The 5 Best Gun Safes Under $500 – Top Budget Ones For Rifles and Handguns

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I know well that a significant aspect of responsible gun ownership is safety, particularly when it comes to storing firearms at home. That’s where the indispensable role of a gun safe comes into play.

A gun safe is a foolproof method to secure your firearms, ensuring that they are out of reach of unauthorized individuals. Not only does it help keep your prized guns safe, it also guards them against potential theft, especially given that firearms don’t come cheap.

Unfortunately, there’s a common misconception that quality gun safes come with hefty price tags. However, from my extensive experience in testing and trying various gun safes, I can confirm this is not the case! Below you can find the best gun safe under $500.

The 5 Best Gun Safes Under $500

1. Langger 5-Gun Long Gun Safe – Best Gun Safe Under $500

Langger Gun Safe for Rifle, Upgraded Quick Access 5-Gun Large Rifle Gun Security Cabinet for Rifle Shotgun Firearms with/without Optics with Pistol Lock Box, Removable Storage Shelf

One of the most remarkable gun safes under $500 that I’ve personally tested is the Langger 5-Gun Long Gun Safe. Going beyond its primary role as a gun safe, it brings together an impressive blend of reliability, spaciousness, and versatility.

Spacious and Versatile Interiors

Unlike many other gun safes in its price range, the Langger provides adjustable shelving, creating an adaptable space that accommodates both your firearms and other valuables. I was particularly impressed with the small lock box situated at the top, an excellent addition for storing valuable items for an extra layer of protection.

Inside, you’ll find ample space to store up to 5 long guns, along with their accessories such as scopes and sights. During my testing, I found that the safe’s layout was efficient in maximizing space, allowing me to organize my firearms and accessories neatly. However, the presence of the shelving did slightly impede the storage of longer guns, as I had to maneuver them carefully to fit.

Built to Last

The construction quality of this safe is something that instantly grabbed my attention. Its 14-gauge steel construction, thicker than many gun safes in this price category, ensures a robust build. The tamper-proof edges – where the safe’s walls meet – add another level of security against break-ins.

Its dimensions of 12” depth, 13.75” width, and 57” height allow it to conveniently fit in a corner of your room or closet. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the door hinges and locking bolts were also of superior quality, offering enhanced security against pry attacks. However, the paint finish, while sleek, seemed prone to scratching, which could be a concern for those prioritizing aesthetics.

Smart and Reliable Locking Mechanism

Featuring a swift and reliable digital keypad lock on the outer door, Langger has put significant thought into the security mechanism. Its resistance to common malfunctions is something that set my mind at ease during testing.

In practice, the keypad’s responsiveness was commendable, allowing quick access when needed. However, I did observe that in low light conditions, the lack of backlighting on the keypad could pose a challenge.

One of the standout features, in my opinion, was the provision of a second battery pack, ensuring uninterrupted operation even in the case of a battery failure. Additionally, an alarm feature triggers upon three incorrect code entries, adding an extra layer of security.

The interior lock box utilizes a more traditional lock and key system, creating a dual-layer protection scheme. The contrasting lock systems provided a versatile security solution, though I felt that a key lock for the interior box seemed less sophisticated compared to the main digital lock.

Langger Gun Safe for Rifle, Upgraded Quick Access 5-Gun Large Rifle Gun Security Cabinet for Rifle Shotgun Firearms with/without Optics with Pistol Lock Box, Removable Storage Shelf


  • Large enough to accommodate all of your guns.
  • Quick and reliable digital keypad.
  • Additional interior lock box for valuables.
  • Robust 14-gauge steel with tamper-proof edges.
  • Pre-drilled anchor holes for stability.
  • Adjustable and removable shelving for customization.
  • Backup key provided for the exterior door.


  • Interior space is somewhat reduced due to the secondary interior lock box.
  • Digital keypad lacks backlighting, posing a challenge in low light conditions.
  • Exterior finish susceptible to scratches.

Final Thoughts

With its solitary drawback far outweighed by its numerous advantages, the Langger 5-Gun Long Gun Safe easily tops my list as the best gun safe under $500. Its robust construction and reliable locking mechanisms ensure that your firearms and valuables remain secure.

In my personal experience, the backup key system was a lifesaver when the digital lock faced battery exhaustion during testing. If you’re looking for a secure and accommodating safe for your rifles and handguns, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better option than the Langger 5-Gun Long Gun Safe.

