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There are many reasons that people want to own guns. It could be that they are required to for their jobs, such as police officers or security guards. It could be that they hunt in order to provide food for their family.
Or, it could be for nothing more than reassurance of personal safety. Whatever the reason, if you own a gun it is your responsibility to practice gun safety.
If you own a gun, you’ll probably be needing a gun safe, as in, a safe that is specifically designed to hold firearms.
There are many reasons why gun safes are a good call when it comes to owning a gun, or guns, and we’ll get into all of that in this article.
Check out our guide to gun safes below, followed by some of the best gun safes you can get in order to keep things organized when it comes to your firearms.
Table of Contents:
- Why gun safes are important
- Are gun safes airtight?
- Are gun safes waterproof and fireproof?
- Are gun safes bulletproof?
- Are gun safes secure?
- Do you need to bolt down a gun safe?
- Is a gun safe worth it?
- Where to buy a gun safe?
- Is a gun safe EMP proof?
- Internal hinge vs. external hinge
- Why can’t you store 20 guns in a 20 gun safe?
- How do you clean your gun safe?
- Steelwater Heavy Duty Gun Safe – Review
- Sports Afield Gun Safe – Review
- Fort Knox PB1 Gun Safe – Review
- Vaultek VT20i Biometric Handgun Safe – Review
- GunVault SV500 – Review
Let’s dive in!
Why gun safes are important
There are several reasons that gun safes are important. The first one is to keep those in your family safe.
If you have young children in your home, or individuals that don’t understand the difference between real guns and toy guns, or how they work, you need to keep your guns locked up.
Even if you don’t have children of your own, you should be cautious if you ever have children that will be coming over to your house.
Guns in the hands of children are incredibly dangerous to both themselves and others.
Another reason that gun safes are important is to protect your guns from being taken.
As you probably could guess, firearms are one of the most popular items that are stolen from residential break-ins.
If your house is broken into you don’t want our guns to be stolen and used on you or someone else.
Gun safes help you to protect yourself and those you love, but not all gun safes are effective.
In fact, there are many different kinds of safes that offer different advantages. That being said, what are some popular questions people have when it comes to gun safes?
A few questions about gun safes
Quite possibly the most important questions when it comes to gun safes are regarding their build quality.
And with good reason – it’s a safe after all, and you want something that’s going to last a good while, and that will be able to withstand anything that might happen.
Are gun safes airtight?
The first thing to discuss is whether or not the safe is airtight. Strictly speaking, no, gun safes are not airtight. An airtight box will have issues with humidity and moisture, which are thing you want to avoid.
However, at certain temperatures, the seals around the door do close, and get you decent moisture protection. Which leads to the second thing we’d like to discuss …
Are gun safes waterproof and fireproof?
No, gun safes are not waterproof. The seal that prevents smoke and heat from entering won’t hold water out, and even if it did, that would result in a massive buildup of pressure inside the safe (you’ll see why below), and no way for it to escape.
If you have items that you want to stay dry, you should have them in zip lock bags, or in a smaller waterproof safe that fits inside the gun safe.
Next, we have fire resistance. All gun safes come with a fireproof rating, which indicates how long the safe keeps the air inside at, or below 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
There are some fire systems that will pump moisture inside the safe to keep things at bay, this is another reason why you don’t want a fully sealed safe.
Basically, if the fire around the safe goes on for longer than the rating indicates, the items inside might be damaged.
Are gun safes bulletproof?
Last but not least, are gun safes bulletproof? No. Well, yes and no, actually.
They’re made of steel, and multiple layers of it, which has a pretty good chance of stopping / deflecting a bullet that’s fired from a pistol.
However, a larger caliber weapon will more than likely cause quite a bit of damage.
Are gun safes secure?
This is the next question that pops into your mind once you’re past build quality. Now, this does greatly depends on the safe you’re going to buy, and the options below are all as secure as they come. Two things will impact this.
First, you have the build quality of the safe itself. If a burglar can’t break into it, this is a safe that’s doing its job, and you should be happy for it.
