Have you seen the price of gun safes? You’d think they were made of gold. Take our advice: Set a limit of $1000. Almost all of the gun safes we’ve seen over that figure are overpriced for what you get. We’ve spent countless hours finding the best gun safes for under $1000.
We analyzed each contender for the most important features, like:
- Dimensions and capacity – you need a safe that can hold your guns, ammo, and accessories
- Fire rating – We examined the claims to make sure they’re legit
- Lock – It has to be secure and easy to operate
Some of the safes that we rejected had:
- Loose, Rattley hinges
- Crumbly fire boards
- no pre-drilled anchor holes
- thin, useless padding
- small, pointless interiors
That’s just to name a few. Returning a safe is a hassle because they are almost always shipped by a freight carrier. Get it right the first time.
Gun Safes Under $1000: My Top Picks
Relax. We did the comparison shopping for you. Here are our picks. One of them is likely to be a good fit for you.
STEELWATER GUN SAFES NEW and IMPROVED Steelwater Heavy Duty 20 Long Gun Fire Protection for 60 Minutes
Here’s a highly secure gun safe that’s loaded with features. Its cabinet is made of thick 14-gauge steel. It would take a couple of hours for a crook to drill or cut through it. (10) A 1 1/2-inch locking bolt secures all 4 sides of the door to resist any pry attack. You usually only see bolts like this on higher-priced safes.
You open the safe by pressing a combination of your choice into the keypad, so you can pick something that’s easy to remember. It’ll be easy to find what you’re looking for in the dark thanks to the automatic LED interior light.
People generally like the heft of the safe. They are impressed with the steel’s thickness and the weight of the unit.
It’s a top-of-the-line gun safe at a nice price. This one is likely the best gun safe for under $1500.
- Heavy Construction
- Easy to open
- Great fire protection
- Pre-drilled for dehumidifier
- One of the most expensive on our list
Barska FV-1000 Fire Safe Vault
Store up to 14 rifles or shotguns to keep them safe from fire damage and theft. There’s a shelf for a few handguns, documents, or heirlooms as well.
The thick steel cabinet adds a lot of weight to the unit. It can’t be carried off easily, especially when bolted down through the pre-drilled anchor holes.
It was hard to find any legitimate complaints about this small fireproof rifle safe. People like the simplicity and the good fire rating. They say that their safe arrived in good condition and exactly as described.
This safe may very well have knocked the Steelwater safe out of first place as the best in this price range.
- Simple lock operation
- Removable shelf for handguns or valuables
- Mat included keeping the floor underneath from getting scuffed
- Expensive compared to safes with similar specs
BARSKA Quick and Easy Large Access Biometric Rifles
This gun safe is designed to hold a few extra-long guns. Even bigger black powder rifles will fit with no problem. That’s great because many gun safes just aren’t big enough for even medium-sized smoke poles. It’ll only hold three or four long guns, so that may be a drawback for you.
We’re impressed with the biometric lock. You can allow up to 120 people instant access to the safe by scanning their fingerprints on the finger pad. Press your finger on the pad, and the safe unlocks. Don’t worry, there’s a key in case you let the AA batteries that operate the lock run dead.
One thing to be aware of is that there’s no fire protection at all. It’s just designed to protect your guns and valuables from theft and unauthorized access. It’s small enough to be installed in a little closet. It can even be mounted flush with a thick wall, but you’d have to have some DIY skills to pull that off.
Some people are saying that it’s smaller than they expected. That’s all the more reason to pay attention to the dimensions. Those who need a small gun safe are generally pleased.
This is a good safe for anyone wanting an affordable small safe. You can get it open quickly in an emergency. Its height makes it the best long gun safe for under $1000.
- A biometric lock makes for quick access
- Simple interior design
- Tall space for extra-long guns
Barska Quick and Easy Access Biometric Rifles, Firearms and Long Guns Safe for Home, Removable Shelf, Optional Silent Mode, 1.83 Cubic Ft
This is an affordable gun safe that’s designed to keep kids and those less responsible for their actions off your guns. It will hold four scoped rifles comfortably. The lockbox, which is keyed differently from the bypass keys, is big enough for a few large handguns or ammo.
The door is thick and solid. It will resist grinding and drilling. But the sides and back are made of thinner steel, like a file cabinet. There are three locking bolts that secure the door to the frame when locked. The whole safe secures to a wall and floor, having two pre-drilled mounting holes for each.
The only way to open it without the code or bypass key is to destroy it. It’ll keep unauthorized family members out, but crooks can crack it.
