A gun safe not only not only prevents unauthorized access and use of the weapon but also protects it from various accidents (fires, floods, hurricanes) that might cause harm to your precious pieces of hardware. But, gun safes can be quite expensive. Or do they?
Today, we have for you a wonderful selection of 10 best gun safes under $1000. If you’ve been looking for one, you’ve come to the right place, so do take a lot at what we’ve gathered.
Stack-On A-18-MB-E-S Armor guard 18-Gun Safe
Our first product comes from Stack-On. A-18-MB-E-S Armorguard is one of the best household safes, and none too expensive either. Costing just about $400, this is one of the most affordable safes in its class. There are also 24- and 40-gun versions of this safe, both costing under $1000, and a huge 64-gun version – however, that fella costs double our price threshold.
So, what makes this safe stand out from the others? Firstly, this safe is convertible. Within it, you will find three half shelves and one full shelf. However, half shelves can be removed or simply moved around, so you can customize the interior. The cabinet can hold up to 40 rifles and a myriad of handguns of any size, depending on the configuration of the shelves. Not only that, but you can also use the shelves to store ammunition, clothing, or pretty much anything you desire. You also have two holsters for handguns on the inside of the door, a belt for magazines, flashlights and knives, and a pouch for miscellaneous items.
But what about security? A-18 Armorguard features a reinforced steel door that contains fire retardants. This makes the safe very resistant to fire, and, indeed, an independent lab tested the safe and rated it to 30 minutes on 1400 degrees Fahrenheit. The stripping on the door also expands when faced with heat, completely sealing off the safe, making sure your items remain undamaged. The door features 2-way locking and 1.5-inch locking bolts, making sure the door stays shut no matter what, and that it cannot be pried open by any means.
As far as locking goes, you have a simple but reliable combination lock with 10 digits, supporting 3-8 digit combination. In case you forget the combination, you get a backup key, so you can unlock the door and reset the passcode.
As for the bad parts, there are certain issues that ought to be rectified. For starters, it is concerning how often digits 1-6 stop working. The safe is under warranty, the seller is quick to replace the part, and the changing of the part is rather easy, but it’s disconcerting how often it fails. Secondly, the gun rack inside the safe is made for long rifles. Shorter rifles simply won’t reach the grooves and holes for the muzzles. However, this wouldn’t be a problem if the rack was adjustable – unfortunately, it isn’t.
Overall, this is a very good safe, as long as the buttons on the lock work. It is heavy, with reinforced steel door and action lock bolts, and fire retardant inside the door. Considering it costs $400, it is hard to beat A-18 Armorguard at this price point.
Verifi Smar.Safe. Fast Access Biometric Safe S6000
In the gun safe world, biometric products are always top of the line when it comes to safety. Biometric locks often refer to fingerprint locks, and, since everyone has a unique set, it is almost impregnable. Verifi S6000 is one such biometric product, and, for just about $320, it is one of the most reliable small safes you can own. With 0.85 cu ft interior space, there is plenty of room for several handguns, documents, cash, jewelry or anything that you might want to keep away from prying eyes (and fingers).
But S6000’s fingerprint scanner is no ordinary scanner. This is an FBI-approved fingerprint lock, with 3D scanning technology. This means that the scanner creates an incredibly detailed model of your fingerprint, allowing for easier recognition afterward. The locks used with Verifi are made by Zvetco Biometrics, a company that has 15 years of experience behind their products.
But the safe doesn’t stop to amaze there. The product features an auto-lock system that locks the door the moment it closes. No top of that, the safe performs regular checks on itself and alerts you of any change. It tracks who accessed the safe and when, and logs unauthorized attempts. The advanced fingerprint recognition system works incredibly fast to detect your fingerprint, allowing you to reach your weapon quicker in a time of crisis. The safe also features a soft nightlight that won’t blind you if you open in the middle of the night.
It is hard to find a fault with such a great product, but we did find something that could be better. The safe is incredible, but the lock only stores 4 fingerprints. With that, you can authorize two persons with two fingerprints per person or up to four persons. The fingerprint scanner also exhibits some issues with recognizing elderly fingerprints, and proper positioning and pressure are in order if the scanner is to recognize the print.
Overall, Verifi’s S600 smart biometric safe is an incredible product. It has incredible characteristics, and, at $320, it offers excellent value for the money. It’s fast, precise, and never fails to scan your prints – a perfect way to keep your handguns and valuables away from less desirable persons.
