Last Updated on

Securing your firearms is an incredibly important aspect of responsible firearm ownership. Locking up your guns keeps them away from children, burglars, and other adults who may not be capable of safely handling firearms.

But, if you use a handgun for home defense, locking up your firearm can be a tricky proposition because you still need quick access in the event of a home invasion.

So, what’s the solution?

A quick-access handgun safe.

There are a lot of options, and various quick access methods. But, most quick access handgun safes grant access to your gun in 1-3 seconds, which is fast enough that it won’t compromise your home defense plan.

Our Best Choice

Browning Pistol Vault PV900

  • Powder-coated 14 gauge steel construction.
  • Locks with two ½ inch locking bolts.
  • Backup keyed entry.

SPOILER: If you want to skip the shopping around because you need a safe sooner rather than later, get the Browning Pistol Vault PV900. It’s built like a tank, holds two handguns, and offers fast and intuitive opening.

If you’re in the market for something specific, or just want to see what else is out there, stick around. We’ll cover all the best handgun safes for keeping your guns secure without compromising your security.

Top Handgun Safe Choices

The Best Handgun Safe Reviews: How to Get Security and Safety

1. Browning Pistol Vault PV900 - Overall Best Handgun Safe

The Browning Pistol Vault PV900 is essentially just a miniature version of a full-sized gun safe.

It’s built with powder-coated 14 gauge steel. And, the door locks with two ½ inch locking bolts, like a tiny bank vault. It’s a pry-proof safe that nobody will get into.

The quick-access mechanism is a user-programmed key combination that’s inputted via 4 buttons, which are arranged in an arc to mimic natural finger placement for faster operation in the dark.

Of course, there’s also keyed entry. Just in case you forget your key combination or the battery dies.

Internally, there’s a shelf for a second gun, additional valuables, or defensive supplies.

And, there’s internal LED lighting. So, you won’t have to fish around for your gun in the dark once your safe is open.

The only downside is that this safe is a tad shallow. So, you have to store most handguns at an angle which is a bit unnatural for picking up your gun.

But, there are very few safes that offer such a complete package at this price. The security, quick access, and features this safe offers are hard to beat.

Pros

  • Powder-coated 14 gauge steel construction.
  • Locks with two ½ inch locking bolts.
  • Quick access keypad is fast and intuitive.
  • Backup keyed entry.
  • Internal LED lighting.

Cons

  • Safe is a bit shallow, so most handguns must be stored at an inconvenient angle.

2. Stack-On PDS-1500 Drawer Safe - Budget Handgun Safe

The Stack-On PDS-1500 Drawer Safe is one of the most affordable handgun safes on the market. The price point does come with a drawback or two, though.

On the upside, this safe features solid steel construction, steel locking bolts, and concealed hinges to prevent prying. And, there are pre-drilled holes for bolting the safe down. This safe checks all the security boxes.

There are two quick access methods: biometric opening and a keypad.

The biometric scanner can be programmed with up to 20 fingerprints. And, it’s a good idea to program any fingerprint scanner with at least one finger from each hand. So, you can still open your safe even if one hand is busy or injured.

However, the biometric opening on this safe isn’t quite 100%. If your fingers are too wet or dirty, it will occasionally fail.

And, the standard 9-digit keypad isn’t terribly intuitive for use in the dark.

So, even though this safe offers multiple quick-access opening methods, it’s one of the slower opening safes, on average.

But, it’s small enough to fit in a drawer, and the top opening design gives you access to your handguns without taking the safe out of the drawer. So, it’s a good option for those who want to secure and hide their handguns.

It may not be absolutely perfect. But, this safe is still a great buy for anyone who wants to secure their handguns on a budget.

Pros

  • Solid steel construction.
  • Concealed hinges to prevent prying.
  • Biometric and keypad quick-access opening.
  • Fits in a drawer.

Cons

  • Fingerprint sensor isn’t always 100% reliable.
  • Keypad is not a super intuitive layout.

3. SentrySafe QAP1B Gun Safe - Compact Handgun Safe

The SentrySafe QAP1B Gun Safe is a low-profile gun safe that’s easy to hide, and offers two quick-access opening methods. 

As is fairly standard, this safe features solid steel construction, with protected hinges to prevent prying. The locking mechanism is also recessed to restrict access. So, even though this safe doesn’t use vault-style locking bolts, it’s still a very secure unit.

There are 3 total opening methods: biometric, keypad, and a standard barrel key.

