One of the most important considerations when selecting gun safes, which often goes without mentioning, is cost. The price of a gun safe increases with increased size, capability, and presence of special characteristics, which improve its performance.
In this article we take a look at the best gun safes available at a price of $500 or less.
Gunvault SVB500 Speedvault Biometric
As the name suggests, this vault offers the user a safe, secure and ready for action gun safe, which allows the owner to quickly retrieve the firearm in case of emergencies.
The safe features a revolutionary design, making it discreet and fast to use, ideal in home or office environments.
The gun safe can be mounted on a wall or affixed to furniture, in a position providing the user with the best chance to gain the advantage in a risky or dangerous situation.
The biometric access means that only authorized personnel can access the firearms.
The biometric system is also capable of accepting up to 20 different fingerprints, allowing other people to access the firearm in case the primary custodian is away or compromised.
- Biometric fingerprint scanner and activation button that holds up to 20 individual fingerprints
- Fast Activation drop down drawer, for quick access
- Interior product dimensions is 2.25 inch x 5.75 inch x 8.5 inch
- 18-Gauge steel construction, with protective foam-lined interior
- Precise fittings are virtually impossible to pry open with hand tools
- Mounts almost anywhere, in any direction
- Capacity – 1 gun and ammunition
- Size – 6.5 x 3.5 x 13 inches
- Weight – 7 pounds
- Biometric access prevents unauthorized access since it is easy to program and is customizable
- Design is strong to prevent prying
- Screws provided with purchase are small and weak, prone to removal from wall mount (longer and stronger screws may need to be purchased differently)
BARSKA Large Biometric Safe
This safe is fortified with steel and 3-point solid steel bolts, which prevent attempts at tampering, prying, and lock picking, and a state-of-the-art biometrics, which prevents otherwise unauthorized access.
The biometrics allow for quicker access to the firearms compared to combination or key-locking safes. The biometrics system is robust, and can store up to 120 fingerprints.
There is a hidden keyhole and emergency battery pack for easy, manual access, when the power supply to the biometrics is interfered with, or the main custodian is incapacitated.
The safe also has a large capacity (1.45 ft³), as well as 2 removable shelves, which lends it to storage of firearms of various dimensions, including rifles and handguns.
Therefore, this safe is highly secure, and is most suitable for a home setting, where multiple firearms can be easily stored.
- Biometric fingerprint technology is capable of storing and recognizing up to 120 different users
- Mountable to a secure foundation (Includes hardware)
- Five point deadbolt system
- Removable racks for storage space
- Exterior Dimensions: 57 Inches x 13.75 Inches x 13.75 Inches
- Weight – 114 lbs.
- Capacity – Multiple rifles and handguns
- The state-of-the-art biometrics protects against unauthorized access.
- The safe offers fast access to the contents (on average 2 seconds), even in darkness
- Reliable and efficient manual backup system in case of emergencies
- Ample space
- External surface susceptible to large impacts (causes dents but does not compromise safe integrity)
This is a sturdy safe with 2 layers of steel construction for the walls and the door, with rectangular locking bolt for more surface strength, increasing resistance against attempts at prying and cutting.
The safe also has stationary rectangular locking bolts on the hinge side of the door, ensuring the contents are not accessed in case the opening mechanism is breached.
The locking mechanism is controlled by reprogrammable electronic keypad that can accept user codes with up to 16 digit combinations.
The safe has a large capacity, with a removable shelf and a door swinging over 180 degrees, to accommodate multiple firearms. There is a retractable/ slide-out drawer where one can store ammunition and important documents. The safe is bolted to the floor, and is ideal for a home or office setting
- 2-Hour fire rated at 1850°F (1010°C)
- 2- Layers of Steel (Steel inner walls and door,
- 2 active rectangular locking bolt for more surface strength
- Removable/adjustable shelf and (1) slide out drawer
- 2 Stationary Rectangular Locking Bolts On Hinge Side
- 4 reprogrammable user codes
- 4-16 digit combination electronic keypad
- Weight – 143 pounds
- Dimensions – 20 7/8” x 17 1/8” x 17 5/16”
- Capacity – 1.44 cubic feet
- The safe is 2 hour fire rated at 1850 degrees
- The reprogrammable keypad makes it difficult for burglars to determine the digit combination
- The keypad has non-volatile memory, keeping the digit combination even when there’s no power
- The safe has no other means of opening; no backup in case of emergency
- The removable shelf is made of plastic, which could affect its durability
Sports Afield SA5516J Journey
The safe comes with a fully programmable electronic lock, and two backup keys for easy manual access. The safe has a large capacity, accommodating up to 20 long guns with enough space for ammunition and other valuables.