Then, you have the size and weight. If you have a gun safe, you want it to be large enough for a burglar not to be able to carry it out of the front door.
This lets them have all the time in the world when they try to get into it later on. If you have a small gun safe, you should take a look at our next question.
Do you need to bolt down a gun safe?
This does depend on the type of safe you have. For example, a large, massive safe doesn’t need to be bolted down because it’s nearly impossible to move.
But if you have a small gun safe, such as one that’s made to keep your gun safe in your nightstand drawer, it might be a smart idea to bolt it down. This prevents a thief from potentially stealing it, which would allow them to try and get into it later on.
Note, however, that if you have a gun safe that you use for traveling, bolting it down is quite counterproductive, and not a very good idea.
Is a gun safe worth it?
The question of whether something is worth it is often quite dependent on personal opinion. However, gun safes can help with a few things:
- They can protect your weapons in case of a fire in your home (and any other items inside, for that matter)
- They can prevent unauthorized access to your weapon, whether it’s by a child, or by a potential criminal breaking into your home
With that in mind, when you consider how much trouble a gun safe can prevent, it’s actually very well worth it.
Now, sure, you should consider a quality model that won’t cost you much more than it’s worth it, but that’s why we’ve got a list of options below.
Where to buy a gun safe?
A gun safe can be found at a few places. With today’s state of the internet, you can easily order one online, for example.
This helps you since you won’t have to carry it home, and instead it’ll be delivered to you. Some companies will even send a professional to install it for you, so you can have peace of mind that it’s set up right.
Aside from that, chances are you can buy it at your local weapons store, or sometimes even in well-supplied hardware stores.
However, buying locally means you’re limited in terms of choice, and you might be the victim of a marketing ploy and end up with a safe that isn’t as secure as they convinced you it is.
Is a gun safe EMP proof?
EMP stands for an electro-magnetic pulse. It’s a type of “attack” that disables any electronics nearby, and yes, that might include the electronic lock on your safe. If it does have one, it can very well be disabled completely.
The thing is, most, if not all, safes that have an electronic lock will also come with an entry key as a backup solution. Just because the electronic lock is disabled, that doesn’t mean that you won’t have access to your weapons.
This does depend on your specific model. Therefore, it would be a good idea to do some research and see how you can solve this, if it does happen. And do so now, not when this happens. Better to be safe than sorry.
Internal hinge vs. external hinge
While some may think that this has a lot to do with security, that isn’t particularly true. With a gun safe, with any gun safe, the hinge is made in such a way that you can’t destroy it easily, and you can’t use it as a “weak point” to enter the safe.
Therefore, in terms of safety, both options are okay, and one isn’t better than the other.
The place where this does make a difference is convenience. With an external hinge, you can open the safe’s door almost 180 degrees.
With an internal hinge, you’re limited to around 90 degrees, and not much more than that. This is something you should decide on depending on where you’ll be putting the safe, and how much space you have for maneuvering the hinge.
Why can’t you store 20 guns in a 20 gun safe?
Oh, you can. But in a very limited number of situations. Why is that, though? Well, it has to do with the design of the gun safes, and how manufacturers make them.
You see, when a manufacturer tries to see how many weapons you can fit in the safe, they only take the weapons in mind. That means nothing that’s out of the factory setup weapon. No optical attachments, nothing additional of any kind. However, not many people actually use their weapons like that. Chances are they have some sort of attachment on their weapon.
This does increase the amount of space a single weapon takes up, which in turn results in less space for other weapons.
Hence, you’ll have a hard time fitting 20 guns in a 20 gun safe, unless all of them are free of attachments and aren’t larger than what the manufacturer estimated.
How do you clean your gun safe?
Cleaning and maintaining your gun safe doesn’t have a significant impact on how safe it actually is. However, it can help with it looking nice and clean, and it can certainly help with it operating smoothly. It does protect your valuables, so showing some appreciation is in order.
On the inside and outside, you’ll want to remove any dust from the safe. A soft cloth or a duster is the easy way here, and it’s actually much simpler than you’d think, so don’t worry about it too much.
