The Gun Safe Buying Guide; All You Need to Know Explained

When it comes to gun safety, one of the most important pieces of equipment you can have is a gun safe. A gun safe provides a secure place to store your firearms when they are not in use and can help prevent accidents and theft.

It would help to keep a few things in mind when shopping for a safe gun. First, consider the size of the safe. You will need to make sure that it is large enough to accommodate all of your firearms. Secondly, think about the type of lock you want on your safe. Several types of locks are available, and you should choose one that best suits your needs. Finally, consider the price of the safe. Gun safes can vary widely in price, so be sure to shop around to find the best deal.

With these tips in mind, we hope this gun safe gives you the help you need in buying your first gun safe.

Gun Safe Sizes

The most important thing to consider, according to our gun safe buying guide, before buying a gun safe is the size of the safe. The size of the gun safe is normally influenced by the purpose you are using the gun safe. Do you want something you can easily keep out of sight or something you can carry along? Are you in the market for a gun safe you can mount? The type of guns you have or plan to buy should also be considered when purchasing.

So you see, buying a gun safe is not straightforward, you need to consider your needs. For example, if you need a gun safe for your handgun, then a small gun safe is what you need. Make sure it is large enough to hold more than one handgun and other valuables. But if you plan to start a gun collection, then buy a gun safe twice the size you think you need.

Safe manufacturers normally state the sizes of their gun safes. They use the gun safe’s capacity to label or determine the size of the guns. Small gun safes would hold 1-10 firearms, medium safes hold 10-30 firearms, large gun safes hold 30-50 firearms, and extra-large gun safes hold up to 100 or more guns. You will find that the number of firearms a gun safe can hold is normally used in naming the gun safe. But it is important to know that a 24 or 30 gun safe does not mean the safe will carry 30 guns. This is important to note the capacity the manufacturer has stated more than usual holds half the number of guns they promised the gun safe would hold.

Safe manufacturers would advertise their gun capacity as large as possible to win customers and beat their competition. However, as a gun owner, you should pay more attention to the interior space, know how many guns the safe can hold, and use the labeled gun capacity only as a reference.

So What Size Of Gun Safe Should You Buy?

According to this gun safe buying guide, we want to emphasize that the size of the gun safe you buy should depend first on the purpose or the reason you want to buy the gun safe. So, for example, if you own a handgun, there is no need to buy a 30 capacity gun safe. And if you are planning to keep riffles, you go in for a gun safe with the height to hold your rifle.

There are gun safe buying guides that will tell you to buy a bigger gun safe with the hope of filling it up in the future. What if you need one handgun you can keep beside your bed or nightstand that gives you quick access when you need it? This is why we will tell you to consider the purpose of the gun safe you are buying. For a portable gun safe for a handgun, the Fort Knox Handgun Safe is an excellent option you should go for.

If you already have guns and are reading this gun safe buying guide, then you should buy a safe that can hold your longest gun. And it is better to buy a large gun safe if you are a beginner planning to start a gun collection. The Liberty Centurion 24 gun safe can be a good choice for long guns and can keep about 12 to 15 long guns and handguns.

Don’t just buy a big gun safe because it gives you more space, buy a safe that serves your purpose, whether big or small.

Another thing you can consider regarding the size of the gun safe, whether small or big, is enough space. This extra space can be used to store other valuables and is also needed so you don’t have to stack your guns against each other.

Types Of Gun Safes

The next we will discuss in our guns safe buying gun guide are the types of gun safes available on the market. Gun safes come in different sizes but have different types for different purposes. Not all gun safes serve the same purpose, the types of gun safes we have are linked to the specific need they serve. Just like we have advised with selecting the size, you should also choose a gun safe that is suitable and meets your actual needs.

There are two main types of safes that are used in keeping guns; gun safes and gun cabinets or lockers.

Gun Safes

A gun safe is heavy with thick walls built from solid steel. They are fire resistant and come with mechanical or electronic combination locks. Gun safes are specifically made to provide maximum protection for guns and firearms. They are usually certified with anti-bur glary and anti-fire certifications.

Gun Cabinets

Unlike gun safes, a gun cabinet or gun locker is lightweight with thin walls. They are built to offer medium-level security for guns. They are meant to provide decent storage with minimum security. Key locks are often used instead of mechanical and electronic combinations to make them easy to manage and quick to access. In addition, gun cabinets usually don’t have fireproof certification.

Handgun Safes

Handgun safes are usually small and portable; these safes are designed to hold one or two guns and can be carried along by the user. We also have larger handgun safes designed for vehicles and can hold one or many firearms. Handgun safes usually come with digital or biometric locks for quick access.

Long Gun Safes

Long gun safes are usually 60” tall and they are used to keep between 10 to 30 long guns. Therefore, they are ideal when planning to start a gun collection.

These are the typical types we can group gun safes. And under each of these types, we have some that are quick access gun safes; just as their names sound, they give users quick access to their guns whenever they need it. There are also hidden gun safes, which are simply gun safes designed to be kept out of sight or concealed.

Types Of Gun Safe Locks

Gun safe locks are the most important thing regarding gun safes. Every gun owner wants quick and easy access to their guns in a moment of need. How quickly a gun safe opens depends on the locking mechanism installed on the weapon.

