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The Top 9 Best Gun Safes Under 500: Complete Buying Guide

Best Gun Safes Under 500

Gun safes can be expensive purchases for your home. However, just because gun safes are pricey doesn’t mean you can’t get one!

Today, we give you the best gun safes under $500. With this price range, you can keep your firearms safe without breaking the bank.

Besides our buying guide, we also cover different considerations you need to mull over before buying a gun box. Let’s get started on the best gun safe picks on the market today!

Best Value
Stack-On Convertible Double-Door Steel Security Cabinet
Best Overall
Barska Quick Access Biometric Rifle Safe
Best Budget Pick
VAULTEK VT20i Biometric Bluetooth-Smart Pistol Safe

The Top 9 Best Gun Safes Under 500 Dollars

#1 Barska Quick Access Biometric Rifle Safe

BEST OVERALL

Barska Quick Access Biometric Rifle Safe

BUYING OPTIONS:
» Best Price on OpticsPlanet «

Is the Barska Quick Access Biometric Rifle Safe for You?

This aluminum gun safe is tall and thin, so you can easily fit it into enough wall space and you don’t have to worry about fitting in long guns like rifles or shotguns inside.

It has a 14-gauge solid steel construction, weighs sixty-two pounds, and has biometrics as its primary locking mechanism.

The Barska Quick Access Safe makes it possible for up to 120 fingerprints to access the safe. If you need multiple people – in your family or a club, maybe – to access the safe, this is the best choice for you.

Keys are included as backup access, and you can get to your guns in just 2.5 seconds! Need to make it discreet? The safe allows an optional silent mode.

What we love best about this safe are the added security features. This safe is approved by the California Department of Justice, so you know you’re getting stringent security measures.

The door hinges and inner edges resist prying, while the safe itself has a three-point locking system.

This is the best gun safe under 500 we can recommend!

Pros
  • Easy access for multiple people
  • It can be accessed with optional silent mode
  • Has California DOJ approval
  • Pry-resistant hinges and edges
  • Three deadbolts
Cons
  • Needs the mounting hardware as it loses balance
  • Users report unreliable biometrics
  • Can't store that many rifles
  • Is the Barska Quick Acces

#2 Stack-On GCDG-9216 Convertible Double-Door Steel Security Cabinet

BEST VALUE

Stack-On GCDG-9216 Convertible Double-Door Steel Security Cabinet

BUYING OPTIONS:
» Check Price on Amazon «

Is the Stack-On 16-Gun Convertible Steel Security Cabinet for You?

With this much capacity, this gun cabinet is best for people who are into a serious gun collection. You get to store your existing guns with no issue and collect more long guns without worrying about the safe capacity!

With this Stack-On long gun safe, you can store anywhere from 16 to 31 guns.

Do note that storing 31 guns is only possible by removing the padded shelves meant for your valuables. If you’re not storing jewelry, gadgets, or other valuables in the safe, you can remove them to make way for 15 more guns.

Security-wise, there are two steel locking plates, a three-point locking system, and key-coded locks.

Inside the case, your guns can sit safely on molded, contoured barrel rests. If you need to make sure your weapons won’t compress inside the best gun safes, this is your best choice.

This is also our pick for the best gun safe under 500 when it comes to value.

Pros
  • Can house multiple firearms and long guns being 52 inches tall
  • With extra barrel rests
  • With removable shelves
  • Easy assemblage
Cons
  • Good storage space comes at the cost of flimsiness

#3 VAULTEK VT20i Biometric Handgun Bluetooth-Smart Pistol Safe

BEST BUDGET PICK

VAULTEK VT20i Biometric Handgun Bluetooth-Smart Pistol Safe

BUYING OPTIONS:
» Best Price on OpticsPlanet «

Is the VAULTEX VT20i Biometric Handgun Bluetooth-Smart Pistol Safe For You?

If you only need to store a handgun and several valuable items away, this safe is for you!

Owners who travel a lot benefit from this safe as well. You can have it on your desk, in your bedroom closet, or even in your car.

