The gun safe that is right for you will depend on several criteria including whether you need theft prevention, fire resistance, legal compliance, or just simply keeping guns out of your child’s reach. In addition the size you need will vary depending on how many guns you need to store, the length and scopes on any rifles, and if you want to store other valuables besides just guns. The price of gun safes also vary greatly, from about $100 up to well over $10,000, with the largest and safest obviously costing the most.
For more info check out our Gun Safe Buying Guide.
We looked at numerous models and tried to rank the ones that we felt provided the most value for their price. We could have made a list of the best gun safes regardless of price, but the prices for those units would not be affordable to most people. So instead we focused on units that cost less than $2500, from various sizes and prices below that point.
Below you will find our reviews of the best gun safes for the money.
Our choice for the best gun safe for your money is the Liberty Franklin GYM64 which you can find priced for right around $2500 plus extra for shipping. This massive 1050 pound model has enough room for up to 64 guns within its 72.5″ x 42″ x 32″ dimensions. It is fire rated for 75 minutes at 1200 degrees F and comes with 11 layers of fireboard and a Palusol heat-expanding door seal. The security rating is UL RSC-8M10 and comes with 16 1.25″ locking bolts, while the lock is a UL listed Sargent & Greenleaf combination/key with internal relocker. Other features include an electrical outlet kit, interior lights and deluxe door panel. Overall it is one of the finest safes you can find that was made in the USA.
If you are looking for something cheaper and you still need to store a lot of guns then you might want to consider the $1400 Liberty FatBoy Jr. This 770 pound safe can hold up to 48 rifles with dimensions of 60.5″ x 42″ x 25″. It has a fire rating of 60 minutes at 1200 degrees F and comes with a Palusol heat-expanding door seal. Security wise it has been awarded UL Residential Security Container burglary classification with a UL listed S&G Group II lock. Overall the Liberty FatBoy Jr. provides protection from fire and burglary with a large capacity all at a reasonable price and we would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone.
Truly one of the best values for your money is the MESA Safe Company MBF6032ECSD which sells for $1200 with free shipping from Home Depot. Users there have rated it at a perfect 5 stars which just shows how much each one has appreciated this model. With exterior dimensions of 59 x 32 x 22 inches and 13.92 cubic feet of space you can pack up to 32 guns into this unit. Weighing 665 pounds this MESA model keeps its contents safe from fire and burglary thanks to a 60 minute 1200 degree F fire rating, a two-story impact rating, a battery operated electronic lock, and 14 1.5″ locking bolts.
Another quality made in America safe is the Liberty Revere LR30 which sells for $1200. This 565 pound model is made from 11 gauge steel with a composite door, multiple layers of fireboard, and a palusol heat-expanding door seal which means 40 minutes of fire protection at 1200°. The Revere unit has been awarded UL’s RSC burglary classification and comes with a UL listed S&G Group II mechanical lock. With dimensions of 60.5″ H x 36″ W x 25″ D you can fit up to 30 rifles inside. While overall it does not quite offer the same protection as some of Liberty’s top-of-the-line safes, it does offer a solid basic level of security and protection from fire all in a more affordable price.
Our pick for the best gun safe under $1000 is the Mesa Safe Company MBF5922E which sells for about $730. Weighing 505 pounds it has 7.9 cubic feet of storage with dimensions of 59 x 22 x 20 inches which is enough space to hold up to 14 rifles. It is made from all steel with an overall 1.5 inch thickness enclosed with a fire resistant material which provides a 1 hour fire rating in temperatures up to 1200 degrees F. The lock is a battery operated electronic lock which is protected by a punch activated spring loaded re-locking device. Overall we highly recommend the Mesa MBF5922E for those of you looking for an a unit under $1000 since it would be hard to find the features this model has on anything cheaper.
The next step down on our list is the Stack-On FS-24-MB-E which sells for $597 with free shipping from HomeDepot.com. Buyers have shown their approval of this 418 pound unit by rating it at 4.9 stars. It offers a bit less fire protection than more premier models with a fire rating of 30 minutes at 1400 degrees F. The dimensions of 55 x 29.25 x 20.25 inches provides 11.95 cubic feet of space or enough room for up to 24 guns. It also does not offer the same burglary protection as costly superior safes, but it does conform to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) firearm safety device and is protected by 5 1-inch locking bolts and electronic lock. Overall this Stack-On FS-24-MB-E is for those of you who need lots of space for guns, but cannot afford a more expensive safe.
