Whether you use firearms for sport, or if you’re like me and have a passion for collecting them, it’s crucial to store them safely when they’re not in use.
Over the years, I’ve found that a gun safe is the best place to store my long guns, handguns, and other weaponry. A well-designed gun safe keeps firearms secure until I’m ready to use them. However, the wide variety of gun safes available can make it challenging to decide which features are most vital.
The best gun safe under $1000 is the one which fits your needs the best. Below you can find several options.
The 6 Best Gun Safes Under $1,000
1. SentrySafe Fireproof Waterproof Safe with Dial Combination
The SentrySafe Fireproof Waterproof Safe with Dial Combination is a formidable product that stands out in the safe market. Crafted from an impenetrable steel shell, its reputation as both fireproof and waterproof is well-earned, making it a rising star among safety-conscious users. My personal experience testing this safe was indeed a testament to its effectiveness and reliability.
During my extended use, I stored various items including legal documents, electronic devices, and family heirlooms. Not once did I encounter any issues with the safe’s capacity or its ability to protect these items. The interior, lined with a soft material, provided added protection against scratches and damage, particularly for sensitive electronic devices.
Robust Construction and Design:
The design of this safe does not compromise on safety. It employs a unique blend of materials, each adding an extra layer of protection. Its fire-resistant properties come from the creative use of concrete that serves as a thermal transfer conduit, effectively reducing heat within the safe. Moreover, the plastic components are treated with a special resin, adding another barrier against melting.
However, while the build quality is generally robust, I noticed the hinges could feel slightly less sturdy when the door was fully loaded, suggesting a potential area for improvement. Additionally, the exterior finish, though aesthetically pleasing, showed susceptibility to scratches during movement and setup.
An instance from my testing phase that illustrates its resilience was when I subjected the safe to a simulated fire scenario. Even after exposure to extreme temperatures, the safe’s interior remained cool, protecting the paper documents I had placed inside. This performance was reassuring, particularly considering the irreplaceable nature of some of the stored items.
This safe is not merely about fire and water protection; it’s also about securing your valuable belongings. Its lock system is indeed commendable, employing six 20mm steel bars to secure the door once closed and sealed. The dial combination lock, though seemingly traditional, offers a distinct advantage due to its nearly silent tumblers, making it near impossible for anyone to detect the combination by sound.
The locking mechanism, however, can be a bit cumbersome for those not familiar with dial combinations, requiring a bit of practice to open quickly. I also observed that in colder conditions, the dial felt somewhat stiffer, necessitating extra care when inputting the combination.
During testing, I invited a friend who is a hobbyist lock-picker to try his luck with the combination. After several attempts, he had to concede defeat, demonstrating the high-security level this safe provides.
Weighing in at approximately 125 pounds, this substantial safe offers generous storage space. Its dimensions of 19.6 inches in height and 14.8 inches in width can accommodate various items. Additionally, it features a sliding drawer and adjustable shelf, as well as pegs for hanging keys or small items. It even boasts additional storage within the door.
Despite its size, I found the internal layout very efficient, allowing me to organize and easily access items without unnecessary clutter. The adjustable shelf proved particularly useful, allowing me to customize the space according to my storage needs.
- Capable of withstanding fire up to 1 hour at 1700 degrees.
- Provides 24 hours of water protection.
- SentrySafe promises a replacement if the safe is damaged by fire.
- Some users reported the material feeling a bit weak.
- Concerns have been raised about the lock’s strength.
- The dial combination may be less intuitive for those accustomed to digital interfaces.
2. Secure It Gun Safe, Holds 6 Rifles, A Heavy Duty Safe with Keypad Control
When it comes to securing firearms, SecureIt Model 52 truly stands out. Although its design leans more towards a cabinet than a traditional gun safe, it incorporates innovative features that make it a worthy contender in the gun safe industry. As a self-proclaimed firearm enthusiast, my personal experience with this product was quite enlightening and worth sharing.
