2018’s Best Gun Safes For Your Home – Reviews For Every Budget & User

Your firearms are some of the most individually valuable items in your possession. Even a small collection can easily be valued in thousands of dollars. With additional items like optics, magazines, ammunition, and holsters the value can double in no time.

The most valuable accessory you can add to your arsenal is a high quality gun safe.   The most valuable accessory you can add to your arsenal is a high-quality gun safe. Choosing the best gun safe to buy depends on exactly what you are going to use it for, whether it is for general storage, fireproof storage, or quick access to defensive situations.

Buying Guide

How to Choose the Perfect Safe for Your Needs

So what exactly does the perfect gun safe look like?

It can look like a lot of different things depending on what you need to do with it. They are not necessarily a one-size-fits-all item; there are a lot of different types of a broad array of functions.

What Kind of Guns Do You Have?

For Handguns:

Handguns are perhaps the most common firearm used for personal protection, mostly due to their versatility. Handguns are able to transition easily from a dedicated home defense weapon, a "truck gun" to keep in your car, as well as being used for concealed carry.

When looking for a safe for your handgun the first thing to decide is the purpose of the safe. If you are looking for long term storage, then a traditional key-lock safe might be a good option.

If you intend for a handgun to be used as your dedicated security weapon, you will want to employ a safe designed for rapid response and quick access. This is when a biometrics safe or a safe with a quick access keypad would be your best option.

For Rifles & Shotguns:

guns-rifle lined upChoosing the right safe for your long guns depends on a few conditions:

  1. Is this a defensive weapon?
    2. How frequently is this weapon used?
    3. Is this an heirloom or showpiece?

If your rifle or carbine is planned as a defensive firearm a traditional long gun safe might not be what you need. In this case you are going to want to take a look at an under bed gun safe. These are specifically designed to give you quick access to your compact long guns.  This could inlude AR-pattern rifles with a 16” barrel or a 12 gauge shotgun with 20” barrel.

When you are looking for long term, permanent storage of your entire collection of long guns the under bed gun safe is not a viable option.  For safekeeping your entire collection the best option is a traditional long gun safe which come in a huge variety of sizes. These are stand-up units which are heavy and attach to the floor or the wall.

To figure out which gun safe is best for your long guns you have to be realistic about your needs. If you own six long guns and are not planning buying more in the near future, you would be better off buying something in the 6-10 gun range in safes.  Large safes (20+ guns) weigh several hundred pounds and are quite large but are a great investment if you are still building your collection.

Fiscal Constraints 

The bottom line for most of us is deciding what we can afford.

While you may like to buy a high end Vaultek biometric handgun safe you may not have the extra money available to spend, and a perfectly serviceable Amazon Basics keypad safe will protect your gun and keep your kids safe for a fifth the price.

It is not only possible but completely reasonable, to budget less than $150 and gets a decent rifle safe from a reputable manufacturer. You can spend less than $75 and walk away with a quality pistol safe. Buying a safe should never be overlooked because of budget constraints; your family’s welfare is at stake.

Other Considerations 

Even the best quality gun safe may not be a single-point solution for your needs. Utilizing a combination of safes, such as nightstand keypad safe to keep a dedicated home defense pistol and a Stack-On Sentinel 10 gun cabinet for long guns, may be your best option.

Long gun safes usually have space available for several handguns, or you can install a handgun hanger to safely keep them stowed.

Brand recognition plays a powerful role in any transaction. I am familiar with Stack-On products and have come to expect a quality product for a very reasonable price from them. However, if I look at a Browning safe, I expect its quality to be commensurate with the price tag because their reputation precedes them.

Best Gun Safes by Category

Gun safes are built in a lot of different shapes and sizes to fill specific roles. Sometimes it is the personal preference of the buyer, and sometimes it has to do with logistical, financial, or even domicile layout constraints and considerations.

