Gun safes are a must-have item for anyone who owns a firearm. They come in different shapes, sizes, and materials. There are also some safety features that you should know about before buying one.
And the most important of them all is how these safes are locked. When it comes to gun safes, there are different types of locks that can be used to secure the safe. There are three types of gun safe locks: mechanical, electronic, and biometric.
There are many types of locks available for gun safes, including combination locks, fingerprint locks, and keypad locks—prices and quality range from low to high. Safe locks are no different. But, like most things in life, what you pay for is what you get.
Suppose you’re choosing the best safe locks. In that case, the decision usually comes down to whether you prefer mechanical locks because of their classic look and old-fashioned reliability or electronic locks because of their ease of use.
Gun safes can usually be purchased with the locking mechanism of your choice. Skilled gun safe technicians can also retrofit older gun safes with new locks, depending on your needs.
How Do You Choose The Right Locking Mechanism For Your Gun Safe?
You might have a preference for one of the locking mechanisms, but it is important to understand that there are many different types of locks out there. They all have their pros and cons.
Therefore, it’s important to do your research and figure out what locking mechanism will be best for your safe.
The ability to open an electronic lock (including a biometric lock or a keypad lock) is unquestionably easier and more convenient than an old-fashioned key lock.
There are, however, some who prefer the traditional reliability and durability of a mechanical dial lock. Prominent placement of the gun safe will also give it a more classic appearance.
It is also important to consider whether you will want to open your gun safe in the dark. For example, a combination lock may be difficult to open when there is no light. Another factor is whether or not you want something that can be easily replaced if it gets damaged over time.
For example, if your box has a combination lock, then it can be easily replaced with another one if it gets damaged over time as long as the manufacturer still produces them.
Different Types Of Locking Options For Gun Safes
Gun safe locking mechanisms vary depending on the type of gun safe and its intended use. For example, if you have a gun safe that is used for personal firearms, it will likely have a key lock mechanism.
On the other hand, if you have one that is used for business or commercial purposes, it will likely have an electronic lock mechanism.
The main goal of gun safe locking mechanisms is to prevent unauthorized access to your firearm. In order to do this, they need to be properly secured with a key or combination lock, which prevents anyone from opening the door without proper authorization.
1. Locking Mechanisms For Pistol Safes
Different mechanisms can be used to lock a pistol safe. The most common is by using a key, but some pistols have an electronic locking mechanism that works with a keypad. Some of the best pistol safes have simplex locking mechanism.
Some safes also have an external locking mechanism that you can use with a padlock or combination lock. Biometric locks, keypads, simplex mechanical locks, RFID, smartphone access, and many other lock styles are also available on pistol safes.
2. Biometric Locks For Gun Safe
Biometric locks on gun safes are a new technology that can store your fingerprint and use it to unlock the safe. This makes it impossible for anyone other than you to open the safe.
In more recent years, we’re seeing more and more biometric gun safe locks, and this is expected to continue as technology advances.
While they may not have the reliability rating, you’d want in a quick-access safe, it may be a good option for you if you shop around and are smart.
3. Redundant Locks
There is less awareness of redundant locks in the community, but they deserve some attention, nonetheless. EMP locks are also mechanical and electronic locks that include both mechanical and electronic locking mechanisms.
In this way, speed can be gained from one method, while reliability can be gained from another. Even though this option is a little more costly, I highly recommend it.
This lock is available in two different styles. Several products, including SecuRAM, have a locking mechanism that has both locks integrated. It’s great to see a product like the SecuRAM Xtreme doing this!
There is also an option where this lock is totally separate and connects to one internal locking mechanism, as found on Fort Knox, Edison Safes, and Sun Welding.
There is no obvious difference between these two options, and I haven’t seen a reason to pick one over the other. The aesthetics are what matters to me.
In addition to the modern style, the Xtreme also has a slightly more refined, older-style look, thanks to its separate mechanisms. The lock can be found here if you would like to learn more.
4. Mechanical Locks
The mechanical (dial) lock is known for its reliability and long life since it lacks any electronic components. You would generally see these locks in old movies from the past. In addition, it reminds you of your high school lock.
Electronic locks should be purchased with a name brand; knockoff mechanical locks, however, are quite rare and are not a major problem.