The fingerprint sensor is surprisingly reliable. It works even with wet or dirty fingers, and at odd angles.

And, the keypad is an intuitive 4 button design, with the keys lined up so you can just lay your hand on top and input your key combination.

The only downside is that the biometric keypad only stores 4 fingerprints. If you store one fingerprint from each hand, the biometric keypad only grants access for two people. Other than that, the quick access mechanisms are impressively reliable and intuitive.

Internally, there’s padding for your gun. And, the hatch opens with a gas strutThe lid opens quietly, without restricting access to your handgun.

This safe is small enough to store just about anywhere, even in a vehicle. And, it comes with a bolt-down kit to deter theft.

Overall, if you only need to secure a single handgun, this safe is the best value. The balance of price and features are outstanding, and reliable fingerprint scanners are hard to come by.

Pros

  • Solid steel construction with protected locking mechanism and hinges.
  • Fingerprint scanner is surprisingly reliable.
  • 4-button keypad is intuitive and easy to use in the dark.
  • Door opens with a silent gas strut.
  • Very compact.

Cons

  • Fingerprint scanner only stores 4 fingerprints.

4. GunVault 4 Pistol Instant Access Safe - Value Handgun Safe

The GunVault 4 Pistol Instant Access Safe is a very straightforward safe that prioritizes features that help you get to your gun faster.

Even though it’s built for fast access, this safe is still constructed from solid steel, with recessed hinges to prevent prying. Additionally, the door is precisely fitted to make it nearly impossible to force anything in around the edges. So, even though the locking mechanism is a latch, this safe is still very tamper proof.

The quick access method is a 4-button keypad, with the buttons laid out in an arc that matches up to your fingertips when you lay your hand over the buttons. It’s very easy to use without looking. But, the buttons are backlit, just in case you need to find them in the dark.

There’s a keyed backup entry. The keys feature a dimpled design that makes the lock nearly impossible to pick. This unit can be bolted down to prevent theft. But, even if it were stolen, it would take a lot of work to break into. And, it will certainly keep children out.

Inside, there’s a sliding shelf with 4 foam handgun slots. The sliding shelf pops out automatically when you open the safe. So, there’s no need to reach into the safe to retrieve your handgun.

One complaint about the opening mechanism is that the spring loaded door tends to slap when the safe is opened.

Moving on. This safe is also equipped with red internal LED lighting. So, you can easily see your gun and get a grip on it once the safe is open.

The only downside here is that this safe is fairly gun-specific. There’s not a lot of room for storing anything other than handguns.

But, it’s a great safe for securing your guns, while keeping them staged for home defense.

Pros

  • Solid steel construction, with a precisely fitted door to prevent prying.
  • Intuitive 4-button keypad that’s easy to use without looking.
  • Dimpled key design makes it nearly impossible to pick the lock.
  • Sliding shelf pops out to present handguns when the safe is opened.
  • Red internal LED lighting.

Cons

  • Not much room for storing anything besides handguns.
  • Spring loaded door slaps when the safe is opened.

5. V-Line Top Draw Locking Tactical Gun Storage Box - CA Compliant Handgun Safe

The V-Line Top Draw Locking Tactical Gun Storage Box is a compact handgun security option. And, it meets CA firearm security requirements.

This safe offers solid 16 gauge steel construction, with a continuous welded hinge that can’t be taken apart. And, the lid uses an overlapping design to ward off prying attacks.

The only downside is that the clamshell design requires you to open the lid all the way before you can get good access to your handgun.

The quick access mechanism is a two-stage opening method with a 5-button mechanical lock and a knobIt meets CA security standards. However, it’s a relatively slow opening method since it requires two steps. There are faster safes for those who don’t need CA compliance.

But, this safe is small enough to fit in a drawer or keep in a vehicle. And, this unit can be bolted down using the pre-drilled holesIt gives you a lot of storage and staging options.

The internals are foam lined, and the box itself is large enough for 1 large pistol or 2 compact pistols.

This may not be the most perfect quick-access gun safe ever. But, it’s one of the best options for California residents who want a handgun safe that meets the California Department of Justice standards.

Pros

  • lid 16 gauge steel construction.
  • Continuous welded hinge and clamshell lid prevent pry attacks.
  • CA compliant quick access mechanism.
  • Compact enough to keep almost anywhere.

Cons

  • Quick access method is slow compared to simpler opening mechanisms.
  • Lid must be opened nearly all the way before you can get a good grip on your gun.