Some gun owners are content with owning a single firearm for defensive purposes, while others are lifetime enthusiasts with many firearms in their possession who have a variety of expectations and needs. You may need a small lockbox in the family car, a bedside gun safe, and a long gun safe.

Handgun Safe

Handguns are designed to be defensive weapons, so handgun safes are built to reflect this. Handgun safes are typically compact and offer quick access, although this can vary dependent upon the model.

Value-minded consumers can easily get into a quality unit by Stack-On for under $50, which are opened by a digital keypad and backed up with keys. Amazon has its own brand, Amazon Basics, which has a comparable safe at a similar price point.

Stack-On GCB-500 Steel Pistol/Ammo Cabinet

These options represent the best gun safes for the money and Stack-On units have a reputation for high quality with flawless functionality and long battery life.


The next tier includes safes which are perhaps more functional and intentional than sitting on your floor. The GunVault SV500 is an excellent example of functionality and speed. Handguns are defensive weapons and defensive situations do not have much warning, so speed is of the essence.

GunVault SV500

Higher end vaults are often biometric activated which requires just a fingertip to open, providing the unparalleled speed of access. Vaultek is a premier manufacturer of biometric safes with excellent gun safe reviews, and their VT10i and VT20i are great options.

Vaultek VT10i

The best gun safe to buy for your handgun takes a number of factors into consideration. The above items represent some of the best-rated gun safes available. As a rule of thumb, it is a good practice to read user reviews when determining a model to buy.

Biometric Gun Safe

Biometric safes are a highly desirable option for home defense use. They are lightning quick and require no thinking on the owner’s part; a valuable quality in the middle of the night. Biometric safes are also a secure option for homes with children, and they are very secure if an intruder tries to crack it.

SpeedVault Digital Keypad

Long Gun Safe

Falling into the camp of more traditional gun safes, rifle and long gun safes represent arguably the best option for all-around bulk storage of firearms and accessories. You can buy safes for rifles and gun safes in a bunch of sizes and capacities, ranging from four all the way up to over twenty.

Rifle and long gun safes can be had at reasonable prices for the budget minded, with vertical safes found for under $120. These units, made by industry recognized leader Stack-On, are very basic using only a key, but will work fine for eight long guns and quite a few boxes of ammo, or a couple handguns on the top shelf.

Steelwater makes some of the best rated rugged gun safes on the market. Capacities from 16 long guns through their behemoth 45 long gun safe are available. Their standard duty models are also rated for 60 minutes of exposure to fire, and the extreme duty models are rated for 120 minutes, adding an extra layer of protection to your valuable collection.

Steelwater Standard Duty 16 Long Gun Fire Protection for 60 Minutes

Fireproof Safe

If you have the choice between a standard duty safe with no fire protection a safe rated with fire resistance, choose the fireproof safe. Firearms are just too valuable to take the chance on.   This also adds safety for first responders in the event that your house did catch fire.

SentrySafe SFW123GDC

Fireproof handgun safes are readily available in case you do not have a long gun collection, and they are considerably less costly. While not a firearm specific safe, the Sentry Safe 1.23 cubic foot model is of ample size to store several of your prized handguns, plus important documents.

Steelwater Heavy Duty 39 Long Gun

Steelwater Gun Safes is the best gun safe manufacturer of fireproof safes, offering several levels of protection in their safes from 60 to 120 minutes, depending on the model.

Bedside Safe

Concern over home invasions is a significant contributing factor for gun owners, particularly first-time gun owners. Since a high percentage of home invasions do occur during the hours of darkness, homeowners often keep their defensive firearm within arms’ reach of their bed.

GunVault SV500 - SpeedVault Handgun Safe

A high quality, well-tested bedside gun safe is the SpeedVault SV500. The SpeedVault design is well designed for rapid deployment into a hostile environment.

Ivation Quick Access Under-Desk Gun Safe

The Ivation Quick Access is a similar design as the SV500 for a lower price point. It has decent reviews, although does not have the name or reputation as the SpeedVault.

