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  • Writer's pictureNoah O. Thompson

I Tested And Ranked The Best Pistol Safes In 2024

If you're looking for a reliable handgun safe that's both sturdy and affordable, here's my personal ranking of the best options for the money.

best pistol safes

FYI, Prices and ratings are accurate as of time of writing.


1. VAULTEK Smart Station - Biometric Smart Safe with Built-in Wireless Phone Charger


best pistol safes

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: LED backlit HD fingerprint scanner.

Helpful review: "For years I’ve followed Vaultek, as well as the products they’ve brought to market. This smart safe was a bit pricey for me, so I was skeptical about it. But then I finally bit the bullet and purchased it, and can report back that it’s really fantastic and worth the money.
- The safe came well-packaged. Trust me, you’re going to love the packaging.
- The setup is straightforward and clear. Following the instructions for fingerprinting was a breeze. I had no issues setting the combination or fingerprints.
- The quality is excellent. This is a very solid product. It’s really sturdy, very well-built and easy to use.
- The Bluetooth and biometric features are top tier.
- The phone charger works flawlessly. Just place it on top.
- With the extra USB, my watch charger is now also part of the system.
- It will hold most handguns. For instance, it can comfortably hold 2 Glocks. It can also hold my Sig 365 XL with Holosun optics and two 17 R clips with some extra room.
- Clock will set the correct time when the phone is placed on the charger.
- Opens swift for immediate entry.
- Incredibly quiet.
- Interior lighting is beautiful.
- The app has amazing features.
The advertisement does not do justice here. It's much better and advanced than argued. There are so many options featured with the safe: sound or no sound, lights or no lights… I know it sounds funny, but I feel that having such a neat product on my nightstand really upgraded my lifestyle. I love this safe so much, I want to buy another one.
BOTTOM LINE:
Don’t buy a lesser safe to save a bit of money. This Vaultek really does worth every penny. They offer great customer service and excellent follow-up, so I'll be buying the Vaultek MXi as well based on this experience. Good Job, Vaultek!"  — David P. McGillivray

Get it from Amazon now: $479.99 & FREE Returnss

 

2. Hornady RAPiD Night Guard - RFiD Wristband


best pistol safes

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Made from 14-gauge steel.

Helpful review: "All the features of the safe itself are really great. I thought it was odd that the instructions say several times not to store a loaded firearm in it. Uh... Really?
RFID:
It's very easy to program the RFID keys, though it didn't come with a rubber wristband as advertised. It did come with a rubber sleeve that you can put on your own watch band. It also comes with 2 stick-on hard "chips" that remind me of the center part of a poker chip. A little thicker than a credit card, but hard and inflexible. You're supposed to stick them onto the back of your cell phone. This won't work for me because I have a skin on my phone and my phone chargers are wireless. It also has a tear-drop shaped tag for your key ring. So 4 total RFID "keys".
FEATURES:
It's really easy to program the time. And the spring is strong, so when you operate the drawer, it pops open enough to grab and go. It's so strong, that the unit moves if there is not enough friction on the surface you have it set on. So naturally, I don't want to be constantly re-adjusting the unit, so I took advantage of the mounting holes on the bottom.
ISSUES:
Here is where my problem comes in. I just wanted to run a couple of wood screws down into my nightstand. There's no template provided, so you have to make your own. Time-waster. Then you drill out the pilot holes and hope for the best. There's no room at all inside if you have big meaty hands like I do. It was very hard to screw from inside the unit. I could have drilled and run the bolts from underneath, but then my drawer wouldn't operate. And I'm not trying to secure it from being stolen, that's what the cable that comes with it is for. I just want to anchor it so it doesn't move every time I use it.
ALL IN ALL:
The security "leash" cable is nice and will allow you to secure the unit to your bed frame or whatever, but it's not quite long enough. You'd think that since they went to all the trouble of making it look like a clock radio, it could actually be... oh I don't know... A clock radio? An alarm clock? Do I have to do everything myself? LOL.
HOWEVER, HERE’S MY NEIGHBOR’S REVIEW:
I placed my order on Sunday and it arrived Monday afternoon!! This product is fairly heavy and very sturdy. It was easy to set up. 9you need 3 AAA batteries.) There are 5 ways to access it and I was able to activate all of them quite quickly. The only way to get into this safe is via one of those accesses. I tried using other items to open the drawer but nothing worked and that was very reassuring to me. The numbers on the clock are very bright red, I hope to try to dim them somehow. As of this moment, I would recommend this seller and this product.
AND A FEW WORDS FROM A FRIEND:
I am very impressed with this safe. I know that there is a different vendor that offers similar protection. But the fact that this offers a clock similar to an alarm clock or even a DVD player or some other type of electronic device. I have had people in the room who did not know that the clock was a safe for my weapons. I was able to put a compact 9mm and 22 compact in the vault with 2 mags each and some assorted papers. I am very impressed with the options that they provide to include for use, a key fob, and combo electronically accessible or a barrel key. Setting the combo was a bit confusing for me but apparently following the directions is not confusing." — Christopher A. Phillips

