How to Select the Best Gun Safe for You
So you have made the decision that a gun safe is the safest, most cost-effective way to house your weapon when it is not in your possession. You may already know a lot about gun safes, or you may just be in the beginning stages of learning about them; either way, the question is always the same: Why do I think that I need a gun safe right now and what is the best option out there for me?
Although you may be price-conscious, there are other factors to consider when making an investment in an item like this. There is no reason to spend anything on a safe that does not have the appropriate feature set to protect you and your family. So what exactly are your options?
Your Lifestyle and Your Gun Safe
As you look through your options, remember that you must pick your gun safe by your purpose and lifestyle FIRST rather than by price – remember what you are actually paying for! Your safety is paramount, and if you choose the wrong safe in order to save a few dollars, you are doing yourself no favors.
In your initial assessment of gun safes, you must first determine the balance of features that you need. For instance, large gun safes are generally more difficult to break into but they may cost more. However, this added protection will keep an intruder from easily making off with your firearms or valuables, provided that they are unaware of the fact you own a gun safe. When you are looking to protect and secure critical documents from theft and fire, a steel fireproof gun safe is what you are looking for – in fact, most insurance companies will lower your premiums for insuring certain valuables if you declare that you own one of these types of safes.
In contrast, if you live by yourself with no children or pets in the home, then you may be able to afford greater accessibility with limited concealment – for example, a biometric safe that is out in the open or an RFID-enabled quick access gun safe. However, if you live with kids or you have people coming in and out of the house on a regular basis, then you may have to conceal your weapons more while giving up a bit of accessibility. If you don’t care for the fireproof rating and the location is well-concealed, a smaller safe does not have to be as durable, and you can save money there.
That said, there are a myriad of options out there which can leave your head reeling with indecision. This article will assist you in prioritizing your needs and help you feel confident in making an appropriate selection.
A gun safe can be a significant investment and price is probably a factor for almost every consumer in the market for a gun safe; however, it seldom is the primary or sole deciding factor in which safe to purchase. There are a number of things to consider when selecting a gun safe which are all unique and personal to the buyer – this can be broken down into five main criteria: Purpose, Lifestyle, Size, Accessibility, and Price. First determine which of these criteria is the highest priority for you and then work your way from there. Below, we’ve broken down each of these factors for you to consider when shopping around for this investment. We’ve created an interactive guide for you to assist in this process.
- PURPOSE. There are four primary purposes for a gun safe: theft protection, access prevention, fire protection, and water protection. Theft protection and access prevention are completely different concepts. For example, if you have valuables that you want to secure and frequently leave town, the strongest vault safe will not protect you against theft if people are aware that you may have valuables and that you frequently leave your place vacant. A hidden gun safe or concealed gun furniture may be a better solution for you for this purpose. If you have critical documents that you need to protect and don’t keep a bank vault for safekeeping of these items, you will want a fireproof safe for this purpose; or if you live in an area afflicted by frequent floods, a waterproof safe is something you should also consider.
- LIFESTYLE. Do you have young children or do you live alone? Do you frequently have guests over? Do they have children? Do you travel frequently or are you home all the time? These lifestyle factors should also play into your decision-making process of selecting the best gun safe for you.
- SIZE. Oftentimes, size can be the main factor for deciding upon which gun safe is appropriate. For example, if you live in a small apartment, certain gun safes just won’t make sense to purchase. Another factor for determining appropriate size is what you are considering securing in this safe. If you are only concealing a single handgun and some ammunition, you have far more options than trying to figure out the best gun safe for securing fifty rifles. If size is your primary constraint, then start your selection process here.
- ACCESSIBILITY. This is where you typically hear most people inject their opinions on what is the best gun safe to buy; however, this should be an individual consideration as different needs in this area dictate completely different solutions. If being able to quickly and conveniently access your gun is your primary concern, a giant, fireproof safe is probably not your best bet. Instead, you’ll want a quick access gun safe option – quite likely biometric, electronic, or RFID access-enabled. For those that say none of these options are fast enough, keep in mind they are confusing the function of a safe versus a holster. Other factors to consider under accessibility are: is this being secured in a vehicle or a safe room? Do you require remote access? Do you need to restrict access selectively? If any of these factors trumps all other criteria, then start your search with this in mind.