This safe is made of heavy gauge steel construction for the walls and door, which is recessed to prevent prying attempts. The door swings open 180 degrees to allow for full access to safe interior. There is a theft alert system which sounds an audible alarm when it detects tampering effects. The safe is equipped with 4 pre-cut anchor holes to be affixed into the floor.
- Fully programmable electric lock with 2 keys for easy access
- Holds up to 20 long guns
- Fully upholstered interior to protect from scratches
- Thick steel walls with 180-degree swing-resistant recessed door lever for full access to the inside
- Includes 4 anchor holes with pre-cut holes for anchoring
- Dimensions – 15 x 16 x 55 inches
- Weight – 143 pounds
- Electronic lock and drop handle allow quick and easy access to safe contents
- Theft alert system prevents efforts at tampering with the safe
American Security FS149E5LP
This safe is compact to fit in small places in a home or office setting, capable of storing several handguns.
It features steel construction for the body and door, and has two steel deadbolts that prevent door removal in case the hinges are removed in an attempt at forced entry.
Access is provided through a programmable, E5LP electronic lock controlled by an illuminated keypad. The keypad is bounce resistant to withstand impact trying to break into the safe. The keypad offers sound and visual feedback when used, but can be programmed for stealth mode to prevent detection in an emergency situation. The safe is fire certified, with a 60 minute fire protection.
- UL one hour fire rating
- Dial combo lock with key operated side locking mechanism incorporating two chromed locking bolts
- Impressive ½-inch thick door with 1 hour UL fire rating
- Two side bolt to prevent prying
- Includes one shelf
- Dimensions – 19 1/8″H x 13½”W x 15 11/16″D
- Weight – 96 pounds
- Capacity – 1.258 cubic inches
- Impact resistant keypad prevents break in attempts
- The safe offers 60-minute fire rating
- Limited capacity; cannot be used to store long guns
GunVault GV2000C-DLX Multi Vault Deluxe Gun Safe
The unique No-Eyes keypad installed in this safe allows for easy and fast access, and works flawlessly even in darkness.
Programmable keypad to accept up to12 million user selectable access codes. An onboard computer blocks access following the entry of multiple invalid codes.
The inbuilt audio feedback confirms to the user the correct keypad entries. This feature can be disabled for cases where silence is a priority, to allow for ‘stealth’ mode operation.
Heavy gauge steel housing with tamper proof spring loaded door including a high strength lock mechanism, making it virtually impossible to pry open using common tools. The safe can be mounted in the home or office and be connected to the mains, or portable, made possible by the 9 volt battery pack.
- Heavy gauge steel housing with tamper proof spring loaded door
- Built in computer blocks access after repeated invalid keypad entries
- Patented No-Eyes Keypad allows for quick access
- “Learn Buttons” make it easy to program over 12 million user-selectable access codes
- Capacity – multiple pistols and ammunition (removable shelf)
- Material – steel, foam
- Weight – 15.8 pounds
- Dimensions – 15 x 10.5 x 8.2 inches
- Backup override keys to access the safe in case the primary custodian is unavailable or incapacitated
- The patented No-Eyes makes it difficult to gain unauthorized access
- The spring-loaded system is made of high strength materials, ensuring durability and long term usage
- The safe is fireproof
- Programming the keypad to accept user codes somewhat complicated
- Keypad is soft; user may not know key is not pressed; results in wrong codes being entered
Ivation Gun Safe, Quick Access Digital Solid Steel Pistol Safe
This safe is ideal for home and office settings, providing a safe place to stow away your firearm, while also a fast and efficient way to access the firearm in case of emergency.
The safe features a built-in biometric fingerprint reader, for safe access that is not easily adulterated. The biometric system can store up to 20 fingerprints.
The safe also comes with a backup keypad and two emergency keys for the instances when the biometric is not functioning as intended.
The safe’s housing is made of seamlessly welded solid steel, with mounted hardware for added security, making it durable against prying attempts.
The safe also features a versatile lock box, with an advanced stealthy door mechanism which opens quietly, so as not to unnecessarily give away your position in an emergency.
As an added security feature, the safe includes an alarm that can be programmed to be triggered when the safe is moved or incorrect information is entered, putting the safe into lockdown mode.
