Best Gun Safe Reviews

First of all, let me welcome you to the best gun safes reviews available! We pride ourselves on being the leading source for quality, information packed reviews. Now, when I say gun safe, some readers probably think of something out of a James Bond film like a picture frame gun safe. While this would be insanely cool to show off at the monthly poker games, most people can't reasonably afford something like this.

Luckily, there are still some top quality gun safes available for average Joes like me and you. Some of what we will talk about below is the process we go through when reviewing gun safes, gun safe ratings, and finally, the best gun safe under 1000 dollars.

The fire rating is just one of many that we look at when reviewing any gun safe. When we are considering a gun safe for one of lists, the most important factors to us are the material of the door and walls, lock type, fire rating, and where it’s made.

Of course, our checklist is longer than just those 5 specifications, but that is a short breakdown of what we consider the most important for the consumer. Some of the other factors that we like to look at while reviewing a safe is the Burglary Rating, the bolt work, whether the inside has a steel fire liner, the door hinges, and the door seal.

Another, less commonly considered aspect that we look for when performing any gun safe reviews is the electrical connection. The reason that we care about this is because moisture can be a serious problem with gun safes. That’s why we always recommend buying a gun safe with an electrical connection in order to utilize a dehumidifier to keep your firearms in pristine condition.

How Gun Safes are Rated

Although some manufacturers provide their own gun safe ratings and standards, we like to go off the ones provided by Underwriters Laboratories to help insure that our evaluations are fair. Again, this is an organization that performs a large variety of tests on just as large of a variety of products.

For our intents and purposes, we’re going to look at the ones for gun safes. These tests include explosive, fire resistance, impact testing, and burglar resistance. It’s the combination of these tests, coupled with the materials that the safe is made of that helps us to determine whether or not this is a product worth buying. We feel it’s our duty to help our readers find the top rated gun safes for their budget, no matter how big or small. With all that being said, let’s get into the ratings.

Class 350

The safe must maintain an internal temperature below 350F. This rating safe is sufficient to protect guns, jewelry and paper.

Class 150

The safe must maintain an internal temperature below 150F. This rating is sufficient to protect optical media such as compact discs and hard drives.

Class 125

The safe must maintain an internal temperature below 125F. This rating is sufficient to protect magnetic storage mediums at the listed specification.

Heating Time and Temperatures for Fire Resistance

The above times and temperatures are used in determining the rating of a safe based on the time it takes for the interior temperature of the unit to exceed its given rating. Because this varies from safe to safe, you’ll have to inspect this on your own to find out what it is rated for. It should be listed on the sales tag along with all the other specifications. 

Explosion Test

Any safe with a UL fire rating has undergone this test. This involves placing the safe into a pre-heated oven at 2000 degrees Fahrenheit for a maximum of 50 minutes. If the test material that is placed inside the safe and its mechanisms remain intact, along with no explosions occurring when the safe is opened, then it passes.

Heating and Temperatures for Explosion Test

• 3 hour rating means the safe lasted 50 minutes at 2000F
• 2 hour rating means the safe lasted 45 minutes at 2000F
• 1 hour rating means the safe lasted 30 minutes at 2000F
• ½ hour rating means the safe lasted 30 minutes at 2000F

The reason why a safe’s rating time is 3 hours even though it was only exposed to the 2000F temperature for 50 minutes is because the average house fire will only reach a temperature of 1200F.

Fire Impact Test

Following the explosion test mentioned above, the safe is dropped from 30 feet in the air straight onto concrete. They then turn the safe upside down and begin reheating it. In order for the safe to receive a pass for this test, the test material and the safe’s components must maintain its integrity. Only then will it be considered certified.

Burglary/Security Ratings

Entry

This is considered opening the safe’s door or creating a 6 inch hole.

RSC

The safe must resist attacks for 5 minutes by attacks such as prying, hitting, drilling, chiseling, and tampering.

TL-15

The safe must resist attacks for 15 minutes by attacks that are performed with common mechanical and electric tools, common hand tools, lock picking devices, carbide drilling, grinding, and pressure applying mechanisms.