To remove any fingerprints or dirt that still remains on the safe, you can use a soft cloth and either straight water, or mild soap and water.
This helps you clean the metal parts of the safe, and won’t damage or scratch the finish. Once you’re done, make sure you wipe the safe dry with another soft cloth that’s non-abrasive.
Last but not least, you’ll want some oil. Occasional oiling of the hinges and any other moving parts such as the lock’s prongs will keep them working smooth. Be conservative with the amount of oil you use, and make sure to wipe any excess once you’re done.
Now, after scouring the market we think these are 5 of the best gun safes for your consideration.
Steelwater Heavy Duty Gun Safe
If you own more than just a few firearms you will want a safe that can hold them all. The Steelwater Heavy Duty Gun Safe is what you are looking for.
This safe is built from 18 gauge steel with anti prying, punching, and drilling protection. It is fire rated for up to one hour all the way to 1875 degrees. And, the door seal is made to expand to help protect your belongings from water and smoke.
The one complaint that people have about this safe is that it is so heavy it’s hard to move around. But, that’s really one of the purposes of a safe that is this size.
If someone breaks into your house not only are they not only going to be able to easily access your weapons, but they aren’t going to be able to walk off with your safe either.
Check out our full review of the Steelwater Heavy Duty Gun Safe here.
Sports Afield Gun Safe
This safe is overkill if you are just looking for a safe place to store a single handgun. You can hold around 30 guns in this safe.
You are able to customize the position of the shelves so you can tailor the interior design to what you are looking for. This safe features an electronic lock that is fully programmable, but there is still a backup override key just in case.
The safe is also fireproof and will keep the interior from reaching temperatures over 350 degrees for up to 40 minutes.
The Sports Afield brand has been around for over 125 years and provides a no-hassle lifetime warranty that can help you rest easy.
Check out our full review of the Sports Afield Gun Safe here.
Fort Knox PB1 Handgun Safe
If you have a single handgun that you need a safe for the Fort Knox PB1 Handgun Safe is a reliable option. It is a basic safe that has foam padding on the inside and a push-button mechanical lock.
There are over 1,000 combinations that can be entered making it difficult for someone to guess your combination. With this type of lock, you will never have to worry about the batteries dying on your lock or losing the key.
The lid opens easily once you have entered your combination. This is a no frills safe that you can use to keep little hands and unwanted hands off your gun.
Check out our complete review of the Fort Knox PB1 Handgun Safe.
VAULTEK VT20i Biometric Handgun Safe
The VAULTEK VT20i Biometric Handgun Safe is your basic safe amped up on technology. This is a small safe that will hold one handgun.
It easily fits in a nightstand or can slide under the seat of your car (make sure you follow all laws when traveling with a firearm).
This safe can hold up to 20 different fingerprints and can hold up to 40,000 different combinations.
It also works with an app that allows you to view who has been accessing your safe, any failed attempts, and remotely lock or unlock it.
Read our complete review of the VAULTEK VT20i Biometric Handgun safe here.
If you are looking for a safe that you can keep hidden while also allowing you quick access to a single handgun this is a good option for you.
The GunVault SV500 is a safe that can be mounted under your office desk or on the side of your nightstand next to your bed. When the safe opens your gun is in a position that is easy for you to grab it out and quickly use it if needed.
There is a digital keypad that will show you if any failed attempts have been made. This is a good option to make sure your children are not trying to gain access to the gun while you are away.
Check out the full review of the GunVault SV500 here.
Which one is right for you?
You are the only one that can determine which safe is the right one for you. The main things to consider when purchasing are:
- The size of safe and how many firearms you want to store inside of it.
- The locking style that you want to use.
- What type of backup access is available for the safe if you are having problems getting in.
- How easy is it for others to break in.
- Is it fireprood and water proof?
- Where do you want to store the safe and do you want it to be portable.
Once you know exactly what type of safe you are looking for checkout the complete reviews for the safes above.