With crime statistics, violence, and riots on the rise, protection is critical. About 2.5 million burglaries happen every year in the United States, 66% of which are home break-ins. We have the right to protect ourselves in those dire times. We do not know when any of us could fall into such a situation.
But to exercise that right we also have some duties to attend to. Most important of which is responsible gun ownership. Gun-related crimes are on a rise in America. Irresponsible gun owners not only put themselves and their family at risk but also defame gun owners across the country.
When there is a gun in the house, minds get curious. Children or drunk friends and family members could get their hands on it at an unfortunate time. To be sure that no such mishap occurs, a gun safe is a wise choice. Most people store their safes within their closets. A closet is one of your most, if not the most personal space you have. You can rest assured that there will be as little tampering as possible within that premises.
A closet friendly gun safe is compact. Though you’d want to keep the gun in your closet, you wouldn’t want to rob your closet of their primary purpose. A compact safe would take up as little space as possible while still delivering on safety.
Considering that and many more factors we have compiled a list of the best closet gun safe especially for you.
Top 3 Best Closet Gun Safes 2021
The Barska Quick access is one of the best closet gun safes for regular use. It is compact which means it will easily fit within your closet. Its long and slender body is made to house multiple rifles.
The safe is built-in with a fingerprint reader with up to 120 fingerprints memory. This quick access is perfect for when you need to get to your gun as fast as possible. The battery in the fingerprint sensor is long-lasting and isn’t as prone to failure.
However, even if it does fail then the lock won’t open up. In such cases, you have a special access key. This key is mounted on a stamped plate in the front. It is secured by two bolts.
It has pre-drilled holes with which you can mount it on the floor for extra security. And you would need this extra security considering its weight. The weight of the safe is merely 64-lbs. That kind of weight could be easily picked up by a single strong man.
It is not fire-proof. There is no proper security implemented for proper protection from fire. It is probably not a good idea to have this safe in areas where forest fires are a serious threat. It isn’t water-proof either.
Furthermore, it comes with a removable shelf. This shelf can act as a storage compartment for handguns and ammunition in times of need.
The Barska Quick access is the best product for casual rifle owners. It provides great safety within its price range and is an all-around winner.
The Stealth handgun safe is the best closet gun safe for handgun owners. Its 5 gun capacity allows you to have multiple guns at once. Its hanger design means that you have guns on the go. So whenever there is a problem you can be certain that the Stealth safe has got your back.
It has an electronic quick access lock with a 4 button mechanism. So you won’t have to fiddle around while the perpetrator is within your premises. You can just punch in 4 buttons and have guns at the ready. It also has a security key mechanism for when the electric mechanism fails.
The safe is illuminated with a red light inside so that you can access the guns even in the dark. The light is kept red to protect your night vision. The walls are made up of ⅜’’ thick doors making it hard to break into the safe. There are string latching mechanisms available to avoid being pried into.
Its compact design means that it will fit snugly within your closet without much hindrance. It is powered by a power cable, so you don’t have to worry about running out of battery. But don’t worry, it has a backup 9V battery for when the power does go out. The soft drop-down front delivers on the promise of stealth.
It is a lightweight safe meaning you can carry it with you when you go camping or keep it in your car for extra protection.
For those on a tight budget, this is one of the best closet gun safes on the market. Not only are they backed by one of the biggest companies on earth but also provide a great performance within their price range.
They have a keypad electronic lock to keep your guns as safe as possible. They come in various sizes ranging from 0.5 to 1.2 cubic feet in space.
The removable internal shelf allows you to make changes as you desire. This means you can keep guns as well as other valuables in them.
There are 4 bolt holes so that it can be easily mounted on either walls or the floor. The fact that it is a very light case means that it would need to be mounted to protect it from being burgled.
It has great anti-prying setups and the two-bolt locking mechanism provides optimum safety. Although the safe isn’t advertised as fireproof, the safe has been known to survive fires. Though it is not recommended to trust its fire safety, know that it has the potential to be fire-resistant.
Its lack of waterproofing might be a problem even if it survives the fire. The incredible force of firemen’s water leaves it susceptible to seepage.
The battery is long-lasting, so you won’t have to worry about changing it soon. Its override keys in case the battery runs out. Amazon Basics provides quality products and this is no different. Its great material protection makes it a definite buy for someone looking for a low-end product.
Things To Consider While Looking For The Best Closet Gun Safes
The dimensions of a closet gun case might be the biggest factor while deciding on the best closet gun safe. A safe needs to be big enough to hold your guns while being compact enough to fit snugly within your closet.
