Buying a gun safe seems simple enough – all you need is a metal box, right? Well, wrong. Once you start browsing the market, trying to figure out which model will work for you – and your budget – you’ll soon realize there’s a lot more to it than you initially thought.
But since you’re here, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for making the world a safer place by being a responsible gun owner. Now, let’s find you the best gun safe under $500!
- 5 Best Gun Safes Under $1000 – Reviews and Detailed Buying Guide
- 5 Best Gun Safes Under $300 – Safety On A Budget (New Edition)
Top Rated Gun Safes Under $500 (Quick Comparison)
Top 5 Best Gun Safes Under $500: Detailed Reviews And Recommendations
1. BARSKA New Large Quick Access Biometric Rifle Gun Safe Cabinet – Best Gun Safe For Small Spaces
If you’re looking for a gun safe that doesn’t take up a lot of space, but can store long-length rifles, or handguns, along with other valuables, this BARSKA model is the way to go.
Now, let’s talk security.
The safe features a biometric lock, meaning it relies on scanning your fingerprints as a means of gaining access. What makes it stand out, though, is the fact that it’s capable of storing up to 120 different ones. That way, you have absolute control over how many people have access to the gun safe.
Furthermore, the three-point deadbolt locking system should be able to withstand prying attempts. And if you take the extra step to anchor it, intruders pretty much won’t stand a chance against this gun safe.
The lack of stability was a huge issue, though. Every time I went to open it, I felt like there was a risk of the entire thing tipping over. Luckily, it does come with all the essential mounting hardware, which gives you the chance to nip those balance issue right in the bud.
- Biometric safe for a quick access
- Features a 3-point deadbolt locking system
- Comes with mounting hardware
- Four AA batteries and two back-up keys included
- Optional silent access mode
- Approved by the DOJ
- It loses its balance easily
- Too small for some rifles
2. V-Line Quick Access Keyless Long Gun Safe – Ideal For Storing Your AR-15
It’s slim, it’s lightweight, and it doesn’t look like much regarding sturdiness.
Looks can be deceiving, though, and if you’re looking for a compact storage space for your AR-15 rifle, shotgun – or any single rifle up to that length, for that matter – the V-Line long gun safe is your best bet.
Safety-wise, it utilizes a SIMPLEX mechanical lock with five push buttons. It’s not the most high-tech lock on the market, but it does allow you quick access whenever the need arises. And if that isn’t secure enough for you, you can always opt to use the two additional locks. The fact that it doesn’t require any batteries to operate is a huge plus, too!
Weighing only 11 pounds, the V-Line is super lightweight, which could be viewed both as an advantage, and a disadvantage. Here’s why:
If you need a portable safe, this one’s perfect for the job, but at the same time, it can be easily carried away by burglars, too.
That said, mounting it to a wall, or behind the door, for example, is not optional – it’s mandatory. Otherwise, there’s not much keeping the safe in place.
- Features a SIMPLEX push button mechanical lock
- Comes with two additional locks for extra security
- Pry-resistant clamshell design
- Pre-drilled holes for anchoring
- Lightweight enough to be mounted on the wall
- Doesn’t use batteries
- Has to be anchored
3. Stack-On GCDG-9216 16-Gun Convertible Double-Door Steel Security Cabinet – Best For Gun Owners With A Growing Collection
Yes, I know, it’s not a gun safe, it’s a gun cabinet. But before you start passing judgments, take a moment to learn more about what this security cabinet has to offer, and why I decided to include it in this round-up, anyway.
First off, this is a two-unit model capable of storing a total of 31 rifles, so right off the bat, it offers a lot more space than any other model in this price range. If you already have an impressive rifle collection, or you’re thinking of expanding it sometime in the future, you should seriously consider investing in this Stack-On security cabinet.
The reinforced steel doors, three-point locking system, as well as the key coded, double-bitted lock work together to turn this safety cabinet into every intruder’s nightmare.
Again, I’m well aware of the fact that it’s not technically a gun safe, but after everything you’ve just read, can you blame me for wanting to include it on my list?
Plus, if the Department of Justice approves it as safe firearm storage, who are we to say otherwise?
