Best Handgun Safe to Buy in 2021

Gun safes provide a sense of security in our homes, especially those with easy-access designs. And they’re not even expensive — the best handgun safe will set you back $250, and even $100 safes will get you ample protection.

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.

And don’t worry — modern safes have designs that will 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.

Let’s take a look at the 10 best handgun safes, their features, accessibility, ease-of-use, and of course, pricing.

Our Top 3 Recommendations

FROM $229.99
FROM $244.99
FROM $275.00

Top-Rated Bedside, Nightstand, Easy-Access Handgun Safes for 2021 [Experts’ Choice]

SentrySafe QAP1BE

  • Quick-access biometric lock

  • Sturdy steel construction

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

  • 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 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. A simple swipe of the finger over the sensor of the SentrySafe QAP1BE makes the door of the safe pop 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 it in any orientation on any surface and have the same quick and effortless action.

The process of programming your sentry handgun safe 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.

Therefore, if you are looking for a biometric handgun safe — look no further than the SentrySafe QAP1BE, which starts at just $179.99 to $251.07.

Let’s take a look at this safe’s specifications and see if they meet your requirements.

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: $179.99-251.07
Price: FROM $229.99

Quick Access Gun Safe For a Desk by Barska

  • Quick-Access Safe

  • Silent and inconspicuous

  • Digital lock

  • Holds a single weapon with no room for other valuables

You always have to be ready for emergency situations, especially if you don’t live in one of the safest cities in America. Speed and silence are essential, so you can move quickly in case of unwanted guests. And a quick access handgun safe is vital so you won’t fumble around for your weapon in a clunky and rattly lockbox.

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 of this fingerprint gun safe 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, although fire safety statistics show that gun safes are only fire-resistant at best. 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. What’s the best thing about this safe is the starting price at a reasonable $123.11.

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: $123.11
Price: $123.11

GunVault GV1000D MiniVault Deluxe

  • Patented “No Eyes” keypad

  • Holds two handguns

  • Anti-tampering alarm

  • 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 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 itself out.

Powered by an AC adapter or batteries makes this the best handgun vault unit. When the batteries are close to dying, an LED indicator warns you to change them. The GV1000D MiniVault Deluxe by GunVault will set you back $170.00.

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: $170.00
Price: $170.00

Stack-On PDS-1500 Drawer Safe

  • Top-loaded

  • Fits perfectly in most drawers

  • Digital or biometric locks available

  • 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.

Drawer gun safes are 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.

Inside this safe is a padded 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.

PDS-1500 comes with three locking systems. A mechanical lock and key are 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 handgun vault comes with an old-fashioned key for backup.

A 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.

The starting price for the PDS-1500 is about $97.

Stack-On PDS-1500 Drawer Safe specifications – best handgun safe under $100:

  • 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 $97
Price: $97

Cover Cabinets Two-Gun Storage Shelf

  • Holds two handguns

  • Acts as a real shelf

  • Convenient locking system

  • Technically not a safe

  • Complaints about the mounting hardware

Hidden in plain sight — that’s the best handgun safe type. 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 for pistol or gun storage, 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.

This handgun safe is equipped with a simple magnetic unlocking dongle that looks nothing like a key. It 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.

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 molding design. With a fantastic starting price of $108.16, it’s the best handgun safe under $200.

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: $108.16
Price: Starting Price of $108.16

Fort Knox Original Pistol Safe (PB1)

  • Extremely well-built and durable

  • No electronic parts

  • Lifetime warranty

  • 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 pistol gun 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: $275.00
Price: Price: $275.00

Liberty HDX-250 Smart Vault

  • Reputable brand

  • Consistent biometric lock

  • Sturdy and durable

  • Could use more internal storage space

Liberty is known for producing top long gun safes, like the Liberty Fatboy. Known in the industry for its reliability and rugged build, the Liberty fingerprint gun safe is 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 safes stands out because of its build quality and high-tech design. Its lock features the fifth generation of Liberty’s own biometric-lock technology and a backup key.

