Gun safes can get very expensive. The tricky thing is that gun safes are really not optional, which is most likely why you’re reading this article. So is it possible to get a quality gun safe that will keep your firearms from being accessed by any unauthorized persons without having to spend more than you did on the firearms themselves?
The good news is that, yes, it is possible. In this article, we’re going to go over ten different gun safes that each fit a slightly different use case to ensure that you can find the most appropriate safe for you.
There are several situations to cover when finding and recommending gun safes. Some folks own handguns, which require much less real estate than rifles, while others own both handguns and long guns. You may be looking for a portable safe to keep your handgun safe while you’re traveling or something for home defense.
For this reason, I would encourage you to look through all the options rather than just stopping at the ‘best overall’ because a different safe may be a better fit for your specific situation.
Related: 10 Best Gun Safes Under 500
Reviews of the Best Gun Safes
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Best for Home Defense
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Best for Portability
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Best for Capacity
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1. Atripark Rifle Gun Safe
The Atripark is probably the best combination if you’re looking to store both rifles and handguns in your home or office. It’s not too big but can fit four rifles along with 2-3 handguns on the top shelf. It gives you two access options – an electronic keypad and an ‘emergency’ key you can use in case the batteries in the keypad die.
The door is quite solid. In fact, it’s noticeably more solid than the walls. Considering that the door will be the most easily accessible portion of the vault and that it will be the first target of anyone trying to get to your firearms, this isn’t a big concern for me. The walls are thick enough to deter any but the most dedicated thief with both ample time and the correct equipment.
The Atripark comes pre-assembled and ready for mounting and can either be mounted against a back wall, the floor, or both. You should note that the rifle storage section is only 46.8” tall, so longer-than-average rifles will have a hard time fitting. Also, fitting four rifles in will be tough if you have scopes or other optics of any significant size, but it could still be possible.
You can get it with a fingerprint reader instead of a keypad if you’d like, though the only advantage to that, in my opinion, is that you don’t have to remember a code. You can load up to 32 fingerprints into the reader, so getting access for both you and your spouse is pretty easy.
I understand the appeal of biometrics, and I’ll be recommending other safes that use them. Still, one of the reasons the Atripark is Best Overall in this list is because it gives you a choice between a keypad version and a fingerprint version, so you can buy the version that you feel most comfortable with.
- Will usually fit four rifles and possibly up to 5
- Has a shelf for handgun storage as well
- Comes in either fingerprint or keypad versions
- Both versions have backup keys to ensure access
- Not too big can fit in small spaces
- The top shelf has no spacers or holders for convenient handgun storage
- On the more expensive side of our price range
Atripark Rifle Gun Safe
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2. Billconch Biometric Gun Safe for Pistols
To preface this, I’d like to say that there are plenty of dirt-cheap options for portable handgun safes, and you can get solid little boxes for less than $25. And, hey, if that’s all you need, then more power to you. However, what you’ll get with those, however, is a lot less security than with this Billconch.
The Billconch is a much more versatile and feature-rich option. First and foremost, it can fit two pistols, whereas most simple steel boxes can only fit one. It gives you three options to unlock: fingerprint reader, keypad, or standard key.
It comes with interior LED lighting, which can be extremely handy depending on how you’re using it. If you’re keeping it at your bedside so you can respond quickly in case of a home invasion, having that little light to let you see clearly inside the box could make a big difference. Because it has electronics (the LED, the fingerprint reader, and the keypad), you have to ensure it’s charged, but it can charge via USB.
What makes this safe even better is that you can connect it with the Billconch app on your phone to monitor the battery levels and manage the code and fingerprints. You don’t have to (which is really important to me), but you can if you wish.
All these features make this particular safe a good solution for handguns, regardless of whether you want to keep them in your car, house, or anywhere else. Want portability? Just don’t bother with charging/electronics and rely on the key. Want it safe from kids? It’s small enough to put on a shelf, and you can just keep it plugged in all the time. Want it ready for home defense? It can fit on your bedside, and the fingerprint reader gives you lightning-fast access.
The hinges and locking mechanism are thick, strong, and robust, the outer shell is a bit thicker than you’ll find on cheaper boxes, and the inner shell is lined with foam to protect everything you put inside.
- Small and portable
- Three access options (fingerprint, keypad, key)
- Interior LED to provide visibility in dark situations
- Optional pairing with an app to manage fingerprints, monitor battery charge, etc.