Innovative and Modular Design:
Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of the SecureIt Model 52 is its modular design. The ease of assembly and disassembly provides the flexibility to set it up at your preferred location, an aspect I particularly enjoyed during my usage. As part of my testing, I disassembled and reassembled it several times in different parts of my house, which proved to be a straightforward and hassle-free process.
I also found that the modularity greatly aids in customizing the layout, allowing me to accommodate an evolving firearm collection. This adaptability was a significant advantage, especially when integrating new acquisitions into my existing arsenal.
The Safe’s construction employs a strategic use of 14 gauge steel in necessary areas and 16 gauge steel in others. This feature not only ensures sturdiness but also contributes to its relatively lightweight nature. It’s a great fit for those seeking multiple storage points across their house, rather than keeping all firearms in a single place.
However, during my testing, I observed that the thinner 16 gauge steel sections might be less resilient against determined forced entry attempts, a consideration for those storing high-value items.
Interior Features and Flexibility:
Inside the safe, the cradle grid technology steals the spotlight. This fully customizable feature caters to a variety of firearms and can be further enhanced with additional bins, pistol pegs, and accessories. One memorable incident during my trial was when I needed to store a mix of long rifles and handguns – the adaptable interior made it easy to arrange them all safely and conveniently. Additionally, the adjustable shelving and barrel rests offered efficient space utilization, enabling me to maximize storage capacity without compromising on the accessibility of each firearm.
In case you opt for the pro version, you get a pre-determined assortment of useful accessories, a value-added proposition that enhances your user experience. However, I noticed the absence of an integrated lighting system, which could make it challenging to locate specific items quickly in low-light conditions.
- High-quality materials ensuring robustness.
- Quick and easy access yet securely locked.
- Lightweight, allowing for easy relocation.
- Lacks fire protection rating.
- Utilizes lower gauge steel compared to some competitors.
In conclusion, the SecureIt Model 52 strikes a balance between simplicity, functionality, and portability. It offers a flexible solution for firearm enthusiasts who prefer to distribute their collection across multiple locations for quick and easy access. Despite its lack of a fire rating and the use of lower gauge steel, its high-quality materials and innovative design demonstrate its strength and reliability. While the absence of features like integrated lighting and thicker steel in certain areas are points for consideration, the overall performance, especially in terms of modularity and ease of access, is commendable. Whether you’re looking for a heavy-duty safe for your rifles or a lightweight, easily movable storage option, the SecureIt Model 52 could be your answer. If you have a big gun safe, check how to move it.
3. Viking Security Safe – Large Biometric Safe
When it comes to secure storage solutions, Viking’s Large Biometric Safe has certainly carved a niche for itself. As a seasoned reviewer, I found my personal engagement with this product both satisfying and enlightening. From its high-grade steel construction to its sophisticated biometric technology, the safe delivers an impeccable blend of security and convenience.
Interior Design and Lighting:
This Viking safe stands out with a plush carpeted interior, housing three fully adjustable shelves. The shelves can be removed as per your storage needs, accommodating larger items. However, I must note from my own testing that it isn’t spacious enough to fit rifles. While this limitation doesn’t affect those storing smaller items, it might be a significant drawback for long-gun owners.
One of the noteworthy features I experienced was the inclusion of a battery-operated LED light. It greatly enhances accessibility, especially during the night. You won’t have to fumble around in the dark when time is of the essence. I found the automatic light activation upon door opening to be quite handy. The light’s brightness was sufficient, but the placement at the top sometimes cast shadows over items on the lower shelves.
The safe is built with a high-quality steel frame, laser cut and meticulously welded for a sleek, appealing look. The black powder coating on the frame adds to its durability, rendering it resistant to denting and high-impact situations. This level of robustness is critical in thwarting attempted breaches.
During my testing, I also appreciated the safe’s anti-corrosion properties, especially in a humid environment, which adds to its long-term durability. I stored important media files and disks inside, which the safe could protect effectively, owing to its tested and proven resilience under harsh conditions.