Those who bought this gun safe were looking for a place to store their guns away from children. They were happy with their purchase, but anyone who was expecting to get a heavy-duty safe for less than $600 was not.
Here you have a budget-priced gun safe well under $1000. It will keep your guns safe from unauthorized users, but it won’t stand up to an experienced burglar for long.
- Includes lockbox
- Packed well for shipping to avoid scratches and dents
- Offers little protection from tool attacks
- No fire protection
Quicktec Larger and Deeper Rifle Safe, New and Improved Gun Safe for 5-6 Rifles and Shotguns for Home
When comparing this gun safe to others on our list, keep in mind that it’s made to offer adequate protection from casual thieves for people on a budget.
It’s not made of thick cast steel. The hot-rolled steel that it’s made of will stand up to grinding wheels and pry bars for only a short time. But most thieves spend ten minutes or less in a victim’s home, so you should be OK if you have anchored the safe down properly.
The keypad’s buttons are large and clearly marked. Two bypass keys are included. We like the lockbox that’s included. It mounts inside near the top and is keyed separately from the safe’s door. That’s useful if you want someone to have access to your guns, but not what’s in the lockbox. You can easily remove this box to store it elsewhere if you’d rather do that.
People are strange. Some fawn over the amazing price, and then complain that it’s not fire-resistant. There are no fire-resistant safes anywhere near this price. You get what you pay for, and what you get here is a secure gun safe at an awesome price. Those who understand what value love it. It’s a gun safe at the price of a file cabinet.
We also have gathered the premium gun safes that you can get for under $1500. Those are the most durable and provide the best security.
Are you on a budget? Do you need a secure way to store your guns? This is a budget-friendly gun safe that can keep your guns and valuables out of the wrong hands.
- Super affordability
- Big, easy-to-see buttons on the keypad
- Removable lockbox included
- Thin metal will not last through a prolonged attack
- Not fire-resistant
- Must be anchored – otherwise, it’s a tripping hazard
ARMOR FIRE GUN SAFE-64 GUN
It’s huge. It’s heavy. That about sums it up. I have a hard time imagining a crew of thieves carting this quarter-ton safe away. Thanks to the thick steel walls and three heavy locking bolts, it would be hard for them to crack open in your house.
You, on the other hand, can get it open in less than three seconds. That’s how long it takes to tap the combination on the keypad.
Collectors with large collections are surprised that they can get a quality safe of this size for less than 1,000 dollars. People with smaller collections talk about how this safe can hold all of their guns and so many other valuables. I saw one tale of a man who hid a 48″ plasma TV, a Christmas gift for his daughter, in it.
All in all, everyone is happy with the quality, workmanship, and heft of it. There have been some complaints about it being hard to move. It weighs over a quarter of a ton.
It’s a massive and heavy safe, especially compared to other gun safes under 1000 dollars. Over five dozen long guns and perhaps a dozen pistols can fit inside with room to spare for ammo and other valuables.
- Super heavy – It’d be very hard for a burglar to steal even if it isn’t anchored to a floor or wall
- Huge capacity
- Due to its size and weight, it will require two or three people to move it, and taking it upstairs would be nearly impossible
Kodiak KB5529ECS Gun Safe by Rhino Metals
The walls, floor, and top are made of a strong steel composite material. It offers strength comparable to regular steel, but not much weight difference. It will handle 32 long guns, but there won’t be room for anything else other than four handguns in the door holsters.
Holes are pre-drilled for a swing-out expansion that ups the long gun capacity by six. It’s sold separately.
Most safes have square shelves, but these are triangular. Pistols will fit easily on them. You could also use them for ammo and smaller accessories. If you want to add a dehumidifier, there’s a ⅜” hole drilled in the back for one.
People who buy this safe often comment on quick and friendly delivery. They also like how easily the door can be removed for easier moving, even upstairs. Most of all, they remark on the peace of mind that this sturdy safe provides.
Do you have a big firearm collection? With the expansion, this safe can secure 30 long guns and over 10 handguns if you use the shelves for pistols.
It’s a durable safe with the room, strength, and features that serious collectors need. It’s the best 32-gun safe for under 1000 bucks.
- Tall, yet narrow and shallow enough for ease of placement
- Adjustable and removable shelves
- The place for handguns on the door
- Swing-out expansion available
- No bypass key provided
Tips for Choosing
Keep these tips in mind when looking for your ideal gun safe.
Check the pre-drilled anchor holes’ locations
Are you going to bolt your safe to the floor or the wall? Make sure the safe you get has the holes drilled in the right place.
