Vance Outdoors | Online Shopping for Firearms, Ammunition and Shooting Accessories

Choosing a Gun Safe

One of the best firearm safety tips is to own a gun safe.

Posted by on
Vance Outdoors Facebook
Vance Outdoors Twitter
Vance Outdoors YouTube Channel
Vance Outdoors Instagram

Choosing A Gun Safe

I purchased my first gun safe a few years ago, and to say it was overwhelming is an understatement. I knew going in roughly what size I needed. It was all the other options that I had to chisel away at. A big one for me was the color and finish. Going with textured black seemed like the safe choice (no pun intended). However, I enjoyed the other color options such as the glossy dark blue and glossy white. In the end, I decided on a textured black Liberty Safe with a mechanical lock. Looking back now, I wish I had gone with the electronic lock version for quicker access. I decided I could provide a little insight for those of you who are interested in purchasing your first gun safe and help you to navigate through all the choices you have.

I'm going to make this easy and list out the most important things you will want to consider when buying a safe.

What's Your Budget?

If you go to a store to pick out a new safe with no budget in mind, you may end up spending thousands of dollars you were not ready to spend. Safes can get quite expensive, but there are some nice models that are reasonably priced. Narrow in on your budget before exploring the endless possibilities.

What Size Do You Need?

If you only own a handgun, let's say for home protection, you will likely just want a small gun vault safe. The more guns you own, the larger the safe you will need. Safes can also be used for more than just guns. People also store ammunition, firearm accessories, important documents, money, jewelry, and several other items in their safes. This is something to keep in mind when on the hunt for that perfect safe.

What Type of Locking Mechanism Works Best?

Mechanical Lock
Digital Lock
Key Lock
Biometric Lock

Mechanical combination locks have a dial panel that correlates to a combination to open the safe, while the electronic locks help you to access your safe in a quick and simple manner. A key operated lock is a dependable and low maintenance option, which is nice if you can keep track of the key. Finally, there is a biometric finger scan option, which is fastest way to open with one-touch fingerprint scanner.

How Much Fire Protection Will You Require?

Gun safe fire ratings are broken up into two parts: hours and temperature. You will normally see a fire rating labeled as something like 2 Hours @ 1200°, meaning that the safe will stand a fire up to 2 hours in 1200° heat. Depending on where you put your safe, will make a difference in the fire rating that is best for you. These ratings have a wide range of types, and unfortunately not consistent throughout the industry.

What Type of Material Should You Choose?

The material you choose will affect the overall price of your safe. If you have a nice sized budget, steel or composite is the way to go. Steel is thicker and heavier than other materials, but composite is lighter and stronger than steel. Aluminum is lightweight and more budget friendly. Your situation and budget will help determine which option is best for you.

Free Standing or Secured Installation?

A gun safe does not have to be bolted down or mounted to a wall. However, the benefits of doing so include injury prevention, theft of the safe, the safe being tipped over or pried open, and possible insurance benefits. When you purchase your safe, they will likely offer to have it installed professionally. This service can get costly, but at the right price, is worth it.

Where Will You Put Your New Safe?

I have seen people put safes just about anywhere in their homes, including living rooms and bedrooms. While those are fine options, and in some cases the only option, I prefer to have mine in the basement. There are many reasons I believe that to be the best place, including concealment from outsiders, increased difficulty to steal, and with it being in the basement, longer fire protection.

Accidents happen every day. One of the best firearm safety tips is to own a gun safe. I hope that these tips will help you when purchasing your first, or even next safe. I think everyone should own a safe, simply for the fact that we all have valuables that need protecting.