- Gun cabinet holds up to 16 rifles
- Convertible cabinet features removable shelves
- Comes with additional gun barrel rests
- Capable of holding a total of 31 rifles
- Pre-drilled mounting holes and hardware
- Three-point locking system
- Approved by the DOJ
- Limited 1-year warranty
- Technically not a safe
4. GunVault SV500 SpeedVault Handgun Safe – Best Single-Gun Capacity Safe
If you own a gun only as a means of protecting yourself and your loved ones, I strongly suggest you give this GunVault model a try.
First off, it’s way more affordable than any other model in this round-up. If you’re working with a tight budget, this one is a perfect choice.
Furthermore, it’s convenient – due to its compact design, you can mount it pretty much anywhere in your home or office, and the interior light will provide enough visibility even in low light conditions.
Lastly, the combination of a pry-resistant design and a biometric lock that saves up to 20 fingerprints (paired with two override keys as a backup plan) will ensure your gun never ends up in the wrong hands.
The fact that batteries power it was a bit of a disappointment – I’m always worried about the batteries dying right when I need them the most.
I didn’t like how noisy it was, either. Even with the beeping sound off, it still “clacks” whenever you open it, which could be a problem if you’re dealing with an intruder in your home, and you’re trying to stay as quiet as possible.
- Comes with two override keys as a backup
- Interior courtesy light for low-light situations
- Fast and responsive biometric lock
- Saves up to 20 fingerprints
- Pry-resistant design
- Various mounting options
- It’s a bit noisy
- Powered by batteries
5. SentrySafe Quick Access Biometric Gun Safe – Best Single-Owner Gun Safe
Lastly, I’d like you to check out this basic, budget-friendly biometric gun safe by SentrySafe.
The biometric lock responds to only one fingerprint, and while it doesn’t sound as impressive as up to 120 saved fingerprints, if you’re serious about keeping your gun secure – or you’re the only owner of the safe – there’s no need for any additional saved fingerprints, anyway.
That said, if the electronic system fails due to low batteries, you’ll have the override key as your backup option.
With a little help from a gas strut, an unlocked safe stays open for as long as you need it to, allowing you to access your gun with one hand. Combined with the at-the-ready pistol presentation, this unit seems to have a strong focus on easy access.
However, there are some not-so-great aspects of this gun safe, one of them being that it requires four non-rechargeable batteries.
Also, you have to “wake up” the fingerprint scanner before you can use it, which could potentially cause some confusion in emergency cases when you’re trying to get to your gun as soon as possible. It’s not a big deal, but it’s worth mentioning, nonetheless.
- Features a biometric lock with a fingerprint scanner
- At-the-ready pistol presentation
- Holds open and allows single-handed access
- Comes with an override key
- Made according to DOJ requirements
- Requires batteries
- You have to “wake up” the scanner
SnapSafe Under Bed Safe 75400 – Discreet Gun Safe for Limited Spaces
SnapSafe 75400 is another gun safe that does not take a lot of space yet provides adequate security for your valuables and weapons. Therefore, if you live in a small apartment, or want a discreet storage solution, this SnapSafe model is right up your ally.
What are its advantages?
First of all, you would be surprised how large this space-saving gun safe actually is. Namely, it measures 48″ W x 7” H x 24” D and can fit up to five riffles or other multiple guns.
Thanks to the pre-drilled bolt holes you will have no trouble installing it, but even if you do not want to keep it permanently in one place the 14 gauge heavy-duty steel construction and weight of 148 pounds make it hard for anyone to steal it.
The gliding drawer pulls out smoothly even when loaded with heavy guns. The locking mechanism provides you with a digital lock and a traditional key entry as a backup solution. You can choose a three to eight-digit access code and program two different passcodes.
Soft lining material keeps your guns safe from scratches too. Unfortunately, the unit is not designed as waterproof nor is it resistant to fire.