6. PRYMAX Biometric Gun Safe - Biometric Handgun Safe

The PRYMAX Biometric Gun Safe is a compact handgun safe that offers some of the most innovative and reliable fingerprint technology available.

Before we get to the fingerprint sensor, this safe is made of 16 gauge carbon steel. And, the door is recessed and fitted to prevent prying. It’s definitely a tough safe to crack.

There are 2 quick access methods: a fingerprint scanner and a 4-button keypad.

The fingerprint scanner uses scratch fingerprint scanning that will detect your fingerprint even if you simply drag it across the sensor. It’s one of the most reliable biometric locks we’ve seen.

Additionally, the fingerprint scanner can be programmed with up to 32 fingerprints

So, you could conceivably program it with all ten fingers from three different people. In short, the fingerprint sensor offers a lot of accessibility.

If you’re not into biometric locks, the 4-button keypad is back lit and intuitive. So, you can easily use it in the dark. There’s also a tamper alarm that will sound after three failed opening attempts. So, you’ll know if your kids are messing with your safe.

The only concern is that it’s possible that you might get three failed opening attempts when you’re stressed, in a critical situation. But, that’s unlikely given the reliability of the biometric scanner.

This safe is large enough to store one handgun with a spare magazine, or two handguns.

But, it’s still compact enough to store in a drawer, if you want. And, it can be bolted down for additional security.

The last great thing about this safe is that it’s surprisingly affordable, considering all the features. If you want a biometric opening safe, this is the way to go.

Pros

  • 6 gauge carbon steel construction.
  • Super dependable fingerprint scanner.
  • Intuitive 4-button keypad.
  • Tamper alarm.
  • Compact.

Cons

  • Tamper alarm sounds after only three failed opening attempts, which could be problematic when opening under stress.

7. VaulTek Smart Safe Series - Smart Handgun Safe

VaulTek Smart Safes are hands-down the most technologically advanced handgun safes on the market. They’re a bit pricey. But, they’re cool. And, there are multiple sizes, so you can get a safe that fits your needs.

However, the VaulTek VTi Full-Size Multiple Pistol Safe is the most versatile size that will work for most people.

All VaulTek Smart Safes are equipped with:

18 gauge carbon steel construction and unibody design.

The steel is thicker than most competing safes. 

And, the unibody design removes any seams that could be used to break into the safe. These safes are incredibly secure.

Biometric and keypad quick-access opening.

The fingerprint scanner is super reliable, even with wet, cold, or dirty hands. And, it can be programmed with 20 fingerprints. So, you won’t have a problem programming multiple fingerprints for multiple people.

Additionally, there’s a 4 or 8-button keypad (depending on the size of the safe), that’s laid out in a line for intuitive use without looking.

And, if you want, you can configure the safe to require a key code and a fingerprint to open.

LED illumination.

The fingerprint sensorkey pad, and the interior of the safe are illuminated for faster access in the dark.

Smartphone app.

These safes connect to your phone via bluetooth or wifi. And, there’s an app that you can use to:

  • Check battery power.
  • View the tamper indicator.
  • Turn opening confirmation sound on and off.
  •  Adjust interior LED brightness.
  • Manage stored fingerprints.
  • View opening history log.

Quite simply, these are the most connected handgun safes you can get.

And, you can get VaulTek Smart Safes in three sizes:

  1. VaulTek VTi Full-Size Multiple Pistol Safe - Fits 2 handguns with spare magazines.
  2. VaulTek MX WiFi High Capacity Smart Handgun Safe - Fits 8 handguns, or fewer handguns with magazines.
  3. VaulTek Wi-Fi Slider Rugged Smart Handgun Safe - Fits 1 handgun. Easily mounts to the side of a desk or bed frame for more convenient handgun staging.

Pros

  • Seamless 18 gauge carbon steel construction.
  • Reliable biometric lock and intuitive 4-button or 8-button keypad.
  • Keypad, biometric scanner, and interior LED lighting.
  • Smartphone connectivity for remote management.

Cons

  • Quite expensive.
  • Smartphone connectivity adds digital security concerns.

Locking Everything Down

Storing your guns unsecured is a bad idea, both from a personal safety and responsibility standpoint. With modern quick-access safes, there’s really no reason to leave your handguns unsecured.

Browning Pistol Vault PV900

If you want a quick solution that won’t leave you defenseless, get the Browning Pistol Vault PV900. It’s a solid safe that offers intuitive quick-access. And, it’s easy on the budget.

So, if you’re still keeping your guns hidden (or out in the open), it’s time to step up your responsibility and security.