A steel security cable and mounting hardware makes it possible to have this safe secure on the go. You can access it via fingerprint technology, keypad combinations, or backup keys. The key slot is concealed, so ONLY YOU can get into your pistol quickly.

Aside from the compact design, you can check on this safe any time you like. Connect your smartphone via Bluetooth to view the safe’s status.

If someone tries to hack into this biometric gun safe at any point in time, the first alert goes to your phone!

One downside others may have an issue with is it can only hold one complete firearm, magazines, and some extra valuables here and there.

That being said, it’s perfect if you need a secure safe to store only the most valuable items in your possession.

It has an interior-mounted hinge system, anti-impact latches, and anti-pry reinforcement bars for your security! Its low price for this much safety is enough to choose this safe as our best budget gun safe under 500.

Pros
  • With auto-open lid and rechargeable battery
  • Meets TSA guidelines
  • Compact design
  • Can connect to your smartphone
  • With anti-pry hinges, bars, and interior edges
Cons
  • Keypad or fingerprint scanner can be accessed by children

#4 Stack-On 10-Gun Double-Door Security Cabinet

Stack-On 10-Gun Double-Door Security Cabinet

BUYING OPTIONS:
» Best Price on OpticsPlanet «

Is the Stack-On 10-Gun Double-Door Security Cabinet for You?

This safe is best for owners who need enough storage space for multiple guns. Aside from numerous guns, this safe can also accommodate ammunition, gadgets, and jewelry.

The latter includes removable, padded steel shelves.

If you don’t need the valuables section, you can remove the shelves to enlarge the security safe.

This safe is also DOJ-approved! It has three locking bolts and two locking plates inside the cabinet. You can trust your rifles or shotguns to be safe with the padded rests and contours.

Should you need to mount the safe to the wall, this safe’s construction includes pre-drilled mounting holes. Ordering this product comes with the fastening and finishing hardware.

Pros
  • Key each door separately
  • Large, padded removable shelves
  • Full-sized steel door
  • Low-key appearance
Cons
  • Needs mounting and effort on your part

#5 Paragon Lock & Safe Electronic 5-Gun Rifle Safe and Cabinet for Firearms

Paragon Lock & Safe Electronic 5-Gun Rifle Safe and Cabinet for Firearms

BUYING OPTIONS:
» Check Price on Amazon «

Is the Paragon Lock & Safe Electronic 5-Gun Rifle Safe and Cabinet for You?

Looking for a heavy-duty steel cabinet?

This one arrives at your door at 110 pounds of solid steel. This safe is best for people who mainly use rifles and long guns, and you can fit up to 5 inside this model.

You can opt for quick access keyless PINs, which you can change infinitely. However, the model also has two emergency backup keys.

Now, let’s talk design.

You can choose to categorize your ammunition and your handguns with separate interior shelves, too! The added powder coating finish makes the entire design more durable than usual.

The solid steel cabinet looks like a locker and doesn’t take up that much space, width-wise. It is a tall cabinet, but it can fit easily in the corner of your room. It’s a good buy for its price!

Pros
  • Accessible via PIN code or keys
  • 18-gauge solid steel construction
  • Concealed hinges
  • Can store up to five guns
  • Powder-coat finish
Cons
  • Some models have poor welding
  • It can come across as a flimsy cabinet

#6 First Alert Bolt-Down Water and Fireproof Safe with Combination Lock

First Alert Bolt-Down Water and Fireproof Safe with Combination Lock

BUYING OPTIONS:
» Check Price on Amazon «

Is the First Alert Water and Fireproof Safe for You?

If you need the guarantee your safes will resist even the elements, this First Alert safe is for you.

The digital keypad, emergency keys, and steel deadbolt locking system are enough to keep thieves away. Should they try to force their way in, the pry-resistant hinges will stop them IMMEDIATELY.

Do you live too close to the water for comfort? Maybe you’re just worried about possible spills – and don’t worry, we are, too.