Get it from Amazon now: $250.30 & FREE Returns

 

3. VAULTEK - Best Drop-Down Safe

Top-rated: 419 ratings 


best biometric drop down gun safes

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Can hold max firearm length of 8.875” + a spare magazine.

Helpful review: "It's a tight squeeze, but it does manage to fit an full sized HK USP 45 Tactical with a flat plate magazine, despite it being 5.9" at it's tallest. Since there are few handguns larger than the USP Tactical, this safe is more than adequate for the vast majority of handguns.
I also have the smaller VT10i with the biometric sensor and find that the Slider biometrics is much more accurate/responsive, likely due to the larger sensor. It can detect the fingerprint no matter the angle you apply your finger. I've also added the same fingers multiple times to increase readability. The app and web dashboards are incredibly slick, allows you to delete fingerprints or disable/activate different fingerprints on the fly. It immediately notifies you if the safe has been opened, tampered with, failed authentication, really anything that can happen to the safe.
The only thing the app cannot do over WiFi is open the safe remotely, which I imagine is a security issue and honestly probably for the best. However while the WiFi features are neat, it's pretty extraneous to the actual function of the safe. None the less, you can tell from just about every aspect of the safe design that a lot of thought and care went into it. If cost is no object, this is hands down the best smart gun safe on the market.
A FEW WORDS FROM A FRIEND:
After shopping for a while on handgun safes, I decided on the VAULTEK. This safe is absolutely amazing. Packaged with care, protective plastics and all that. It’s super easy to set up, and the steel construction is very rugged.
The keypad lights up when your hand comes near it, so it can be easily read in the dark. A huge plus for me is that it uses a standard 18650 Lithium Ion battery, so if it ends up croaking in future years, you know you’ll be able to find a replacement easily.
The drawer slides completely open when the correct code is input, and there’s a nice LED light so you don’t have to fumble in the middle of the night. Great product!" — Nick Anderson

Get it from Amazon now: $369.99 & FREE Returns

 

4. VAULTEK VS10i - Best Fingerprint Scanner


best pistol safes

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides power up to 6 months, and charges in 2.5 hours with the included charging kit.