SentrySafe Pistol Safe QAP1E

If your bedside configuration is not conducive to a wall-type mount, you will want to look at more traditional safes. The SentrySafe QAP1E is one of the best gun safes on the market with a compact design allowing for quick storage and easy access when needed.

Under the Bed Safe

Both the AR-15 Carbine and the 12 Gauge pump shotgun are popular as home defense weapons. The sound of a 12 gauge shotgun racking a shell into the chamber could be enough to scare off most invaders, and if you can mitigate the noise hazard, the AR-pattern rifle is a natural platform for home defense.

Should you choose a carbine or short shotgun as your weapon of choice for home defense, you should take a look at an under bed gun safe. The best gun safe in this category is the Stealth Defense Vault.

A robust 52” in length, the DV652 is long enough to accommodate full-length rifle and shotguns, but it offers a rapid action keypad and sliding drawer on rollers for quick deployment.

The Frontier under bed gun safe is shorter, allowing for weapons under 41 ½”. The concept is the same as the DV652: unlock, slide out the steel drawer, engage the target. This item is simple with a single keyed entry device, but it is also about half the cost of the Stealth Defense unit.

Stealth Defense Vault DV652 Under Bed Gun Safe

Quick Access Safe

All of the digital options for safe access (biometrics, digital keypad, etc.) were designed to allow quick access.
Biometrics represents the fastest option, and undoubtedly the most user-friendly when things go bump in the night.

However, modern technology is being applied to almost every corner of our lives, to include gun safes.
The Vaultek Pro VTi is the top choice, particularly because it has five options to open it, including the mobile app. This safe is loaded with features too: auto opening lid, LED interior lighting, and room for your family of handguns.

Vaultek PRO VTi Full-Size Biometric with Bluetooth Smart Multiple Pistol Safe

If you do not have an extra $350 to spend on a safe then the First Alert 5200DF may fit the bill perfectly. It is very compact with room for one handgun and a spare magazine, uses an ergonomic keypad shaped for your hand to naturally slide into position and punch in a code without looking. Coming in under $100 with excellent home gun safe reviews, this is an item you cannot afford to not buy.

First Alert 5200DF Portable Handgun Safe

Car Gun Safe

Many people carry guns in their family car, and with children present a car gun safe must work every time and it must be secure.

SnapSafe Combination Lockbox

Many car safes come with miniature keys, but these can be easily lost. A better option is a car safe with a combination lock. The SnapSafe lockbox is an affordable option. It comes standard with an anchor strap to thwart would-be thieves.

Vaultek VT10i

The Vaultek VT10i is an excellent consideration for a car gun safe, with standard biometric access, as well as key and keypad. There is no question that this is an excellent choice for your car, but it is more expensive (about 10X the price) than the previous two items.

GunVault NV300 NanoVault with Combination Lock Gun Safe

Another great option is the GunVault NV300. Aesthetically and functionally very similar to the SnapSafe, the NV300 boasts excellent quality and comes standard with a manual combination lock and 6’ steel lanyard.

Portable Safe

So what about those times when you are traveling and need to secure your firearms? You need to know that your safe is light, secure, and passes TSA travel requirements if applicable.

GunVault MV500

The first choice for a portable gun safe is the GunVault MV500 micro vault. It is small, streamlined, and has the high-quality GunVault is known for. It is a great miniature safe with multiple access points and is in the sub-$100 range.

SnapSafe Treklite XL

The SnapSafe Treklite XL lockbox is a great option for travel. It is constructed out of ultra-durable polycarbonate, the same material that high-end Pelican cases are constructed from. These are virtually indestructible, cheap to produce, and the best part: no dents.

Unlike steel which can dent easily, polycarbonate will not dent. It may get scuffed and dirty, but it will not dent. It is also lightweight. The MV500 is 4 lbs, but the Treklite only weights 1.6 lbs.