- Seamlessly welded, heavy-duty, 12-gauge steel construction
- Compression latch provides fast and quiet entry
- Advanced biometric fingerprint scanner stores and detects up to 20 unique prints
- Multiple modes of entry – also features digital 4-digit pin pad and 2 backup keys if batteries fail
- Mountable for added security – pistol lock box arrives w/pre-drilled holes and mounting kit for anchoring on the floor, wall or closet
- Capacity – 2 guns and ammunition
- Material – solid steel
- Dimensions – 8.7 x 12.6 x 4.3 inches
- Alarm system to warn the owner of unauthorized access or interaction with the safe, which prevents children from tampering with the safe
- Safe is well built and sturdy, offering protection against forceful entry
- Biometric and keypad may be cumbersome to program than expected
Cannon Safe E913-CSPL-17 the Edge Mini Personal Safe
This is a safe suited to home or office use, and is small enough not to cause visual intrusion, meaning it is relatively inconspicuous.
It features an electronic keypad lock, which can be programmed to take various combinations. The locking mechanism allows for safe, quick and convenient access to the contents. A key is also provided as manual backup when the battery pack that operates the lock is diminished.
The safe is made of heavy duty steel plate construction with the door secured by two live-action locking bolts, which prevent attempts at prying open.
The body and door frame are reinforced to prevent cutting using hand tools. The safe is also fitted with a dual alarm system, which alerts the owner when wrong entries are made, or the safe is interfered with.
The safe’s door opens up to 1200, allowing the optimal use of the space available in the safe.
The removable shelf also increases the capacity of the safe to hold larger firearms.
- Premium interior
- Removable shelf
- 2 active locking bolts
- Dual alarm system
- Programmable, twist to open digital lock
- Capacity – 2 handguns and ammunition
- Weight – 37.5 pounds
- Dimensions – 11 x 13.8 x 9.8 inches
- Heavy duty construction prevents prying or cutting attacks
- Alarm system alerts owner to any unauthorized tampering
- Electronic keypad which offers fast and efficient access to the safe
- The capacity is limited, and is only applicable to small firearms
Honeywell Safes & Door Locks 2105
This safe features a 4 number combination dial lock, which is spy-proof, providing a high level of security.
To reduce the chances of unauthorized access, this lock is programmed in conjunction with the entry keys. The body of the safe has a double steel wall construction, with the door secured by 2 solid steel live lock bolts to prevent against prying or cutting.
The safe has a fire rating of 1700 degrees for one hour, keeping the internal temperature below 350 degrees and is provided with a lifetime after-fire guarantee. The safe is also water resistant.
The safe has an interior capacity of 1.23 cubic feet, which is maximized by the removable shelf, allowing for storage of larger firearms.
The aesthetics are made to mimic a cabinet design, allowing for the safe to be mounted rather inconspicuously.
- 2 hour fire rating up to 1850°F or 1010°C. T
- Water resistant door and cabinet,
- Double steel wall construction to keep all of your documents or valuables safe and secure
- Features a dual combination dial and key lock, with a LCD display panel,
- 2 solid steel live lock bolts
- Capacity – 2/3 handguns and ammunition
- Weight – 146.5 pounds
- Fire rating of 1700 degree for one hour keeps contents safe I case of fire outbreak
- It is waterproof, preventing water ingress in case of plumbing malfunction or natural disasters
- Heavy double steel wall construction ensures the durability and functionality of the safe
- Dual dial and key lock protection are spy-proof and offer reliable levels of security
- Relatively heavy for its size
VAULTEK PRO VTi Full-Size Biometric Handgun Safe
This safe has a precision engineered unibody made of 14-gauge steel and anti-pry bars, meaning there are no joint or faults that could be exploited to access the contents.
The Valutek PRO safe is also fitted with an impact detection mechanism, with dual anti-impact latches preventing damage from impacts.
Featured in this safe is the 5-point entry system, which comes with a ‘Smart Key’, which is the fastest way to access the interior.
This means that the owner can operate the safe, customize the user preferences, and monitor its power levels remotely using an electronic device, such as a smart phone.
The contents can also be accessed using the upgraded high-resolution biometric fingerprint scanner that can be programmed to take up to 20 fingerprints.
As a backup, the safe also comes with manual keys and a key fob, which can also be used to access the contents. It is also equipped with a backlit keypad, which lights by proximity sensor, allowing for usage in darkness.
The safe also has closed cell foam, which is non-absorbent, and preserves the firearm condition.
