When choosing a gun safe, you have to consider a number of options, and one of these options is the price. Budget restrictions are a bitch but should not be detrimental to the quality of the device.
You might think this sounds stupid, but it’s not, in fact, there are many less expensive models that provide the same security measures as a more expensive one, only at the expense of storage space.
Consider these three factors when buying a gun safe for $300:
- Impregnable materials; where the body design is thick and tough and can withstand any attempt to drill, burn or corrode.
- Hinge Proof Doors; where even if hinges are taken off by some means, the door remains firmly and securely in place.
- Crack-proof Lock; where the locking mechanism is strong and solid, integrating either mechanical or electro-mechanical locks.
Each safe passed the three-feature test, and as such are the best options for you to buy this year.
We have picked out the best safes under $300
The Homegear Large Rifle safe is a great budget restricted safe to buy. The design does not impede on impregnability, only in storage capacity. The body is constructed from a 4mm thick steel door and 2mm thick steel walls.
The inner dimensions are 13.4” x 9.5” x 49.2,” and it can store up to 5 rifles. This model comes with a small lockbox in the upper compartment area. The locking mechanism is either a biometric electronic alone or combined with mechanical lock option.
The biometric locking mechanism is a perfect and proven way of securing digital locks from hacking since there is no combination to remember.
However, you can opt-in for a double digital locking mechanism and include a PIN code too.
This is a tall slim safe and weighs in at 75lbs, so you must secure it to the walls and floor using anchor bolts. Due to its dimensions, it can be hidden in most closets or in a wall recess.
The internal lockbox is a nice addition, and it comes with its own keys, which is added protection from prying eyes that do have access to the safe, but you still want some privacy.
This is an affordable and secure rifle safe and is well worth considering when space is also an issue. The biometric lock is the deal maker her.
The Paragon Electronic 5 Gun Rifle Safe is a nice budget friendly safe that does not limit its quality due to its price. This sturdy safe comes with an 18-gauge steel body and weighs 11lbs.
Its inner dimensions are 56 ¾” x 13 ½” x 9 ½” which provides 4.26 Cubic Feet, this gives you ample room for storing rifles or hand-held weapons and ammunition.
The locking mechanism comes with a PIN code as well as a mechanical key, so it’s a double locking mechanism which provides better security. The hinges are concealed, so its harder to pry open than standard safe designs.
This is great value for money, and the interior lock box adds an extra security feature. Overall, a good investment if you have an under 5 rifles that need storing.
The Barska quick access safe is a tall, slim biometric locking rifle safe that can store up to 4 rifles and provides quick access, in only 2.5 seconds. The biometric lock gives you extra security, where only a fingerprint will open the system.
The body is steel with 3 deadbolts that provide extra security against prying. The biometric lock stores up to 120 fingerprints in its memory.
Interior Dimensions: 9.7” x 7.63” x 52” providing 1.83 cubic feet of storage space, and it weighs 62lbs.
Barska Safe Video
This is a great fast opening biometric lock safe, it’s not the strongest of safes, but it is the best for speedy security. If you live in a critter prone zone and want fast access to a secured safe, this is the one to get.
The Stack-On TC-16-GB-K-DS (Phew lots of syntax) safe is a really nice security device to install. It can hold up to 14 rifles or shotguns as well as 2 tactical weapons, which makes it extremely versatile when compared to its competition.
The body is steel with a 3-point locking system and a nicely designed riveted door cover.
The interior compartment is 18” x 21” x 55”, it has four removable half shelves, and the safe weighs 97.2lbs.
This safe meets the California-approved Firearm Safety Device requirements of Penal Code section 23655.
So it’s not the strongest of safes that a more expensive model would get you, but it does the trick and is a very nice handle-less model, where the door opens electromechanically, which is another safety feature to consider.
5. Best Choice Products Large 5-Rifle Firearm Steel Digital Storage Gun Safe Cabinet w/Electronic Lock
If it’s a good budget-friendly safe with ample security and space to store 5 rifles securely. The body is an all steel and the inner dimensions are 13.5″ x 11.25″ x 56.25″ and weighs 99.2lbs.
This is an extremely value for money option, coming in well under $300 and it provides ample space and protection for a limited budget.