Pay special attention to the depth
If you have scoped rifles, you want to leave the scope attached.
Otherwise, you’ll have to see it again the next time you go shooting. The depth should be ample to accommodate the scope.
Height is important for some rifles
This is especially true for muzzleloaders. Some of them are 60″ long from butt to muzzle. Lay everything you plan on storing in the safe out so you can visualize what kind of room and shelving you need.
Consider where you’ll put the safe
It should be someplace where you’ll use it. If it’s in your basement, for example, you may not walk all the way down there to put your guns away every time. Then they’re not secured at all. Make sure to get a safe that fits where you want to put it.
You’ll want to watch how much you spend
But consider this: Some insurance companies will give you a discount on your burglary insurance if you have a safe. Factor this into your cost considerations.
Are there laws in your state or locality that dictate how guns must be stored?
Make sure the safe you want is compliant. Contact your local police department to see what your local gun storage laws are
You may need trigger locks as well.
Don’t go by which safe is the best seller at your local gun shop
Just because a lot of people have bought a particular model doesn’t mean it’s the best. It just means a lot of people were talking about buying it.
Factors To Consider
What’s best for someone else may not be what’s best for you. You have unique needs that you have to consider to choose a good gun safe for under 1,000 dollars.
Size And Capacity
How many rifles and shotguns do you have? How many do you think you’ll add to your collection before you’d be willing to buy a new safe for the extra room to accommodate them?
Check how many long guns a safe can actually hold. (And if the size doesn’t suit you. Find the best long gun safe, and select the necessary and suitable for you.) Advertised capacities usually refer to the number of guns that will fit if all shelves are taken out.
Handguns can be stored on shelves. Check the number and size of the shelves to be sure the safe will handle your pistols. Some safes have special hangers or holsters for handguns.
Also, make sure you have room for the safe. Think of where you want it and do some careful measuring. Factor in which way and how far the safe’s door swings. Use the exterior dimensions, not the interior.
The bolts protrude from the door into the frame when the lock is engaged. You need at least three bolts, each at least ¾” thick, to resist being pried open.
There are keys, dials, mechanical keypads, digital keypads, and biometric interfaces. Dials are obsolete. They are too time-consuming and easy to crack. Avoid them.
Keys can get lost, and they are difficult to get replaced. They’re only good as a means to bypass easier interfaces.
Mechanical keypads are often seen on lower-priced safes. They’re good, but they can fail sooner than digital battery-powered interfaces.
Digital keypads are the most common option. Their batteries, usually AA or 9-volt, last for a year or more. You set the combination and share it only with those you want to be able to access the safe.
Biometric interfaces scan your fingerprint. There are no codes to remember, and you can allow several people access by programming their prints.
This is expressed as a length of time, usually 30 or 60 minutes. That’s how long it can be exposed to fire before the interior reaches a potentially damaging 350 degrees. 30 is good, but 60 is better.
How Are Gun Safes Shipped?
Most of them weigh over 300 pounds. The usual carriers, like USPS, FedEx, and UPS won’t handle them. They’re shipped via freight carrier.
Freight carriers will deliver the safe to your door or into your garage, but that’s it. It’s up to you from there.
Some sellers offer a setup service. This usually adds at least $150 to the price, but the delivery guys will bring your safe right to where you want it.
What If A Burglar Smashes The Digital Keypad?
Smashing the keypad only makes it harder to crack the safe. It won’t open like that.
If your keypad gets smashed, you’ll have to replace it. A bypass key will get the door open. If your safe has no bypass key, you’ll have to wait until your replacement keypad arrives to regain access to the safe.
Can’t A Thief Just Steal The Entire Safe?
This sometimes happens. There are two ways to lessen this risk.
- Most importantly, anchor the safe to the floor or wall. A thief will have to open the safe to unbolt it. This takes too much time, and the burglar is likely to flee empty-handed.
- Place the safe in a less-than-obvious place. Most thieves go right to the master bedroom. Try a pantry or garage.
Make A Great Decision
There are around 4,800 burglaries every hour in the United States. About 67 percent of those robberies are home break-ins.
There are things you can do to lessen your risk, like installing an alarm system or getting some visible security cameras, but a good gun safe is your last line of defense if you want to protect your guns and other valuables.
Thieves know what they’re doing. A shoddy safe will slow them down for perhaps half a minute. But now you know what to look for in the best gun safes under $1000. Employ what you learned here. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Protect your investments from thieves and ensure that unauthorized loved ones cannot hurt themselves. It’s time to get a good gun safe.