- PRICE. Understandably, everyone will be price-sensitive in the gun safe buying process. It’s a considerable investment, no matter how you look at it. This will be a durable item that you keep for many years AND you are entrusting a great part of your physical security into it. But this doesn’t mean that you have to spend a fortune to find the right solution, no matter what your budget may be. But if you are absolutely constrained to a budget and what that to be the first factor in weeding out options for gun safes, then start here. In the interactive gun safe selection guide at the bottom of this article, we’ve broken down gun safes by price range to assist you in your search.
Gun Safe Reviews and Specs
The majority of people who are in the market for a gun safe are actually looking for a storage solution for a single handgun, shotgun, or rifle; however, most people only think of the huge, fireproof gun safes when they think of the idea of a “gun safe”. Since the overwhelming majority are really looking for a gun concealment and/or access control option, we’ve included some descriptions on some of these lesser-known types of gun storage solutions below.
The Fingerprint Gun Safe (Biometric Gun Safe)
Using biometrics as your point of entry gives you a better balance between safety and security than a traditional safe. As unlikely as it might be, an unwelcome guest or a lucky child may guess your entry code; however, biometrics completely locks the safe to anyone but you. Some newer biometric gun safes have a “tattletale” feature which logs failed attempted entries so that you will know if it has been tampered with.
A fingerprint gun safe also allows you the ability to hold the safe in a more advantageous position for easy access during an emergency. Being able to quickly unlock the box is another advantage that fingerprints provide over traditional safes. You gain quicker retrieval because you do not have to keep up with a key. Fingerprint gun safes are also mobile – able to be moved to a new place in order to keep access exclusive or to accommodate changes to the home.
The Hidden Gun Safe
Your hidden gun storage options need to balance quick access with good cover. You have many options, including the hidden gun cabinet, secret compartment furniture and unattached hidden safes.
Hidden gun furniture provides easy access; however, they may limit exclusive access. You must ensure that the compartment stays fully stable in order to keep from disengaging at a random time and showing your position. Hidden cabinets and safes provide slightly more exclusivity; however, they limit immediate access. Hidden gun safes can be small enough to fit in the sidebar of a truck as well.
Diversion safes can provide you access that can get a jump on an intruder, because you can hide guns in places that seem innocuous – for instance, behind a clock tower or a bookcase.
Gun Concealment Furniture
Concealing larger weapons is a prospect that gun concealment furniture has an almost exclusive market on. If you need cover for your long rifles or shotguns, you need cover that is just as long, and furniture is the perfect place.
Even though no one sees your guns, you are basically hiding them in plain sight. With just a bit of creativity, you can keep them completely out of sight while always in arm’s reach if an emergency should show itself.
Your Next Move
If it wasn’t your primary or sole factor in the selection process, once you have determined the best kind of gun safe for your needs, you can begin to compare prices. You will have multiple price options for every different kind of safe depending on the level of features that you need. In general, you get what you pay for.
For instance, a more expensive gun concealment furniture safe will more closely match the decor and give less of an indication of the presence of a weapon to the untrained eye. However, you may have other means of covering your furniture to mask a less elaborate gun concealment option, in which case, you may be able to scale back on the price. The more the safe, the less work you do to maximize the benefits.
Now that you have the basics of how to choose a gun safe, it is time to ask yourself some relevant questions:
- What are the features that are most important to me in a gun safe?
- How do I keep myself and my loved ones most protected by my investment?
- Will I feel 100% comfortable with my investment 5 years down the road?
Your choices now may save your life later. Now that you have made the wise decision to take your safety into your own hands, you can begin the process of creating the environment that will best uphold your lifestyle. Make sure that you purchase the right gun safe for you, and exercise your right to protection.
Interactive Guide for Selecting a Gun Safe
Gun Safe Index: