the dark of night and attack when you and your family are most vulnerable.

In dim lighting conditions, having a lock you can consistently open without alerting invaders by turning the lights on is crucial. That’s where GunVault’s patented No Eyes keypad shines the brightest.

The ergonomic and tactile design of this keypad gun safe guarantees that you will input the correct combination without skipping a beat or even looking directly at the safe. Four grooves for four fingers and the braille-code like indicators on the locking system are perfectly designed for ease of access.

The precise, careful construction of this handgun vault makes it almost invulnerable to tampering. If somebody tries to pry it open, the motion-detection alarm will sound and a light will indicate that there was foul play. If the incorrect combination is typed several times in a row, the safe will lock out.

The unit is powered by an AC adapter or batteries. When the batteries are close to dying, an LED indicator warns you to change them. 

GunVault GV1000D MiniVault Deluxe specifications:

Exterior size (H x W x D): 5.25″ x 8.33″ x 12″

Capacity: 0.09 cubic feet

Weight: 9 lbs.

Lock: digital, backup override key

Price: $169.99

Stack-On PDS-1500 Drawer Safe

Stack-On PDS-1500 Drawer Safe - best handgun safe
PROS
  • Top-loaded

  • Fits perfectly in most drawers

  • Digital or biometric locks available

CONS
  • Not the most secure against paper-clip pick-locking

The interior of a man’s work desk is sacred. Rifling through drawers is a serious invasion of privacy and it goes without saying that we expect our families, employees, and coworkers to respect that. However, some things are too important to be left to chance. 

A drawer gun safe is perfect for those situations. The PDS-1500 is top-loaded – the door opens on the top side of the lockbox and provides optimal accessibility for stored items. The inside is padded with foam to protect your pistol and other valuables. The bottom has holes for affixing the box to the drawer; mounting hardware comes with the product.

The PDS-1500 comes with three locking systems. A mechanical lock and key is standard. You can choose a second option: a biometric fingerprint system or a digital keypad.

The biometric system stores up to 20 fingerprints. The digital keypad supports three eight-digit combinations and includes a silent mode. If you don’t heed the low battery warning on the box, this gun safe box comes with an old-fashioned key for backup.

Welded steel construction makes it sturdy and tamper-proof enough for basic use. The Stack-On PDS-1500 Drawer includes a one year warranty for the original buyer – the company will repair or replace any unit if it is found to be malfunctioning or if it has technical issues. 

Stack-On PDS-1500 Drawer Safe specifications:

Exterior size (H x W x D): 4.5″ x 12″ x 8.75″

Capacity: 0.09 cubic feet

Weight: 9 lbs.

Lock: Digital, backup override key

Price: Starting at $40

Cover Cabinets two-gun storage shelf

Cover Cabinets two-gun storage shelf - best handgun safe
PROS
  • Holds two handguns

  • Acts as a real shelf

  • Convenient locking system

CONS
  • Technically not a safe

  • Complaints about the mounting hardware

Hidden in plain sight – that’s the best type of hidden. No one will suspect that an inconspicuous shelf on your wall has a false bottom that holds two handguns. 

While this product is not strictly a pistol or gun safe, we include it here because it’s such an interesting option for concealing your weapons. We definitely recommend you consider it for your gun safety options.

The shelf does not lock with steel bars, but it still protects and hides your guns from curious toddlers.

Equipped with a simple magnetic unlocking dongle that looks nothing like a key, this shelf ensures that no one will be the wiser about the whereabouts of firearms in your house.

The false bottom is padded with foam that needs to be cut to fit the contours of your pistols. It has ample space for two handguns and a couple of magazines.

The Cover Cabinets two-gun storage shelf comes with all the necessary mounting equipment. Some users have complained about the quality of the bolts and other hardware, but we found no issues with it. The shelf is made from high-quality plywood and has an oak veneer with an elegant moulding design.

Cover Cabinets two-gun storage shelf specifications:

Exterior size (H x W x D): 3.3″ x 11.65″ x 24.48″

Capacity: Two handguns

Weight: 9 lbs

Lock: digital, backup override key

Price: $129.99

Fort Knox Original Pistol Safe (PB1)

Fort Knox Original Pistol Safe (PB1) - best handgun safe
PROS
  • Extremely well-built and durable

  • No electronic parts

  • Lifetime warranty

CONS
  • Lock buttons sometimes jam

Products that carry the Fort Knox brand really live up to their name. The strength and durability of this small gun safe are apparent from the moment you hold it in your hands. The silver powder-coated finish not only adds an elegant note, but looks like it will last a lifetime.