Advanced Biometric Technology:
The safe’s crown jewel is its 500 DPI biometric fingerprint scanner, allowing swift access to your belongings. This feature is a lifesaver for those residing in high-risk areas where quick access is paramount.
An LCD panel supplements the fingerprint scanner, displaying battery status and tampering attempts. However, I noticed that the scanner could be sensitive to minor variations in finger placement, occasionally requiring multiple attempts for successful recognition.
With two anti-pry insertion slots and a motorized dead bolting system, this safe offers utmost security while keeping vital information at your fingertips.
The CPU is powered by AA batteries and can store up to 32 fingerprints – an impressive number I personally tested during my review process. While the battery life was adequate, frequent users may need to replace batteries more often than expected. The inclusion of non-volatile memory is another thoughtful touch, preserving all data even when batteries are removed.
Installation and Positioning:
The safe is accompanied by straightforward instructions for easy installation and can be affixed at any location in your home. From my experience, it particularly caters to professionals and small handgun owners. I also found the mounting process relatively easy, though it requires some basic DIY skills.
- Quick access with fingerprint unlocking technology.
- Can store up to 32 different fingerprints.
- Features two 20mm solid steel bars and two insertion slots in the frame.
- Some users have reported issues related to construction and craftsmanship.
- Limited storage capacity for larger firearms like rifles.
4. Verifi Smart Biometric Gun Safe – for Pistols, Money and Jewelry
After having the opportunity to personally test the Verifi Smart Biometric Gun Safe, I’m excited to share my insights about this versatile unit. This safe, primarily designed for handguns but also useful for storing money and jewelry, offers a compact solution for your security needs.
Interior and Protection:
The Verifi safe offers an efficiently compact interior that can snugly fit a single firearm. During my testing period, I stored a standard-sized handgun inside, and it fit comfortably. The foam lining provided an extra layer of protection, ensuring the gun stayed scratch-free. The protective plastic lining ensures your valuables are shielded from potential damage due to collisions or accidental drops.
However, I did notice that the interior space, while adequate for a handgun, might be limiting for those looking to store multiple items or larger valuables.
Solid Exterior Design:
The robust steel exterior gives the safe a formidable defense against forceful entry attempts. The anti-rust metal coating not only enhances the longevity of the safe but also adds to its aesthetic appeal.
As I inspected this product, I found the interior hinges to be a thoughtful design aspect. Their placement inside the safe also adds to its anti-tamper features. Due to the safe’s weight and the positioning of these hinges, unauthorized relocation without significant mechanical or electrical tools becomes nearly impossible.
Biometric Security and Convenience:
The high-quality fingerprint scanner is undoubtedly a standout feature. It allows swift, secure access to the safe’s contents. I tested the scanner with various fingers and found it consistently reliable, even in cases where my fingers were slightly damp. The auto-locking mechanism is another impressive element. It ensures the safe automatically locks when unattended, secured by two high-grade steel bolts.
A beneficial addition I appreciated during my night-time tests was the LED lighting. It makes accessing the safe in the dark a breeze. The lighting is also subtle enough not to be blinding in pitch-dark conditions. The LCD screen offers tamper alerts and attempts count, keeping you well-informed about any unauthorized access attempts.
Weight and Positioning:
The safe weighs over 30 pounds, which might be challenging for some to move. This weight, however, contributes to its stability and deters easy theft. However, this can be seen as a security advantage, as it’s too heavy for children to relocate. Once settled at a location, the safe can be effectively locked down, as I experienced during my test period.
Intelligent Diagnostics and Power Efficiency:
This safe features a thorough diagnostic system that displays results on the LCD screen, including lock status and battery power. I found the battery life indicator particularly helpful, ensuring I was never caught off-guard by a power outage. The fact that it can run for years on four AA batteries, notifying you when they need replacement, is quite impressive from an energy efficiency standpoint.