The locking mechanism is digital and mechanical, which is great, and there is a lock box for storing your ammo or other valuables. The interior is covered with a fine grey carpet.
One of the least expensive options that provide ample security at a very affordable price.
If you need a solution for more than five guns, perhaps 10 guns, but within a very tight budget, then this is the solution you are looking for. The Stack-On GCB-910 safe is very versatile and offers you a California-approved Firearm Safety Device that meets the requirements of Penal Code section 23655.
The safe comes with a steel exterior casing, pre-drilled anchor holes to secure the safe to the floor, and three-point locking system for added security. The key lock is easy to operate, and since you have no handle, makes it tamper proof.
The inner dimensions are 13.5” x 17” x 53,” and the unit weighs 61lbs. The bottom is foam lined, and you can position the particular self-stick foam bar in a way that will secure all barrels, with or without scopes.
This is a simple safe, it’s not got the thickest of body materials, and it is not a fire or waterproof safe, it’s standard weapons safe for storing up to 10 rifles securely under $300, which is a great deal when considering the alternatives.
Mandatory Budget Gun Safe Features
Owning a gun comes with responsibilities, sure, you have a constitutional right to own a gun, but you also have a personal responsibility to assure that the gun is secured when not in use.
When you buy a gun-safe, there are a number of features that you have to factor in, and these include buying the right sized safe as well as the right type of safe for the area you live in.
Take into account that budget gun safes will not have the extra features that the more expensive models have, and these include fireproofing and waterproofing. Most of the budget safes will also lack the thick body material and construction as well as less locking and deadbolts.
Having stated these facts, in many instances you are only securing your rifles at home accordioning to state requirements, and don’t need to go overboard with extra secure locking systems. Now let’s look at what a budget-friendly safe must have:
Size: Always buy a safe that is bigger than what you originally need. This is based on experience, most gun owners will eventually add another weapon and buy more ammo over time, and then the safe can become too small for all the additions.
Material: Make sure the safe is made of steel, other materials will not provide the same strength and hardness that steel offers.
Locks: It’s always best to buy a safe with two locking mechanisms I don’t believe in only one form, and definitely not only an electronic form. Start off with a dual mechanical and digital locking mechanism for maximum security.
I know this might sound old-school but prefer to buy a safe that comes with a mechanical key too; you don’t want to be in an emergency situation where the digital lock is down due to various reasons and no way to open the safe.
Water: if you live in a flood-prone area you must buy a water resistant safe. However, budget safes are not waterproof, so here’s a tip for you, buy rubber or silicone lining and place it around the seams of the door frame. This will provide some waterproofing.
Securing: Always make sure your safe can be secured via pre-drilled anchor holes so you can set it securely into the floor or wall.
Alarm: This is not really a mandatory add-on, but if you already invest in an electronic lock mechanism, have it come with an alarm, so if attempts are made to open it, it will set off the alarm, and that can alert you to tampering.
Some downsides to electronic locks
Batteries: They wear down, and this is not just a matter of cost but to nuisance value.
Security: A three code lock has only got 999 combinations, if your thief has time, he/she will open the combination.
Hacking: The more complicated electronic locks can be hacked with the right hardware.
Kid Proofing Your Safe
If you have a combination lock, make sure the combination is secured in a remote location. Do not write it down or keep it near the safe. Also, do not use family numbers, try to come up with an abstract number combination that has nothing to do with your family.
Keys, kids know more than you think, they know where everything is stored and hidden, and if they have extra curiosity, will go and look for ways to open the safe that would make the Pink Panther blush.
Make sure that the keys are not kept in an easy to access place. Secure them only where you can reach them easily, but make sure it is hidden from prying eyes.
Do not give anyone your code or key; this is a gun safe, guns have a tendency to call people. Don’t give anyone at all a key or code, no one.
If the safe is home safe for more than your weapon, then, of course, your partner will have access too. Just remember, the same rules that apply to you apply to your partner too. Make sure they know the rules.
To be honest, I don’t mechanical locks are the best, but sometimes not enough. That is why a combination of locking mechanisms is best. However, do not buy a digital lock without a mechanical way to open the door.
If you can go the extra furlong, buy a biometric lock, it’s much more personal and secure than a digital code. In fact, its near hack proof, unlike a code. Whatever you decide, just make sure you stick to the mandatory requirement we laid out here.