need a handgun safe recommendation


Ian's Dad
August 2, 2009, 09:12 AM
I have all of my pistols in a nice safe that requires a combination and a key to open.. it works fine to protect my stuff.

what i am looking for is a safe for my "home protection" gun.. I have kids in and out of the house all the time and having it "in a drawer" isn't an option.. looking for the following options..

1) reliable

2) large enoug for a full sized hangun

3) simple and quick to open by either my wife or me (no biometrics!)

4) doesn't cost more than it has too.

looking at the versa vault by S&W. thoughts on it or other recommendations appreciated

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Ohio Gun Guy
August 2, 2009, 09:25 AM
I have a Stack-on, small box safe. I uses a combination. I can be in it in seconds. (Picture from the stack-on web site)

The combination can be easily set or changed. We use numbers that we already know from other things.......

The best part is the price. I believe I paid Just under 100.00 (89.?) I bought mine at the gun shop, but I have seen them at Dick's and other places.

Ian's Dad
August 2, 2009, 11:13 AM
i like the looks of that. it looks like it would hold two guns so i would have to buy another one.. that's even better! :neener:

August 2, 2009, 06:21 PM
That stackon looks nice.

I have a Gunvault. It's fast too and the door swings open under spring tension.
They sell for around $100 and up depending on the options.

Pietro Beretta
August 2, 2009, 07:59 PM
I hear a lot of people that have the GunVault

I'm not sure on how much of a "safe" it is; meaning I dont know how hard it is to break into if a bad guy were to want to get at whats inside.

GunVault at (

August 2, 2009, 10:30 PM
If you're talking about a small safe, then there is little sense in worrying too much about theft deterrent - as they'll just take it with them and bust into it later. I'd imagine you're trying to keep it safe from small hands/accidents, but accessible at 3AM when the worst happens.

I absolutely agree with your assessment of no biometrics. I have one, and although we've managed to trick it into being accessible quickly, it took many hours of practice to "learn" where (PRECISELY) to have your finger resting. I still have the biometric safe in the wall on the wife's side of the bed, but at this point we've stopped keeping guns in it - she keeps her jewelry in it now.

My main bedside safe (on my side) is a simple keypad entry Sentry Safe I got at Wal-Mart for like $150 or something like that. Works like a champ, and holds plenty - two pistols, ammo, passports, doodads, widgets, etc.

Referenced as well in this thread -

So far - I've never had an issue with the Wally World Sentry Safe, and as a matter of fact, we had a disturbance a few months ago - 2AM, dogs going ape-****, woman outside screaming - turned out a neighbor's psychotic ex-girlfriend firebombed his car. Of course when the dogs went nuts, all I knew at the time was that there was something bad wrong. I was out of bed, jeans on, pistol out of the safe in 3 seconds, and was sweeping my way down the stairs within 5 seconds.

August 3, 2009, 12:15 AM
I'm not sure on how much of a "safe" it is; meaning I dont know how hard it is to break into if a bad guy were to want to get at whats inside.
Honestly it's not much of a safe.
Realistically, none of the "safes" in this size or price range will keep a determined thief from stealing your gun.
If you have any room around the safe then you'd just have to kick it to break the mounting screws/bolts loose then run away with the whole safe. Take it home after stealing it, then just smash it apart with a sledge hammer.
These things are "safe enough" that you can't just stick a screwdriver in and pry it open. The metal is pretty thick and sturdy and the hinges are hidden.

A sentry like the one jw posted would be much better.

Having said that, theft prevention is not the point of these mini-safes.
These small safes keep honest people honest.
The perfect application is something like the original poster said.
It's not a primary storage device. It's simply something to keep kids or other normally honest people from getting a hold of a loaded gun. It will also keep a bad guy from using your gun until he's run off with it or had enough time to break it open in your home.
At the same time it gives you quick access.

Ian's Dad
August 3, 2009, 07:40 AM
anyone use the V-line or permavault? both of those looked good as well.

yes, i have a heavy safe to keep stuff away from the bad guys (i hope). at the time i thought is was a great idea, but it needs combination AND the key to unlock.. works fine for what i bought it for, but i don't want to have to find the key during the 2am scenario mentioned..

the one thing about the gun vault that worries me a little is the fact that it has to have batteries... how do you know when they are dead?