2. First Alert Waterproof 1 Hour Fire SafeFirst Alert 2092DF-BD 1.3 Cubic Feet Bolt-Down Waterproof 1 Hour Fire Safe with Combination Lock, Gray

I’ve had the opportunity to evaluate the First Alert Waterproof 1 Hour Fire Safe personally. If you’re only needing to secure a handgun, this safe is, without a doubt, the best fireproof gun safe under $500 you can find in the market.

Resilience against Fire and Water

This small yet sturdy safe boasts a commendable fire rating – capable of withstanding a temperature of 1,700 degrees for an hour while maintaining an internal temperature of 350 degrees or less. During my fire resistance test, I observed that the exterior of the safe did get quite hot, which could be a hazard if not properly positioned in a safe area. I tested its heat resistance using a controlled environment, and it met the claimed specifications without a hitch.

But it’s not just the fire you’ll be protected from. One of the more impressive features of this safe is its waterproof capability. In my test, the seal remained airtight even after prolonged submersion, though I noticed the locking mechanism required some drying out afterwards to function smoothly. In fact, the contents of the safe remained dry even when it was fully submerged in my water resistance test. If you’re worried about flood damage, you can rest assured that this safe is up to the task.

Compact Size and Advanced Locking Mechanism

Owing to its compactness, offering 1.3 cubic feet of space, it’s perfect for a handgun or two, and some ammunition. However, the internal layout is quite basic, lacking customizable compartments or shelving, which limits its organizational capabilities. While this may seem small, it serves the purpose of securing your firearm from unwelcome access while safeguarding other small valuables against fire.

The safe uses an electronic keypad for its locking mechanism, a common feature in this price range. I appreciated the keypad’s backlit feature, which facilitated access in low light conditions. I found the keypad responsive and quick, ensuring efficient access to my firearm. An emergency override key is also provided, which was handy when I intentionally drained the batteries for testing purposes.

Innovative Construction Material

Contrary to many safes on the market, this one is not made of steel but rather a high-density polymer. This made the safe significantly lighter and easier to move, an advantage in terms of portability. However, it also meant the safe felt less robust compared to traditional steel safes, which might be a concern for those seeking a more formidable presence. This unusual choice of material is responsible for the safe’s dual resistance to both fire and water. While some might view this as a drawback, in my experience, this quality makes the safe practically indestructible, an attribute that is undeniably beneficial for a gun safe.First Alert 2092DF-BD 1.3 Cubic Feet Bolt-Down Waterproof 1 Hour Fire Safe with Combination Lock, Gray


  • Fireproof for up to an hour.
  • Fully waterproof.
  • Compact size fits almost anywhere.
  • Quick and responsive electronic lock controlled via keypad.
  • Emergency backup key.
  • Comes with a 5-year warranty on the safe, lifetime fire-replacement guarantee.


  • Small size limits capacity to a handgun or two.
  • Made from a high-density polymer, not traditional steel.
  • Basic interior layout with no customizable compartments.
  • Locking mechanism can be affected by prolonged water exposure.

Final Thoughts

If your primary concern is keeping your handgun secure during a fire or flood, then the First Alert Waterproof 1 Hour Fire Safe could be the ideal solution. With its compact size and resilience, it’s a dependable companion, especially in disaster situations. The backlit keypad enhances usability in various lighting conditions, but the safe’s polymer construction might not satisfy those looking for a heavier, more traditional steel build. Despite its understated appearance, it is a perfect fit for those who primarily require a safe for home defense handguns. Its unique construction material and waterproof capabilities set it apart in the market, making it a worthy investment.

3. Paragon Electronic 5-Gun Rifle Safe

7501 Paragon Lock & Safe Electronic 5 Gun Rifle Safe 4.26cf Gun Cabinet for Firearms

Similar to the first option on my list, this safe is a conventional long gun and rifle safe that comfortably falls under the $500 mark. It’s crafted primarily with the needs of long guns in mind, which is quite evident in its design.

Designed with Long Guns in Mind

The Paragon safe is designed to accommodate five long guns along with a few handguns if required. However, during my usage, I found that while it can store five long guns, doing so can make retrieval somewhat cumbersome, especially for the guns placed at the back. I noted during my personal evaluation that the interior of this safe isn’t as spacious as the Langger’s model. The safe only accommodates rifles and other long guns that are up to 43” in length. During my test with a 43.5” long rifle, the tight fit was noticeable. Furthermore, the lack of padding inside the safe raised concerns about potential scratches or damage to the firearms, especially when fitting in longer rifles. The interior depth and width of the safe, at 9.5” and 13.5” respectively, are on par with other options on the market.

One notable difference lies in the overhead lockbox, which is slightly larger than in other models. This feature was particularly useful for storing ammunition and accessories, though it did make the overall interior feel more cramped. While this allows for extra storage, it does compromise the space in the main compartment.