This gun vault safe 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 Single Gun Safe specifications:

  • Exterior size (H x W x D): 7″ x 11.5″ x 12.5″
  • Capacity: single gun storage
  • Weight: 15.5 lbs.
  • Lock: fingerprint biometric, mechanical key
  • Price: $229.99
Price: Price: $229.99

Stealth Handgun Hanger Safe

  • Stores up to five handguns

  • Drop-down door

  • Internal battery compartment

  • No space for other valuables

From the famous gun safe box manufacturer Stealth, comes one of the most revolutionary designs for gun lock box safety in the industry.

The Handgun Hanger Safe stores five handguns. But there’s a strange detail – three of them hang from the backplate 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 on 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 pistol safe we’re reviewing in 2021.

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 finest large 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
Price: Price: $149.99

Hornady RAPiD Safe 2600KP

  • Durable steel casing

  • Fits a single handgun perfectly

  • RFiD technology

  • It 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 electronic pistol 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 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 finest bedside gun safe if it were battery-powered.

However, the RFiD technology warrants a high place on our list anyway. Pricing starts at about $255.16.

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 $255.16
Price: Price: Starting at $255.16

Vaultek VT10i

  • Mobile app

  • Durable single steel piece design

  • Biometric lock with up to 20 fingerprints

  • Battery life could be longer

The VT10i Vaultek gun safe 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 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.

Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it’s also incredibly small, making it useful as a nightstand gun safe.

The mobile app connects via Bluetooth. It tracks safe usage and can be used to toggle the 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 firearms safe from harm. After all, security is of utmost importance.

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: $244.99
Price: Price: $244.99

Best Handgun Safe – Wrapping Up

Sporadic, halfhearted gestures toward gun control have not seriously compromised the constitutional right of every American to keep and bear arms. 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.

But what if a burglar breaks into my house?

In case of a home invasion, while you’re sleeping, a bedside gun safe is a perfect choice.

Home burglary statistics show that it’s actually much safer to have guns locked up close to you if someone enters your home uninvited.
You will know exactly where you placed your firearms, 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.

The best gun safes are also 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 Fort Knox PB1 is one of the finest safes, which has absolutely no electronic parts that can malfunction or batteries that can die.

Many believe this is the best gun safe manufacturer, with this model truly keeping your weapons out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them.

The safes we’re reviewing on this page have all met the California Department of Justice security standards. So it’s safe to say that whichever safe you choose, you’ll not be making any sort of mistake whatsoever.

With that in mind, just scroll back up and check out our list, which includes the best bedside gun safe, finest quick-access safes, and safes with biometric locks.

These various options, each with its own specifications, will help you decide what best fits your home.

Our experts already picked their 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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best handgun safe to buy?

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 a 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 safe for the money is the $200 SentrySafe QAP1BE. It even has a biometric lock.

Are gun safes fireproof?

The simple answer is 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 safes can protect their contents completely.

Who makes the best gun safe for the money?

Liberty manufactures some of the most iconic safes on the market, including the Liberty Fatboy.

However, while researching the safes we’ve reviewed 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.

So our answer, even though it may look subjective, goes toward Liberty manufacturers as the finest out there.

What is the best bedside gun safe?

The best bedside safe we’ve tested is the Hornady RAPiD Safe 2600KP.

The reliability, the angles you can swipe your finger, and the speed with which the swipe is registered make this electronic lock the most sophisticated we’ve seen. Add that to the sturdy 14-steel design, an RFiD chip, and you’ve got a really great product.

And the best thing is, it’s not expensive at all. You can find this product at a starting price of only $255.16!

What is the deadliest handgun in the world?

Any gun in the world can be considered deadly upon usage. However, if we’re talking about firepower, bullet caliber, and muzzle energy, then revolvers are the most powerful handguns in the world.

Here’s a list of the 5 most deadliest handguns in the world, featuring only one semi-automatic handgun:

1. Freedom Arms Model 83
2. Ruger Super Redhawk
3. Desert Eagle Mark XIX
4. Smith & Wesson .460XVR
5. Taurus Raging Bull

What is the best affordable gun safe?

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

However, the most affordable safe has to be the PDS-1500, with a starting price of only $97.

The exterior design is pretty amazing, but you should also take into account the interior design and storage capacity of the safe you’re browsing to buy.

Therefore, always take all measurements into account when looking to buy the best handgun safe for your needs.