Firearms are hot-ticket items for burglaries because they retain value. Plus, they are easily transported, and unfortunately, can be used to commit other crimes. Roughly 75% of the yearly estimate of stolen firearms occur during burglaries. In addition, the remaining 25% occur during other property crimes. When combined with preventable firearms accidents, you have a good reason to secure your firearms.
Enter the Biometric Gun Safe
Biometric safes are pretty cool, especially if they work well. It’s best gun safe you can open with one finger, which is essential in an emergency. However, don’t distract yourself with features alone. You also need to think carefully about what kind of biometric gun safe you’re buying.
A biometric gun safe (or any gun safe) is an investment into the safety and security of yourself, your family, and your firearms. To save you the pain of going through each one, I’ve picked out my 9 favorites and outlined their features.
Best Budget Buy
|RPNB Biometric Quick Access Gun Safe
|$98 Shop NowClick to read my review
|Sentry Safe QAP1BE
|$191 Shop NowClick to read my review
|$289 Shop NowClick to read my review
|GunVault Minivault GV1000C-STD
|$109 Shop NowClick to read my review
|BARSKA AX11224 Biometric Safe
|$244 Shop NowClick to read my review
|BARSKA AX11652 Large Biometric Gun Cabinet
|$629 Shop NowClick to read my review
|Viking Security VS-20BLX
|$159 Shop NowClick to read my review
|Awesafe Biometric Safe
|$129 Shop NowClick to read my review
|GunVault Speedvault SVB500
|$138 Shop NowClick to read my review
A biometric gun safe typically has all the features of a conventional gun safe – a set of keys, reinforced metal construction, possibly a wall mount. The difference is that you can program your fingerprint into the safe. Just scan your finger and you’re in.
The main advantage of a biometric gun safe is that you don’t need any keys to get into the safe. This can be crucial in an emergency as well as provide everyday convenience.
There is a spectrum of biometric gun safes out there, from around $120 to $600.
Most of the factors that you should consider when choosing a biometric safe follow the same lines as any regular safe. These include size, construction, and mounting, for example. You could do well to read one of our many guides on how to choose the best gun safe as background.
However, as far as biometric gun safes go, you must also consider the following other factors:
- Reliability of the biometric/fingerprint scanner
- The number of fingerprints you can program into the safe (perhaps you have a spouse who may need to access the firearms?
- Software (some include nifty mobile applications that allow you to track when the safe has been open and who has access to it, for example)
- Power (is it battery powered, how long does it last for, etc.)
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This is pretty obvious but you’ll get surprised how many people get this wrong! Before getting a gun safe, you need to answer two questions to yourself.
- What will you store in the gun safe?
- Where will you put the gun safe?
Firstly, most of the biometric gun safes on the market are small and designed for one or maybe two handguns and some valuables. There are larger options too and I have included the BARSKA large biometric gun cabinet which can also store multiple rifles.
Check your dimensions (this also includes any additional attachments you want to have on your gun) before you commit to buy.
Secondly, where do you want to store the biometric gun safe? Whether you want to mount it on the wall or a mobile safe for security on the go, always check your priorities.
We’ve written about this elsewhere on Sniper Country when discussing safes (for example, our best hand safe guide). You need to consider the safe’s construction.
A good safe will be made out of reinforced metal and have anti-prying features to deter unauthorized entry. Additionally, you don’t want to get locked out! Ensuring you have multiple access points may sound counter-intuitive. However, you at the very least want to have emergency key access in case the biometrics fail.
Top 9 Biometric Gun Safes
RPNB Biometric Quick Access Gun Safe
This safe provides security where you need it most. You can also store handguns, ammo, cash, and even your valuables there.
With its 500 DPI semiconductor biometric fingerprint sensor, this gun safe can store up to 20 unique fingerprints. It also includes a 3.2-foot high-tensile fastening cable that you can use to secure the safe in almost any location. Additionally, the steel black rough finish and an LED light indicator for quick and simple access are also excellent touches.
For long-lasting use, the safe requires 4 AAA Alkaline batteries which the company does not include in the package. However, you can get this quick access gun safe for only $98. Yup! It’s one of the most valuable options on our list, and GGD backs it up with a one-year warranty. I don’t think you’ll be able to resist that deal!