It takes a little practice to open mechanical locks, but after a few tries, it becomes second nature. However, the process takes quite a while (about 45 seconds) to access the contents of your safe.
In dire situations, the process can be extended even further due to the possibility of errors. For people who use their safe mainly for storage or don’t need access quickly, this type of lock is recommended.
A mechanical lock really has only a few versions, other than those that are manipulation-proof and do not have as much forgiveness if the number is slightly off.
5. Electronic Lock
Several people steer clear of the electronic lock because of its reputation for unreliability over the years. The good news is that these locks have become increasingly reliable in recent years, as long as you know what you’re buying.
The name of the lock should be clearly visible when purchasing a lock, so you will know exactly what you’re purchasing. Most budget safes and bedside firearm safes come with electronic locks.
Electronic (Digital) locks are essentially plastic or metal pads that require a predetermined code for the operation. The handle can be turned to retract the bolts, releasing the internal lock and allowing access to the safe.
It is easy to change this code to whatever code is desired. In general, you should choose an electronic lock if you regularly need to access your safe, or if you store your self-defense weapons inside it.
You can find locks ranging from a simple keypad with 9 keys and no memory to a keypad that has thousands of combinations.
The data can be exported to a USB, can show when and how people have accessed it, and has a LED screen. Depending on the model, the price can be as low as $50 or as high as $1000.
Gun Safe Locking Mechanisms Explained
What keeps gun safes and cabinets closed? Our goal is to determine if there are any better locking mechanisms than others and the mechanisms that make a safe “safe.” So, let’s start by examining how safes are made, how burglars resist them, and what makes a safe “safe.”
In addition to being constructed from steel, they feature more surface area in contact with the door frame than locking bolts, which thieves can pry open. This gives you an extremely strong security system that’s virtually impossible to breach.
The long pin (also known as a locking bolt) has been the industry standard for more than a century. It is used on a variety of safes, including those found in hotels and commercial buildings.
These security measures are created using round pins affixed to an angle bar and the angle bar attached to the locking mechanism.
The angle bar moves in and out of position when the lock on the outside of the safe is engaged, which moves the locking mechanism.
A locking bolt provides a high level of security, but it also has one drawback. Pin attachments to angle bars present a potential weak spot. This point often bends or breaks during pry attacks, which allows the door to be simply opened by simply pulling on it.
Latches For Gun Cabinets
There are many different styles, shapes, and sizes of gun cabinets. Some are made from wood, while others are made from steel. In virtually all cases, however, a key-operated latch is used as the locking mechanism.
Gun cabinet latches are self-contained, similar to the locks on file cabinets and desk drawers. A key is used to engage or disengage a small metal bar containing the lock and tumblers. This is a common feature found in car gun safes.
In itself, the lock is simple; it is just a small bar that prevents unauthorized access to your firearms. Taking advantage of some common tools, you can get in pretty easily with some determination, but most minors will not be able to get in.
Is A Combination Lock Better Than An Electronic Lock?
It is easier to gain access to a safe with a digital lock than with a combination lock because: you get in much faster.
There is no better way to access a safe quickly than to enter a user code. The safe must be drilled and the dial replaced if a dial fails.
What Is A Mechanical Lock On A Safe?
You open a mechanical safe lock by spinning a dial to enter a combination, just like you do on your old school locker.
By using this combination, you can unlock the door by putting the lock tumblers in the right position. The manual lock system is simple yet effective.
Are Mechanical Locks Good?
There has been a mechanical safe lock on the market for over 100 years. Throughout history and by experts, they have proven their worth.
By taking care of their mechanical dial locks, mechanical dial locks can last for a long time without experiencing any problems. A very long lifespan and relatively stable locks can still be achieved without proper maintenance.
Is It Possible To Change The Lock On A Gun Safe?
The combination on a gun safe’s dial locks cannot be changed by the owner, unlike those on electronic locks. An experienced locksmith can, however, perform this function.
The Bottom Line
Gun safes may be the most important item in a home or business. They are not just for storing guns but also for protecting firearms from thieves and securing valuables.
Safe locking mechanisms are an essential part of a gun safe. They are the only way to keep your firearms safe and secure from thieves.
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.