Helpful review: "I just purchased the Vaultek biometric pistol gun safe, and I am very impressed. The first thing you’ll notice is the first class product packaging. I can’t throw that box out. This pistol safe is solid and extremely well built. The product’s user manual is clearly written and easy to understand. Neat that you can’t even screw up putting the included lithium battery in.
This Vaultek safe automatically detects battery polarity, so you can install in either direction and it works. The keys work fine. Again, clear instructions made programming the biometric fingerprints easy. And – they do work extremely well.
Likewise, programming the five number keypad was a snap. This pistol safe is really built well, and the included steel cable should be good for traveling. The door is spring loaded and opens more like a quality jewelry box than a jack-in-the-box.
If you want a good safe to SAFELY and securely store your pistol with reliably quick access when needed you will not be disappointed with the Vaultek VT20i.
One more point I’d like to make:. If you are one of the many people who like traveling in an RV, you have probably found that there isn’t really much of a secure place in an RV to store valuables like passports, extra cash, and your wife’s expensive earrings. Depending on where you visit, you may even want to put a pistol in there! With a little ingenuity you can incorporate a steel mounting plate to solidly attach the pistol safe to a solid bed stand or closet wall. If your wife has lots of jewelry, you'd better buy the Vaultek PRO VT. Vaultek has a mounting plate for that one.
A FEW POINTS FROM A FRIEND:
- The fingerprint reader is easy to program and very accurate. It only takes one second to open the safe. You get two administrator prints, one 4-8 digit keypad administrator combination, and, of course, two keys.
- There is more than enough room for a sub-compact firearm and three 10-round magazines.
- The Bluetooth app feature is very simplistic and gives you the ability to identify a fingerprint if you have guest users. In my case... my wife. The app also allows you to view if it has detected when it was last opened, how it was opened, and which fingerprint, if applicable.
- You may also turn off the beeping when it is opened; however, the unlatching is just as loud. I don't expect to use the app often.
- The safe itself is very sturdy and solid. It is heavier than I expected. It is not fireproof, nor water/moisture proof. If you keep it in a humid house, plan on using one or two silica gel or other solid desiccant product to reduce humidity.
- The inside bottom surface has a thin layer of foam, and a slightly thicker layer of egg-crate foam. The inner surface of the lid has a thin layer of foam.
- If you will be carrying it around, you may want to buy a layer of foam with removable cubes or similar to "shape" indents for your firearm and magazines. Mine sits stationary... the only reason I have it is because of our grandson.
- It is CA and TSA approved if you need either of those ratings. The exterior bottom surface has four thin anti-skid pads." — Dave Rauschenberg

Get it from Amazon now: $269.99 & FREE Returns

 

5. RPNB Drop Down - Carbon Knight Series

Top-rated: 373 ratings 


best drop down gun safes

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Expertly crafted using sturdy steel construction.

Helpful review: "IThe seller is on point. Super fast shipping. Superb packing. Quality and beautiful presentation from RPNB. The RPNB safe is of a very high quality. Crafted product and works superbly. The only flaw was the rubber feet had come loose from the bottom. I figure that was because of the very high temperatures we have been having. I put them back on and they stuck. The drawer opens smoothly and every time. The fingerprints must be registered at different angles if you're not going to use the exact same angle every time. The RPNB company should be commended for this product. This is an initial preview after receiving and testing the unit for 45 minutes after receiving. If something comes up negative I will review again. If you see nothing further all is well.
MY NEIGHBOR’S REVIEW:
I have been shopping around for a while to seek a gun safe that could easily hide next to my bed. I want it to be safe but at the same time easy to reach. It has a locker with passcode/fingerprint option, which could automatically open in a second with a ready to pull and shot position. There is an option to manually open it with a key, the key lock seems tough, so others won't reach my gun easily. Plus it's a heavy metal case, which could also prevent others from opening it by force. It also has enough space for one pistol with an extra bullet or magazine. The G-17 fits it well. Maybe the only two cons: It could be over the budget to some people, get it when it's on sale, AND it does not open very quietly, but I guess this is the tradeoff if you wanna it open quickly.
A FEW WORDS FROM A FRIEND:
have been looking for a nightstand drop down or slider safe for some time. Most on the market could not accommodate my pistol with a mounted red dot. This one fits the bill. I was also worried about the fingerprint reader not always recognizing my print, but I have been surprised how accurate it read. I did take the advice to have it read my prints at different angles while setting it up. Looks pretty well made. It is heavy, which is good. So my only con is that when it opens, it is a bit loud. So only time will tell how it performs in the long run." — Trent Bailey

Get it from Amazon now: $199.00 & FREE Returns

 

6. ONNAIS - Best for Tech Dummies


best pistol safes

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Can store up to 30 user fingerprints for access by multiple users.