The dimensions of your safe will be defined by your needs. Since guns come in different shapes and sizes, so do their safes.
A safe for a handgun would be rather small. That too would depend on the number of guns you have. If you need to store more than three handguns you’d need a pretty deep safe. The depth and subsequently the space occupied will decrease as the number of handguns you need to store in them decreases.
Handgun safes are portable too. You can easily store them within the trunk of your car when you go hunting, camping, etc.
The second kind of safe is the rifle case. Since rifles are long and slender, they cannot be safely stored within a box-shaped safe. To compliment them we have long slender safes. A height of 60 inches is good and should suit the needs of most typical rifle owners. They, too, come in various width variations depending on the number of rifles you need to store. The capacity can range from just one gun to dozens of guns.
And finally, we have the multi-gun safe. This is versatile for casual gun owners. They have the capacity to store multiple types of guns. This feature comes with a disadvantage.
They, typically, are larger than more focused gun safes. But this can easily be salvaged. Their compartmentalized nature makes it possible to store more than just guns. Money, jewelry, and further valuable things could also be stored within them.
You are the best judge in this situation. If you intend to keep a single handgun for personal protection, then a small handgun safe is the best bet for you. On the other hand, if you are intending to collect guns as a hobby, investing in larger safes with better capacity could pay off.
Cost plays a significant role when it comes to closet gun safes. Safes are not cheap to make and hence the price of most products is directly proportional to features and quality.
You need to weigh your requirements before deciding on a safe. Let’s say, for example, you are a simple handgun owner who wants to practice responsible gun ownership. That means you wouldn’t have to spend more than a couple of hundred grand. It might be even less depending on the level of security you are hoping to achieve from the safe. If you would rather have much safer protection, then we recommend you don’t go under $200.
On the other side of the spectrum are the ones who have gun collectors and connoisseurs. Maybe you have a family heirloom that you can’t afford to lose. And then there’s a simple fact that some guns are expensive. Here, you’d want to spend a hefty sum to protect what’s yours. And to get that optimal performance you’d have to spend more than a couple of hundred dollars.
The fact is, burglary isn’t the only problem you have regarding guns. They could rust being kept in one place and need to be properly protected.
A rule of thumb you could follow is – how much would it take to recover it if you lost everything within the safe. That could give you a good estimate on the money you should spend on it.
3. Mechanical Lock Or Electronic Lock
The kind of lock you select again brings in a plethora of considerations and concerns of their own. The more classically minded tend to prefer the simplicity of the manual dial lock. While the modern city people prefer the newer electronic ones. Each of them has its benefits but shortcomings as well.
The mechanical lock is a trusty companion and has been for decades. It provides a good and secure option where the chances of equipment failure are minimal.
Mechanical locks, by the virtue of being made of steel or some kind of similar material, are harder to break into. Furthermore, the mechanism on which it is built is more complex and hence harder to pick.
On the other hand, electronic locks provide swiftness like never before. When a critical situation arises you can’t be sitting around fiddling with the locking mechanism hoping it would open in time. With an electronic lock, you can punch in some numbers or even just scan your thumbprint to gain access to your gun.
Also, when you’re using a dial lock you need to turn the lock after closing to make sure it’s locked. Sometimes this could be forgotten in moments of human error. The possibility of such a breach of security is minimized with electronic locks. Electronic locks generally lock back into place soon as you close the door.
However, the very advantages of the mechanical lock become disadvantages of electrical locks. They are very easy to break into. Anyone with a passable knowledge of electronics could find a way to breach into the safe without setting off alarms.
Electrical parts are more prone to malfunction and can cause you problems when you most need them. They need to be recharged or battery changes are required.
In our humble opinion, the best bet would be a combination lock. A combination lock is one that has both a mechanical, as well as, an electronic lock within them. These bring the advantages of both while minimizing the disadvantages among them. They also double the safety output between themselves.
The gauge is the measurement of the thickness of the steel. The lower the gauge, the thicker the steel. That is to say, an 8 gauge steel will provide better protection than a 14 gauge steel. The thickness further dictates the ease at which a safe can be broken into. That is without picking the lock.
It is generally recommended to have a minimum of a 10 gauge wall with an additional shield around the lock. Low-end safes will have lower protection against brute forces.
A 10 gauge will be easily sawed off by an electric saw while a 12 gauge one doesn’t stand a chance against an ax. Most home burglars don’t intend to stay long nor do they have complex tools. In such situations, 10 gauge will be by your side but if you can afford it, an 8 gauge one is recommended.