This safe has a waterproof door seal! It doesn’t just protect your valuables from water damage but allows them to float, too.

On the flip side, no fire can touch this First Alert model, being fire-resistant and all. It’s fire-resistant up to 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour. With this fire rating, you have nothing to worry about.

If you need to store other valuables, like jewelry, gadgets, or documents, it’s also possible. You can remove or adjust the interior shelf to make way for anything important you need to store away.

Pros
  • Protects valuables from water, fire, and theft
  • Has pry-resistant concealed hinges
  • Has a five-year limited warranty
  • Has a digital lock with emergency override keys
  • Has solid-steel locking bolts
Cons
  • Some models are too moist for proper storage

#7 Bonnlo Electronic Gun Safe for Large Firearms and Rifles – Quick Access Keyless Safe Cabinet

Bonnlo Electronic Gun Safe for Large Firearms and Rifles - Quick Access Keyless Safe Cabinet

BUYING OPTIONS:
» Check Price on Amazon «

Is the Bonnlo Electronic Gun Safe for You?

If you have a diverse collection you need to store away, this is the best gun safe under $500 for your home. It comes with bolts, so all you need to do is mount it down by the time the product gets to your door.

Bonnlo provides precisely what gun owners need: a safe, secure space as their gun storage. Besides your rifles, you can also put handguns, cash, jewelry, and other documents into a small lockbox.

The digital keypad is your primary locking system, with emergency keys that can override the lock anytime. The price is cheap but you get MORE than what you pay for!

Honestly, the digital keypad lock is quite convenient. It remembers your combination should the batteries die! Unlike other safes, this one doesn’t require you to start over.

Pros
  • Can store up to five guns or rifles
  • With a small, locked box for handguns and ammunition
  • With the digital keypad, emergency keys, and AA batteries
  • 30-day warranty guaranteed
Cons
  • Needs bolting for superior durability

#8 V-Line 31242-SA Quick Access Keyless Long Gun Safe

V-Line 31242-SA Quick Access Keyless Long Gun Safe

BUYING OPTIONS:
» Check Price on Amazon «

Is the V-Line Quick Access Keyless Long Gun Safe for You?

Do you need somewhere to store your AR-15s?

This gun safe under $500 is an ideal pick for you! It combines both the efficient security of mechanical and biometrics. If you’re ever locked out – and we don’t blame you! – you can easily override the V-Line system with their keys.

Worried about pesky thieves? We hear you!

The five-push mechanical lock is enough for security. You don’t have to worry about needing batteries or the safe’s keys falling into the wrong hands.

They have another model of this same safe that uses your biometrics, too. The manufacturers installed a fingerprint scanner in the quick access biometric safe model.

We also love the construction of this product. You can conceal the safe with ease by mounting it upright or hanging it behind a closet. There are pre-drilled mounting holes should you need to bolt it down.

If you’d rather not have the product concealed, we understand your case fully! After all, this type of design is visually striking with its glossy black finish.

You can count on your rifles to be safe inside the foam-padded case, complete with Velcro straps.

Pros
  • With mechanical locks and two keypad locks
  • 16-gauge steel construction
  • Powder-coated design with a glossy black finish
  • Has pre-drilled holes for easy upright or hanging mounting
  • Has emergency keys and doesn't need AA batteries
Cons
  • Doesn't have pry-resistant systems in place

#9 SnapSafe Under-Bed Safe for Gun Storage and Security

SnapSafe Under-Bed Safe for Gun Storage and Security

BUYING OPTIONS:
» Check Price on Amazon «

Is the SnapSafe Under-Bed Safe for You?

No one wants to consume too much space with just one product. I’m sure any owner will agree!

If you need a space-saving case, SnapSafe is the best choice for you. This model also works best if you have limited valuables to store away.

You can slide this type of gun safe under the bed or in the truck. You can choose a model that accommodates your needs.

If you have a smaller location to put your safes in, then select a smaller size. If you have many valuables and need one united safety system, then choose a larger model.