Helpful review: "This safe is made for a bedside or nightstand application. It does come with a security tether, made out of cabling and covered in rubber or flexible plastic. The tether wraps around the bed frame or something and then feeds into itself, like a lariat or a noose. The other end has a steel pawl (the only word I can think to call it) that slips into a groove on the body of the safe when the lid is opened.
LID AND LOCK:
The lid is secure with a strong hook and latch mechanism and shuts and secures easily. The locking mechanism is pretty cool, and the combo/biometric lock system is very handy. With the key lock, if you are like me, and an old, worn-out boot, the electronics to get into the safe make me a little suspicious, but hide or secure the key, and you are easier than a padlock.
CODE VS. FINGERPRINT:
Setting the electronic code is very simple; opening the battery door takes longer than entering the code. The safe comes with a quick setup guide, is easy to read and understand, and even has pictures. Set the code, hit the OK button, then repeat and it is done. The biometric is just about as easy. Place your fingers; the safe does not care how many or which ones are on the reader six times, and the safe will give the signal, and your super handy biomechanical lock is set. Multiple people can enter fingerprints, so all the adults and none of the kids can use it. If the code access worries you, you can turn off the electronics and use the key, then no one can guess the code; that is up to you.
INTERIOR:
The interior of the safe is padded, thinly padded, with open-cell foam, so if you live in a humid area like Florida, you will want to save the desiccant packet from your next Amazon shipment and throw it in there to keep the pistol nice and shiny. If this safe is shaken or the gun inside gets some damage, it will have to be seriously shaken or dropped to damage the gun.
WEIGHT:
The weight of this little safe is excellent; it weighs about two pounds or less and is easy to move around. The weight reduction does come at a price of steel thickness for protection. If a bad guy has time to yank on this safe, they can eventually pull the pawl out of the back, use a small crowbar, and bend the lid out of place to get inside. Dedicated crooks will stop at nothing, except honest work, to get to your valuables; this is more about keeping your hands off a dangerous item when it is not in use.
SIZE:
The little safe has a lot of room, especially with the top-opening lid. It will easily fit the entire EDC package to keep it safe and tidy. The safe is big enough to fit full-sized pistols; my 1911 fits without issues. The 1911 and two spare mags, my wallet, watch, cell phone, and a checkbook- if we still use them- would all tuck away safely. If you want to keep all of this by the door and not by the bedside, this safe will surface mount with two holes in the bottom for screws to the shelf, or the wall may work; the stuff may fall out when opened as a wall-mounted unit.
ALL IN ALL:
Now, the fun part. Would I recommend this safe? Yes! Without hesitation, I am ordering more of these and giving them to family members to keep things safe from little hands. I am also fitting one in the drawer at the office to make sure no one sees or needs to know that business, even if it hides a hip flask for PST conference room recovery. Would I buy another one or twenty-two? Yes! I alluded to this already, but the money spent on this safe is worth every penny. Unless you need this to protect things in a fire, then this will not be the answer. Place this safe in the firebox or fireproof filing cabinet, and now your stuff is kept secret and safe from the rest of the crew and the fire if it ever comes." — Gary Anderson

Get it from Amazon now: $89.99 & FREE Returns

 

7. BILLCONCH - Best Value For Money


best pistol safes

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Top of the line biometric chips and Bluetooth capability. Ideal for pistols, cash and other valuable items.