Heavy and Sturdy Construction

The build of this safe is solid, with hidden hinges and 18 gauge steel used throughout. The steel gave it a rugged feel and appearance, enhancing my confidence in its security capabilities. What stood out most to me about this gun safe is its significant weight. At 120 pounds, it exudes a sense of security and stability. However, the weight also presented a challenge during installation, requiring additional help to move and position it. I could tell just by lifting it that this safe was built to withstand significant force.

The Locking Mechanism and Lack of Shelves

Like the other safes on our list, this long gun safe features a digital keypad to activate the locking mechanism. The keypad was user-friendly, but I noticed that in colder conditions, the responsiveness was slightly reduced. It also includes two physical keys each for the outer and interior doors.

However, one downside I noted is the absence of an interior shelf. This limitation not only affects the storage of additional items but also impacts the organization of the contents. Unlike the Langger model, this safe’s design confines the storage of ammunition or handguns to the upper lockbox.7501 Paragon Lock & Safe Electronic 5 Gun Rifle Safe 4.26cf Gun Cabinet for Firearms


  • A hefty safe weighing in at 120 pounds adds to its security.
  • Concealed hinges reduce the likelihood of break-ins.
  • An upper interior lockbox offers an extra layer of safety.
  • Easy PIN change via the keypad.
  • Physical keys provided for both the exterior and interior doors.


  • Heavy weight necessitates the use of anchors.
  • Less interior space than competitors, resulting in more challenging maneuverability for rifles.
  • Absence of padding to protect stored rifles or handguns.
  • Lack of interior shelving limits storage flexibility.

Final Thoughts

If you’re seeking the best gun safe under $500 specifically for rifles, the Paragon 5-Gun Safe is a commendable choice. Its design is straightforward, focusing on the essentials. However, its heavy construction, while a mark of durability, might pose installation challenges, and the absence of interior padding necessitates extra caution when storing firearms. If you desire more versatility, such as an interior shelf, you might want to consider the Langger option mentioned earlier. In most cases, it offers more versatility than the Paragon does. Nonetheless, the Paragon safe stands as an excellent, no-frills gun safe under $500 that delivers on its promises.

For a big safe it is important to keep it from tipping over.

4. Barska Quick Access Biometric SafeBarska Quick and Easy Access Biometric Rifles, Firearms and Long Guns Safe for Home, Removable Shelf, Optional Silent Mode, 1.83 Cubic Ft

If you’re in the market for a gun safe that embraces modern technology, this is a model you won’t want to overlook. Though biometric safes have been around for a while, Barska’s utilization of this technology is top-notch, offering a truly exceptional model that sits comfortably under the $500 price range.

The Magic of Biometrics

Biometrics involve using biological data to trigger specific actions. In the case of the Barska Biometric Safe, the stored fingerprints are used to activate the unlocking mechanism. During my extensive use, I found the fingerprint recognition to be highly accurate, rarely misreading or failing to recognize an authorized print. However, I did notice that the scanner could be temperamental if my fingers were damp or dirty. As part of my testing, I was able to store multiple fingerprints in the safe – up to 120, to be exact. This feature is quite useful if you want multiple family members to have access to your guns, if needed.

The Silent Mode and Spacious Interiors

One of the features that impressed me most was the safe’s optional silent mode. This was particularly beneficial during discreet access situations. This means it can unlock without making any noise, which I found to be a tremendous advantage, especially when I needed to access the safe early in the morning without disturbing my family.

In terms of storage space, while the Barska safe is advertised to comfortably accommodate 4 long guns, in my experience, storing four guns made the interior feel cramped, especially when trying to retrieve a specific firearm quickly. It also features an adjustable shelf for additional belongings. The top of the safe offers more storage area, though I felt the lack of a separate lock for this section was a security oversight. The overall construction of the safe is robust, boasting solid steel walls and tamper-resistant edges.

A Reliable Backup

During my testing, I found the provision of a backup key and a hidden keyhole to be a thoughtful addition. However, I observed that the location of the keyhole, being somewhat hidden, could be difficult to find in an emergency. These elements ensure access to the safe even in case of a fingerprint scanner malfunction or battery failure, providing peace of mind.Barska Quick and Easy Access Biometric Rifles, Firearms and Long Guns Safe for Home, Removable Shelf, Optional Silent Mode, 1.83 Cubic Ft


  • Robust construction with solid steel walls, weighing in at 62 pounds.
  • Fingerprint scanner unlocks the safe in less than 2.5 seconds.
  • Backup key and keyhole for assured access.
  • Adjustable internal shelf for added flexibility.
  • Mounting holes on the safe’s floor for convenient installation.


