Pistol safes have a variety of features that make them ideal for securing firearms and ammunition. The best pistol safes are designed to protect your handguns from intruders, family members, and theft.
There are strong steel boxes that have a keyed lock or electronic lock while others have a mechanical lock. Some even include an integrated biometric scanner that is used to open the safe upon fingerprint identification.
Some of them also come with an alarm system to alert you when someone is trying to break in. That being said, handguns do not come cheap, so you must use nothing but the best handgun safe for its safety.
These gun safes are designed to hold one or two pistols, and they are typically small enough to be mounted on a wall or tucked away in a drawer.
These safes offer both an easy way to protect your firearm and the ability to store it conveniently at home or while traveling. With spacious space for one gun and room for ammunition, it’s hard not to find the perfect spot for it!
Why Do You Need A Handgun Safe?
There are a lot of reasons why you need to invest in these safes. Here are some of the major reasons.
- To protect your family and loved ones
- To keep your guns safe from theft
- To ensure that your guns will be accessible when you need them most
- To ensure that your guns will not be damaged by fire or water damage
- To protect yourself against lawsuits
- And lastly, to ensure that you have the best protection for your weapons
Top 10 Best Pistol Safe Reviews
Just like handguns, there are also a variety of pistol safes available in the market. Depending on your budget, preferred locking system, style, size, you can easily find one that meets all your needs.
1. Fort Knox PB1 Handgun Safe
Just like its name suggests, the Fort Knox PB1 is built to be one of the most secured safes for your pistols. Its unibody is constructed with 10-gauge steel which is further bound with a 3/16” tamper-resistant wraparound door.
Due to the materials used, you must expect it to be quite heavy, especially the door. But the featured gas strut in the PB1 allows one to easily access the safe while holding the door up.
However, it does make a slight noise while opening which defeats the purpose of trying to surprise an invader. You will not even notice the hinges as it is welded within to give it a seamless look.
As for the locking system, the PB1 uses the simplex push-button mechanical lock that is extremely fast to open during emergencies. That is if you know the correct combination among the 1081 possible ones.
However, with enough time, the combination may be guessed. So, you should never take any chances and keep the safe away from sight.
The entire safe interior is lined with soft foam to give it an egg-crate outlook and feel. It will protect your gun inside from accidental bumps and shakes and will always hold them securely.
You can either fit in a regular-sized handgun with additional clips or two small pistols with ease. The safe also has four pre-drilled holes underneath, so you can also attach it to a surface if you want.
- Tough construction that makes it impossible to break into
- The mechanical locking mechanism that is almost impenetrable
- Concealed welded hinges to give it a seamless and sturdy outlook.
- Spacious and protective interior
- The gas strut system makes noise and might alert perpetrators
- Not fire and water-proof
The overall construction and feel of this Fort Knox safe give off a sense of security and strength. It is impossible to tamper with and break into, even with brute force. This handgun safe is one of the best in both design and safety.
2. SentrySafe QAP1BLX Biometric Pistol Gun Safe
Sentrysafe is quite popular in the industry for producing affordable fire protection safes and for their 10-seconds unlocking mechanism using magnets.
The QAP1BLX is one of their premium products, which features a new state-of-the-art fingerprint scanner for adequate protection.
It only takes one quick swipe to prop open the door. You can store up to 10 fingerprints at the same time so that all your family members are authorized to use them when needed.
If the battery dies or you have oil coating your fingers, you can even use the digital keypad and backup keys. This safe has a solid steel construction with a pry-resistant door that keeps your handgun safe from wrong hands.
SentrySafe used an improved gas strut in their doors that allows you to open the door singlehandedly without making any noise. In this way, you can keep them safe at your bedside and catch your intruders off-guard very easily.
The interior of this handgun safe is just as well-built as the exterior. A soft foam lining covers the wall of your safe so that your guns do not get scratched if accidentally dropped or bumped into it. There is also an interior light that allows you to access your gun in the dark quickly.
You can mount the safe to a wall so that no one can remove it from the premises or misplace it. This also helps you to access it without second-guessing or scrambling for it easily.