- Heavy for its size
- The app can be buggy and slow
- The initial setup is annoying and needlessly complex (but only if you want the app)
Billconch Biometric Gun Safe for Pistols
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3. RPNB Mounted Gun Safe
I’m a big fan of this design. The RPNB has a fingerprint reader, but as you know, I prefer the keypad. This safe’s unique shape and functionality make it particularly good for home defense. You can keep your firearm stored with the magazine loaded if you want and are willing to accept the risk, and it gives you quick access that can save those crucial seconds when you need to.
The RPNB is discrete enough that you can hang it in other places besides your bedroom or closet. It could potentially go in a pantry or bathroom closet or even in a more visible space if that’s something you’re comfortable with.
I wouldn’t personally hang it somewhere guests could see it, even though it’s probably secure enough to do so, simply because I consider ignorance to be my first line of defense. It’s not as likely someone will try and steal your gun if they don’t know you have one in the first place. It’s a great option to have underneath your desk.
The RPNB has mounting points on both sides, but not the back, unfortunately. The mounting is easily the weakest aspect of the RPNB, and if you’re going to purchase it, then I would recommend planning on reinforcing the mounting hardware in whatever way makes the most sense in your use case. Without some extra work on your part, the RPNB is just too easy to remove for my taste.
Another thing that’s important to consider with this safe style is that you really want to take a little time and practice with it. The whole point of a safe like this is to be action-ready in a bad situation, and if you don’t have any muscle memory as you put in the keypad and draw, you might end up fumbling around a bit.
This may seem inconsequential, but little things like how hard you need to press on the buttons to get them to register and how quickly the hatch drops down can make a big difference in how effective something like this is.
- Very small footprint
- Can mount on either side
- Works in spots that most other safes won’t
- Backup override key included
- Not designed for carrying or traveling
- Not big enough for a full-size handgun with an optic or flashlight
- Will work for a full-size handgun or a smaller with an optic
- Included mounting hardware can be loose and easy to detach
RPNB Mounted Gun Safe
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4. Vaultek LifePod 2.0
When it comes to travel cases, there are none that I like better than the LifePod 2.0 from Vaultek. Not only does it have a fingerprint unlock, a digital keypad, and a backup key, but you can also choose to disable the key to prevent lock-picking if you want. It also runs for up to a year on a single 9-volt battery, which is easy to find and replace.
Of all the gun safes on this list, it’s clear that the LifePod 2.0 has been the most well thought-out. It has an interior LED to light the inside and comes with a mini-shelf to give you two “stories” of storage. Using the shelf, you’ll only have about an inch of clearance on each level, so if you’re storying baby-Glocks you should be able to stack, but if you’re using it for a full-size pistol, you won’t have room for the shelf.
It may be tempting to look away from the LifePod when you find out it’s not made out of metal. Still, the polymer construction should be tough enough for the majority of situations, and it’s the polymer that makes this so much lighter than other portable safes. The polymer also makes it float on water.
Is it going to stand up as well as metal to someone pounding on it trying to break in? No, probably not, and that is an important consideration.
So, you may ask, if it’s not as secure, then why do I like it so much? Well, pretty simple. It’s strong enough that it would still take a thief some serious dedication and time to break into it, and honestly, they’d have to damage the case so much that they would risk damaging what was inside it at the same time.
Considering that I would only use this case while traveling and therefore in relatively close proximity to it, that’s enough protection to keep my mind at ease. This is not, however, a recommendation you do the same. Every gun owner needs to decide for themselves what tradeoffs are worth it.
- 9v battery with long battery life
- Keypad, fingerprint reader, and backup key
- Backup key can be disabled to prevent lock-picking
- Weatherproof, floats, and is airtight
- Polymer construction = less durable
- Can only fit one full-size pistol
Vaultek LifePod 2.0
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5. KAER Rifle Safe
As the adage goes, it’s not the size of the safe that matters but how you use it. KAER must have taken this lesson to heart because their rifle safe is well-designed to maximize the amount of space inside. It comes with not one but two different rifle racks, one for shorter rifles and one for longer rifles. One rack has two slots, the other has three, and you can position them as high or low as you like.
There’s also a removable rack for pistols on the top shelf two holsters inside the door for pistols, and three shelves for ammo boxes. If you’ve got a lot of guns and want to keep them organized without breaking the bank on a massive, expensive gun safe, then this one from KAER could be a perfect solution.
It’s obviously not designed to be portable, and there’s no biometric option, but it has a keypad entry as well as a backup lock & key that is hidden on the front to discourage lock-picking. It comes with floor mounting and rear mounting options and really should be bolted either to the wall or floor once you get it in position.
