So you’ve finally set up your gun-shop and you think you’re good to go. But trust me, this zone is one hell of a different one. You don’t want to clown around in front of those badass firepowers.
Things get worse if you keep the guns exposed in front of you or your customers. Who knows? Maybe the next ‘Man-Accidentally-Kills-Himself’ case can be right on the spot you’re on.
Scared? You should get yourself a gun safe right away mate. No, I’m not talking about the expensive ones. I’ll make sure you can get the best gun safe under $500.
Not buying my words? You can take the Barska Quick Access Biometric Safe (on Amazon) for example. Yep, it may not be totally on the house, but this heavy-duty rifle safe is available now under 500 bucks.
It’s robust, it’s sturdy and it’s got everything to be in the first place. However, I’ve got more options for you that stand out even compared to the expensive mainstreams in the marketplace.
9 Best Gun Safe Under $500 Reviews-Top Picks
Here, you will find a detailed list of 9 gun safes that possess a lot of similar security attributes with more expensive models. Let’s go through their features, pros, and cons and do a thorough cost-benefit analysis.
1. Barska Quick Access: Best Home Safe Under $500
- Solid steel construction
- 6 mounting points and space for 4 rifles
- Efficient biometric access system
- The door closes tightly
- Stores a lot of unique fingerprints (120)
- Easy to open and program
- Carpeted interior surfaces
- Roomy interiors (1.83 cubic feet)
- Available in 3 distinct sizes (price may vary)
- Not fireproof or waterproof
- No LED lighting
First on our list is one of the best biometric rifle safes under $500. This unit provides easy access and ample security to keep your weapons out of the reach of kids and intruders. Before you dive in any further, you may want to know that this model is neither fireproof nor waterproof.
On the bright side, the Barska biometric fingerprint reader is ultra-dependable and can store a maximum of 120 fingerprints.
Biometric locking mechanisms are super convenient because you can dodge the frustration of fumbling with combination dials or number pads when you badly need to access your firearms. The lock opens in as little as 4 seconds, and it is sensitive enough to work with just one touch of your finger.
What’s more, is that this unit is big enough to hold about 4 riffles and a decent number of pistols if you have the right gun safe accessories. There is a small inbuilt shelf where you can place your magazines or ammunition.
Installing other accessories such as a door organizer will create more storage room for other valuables.
This is a well-constructed gun sage with a 2mm steel body construction. The door locks via a reliable 3-point deadlocking system to keep your valuables secure. You are also likely to love the matte black finish on the unit’s exteriors.
For the price, most features of this safe are a bonus. Even though its price tag is justifiable, we must warn you that the model is not sturdy enough to survive a prolonged attack. Determined thieves are known to crash into 2mm steel constructions within a matter of minutes.
2. First Alert 2092DF: Best Fireproof Gun Safe
- Waterproof and fire-resistant safe
- Efficient electronic locking system
- Backlit keypad
- Easy to open (5 seconds on average)
- Two override keys included
- Adjustable and removable shelf
- 4 door bolts and concealed hinges for enhanced security
- This model cannot be bolted down or mounted — unless you drill it.
If you need a fire-resistant and waterproof safe where you can store priceless items like documents or even valuables like cash, pistols, and jewelry, here is a model we highly recommend. The First Alert 2092DF is a feature-packed digital safe from a renowned home security equipment company.
This model offers 1.31 cubic feet of storage space and has a few pretty cool organizational features for your convenience. We also like that the door opens to roughly 135 degrees, and this allows you to pull out or put things in the safe with remarkable ease.
Some of the convenient organizational features include an adjustable shelf that can be removed if you plan to store larger or taller items. On the door, you will find a small pocket where you can store a few valuables and 5 hooks for keys. Additionally, this unit has a slot for storing vital documents.
The waterproof and fireproof capabilities are the highlights of this model. Well, home fires reach an average of 1200 degrees Fahrenheit, and this UL classified safe can withstand temperatures of about 1700 degrees Fahrenheit for 60 minutes approximately.
There is a solid waterproof seal that goes around the door, and the digital keypad also has a protective cover. However, this unit does not guarantee that its content will go undamaged if it remains submerged for long periods.
Additionally, it is not immune to moisture issues, especially when stored in the basement, so you need to invest in a dehumidifier.