There is an organization named The “Underwriters Laboratory”. They are responsible for grading the effectiveness of gun safes. In their guidelines, they include a system of rating called RSC. Here, RSC stands for ‘Residential Security Container.
While looking for the best closet gun safes you’ll come across terms like ‘TL-15’ and ‘TL-20’. These refer to how long the front of the safe can withstand blunt forces from common household tools like drills, grinders, etc. A TL-15 rated material will be able to stand 15 minutes of blunt force while a TL-30 can withstand 30 minutes of the same.
However, keep in mind that those ratings are for, the typically more reinforced, doors. If they were a measurement of the top of the sides it would be drastically different.
Weight plays an important role when it comes to burglaries. Most burglars probably will not wait around in your house trying to open the safe. If they can, they’ll try to conduct a snatch and grab.
Most manufacturers add extra weight to the material. That step is taken to counter any such kind of event from happening. Obviously, a 1000-lb safe will be more secure than a 200-lb safe.
Most gun owners say that a sage of about 750-lb is a pretty secure bet. You would need some special equipment to install any such device. However, A 500-lb could be easily manhandled by a few strong men. The 750-lb mark keeps you protected against your safe being dragged out of your house.
A heavier gun safe will obviously be costlier. Considering all the materials like steel and whatever other additions the manufacturer makes will drive up the price. So you need to decide for yourself if that additional level of protection is worth it for your guns’ security.
That brings us to the culmination of all the previous points and the central issue of it all – safety.
Back in 2010, a three-year-old by the name of Ryan Owens of Washington state got access to his father’s state-issued gun. His father had kept the gun within a safe like any responsible gun owner, but his kid was still able to get into the safe. Little Ryan ended up accidentally shooting himself.
This led to an investigation into the matter of the effectiveness of gun safes. What they found was that the safe had a three seconds lock delay. The lock was also prone to failure of the dial was turned a fraction of a degree to the right.
These glaring problems led police and enthusiasts alike to look into gun safes deeply. After investigating several safes below $200 they found that almost all of them could be opened by an unskilled person. Those cases could be broken into by a little jiggling or bounce. This is similar to raking in lock picking terms.
Electronic locks are no outlier in this problem either. There are several videos online demonstrating just how easy it is to hack into an electronic lock.
Furthermore, manufacturers drive the cost lower by increasing the gauge of the steel. Which leaves your safe prone to a breach by just a few and easily available tools.
The higher-end you go with the safe, the better the safety will be.
7. Additional Features
After considering the key points of these you need to look into what you could get from your safe beyond safety. Safety is the bare minimum you can expect from a gun safe. However, there are so many more things you need to look after. Let’s go through some of them in detail.
In most cases, fire is a bigger concern to gun owners than a burglary. Statistically speaking it is more likely that you would be caught in afire than a burglary. So to protect your gun from fire gun manufacturers add fireproofing.
Do not get fire-proof and fire-resistant mixed up. Fire-resistant is a marketing term made to sell uninformed customers an inferior product. These provide minimal insulation from fire and generally are a pointless addition.
Fire-proofing on the other hand is a more useful addition. While fireproofing manufacturers have the choice between two materials – sheet-rock and ceramic wool.
When given a choice, sheetrock is the better alternative. The reason being that sheetrock has water within them. When a safe is caught up in the fire, this water evaporates and creates a sort of seal between the sheets. But sheetrock could crumble in high heat situations. To combat that, many manufacturers add fiberglass within the sheetrock to help maintain its structural integrity.
Ceramic wool however has little of that trapped moisture in them. When whatever limited moisture in them evaporates they disintegrate. Since ceramic wool is a kind of wool, its volume decreases drastically. This leaves the top part of the safe open to flames and more susceptible to breach.
Typically, a house fire runs all the way up to 1200 F. A gun on the other hand could melt at 600 F, at nearly half the temperature. If the insulation isn’t provided properly the guns could end up being melted. Most effective insulation keeps the temperature below 350 F.
Make sure you have fireproof while selecting the best closet gun safe for you.
Moisture is one of the greatest enemies of firearms. Firearms are made out of metal and metals are prone to rust. So to combat that manufacturers take special measures.
One of the most common methods is waterproofing. Just like it was with fireproofing, whenever there is a new technology, there will be someone to exploit it. You might see some products labeled as water-resistant. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that it’s water-proof. It might mean that it can protect your things from some light water but in the long run, is essentially useless.