It’s one of the only safes of this size and price point with an interior LED light for added visibility. It’s made of 14-gauge steel and has three 20mm thick bolts that engage when the lock is activated. The advantage of this style is that once it’s bolted down, you have to be able to open the safe to undo the bolts.
- Can fit five rifles and up to seven handguns
- Has convenient shelves for ammo boxes
- Secure mounting options on the bottom and back
- Keypad entry with a backup key
- No biometric option
- Shelf can’t be lowered to make more room for stacking
- Not as many reviews as some other options
KAER Rifle Safe
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6. TigerKing Security Home Safe
This is an excellent option if you only have handguns and you also have other sensitive things that you’d like protected in a safe, like jewelry, cash, or financial documents. If you’re in the market for safes under $300, then you probably aren’t interested in buying more than one to protect everything you want to be locked away.
The TigerKing comes with a shelf that divides the 12.9 inches of height into two sections, about 6” each, which is just the right size for handguns if you have (or can build) a rack for them. It also comes with an extra locking compartment within the safe that takes a different key from the main door.
You can set up the TigerKing to require either the keypad entry or the lock, or you can set it up to require both for maximum security.
The safe itself only weighs about 60 pounds, so unless you’re filling it with gold bricks, it will probably be light enough for a thief to pick up and carry away. To prevent this, you’ll want to bolt it down after you’ve got it where you want it.
One of the best features of the TigerKing is the alarm that will sound when the safe is moved, jostled, or an incorrect code is entered three times in a row. The alarm is a loud noise that will run for about a minute unless the correct code is entered. There’s no internet connectivity, so the alarm is just the noise, but it can be a powerful deterrent to someone trying to break into the safe.
- Six locking bolts pointing in three directions
- Classy design
- Shelf for inside and separate safe-within-a-safe compartment
- Won’t fit rifles
- Not particularly portable
TigerKing Security Home Safe
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7. RPNB Quick-Access Pistol Safe
This is another great option if you want something portable that can fit more than just a single pistol. This RPNB safe is unique because it comes with an RFID key fob to give you immediate access without relying on biometrics if you want. You can also choose to buy the version with a fingerprint reader. Both versions also have the keypad and the backup key.
Another unique feature of this box is that the lid is spring-loaded, so the door will pop open on its own when you unlock it. Most of the time, this feature is just a fun little add-on, but if you’re using this safe to store your home defense firearm, it can go from an inconsequential add-on to an essential feature.
The steel is thick, the design is sleek, and it could be perfect for your situation. The pre-drilled mounting holes are only on the bottom, but you can still turn it so that the bottom is against the wall and mount it wherever you’d like.
It loses points on portability, in my opinion, because it’s a bit on the bigger and heavier side, but it’s portable enough that you could use it for that if you wish.
The RFID chip makes it good for those of us tin foil hat-wearing people that don’t trust biometrics, and the spring-loaded door makes it good for when you want a handgun ready for a quick response to something. If either of those applies to you, this could be the safe to choose.
In case it’s not obvious, this isn’t a great solution for rifles.
- RFID chip instead of a fingerprint reader
- Spring-loaded lid
- Fairly portable
- Heavier and bulkier than other portable options
- Fingerprint reader can be finicky and beeps loudly when it malfunctions
RPNB Quick-Access Pistol Safe
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8. Vaultek VS20i Biometric Handgun Safe
This Vaultek is right at the limit of the price range we’re talking about, but if you’re looking for a travel case with all the bells and whistles you can imagine, this is a great option. It should fit two of most sizes of handguns (unless you’re trying to pack in a couple of Desert Eagles), isn’t too heavy considering the size and capacity, and has dual lock catches to make it that much harder to break into.
The steel is 16-gauge, which is a good thickness for this class of safe, and it has a host of different anti-theft features to keep your guns safe. The bluetooth is cool if you’re into that sort of thing, and you can easily turn it off if you’re not.
Using the app, you can monitor the battery level, but you can also use the app to audit the complete history of every time the device was opened, including whose fingerprint was used to open it if you’re using the biometric option.
You can also use the app to set different options, like when and for how long the interior light kicks on. Considering that the app connects via bluetooth, you do have to have your phone in pretty close proximity to the safe for it to work, but depending on what situations you want to use the safe in, this could be a great feature for you.
The important thing to me is that you don’t have to use the app if you don’t want to. The safe by itself weighs about seven pounds, which isn’t too bad, and it can store up to 20 different fingerprints, so you can set it up for more than one person to access if desired. This feature probably makes more sense if you’re storing something other than handguns in this safe.