That’s exactly what you get when you purchase this item – a lifetime Fort Knox warranty. Of course, it’s easy to offer a lifetime warranty when the case is made of 10-gauge steel with a formidable seven-gauge door. 

The bottom of this gun lockbox has four holes for bolting the unit down. The interior is lined with foam. The compressed gas strut makes the door action smooth.

In our opinion, this is the best mechanical handgun safe – there are absolutely no electronic parts on it. No wiring or battery issues can come between you and your guns. The lock is a Simplex mechanical lock. 

The five buttons on the lid can be programmed in any order and sequence. The fact that a step of the combination can be to press two buttons at the same time greatly reduces the chances of somebody guessing it. These buttons sometimes stick and jab, but Fort Knox repairs and replaces faulty units with no questions asked. 

The Fort Knox Original Pistol Safe specifications:

Exterior size (H x W x D): 4.2″ x 12.5″ x 10.38″

Capacity: 0.16 cubic feet

Weight: 9 lbs.

Lock: Simplex mechanical

Price: $257.00

Liberty HDX-250 Smart Vault

Liberty HDX-250 Smart Vault - best handgun safe
PROS
  • Reputable brand

  • Consistent biometric lock

  • Sturdy and durable

CONS
  • Could use more internal storage space

Liberty is known for producing the best long gun safe for the money, the Liberty Fatboy. Known in the industry for their reliability and rugged build, Liberty safes are a staple of any list of top-rated vaults. The American flag engraved on the top side might be too much for some, but we like the patriotic touch.

The HDX-250 Smart Vault we selected for our list of gun safe reviews stands out because of its build quality and high-tech design. The lock features the fifth generation of Liberty’s own biometric-lock technology and a backup key.

The company claims that when the HDX-250 is connected to an AC power supply, the lock disengages in under a second when an approved finger swipes the sensor. It takes just over a second and a half when the unit runs on battery power. The system stores 15 fingerprints.

The door opens automatically when the right finger swipes it. The interior has enough space to store a single gun and additional valuables or two standard-sized handguns. It lights up when opened. 

The heavy-duty 14-gauge steel case and hinges are specifically designed to be pry- and tamper-proof.

Liberty HDX-250 Smart Vault specifications:

Exterior size (H x W x D): 7″ x 11.5″ x 12.5″

Capacity: single gun safe

Weight: 15.5 lbs.

Lock: fingerprint biometric, mechanical key

Price: $249.99

Stealth Handgun Hanger Safe

Stealth Handgun Hanger Safe - best handgun safe
PROS
  • Stores up to five handguns

  • Drop-down door

  • Internal battery compartment

CONS
  • No space for other valuables

From the famous gun safe box manufacturer Stealth comes one of the most revolutionary designs for gun safety in the industry. The Handgun Hanger Safe stores five handguns. But there’s a strange detail – three of them hang from the back plate and stand at attention, ready to be used.

Located in the back of this box-shaped safe are three uniquely designed mounts. A protruding bar enters the muzzle of the handgun and a wire holder supports it from below. Three guns can be hung – one for each hand and one to spare. Two more can be stored in the intelligently organized floor of the safe. We are very impressed with the design and consider the Stealth Handgun Hanger Safe to be the best handgun safe we’ve reviewed in 2019.

The spring-loaded drop-down door opens via a six-digit electronic combination lock that can be silenced. As soon as it does, the red light inside illuminates the guns for optimum visibility. The unit also comes with a backup-key override.

The whole thing is constructed from welded steel. Four mounting holes and a complementary security cable ensure that thieves cannot just pick it up and leave with it.

If you own a larger collection of firearms, the Hanger Safe may be the best handgun safe for your home.

Stealth Handgun Hanger Safe specifications:

Exterior size (H x W x D): 9″ x 9″ x 12″

Capacity: five handguns (three hanging and two on the bottom)

Weight:  14.65 lbs.

Lock: Six-digit digital lock

Price: $149.99

Hornady RAPiD Safe 2600KP

Hornady RAPiD Safe 2600KP - best handgun safe
PROS
  • Durable steel casing

  • Fits a single handgun perfectly

  • RFiD technology

CONS
  • Can’t be battery-powered

Everything is going contactless, from payment methods to small gun safes, apparently. Hornady has a long reputation in the safe industry, but the RAPiD line of gun safes has brought it new acclaim because of its RFiD-activated lock.