Steelwater Gun Safes Standard Duty 16 Long Guns Safe
Third on our spot is the Steelwater Standard Duty 16 long guns safe. The name may say standard duty, but this is one of the most impregnable safes at this price point on the market. Costing a little over $600, the safe is incredibly secure, and it is certain to keep your weapons safe from unauthorized persons accessing them, and will protect them in the case of an accident.
Firstly, let’s say something about safe’s capacity. The safe is rated to 7.44 cu ft, with 5.47 cu ft of usable space. Within that space, you have two sections with gun racks that can hold up to 8 long guns each. There are also three half shelves and two full shelves, both of which are adjustable, so you can customize the interior to suit your needs. Like we said, the maximum capacity is 16 guns, but the average capacity is about 10 long guns.
This safe has been made to be incredibly secure. It features a composite steel door, 4 ¾’’ thick, reinforced with a drill-resistant hard plate, making it impossible for burglars to get into the safe. The safe also features a re-locking system in case of attempted break-in, with spring-loaded bolts that activate once the lock has been removed. The bolts measure a whole inch and are made of solid steel. The entire safe is made extremely fire resistant – it is rated for 45 minutes at 1550 degrees Fahrenheit. The door also contains a fire retardant that seals off the safe and keeps the smoke and heat from getting in.
As for the lock, you get a pretty standard keypad with 10 digits that supports a 3-8 passcode. However, the electronic lock has been made EMP-proof, meaning it’s impossible to disarm it by disrupting the electronics. The lock also features a double-bitted bypass key, making sure you can still open the safe in case you forget the passcode.
However, don’t be misled about the size of the safe. The name says 16 guns, but that’s an overestimate. We already said that the average capacity is about 10 guns, but, in reality, that’s closer to the safe’s maximum capacity. You could, theoretically, jam in 16 guns, but those would probably be BB guns or a combination of BB guns and long guns, but without any attachments on them. Other than that, the safe performs exceedingly well on all fronts.
In the end, Steelwater safe might be slightly smaller than what you might expect from the name, but it is still a solid piece of hardware. It is incredibly heavy-duty, with excellent fire resistance, and superb, EMP-proof lock. Surely, at $600, this is about the best safe you can get under $1000.
Stack-On TD-24-GP-E-S Total Defense 22-24 Gun Safe
If you’re looking for a larger safe, then you should definitely check out Stack-On TD-24-GP-E-S Total Defense safe. This 22-24 gun safe will cost you about $800, but its sturdy construction and roomy interior are well worth the price tag. The safe is incredibly secure in every aspect, with the electronic lock being extremely precise, fast and reliable. Truly, one almost can’t find a fault with Stack-On products.
Like we said, this safe can house 22-24 guns. This is made possible through adjustable long gun racks. The shelves on the left side can be replaced with a long gun rack, and the rack on the right can be adjusted to fit even smaller rifles. The special shape of the gun rack allows for scoped rifles to be housed to without many problems. There are several half shelves that you can use for storing ammunition boxes, or anything you deem worth locking in a safe. The door features handgun holders (up to 4), and belts and pouches for miscellaneous items.
As far as the construction, this safe is made of solid steel and is fire resistant and waterproof. The safe can endure a temperature of 1400 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 75 minutes. The safe can also sit in 2 feet of water for three days without leaking. That being said, the safe needs to be bolted down to the floor, as the pre-drilled holes provide an entry point for water. The door features the same expanding fire retardant seen on the previously mentioned Stack-On safe, which seals of the safe once required heat is present. The safe also features an electrical socket so you can charge any kind of electronic device inside the safe.
The lock is a standard electronic keypad with 10 digits. It functions well, is fast, reliable and easy to program. The keypad also features a backlight, for better visibility, has a low battery indicator and alerts you if the passcode has been incorrectly entered. In the case of an attempted breach, 4-way 1.5’’ action bolts ensure that the safe stays closed at all times.
The only real problem with the safe is that it’s exceedingly heavy. Weighing in at 500 pounds, the safe will surely be difficult to move once delivered, so you need to plan where you want to put it ahead. Other than that, the safe doesn’t have any issues.
All in all, what you have on your hands is a stupendous product. It might cost you a little extra, as it’s only $200 under out price limit, but it’s well worth it. The safe virtually has zero drawbacks, except for being very heavy, but you wouldn’t want a safe that can be made off with anyway, right?
V-Line Quick Access Keyless Long Gun Safe
Sometimes, however, size is not the most important thing. For those wanting a simple and cheap safe for a single long rifle, there is the V-Line Quick Access Keyless Long Gun Safe. This safe will cost you about 300 bucks and is pretty much the simplest product on our list. However, simplicity should not be mistaken for low quality, as this v-Line product is more than suitable for holding your favorite boom stick.