Manufacturers do waterproofing by providing seals on the doors. Some low-end products might not have seals on them. In that case, you’ll have to buy a seal and apply it to the door.
The seal keeps out cold, humid air thus minimizing the amount of moisture that comes in contact with the guns. If your safe happens to be wall-mounted or attached to the floor then you might want to apply seals in those open parts as well.
There are seals on the market that could grow up to 8 times their size in case of a fire. This increases the efficiency of waterproofing. Not only that, but it can also keep out smoke so that soot doesn’t find a way into the firearms.
But that doesn’t protect your firearm from the moisture already present in the safe, or any that might enter it when you open the safe. That’s where dehumidifiers come in.
These are expensive tools and are normally present in high-end products. Their primary function is to extract the already present moisture from within the safe.
Some old guns are particularly susceptible to rusting. If you have a family heirloom that you intend to keep rust free no matter what then consider investing in a safe with a dehumidifier. While the waterproofing could protect the guns from the moisture that could attack from the outside, you need something to protect them from the dangers inside as well.
There are two kinds of hinges available on the market – external hinges and internal hinges. External hinges are those that protrude out in front of the door. Internal hinges, on the other hand, are cleverly concealed within the safe itself.
External hinges have a variety of advantages the most noticeable of which is the angle to which it will open. Internal hinges do not give much space for you to safely retrieve your firearm. An external door hinge can open 180 degrees allowing you better access to your valuables.
External hinges also mean easier transport. Safes are heavy and the door, since it houses all the mechanisms, especially so. So while moving your safe or for repair purposes, you can easily remove the door off of the safe and transport it.
Some products claim that they provide extra security due to internal hinges. This is mostly a marketing tactic. In a well-engineered safe, the hinge will not be a part of the safety mechanism. Even if you saw off the hinge, the safe shouldn’t swing open.
One cannot determine the legitimacy of the claim when it comes to low-end products. Low-end products are typically not well engineered. So there is a possibility that if you get an external hinge then it might be sawed off to open the safe.
But it shouldn’t be a problem as long as you get the best closet gun safe.
Another ingenious of external hinges is its distraction. When a burglar sees a safe, to him the best course of action would be to hack off the hinges. In this way, he can easily get inside the safe.
Except he can’t. So he’ll try to remove the hinges one by one and then find himself stuck when the doors won’t come off.
On the other hand, after seeing internal hinges, it is more probable that a burglar would go for the lock directly.
Best Closet Gun Safes – Conclusion
Gun safes are a necessary product in our current times. When protecting oneself is becoming a priority and there are people who are trying to take those right away. To persevere we need to become upstanding citizens and to show that responsible gun ownership is possible.
A gun safe should still be the last method to protect your gun. A responsible gun owner is a responsible person. You need to keep sure that your house is safe and secure at night. That you have equipped the proper alarm mechanism to set off when burglars do arrive.
Although you might feel the need to take pride in your gun hobby especially when our way of life is being questioned, it is probably not a good idea. Publicly displaying gun ownership makes you a target.
If you have kids talk to them properly about how they should behave around guns. What they should do when they do see a gun in the open. A properly taught kid is safer than any safety a gun safe could ever provide.
Make sure you get the proper gun safe for yourself. There are various safes out there that fit everyone’s needs differently. Look into forums and read articles to better judge the kind of safe you should get.
u003cstrongu003eQ1. Is 14 Gauge Steel Good For Gun Safe?u003c/strongu003e
Not really. The fact is 14 gauge is pretty thin. Most 14 gauge safes can be easily broken into. Even some simple household tools like drills could hack into a safe with a 14 gauge thickness.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eWe recommend a minimum of 10 gauge for optimal safety and if affordable, 8 gauge for best performance.
u003cstrongu003eQ2. Are Gun Safes Bad For Guns?u003c/strongu003e
Corrosion is a hot topic when it comes to gun safes. A properly maintained gun can survive when kept over the fireplace but in safes they are subjected to higher probability of rust.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eThis is due to the materials used to build modern safes. Things like formaldehyde tend to corrode away material much faster. It is recommended you use proper dehumidification and waterproofing to keep your firearms safe.
Michael Castaneda is a 45-year old war veteran from Michigan with a deep interest in guns. After the war, Michael took a pledge to never touch a gun except for the purpose of self-defense. He created Machine Gun Books to guide people on self-defense and providing information on guns and accessories.