Your shotguns, rifles, and other valuables can sit in one container. The best thing about SnapSafe is you can keep everything concealed and bring it along for a ride if needed.

The construction includes 14-gauge heavy-duty steel with anti-pry locks. The pry-resistant system also adds to the digital locks this model has.

Pros
  • With different sizes for various locations and guns
  • Has a digital lock
  • Saves space and conceals valuables easily
  • Has pre-drilled holes for easy set-up
  • Includes security cable
Cons
  • It can be broken into even without the lock
  • No impact-proof construction

How to Choose the Right Gun Safe

Okay, you have nine possible safes to consider. But how do you know which one is the right choice for you?

Tick off the following six categories when deliberating on your gun safe purchase:

#1 DOJ Approval

The Department of Justice has an approval process for many gun safes. If you see a gun safe with DOJ approval, this means the safe has been reviewed and passed the following standards:

  • Contains a certain amount of firearms and securely store them inside
  • Has a locking system, either mechanical or electronic
  • Has at least three locking bolts
  • Can endure repeated use over time
  • Has protection for the door hinges and cannot be easily removed

You can view the full details of a DOJ gun safe approval here. It’s an efficient way to know your purchase guarantees enough protection!

#2 Size, Weight, and Capacity

Your home doesn’t have to adjust to the size of your gun safe. Before buying a safe, make sure you’ve figured out where to put it.

The amount and size of weapons you have factor in, too. If you need to store other valuables inside the safe, you can go a size up. Otherwise, get the necessary size.

If you’re looking to move places, you might want to get a gun safe that’s more lightweight and compact. However, it’s better if your safe is heavy.

Sure, a robber might not be able to get into your safe. But they can break into it after they move it out of the home. If you make your gun safe heavy, they might think it’s too much work to get it out of the house.

#3 Security Features

Security features are your gun-safe bonuses. Aside from a sealed safe, these security features make sure you have an added layer of protection.

Some of these security features include waterproofed seals, fireproofing, and biometrics.

Security cables and added anti-theft mechanisms are great safe features, too!

#4 Locking Mechanisms

A lock system can either be mechanical or electronic. A mechanical dial comes with a key, and you might have to use both the dial and the key to access your firearms.

After getting your guns, you have to reset the dial and lock the safe with the key. While you might not share your gun-safe combination with anyone, the key is vulnerable.

You want duplicates, but having multiple keys RISK unwanted access.

A digital lock consists of an internal circuit and keypad. You put in your combination, and it unlocks immediately! While efficient, the combination needs updating every now and then.

Depending on the safe, biometrics can be the primary locking mechanism or an added security feature. Like we mentioned above, this can call for your fingerprints.

All types of locking mechanisms are reliable, so choosing a mechanism relies on your personal preference.

#5 Locking Bolts

These bolts lie in between the door and the body of the safe. Essentially, they keep intruders from getting into your gun storage if locking mechanisms fail.

Lock bolts make it possible for your gun safes to withstand prying, punching, or kicking. The more bolts there are, the better. Longer and thicker bars mean BETTER gun safety, too!

#6 Guaranteed Durability

A gun safe may just sit in your home most of the time, but it should still be able to last several years.

Look for thick steel and reinforced construction. A 12-gauge steel construction is a minimum requirement, so you may find more durable ones!

Should You Get a Gun Safe?

Gun ownership is enough to warrant a gun safe purchase. We list out some reasons here:

#1 You Can Keep Your Family Safe

You can preach to kids that guns are dangerous, but that doesn’t stop them from being curious.

Instead of leaving your weapons easily accessible at home, get a gun safe. The price point may make you hesitate, but it’s best to get storage instead of sacrificing your family’s safety.

Don’t have kids? It still makes sense to get a gun safe. Adults can play around and be irresponsible, too. At least, a gun safe keeps weapons out of reach and is inconvenient for horseplay.