One of the best things about this safe is that it has great padding on the inside. As we said, this safe is intended for holing a single weapon and features a strap to hold your rifle in place, with good padding to protect it from resting on the sides and the back of the safe. The gun will also have plenty of elbow room, so you can even put it inside with attachments on.
The safe features a keyless lock that unlocks easily and quickly for speed access. There are also two additional key locks, installed for additional safety and convenience when quick access is not required. V-Line also features pre-drilled holes, and, together with its design and relatively light weight, allow it to be mounted on a door or a wall, and out of your way.
The one thing we don’t like about this product is that the metal used seems rather thin. V-Line is a prominent name when it comes to gun safes, and their handgun-sized safes are among the best, with thick walls and doors, but this V-Line seems a little flimsy. It would seem that a person with a crowbar and a little determination could bend the door and gain access to the valuables inside.
All in all, this is a decent safe if you have a single gun to store, want a relatively quick access to it, and want to child proof the weapon. It’s not as secure as the previous models, but it serves its purpose well, and that’s what you’re paying for.
Mesa Safe Company Model MBF3820E Safe
As we said, simplicity is often the best answer. Mesa Safe Company’s Model MBF3820E is one of the simplest high capacity safes on the market. While not a gun safe per se, it still has plenty of room for quite a few handguns, especially if you by handgun racks and place them inside the safe. The product costs a little under $700, but its sturdy make, voluminous interior and fire proofing make it well worth the price tag.
Like we just mentioned, this is not a dedicated gun safe. With that being said, you will not have the capacity to store long guns of any kind. The safe doesn’t feature gun racks, but two shelves instead. While being primarily intended to keep documents, money, jewelry or anything of the sort, it still has ample space for quite a few pistols, and its deep interior might even fit a submachine gun or two.
However, the biggest quality of the safe is its security, of course, and this Mesa Safe Company product is incredibly secure. The best fire proofing so far we had with Stack-On TD-24-GP-E-S, which is rated to 75 minutes at 1400 degrees. However, MBF3820E is rated to 2 hours at the same temperature, making it, practically, a fireman’s dream. The safe also features the expanding fire retardant we’ve seen on most of the models we’ve seen so far.
As far as burglary prevention goes, MBF3820E is just about perfect. Thick walls and door are drill-resistant, and the door features 6 powerful 1.5’’ action bolts that keep the safe shut if somebody tries to remove the lock. Speaking of the lock, it is a simple but reliable keypad, with bypass key provided, and is EMP-proof. The safe also comes with pre-drilled holes so you can bolt it down to the ground.
As far as drawbacks go, this safe doesn’t have that many. The only real drawback we already explained – the safe is not intended for holding long rifles. The safe is not intended to be a gun safe primarily, although it has plenty of room to store smaller firearms if needed.
Another problem is a little more concerning. The safe comes with only two pre-drilled holes. For a safe of this size, it would be much better if there were four holes, one in each corner, but there are only two, and that makes the safe less secure. Sure, the safe is quite hefty, so thieves carrying it away is rather improbable, but it wouldn’t hurt to stay on the safe side.
All in all, for under 700 bucks, this is splendid safe. It offers good protection for your valuables and is pretty sizable. Again, not a gun safe per se, but it will serve the purpose with a few handgun racks installed inside just fine.
Stack-On SS-22-MB-E 22 Gun Safe
From Mesa, we move back to Stack-On dedicated gun safes. Stack-On SS-22-MB-E is a 22 gun safe with plenty of room for long rifles of any kind, handguns or any kind of valuables. This $550-something safe offers amazing quality and protection, like all Stack-On products, and great value for the money. With this Stack-On safe, your weapons will be out of reach of children and unauthorized persons, but within your reach at all times.
The best feature of this Stack-On safe is that it is fully convertible. The safe has been said to hold 22 guns, but you can also convert it to an 11 gun safe, with the other half containing up to 4 shelves you can use for storing handguns, ammunition, cash, papers, or anything you like. However, the safe can also be converted into a regular safe too, with no gun racks and only shelves. This kind of flexibility makes the product very popular with customers, as the applications are nearly endless.
As far as protection goes, this is a solid piece of hardware, just like any other Stack-On safe. Stack-On safes are very fire resistant, with all of them being able to withstand temperatures exceeding 1400 degrees Fahrenheit for more than an hour. All of them feature an expanding fire retardant inside the door that seals the safe shut, ensuring that smoke and heat don’t find their way inside. The safe is also made water resistant.