The VaultTek VE10 is compact, less than 2” thick, measures about 8" x 11", and maintains the high standard of ingenuity that Vaultek holds on their larger products.

VAULTEK VE10 Quick Access Portable Pistol Safe

The SnapSafe Treklite XL lockbox is a great option for travel. It is constructed out of ultra-durable polycarbonate, the same material that high-end Pelican cases are constructed from. These are virtually indestructible, cheap to produce, and the best part: no dents.

Unlike steel which can dent easily, polycarbonate will not dent. It may get scuffed and dirty, but it will not dent. It is also lightweight. The MV500 is 4 lbs, but the Treklite only weights 1.6 lbs.

The VaultTek VE10 is compact, less than 2” thick, measures about 8" x 11", and maintains the high standard of ingenuity that Vaultek holds on their larger products.

Wall Safe

Wall mounted gun safes are made specifically to fit between standard 16” framing studs on a wall, offering the absolute lowest profile possible in a safe. They are often concealed by a full-length mirror or wall painting but are tall enough to and wide enough to house several long guns.

Stack-On PWS-1555

Stack-On makes reliable, no-frills products that are affordable. They are not the quality of Vaultek, but for their designed purpose they work quite well. The PWS-1555 is a great option. It is 52” in length and will accommodate two rifles or shotguns.

It uses the familiar, but effective, keypad lock with keyed backup. Considering how reliable Stack-On safes have been over the years there is no reason to believe this model will be any different.

Stack-On IWC-55

Stack-On makes a more economy-minded example, the IWC-55, which is dimensionally similar but uses a conventional keyed lock for security. At under $100, it is an economical option to house your favorite duo of long guns.

Paragon 7750 Electronic Wall Lock and Safe

If you don’t need to house any long guns, Paragon Lock and Safe make a sturdy option large enough to house several of your handguns and plenty of extra ammo. While it is heavy, weighing 40 lbs, it is sturdy enough to last a lifetime.

10 Gun Safe

10 gun safes are one of the most prolific sizes sold. They offer a lot of space for fairly low cost, Stack-On has a lot of offerings in this category. There are a few other brands that make 10 gun safes, but Stack-On is the best gun safe brand of this size and type.

Stack-On GCB-910

image of a steel cabinet

The Stack-On GCB-910 is a basic gun safety. It has a traditional keyed lock, standard steel sheet construction, and weighing in at 61 lbs., it can be easily moved by a single person. The GCB-910 has shelves cut for ten total long guns; six on the back wall and two on each side wall. Accessories are available to make better use of the space available, to include a fabric door organizer for odds and ends.

Stack-On GCDB-924

If you prefer a wider, double-door safe with better stability, the GCDB-924 is a better option. One side is dedicated to firearms and the other side has shelving for the keeping of ammunition, batteries, magazines, handguns...etc. It is a good use of space that shows effort and thought was put into the layout.

Best Gun Safes by Price Range

Winchester Bandit 10 Gun Safe

Winchester Firearms has been a household name for well over a century, and for good reason. The Bandit 10 is a durable option, constructed of 14 gauge steel sheet and weighing in at over 250 lbs. The Bandit is fire safe for 45 minutes for temperatures up to 1,400℉. The Winchester name doesn’t come cheap with the Bandit 10 costing just under a grand.

If you already have a budget planned out this is where it comes together to figure out which item fits your plan. A good safe can fit your needs for less than one hundred, more than four thousand, and a whole lot in between.

Note: the focus of this section is long gun safes with the exception of safes in the $100 and under range.

Under $2,000

This price range is higher end, and the safes in this bracket are considered more vaults than safes. Some units at this price point are made to house 40-50 long guns plus storage, so they are not intended for amateur use.

Steelwater AMLD593024

heavy duty vault in black

Steelwater Safes makes a solid safe and you can get into a 39 long gun safe for a hair under $2,000. This safe is enormous, employing a bank vault-style lock, and is fireproof for 120 minutes.