- Can store up to 10 fingerprints at a time
- Have three modes of opening the safe
- Advanced biometric scanner wakes up and reacts quickly
- It can be mounted both horizontally and on the wall
- It can only fit one handgun
The QAP1BLX is perfect for fitting just one handgun with an accurate and fast-reacting biometric scanner.
3. Stealth Handgun Hanger Safe Quick Access Electronic Pistol Security Box
This hanger safe wowed us with its features when it was released and has easily made its way to our top 10. It has everything you could ask for in a high security safe for multiple weapons.
With a maximum capacity of 5 handguns at the ready position, and two flats, the storage of this safe is every gun collector’s dream. There is even room to store extra mags and clips as well!
You can easily store all your pistols without making them cluttered and access them fast when needed. The 2-piece spring-loaded drop-down door is a classic and is constructed with 3/8” inch thick steel.
Along with the anti-pry tabs and high-strength latch, you will not have to worry about anybody breaking into it anytime soon.
You cannot even get a screwdriver in! Remain assured that the new welded lock housing is both straw and pick proof.
There are two modes of access. Once you use backup keys to open the safe, you will then need to locate the combination button beside the interior light.
After clicking on the button six times, the safe entry into stealth mode where you can input your new six-digit password.
The Stealth Handgun Hanger safe has been available for a couple of years already, and it has yet to disappoint. It has even received DOJ approval as a fire safety device after undergoing nine rigorous testing.
- Large secure storage capacity
- Optional silent mode for stealth access
- Dent around the 1st button allows you to easily navigate the keyboard in the dark
- Interior high-density foam lining to protect from scratches
- Slight lag in keypad input which prevents you from entering the combination too fast
An overall well-built safe that provides good value for the price. It seems to be very durable and can easily hold all your guns if you have multiple. The setup is also easy to figure out, and it is a great choice in an affordable range.
4. Awesafe Gun Safe with Fingerprint Identification and Biometric Lock
If you are looking for the best revolver safe to keep beside your bed, then look no further than the Awesafe gun safe. It is both discreet and compact and is perfect for storing not only in your drawers but also under car seats, desk drawers, and other small spaces.
Even with the limited space, you can conveniently store two handguns or a small pistol with extra mags and clips. Besides a biometric fingerprint scanner, the safe also has a digital keypad and manual key lock access to use when the former fails.
However, the finger needs to be placed the same way every time, but you can get it right after a few practices.
The frame is made with a solid steel compression and pry-resistant door that would be difficult for any unauthorized access, even with brunt force.
And if you use the pre-drilled holes to pin down your safe to any area, then you never have to worry about anyone accessing your gun or running off with it after locating it.
Due to the gas strut technology incorporated, the safe door is quick to open and is almost noiseless.
The LED interior lighting illuminates the entire safe, which makes it easy to locate your handguns in low-light scenarios. Moreover, it has an electronic lock as well for additional safety.
You can set the entire system up within half an hour and start storing your handguns right away. At such a price range, you could not ask for more.
- Have both electronic and mechanical locking mechanisms within its three modes of entry
- Highly portable and easy to store
- Can singlehandedly open the safe and access the handguns due to gas strut technology
- Can store two handguns or one pistol and for storing ammo
- The two handguns must be of standard size, or they will not fit
The Awesafe pistol safe is extremely sturdy with an advanced fingerprint reader with stored backup, discreet size, and high portability.
If you want a small profile safe in your bedside, car safe, or office to get quick access to your gun, we recommend the Awesafe.
5. VAULTEK VT20i Pistol Safe with Auto-Open Lid
As a gun owner, you will appreciate the various features of the VT20i. It may look tiny, but you will have plenty of space to store your handguns, magazines, and other valuables such as your passports, safety cash, tax receipts, etc.
Besides the usual three modes of access with biometric readers, digital keypads, and backup keys, you can also use a phone app to lock and unlock your safe securely.
This app was inspired by a game modeled with a 5-button keypad that instantly reacts to your touch. There are over 40, 000 possible combination locks, so it will be very difficult to hack or guess.