When it comes to locking, the safe is equipped with the same kind of electronic lock with a keypad you’ve seen in previous models. This keypad is highly reliable and easy to install and program. It also features low battery warning and unauthorized attempt warning. If a burglar tries to remove the lock, the safe will be made secure through six 1-inch action bolts. The door is also drill-resistant to prevent forceful entry. The safe comes with pre-drilled holes for mounting.
The safe has some issues, though. For starters, the tabs that hold the shelves are not very satisfying in terms of quality and seem very flimsy. The interior padding also seems flimsy, but it is what it is when you consider the safe costs $550. The locking and unlocking mechanism also produces quite some noise when operated – a point of concern for those who are looking for a stealthier safe.
Overall, SS-22 is a good safe with plenty of pros out weighing the cons. It is of fair quality considering the price, and we would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a budget product that will keep their weapons in a safe place.
Steelwater Gun Safes Heavy Duty 20 Long Gun Safe
As you’ve probably gathered from the last Steelwater safe review, this company aims to make best possible products for as low a price possible. Their safes are incredibly secure and none too expensive either. This time around, we have one of their more expensive products, an $850 20 long gun safe. This safe is an outstanding product, providing the same level of security as the last product, but with added comfort of a larger interior to store your guns.
Overall, this safe is very similar to its slightly smaller counterpart. They both share the same fire resistance characteristics, as both are rated to 45 minutes at 1550 degrees. They both feature a 4 ¾’’ door reinforced with a drill-resistant plate that will stop a forceful entry in its tracks. The door also features a fire retardant material that we mentioned in all of the reviews so far. To boost protection against forceful entries, the safe has been fitted with 9 spring bolts that activate if somebody tries to remove the electronic lock. The safe features ½’’ holes drilled into the floor so you may bolt it down and thus secure it further.
The lock is a standard electronic lock with keypad often used with Steelwater safes. All the locks used with Steelwater safes are easy to program and very reliable offering long service life. On top of that, they’re all EMP-resistant, making sure the electronics holding the door closed doesn’t get disabled, and the contents pillaged. The keypad accepts a 3-8 digit code.
However, the safe experiences the same overestimation of its capacity as its counterpart. The safe’s been rated to hold 20 guns, but, in truth, it can only hold 10 to 12 rifles. If you’re planning on stuffing 20 AR15s together with optics and attachments – you can forget it. But, if you cut that number in half, the safe will easily accommodate that many long rifles. However, it should be noted that this is the number of rifles you can store when the safe is modified to only hold such weapons. If you were to include shelves, that number is again cut by half. In the end, you’re left with a safe that can hold about 5-6 long rifles, but plenty of handguns, ammo and other items (the safe features three half shelves and two full-sized ones).
All in all, what you’re looking at here is a splendid safe with great security features. It isn’t the most expensive safe, considering the overestimation of its capacity, but it will serve its purpose well and true.
Stack-On E-040-SB-E Elite Junior Executive Safe
Our penultimate product is another Stack-On safe. The E-040 Elite Junior Executive safe is a stack-on type safe, with great characteristics and plenty of space for your small arms. The safe will cost you about $470 – a very affordable piece for a splendid safe like this one.
Let’s start by saying that this is not a safe intended for long rifle storage. Though a dedicated gun safe, Junior Executive does not have long gun racks nor is it tall enough to house them. Instead, the safe has three full-sized shelves, where you can install handgun racks, or even a smaller handgun safe, or simply keep ammo boxes and various assorted valuables. The shelves are adjustable, though, and you can personalize the interior to fit your particular needs.
Now, onto the characteristics and construction of the safe. Like all Stack-On safes, this product is highly fire resistant. The safe’s been rated to last half an hour at 1400 degrees Fahrenheit. Like all safes before it, it contains an expanding fire retardant inside the door that is meant to seal the safe in case excessive heat threatens the insides. The door is also made almost completely drill-resistant and pry-resistant – it contains a hard plate and ten 4-way action bolts (1.5’’) that will top a burglar in his tracks.
The safe features a simple keypad and an electronic lock. The keypad is also backlight and displays warnings when the battery is low or when an incorrect code has been typed it. Instead of a handle, you have a three-stoked turning handle that operates the action bolts.
As for the drawbacks, aside from not being a long gun safe, the product doesn’t come with pre-drilled holes for the bolts. It does have indicated places where you should drill the holes, but you need to be careful in order to keep the safe fire resistant. Not only that but if you were to drill holes in places that aren’t designated for this, your fire warranty will become void.
Overall, Junior Executive is a splendid stack-on safe with minor drawbacks. Considering it costs $470, the drawbacks can be forgiven, and you’re left with a product that offers very decent value for the money, and a secure place in which to keep your small arms.