Cannon Safe CA594024-90-H1FDC-17 Cannon Series Premium Safe

Cannon Safes makes higher-end safes with an excellent reputation for toughness and durability. Their offering in the $2,000 price range is a huge piece of American steel, tipping the scales at almost 900 pounds. The model in this demographic has a 48 long gun capacity and comes standard with a unique feature: the MOLLE door organizer kit.

Under $1,500

This price range is still on the higher end of safes. Winchester has a line of safes dubbed the “Big Daddy" series. These massive safes hold up to 42 long guns and a variety of accessories on the top shelf. The door has built-in holsters and pouches for additional storage and is rated for 75 minutes of fire exposure at 1,400℉.

LIBERTY SAFE & SECURITY Fat Boy Junior

Liberty Safes offers a direct competitor to the Big Daddy, the Fat Boy Junior. As a plus, Liberty safes are made in America. The Fat Boy Junior lives up to its name, housing 48 long guns.

Unlike the Big Daddy, it does not have any additional storage built into the door, but the shelf on top offers a lot of space.

Steelwater offers a slightly lighter duty 39 long gun safe for around $1,500. It is identical dimensionally as the one listed above but is rated for 60 minutes of fire rather than 120. As you would expect from their line of products, this item is of high quality and will provide many years of service.

Steelwater Heavy Duty 39 Long Gun Fire Protection for 60 Minutes 

Under $1,000

The price range between $500 and $1,000 is where you start to see a quite a bit more variety and more brands in the market.

Stack-On TD-40-GP-B-S Total Defense 36-40 Gun Safe

Stack-On offers one of their higher end models right under a grand. Their offering is configured to hold between 36-40 long guns, or it can be configured to hold long guns on one side and several shelves on the other, partitioned in the middle. You get 30 minutes of fire protection at temps up to 1,400℉.

Steelwater  20 Long Gun Fire Protection for 60 Minutes AMEGS592818

Steelwater offers a 20 long gun safe at a little under a grand and is an impressive option. Unlike their industry competitors who offer fireproof ratings at 1,400℉, the Steelwater safe is rated at 1,875℉ for 60 minutes.

It employs a digital lock which operates using a regular 9V battery, actuating five 1 ½” chrome plated locking bolts to secure the vault door. It weighs in at 425 lbs., so about half that of the Fat Boy and Big Daddy.

The Cannon safe at this price is great for keeping your collection organized. The interior is laid out methodically, particularly the door panel. It is built with a 45-minute fire rating, but there does seem to be one significant flaw in the design: the digital entry is the only point of entry, as there is no redundancy or mechanical backup.

Cannon Safe All Rifle 5936 All Rifle

Under $500 - Value Picks

Stack-On dominates the $500 and under price range, which is really their bread and butter. Stack-On holds contracts with a number of the big box home improvement stores and major retailers, as well as their Amazon store, so they make their money selling economically-minded products. Their 16 long gun safe features an electronic keypad lock but comes standard with a keyed backup.

A newer manufacturer of the gun safe market is Blue Dot Safes. Their comparable model has a capacity of 30 long guns, eight pistol holders on the door along with pouches for extra storage. This safe is fire rated for one hour at 1,700℉ so it is on the higher end of the safes in this article.

Blue Dot Safes Second Amendment Fire-Resistant Gun Safe

Under $300

The Stack-On TC-16 safe is a great option for sub-$300 rifles safe. The safe is very modular, allowing the user to configure it in different ways depending on whether you want more space for long guns, accessories, or a mixture of both. There is also a fixed area in the center of the safe made for a pair of tactical rifles or shotguns.

Stack-On TC-16-GB-K-DS 

Barska, widely known for their budget-minded optics, also offers a long gun safe. For under $300 you can get a stand-up safe with a biometric lock. Their biometric lock stores up to 120 fingerprints, allowing your whole family access, as well as allowing you to store more than one of your fingerprints. This is a plus in the event of injury to your hand, ensuring you still have access to your firearms.