3. 7501 Paragon Lock Electronic: Best Long Gun Safe
- Door and body have a solid steel construction (18-gauge steel)
- Digital safe with two override keys included
- Easy to program and operate
- Larger and more spacious than most safes in the price range
- Concealed hinges
- Strong and durable (110 pounds overall weight)
- Heavy and challenging to install
At some point in life, we all find ourselves with certain keepsakes and valuables that bring some sense of comfort. Very few things in life can measure up to the comfort that comes when you know they are locked up in a secure safe.
Whether you need a safe for your guns, cash, or jewelry, the 7501 Paragon lock, and digital safe is an ideal model to consider.
This is a budget-friendly model, although this does not mean that its quality is substandard. On the contrary, this is an extra heavy-duty unit that boasts of an 18-gauge steel body and 110 pounds overall weight. Trust me; this is not the kind of safe burglars can break open using readily available mechanical tools.
You get plenty of room to store your ammunition, hand-held weapons, and up to 5 rifles. The internal dimensions of the safe are 56 ¾” x 13 ½” x 9 ½”, and this means you get a whole 4.26 Cubic Feet of storage space. In case you need more storage room, consider installing accessories such as pistol racks and door organizers.
We also liked the security offered by the double locking mechanism. The safe comes with a mechanical key and a PIN code for added security, not to mention that the hinges are well concealed hence harder to pry open.
In summary, this is a model you can bet on if you need the best gun safe for the money. It is strong, spacious, and offers one of the most reliable locking mechanisms. We doubt you can find a better deal in the market.
4. Vaultek VT20i Biometric Handgun Bluetooth Smart Safe
- The safe can be controlled remotely from your smartphone
- 16 gauge carbon steel construction for added durability
- Backlit biometric fingerprint scanner and keypad
- An advanced anti-theft protection system
- Reliable, quick and easy access
- 4 unique ways to access your safe
- Rechargeable lithium-ion battery included
- Small and compact safe can only accommodate a limited number of valuables
Say hello to the Vaultek VT20i Biometric Smart Safe. This is a model that has made top sales over the years and was even ranked as the best quick access biometric safe in 2017 by a decent number of reputable review sites.
What makes it a pleasing deal to most users is that it is a smart safe that brings home a blend of great aesthetics coupled with maximum security features.
Even though the model has a compact design, it is quite reliable thanks to its 16-gauge carbon steel construction. As though the heavy-duty body is not enough, the unit also has an advanced anti-theft protection system.
It features interior security brackets, concealed hinges, two-point anti-impact latches, and anti-pry bars.
The anti-pry bars in specific are an outstanding feature that provides additional support to the safe’s locking mechanism. It’s just a simple feature, although it boosts the overall strength of the lock by a whopping 400%.
These safety features work together to reduce the risk of break-ins and aid in keeping your firearms and valuables more secure.
Additionally, the biometric lock allows storing up to 20 fingerprints, and you can also use the combination lock that supports an impressive 40,000 combinations. Yet another viable alternative of accessing your safe is by using the two override keys provided with the package.
One of the most alluring features is that you can control the unit remotely from your smartphone using the Vaultek app. This app is available for iOS as well as Android devices, and it allows you to track history, open the safe remotely, manage user accounts, and also check your battery status.
5. SnapSafe Under Bed Safe, Gun Storage and Security
- Heavy-duty safe made from 14 gauge steel
- Accessible through digital code or key
- Pre-drilled bolt holes ideal for permanent installation
- Big enough to hold multiple pistols and long guns
- Good value for the money
- Does not offer stellar levels of theft protection
If you are interested in an Under-the-bed gun safe, here is an excellent model to consider. This unit can hold multiple long guns and is designed to effortlessly slide under the bed for quicker and more convenient access.
In case you have minimal space in your home and need discrete weapon storage solutions, this safe could be what you need.
Unlike standard long gun safes, this model has a gliding drawer that is designed to pull out smoothly and quietly. This makes it super easy to load a range of guns into the unit.
At a glance, you can tell that this is a heavy-duty gun safe. It is made from 14 gauge heavy-duty steel and weighs about 140 pounds. In case you want to install it permanently, there is no need to drill holes in it because it has pre-drilled bolt holes.
You may also opt to use the sturdy 3-foot cable to anchor the safe to a stationary object for added security.
This model has a digital locking mechanism that works efficiently. Inside, the surfaces are lined with a petal-soft carpet that protects your valuables from scratches. The internal dimensions are 46″ wide and 22″ deep approximately, so you get plenty of room to store your firearms, documents, jewelry, and more.