- Advanced anti-theft protection including – anti-pry bars, dual anti-impact latches, interior mounted hinges and impact detection capabilities
- 14-gauge carbon steel construction with a durable powder-coat finish to prevent corrosion
- 5-point entry with immediate access mode
- Instant access to your valuables, documents, and firearm(s) from the automatic opening door
- Optional dual entry security mode requires fingerprint and keypad code to access safe
- Capacity – 2/3 handguns with ammunition
- Weight – 24 pounds
- 5 point entry provides additional layers of security, together with the biometric scanner and keypad
- It has multiple ways to access it, which means that the user can use the most appropriate for any situation
- The smart safe technology allows one to customize the operations to their preferences
- The safe has a bullet proof and aesthetic design
- The safe is relatively expensive considering its size
Things to consider when shopping for a gun safe
Besides the safe storage of firearms, gun safes also serve to protect guns and other valuables from external phenomena, such as floods, fire or natural disasters.
As such, there are a lot of details that go into making a safe, and also, a lot of knowledge is needed to tell a good safe apart from a bad one and these are just some of the things you should be considering:
The primary function of the safe
The choice of a gun safe is directed by various factors, key among them, the primary function the safe will be used for. Nonetheless, for a specific use, there are several gun safes available in the market, and a potential buyer may be spoilt for choice.
Construction of the safe
To establish how likely a safe is to withstand a burglar attack, you must evaluate its construction or build. When considering the build of a gun safe, the quality of the welding and the material used to construct the door and body of the same are the most crucial factors.
In the case of welding, we recommend that you avoid gun safes that are spot welded. These safes also normally feature body fillers instead of solid steel on the body and doors.
The reason for this is that spot welded joints can be broken easily due to the weak joints it produces.
To make it worse, the body fillers used in these low-end safes are normally flammable, meaning your guns and other valuables do not have the chance of withstanding a fire.
For better security, go for gun safes with a continuous weld. These are less prone to burglar attacks that focus on exploiting weak joints in the safes construction.
The best gun safes have a uni-body construction. This essentially means that the only parts welded are the top and bottom pieces, thus reducing the number of joints/welded parts.
Door and wall construction
Besides the weld quality, you must also take a look at the door and walls of your safe. As a rule of thumb, the thicker the steel in the door and walls, the more resistant the safe will be to a burglar and fire attack.
Most manufacturers come up short when it comes to steel thickness because, let’s face it, steel is expensive.
You will know the steel thickness of your safe by looking at the gauge number.
The smaller the gauge number, the thicker the steel.
If you are truly concerned about the safety of your guns, we recommend that you go for a gun safe with a steel gauge of at least 11. 12 gauge steel is enough to keep most burglars out, but it can still be broken into quickly using a fire axe.
There are many ways that a burglar can gain entry into the safe, the only issue is normally time. As a matter of fact, gun safe designers understand that there is nothing like a burglar proof safe.
Therefore, the catch is normally to prevent the burglar from accessing the contents of the safe within a given amount of time, which will be enough for a reaction, whether from the owner or the authorities.
When dealing with professional burglars however, even the strongest steel cannot stand against some sophisticated tools.
For instance, a high-speed drill is a popular tool for thieves meaning to drill and tamper with locks. One of the most effective way to prevent this form of safe compromisation is by using a hard plate.
The best safes in the market protect the lock with even multiple layers of hard plates containing ball bearings that destroy the drill bit before it does more damage.
The Importance of Owning a Gun Safe
Most home owners and tenants invest in an array of locks, alarm systems, closed circuit systems, fences and gates, to protect their property and the lives of those dwelling within from intruders.
On top of this America is the most armed country in the world and the offensive nature of guns makes them the cause of a lot of collateral damage.
One example is the unintended or accidental discharge of the weapon at a friendly target.
Such a scenario normally occurs when the party handling the gun is not responsible, should not have access to the weapon, or are temporarily incapable of controlling their actions, such as when inebriated.
There have been many cases where even small children have found access to a firearm and ended up harming themselves fatally.
In some extreme cases, a firearm belonging to the homeowner has been used by the intruding party to cause harm, sometimes fatally, to the residents of the premises. Don’t get it wrong, we are not prophets of doom, but we also believe in being prepared, even in the worst case scenarios.
As shown by the examples above, there is need for careful and accountable storage of guns and ammunition, as opposed to placing them in and around the house and hoping that nobody handles them irresponsibly.
It is both a legal requirement and a personal responsibility to store your guns safely and away from anyone else, unless they have your permission.
In this article, we looked at some of the best gun safes under $500 which offer high-tech security and efficiency without burning a hole in your pocket.
It goes without saying that if your budget is tight, you will have to make a lot of compromises in terms of features and may not include all the things you were hoping for.
Nonetheless, as proven by the gun safe review models in this article, it is still possible to find decent gun safes at pocket-friendly rates, as long as you know what to look out for.