Knowing how and where to store firearms properly is a significant part of gun ownership. You can’t just leave them on your nightstand. Store them unloaded in a locked, secure safe to keep them away from all unauthorized users, whether they’re your kids or house burglars.
If you don’t have a gun safe yet but already have a handgun, invest in one right away. The best small gun safe has a discreet mounting structure so that burglars can’t spot it, but it should also have an accessible locking system that authorized users can quickly release during an emergency.
5 Best Small Gun Safes In 2023
Are you ready to get a reliable, secure handgun safe but don’t know where to start looking? We have you covered. To jumpstart your search for the best compact gun safe, we made a list of the most trusted, widely used options available:
The V-Line Top Draw features the portability of tactical boxes and fixed handgun safes. It’s arguably the most versatile option on this list. You can bring it to you on weekend hunting trips or mount it to a hidden shelf in your bedroom.
Also, the interior comes with a high-density foam lining. As such, you can count on your handguns to stay safe and secure even if you drop the safe on concrete or submerge it in murky puddles of mud.
- Portable frame makes it suitable for sport
- Welded continuous hinge prevents forced pin removal
- Programmable lock doesn’t need batteries
- Only fits two handguns
- Lightweight frame makes it easy to snatch
- Mechanical locks appear outdated
The V-Line Quick Vault Locking Storage is a super-discreet handgun safe that no one will see. It’s a flush-mounted wall safe. Use a knife to cut your drywall, install the safe, then conceal it with a mirror or poster.
Create a customized adjustable shelf within this safe to make the interior as spacious as possible. Move it around—or even remove it altogether—depending on the handguns you want to store.
- Flush mounting system discreetly hides the safe inside your drywall
- Anti-pry brackets prevent opening the vault with brute force
- Can fit other personal belongings
- Relatively expensive for a handgun safe
- Requires handyman experience to install
- Lock-and-key mechanism appears outdated
Shooters who like to go plinking or hunting on the weekends can look into the SnapSafe Lock Box. It’s a compact tactical box and gun safe. It comes with heavy-duty steel cables, so you can quickly set it up in your trunk or near the driver’s seat.
- Super-strong and reliable steel cable
- High-quality enamel paint finish
- Can easily fit inside your car
- No pre-drilled holes for the mounting system
- Small interior can only carry one or two handguns
- Lock isn’t as smooth as its competitors’ locks
If you can’t decide between a portable tactical box and a home defense gun safe, get a safe that offers both features. This gun safe by First Alert comes with both steel cables and pre-drilled mounting holes.
As such, you have total control over whether you’ll attach it inside your car trunk or install it in your bedroom. Just make sure to keep spare batteries on hand. It has a programmable keypad lock that needs two AA batteries to function correctly.
- Has an accessible, quick-entry, and no-see keypad lock
- 18-gauge steel finishing is resistant against various harmful elements
- Comes with steel cables and pre-drilled mounting holes
- Safe won’t open if the batteries are dead
- Doesn’t show low-battery level alerts
- Loud keypad buttons will give away your location in an emergency
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The GunVault GV1000C-STD is a compact gun safe that features endless mounting options. You can stick it inside your drywall, hide it under your nightstand, or set it up near the driver’s seat of your car.
Also, don’t worry about running out of batteries. It comes with a backup override key that lets you open the keypad lock any time you need.
- Comes with two backup override keys
- Affordable for a gun safe that offers this many features
- Has low-battery level warning
- No replacement parts
- Locks opened by brute force once the cables are removed
- Poor battery life
Don’t take the Honeywell 5101DOJ lightly. Despite its compact, lightweight frame, it comes reinforced with an alloy steel shell resistant against various attacks.
You won’t be able to break into the safe by brute force. Moreover, it doubles as a depository safe. You can stow away various precious belongings like jewelry, cash, and USB flash drives, among other small items.
- Super-simple to install
- Affordable price tag for a gun safe this heavy-duty
- Straightforward keypad programming
- The interior doesn’t suit paperwork and documents
- Package doesn’t include batteries
- Lock doesn’t open without batteries
Things To Consider When Buying A Small Gun Safe
When shopping for the best small gun safes on the market, you would do well to limit yourself to options that fit the following criteria:
- Cost: Gun owners obsessed with getting the cheapest small gun safes for handguns and pistols won’t find anything of high quality. Don’t skimp on your safety. Trust us—an extra hundred bucks or more is a small price for safety.
- Durability And Reliability: You need a pistol safe that can withstand anything. Fortunately, most gun safes nowadays come reinforced with durable, waterproof, fireproof, and collision-proof alloy steel or fabricated metal.
- Locking Mechanism: A lock-and-key mechanism offers excellent security features, but look into more expensive biometric handgun safes if you want something more modern and secure.
- Size and Capacity: Choose pistol safes that match your purpose and lifestyle. If you want a discreet, flush-mounted safe, check out slim, narrow options. Alternatively, look into thick, broad handgun safes if you plan to add one or two extra long guns as well.
- Mounting System: Whether you’re getting a personal bedside gun safe or portable gun safe, you’d want one with pre-drilled mounting holes. That way, you can easily mount it on any compatible surface.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you still on the fence about whether gun owners need small gun safes for handguns or not? Don’t worry—you’re not alone. Check out some questions first-time shooters typically ask when shopping for gun safes.
Where do you put a pistol safe?
To keep your handgun or pistol safe 24/7/365, invest in a proper storage system. Don’t just keep it in a cabinet. Invest in a discreet, fireproof, and waterproof safe that’ll store your guns in a discreet yet accessible spot.
Should I bolt my gun safe to the floor?
Most small safes weigh around 10 to 20 lbs. Although they’re not as heavy as small gun safes for rifles, they could still inflict severe damage if they tip over and fall on you. So, bolt your handgun safe properly.
How important is a gun safe?
Every gun owner should have a gun safe. It stows firearms away from unauthorized users, plus it can withstand harsh natural elements like house fires and flooding. You can use it as a depository box for cash, jewelry, and important documents.
As we noted above, all the options have their pros and cons, but the most reliable is the V-Line Top Draw Locking Tactical Gun Storage. No, it’s not the cheapest. However, considering its durable metallic-fiber frame, fireproof and waterproof shell, impenetrable locking mechanisms, it offers the best value for money.
Feel free to experiment with any other brand of handgun safe if you like. It is important to choose a gun storage system that matches your gun collection, lifestyle, and home defense needs. Be skeptical of what other shooters say. Consider how the most widely used options compare to your own preferences.
Do you want to live independently but feel unsafe? Security Forward has you covered. Check out our helpful tips on how you can stay safe 24/7/365 when living alone.