- Large slide-out drawer
- Pry-resistant door
- Robust 5-foot cable for added security
- More discreet than a standard gun safe
- Both digital & manual access
- The knob does not match the high-quality of the unit
- Loud key sound
- Neither waterproof nor fireproof
Verifi Smart.Safe. S6000 Biometric Gun Safe – A Safe with an FBI Certified Fingerprint Sensor
Verifi Smart.Safe Biometric gun safe is packed with advanced technical features that share the same purpose – to keep your guns secure no matter what. First and foremost, it features an FBI-approved, dependable silicon fingerprint sensor with 3D technology – should we go any further?
Maybe not, but it would be a pity not to mention all the benefits of this high-class security unit.
This safe measures 17.4 x 16.1 x 7.9 inches and can easily fit any handgun. It is made of solid steel but weighs only 30 pounds and thus it would be best to mount it onto your wall or floor as soon as you get it.
The interface is user-friendly and you also have the inbuilt tutorials you can rely on. There is no need to remember when you have changed the batteries as there is a self-diagnostic system that will notify you of any problem related to the electronics – including the critical battery level. Do not worry though as the included batteries will last you for a couple of years for sure.
If anyone tries to tamper with this gun safe, you will find out as it timestamps and logs any unauthorized access attempt, as well as every use of the backup key.
If you forget to close the door, you will be alerted immediately; the auto-lock feature is also there to protect the kids when you are absent-minded.
- Quick fingerprint access
- Stores up to 40 different fingerprints
- FSD approved
- LED night light
- The interior is not padded
- A bit noisy
Stack-On E-040-SB-E Elite Junior Executive Fire Safe – Attractive design & modern features
Stack-On E-040-SB-E might be designed to keep your firearms safe but it is an ideal place to store any valuables you own. The interior is quite roomy (6 cubic feet) and well organized. You can shift the shelves as you please to best fit your belongings.
The advanced security features paired with thick walls & 250 pounds of weight guarantee that your guns and rifles will never get into the wrong hands. Nevertheless, floor mounting is necessary and unfortunately it can be a bit difficult mostly due to the unclear instructions.
The attractive exterior is enhanced by the bi-colored design that will complement any decor. The chrome-finished three-spoke handle might remind you of the old days but do not let that fool you – this safe is as modern as they come!
Electronic lock features a two-way locking mechanism and a steel plate that is resistant to drilling. You can set your keypad combination but you also receive a back-up key in case of emergency. Your valuables will be safe even in the case of fire as this gun safe provides adequate protection in an open flame for up to half an hour.
The interior is padded and all the shelves are covered with felt liner adding to the overall appearance of the safe but also keeping your firearms scratch-free. Due to its height it might not be adequate for keeping your hunting rifles.
- Advanced security features
- Roomy & Carpeted interior
- Drill-resistant lock
- Heavy 1½ inch locking bolts
- Warns you in case of low battery and incorrect entry
- 5-year warranty
- Not suitable for hunting rifles
- Unclear mounting instructions
First Watch Homak HS30136010 – Corner Gun safe with a large capacity
Homak is a company with quite a long tradition and having survived on the market for so long surely accounts for something – their HS30136010 Corner gun safe proves that notion. It is definitely one of the best corner gun safe models you can find: so, if that is the design you are seeking be sure to check it out!
The locking mechanism is quite simple with no bells & whistles whatsoever but it offers you 100 different key combinations that are sure to eliminate any risk of forceful entry. Thick walls made from 1.2mm cold steel are strong enough to withstand any attempt of forceful entry coming from burglars as well.
Considering the fact that it weighs mere 100 pounds, immediate floor mounting is a must if you want to make it 100% safe. This Homak safe comes at a more than reasonable price considering its large capacity of 15.77 cubic feet as well as its whooping height of almost 57 inches.
You can store up to ten riffles and there are five shelves to organize your ammunition and valuables. The security features of this gun cabinet might be limited but it is sure to minimize the risk of an accident or crime connected to your firearms.
- Extra large storage capacity
- Two locks and two back-up keys
- Shelves for organizing your valuables
- More of a gun cabinet than a gun safe
- The back wall is not padded
BARSKA AX11650 Biometric Safe – Allows for quick access to your guns
You know that in the case of emergency every moment counts and this is the main reason why you should consider the BARSKA AX11650 Biometric gun safe. It guarantees quick access to your firearms thanks to the infallible biometric system that saves up to 120 different fingerprints and allows you access in a matter of seconds.