From our tests, we can confirm that this unit does exactly what it is intended to do — prevent unintentional weapon access. As we mentioned earlier, it has a sturdy body, although we all understand that 14 gauge steel cannot deter a determined thief.
6. BARSKA Large Biometric Safe
- Efficient biometric fingerprint reader for quick access
- Internal surfaces have a protective lining
- Pre-drilled mounting holes for easy installs
- Large enough to accommodate several valuables (1.23 cubic feet)
- Sturdy steel door (7 gauge) and body (16 gauge)
- Reliable 3-point deadbolt locking system
- Sturdy enough to deter an opportunist, but not a determined thief
We have a thing for Barska safes mainly because the fairly new brand strives to manufacture units that match the trends and needs of modern firearm holders. This model, in particular, has more than a few premium qualities that enhance its overall functions and usefulness.
First, this biometric safe features three deadlock bolts for enhanced security. Crafted with steel and featuring tamper-resistant edges, this is the best model for anyone who wants reliable theft protection.
It’s also worth mentioning that the biometric system has an efficient fingerprint scanner, and it’s pretty easy to program.
We like the fact that the central database can remember 120 fingerprints, and this allows you to save each fingerprint a couple of times from different angles. This increases your chances of unlocking your safe in a mere 2 seconds in case of an emergency.
Audio beeps are ideal because they make it hard for anyone to access your safe without your knowledge. With this safe, you can also mute the audio beeps by switching to stealth mode. Silent access is imperative, especially when you want to access the safe to defend your loved ones from uninvited guests.
One of the downsides of using a digital safe is that you could get locked out if the batteries run out of juice, and you can’t find your backup keys. Fortunately, this model features an external battery pack that allows you to power the fingerprint reader in case the internal batteries are dry.
7. Stack-On E-040-SB-E Elite Junior Executive Fire Safe
- Solid steel body and door
- Ample interior space 6 cubic feet
- Fireproof — can withstand 1400˚ F for 30 minutes
- 4-way locking mechanism with heavy-duty ½ inch locking bolts
- Operational lights for open, incorrect entry and low battery warning
- Ample interior space with 3 compartments (each with 2 cubic feet)
- Even if you remove the shelves, the safe is too short for long guns and rifles
Are you searching for an affordable safe with ample security features? Look no further than the Stack-On E-040-SB-E. This is an ideal safe for storing valuables you wish to secure, such as your guns, jewelry, coin collection, and documents.
What gives this model an edge above other safes in the price range is that it has thick walls and roomy interiors that offer you about 6 cubic feet of storage space. The overall design is also very attractive and can blend with any interior décor theme.
Built quality at this price is a bonus because this is a solid steel safe with a door and body that feel heavy. It weighs a whopping 250 pounds when empty, so it is necessary to seek help during installs. We must mention that a lot of users complained that mounting the safe was a great challenge.
Inside the unit, you will find 3 adjustable shelves with a felt liner for enhanced aesthetics. These shelves make it easy to organize the safe and perhaps use additional accessories to give it a more personalized touch.
This is a fire-resistant safe that is rated to withstand about 1400˚F for up to half an hour. It has a door stripping that expands when exposed to extreme open flame temperatures, sealing the safe to protect its contents.
Other superb security features include the state-of-the-art electronic lock that allows you to easily set your keypad combination and the 4-way locking mechanism for added protection. Then again, this model has a steel plate behind the lock that is drill-resistant. This is enough to deter even a determined burglar.
8. Stack-On GCB-910 Steel 10-Gun Compact Steel Security Cabinet
- Reliable steel construction
- Can hold pistols and up to 10 rifles
- Attractive design
- Ample security features including a 3-point locking system
- Pre-drilled mounting holes for easy installation
- Well-padded interiors
- This unit is lightweight and easy to break into (weighs 51.4 pounds)
For the true firearm enthusiast with a collection of long guns and pistols, here is a gun cabinet ideal for you. The markets may have numerous 10-gun lockers, although the Stack-On GCB-910 is one of the most secure, yet affordable models you can find.
Even though most people are attracted to the unit by its eye-catching modern design, it has so much more to offer than just stellar aesthetics. This gun locker features a durable and robust steel construction that would take a lot more than a hammer to break.
For added storage space, there is a removable steel top shelf that can serve as a gun compartment. You can store your rifles in the lower compartment and use gun safe accessories to keep your gun cleaning materials and ammunition neatly on the upper compartment.