TL-30

The safe must resist attacks for 30 minutes by attacks that are performed with common mechanical and electric tools, common hand tools, lock picking devices, carbide drilling, grinding, pressure applying mechanisms, and power saws.

TL-30X6

The safe must resist attacks for 30 minutes by attacks that are performed with common mechanical and electric tools, common hand tools, lock picking devices, carbide drilling, grinding, pressure applying mechanisms, and power saws, with the addition of being able to resist entry on all six sides.

TL-40

The safe must resist attacks for 40 minutes by attacks that are performed with common mechanical and electric tools, common hand tools, lock picking devices, carbide drilling, grinding, and pressure applying mechanisms.

TRTL-30

The safe must resist attacks for 30 minutes by attacks that are performed with common mechanical and electric tools, common hand tools, lock picking devices, carbide drilling, grinding, pressure applying mechanisms, power saws, and a cutting torch.

TRTL-60

The safe must resist attacks for 60 minutes by attacks that are performed with common mechanical and electric tools, common hand tools, lock picking devices, carbide drilling, grinding, pressure applying mechanisms, power saws, and a cutting torch.

TXTL-60

The safe must resist attacks for 60 minutes by attacks that are performed with common mechanical and electric tools, common hand tools, lock picking devices, carbide drilling, grinding, pressure applying mechanisms, power saws, and a cutting torch. A safe with this rating can also endure up to eight ounces of nitroglycerin or a single charge from another explosive of equivalent power.

Best Gun Safe Under $1000

For $1,000, you won’t be able to get something like a True Safe, but you can still get a more than reliable gun safe. Whether you’re in the market for the best small gun safe or looking to get a biometric gun safe, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. We’ve taken the time to list a few of our favorites down below.

Fort Knox Original Pistol Box FTK-PB

• Constructed of a rugged 10 gauge body
• Massive 3/16" wrap around door 
• Exceeds the CA Firearms Safety Device Requirements
• Has a gas strut to Assist when you open the door
• Simplex mechanical lock - user friendly with 1081 user combinations
• Made in the USA 
• 4 ¼”H x 12 ½”W x 10 ¾”D
• Weighs 22lbs

Winchester Home 7-7-E Safe

  • Exterior Dimensions: 30" (H) x 20" (W) x 23" (D); Interior Dimensions: 26" (H) x 15" (W) x 12" (D); Weight: 275 pounds
  • Fire rating: 75 minutes @ 1400 degrees Fahrenheit; Three layers of fireboard in the door; Three layers of fireboard in the body
  • Single lever handle; 6 (1.25") solid steel locking bolts
  • Black exterior with gray automotive grade interior; One (key locking) storage drawer
  • Electronic lock; 6.9 cubic feet of interior storage space

V-Line Desk Mate Keyless Security Box

• Key-less High Grade Lock
• Front opening - great for under a desk or nightstand
• Department of Justice Approved
• CA Approved handgun storage
• Mounts under most surfaces with included quick release bracket
• 7.5" x 11.75" x 4"
• Weighs 8lbs
• Made in USA

BARSKA Biometric Safe

• Body material: Steel
• Outer Dimensions: 16.5 by 7.75 by 14.5 inches
• Inner Dimensions: 16.25 by 7 by 14.25 inches
• Fingerprint memory: 30
• Secondary access: 2 back-up keys
• Fireproof: No
• Power: 4 AA batteries
• Battery life: Up to 2 years
• Warranty: One year, limited
• Weight: 31 pounds

Gunvault SpeedVault SVB500

• Biometric fingerprint scanner and activation button. Holds up to 120 individual fingerprints
• Fast activation drop down drawer, for quick access
• 18-gauge steel construction, with protective foam-lined interior
• Multiple Mounting Options, hardware included
• Backup override key included

Sentry Safe Biometric Quick Access Pistol Safe

• Programmable digital key pad with zero audible feedback
• Program a fingerprint in addition to your combination
• Compression gas strut opens and holds the lid in the open position
• Whisper-quiet entry
• Reinforced with heavy duty 12 gauge steel
• Pry-resistant door
• Weighs 12 pounds