Choosing The Correct Safe For Your Long Guns


The gun safe market offers a variety of options and configurations for storing your long guns, such as rifles, shot guns and semi-automatic weapons. A proper comparison of the safes should include the following considerations;

  • Materials of construction
  • Capacity
  • Ease of installation
  • Interior design flexibility
  • Security and speed of access

Materials of Construction

Many manufacturers will boast 'steel construction', but not all steel is created equally. Seek a high tensile strength, reinforced steel for the maximum in robustness and security. Doors can vary in thicknesses, also. It's worth the money to get at least a 0.5" door thickness. Don't ignore the quality of your hinge hardware. This is a common weak point when theft is being attempted. Make sure your hinges are not of alloy construction but solid steel.  This hinders any attempt at entry by prying, especially if the hinges are mounted on the interior. Some manufacturers may also claim some measure of impact resistance as a further measure of the overall strength of the safe.


When making a purchase of this size, it is important to think ahead. Buying a safe that only has capacity for your current firearms will be a costly mistake down the road. Plan on filling no more than 80% of your safe, allowing capacity for future purchases and additional ammunition storage. Ensure there is room to accommodate both long guns and hand guns with generous shelving.

Installation - DIY or Not?

Most safes come standard with pre-drilled holes for mounting to the floor. Hardware is typically included, as well. If you're not feeling confident enough to do this on your own, the retailer will often have suggested companies for delivery and installation.  Remember a safe is heavy, so if you don't have enough free labor, you’ll likely pay a pretty penny for someone to muscle it into place for you. Make sure that an emergency battery back up is included, as well.

Interior Design Flexibility

Because your collection is likely to change over time, the flexibility to reconfigure the interior storage area is important. Look for compatibility with aftermarket shelving options for ammo, cleaning equipment, tools, and of course, additional weapons. Newer models may even off the option of a smaller removable inner case that can also be used in a garage, vehicles, secured in walls, furniture and other locations in your home.

Ease of Access

All the features in the world become insignificant if you can't quickly access your firearms. Most safes feature fingerprint entry with a programmable keypad, and lastly, a key entry option. If you choose to store additional valuables, such as money or jewelry, you'll appreciate the option of the multiple routes of entry. Most come with a failsafe back up sequence, should you forget the password. This may include some combination of fingerprint identification and a key. Backup power, usually in the form of batteries, or key entry, ensures access if batteries fail. In an emergency, having fingerprint and digital code options can be life-saving. It is also a deterrent to juvenile access or vulnerability to theft.


Make sure you are clear about the options that are included with your purchase. Such features as configurable shelving, power outlets and lighting, and removal mini-safe for handguns are all perks.

Do your homework. Comparison shop on these features and you’ll be sure to purchase a safe that means your current and future needs.

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