You do not need a back-up key (although you will receive two) or a security card and that saves precious time when your safety is jeopardized.
Besides, the safe is well-built and made from robust steel that will withstand almost any physical attack. You can mount it wherever you see fit thanks to the included mounting hardware, plus there is a protective floor mat to keep your floor safe from damage.
BARSKA AX11650 offers you compact storage and 1.45 ft³ capacity. As a bonus, you have two removable shelves to organize your valuables appropriately. If you forget to close the door, do not worry, loud beeping sound will remind you to do that. The safe will also beep every time it opens.
Unfortunately, this safe in neither waterproof, nor resistant to fire, but that is why the price is so affordable.
- Good value for money
- Three solid deadbolts for added security
- The Barska Quick-Access system can be set up out of the box
- Scans fingerprints at all angles
- A battery back-up box plus two back-up keys
- Not waterproof or resistant to fire
First Alert 2087DF Gun Safe – A waterproof safe with a digital lock
This First Alert 2087DF safe is a highly rated fireproof and waterproof safe. Its measurements are 17 x 14.7 x 19.1 inches and it has a capacity of 0.94 cubic feet. This safe is the smallest in the range but you can opt for its big brothers the 2092DF and 2096DF if you need more space.
This safe is built to last and stand the test of time – it is noticeable as soon as you unpack it. As a result, it is an excellent choice for both home and office users.
Why choose this gun safe?
It protects your guns, ammunition, and valuables not only from theft or misuse, but also from fire and water. Namely it can withstand a temperature of up to 1700 F degrees for one hour. Being waterproof, it will protect your belongings while the fire is extinguished as well. Waterproof protective cover protects the digital keypad and keeps it functional too.
Considering all this, this safe comes at a great value.
The digital keypad is backlit for nighttime emergencies, and you also get a back-up key to override the system if such a need occurs. Four solid door bolts will keep your firearms safe at all times and you get a removable shelf to better organize your belongings.
- 1 Hour Fire resistance
- Safe override keys
- 4 live locking steel bolts against forced entry
- Pry resistant, concealed hinges
- 5-year warranty
- Limited capacity
- Not suitable for long guns and rifles
Homegear Large 5 Rifle Electronic Gun Safe – Comes with an internal lockbox for added safety
The Homegear 5 Rifle Electronic Gun Safe is a sturdy unit that comes with the 4mm thick door and 2mm thick walls. Considering its weight, it can stand alone but it would be best security-wise to mount it to studs in your wall.
The internal dimensions of this safe are 13.4” W X 9.5” D X 49.2” H and that means that there is enough room for you to store up to 5 rifles, depending on their size and whether you are storing them together with their optics or not.
Those of you who value added security will be pleased to know that this Homegear gun safe allows you to keep your valuables behind two locks instead of one. Moreover, you will receive a separate lockbox located at the top of the unit, so that you can add another lock to your most precious belongings.
The locking system is not perfect though. The biggest issue in this case is the keypad placement. The digits seem to be too close to one another and that can be problematic for people with big or chubby fingers, especially when in a hurry. Time-out period can make things even worse in such a scenario.
Some plastic components position this model in the category of storing cabinets rather than proper gun safes, have that in mind before you buy it.
- Large capacity
- Back-up keys
- Heavy-duty steel construction
- CE and RoHS Product Certificates
- 1-year warranty
- Bigger fingers can mishit the numbers
- The included anchors are not user-friendly
- Not fireproof
Do You Need A Gun Safe – And Why?
Bringing a firearm into your home and not storing it properly also increases the risk of possibly life-threatening accidents if the gun gets into the wrong hands.
That said, here are a couple of reasons why getting a gun safe should be a priority for all gun owners:
- Child Safety Is Key – Up to 21 percent of gun-related injuries in children on an annual level is unintentional.
- Don’t put your family at risk of becoming a part of these horrific statistics – be a responsible gun owner, and above all, a parent, and lock your firearms away from the children’s curious, tiny hands.