Helpful review: "Let's talk about my household and why this is so important for me to have. I have a wide variety of kids of all ages running through the house on a daily basis, whether mine or family members or friends. I have multiple cats that are into EVERYTHING, same as my toddlers. I have a dog that is dumber than a box of rocks and would probably get in to something dangerous too if I let her.
My husband was in the Army 23 years and an accomplished sharp shooter and hunts for our table every season so, yeah, we have guns in the house. It's easy to find a large gun safe to store the rifles, but I like to have my Glock .45 near the bedside for ease of access to me and the hubs if there is an intruder. We haven't been able to do that since having the boys and I haven't wanted to spend inordinate amounts of money on another safe.
This was a perfect compromise. It's small enough to fit on the shelf of our bedside table for quick reach and grab and has padding inside so that even if the box falls (it's a pretty decent heft), the gun won't move inside.
I LOVE the biometric fingerprint reader!! It opens to us with an almost immediate read and you can store multiple fingerprints. Not only that, the app monitors which fingerprints open the safe and when- a plus if you have multiple people in a household that have access (not a problem yet in ours).
We did try and press our older son and daughters fingers against the reader just to see if there were any false positives, and there was no read for them. Excellent. And the price was more reasonable than the ones we were looking at in Dunham's. So, over all, this is one happier and less worried mama.
A FEW WORDS FROM A FRIEND:
This safe is definitely the best in its class and blows away the competition in value for the dollar! I reviewed and researched more than 30 styles and brands before buying this model. It's sturdy, rugged, solid construction, with simple setup and programming.
Ignore the newbs who can't read directions or watch a video to turn off the default fingerprint setting. I had this set up in less than 5 minutes including opening the package. This has double the thickness steel than all the other competitors I reviewed plus two heavy locking latches instead of a single small centered one. Having up to 4 ways to open the safe is great. Redundancy is essential with a firearm safe! I chose not to use the app for the phone. It's great to know if I want to install it though, it's there. The fingerprint sensor works very well and holds many prints. My wife and I have both used multiple fingers in case of injury to a hand or finger occurs. Back to that redundancy!
The case opens very quietly with the beeping turned off on the keypad. It has enough space for two medium pistols and extra clips or a large and small pistol and maybe a spare clip too.
As an added bonus it has a USB-a plug in the front for recharging the battery that is also included and can also be replaced with a top brand for more longevity! The safe is portable and can fit under your seat, in the trunk, dash or wherever you like. Great for going on trips or camping with the grandkids." — Kate Michaels

Get it from Amazon now: $189.99 & FREE Returns

 

8. RPNB - Best for Vehicles


best pistol safes

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Smart biometric scanner with immediate access mode and manual keys. The fingerprint images with excellent match speed of less than 1 second for quick access entry.

Helpful review: "I just received my gun safe and set it up. I read many reviews before making the purchase and saw many that mentioned the programming of the fingerprints did not work well. There were many others that said it was fine if you followed the directions.
For me, I had absolutely no trouble programming fingerprints by following the simple instructions in the booklet that came with the safe. I added one fingerprint at a time to test it. I ended up adding 4 prints in total. After the addition of each print I attempted to open the safe with each programmed finger and with fingers that were not programmed.
The safe worked just at it should. It always opened with my registered prints and never opened with prints that were not registered. Programming was simple. Use the included screwdriver to open battery compartment, put in the batteries (it did not bother me that the batteries were not included), and press the reset button. It beeps once and the light around the sensor blinks blue. Hold your finger on the sensor until it flashes green, do it twice more and it flashes green twice indicating your print is registered
There is also a button inside the safe you can press to disable or reenable the electronic beeps. You can use the screwdriver to press the button.
As for the safe itself, it appears to be solidly constructed and quite secure. I am planning on using it in the home and taking it in vehicle so I can put it under a car seat. It certainly is low-profile enough to go under the car seat.
I am using it to hold a Ruger Security 9 Compact and two stock 10-round magazines and there is plenty of room. If anything changes I will update my review but so far it has been just as advertised." — RJ Baron

Get it from Amazon now: $99.99 & FREE Returns

 

9. Awesafe - Best For Two Handguns


best pistol safes

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: For added convenience, this compact gun safe is lightweight, for use whether you’re home or on the go. It's easy to conceal under car seats, in spare tire wells, between mattresses and other out-of-the-way locations.