August 3, 2009, 08:47 AM
The little light on top flashes red when it needs new batteries. It has a key lock in case it goes dead or you forget the code.
GunVault makes one model that plugs in with battery backup.

You should find a small safe that has that option. I would have done that, but I got my GunVault for only $50.

August 5, 2009, 10:46 PM
the digital capability seems to make for the quickest access.

August 6, 2009, 11:04 AM
Winchester EV600

We have a 3 year old and a 5 year old running around, and I keep a loaded XDm 9mm in a Winchester EV600 Personal Electronic Safe ( The safe is mounted vertically to the back of my nightstand. This way the safe is out of plain view (from kids, or anyone else), but is easily accessible to me without having to look at the keypad, and with the firearm presented vertically (as if from a holster) for rapid deployment.

The safe is easy enough to manipulate for me while nearly impossible for a child to successfully open. The safe automatically locks down after three unsuccesful attempts to open, and sounds an audible alarm. The location (kids cannot see the keypad) combined with the safety features makes us comfortable with the gun being stored there. Hope this helps!

EDIT - No problems so far with batteries, the unit comes with AC adapter so batteries serve only as backup. I plan to replace once a year along with smoke detectors, flashlights, toys......uggghh.

August 6, 2009, 11:31 AM
I agree a determined thief could just walk away with those small safes and work on getting them open at their leisure.

However, is there some advantage to being able to hide those small safes within your house where a thief may not spend the time to find it. Those big safes are hard to hide and it is pretty obvious where you keep your valuables.

I'm not arguing one way or the other. I've been using locking hard cases and realize I need a better place to store them. I'm trying to figure out where I would put a big safe or where would be a good place for the smaller lock boxes.

August 6, 2009, 02:41 PM
Here is just one of many links to wall safes suitable for keeping guns out of kids hands:

I plan to mount one in the wall behind my master bedroom door. At night, with the door closed, it is readily accessible. During the day, it is coverd by the door and out of sight. Of course it doesn't provide major protection, but certainly provides kid-safe security and peace of mind.


The Captain
August 6, 2009, 03:01 PM
Under my bed, I have a fireproof document safe. it has a key lock, and a push button. It's either Kiddie brand or Honeywell, Can't remember. It was $19.99 at Lowe's.

August 6, 2009, 05:07 PM
My choice was a couple of V-Line Top Drawer Pistol Safes (;jsessionid=4T1PNKOMDSHBHLAQBBICCO3MCAEFCIWE?id=0027552223551a&type=product&cmCat=froogle&cm_ven=data_feed&cm_cat=froogle&cm_pla=1240403&cm_ite=0027552223551a&_requestid=88245).
Good quality, slim/short height for the top drawer (obviously), but large enough for anything full size. I have an XD45 5" as my nighstand gun. Plan to get an XDm9 for the wife's top drawer.$main-Large$

It has the simple push-button combination lock, and it bolts/screws to the floor of the drawer. Of course, someone could just take the entire drawer out of your nightstand and have off with your gun and safe, but only if they find it in there. Nothing is fool proof, especially small pistol safes.

August 6, 2009, 05:30 PM
This is a copy of my offer from the Group Buys section. Sounds like what you are looking for.

FAS1 Safe - 25% Discount


Hello everyone. A friend told me about this site and thought I should post information about our new handgun safe here. I noticed a place to post group buys and want to offer a 25% discount off MSRP for our FAS1 handgun safe. We have recently started selling it online and it is not available in retail stores. You can go to our online store at and use this coupon code 0907THR25 during checkout to get the 25% discount. Feel free to pass it on to your friends as we appreciate the business. Contact information is listed there too.

Here are a few highlights:

Welded construction - 3/16" steel and weighs over 20 lbs.
Welded in place non-exposed hinge pin - 3/8" steel
Recessed Lid - pry resistant
Pushbutton mechanical lock - no batteries, electricity or fingerprint scans
Holster presents gun as lid opens - gun is always in the same place
Universal mount - drill holes and mount anywhere you like, vertical or horizontal
MADE IN THE USA - San Antonio, TX


August 8, 2009, 02:57 PM
This is a really good safe..It has a plate to fasten to about anything.Mount just about anywhere,home,in a drawer,in your vehicle!Most come with battery or a/c power.It really works good..It is even California approved!!!!!!Gun Guard DLX,made by DOSKO/sport.You can go to and see the safes available.I have the 4526 great!The price is about 100 to 125.There is a few models to choose from!