- Bluetooth & app compatibility
- Backlit 5-digit keypad with a proximity sensor (will light up when your hand gets close)
- Can take codes up to 8 digits long (most this size can only do up to 6)
- Can fit up to two handguns
- May be just barely too small to fit two guns
- The electronics can be buggy
Vaultek VS20i Biometric Handgun Safe
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9. BBRKIN Security Biometric Safe Box
This is basically a smaller and simpler version of the TigerKing, with a few differences. The BBRKIN comes with a fingerprint reader as an option, for starters, as well as a removable handgun rack that can allow you to store your handguns like in the picture above.
This safe also has a 10-digit keypad, which is a lot more secure than the 4-6 digit keypads that a lot of small home safes come with because there are so many more combinations. This safe is also a lot lighter than the TigerKing, which makes it that much more important that you bolt it down wherever you intend to keep it.
The BBRKIN also comes equipped with an optional silent mode, which means the keypad won’t make noise as you hit buttons. I would personally always keep the safe in silent mode but to each their own.
I would recommend this safe if you’ve got a couple of handguns and a few boxes of ammo, and you want to store them all in one place to keep things simple. You’re not too worried about a home invasion and are fine with having your guns in a place a little ways away from where you sleep, like your closet.
It can also be great for storing other expensive items in addition to your handguns. Anything the TigerKing safe can do, this can also, just not to the same degree as it is noticeably smaller and lighter.
- Three different access options
- Two shelves with removable handgun rack
- Small and lightweight
- Small and lightweight (could be good or bad depending on use case)
- Too big to be portable and too small for a lot of items
BBRKIN Security Biometric Safe Box
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10. Pataku Large Rifle Safe (5-gun)
If you think that this looks an awful lot like the Atripark, you’d be correct! The design is virtually identical, but this version from Pataku is a bit wider and has slots for five rifles instead of only four. With it being so similar to our #1 choice, you may wonder why it was included here.
Pretty simple: some people really like the design of the Atripark, but they have five rifles. You also get a couple of inches more depth, which may be a pro or a con depending on the rifles that you’re storing.
The reason the Pataku appears so low on the list is precisely that it’s a knock-off. The customer support and quality control at Pataku aren’t as good as it is with Atripark, and having a fifth gun slot isn’t usually a deal-breaker for people shopping for gun safes at below a $300 price point.
There’s not a whole lot more to say about the Pataku, but it has a similar keypad entry and backup key, along with three thick bolts that lock into place when the lock is engaged. It’s a solid safe and deserves to be on this list.
- Can store five rifles and several handguns on the top shelf
- Can mount to floor and/or wall
- Convenient keypad entry or backup key
- Added depth doesn’t add much usable storage space
- Rifle rack is not adjustable for height of your rifles
Pataku Large Rifle Safe
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If you’re new to buying gun safes, you may be in a situation where you don’t know what you don’t know. Here I’m going to cover the basics of what you need to consider when buying a gun safe.
Obviously, you’re buying a safe to keep out unwanted persons, but who are the persons you are most concerned about? If you’re a parent, you may be worried about your kids getting your firearms and playing with them. If you live in a bad neighborhood, you may be a lot more concerned about someone breaking in and stealing your guns while you’re away.
These are two very different situations. As a die-hard gun safety enthusiast, I want to tell you that you should buy the thickest, strongest, most impenetrable safe you can afford, regardless of your situation. That said, if you live in a low-crime area, have children, and have other spending priorities besides the latest and greatest gun safes, you can get by with a simple, cheap safe that just puts some thick steel between your kids and your guns.
If you’re looking to secure a handgun, portability is a legitimate priority you may not have thought of. There are plenty of safes you can get that are smaller but not very portable, so if you know you aren’t going to want to transport your handgun(s) anywhere then feel free to go with one of them.
However, if you buy a safe that is designed to be portable, you can consider securing it to something in your home with the safety cable rather than bolting it down. Then, when you travel, you can simply unlock the safety cable and bring the safe with you, giving you essentially two safes for the price of one.
Generally, if portability is not a priority, you should maximize security.
Check this article on Best car gun safe by Hunting Mark.
Method of Access
Every method of unlocking a gun safe comes with advantages and disadvantages. If you use a standard lock & key, you leave your safe vulnerable to lock-picking. For some reason, gun safe locks are notoriously under-engineered, especially at price points under $300. That said, lock & key is also the simplest and most reliable because it’s purely mechanical.
Keypad entries are great, and are probably my personal favorite, but they depend on having charged batteries and have to be remembered. If you use a digit combination that’s easy to remember, chances are it’s because the number sequence is significant in some other way, which then makes it easier for someone else to guess.