The phone app also allows you to perform standard functions, such as changing the light color, checking battery percentage, responding to alarms, setting fingerprints, viewing entries, and even turning on/off the Bluetooth.
You can store up to 20 fingerprints, so your family members can access them when needed. And if you want to override manually, you need to insert both of your keys into the hidden slot for it to work.
The lid has a stealth mode option to make no sound when it opens and will give you quick access to your items, the responsive LED light increasing your visibility in the dark.
The TSA has deemed it suitable for air travel so that you can take it with you during vacations. Otherwise, you can just store it under your bed gun safe or car seat or in your nightstand, office desk, both tethered and untethered.
- Highly compact and very portable
- App for easy access and control
- Four access modes, including up to 20 fingerprints recording
- Micro-USB included for recharging batteries
- It might be too small for pistols larger than standard size
The VT20i is one of the best handgun safes for your home and has impressive features. It has a rugged unibody design, four access modes, and app connectivity that puts other safes to shame.
This safe also has USB-rechargeable batteries, which can hardly be found in the safe industry.
6. RPNB Smart Pistol Safe Handgun Security Safe California DOJ Certified
RPNB is a well-loved brand when it comes to gun safes. Their products are DOJ certified and are very dependable.
It is a decent pistol safe convenient to set up and use, all at an affordable price range. With a rocky black finish, this safe can blend in with almost every interior arrangement.
To open the lid, you need to enter the key fob to activate the RFID. You can use at most 5 RFID tags together. Besides, you can also use a 3-digit code or a conventional key as an entry method.
The anti-theft and tamper-proof protection of this Smart Safe technology a recommendable. Even the latches are designed to resist impact and are seamlessly welded into the steel body. However, once open, the unique hinge keeps the lid locked in place when you try to grab your gun.
Its heavy-duty 16-gauge carbon steel construction is built to last, with a powder finishing to prevent corrosion over years of use. The safe is quite durable as well and can withstand multiple forced attempts without giving in.
As for mobility, it has an integrated security cable that allows you to tether the safe virtually in any location. You can check it in with your baggage to carry any other valuables or extra cash during holidays.
- Has both key and keyless access modes
- Powdered exterior finish to prevent corrosion as well as to blend in with any interior
- Sturdy construction for long-lasting strength
- Anti-theft latches and unique hinge design for accessibility
- Insufficient battery life
This safe provides excellent value for money and is built with good quality materials. The controls and functionalities are easy to maneuver, and you can get high overall satisfaction after using them.
7. First Alert Portable Handgun Safe
If you have been through multiple handgun safe reviews, then you might have noticed the First Alert 5200DF pop up now and then.
After all, with its compactness, ingenuity, and security performance, it can easily earn its place in any top 10 list.
Let us talk about the lock first. This safe is equipped with a no-see keypad that allows you to enter a combination code of three to eight digits.
The code then triggers the spring-loaded door to open to give immediate access, making it very effective during emergencies.
It is completely composite and is made with 18-gauge heavy steel. While steel is not the thickest and most durable out there, it still does a good job as a protective container for your guns.
You can use the mounting hardware and steel cable to set the safe into place either in your home or in your car. The interior lining acts as an added protection for your contents during storage and transportation.
While the 5200DF is a well valued gun vault, it loses point due to its lack of stealth mode. The keypad makes a beeping noise when pressed, which can make it difficult to remain inconspicuous.
- Affordable and provides good value for money
- The spring-loaded door opens instantly to give quick access
- Three-to-eight-digit code possibility which makes it hard to hack into
- Rather spacious interior despite the compact size
- Lack of a mute option when keypads are pressed
This locker is affordable, compact, provides good value for money, and works well in case of emergencies. But it does not have the best body and lacks stealth mode, which raises risks of theft or prying.
8. RNPB Gun Safe Quick-Access Pistol Safe for Multiple Handguns & Ammo
We have another RNPB gun safe to recommend! This product is more advanced than the other and has a couple more features worth checking out. With this gun safe, you can place your firearms out of curious hands both at home and on the go.