Mesa Safe Company MBF5922E 14 Long Gun Safe
Our last product is a Mesa safe; MBF5922E is an absolute fortress – it boasts the best protective ratings of all our products. The safe is meant to hold 14 long guns, and costs a little over $800, but, for that money, you will receive a product like no other.
The most impressive fact about this safe is that it can withstand a temperature of 1750 degrees for a full hour. The expanding material in the door seals the safe like any other, but the insulation inside the walls and the premium grade steel used in construction are the ones keeping the safe well and alive in such conditions. Not only that, but the safe is able to withstand a 2-story height drop without breaking open like a can of tuna. The door is 5 1/8’’ thick and protected with a hard plate that prevents drilling. The door is impossible to pry open or rip out thanks to twelve 1.5’’ action bolts.
As for the interior space, you’re looking at 7.6 cu ft. Measured in guns, that’s 14 long rifles, with no overestimation on the manufacturer’s part. It also comes with a full shelf for handguns, ammo boxes and everything you might place. The shelves and the gun racks are also very adjustable so you can reorganize your space to fit your needs. As for the lock, you’re looking at an electronic lock with a keypad. The keypad is easily programmable with excellent battery life. The door features a three-stoked turning handle that moves the 12 bolts in the door.
Of course, when you’re looking at a safe that costs less than 1000 bucks, you’ll see some flaws. This particular safe has an electrical socket and a cord with a plug to power the socket. The problem is that the cord comes directly out of the back of the safe, making it impossible to push the thing flat against a wall. The safe comes with an anchor kit and instructions, but the instructions are confusing, and you will have to do a lot of figuring out to put the product in place.
All in all, Mesa Safe Company MBF592E is a very good safe with excellent safety characteristics. It is the most heavy duty safe of all on our list, and for $800 it is more than worth its weight in gold.
A few things you need to know…
Reading a bunch of reviews is one thing, but knowing ahead what you want is another. We gave you the facts about individual safes, but you need to know a thing or two about the safes to make your decision. When buying a gun safe, there are some questions you need to answer in order to know what kind of safe you want and really need.
• What kind of safe do you need?
Or better yet, how big/tall of a safe? As you’ve seen here, we have plenty of long gun safes, but some handgun safes as well. If you have a rifle – or a few – you need to invest in a long gun safe, as the others will be too small.
• What is the size and weight of the safe?
A big safe is a heavy safe and takes a lot of space. A 20 gun safe will be much harder to move and take up more space, so you might not be able to install another if you plan to buy one more.
• Where do you want to place the safe?
Some safes are just too big to remain hidden, and a safe in plain sight is a prime and lucrative target. If you want to keep your stuff safe and hidden, you’re better off with a smaller handgun safe like the S6000 or a light safe from V-Line.
• What kind of locking mechanism do you want?
The locking mechanism is essentially the most important part of any safe. Some safes are built for speedy access, and some for security. Key locks are the slowest but most secure, keypads are medium speed, but can be disabled or run out of battery, and biometric locks are the fastest, but are also dependent on battery, and low-quality biometrics can keep you locked out of your safe in the direst of need.
• How many people will have access to the safe?
Are you the sole user of the safe? Is your spouse keeping her firearms in your safe? These questions are tied, in part, to what kind of locking mechanism you want. Biometric safes can hold from 5 to 20 (often even more) fingerprints in their database but tend to get more expensive with each fingerprint being added. Keys are easiest to copy but might get lost or stolen.
• How resistant is the safe to the elements?
Thieves are not the only danger to your weapons. An inferno engulfing the house, a flood or a hurricane are also dangers that should be considered. Many of our products are fire resistant and capable of enduring high temperatures over long periods of time. This is greatly important if you plan on keeping valuable documents inside the safe.
• Do you want a portable safe?
Naturally, you won’t be able to carry a 300-pound safe with you, but you can carry a smaller, more compact safe. There also exist very convenient single gun safes with biometric locks that can be quickly accessed and attached underneath tables.
• What brand do you want?
Not a vital piece of information, but still very valuable. Certain brands have years of experience behind them, so it is prudent to examine the brands and visit their official sites and compare their products.
• What do the customers say?
Good customer reviews can make or break a product. A product with low ratings has low ratings for a reason, and you should skip it. Conversely, a highly-rated product is more likely to be a quality item, and it should definitely be considered.
Well, now you have your cake and you can eat it too – 10 excellent product and a quick guide to steer you in the right direction. In the case you don’t know much about gun safes, we urge you read the article from the bottom up, but if you’re already a veteran, skip the questions and dive straight into the products. All in all, we hope you’ll be happy with your choice, and that your safe will serve you long and well.