We picked the $497 Stack-On FS-14-MG-C as the best gun safe under $500. Weighing 293 pounds it is smaller than the FS-24 with 7.57 cubic feet of space and outside dimensions of 55 x 19 x 20.25 inches which is still large enough to hold up to 14 rifles. It has 30 minutes of fire protection at 1400 degrees F and a combination lock. It is listed as a California DOJ firearm safety device, although it does not offer outstanding burglary protection. Overall this is a solid safe for the money with a price point that is at the top of what many want to spend, however if you really want to have superior fire and theft protection you might want to consider spending more money.
If you are looking for a tough, reliable pistol safe then you should check out the Stealth Original Handgun Safe which sells for $230. This unit is made in the USA with a 10 gauge solid steel body and 3/16-inch solid steel wrap around door. It offers a simplex lock which provides up to 1081 unique combinations and encases the lock in a punch resistant housing. Measuring 4.25 x 12.5 x 10.25 inches it is heavier than one would think, but the added handle makes transporting it super easy. Although it is not fire rated, overall we feel the Stealth Original Handgun Safe is the best handgun safe you can buy in this price range.
The $213 Fort Knox Original Handgun Safe PB1 is very similar to the Stealth model. It features the same 10 gauge steel body with 3/16″ steel door, gas-strut assisted door opening, and Simplex push button mechanical lock with 1081 combinations. It surpasses the California Department of Justice firearm safety device requirements proving the durability and quality. However, the main difference between the Stealth unit is that it does not have a handle. That may not seem like a big deal, but this thing is heavier than you would expect and that makes the Fort Knox PB1 less portable.
If you are looking for a biometric handgun safe that can read you fingerprint then look no further than the Sentry Safe Biometric Quick Access Pistol Safe which sells for just under $200. Construction consists of 12 gauge steel with a pry-resistant door and gas strut to open and hold the door in position. However, the highlight of this unit is the multiple ways you can gain access including either your programmed fingerprint or combination. Over 700 buyers on Amazon have rated this Sentry Safe at 4.5 stars which is the highest rated biometric pistol safe we could find.
Gun Safe Buying Guide
Here are some of the most important factors to take into consideration when shopping for a gun safe.
Note: Buyers should be aware that no residential safe will prevent theft if criminals have enough time and knowledge. They are designed to buy time or deter thieves without the proper tools or knowledge to reach the contents.
- Construction and Size – The general toughness of a safe is determined by the thickness of steel it is made from – the thicker the better. Just keep in mind that that the thicker the steel, the more the safe will weigh – which is why comparing the weight of safes can also help determine how well it is made.
When considering size, you need to decide if you just need to store handguns or if you will be storing long guns (rifles or shotguns). This will greatly effect the size of the safe you need – also keep in mind that rifles with scopes take up much more space. Most people end up buying a model that is too small, because they don’t consider that in addition to guns they want to store jewelry, documents, ammo, and other valuables that take up a lot of space. Therefore consider getting one that is a size larger than you think you will need.
- Security Rating – Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a third party rating agency, will rate safes as an RSC (Residential Security Container) which basically means it is built to resist breaking into. Then above that there are other ratings that can be achieved, but the price for those models will be in the many thousands. However, many manufacturers will not pay the fees that UL charges them to rate their products, so not all makers will have this rating. There is also varying levels of security features for models with an RSC rating like pry-resistant doors, continuous welded bodies and doors, numerous hardened locking bolts of at least 1-inch, drill resistant lock plate, and many more.
- Fire Protection – You will see fire ratings listed normally as a certain amount of time at a maximum temperature like 60 minutes at 1200 degrees. However, there is not a universal standard that all companies use to measure this. Some test internally and some use independent labs so take any specs listed as a general guideline. What you should look for to help with fire resistance is the thickness of the door and body, some form of fire insulation material, and a heat-expanding door seal.
- Locking Mechanism – The lock itself can also be UL rated as Group 1 or Group 2 combination lock. This is a very important feature for theft deterrent. There are also electronic locks which require the use of a battery that must be replaced periodically and bio-metric locks which can read your fingerprint for access.
- Other Features – Some other features you might want to consider include mounting holes to bolt the safe to the floor, a built in light or electrical outlet for lights or a dehumidifier (some models come with a hole which just needs to be drilled out to allow an electric cord), the location of the hinges – internal hinges only let you open the door 90 degrees, and a long term warranty.