- Protection In Case Of Floods And House Fires – If disaster suddenly hits, a waterproof and fireproof gun safe could be your main ally in keeping all your valuables out of harm’s way.
- Don’t Be An Easy Target – Leaving weapons unprotected is just looking for trouble. Getting robbed is another worst case scenario, but it’s still a possibility, and if it does happen, you’ll be glad you had all your guns (and other valuables) under lock and key.
- The Matter Of Liability – Gun ownership comes with great responsibility. Yes, it’s a constitutional right to have one, but as a responsible firearm owner, you must keep your weapon secure at all times.
How To Pick The Best Gun Safe Under $500: Features To Consider
With so many models available on the market, picking a gun safe that’s right for your needs – and a cheap one, for that matter – can be a pretty daunting task.
So, let’s make it a tad bit easier by going through some of the most important factors to consider before purchasing a gun safe – a buyer’s guide, if you will.
1. Security Features
Security features mostly revolve around fire-resistant materials and waterproof seals. Not every safe has them, though, so if you live in an area that gets flooded frequently, or has a high number of house fires, security features are something you should look consider.
However, keep in mind that the more security features the safe has, the pricier it will be.
2. Locking Mechanism
Although I somewhat prefer biometric safes due to the ease-of-access they offer, manual mechanisms have their advantages, too – and the fact that they don’t rely on batteries is probably the biggest one of all.
If you’re looking for fast access, digital locks (such as biometric ones) are the way to go, but if you’re looking for a more old-school approach, focus on models with a mechanical lock, instead.
If you get a gun safe that’s not durable, there won’t be that big of a difference between it and a wooden box. It sounds silly to make such a comparison, but safety-wise, it’s true.
On that note, solid steel construction is virtually unmatched.
4. Size And Weight
Size is, without a doubt, one of the deciding factors when buying a gun safe – and it’s all about available space:
First off, you want to make sure the safe will fit in its dedicated space (I’ll discuss locations in a moment), but most importantly, it has to suit your particular needs. So, ask yourself this:
“Do I need a safe for a gun or a rifle, and will I store something other than my firearms in it? Do I have a suitable spot for it in my home?”
Weight requirements, on the other hand, are pretty simple – in most cases, heavier is better.
5. Locking Bolts
Lastly, don’t forget to check the locking bolts. After all, they’re the only thing that stands between a burglar and your valuables, including your gun. The higher the quality of locking bolts, the harder it will be for anyone to break into your gun safe.
Moreover, make sure they keep the door to the safe tightly closed – the tighter, the better is what I always say.
FAQ About Gun Safes
Here’s everything you wanted to know about the best gun safes under $500, but didn’t know who to ask!
Where should I keep my gun safe?
Picking a location is one of the most challenging decisions for first-time gun safe buyers. Unfortunately, there’s no straight answer to the question.
Follow the “out of sight, out of mind” principle – stay away from obvious spots like the master bedroom. You should always favor security over convenience.
That said, make sure it’s still easily accessible in case of emergency.
When it comes to a gun safe, does cheap equal low quality?
The answer is no; it doesn’t. A safe wouldn’t be very good at its job if it were made from weak, inferior materials, don’t you think?
The difference usually lays in the duration of the warranty, as well as lack of any additional features. However, material quality is rarely something manufacturers are willing to compromise on when it comes to the best gun safes under $500.
How important is it to anchor a gun safe?
Most (if not all) gun safes will come with anchoring instructions, as well as components, and for a good reason, too – anchoring your gun safe to the floor (or the wall) is one of the most important things you can do safety-wise.
Not only does it prevent potential burglars from moving the safe, but it also helps keep the safe’s stability under control.
An anchored gun safe is a safe one.
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Best Gun Safes Under $500: Final Verdict
I want you to remember that, regardless of what your budget is, there’s a gun safe that will meet your needs. To help you out, we’ve singled out the BARSKA New Large Quick Access Biometric Rifle Gun Safe Cabinet as the best gun safe under $500 – it doesn’t take up a lot of space, but it still manages to give you plenty in return.
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the matter, so feel free to drop a comment below!