While it seems like the world is constantly going to hell and a handbasket, more folks than ever are making sure they’re armed and ready to defend the home front. But when it comes to firearms, one of the essential safety precautions every gun owner needs to take is securing them safely.
No one wants their guns to get in the hands of unauthorized family members or burglars. Not only does that put your valuable investment at risk, it leaves you legally liable. If your guns are not properly stored and end up in the hands of a minor or felon, you could be found at fault for anything they use that gun to do.
What to Look for When Buying an Affordable Gun Safe
A gun safe is a safe that securely holds one or more firearms. It is the best way to secure guns from unwanted parties. But, there are A LOT of choices out there that range in price, size, and quality. Whether you’re a first-time gun owner or you’ve been handling a shotgun since you were a wee tot hunting with your dad, choosing which gun safe to buy can be difficult.
We understand that price is always a consideration. But you also want to think about your needs. Questions to ask yourself include:
- How many guns do you need to store? Generally, the bigger the safe, the bigger the cost. But this isn’t always the case. As you’ll see below, there are some large gun safes for under $1,000 that offer a substantial amount of storage.
- How likely is it your safe will be exposed to fire? According to statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more than 350,000 home fires occur each year in the U.S. Cooking fires are the most common type of home fire, contributing 48% of all residential fires. And these fires are burning HOT — reaching temps of 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit in as little as 3.5 minutes and climbing from there. If you are worried about fire exposure, we recommend a gun safe with at least a 60-minute fire rating. This gives your valuables a fighting chance that the fire department will be able to arrive and put out the fire before the contents are completely destroyed.
- Do you need to be able to rearrange your safe? Some safes come with adjustable shelving units, allowing you to change your storage setup as needed. This can be an attractive option for folks who expect their collection to change over time.
Are Affordable Gun Safes Fireproof?
First, it’s important to note that no gun safe is fireproof. Any retailer or gun safe manufacturer who is touting their safes as fireproof is talking out their you-know-what. Why? Because there isn’t a gun safe out there that can withstand untold temperatures indefinitely.
That being said, some gun safes are built to withstand fires for longer periods of time. One of the essential things to consider when looking at the fire rating is how the fire rating was tested.
Because gun safe fire ratings are not regulated, a manufacturer can assign any rating they want. You want to make sure that the manufacturer is transparent about their testing process and that they offer a warranty to back up their rating.
Did You Know ALL Gun Safes are Tax-Free?
Gun safes for sale in Washington are currently a tax-free purchase, which means the price you see is the price you pay. So there’s no giving more of your hard-earned dollars to Uncle Sam with this purchase.
Top Gun Safes Under $600
The slim frame of the Kodiak KB5520ECS allows it to fit easily within a closet for discrete storage. It offers an adjustable interior that fits up to 18 long guns and is outfitted with a head-activated door seal that expands up to seven times its size to help keep out heat and smoke in the event of a fire.
One of the best closet safes on the market, Liberty’s Centurion 12 is just 18.25-inches wide, allowing it to be easily installed in a concealable location. Additionally, it has a 30-minute fire rating and a heat-activated door seal to provide extra protection.
Best Tax-Free Gun Safes for Under $1,000
Made in America, the Rhino RB6028ECS is one of the most budget-friendly, medium-capacity gun safes for sale. It can hold up to 24 long guns and 10 handguns, thanks to the included door organizer. It also features a 40-minute fire rating and an easy-to-use electronic lock.
Weighing 340 pounds, the Centurion Flex is a sturdy option for a small to medium long-gun collection. With a complimentary adjustable interior, this gun safe can easily be utilized to hold both firearms and valuables.
Constructed out of American-made steel, the Safeguard GR-15 Exclusive has a 12 gauge steel body with a reinforced door edge that’s more than three-eights of an inch thick. The slim frame can fit in most closets, while the 400-pound safe can hold up to 13 long guns and offers a 60-minute fire rating.
Made and built in the USA, the Tactical 24 is specifically designed for a tactical expert. Outfitted with a dual-flex tactical interior, the adjustable shelves allow you to customize your gun locker to meet your needs. From the gear trays and long gun storage to the quick-release rifle holder, this no-frills gun safe is all business.
One of the biggest gun safes for sale at this price point, the Kodiak KB5940ECX can hold up to 52 long guns. The ultra-wide frame leaves space for an adjustable shelving unit, while the fireboard protection offers a 40-minute fire rating.
Holding up to 30 long guns, the Kodiak KB5529ECS features a single hardened steel plate to protect the lock from drill attacks. Six large 1-inch door bolts make it difficult to pry open. And, fireboard on all sides gives it a 30-minute fire rating.
Built with Liberty’s sturdy roll-form construction, the Centurion 24 SMU offers a sturdy medium-sized gun safe at an affordable price point. It comes equipped with a factory-installed economy door storage panel and a TopLit SecuRam backlit electronic lock.