Things to consider before buying handgun safes

buying a handgun safe

A smart shopper will always do their research before buying handgun safes, it is the clever way to approach such an important decision.

As a gun owner it is your responsibility and duty of care to store your firearms safely and securely in a good quality gun safe. The little extra you may pay for a fire arm safe will give you a peace of mind knowing you have your handguns, such as pistols, revolvers, or other small weapons in a gun safe that is far stronger than the imported safes that in most cases are constructed of mild thin steel no thicker than a small cash box. The end result more often than not in purchasing this type of imported gun or rifle safe, will be your treasured guns stolen as burglary attacks from such basic tools including crowbars, screw drivers, drills, grounders or sledge hammers will easily and quickly cut or bend the steel open.

Another essential reason for investing in a high quality gun safe is the safety aspect being it is your duty of care to make sure that when your firearms are not in use, they are stored securely away from those who have no idea of the potential damage that unsecured firearms can present. Especially around children that often see a firearm such as a rifle or hand gun as a play object but the accidents over the years involving this type of negligence by not storing the firearms in a high quality rifle safe can end with catastrophe results.

Fire arms are always a target for criminals as they know there is a huge black market out there for stolen guns. So your private guns are a potential target for them and you need to protect your collection of guns or long arms with a proper heavy duty bolt down fire arm safe which has been specifically designed out of materials. They will provide a good resistance against burglar attack.

Some smart advice to consider when looking for a handgun safe as all fire arm safes are not considered equal so choosing the right gun safe to meet your requirement may not be as simple as you assume.

Tip number 1 – safe capacity

Make sure the pistol safe or rifle safe that you choose has enough room to store your current collection of fire arms, but allow more room for other weapons you may acquire in the future or if you purchase a high quality pistol or rifle safe they usually have excellent security features that will confidentially allow you to store other expensive items so therefore turning your fire arm safe into a multipurpose safe.

Tip number 2 – location of the safe

The location of your handgun safe is a very important decision to make. so be mindful of the obvious being out of site out of mind, make sure it is always bolted down doesn’t matter how heavy the safe is, keep the safe locked at all times, make sure it is kept in a locked room and the door to the room is locked at all times and don’t use a location where children are likely to see it or where common family members are usually around.

Tip number 3 – check state regulations

Make sure the gun safe you decide on complies with your states regulations for the storage of the particular weapons you intend on protecting for example there are levels and categories such as level 1&2 and category A, B, C, D,& H.

Let me give you some facts on what weapons get into what level and category.

Category C

  • Self loading rimfire with a magazine capacity of no more than 10 rounds
  • self loading shotguns with a magazine capacity of no more shotguns with a magazine capacity of no more than 5 rounds
  • pump action shotguns with a magazine capacity of more than 5 rounds

Category D

  • Self loading centre fire rifles
  • Self loading rimfire rifles with a magazine capacity of no more than 10 rounds
  • self loading shotguns with a magazine capacity of no more than 5 rounds
  • Pump action shotguns with a magazine cpacity of no more than 5 rounds
  • Any firearm to which category C licence applies

Category H

  • Handguns (Pistols)

Category A

  • Air rifles
  • Rimfire rifles (other than self loading)
  • Shotguns (other than pump action or self loading)
  • Shotgun / rimfire rifle combinations

Category B

  • Muzzle loading firearm (other than pistols)
  • Centre fire rifles (other than self loading)
  • Shotgun / Centrefire rifle combinations

It is always important to check the required firearm regulations for your state.

Tip number 4 – firearm fire resisting safes

High quality safes to store weapons have come a long away in the design of the security features in the last ten years due to the main fact that gun ownership has exploded within this time in Australia. The cost of fire arms such as pistols, rifles, long arms, etc are expensive. When you are store a sufficient number of weapons in one safe, the accumulated value can often be between $10,000 to $20,000 or more, not a bad haul for a burglar. Also it is crucial to consider purchasing a fire arm safe that offers both burglary and fire resistance. A good fire resistant fire arm safe that is fire rated to UL72 class 350 will give adequate protection to your guns in case of fire. A good fire resistant gun safe internal temperature should withstand up to 350 °F which is the standard to protect paper documents and would be adequate to also protect firearms.

Tip number 5 – installation

It is imperative that your safe is fixed to a solid steady surface no matter if it is floor or wall mounted. It is just as important to make sure the fixing bolts used to secure the safe and installed to give it maximum protection. Things to consider when choosing a suitable floor or wall anchoring point is to avoid areas that will not provide a strong secure fixing base such as wooden floors, carpeted areas that haven’t got a solid base underneath. If a wall fixing is your preferred choice, don’t forget to remove skirting boards or any other obstacles that may be a obstruction maximising the installation of your fire arm safe. The majority of gun or rifle safes will have pre-drilled holes provided on the back or base or sometimes in both to allow for a wall or floor mounting option.

Tip number 6 – lock mechanism

What lock mechanism to choose?There are a variety of locking options available to choose in rifle or gun safes including high security safe key locks, combination locking, bio-metric finger scan locks or electronic digital locking. Let’s look at their pros and cons.

Traditional key locking

Pros – The traditional key locking. this type of lock has been around forever and as long as the lock used is a 6 lever pick resistant key lock on a higher level, the security locking is excellent. Popular choices for key locking fire arms are the Guardall Safe T25, the Guardall Safe T25-46, and the Chubb Pistol Safe.

Cons – The only negative is having to carry a physical key and the risk of it getting stolen, lost, or broken keys copied without your knowledge or authority.

Combination locks

Pros – Combination locks offer excellent security and they don’t rely on power to open them. The advantage of not having to carry a key and you can change the combination thousand of times. The dial-mechanisms are very durable and give an exceptional long life. The CMI Pistol Safe is a very popular choice for pistol safe that uses combination locks.

Cons – they can be difficult to change the combination as this usually requires the services of a Locksmith or safe technician and like any mechanical object that has many moving parts, overtime they ware so basic maintenance is needed by a professional. A service is usually required every 2 years or annually depending on how often the safe is used.


pros – the security on bio-metric locking is often refereed to as finger scanning operation. It is excellent and the convenience of using your finger point to gain access is quick, easy and very safe. The scan will only open on your unique individual finger print.

cons – the bio-metric locking relies of normal battery power, so obviously they need to be replaced when required. Also on occasion the scanner can have difficulty in reading and scanning finger print if batteries are low and this may result in safe not opening until battery replacement is done. This can be frustrating if you are in a hurry.

Digital locking

Pros – The digital locking offers a very secure option as long as the digital has a UL 768 Group II lock rating or higher. Other advantage of the digital locking is that changing the combination is simple, easy and quick. They often have various security features incorporated in these design such as anti tamper shut down mode, battery replacement indication and wrong code penalty.

Cons – The only disadvantage is that it is power operated by normal common batteries that need replacing. Sometime when it is not changed within the time your digital is indicating it may not open the safe until replacement done.

If you have any questions, speak to one of our safe expert from safeguard safes today by email or call us on 1300 764 971.

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