  • Smaller than other safes available at the same price point.
  • The above-gun storage section is not lockable.
  • Potential overkill in terms of fingerprint storage capacity.

Final Thoughts

If you’re keen on blending modern technology with the traditional concept of a gun safe, the Barska Biometric Safe would be an ideal choice. While it may be smaller than many other long gun safes available for under $500, the added value comes from its reliable and swift biometric technology. Despite some minor drawbacks, like its cramped interior and fingerprint scanner sensitivity, it presents an excellent and faster alternative to keypad safes, especially for those prioritizing quick and silent access.

5. V-Line Quick Access Shotgun Safe

V-Line Quick Access Keyless Shotgun Safe (Black) (3842-SA)

In today’s world, shotguns have become the go-to defense weapon for many households due to their straightforward operation and significant firepower. Catering to this trend, V-Line has expertly designed a safe specifically for shotguns – and after thorough testing, I can confirm its strong points and weaknesses.

A Safe Designed with Shotguns in Mind

The V-Line Quick Access Shotgun Safe has a unique design that accommodates the typical size of a home defense shotgun, with a length of 42 inches. Constructed from 16-gauge steel, the safe strikes a balance between robustness and lightness. However, during my testing, I noted that the steel, while sturdy, wasn’t as thick as some higher-end models, which might concern those seeking maximum security. I was able to move and store the safe easily during my testing due to its manageable weight and compact form factor.

Mechanical Security at its Finest

Unlike many modern safes that rely on electronic components, this gun safe operates mechanically, employing a 5-digit combination for unlocking. The mechanical lock added a sense of reliability, but it also meant that opening the safe was a bit slower compared to biometric or digital alternatives. Additionally, it comes with a set of keys for manual opening, adding an extra layer of access control. During my test, I found the absence of electronics or batteries quite reassuring, as it eliminates the worry of component failure or battery replacement.

Storage Capacity and Functionality

Keep in mind that this safe is primarily designed for shotguns. This specialization meant that while it perfectly housed my shotgun, there was minimal room for anything else. It does not cater to rifles or hold any accessories. However, it does provide space for a shotgun and a few shells. If the need arises, it can also accommodate a handgun or two. Its interior is quite plain, lacking any customizability or additional storage features. It is designed for specific needs, and that specificity is both its strength and limitation.V-Line Quick Access Keyless Shotgun Safe (Black) (3842-SA)


  • Mechanical lock operation eliminates any potential electronic malfunction.
  • Lightweight and sturdy, allowing for easy transport.
  • Compact size fits easily in any home setup.
  • Includes four pre-drilled holes for easy mounting.
  • Comes with keys for external locks, offering alternative access.


  • Designed specifically for shotguns, which may limit its versatility.
  • It leans toward the pricier side for a specialized gun safe.

Final Thoughts

If your primary need is to securely store a shotgun, the V-Line Quick Access Shotgun Safe is a highly suitable choice. Its compact design enables easy storage, whether on a closet shelf or under a bed, which enhances accessibility – a crucial attribute for a home defense firearm. While its focused design and mechanical lock system present some limitations, particularly in speed of access and versatility, it remains a solid option for those specifically seeking a dedicated shotgun safe. Although it’s specifically tailored for shotguns, given the rise in shotgun popularity for home defense, this safe stands as an excellent option in today’s market.

It always good to know how to organize your gun safe.

How to Buy the Best Gun Safe Under $500 for Your Needs

In my early days as a gun owner, like many, I believed that the best protection for my firearms required the most cash. Over time, I discovered that this notion is outdated. Today, numerous gun safes under $500 provide outstanding security for your firearms.

Key to a successful gun safe purchase is understanding what to look for, which I have gained through years of hands-on experience. Below, I’ve distilled my knowledge into a practical guide to assist you in making the right choice.

Consider the Locking Mechanism

The essence of a gun safe lies in its locking mechanism. If the lock is of poor quality or unreliable, you’re basically dealing with a pricey metal cabinet for your firearms, which is not the outcome you desire.

In my quest to find a cost-effective gun safe under $500, I’ve found the quality of the locking mechanisms to be a major determinant. You don’t want a lock that takes an eternity to unlock or one that’s prone to breakage. Given the limited options in this price range, it’s vital to lean on the reputation of the manufacturer.

A well-known manufacturer with a solid reputation generally provides greater assurance. However, if the manufacturer isn’t well-known, I often turn to reviews and check if the lock remains dependable post-purchase. Ultimately, you want unhindered access to your firearms and a reliable lock to secure them without a hitch.