Helpful review: "On the seller side, I got great service. Both from Amazon and Awesafe. I had some initial issues with batteries, but the sellers quickly fixed my issue. The product arrived on time and in good condition. The whole transaction continually reinforces my preference to shop with Amazon. Two thumbs up!
On the product side, I'm also happy. I've read plenty of reviews and researched may safes prior to making this purchase. And, I gotta tell ya - I have leaned to take both the super positive and super negatives with a healthy amount of skepticism.
I'll highlight a few key areas now. If you read the instructions, you'll see that the safe opens with any fingerprint until you set your own. People claiming faulty function here may have missed that. Now, that doesn't mean that the sensor is perfect. I've had many devices with a fingerprint scanner and in my experience little things like finger position, callouses, skin dryness all play a factor in the reliability of the scanner. SO, being that you can set 30 fingerprints with this thing... that means that I can add in enough variations of my fingerprints on both hands to ensure no matter what condition my hand are or orientation of my hand, the safe unlocks. To that end, the fingerprint scanner allows the safe to unlock in about 2 seconds. Same for the code pad.
So far, I have stress tested this thing dozens of times. The only failure to unlock with a fingerprint occurs when I place my finger in an orientation that I did not program into the safe.
The lid pops open and it's travel to a fully opened position is slightly dampened by a gas strut...another second to open. Yes there are keys, two come with it. To me, these are just in case of a total failure I can still use the safe.
The unit is heavy, and the metal is pretty thick...maybe 10 or 11 gauge. And, while the sides of the safe have a plastic cover, it is a fully enclosed steel box.
The inside of the box has a foam lining for the bottom and sides of the inside compartment, the lid of the box is bare metal. I can fit a full size Beretta APX + 3 mags easily. In all - I needed a inexpensive, reliable, fast access safe that has decent security. This safe may not be Fort Knox, but it's definitely going to keep my kids and out of it and checks all the other boxes." — Rob Maggins

Get it from Amazon now: $159.00 & FREE Returns

 

10. SentrySafe - Best for Nightstands

Top-rated: 4,064 ratings


best pistol safes

Credit: Amazon.com


Highlight: Gun safe is equipped with an improved gas strut for long-lasting performance. Ideal for use as a bedside gun safe.

Helpful review: "This product is awesome. I was concerned about all of the discussions with the failures of the biometric releases on this and similar devices. My research said that this technology just does not work for some people. Be aware of that possibility. It has not been a problem for me.
My first impression was of course the packaging. Oh my goodness, I think I could use the packaging as a storage container for other valuables. It is very substantial. I have had this for about a month. First impression out of the box is that the safe is fairly heavy.
It comes with two large screws that can be used to secure it to a surface. I did not use them and have it sitting on a nightstand because I wanted to keep it portable. It does not shift when the lid pops open. It was very easy to program. The instructions are extremely clear.
First I tried the keys. Then I installed the batteries and programmed the buttons. Last, I programmed the finger biometric. It worked the first time. Every time I have walked in and out of the bedroom for the past month, I have opened and closed the case using the biometric finger reader. I would estimate this has happened at least 100 times. It has never failed to open on the first try. Never!
You place your finger on the reader until the blue light comes on, slide your finger down and in less than one second the lid pops open. Perfect. I don't think it would be useful if you needed to mount this in a vertical position, but on a horizontal surface it works great.
My better half is much more comfortable now keeping a loaded gun in the house. Oh, I should mention we programmed her finger and it works for her every time.
MY NEIGHBOR'S REVIEW:
I bought this for my Dad for Christmas and he loves it! He's a retired cop, and mentioned he wanted a safe to put his pistols in, and I think I hit the nail on the head with this one! He can fit a 9mm glock with an extra clip, .38 6-shot service revolver with a 4 inch barrel, and a .38 5-shot flat shot off-duty revolver with a 2 inch barrel.
A lot of the reviews I read said they can only fit two guns max in their safe, but if you arrange them properly, he's able to put the glock and 6-shot revolver on the floor of the safe, and the smaller revolver on top of the other two guns and close the lid. This also leaves room on the sides of the smaller gun to store more stuff if you please. I'm glad I paid the extra money for the safe with the fingerprint scanner because he thinks it's awesome.
My dad isn't the type of guy that likes people spending money on him. In this case, I thought he'd freak out that I paid an extra 100 bucks for a fingerprint scanner, but he thinks it was money well spent.
It took him an hour to figure out what code he wanted to program in it, so I'm guessing he's eventually going to forget that. That leaves him with two other ways to open it; the key and his fingerprint. Now all he has to do is figure out where he wants to mount the thing!" — Robert Paolillo

Get it from Amazon now: $205.99 & FREE Returns

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