#2 You Can Avoid Theft

If gun safes are expensive, so are the weapons themselves. Getting a gun means complying with a lot of taxes, insurance, and laws. Guns are valuable things! You can bet that a thief would know it.

Aside from a valuable being potentially stolen, you’re giving a robber a free weapon of their choice if you leave your firearms lying around.

#3 You Can Access Your Gun Safely

This point sounds contrary to what we just said, but the word “safely” is an important detail.

Of course, any gun owner would want their firearms out of reach. However, you also want them to be accessible when you need them.

A safe makes it possible for you to reach your guns only when necessary – and by people who know how to operate them.

Where Should You Put Your Gun Safes?

It’s a bit of an ironic question: Where can you make your gun safe, safe? The best locations can vary from one gun owner to another. After all, we don’t live in the same kinds of residences.

Before we start on where you can put your gun safe, we’ll first outline where you shouldn’t. Ideally, your gun should sit away from possible fire, water, humidity, and burglary.

That being said, you SHOULD NOT put your gun safe near the kitchen or a fireplace. It also isn’t a good idea to put your gun safes in too-humid basements, offices, or garages. The latter two are familiar places burglars visit first.

However, there are times no other space is available.

A compact gun safe can sit in your bedroom closet. Make sure to keep it hidden with some clothes or shoes in the way.

If you put your gun safe in the basement, you can use a dehumidifier to save it from humidity damage.

Choose a closet in your garage or keep it hidden behind several items. You don’t want it to stand out. Hiding gun safes in plain sight is the best way to go for ALL gun owners!

Final Verdict

So, which is the best gun safe under $500?

While the best gun safe for you will vary depending on the type of circumstances and preferred price range, we have a top recommendation. And the best gun safe under $500 is…

Barska Quick Access Biometric Rifle Safe – The Winner

Despite our best efforts, there aren’t many gun safes under $500 that pass the DOJ approval system.

But Barska does – and proves it at every turn. Though it’s a biometric gun safe, it makes sure no one can get through it by force.

The heavy, anti-pry deadbolts make sure any firearm and other valuables are safe from any type of impact.

You can share this quick access biometric safe with other trusted people and add up to 120 fingerprints. It’s also the only gun safe under $500 that allows optional silent mode!

For its price, this Barska Biometric Safe offers one of the best safety systems for your valuables.

We have a winner for the best gun safe under $500! But that’s not all – we have a runner-up just for you. Cue drum roll, please::

Stack-On GCDG-9216 16-Gun Convertible Double-Door Steel Security Safe – 1st Runner Up

It isn’t a coincidence that our first runner-up is also the best value gun safe under 500 dollars on our list.

It only makes sense: Stack-On makes it possible to use this safe in the long run.

It has enough space for a growing collection or an avid fan of weapons. The price, which is already relatively cheap, pays for itself multiple times over.

Even if you don’t have a growing collection, you can use this safe for other valuables. The price you pay for space won’t be a waste! Essential documents, gadgets, and jewelry can find their place in this safe, too.

VAULTEK VT20i Biometric Handgun Bluetooth-Smart Pistol Safe – 2nd  Runner-Up

For those with limited guns and space, this VAULTEK biometric safe is the best pick!

It’s our overall 2nd runner-up and our best budget pick, too. Compact, lightweight, and full of the latest technology, you can guarantee security for your valuables at any time.

To Sum It Up

Consider this article as your buying guide as you hunt for the best gun safe under $500!

While these are our top recommendations, you should pick one that fits your circumstances and a price you can stomach. After all, we’re all about not breaking the bank.

Let us know if you enjoyed this article! Tell us if you have any questions or experiences to share, too.

About the author

Christopher Wade

Christopher Wade is a true outdoorsman. After spending most of his career as a firearms expert and instructor in Nebraska, he retreated to the great outdoors to enjoy retirement.

Christopher’s expertise in handling firearms and hunting gear are what propelled him to create the Shooting Mystery blog. He hopes for all readers to gain useful and practical knowledge for enjoying their time outdoors.