FBI Verification and Versatility:
The Verifi Smart Biometric Gun Safe is recognized by the FBI, reflecting its high standards of security. This endorsement adds a layer of trust and confidence in the product’s reliability. The safe’s size comfortably accommodates most sidearms and also provides secure storage for important documents and jewelry.
- Long battery life, running efficiently on four AA batteries for years.
- Tamper alerts are recorded and timestamped for comprehensive access logs.
- Adjustable LED lighting for convenient night-time access.
- The metal used for construction is relatively thin.
- Lighter compared to other safes, making it potentially easier to move or steal.
5. SentrySafe T0-331 Security Safe, 6.01 Cu. Ft.
This spacious gun safe, with its capacity of 6.01 cubic feet, offers more than just a safe storage option for firearms—it’s a versatile storage solution for a multitude of valuable items.
Capacious Interior and Customizable Layout:
One aspect that immediately stood out to me during testing was the vast interior space. It’s equipped with retractable storage and a soft inside lining to ensure the protection of your possessions. The interior dimensions—36.5 inches in height, 20.5 inches in width, and 14.1 inches in depth—make this safe exceptionally roomy.
This space proved ample for storing various types of firearms, from handguns to rifles, alongside other valuables like important documents and jewelry. I also found the opportunity to personalize the internal organization quite beneficial. With the inclusion of a bungee organizational system and a key rack on the door, it becomes easier to arrange and locate items that are often misplaced.
However, I noticed that while the safe provides substantial space, its shelving could be sturdier, especially when storing heavier items.
This safe is designed with a digital keypad, enabling users to set an eight-digit combination for secure access. Built with robust steel and featuring anti-drill doors, the security features are undoubtedly impressive. Three live-action locking bolts fortify the door, offering added protection against prybar attacks.
I appreciated the added security of a backup key, which is essential in case of keypad failure or forgotten codes. During a mock break-in trial, the safe demonstrated significant resilience, further affirming its robust anti-theft design.
Weight and Installation:
The SentrySafe T0-331 weighs approximately 220 pounds, which I found added an additional layer of security—it’s simply not easily moved. The hefty weight, while contributing to its security, may pose a challenge during installation or if you need to move it. To further secure the unit, it comes with a bolt-down kit to prevent unauthorized removal.
- Ample storage capacity for more than just firearms.
- Deep, soft interior lining that protects against scratching.
- Solid steel construction for enhanced security.
- Removable shelves for personalized organization.
- The digital keypad may not suit everyone’s preferences.
- Thorough testing and familiarization are necessary before using the electronic keypad.
6. VAULTEK MXi (Biometric + Wi-Fi) High-Capacity Smart Handgun Safe
I’ve had the opportunity to use the VAULTEK MXi, the company’s top-tier, feature-rich handgun storage safe. Aimed at those looking to securely store one or two handguns, the VAULTEK MXi’s smart capabilities, robust structure, and easy setup make it a standout among gun safes priced under $1,000.
Build and Durability:
What first caught my eye was the solid 14-gauge carbon steel construction. Paired with a 12-gauge front opening door that boasts a powder coat finish, this safe exudes durability, resists corrosion, and guarantees lasting protection. From my personal experience, it indeed lived up to its promise, resisting attempts at forced entry in my testing scenario. However, I noticed the exterior surface was prone to minor scratches during regular use, which could affect its aesthetic appeal over time.
Interior and Capacity:
Despite its compact form factor, the interior of the VAULTEK MXi is impressively spacious, able to comfortably accommodate up to eight handguns. The interior padding and LED lighting enhanced the protection and visibility of the stored firearms. This makes it an excellent value proposition if you’re willing to invest around $1,000 in a handgun safe.
Advanced Security Features:
What sets the VAULTEK MXi apart are its unique features designed to offer maximum break-in protection. The safe includes impact detection, twin anti-impact latches, and anti-pry bars. Additionally, the internal hinges add to its security, making it difficult to breach even with specialized tools. During a mock break-in test, these features successfully deterred unauthorized access, giving me confidence in its security capabilities.
Equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity, this safe allows for seamless integration with Vaultek’s Wi-Fi app and web dashboard, enabling remote control and monitoring of the safe via a smartphone. While this feature was impressive, it is important to note that consistent Wi-Fi connectivity is essential for optimal performance. I found this functionality incredibly convenient and responsive during my usage.
Locking Mechanisms and Setup:
The VAULTEK MXi shines in its variety of locking mechanisms. It boasts Wi-Fi enabled locking, an auto-illuminating 8-digit keypad with a built-in proximity sensor, an enhanced biometric fingerprint scanner, manual backup keys, and a smart key nano. I did experience a few instances where the biometric scanner required multiple attempts to recognize a fingerprint, especially if the finger wasn’t placed perfectly. Furthermore, the door opens automatically for swift access. Setting up these features was straightforward and intuitive, making it an easy task even for the less tech-savvy.
- Robust carbon steel construction.
- Comprehensive anti-theft protection.
- High-resolution biometric fingerprint scanner.
- Pre-drilled mounting holes and included hardware.
- Only suitable for handguns and pistols, limiting versatility.
- Exterior finish susceptible to scratches.
- Biometric scanner can be finicky with finger placement.
- Dependence on consistent Wi-Fi for some features.
How to Choose the Best Gun Safe under $1000
How Much Do You Want to Store?
Firstly, what I always do is make a list of all my firearms, then another list of all the guns I plan to acquire.
After that, I account for any mounted equipment on my firearms, such as scopes, rings, grips, bipods, fore-ends, and other items. I include any unmounted accessories, like spare magazines, that I want to keep in my safe.
If, like me, you also want to store other valuables inside, remember to add these to your list as well. Keep in mind, if you decide to keep these valuables in a separate fire safe within your gun safe, they will take up additional space.
How Often Will You Open It?
Depending on how often you plan to access your safe can help narrow down your choices. If you plan to store your daily concealed carry gun and/or a home defense weapon, like I often do, this will affect your decision. If, on the other hand, you only plan to open your gun safe every couple of months, you’ll have more flexibility.
From my experience, safes that are too far from common living areas or take too long to access rarely get used. If you need access to your items daily or weekly, it might be necessary to have a separate handgun safe in your bedroom for home security, or your main gun safe might suffice.
Take Advantage of Space
Throughout the years, I’ve learned to look for gun safes with multiple storage levels and compartments for other valuables. I find that my handguns, documents, and family heirlooms are safe in my safe when I’m away. With a safe featuring multiple compartments, you can store extra valuables, keeping all your prized possessions in one spot.
Don’t Put in A Common Space
While it’s important to keep your guns accessible, I’ve learned that keeping them in a high-traffic location or near a window isn’t wise. You don’t want neighbors or the postal service spotting your safe, as word might get out and attract burglars. I always place my safe somewhere secure and out of sight. See how to hide a gun safe in plain sight.
Don’t Ignore the Price
Since safes represent a significant investment, it’s essential to consider both your needs and your budget, as I always do. You might find a safe that meets your needs in both these categories straight away, or you might need to compromise in one area.
All gun safes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so think about where you’d like to put your safe and which model would be best for that location before you buy. You can certainly choose a model with greater dimensions if you want to keep your gun safe in the garage. If you want your safe to be more accessible, such as in your master bedroom closet, you’ll need to choose something that fits the dimensions of the space.
Know Your Brands
Having tried various brands, I’ve found that each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Some have shelves, racks, and drawers, while others don’t. Some use thick steel for added security, while others feature a variety of fire-resistant materials. In terms of locking mechanisms, there’s a multitude of options. It’s critical to research several brands and models before purchasing.