Stack-on focused on making this one of the safest gun cabinets in the market. It even features a 3-point locking system with both a double-bitted and key code lock. To further ensure the safety of your valuables, you can easily fasten the locker to the floor or wall through the pre-drilled mounting holes.
Even with such advanced features, accessing your weapons during times of emergencies is both easy and fast. At this price, the overall design and theft protection features on this model are unheard of —you can only find them in more expensive lockers.
9. Verifi Smart Safe Biometric Gun Safe
- Best biometric safe for the price (FBI certified)
- Plenty of advanced security features
- Solid steel construction, 8 gauge door, and 14 gauge body
- LED night light
- Motorized locking mechanism
- Stores up to 40 unique fingerprints
- Backup key included
- Excellent battery life
- Not fireproof
- The motor winding sound is only audible if you are close to the unit
Do you often find yourself crossing your fingers whenever you need to open your safe urgently? Well, you shouldn’t have to do that anymore. Upgrade to the Verifi Smart safe, which is a top-quality biometric unit with a range of impressive features.
It has an FBI certified fingerprint sensor that uses 3D imaging for instant identification of memorized fingerprints.
For the price, you can hardly find a safe with such advanced features. Even though you only get 0.52 cubic feet of storage space, this remains the perfect safe for storing your handguns and other small or medium-sized valuables.
Another good reason not to cross your fingers is that the battery life is impressive. According to user reviews, just 4 AA batteries are enough to operate the safe for a couple of years. The LED backlight located on the sensor makes it easy to open your safe even in the heart of the night.
For enhanced security, the unit has a solid steel construction. Unlike a decent number of models, this one has an open door alert. In case you unintentionally leave the safe open, the sensor on the door will produce a beeping sound. This is a simple, yet useful feature, especially if you have kids.
Hands down, the keen focus on the details of this safe is what gives it a cut above the competition. If an unauthorized person places a finger on the reader, the tamper alert sets off the alarm.
Better still, the model has a self-check function where alerts for concerns like low battery status are displayed on the LCD screen.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Gun Safe
The markets are flooded with gun safe models of all shapes, sizes, and designs. Things can get pretty daunting when you narrow down your research and try to find cheap but worth it models.
What are the most crucial features to consider?
Let me guide you through the most critical factors to keep in mind before purchase. These are aspects that may make it a tad more manageable for you to find a reliable gun safe.
The safety features of a gun safe are arguably the most crucial factors to consider. First, find out whether a specific model has a waterproof seal and fire-resistant materials — not all models have them.
Other great safety features to look for include alarms that go off when the wrong combination is input multiple times or even failsafe locking that locks the safe completely when the incorrect access code is input multiple times.
Typically, safes with more security features tend to be more expensive.
Safes with biometric locking mechanisms are my personal favorite. They allow easy access and do an excellent job of preventing juvenile and unauthorized persons from assessing the contents of your safe. Such mechanisms, however, rely on batteries, and this is often seen as a disadvantage.
Manual mechanisms are more old-school, although they also provide reliable safety solutions. Unlike digital locks, they don’t require batteries, and this makes them advantageous in some situations.
We dedicated ourselves to doing a thorough research and taking a close look at all the components of different models. Take it from me; the locking bolts of some safes are cheap and crappy.
Our tests involved a lot of things, including trying to break into the units. What we gathered is that safes with a lot of top-quality locking bolts are harder to break — the more bolts, the merrier.
Also, don’t forget to confirm that the door of your safe closes tightly— the tighter, the better.
There is no difference between having a cheap $100 wooden box and having a gun safe made of substandard materials. When gauging the value of a unit, you must consider its ability to serve you for a reasonable number of years.
Gun safes made from solid steel offer unmatched durability. Those made from a steel alloy of carbon and iron are also pretty strong because of the enhanced tensile strength.
Size and Weight
How many guns do you have? Do you intend to expand your collection? Will you store other valuables apart from your firearms in your safe? Is your dedicated space roomy enough to fit a bigger safe?
These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself before choosing the most ideal gun safe size.
In terms of weight requirements, the rule of thumb is simple — heavier is better. Usually, units with a higher steel gauge are better. Models made from 8-gauge steel, for instance, are heavier, more durable, and also harder to break.
In case a manufacturer claims a safe is made of steel, but it feels lighter, you are possibly spending your hard-earned money on cosmetic and not security features. The markets are not short of dirty cheap models with nothing more to offer than chrome plating, fancy interiors, and glossy enamel paint.