Another critical factor to bear in mind is the time taken to open your gun safe, especially when considering firearms for home defense. Swift access to your safe directly impacts how quickly you can respond to emergencies at home.

Steel Used

A key element I examine when assessing a safe is the quality of the steel used to construct it. Typically, safes below the $500 price point feature 14 to 18 gauge steel, translating to a thickness of 5/64” to 1/20” on the steel. Although thicker gauge steel can be found in this price range, my experience suggests that other areas of the safe, like the locking mechanism, may be compromised.

The Size of the Safe

Identifying the right size of a safe is critical and varies from person to person. Some might need a safe for a single handgun, while others may require space to accommodate rifles.

While determining the size, I always make sure to understand both the inner and outer dimensions of the safe, as fireproofing or other factors may significantly alter the internal space.

Moreover, outer dimensions are crucial as they dictate where you can place your safe. If your firearms are for home defense, you need your safe in a location that’s readily accessible. Safes come in various forms—some are designed to stand upright, others fit snugly under the bed. Be mindful of these factors when browsing safes.

Secondary Means of Access

In my experience, many gun safes, particularly those under $500, employ electronic locking systems, which require battery power. However, if the battery dies, you risk losing access to the safe. To avoid such a predicament, I always recommend a safe with a secondary means of access, often a physical key.


Most larger gun safes, primarily intended for rifles, can weigh substantially, sometimes up to 100 pounds. Such safes pose a hazard, especially for children, if they topple over. Therefore, I’ve always ensured that my tall, hefty safes have anchoring mechanisms to secure them to the wall. This feature prevents accidents and protects the firearms from damage should the safe topple over. For more information on the topic please check my article on how to secure a gun safe.

Fire Rating

Despite the sub $500 price tag, I’ve come across safes offering fireproofing. These safes can resist flames for a specific duration, offering you additional peace of mind. Although fire ratings for these safes aren’t extensive, any fire protection is worth considering if available.

Check the following article to learn more about understanding safes’ fire ratings.


In my opinion, both firearms and the safe holding them are investments. While safes are not inherently prone to failure, I always recommend choosing an option with a warranty. This way, if any issues arise, you’re covered. Plus, safes with fire ratings may offer additional warranties or guarantees if the safe fails during a fire. It’s always worth keeping this in mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is better, an electronic lock or a keyed lock?

For the most part, you’re going to be better off with an electronic lock that comes with keys as a backup. The reason that electronic locks are so popular is because of how easy they make it to operate a safe. When you don’t have to fumble around for a key, you don’t have to worry about wasting time trying to open your safe. Simply pop in your PIN and go. In the event that the batteries die, you can always have the key on hand. It’s best to always be prepared.

Is a $500 gun safe worth it?

Absolutely. While $500 seems cheap to some and expensive to others, a gun safe is a key part in gun safety. Gun safety is the most important part of owning firearms. Gun safes do two things for a gun owner. First, they keep your guns protected in the event of a robbery where you’re not present. This is important, of course. However, what’s more important is the safety they provide to your family. Guns aren’t meant to be handled by everyone, and a gun safe makes sure that access to your firearms is restricted. If you own guns, you should always have a gun safe.

How often do batteries have to be changed in an electronic gun safe lock?

The answer really depends on the model of safe you’re using. However, it is expected that any safe that utilizes an electronic lock will need a battery change every two years. This can change based on how often you’re accessing the safe, whether or not your safe has an alarm, and if you’re living in a colder environment. The cold saps power out of batteries faster than in a warm environment.

How long does a $500 gun safe prevent someone from stealing my firearms?

This is a question that’s hard to answer. There are many variables that come into play here, mostly having to do with the person attempting the robbery. In the event that the person is experienced, but is only using basic tools, a gun safe can be expected to deter them for more than 5 minutes. If they have specialized tools, they can breach the safe in considerably less time.

A gun safe is more about keeping guns out of the wrong hands, rather than stopping someone from stealing what you own. That being said, most theft-related crimes are opportunistic, and a safe is probably going to deter more people than not.

How long does it take an electronic gun safe to open?

Most gun safes that utilize an electronic lock are open in ten seconds or less, including the time it takes to put in the PIN correctly. They’re not slow, by any means.


When you own firearms, owning a gun safe is out of the question. A gun safe is the best way to keep yourself and others protected in the home. Firearms require a level of responsibility and gun safety knowledge to be operated. Until everyone has that knowledge, it’s best to keep them out of the wrong hands. A gun safe can help you do that.

Sometimes the best place to hide a safe is in plain sight. Read my article to learn how to hide a gun safe in plain sight.

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