For many people, owning a gun is like owning a pair of jeans, or shoes, or sunglasses. You always want more, or at least more than one. A pistol has different utility than a rifle, and one can always use a shotgun with buck shots.
What to do with all these guns has become a problem these days. It is no longer acceptable to have guns all over the house. You can get in real trouble if your kid took one to school or something. If a burglar broke into your house, you definitely don’t want him to have access to your guns. It would be an ultimate insult to let a burglar point your own gun at you, wouldn’t it?
The long and short of it is that one has to put the guns in a gun safe. It is kind of annoying because gun safes are expensive. Safes are expensive since they have to be heavy so they are made of lots of steel, and then this heavy monster has to ship from the factory or seller to you. And you can’t fool around with gun safes, you’ve got to have a good one or you might as well not have one.
Here are the best gun safes under $500.
Handgun Hanger Safe
The Stealth handgun hanger safe reminds people of the combination safe found in hotel rooms. This is part of its brilliance – people wouldn’t think it’s a gun safe, and it can be a good thing not to let people know where you keep your guns.
This hanger safe is small at just 9” x 9” x 12” (HWD). It weighs just 15 pounds, though the enclosure is of solid steel with anti-pry tabs. It comes with a high-strength security cable for you to secure the safe to a permanent structure in your house, so that a thief wouldn’t be able to haul the whole safe away. It’s the same concept as locking a bicycle to a steel rack. In addition, there are 4 holes in the bottom of the safe for you to bolt it to the floor or other structure.
This safe is easy to use andthe price is incredibly agreeable. There are 3 hangers for you to keep 3 handguns ready to draw, the door would drop down as soon as you correctly keyed in the 6-digit combination (or inserted and turned the override key). There is room underneath for two more handguns or other household valuables.
The Stealth handgun hanger safe is such a great deal that it might make sense for some to have one of these for handguns plus another safe for storing the big guns.
SpeedVault Biometric Handgun Safe
A gun safe can be like a double-edged sword. You want to store your guns securely but you still want to be able to access your guns in a pinch. This is totally possible with the GunVault SVB-500.
The SVB-500 is called the SpeedVault because it is a biometric handgun safe that scans your fingerprint. It can store and recognize up to 20 fingerprints. For best results, GunVault recommends that you use a Duracell or an Energizer 9V battery with expiration date 5 years in the future.
The GunVault SVB-500 is a real safe made with 18-gauge steel. However, it is not heavy-duty enough to withstand fire. It is designed to hold only one handgun so it is small. It weighs 7lb and it feels quite solidly built. It can be installed nearly anywhere.
This gun safe is quite an elegant solution if you have one handgun and no plan to ever get more. We are a bit troubled by the company’s battery requirements for the SVB-500. Maybe in a future version they could make it possible to change batteries from the outside.
Elite Executive Safe
It’s time for a real gun safe at close to $500. We’ve tried our best to introduce much more economical products in the previous sections. If you own multiple rifles and shotguns, what you’ll need is the Stack-On E-040-SB-E Elite.
As you can see from the “040”, the Stack-On E-040-SB-E is 40 inches tall and it is part of the Elite series. This one is billed as the Elite Junior Executive Gun Safe but we prefer to just call it the Stack-On Elite 40.
The external dimensions are 21” x 19.75” x 40” (W x D x H) and the internal dimensions are 18.5” x 14” x 37.5”. From the discrepancy, it is clear that the steel walls are pretty thick, which is why this gun safe weighs 250lb. The Stack-On Elite 40 was rated to protect its interior against fire for 30 minutes at up to 1400 degrees F.
There are 3 adjustable shelves that can also be removed. You can reconfigure this safe for all your guns and valuables. This safe uses an electronic lock in the form of a 3-spoke handle that moves 5 live-action locking bolts. These 5 live-action bolts and 3 dead bolts secure the door from prying on all 4 sides. The lock is equipped with a drill-resistant hardened steel plate.
It will take some time for the typical thieves to crack this safe, but if they moved the safe away from your premise then they’d have all day to do it. This is why the Elite 40 comes with mounting hardware for you to secure the safe to a fixed structure in your house.
The Stack-On Elite 40 is built to last a lifetime. For good measure, it comes with a lifetime warranty.
It should be clear from our presentations so far that the best gun safe under $500 is the Stack-On Elite 40. You can store a good number of rifles, shotguns, and handguns in this safe’s 5.75 cubic feet internal volume and 37.5” internal height. The Stack-On Elite 40 is built to last a lifetime and it offers reasonable fire protection.
On the other hand, you might want to consider having a separate quick-draw gun safe in the GunVault SVB-500. This biometric gun safe holds a single handgun and you’d use your fingerprint to quickly gain access to your handgun. This is also a great choice for those who have only one handgun at home.
If you have multiple handguns at home, the quickest and most affordable way to store them is to invest in the Stealth handgun hanger safe. It’s an elegant and compact solution for storing up to 5 handguns.