The majorities of manufacturers only advertise the external dimensions of their safes. These dimensions are meaningless after installation, so it is crucial to know how much interior space different models can offer.
Usually, models that provide enhanced fire protection have thicker walls, and this may mean their interior spaces are smaller. Likewise, models that come with racks and shelves may not provide adequate room for longer rifles.
Don’t let the external dimensions of a unit cheat you from confirming the actual amount of storage space you will get.
Good Location of Gun Safe is Important
Finding the right spot to install a gun safe is not as easy as many assume. Whether you own hunting rifles or home defense firearms, convenience, and easy access are aspects that must not escape your mind.
Every home has a unique layout, so take my advice with a grain of salt. The specific plan of your home will dictate what constitutes a “good location for a gun safe.” However, three areas always seem to make excellent spots.
The master bedroom makes an excellent spot because it is likely to be easy to access, especially when danger strikes in the middle of the night. Then again, you are also likely to get better levels of privacy so your kids may never know you have a gun in the house.
If you are going to install your safe in the master bedroom, you need to find an out-of-the-way spot. A winter coat closet that’s away from the main interior hallway would be an ideal location.
Your garage is a perfect spot to install a larger safe, perhaps one for your long hunting rifles. The structure will, however, need to be attached to your home and possibly be easily accessible from your interiors.
In this case, you again need to choose a less apparent space that is away from the door. You don’t want to make your safe the first thing people see when they enter your garage.
Additionally, make sure you choose a reliable model that protects your valuables from damage caused by garage-related temperature extremes.
Installing a gun safe in the cellar is also a brilliant idea. In most homes, this is a well-concealed, yet easy to access area, so it makes an excellent location for your firearms.
The only downside to using basements is that they often have higher levels of humidity, may be subject to temperature extremes, and may also be prone to flooding.
If you still want to get your safe fixed in the basement, consider choosing units with proper waterproof seals. You may also opt to invest in a gun safe dehumidifier to protect your weapons from rust and mold.
Additional Accessories and Safety Systems
A decent number of gun safes come equipped with several standard accessories. For instance, some models have automatic lighting, jewelry drawers, and even in-built electric plugs.
Depending on the original design of your gun safe, there are certain accessories you could use to give the unit a personalized touch and also enhance its functionality.
To increase the storage capacity of your safe, you can invest in jewelry drawers. There are pretty good drawers that even come with a cute velvet lining. Better still, you can install adjustable shelves for your coin collections.
Accessory door organizers or panels allow you to use the inside area of your safe’s door to create additional storage space. Door panels can create room for you to organize your documents, gun accessories, or pistols.
Other storage accessories you may consider investing in include cool-pocket fire-resistant bags, gun safe racks, rifle rods, and pistol hangers, just to mention a few.
Protection from Humidity
Some regions are prone to moisture problems. Humidity issues may also damage the contents of your safe if you install it in your basement. To keep your unit humidity-free and protect your guns and valuables from rust and mold, you should invest in desiccants or electric dehumidifiers.
Not all gun safes come equipped with lights. Fortunately, there are light kits specially designed for safes, and they can be electric or battery powered.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What happens if I forget my gun safe’s combination?
In case you forget your combination, you have the option of using your emergency bypass key to open the vault. Most safes come with at least 2 bypass keys.
If both of them are lost, call the customer service line of the model in question, and they will advise your certified locksmith how to open the safe without causing unnecessary damage.
- Can I change the combination of my gun safe?
A good number of models in this price range allow users to change their combinations. Just check the user’s manual for instructions on how to get this done.
- Is it necessary to install a dehumidifier in my new safe?
Depending on where you reside and where you install the safe, installing a dehumidifier may be necessary. Such equipment improves the conditions in the vault and ensures your gun, ammo, and valuables remain in a pristine state.
- Are gun safes under $500 easy to open?
This highly depends on the installed locking mechanism. Safes that use biometrics, for instance, open instantly. On the other hand, those with mechanical locking systems often open in under 10 seconds.
A gun can give you great power over your safety and that of your loved ones. Well, with such power comes great responsibility. One thing we can all agree on is that if you have a gun, you must lock it up when it’s not in use.
We hope our reviews offer key decision-making points to help you find the best gun safe under $500. Trust me, we made a lot of effort to round up models that offer a solid layer of security and are genuinely worth the price.