August 8, 2009, 09:01 PM
I've been very happy with my GunVaults.

I chose it because it's easier to open in the dark than any other I've seen. It has a keypad that is the shape of your hand (or the four fingers of a hand). Lots of combinations, because you can use single digits or 2 or 3 or 4 at a time. I can get in mine as quick as I'd need to (1 or 2 seconds).

Spring-loaded door.

I'm sure it can be pried open, but that's not what I'm trying to achieve with a easy-in gun vault.

August 8, 2009, 11:08 PM
Ohio guy.. looks like mine 50$ works awesome:)

August 12, 2009, 03:44 PM
I didn't read every post -- sorry if I'm duplicating, but I much prefer the biometric safe. More expensive but worth it. Let's face it, when you need your gun, you need it now. No time to be punching in number or dialing dials, especially in the dark at 3am. I love my safe. Works every time and is secure.

August 12, 2009, 03:46 PM
Sorry, I didn't see that you said "no biometrics" in your original post. Not sure why. My wife and I each have one (one both sides of the bed) and they are each programmed to recognize both of our fingerprints. We've never had any problem with recognition. Sorry again for not reading first.

August 12, 2009, 04:44 PM
Personally, why not lock up your night time gun in your safe when you get up and then take it out at night and place it where you can get it immediately. Mister BG isn't going to wait while you fumble trying to open the safe..........

That way your gun is never exposed to the kids, and you have it instantly.....

August 14, 2009, 08:49 PM
I actually ordered and received a FAS1 Quick Access Pistol Safe today. I've only had it a short time, but I can tell you it's a very sturdy safe with very quick access. I'm very impressed so far. My G19 fits in it like a glove. Thanks for a great product Glenn.

Sorry for the crappy pics. I guess I'm going to have to break down and buy a new camera.

August 14, 2009, 10:49 PM
I have a Gunvault under the bed for my "things that go bump in the night" gun. I can get into it very fast and it keeps it safe from the kids.

August 14, 2009, 11:21 PM
I find it hard to beat this for such a cause....

it looks like a clock radio, but it can be opened with a combination code on a lighted (only when hatch is open) keypad (programmable, electric with battery backup, key override)...

The beauty is that it doesn't look like anything worth stealing (a traditional lock box does), looks like it belongs on your nightstand, and provides a reasonable protection from 'honest' people, while hopefully eluding the criminal or nosey/sneaky guest... while the vast majority of people would never think anything of it (including criminals and friends)... it is pretty quickly accessible even in relative darkness (easier than anything 'hidden' under your bed).... it can be anchored to the nightstand with internally concealed screws...

No small safe is safe against being grabbed.... unless they don't recognize it as a safe....

It could be smashed open with one good whack of a hammer..... if you knew what it was! (as in the kids could do this if they knew what it was with ease, but most wouldn't, because hiding the damage from you and your hopeful wrath should prevent that.... depending on the kids of course.... I would NEVER trust this thing in a group home for disruptive kids....)

I really wish I could find anything like this again (picked it up at a gun show years ago).... I want one for my dad.... well, my mom wants my dad to have one.... lol

That is a full sized 9mm Ruger P-89 as an example of size.... plenty for most any handgun....

Oh.... lol.... almost forgot.... it also works as a clock radio/alarm.... lol..... maybe that wasn't a given....

November 2, 2009, 09:20 PM
Get the FAS1 ( like markman suggested above. I just bought 2 using this coupon code 0907THR25 during checkout and got a 25% discount. The FAS1 (;jsessionid=EDA8042F235120D84FFA16A435C29F34.qscstrfrnt01?productId=1) is better than S&W's QwickDraw in my opinion.

November 2, 2009, 09:32 PM
I have the Secure Vault by Boyt and like it very much...

November 3, 2009, 08:48 PM
I have and use the Mini Gunvault. Have to agree with a couple of the posters here, though . Out of sight, out of mind. Mine is mounted to the middle of the floor under the master bed, so if by chance someone did look under the bed, and want to reach back far enough to TRY to make off with it, they'd have to uproot the entire matress/boxspring, and rip up some of the floor to do so. Me...I can get to it without a problem (let's just say that I have a "verticaly-challenging situation"). ;)

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