There are four modes of entry in this biometric gun safe. It still comes with its unique RFID tags but has also incorporated a card system for instant access. You can even program multiple fingerprints at the same time.
You can either choose to enter a four-digit code in the backlit keypad or use the key locks for manual entry.
But you have to be careful when accessing as it props right up, so you need to ensure the top is completely clear. It also has an optional mute button to silence the keys when pressed which is incredibly helpful.
This safe has a very premium build. It features an expertly crafted sturdy steel construction with a pry-resistant door for optimal anti-pry protection. The entire body is seamlessly welded to offer no weakness.
It is then further bounded with a matte black finish that gives it a sleek and classy look and helps it to incorporate within any interior design.
The case has a shock-proof carrying handle design to protect your belongings. It absorbs most of the brunt force during impact. This, along with the egg-crate-like padded foam inside, always keeps your items safe.
- Have four different modes of entries
- Optional mute button for stealth mode
- Seamlessly welded body and anti-pry door to prevent break-ins
- Double-layer steel housing for efficient storage
- No backup fingerprint stored if the battery is drained
This is an amazingly strong biometric gun safe. You can program multiple fingers or use a card, key, or digital keypad. And overall, the setup and function are better than you might expect from a gun safe of this range.
9. V-Line 2912-S Top Draw Security Case
For our second last product in our pistol safe reviews, we have the V-Line 2912-S Top Draw Security Case. This safe is extremely compact and lightweight, weighing only 10 pounds.
It is a quick-top opening locker with a sleek semi-gloss black finishing that seamlessly blends with your home décor. The exterior is further accented with the company logo and a brushed stainless lock faceplate to give it a premium look.
The safe features a SIMPLEX mechanical lock, which is an easy programmable five push-button lock that does not require any external power source to run.
It can only support up to 1,000 possible code combinations, which are not many compared to other available safes in the market.
You can accommodate two pistols of standard size or a smaller one along with extra mags and ammunition. It is also quite versatile and can be used as a safe almost anywhere.
The pre-drilled hole makes bolting or mounting feel like a breeze. If you prefer, you can even opt for a mounting bracket to secure your locker.
The V-Line top draw can be found at competitive pricing, especially considering the superior construction quality.
- Doubles as both a home and car defense safe
- Do not require an external power source
- Extremely lightweight, slim, and portable
- Extra mounting brackets available for convenient mounting
- Limited code combinations
This is an excellent defense safe that can slip into tight spaces and has a smooth opening and closing, with a good quality lock.
There is no need to use any external batteries and worry about them dying and locking you out in emergencies.
10. VAULTEK MXi Bluetooth and Biometric Safe High Capacity Keypad Biometric Handgun Safe
If you are a gun collector and have too many guns, but no place to store them, the VAULTEK MX series safe might exactly be what you are looking for.
It will meet all your essential and technical needs so that you will not have to look for a gun safe for a very long time. The MX series offers different models, both with and without Bluetooth, biometric sensors, and Wi-Fi.
However, no matter what product you choose, you will find that all core competencies remain the same, so you do not have to feel like you are compromising.
It has the space to store up to 8 handguns simultaneously, with more room for your passports, extra cash, and other important documents.
The 14-gauge steel body and 12-gauge steel door are well built and rock solid, making any intruder think twice before attempting to break in. It even has a powder-coat finishing to prevent rust formation.
The anti-pry bars and dual anti-impact latches are further equipped with an impact detection system that alerts anybody if the safe is banged into or tampered with.
As for the entry modes, the VAULTEK MX series exceeds all expectations with its entry methods.
The biometric scanner can store up to 20 fingerprints at a time. You can also enter the safe with your smartphone, smart key nano, backlit 8-digit keypad with automatic proximity sensors, and of course, manual keys.
You can also combine the biometric scanner and digital keycode for a dual entry security mode for additional security.
- Can store up to 8 guns at a time
- Optional dual entry security mode for additional protection
- Impact detection alarm system to alert residents
- The oversized high-resolution biometric pad allows easy fingerprint reading
- Height adjustable shelf in the interior
- Underdeveloped mobile app
This gun safe is a beast and can offer you every feature you might ask for in a home safe. It is well-designed, secure, and offers a high capacity for your gun storage.