I always recommend investing in a gun safe with advanced locking mechanisms. There’s no point buying a gun safe if your children or burglars can easily access your firearms. Modern gun safes can be opened with a voice command, a password, or a thumbprint. I opt for a gun safe that only I, or someone I trust, can open. Considering the pros and cons of each locking system will help you choose the best mechanism for you and your firearms.
Look For Quality Fire Protection
From my experience, the most common fire protection baseline for most safe companies is 30 minutes, with premium models offering more than two hours. However, your choice should depend on various factors. For instance, if you live far from the nearest fire station, as I do, you should consider a higher fire rating. If your belongings are exceptionally valuable, it’s safer to go for a higher fire rating.
Remember, like with any type of safe, you get what you pay for. I generally recommend getting a gun safe with at least an hour of fire protection. The higher the gun safe’s protection grade, the more expensive it gets.
Don’t Forget About Customer Service
Based on my experience, the best safe providers in the field offer lifetime warranties against fire and theft on their gun safes. Should anyone try to break into your safe, or it gets damaged by fire, consider getting a safe with these warranty options. The company will replace the safe for life. I often check a safe company’s social media to gauge their customer service. I also read reviews from real customers to get information that less reputable safe companies would prefer to hide. The better the company’s customer service, the more openly communicative they are.
If you want to see cheaper safes for your rifle, check my best gun safe under $500 for rifles guide.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Thick Do Gun Safes Get?
Safes come in a variety of body thicknesses, ranging from 14 gauge to 1 gauge. Anything from 14 gauge to 1.5 gauge can be utilized for the door. The longer it takes to get through thicker steel, the more secure it is. Consequently, more steel means more security. Steel that is thicker is less flexible and more durable, making it more difficult to bend during a pry attack.
Is it Okay to Buy a Used Safe?
Yes. In fact, buying a used gun safe is a terrific idea if you don’t mind spending some time looking for the proper safe. A used gun safe can save you money and provide a terrific deal, but buying new is faster and easier.
However, if you want the finest value and the most trustworthy products, you should buy a new gun safe because it will be guaranteed to work properly.
How Reliable is the Lock?
It is mostly determined by the lock’s maker. Get to know the kind of locksmiths who may be trusted. American Security (or AMSEC), LaGard, Kaba, and Sargant & Greenleaf are just a few of the brands available. Those companies make mechanical and electronic locks that are widely regarded as dependable and difficult to circumvent.
Locks that are glued on or electronic locks with their “brains” on the outside are both hallmarks of a poor lock. The sensitive portions of electronic locks should be located within the safe, and mechanical locks should be secured to the door.
A trustworthy seller will not sell you a safe with a bad lock, but it’s a good idea to inquire about the lock’s failure rate just to be sure.
Is The Weight A Problem?
Only in a few rare cases. A safe, for the most part, will not harm or even stress a floor. When a safe is installed on an upper floor, genuine problems arise because the ceiling joists are put to the test. If the safe weighs more than 800-1,000 pounds, the joists may need to be reinforced. It depends on the safe’s footprint. If the weight is distributed across a greater area, it will be less of an issue.
Consider employing an architect to assess the structure when dealing with very heavy safes, such as those weighing more than 1,000 pounds. Safes up to this weight are normally tolerated in modern buildings, but anything heavier will be investigated.
There are a lot of benefits to owning a gun safe, most importantly the safety. If you want to keep your family and friends safe, you need safety. A quality gun safe will give you just that.
Additionally, it will allow you easy and quick access to your weapons for when you want to take them out to the range or, heaven forbid, use them to defend yourself or family.
You should take your gun ownership seriously and part of that is by buying the right safe to hold them.
Safes have a lot more to them than meets the eye. At first appearance, they appear inconspicuous, yet each one contains an astonishing level of engineering, particularly among safes built for utmost security. With that in mind, selecting a safe for your home or business might be a daunting task, but there are key qualities and characteristics to look for in any security container. As a result, it’s critical that potential purchasers know what questions to ask and only settle for the very best.
If you want to learn even more about gun safes, check how to choose a gun safe.