All you need to do is bring an RFiD chip near the unit’s sensor and the door pops open to reveal a handgun resting on a foam bed.

The chip can be embedded into a key fob or bracelet. As many as five RFiD chips can be programmed to one lockbox. Newer models also come with an electronic lock for backup.

Two hardened lugs and a 14-gauge steel case make this an extremely durable and rugged safe. It surpasses ASTM standards for pry-proofing and child safety. Rigorous testing has shown it to be almost impossible to tamper with.

One of the only issues we have with these compact gun safes is that they can’t be battery-powered – if you want to use the RFiD locking mechanism, they must be connected to an AC outlet. Otherwise, you have to use the barrel keys that come with the product.

We would be inclined to call this the best small handgun safe if it were battery-powered. However, the RFiD technology warrants it a high place on our list anyway.

Hornady RAPiD Safe 2600KP specifications:

Exterior size (H x W x D): 2.9″ x 8.7″ x 10.7″

Capacity: one handgun

Weight:  7.5 lbs.

Lock: RFiD chip, digital, mechanical key

Price: Starting at $140.00

Vaultek VT10i

Vaultek VT10i - best handgun safe
PROS
  • Mobile app

  • Durable single steel piece design

  • Biometric lock with up to 20 fingerprints

CONS
  • Battery life could be longer

The Vaultek VT10i looks like it should store futuristic ray guns instead of old-fashioned pistols. But it’s not all bark and no bite – this model is high in the running for the best handgun vault on the market.

In addition to the eye-catching high-tech sci-fi aesthetics, it has all the modern features and doodads you can think of: biometric and digital locks, smartphone app, modern single-piece steel design…the thing almost cooks your breakfast. 

The mobile app connects via Bluetooth. It tracks safe usage and can be used to toggle silent mode on and off. The app can even remotely unlock the safe.

Besides unlocking the safe, the digital keypad serves to activate the VT10i’s various modes of operation. For example, when you press and hold the buttons labeled 2 and 4, the 3 button becomes a tampering tracker – it will turn red if someone tries to break into the safe.

Tampering is a rather difficult proposition, as it happens – anti-pry bars and the one-piece steel design make the VT10i the best small gun safe build-wise.

The VT10i stores a single gun and a magazine, perfect for travelers who want to keep their best pistol safe from harm.

Vaultek VT10i specifications:

Exterior size (H x W x D): 2.125″x  10.5″ x 8.5″

Capacity: one handgun and magazine

Weight:  5.2 lbs.

Lock: RFiD chip, digital, mechanical key

Price: $224.99

FAQ

What is the best handgun safe?

If you are looking for a real meat-and-potatoes safe - a sturdy steel box that’s next to impossible to tamper with - you should go with the Fort Knox Original Pistol Safe. With 10-gauge steel casing, a seven-gauge steel door, and a complete lack of any electronic parts that can fail, it’s our pick for keeping your handgun and other valuables safe. However, it also has a $250 price tag. Many of the less expensive safes are nearly as good. The best handgun safe for the money is the $100 SentrySafe QAP1BE. It even has a biometric lock.

What is the best biometric handgun safe?

The best biometric handgun safe we’ve tested is the SentrySafe QAP1BE. The reliability, the angles you can swipe your finger, and the speed with which the swipe is registered make this biometric lock the most sophisticated we’ve seen. Add that to the sturdy steel design and you’ve got a really great product.

Are gun safes fireproof?

No - the most they can be is more or less fire-resistant. There is much debate in the safe industry about the fireproof rating companies give to their safes. Some say the word “fireproof” misleads consumers. Fire-resistance tests are not comprehensive or relevant, they say. The truth is - if exposed to open flames long enough, not even the best gun safes can protect their contents completely.

What company makes the best safes?

Liberty manufactures some of the most iconic safes on the market, including the Liberty Fatboy. However, while researching our handgun safe reviews we’ve grown fond of the Stealth brand, especially the revolutionary Hanger design. The build quality is near perfect. They seem to be the kinds of safes that will last you a lifetime with proper care.

What is the best quick-access pistol safe?

Our pick for this prestigious title is the Quick Access Handgun Desk Safe by Barska. The speed at which you can unlock it and the ease of access won us over. It’s also the best handgun safe for your bedroom if you can manage to mount it to your nightstand.

What is the best handgun safe under $200?

For a hundred bucks you can get SentrySafe QAP1BE. The sturdiness of the design, the biometric lock, and the low price make it a strong candidate for the best small handgun safe.

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