Do you own a rifle? Perhaps you have 2 or 3, or maybe even more. If so and you are here then you probably already feel that gun ownership is a right that comes with a certain amount of responsibility. Storing and securing your arsenal in a gun cabinet or rifle safe is an absolute must.
There is no shortage of rifle safes for sale, but they are not all built the same. Making the choice to get one is the first step, but the next step is deciding which on is right for you. When deciding on what is the best rifle safe for your particular needs, there are a few key pieces of information to keep in mind.
What is the best rifle safe for you?
Picking proper storage for your firearms is a lot like picking out the right car on a huge automobile lot. Knowing what you need and not getting sidetracked by what you want will most often smartest choice, but a choice that you are comfortable with over the long term.
The two most important questions you will have to ask yourself are:
- What is your budget?
- How many rifles do you have now or plan on having over the next few years?
Let’s take a closer look as to why these two pieces of information are so important.
This really isn’t rocket science, but you can’t afford what you can’t afford. That being said, you really don’t want to skimp on something as important as a safe. That goes for whether you are getting one to store your handgun, rifles, or any other valuables.
If you truly want to protect your firearms, you will want to get the best rifle safe that you can afford.
How many rifles do you plan to store?
Rifle safes and gun cabinets come in all shapes and sizes. A small rifle safe that stores only a few long guns may be all that the hobbyist hunter needs, but a collector may need a large gun safe made to store dozens of rifles.
The best course of action to usually follow is to get something that will not only hold your current collection, but to make sure you have a little bit of spare room on the chance that you add a rifle or two in the future. If you already know that you will be getting more, then plan ahead and get a safe large enough to accommodate your future purchases.
The next question that you need to ask yourself which will help you narrow down options that you’re sure to discover when researching all of the available gun cabinets for sale is:
- Where will you place your safe and how much space will you need?
Some people place their safe in a special room, while other people like to keep it in a garage. Some people even place theirs in their bedroom or bedroom closet. Wherever you plan on keeping yours, you will first need to make sure that it will fit.
All gun safes have two sets of distinct but important measurements that you’ll want to note before making your final selection.
This is exactly what it sounds like. This should tell you how much room there is internally. This has more to do with how much you can fit inside than it does with whether or not it will fit in your closet, but it’s important nonetheless. Before going through the process of getting a new safe ordered, delivered, and set up, make sure the interior is suited to your needs.
This is the measurement set that you’ll really need to pay attention to when determining if there’s enough space for your new safe. It’s best to caution on the safe side too when working with a potentially tight fit. Also remember to take into consideration whether or not you will be running and power cables in and out of the safe for an externally powered dehumidifier.
Once you’ve got all of those things figured out you have really narrowed down your possible options. The additional choices are more or less preferences. While they can be an important part of your decision making process, they usually come second in importance to budget and size.
What type of lock do you want?
There are 4 main types of locks used on gun safes, and each one has its own pros and cons. A lot of popular rifle safe models actually offer a couple of different choices.
Dial locks are the type of lock that spins to the left and the right. They are like the kind of mechanism that you would find on a gym locker padlock. While these were extremely popular in the past, they are harder and harder to come by on modern rifle safes. They are great because they don’t rely on a battery or external power supply, but they are also slow and can be touchy.
There isn’t too much to explain here. These are just like every key and lock you have used from your home door to your car door. Like the dial lock, these are simple and do not require batteries. They can be slow and a bit difficult to manage if you are in a hurry though.
Also, they are the only type of lock that requires an external device (the key). Misplace that and you’ll be out of luck.
There are actually two types of keypad locks. There are manually powered ones and electric ones. The electric variety tend to be more common, but you can find some manually powered keypad locks too.
These work by pressing the appropriate numbers on the pad in the correct sequence, much like dialing a phone. A lot of the electric keypad locks come with a key as a safety backup, incase the battery powering it dies.
These are the coolest of the 4 main lock types. Biometric locks are right out of James Bond movies. They read either your thumb or your fingerprints. Older models tended to be a bit finicky, but the modern versions are pretty darn good.
The big bonus that these offer is speed. There is no need to remember a key or a combination. You just touch it and you’re in. Most of these come with a key as a backup as they rely on batteries, and in the very rare circumstance, you wouldn’t want to get locked out if there is a problem with the sensors.
Do you want any special options?
Sometimes the basics are not enough. You want to go above and beyond the standard protection that most rifle safe have to offer. Here are some special features to consider.
A fireproof safe adds a lot of extra protection for your rifles and other gear stored inside. Most fireproof safes are guaranteed to keep your rifles free from harm for about 30 minutes in temperatures up to about 1400 degrees Fahrenheit, or 760 degrees Celsius. This is usually more than adequate protection from most house fires.
This is something that you don’t find in many if any lower end rifle safes. It’s a very limiting factor in your rifle safe selection if it’s something that is a must have. That doesn’t mean you don’t still have options, but if you want a waterproof safe, make sure you’re budget is big enough to allow for it. Also, make sure you understand, water-resistance is very limited, and most waterproof safes only guarantee protection for about 24 hours.
Special Sizes and Shapes
The standard idea of a gun cabinet is not the only style of rifle safes available for sale. There are some specialty designs as well, such as hidden safes and under the bed safes. The more popular these become, the more creative the manufactures are getting.
Do you have a favorite brand?
Some people are very loyal to specific brands while others are only looking for the best value. We have organized all of our rifle safe reviews by brand. You can find them along with more information about manufactures like Stack-On, Barska, Mesa and more on the sidebar.