Barska Quick Access Biometric Rifle Safe

Barska, widely known for their budget-minded optics, also offers a long gun safe. For under $300 you can get a stand-up safe with a biometric lock. Their biometric lock stores up to 120 fingerprints, allowing your whole family access, as well as allowing you to store more than one of your fingerprints. This is a plus in the event of injury to your hand, ensuring you still have access to your firearms.

Under $100 - Affordable Picks

If you can afford buying a gun, you need to budget for a safe. Safes costing around $100 are about as basic as you can possibly get, and they don't offer much in the way of security. However, they will keep your guns stowed away and out of other people's hands.

Stack-On GCB-8RTA

The Stack-On GCB-8RTA is a simple, 8-guns safe constructed of steel sheet, and employs a simple key lock. It costs right around $100, making it a great affordable option.

While not as high quality as other Stack-On models, it will get the job done until you can upgrade to something more substantial.

Stack-On GCB-8RTA Steel 8-Gun

Best Gun Safe Brands

We have run the gamut of gun safes, vaults, and secure storage units in this article. There are dozens of different brands out there, so make sure to do your research and read reviews before purchasing.

There are certainly niches of the market, and the well-recognized brands tend to stay in their comfortable areas of the market. The question of who makes the best gun safe is difficult to answer because there are so many variables.

Stack-On

Stack-On is a popular option for consumers because they have such a big catalog and tend to make reliable, quality models. I would not hesitate to purchase one should the need arise. They have cornered the market on lower-budget models. Stack-On makes no-frills, reliable products which are sold en masse at big retailers and are always easy to find.

Cannon Safes

Cannon Safes now belongs to the same brand family as Stack-On and Gun Vault. They recently formed the Alpha Guardian family of products to continue to provide consumers with high-quality models at affordable prices.

Steelwater is a reputable manufacturer that makes high quality, robust safes. They are not mass-production stamped steel but are instead a serious vault made for serious security. Their reviews are good, their security features are top notch, and their fireproofing is excellent.

Liberty Safes

If you are looking for a gun safe that is made in America, then Liberty safes are your choice. Their safes are made in Utah and offer a combination of quality parts with old-fashioned American craftsmanship.

Winchester Safes

Winchester is a heavyweight in the gun safe market. Their safes are solid, they are heavy, and they are expensive. If you have the money to spend, Winchester safes are of a superior quality, have excellent brand recognition, and offer safes to store any size collection you may have.

Kodiak Safes

Kodiak safes are similar to Steelwater and Winchester, i.e., they are big, heavy steel vaults. While not well known, the brand is a derivative of Rhino Metals, Inc. which makes their products in the USA.


However, the Kodiak series of safes are imported. That being said, the Kodiak series boast MSRPs of roughly half that of their USA-made brethren.

Browning Safes

The name Browning has been synonymous with firearms for over a century.  Anything that bares the Browning name has a very long lineage, and the safes are no different.  They offer a variety of high end, durable safe models to fit your needs.  They even offer Vault Doors if you want to convert an entire room into a safe!

Secure-It Safes

Secure-It makes a lot of different items, mostly tow straps and tie downs, so making gun safes is not their only offering. Their niche is safes which are small and cheap, ideally suited for keeping a pistol secure in your car.

Conclusion

While this is not a totally conclusive review of all safes and vaults, it is intended to give buyers an idea of what is available.


By breaking models down by type, application, and cost you can get a better understanding of what is available on today's market. There are many options out there, and there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all safe.


If you own explicitly handguns, you won't need to look at a $3,000 safe for 48 long guns. Conversely, if you have a collection of premier shotguns and rifles, you really should not settle for a budget safe.


Take a look at the information above, do your own research, and buy what suits your needs. In the long run, it will be one of the best investments you'll ever make.