So before you decide on which gun safe to spend on, the lock mechanism on the gun safe is a significant part that needs to be considered. We have three typical types of locks on gun safes; mechanical combination lock, electronic lock, and biometric lock. There are also gun safes that use key locks, but these safes are usually cheap safes or gun cabinets. Key locks are also used as an override backup access to the three typical types of locks when they fail.

Mechanical Locks

Mechanical  Gun Safe Lock
Mechanical Gun Safe Lock

Mechanical locks are the traditional lock systems that have proven over time to be highly reliable. To open mechanical locks, spin the dial left and right three to four times, depending on the wheel numbers on the lock. Proper management makes mechanical locks the most reliable and universal lock option for gun safes. Most mechanical locks come with a key lock on the dial to protect the dial from spinning. So before you can manipulate the dial to try the combination, you need the key to unlock the dial. This gives you an extra layer of protection for your guns and other valuables you may keep in the safe.

There is a downside to mechanical locks; they take time to open and are not ideal when you need quick access to your gun.

Electronic Locks

Electronic Gun Safe Keypad Lock
Electronic Gun Safe Keypad Lock

If mechanical locks are traditional locks, then we agree that electronic locks are modern locks. They are by far favored by most users nowadays. This is because they give you quick access to your gun when needed, which is the most important thing about every gun safe. Electronic locks can fail, but they are also more reliable and give you higher security than mechanical ones. Electronic locks use keypads that allow users to set their combinations and multiple user codes for lock management. To open the gun safe, you must enter the correct combination codes to access the safe’s content.

The major downside users of electronic locks worry about is the battery. Some electronic locks depend on batteries to operate, and if the batteries fail or die, you are locked out of the safe until you resolve the battery issue. But this issue can be resolved by getting an electronic lock that has a low power indicator. This reminds you to charge the battery to avoid being locked out.

Biometric Locks

Biometric Gun Safe Lock
Biometric Gun Safe Lock

Biometric locks are a kind of electronic lock that allows users to gain access using their fingerprints. Biometric locks come with keypads, so users can only set the lock to accept fingerprints or use the keypad to open the door. You always have an electronic keypad to gain access should the biometric lock reject your fingerprint. Combination codes are also useful in a case where your finger is dirty.

If you are looking for a gun safe with quicker access, then get one with a biometric lock. They are similar to electronic keypad locks but are designed for quick access. But know that fingerprint lock technology is not perfect yet. If your finger is dirty, you might have to try several times before the lock scanner will recognize your fingerprint.

Gun Safe Buying Guide

Now that you know a bit about gun safes let’s look at some major things you need to consider before deciding what to get.

These things will help you decide which aspects are most important to you. After reading this gun safe buying guide, you are still unsure which one to go for, so here are some things you should look out for when deciding which nightstand gun safe.

Generally, a gun safe should be quick to access, secure, and highly durable. So, let’s look at some of the basic features you need to look out for when selecting your next gun safe.

Quick access and easy to open

Gaining quick access to your gun safe is by far the number one trait any gun owner should want for their gun safe. Because you want to be able to use the gun when you need to. The lock on the safe should be easy to open in a rush and probably in the dark. Mechanical lock safes take time and a steady hand to open, so we advise you to avoid them because that is not what you need in a time of need.

Your gun shouldn’t be hard to retrieve just because it is kept in a safe. So for quick access, you can go for something that uses biometric or easy touchpad access, or even an electronic lock will do the job better than a mechanical lock. For a quick access handgun safe, we recommend the SentrySafe QAP1BE gun safe.


Will it open anytime you need to open it? It would help to ask that question before deciding which one to go for. For example, suppose you are keeping a firearm next to your bed because you want to be able to use it at a moment’s notice.

Gun safe Size

We have already discussed why you need to consider the gun safe size you want to buy. In addition, the purpose and type of guns you want to keep should inform the size of the gun safe you would decide on.

Ability to be mounted and bolted down or hidden

Even if you want to buy a gun safe that is thicker like steel, we advise that it shouldn’t go without the ability to be bolted down. If not, then it can be easily carried away by thieves or anyone. Even your children, that’s why you need one that comes with the ability to be bolted down.

If it is a portable gun safe, then it should be easy to keep out of sight. Portable gun safes normally don’t come with mounting capabilities. So getting one that you can keep out of sight should be the go-to. The Concealment Clock gun safe is one of the best gun safes you can easily keep out of sight.

Temper Alerts

This feature may not be necessary, but it is nice to have. Temper alerts can come in handy when an unauthorized person tries to access the gun safe without your permission. Temper alerts can come in the form of annoying beeps or notifications sent to your phone when you are not in the house.

Ammo Storage

Having extra room in the safe for extra ammo or chips will be nice. This space can also be used to store jewelry and cash, making them a more challenging target for thieves. So if you decide to get a gun safe, one with some extra space can be a nice bonus.

Bottom Line

This gun safe buying guide should give every new gun owner enough information to help them decide what type of gun safe they want to secure their guns and protect their family.

When it comes to gun safes, you need to keep a few key factors in mind to make the best purchase. First, consider the size of the gun safe. You want to make sure it’s large enough to accommodate all of your firearms and other valuables. Second, think about the type of gun safe you need. There are many different types on the market, so choose one that will best meet your needs. Finally, consider the locks on the gun safe. You want to ensure they are durable and keep your firearms safe and secure. By keeping these factors in mind, you can be sure to find the perfect gun safe for your needs.

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