Fingerprint readers are lightning-fast, but they also tend to malfunction more frequently, so I’m always hesitant to rely on them. That said, the technology is always getting better, and more and more safes are coming with biometric access of some kind or another.
This one is fairly obvious – is the safe you’re looking at big enough for the guns you have? But another important question to ask is whether it’s actually too big. You may only have so much room in your closet or other space where you can put the safe. If you only have a couple handguns, why buy a safe big enough for rifles?
Some safes in this price range come with bluetooth or other wireless technology to manage the lock. Some of these apps can do pretty incredible things, like keep a log of every time someone’s fingerprint is used to open the safe. My general rule of thumb is to avoid any extra connectivity or technology unless you need it for a specific reason.
This is always a concern, but when you can see safes all the way from ~$100 to several thousand, it can be confusing and make it difficult to trust safes on the cheaper end of the spectrum. The truth of it is that quality safes can be found at nearly all of these price points.
If you’re looking for a safe large enough to hold rifles, you’ll need to spend at least a couple hundred dollars. If you’re just looking for something small and portable to transport a handgun, you could get as low as $20-$30 for something very basic.
You’ll see a few different styles as you search through different gun safes. Some styles are more common than others.
The first style is the long gun style. This is what our best overall pick is. These are tall and only as wide as necessary to fit as many rifles as you want to fit. These long gun safes usually come with at least a shelf at the top but may have multiple shelves and compartments the higher up you go in price.
The next style you’ll see is what I call the briefcase style. Despite the name, they usually don’t have carry handles or anything similar (which aggravates me to no end, by the way), but they have that rectangular shape and are intended to be used to transport handguns somewhere.
The next style is the box style, like the TigerKing. These aren’t as common for gun safes since if you’re storing handguns there are more space-efficient ways to design the safe, and if you’re storing rifles you need more space than a box safe will give you. That said, these can be great if you want to store a handgun or two in the same safe as sensitive documents or expensive jewelry.
There are a few less-common styles, like our pick for best home defense – The RPNB mounted gun safe. This kind of safe is designed to hold just one handgun. When you unlock it, the safe drops open to present the handgun at a comfortable angle for you to pick up and immediately prep to fire if necessary.
You’d be surprised how much of a difference a unique feature can make. For example, the spring-loaded door on the RPNB safe with the RFID chip. For most portable safes, you have to manually lift the lid after you unlock it, which is fine, but if you’re in a hurry or you have a magazine in one hand ready to insert into your firearm, getting the lid open can cause a short delay.
It’s impossible to get into all the possible features that might make a difference for your use case, so just make sure to look around at a few different safes before you decide on one in case you run into a feature that could make the difference for you.
There’s a difference between breaking into a safe with some kind of brute force, like using a drill or metal-cutting saw, and breaking into a safe by exploiting some kind of vulnerability. For example, many safes are equipped with some kind of reset button so you can reprogram the keypad or fingerprint scanner.
If this reset button is exposed inside the safe when the door is closed, someone could reach in with a thin wire and press the reset button, thus gaining access to reprogram the keypad without having to open the safe first. This has been a fairly common vulnerability, especially in budget-friendly safes. Most brands have recognized this and resolved it, but it’s still worth looking out for.
Most likely, yes. This is assuming, of course, that you buy one that only does what you need it to do and nothing more. If you own a single gun and drop $3k on a safe for it, probably not worth it. That said, you want to spend what you need to spend in order to make sure your firearms are as safe as they need to be.
This depends on whether it’s portable or intended to stay in your home or office. If it’s portable, I would say a minimum of 18-gauge steel and preferably 16-gauge. If it’s designed to be bolted down somewhere in your home, I would recommend 14-gauge or thicker.
The main concerns with putting a gun safe in the garage are heat and humidity. Both of these can create real problems and reduce the lifespan or effectiveness of your safe. Generally, I’d recommend playing it safe and only putting a gun safe in a garage if you have hired a company that sells and installs large gun safes to do it for you.
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. I would recommend somewhere that guests don’t typically go, like the closet in the master bedroom, and somewhere that you can get to quickly in the event you need to defend your home.
You may be constrained by space and what your landlord will allow you to do in terms of bolting your gun safe to the wall. Sometimes you don’t have a whole lot of choices and just have to put it where it fits.
Also Read: Some of the Best Biometric Gun Safes You Can Trust On
The safe you choose will depend on your specific situation, but the overall best balance of price, features and high ratings is the Atripark Rifle Gun Safe. If you have any long guns, I would highly recommend you check them out, and feel free to check out the other options as well. Do you have any of these safes? Let me know your experience in the comments.