With the industrial-grade construction, most people would think twice before attempting to break in.
Choosing The The Best Pistol Safes | A Definitive Buying Guide
With the handgun safe reviews out of the way, it is time to look at a few deciding factors when you are picking out your best pistol safe. The last thing you want is to come home with a unit that does not give you the performance you want.
Like we said before, the best gun safe for pistols can be very expensive. And they can be very risky, especially in the wrong hands. So, you should always invest in nothing but a safe for your pistols, and here are a few features to look out for.
However, let us start off the section by giving you a brief idea of the different types of units available on the market.
Types of Pistol Safes
Typically, when differentiating between one safe to another, we tend to look at the locking mechanism. There are four common types of locking systems found on pistol safes. They are:
- Electronic Keypad Safe
This locking mechanism is quite self-explanatory. You get a keypad where you can set up an access code with a few digits. As soon as you enter the right code, the safe cracks open. It requires some type of power source to work, usually in the form of alkaline or rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.
- Biometric Security Safe
Biometric security units make use of a biometric scanner to take images of your fingerprint. Then it checks its database to look for a match. If you set up your unit to recognize your fingerprint, it finds a match and gives you access to the interior. Typically, this type of gun safes requires batteries to function.
- Combination Lock Safe
A combination lock safe is a mechanical locking system. For this reason, it does not require any batteries. You have a combination dial or button to input the proper code, which lets you open up the safe. There is a form of combination lock called Simplex that is widely popular for its ease of use and difficult to crack nature.
- Pattern Code Safe
A pattern code is the same as the one you find on your phone. You usually get an LCD screen where you have to draw a preset pattern to unlock the safe and gain access to the interior. Pattern code safes are not as common as some of the other ones and usually cost a lot more.
Now that you know the different locking mechanisms available on the market, here are a few factors that you should look at when you are buying the best small gun safe to keep your pistols and other small items.
When buying your pistol safe, you should always take the storage space into consideration. A gun safe that can only hold one compact firearm will not be a smart investment. You might be thinking that it’s enough for the single handgun in your inventory. However, when you buy a new weapon, you will regret it badly.
Ideally, you want to get more pace than you need right now. It not only makes the device futureproof but also allows you to place a few extra goodies inside the safe if you need it. And given a choice, you should always get a single larger safe instead of multiple smaller ones.
Almost all prospective safe buyers have pondered over this question – whether to buy an electronic or mechanical lock. Fortunately, modern lockers are equipped with both, so you do not have to compromise.
Biometric scanners are a great feature since you do not have to remember the code or look for the key locks. You can store multiple records at the same time, and that can be very helpful during emergencies.
However, you should ensure that all entry modes are of the highest quality. For electronic modes, that means that the biometric scanners should be advanced and fast responding.
Moreover, the digital keypads should have barely any lags so that you can input your code as fast as possible without any error. A backlit keypad would be an excellent feature, particularly in dim-lit rooms.
You want to catch the intruder by surprise, and a wonky safe that makes creaky sounds when opening beats, the purpose.
The door should easily prop open with no noise, and the hinge should hold the lid in place so that it does not accidentally slam onto your hand or close down. Even the code entered into the keypad should be silent when pressed.
This is an important factor that you should keep in mind when looking for a gun safe. You must calculate the size of your pistols or long guns and the place where you want to keep them to reduce your search criteria.
The size can also impact the weight. If you intend to keep it within a designated place, a heavyweight locker will have no drawback. However, it would not be very mobile and can be difficult to carry around and lug in your car.
A few safes can be remotely controlled using a mobile app. Not only can you unlock the safe with your phone, but you change the combination, check the entry history, check the battery life, etc.
A phone app also alerts you with an alarm if somebody tries to tamper with your safe. This is extremely convenient if you are away from home and can send somebody to check for you.
