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. Choosing the top 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.
Our Top Gun Safe Reviews for Your Home
Top Choices 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 or a long rifle safe.
Handguns are designed to be defensive weapons, so these safes are built to reflect this. These are typically compact and offer quick access, although this can vary dependent upon the model.
Stack-On GCB-500 Steel Pistol/Ammo Cabinet
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 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.
Higher end vaults are often biometric activated which requires just a fingertip to open, providing unparalleled speed of access. Vaultek is a premier manufacturer of biometric safes with excellent customer feedback, and their VT10i and VT20i are great options.
Biometric (Finger Print)
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
A consumer favorite model for a rapid action safe is made by GunVault, and is aptly-named the SpeedVault. Its hanging configuration mounts to a wall or on the side of a cabinet or dresser. When opened, a door drops down putting your handgun at the ready.
The highest-end biometric available is by Vaultek, a modern manufacturer which packs their products with fantastic features. The VT20i is simply awesome, with four separate access options on every unit - are biometrics, keypad, keys, and even a mobile app!
It is about double the price of the preceding items but it is hard to think that it is not worth it.
Steelwater Standard Duty 16 Long Gun Fire Protection for 60 Minutes
Long Gun & Rifles
Falling into the camp of more traditional choices, rifle and long gun safes represent arguably the perfect option for all-around bulk storage of firearms and accessories. You can buy safes for rifles and ones in a bunch of sizes and capacities, ranging from four all the way up to over twenty.
Rifle and long gun storage 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 top rated rugged gun models 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.
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.
Fireproof pistol 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 is the leading manufacturer of fireproof safes, offering several levels of protection in their safes from 60 to 120 minutes, depending on the model.
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
A high quality, well-tested bedside choice is the SpeedVault SV500. The SpeedVault design is well designed for rapid deployment into a hostile environment.
Ivation Quick Access Under-Desk
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 top picks on the market with a compact design allowing for quick storage and easy access when needed.
Stealth Defense Vault DV652 Under Bed
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 storage option. The top choice 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 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.
All of the digital options for safe access (biometrics, digital keypad, etc.) were designed to allow quick access.
Biometrics represent 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.
Vaultek PRO VTi Full-Size Biometric with Bluetooth Smart Multiple Pistol Safe
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.
First Alert 5200DF Portable Handgun 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 feedback this is an item you cannot afford to not buy.
Many people carry guns in their family car, and with children present a car lockbox 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.
GunVault NV300 NanoVault with Combination Lock
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.
The Vaultek VT10i is an excellent consideration for a car, 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.
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.
The first choice for a portable model 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 awesome 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.
VAULTEK VE10 Quick Access Portable Pistol Safe
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 mounted options 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 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 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 these, but Stack-On is the leading brand of this size and type.
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.
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.
Winchester Bandit 10
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.
Top Choices by Budget
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.
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 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.
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 Heavy Duty 39 Long Gun Fire Protection for 60 Minutes
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.
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
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.
Cannon Safe All Rifle 5936 All Rifle
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.
Under $500 - Value Picks
Blue Dot Safes Second Amendment Fire-Resistant
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.
The Stack-On TC-16 safe is a great option for sub-$300 rifle 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.
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.
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.
Top Manufacturers & 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 most robust safe is difficult to answer because there are so many variables.
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 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.
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 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 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.
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 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.
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 wiser investments you'll ever make.