Since most people like storing important items along with their pistols, it would be such a shame if all of them perish within a house fire. A typical house fire ranges from 800 to 1200 degrees, so your safe should have a fire rating exceeding that, or a minimum 1-hour capacity.
If your budget permits, you should choose a safe with an even higher fire protection level. Some lockers have both fire and anti-theft protection, and those are the best when it comes to protecting large amounts of cash or expensive items.
Handgun lockers can sometimes come with pre-drilled holes or a security cable that can help mount them down to a steady surface. Most of the handgun safes in this list can be used inside your car thanks to the mounting options.
On that note, if you want some top rated car safes, check out my other article. This not only ensures that your gun stays in the same place at all times and is easily accessible but also prevents anyone from stealing or misplacing it.
Like most security systems, some lockers alert you if somebody is trying to tamper with it or has used the wrong code or fingerprint.
This lets you know if somebody unauthorized is trying to get access, which is one of the best anti-theft features you could ask for.
This could influence your decision on the type of lock you want to choose. If your area suffers frequent power outages or you forget to recharge the batteries then go with a mechanical system.
This may be, in fact, the most important factor. A unibody steel construction with a low gauge value is often the optimal choice for the best protection.
An 18-gauge steel body can bend or get a dent when hammered with a tool. As such, you should always go for a lower value, such as a 10 or 12-gauge, or even lower. Even the doors and bolts should be equally strong and pry-resistant.
The interior is also very significant. It should have ample padding to keep your contents safe during unprecedented situations.
Approval and Certification
Although certification might not mean much to you, it gives you an idea of the level of protection it offers. For instance, a handgun safe with BF rating means that it cannot be accessed with blunt force. You get increased protection against hand tools which is a common way to break into a gun safe.
Furthermore, you should also look into DOJ and CA approvals as they give you an idea of its credibility. Gun safes with high approval ratings are sure to give you a much better result than units that do not have those ratings. An approval by a certified board is not something to take lightly.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is the interior of pistol safes rust-proof?
No, they are not. Gun safes are not designed to control the humidity and moisture within.
Moreover, gun safes having fire protection even rely on producing steam to protect the contents within. This can damage delicate items but can also cause rust to develop on your guns.
2. How do I know what sized gun safe to buy?
That depends on the size of the gun(s) you want to store. If you have just one pistol, you need to be able to store it and still have a little wiggle room left for extra mags and ammunition. But for multiple handguns or long guns, you need bigger storage.
You should also check the space where you want to keep your gun safe. If you want to keep it near your bed, it should either fit underneath your bed frame or within your nightstand.
3. Is a gun safe airtight, and fireproof?
Unless there is a label that says so, the safe is then not fireproof. Almost all safes are fire resistant and can withstand minute fires, but they will perish during house fires.
Since this scenario is more likely to occur than a home invasion, you should always invest in a safe that can withstand over 1200 degrees.
4. How safe is a gun safe?
That depends on your intention of use. Most gun owners use gun safes so that they do not fall into the wrong hands, such as a child or a perpetrator. It would be impossible for a child to override the system manually.
Meanwhile, an invader can break into the safe, but they need sufficient time and the proper tools.
Not to mention, they would alert the residents within the house. Some safes can even be bolted down, so a determined thief cannot run off with the container either.
5. Which are better – mechanical or electronic safes?
Both locking mechanisms have their advantages and disadvantages. Mechanical locks have been around for a long time and are extremely durable. But it can be hard to unlock them under pressure and will take a longer time.
On the other hand, electronic locks have a faster reaction time and can be easily operated. But they can fail when the batteries die or during power outages.
Fortunately, most lockers nowadays have both of the locking mechanisms installed so that you can use either of the other fails.
You should never underestimate the importance of keeping your guns securely locked. For your precious handguns, you should get nothing but the best pistol safe. After all, a gun falling in the wrong hands can be disastrous.
You should choose one according to your available space, prized possessions, and budget. Hopefully, this article has given you some insight, and you can find the perfect one from our recommendations.
Larry, who is a family man and a gun enthusiast, enjoys keeping his collection in pristine condition. He also likes to take his kids shooting as often as possible.