- Multi-access: 20 fingerprints can be set
- LED light indicator: for quick and accurate access
- Security cable: cable fixing is 3.2 FT for securing the safe in any location
- Steel construction: includes a durable black rocky finish and a professional-looking design
- 1-year warranty: assurance of complete satisfaction
- Affordable: will set you back for only $98
- Batteries not included: AAA alkaline batteries last longer than the standard AAs, but you have to buy them separately
For the home, you can’t do much better than this Sentry Safe at this price (around $192). It also covers a lot of bases. Moreover, Sentry built this safe for quick access, and many users keep it close to their bed, mounted to the wall, or in a drawer. In short, I like it.
- Affordable: $160 is a great mid-market price for this safe’s feature set
- Mountable: can be sensibly secured to the wall or heavy furniture for added security
- Steel construction
- Multiple access: you can program 4 fingerprints, which is usually enough to cover an average sized family
- Multiple access points: you also can use keys or enter a keycode to gain access
- Quiet door: secured by a gas strut, the door can be opened and closed quietly so you do not draw attention to yourself
- It’s on the smaller size: (9.7 x 6.7 x 2.2 inches for storage) which makes it suitable only for one handgun
- Battery operated: not uncommon but does not include rechargeable batteries or a plug; still, you can use long lasting Alkaline AA batteries.
The fingerprint takes about a second to respond, so no delays there. It’s also good for a domestic, low-risk situation where no one is likely to try to break into it. I’m a fan.
This safe’s features aren’t a million miles away from the Sentry Safe above. It’s actually a similar design, although a little smaller. However, it is more sophisticated. Instead of only being able to store 4 fingerprints, you can store up to 20. It also has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery which lasts for four months on a 2.5-hour charge reliably. Moreover, Vaultek built this safe with stronger steel (16 gauge).
It goes a step further, however. It includes a mobile application that enables you to monitor the safe. Furthemore, you can also unlock the safe remotely, review battery life, and review a log of when someone else opened the safe.
That’s not to say that anyone can connect their mobile device to your safe – you need to verify the Bluetooth pairing with your fingerprint.
- Mountable: great for a drawer, wall or bedside table
- Steel Construction: 16 gauge and also powder coated to prevent corrosion
- Multiple access: store up to 20 fingerprints
- Multiple access points: includes keys and keypad for entry
- Motion-activated backlighting: improves night time access
- Rechargeable battery: 4 months long on a 2.5 hour charge
- Mobile app: not a big deal but quite cool, I enjoy being able to review log entries.
- Reports of children gaining unauthorized access with their finger print – although unlikely, check
- The safe can be compromised if dropped repeatedly at an angle (not an issue if mounted in a domestic situation)
First up, this biometric gun safe is one of our cheapest (you can pick it up for around $110). It follows the same pattern – mountable, good for domestic situations, and compact. Like the VAULTEK, it can handle 20 fingerprints. However, its battery life leaves a lot to be desired. It takes AA batteries, which is a shame because, with a direct power supply, this would be a good, no thrills gun safe. Overall, it’s the perfect size for a pistol and a few mags.
- Cheap: at around $100 it’s not bad value
- Multiple access: can program 20 fingerprints
- Steel construction: competitive for the price
- US made
- Battery life: standard AAs will not last long, an Alkaline alternative may yield better results
The BARSKA is a little more on the expensive end ($245). However, it’s a trooper – it’s solidly built and weighs in significantly higher than the previous three gun safes we’ve looked at. There also have been reports of this safe surviving aggressive burglaries and even a house fire.
It’s on the larger side so you can store multiple handguns and include clips and ammo with ease. For instance, my buddy has one of these installed in his wardrobe and he hasn’t any problems. Lastly, one of my favorite features is the additional battery pack.
- Mountable: includes strong mountable hardware
- Multiple access points: 120 different fingerprints (unlikely you’d ever need so many!)
- Quick entry: fingerprint scans in ~2 seconds for quick access
- Space: you can fit multiple firearms and also purpose the gun safe for other important valuables
- Pry resistant: heavy steel construction is designed to resist forced entry and features deadbolts
- Non-rechargeable batteries: includes a internal backup but still relies on AA batteries
- Limited access points: only fingerprint and emergency key
This is similar to the previous BARSKA in everything but size – this is for rifle storage and has internal dimensions of 11.5 x 11.5 x 53 inches. In other words, three or four rifles (five at a push) and a handful of pistols. Moreover, it includes shelves for accessories and a 3-point steel deadbolt locking system.
It gives you space without being unreasonably heavy – at ~120 pounds you can quite easily store your guns in the upper storeys of your home. The fingerprint takes about 2-3 seconds to compute.
- Space: fits 3-4 rifles/long guns and various accessories and handguns
- Fingerprint reliability: excellent customer feedback
- Lightweight: for this size, it’s remarkably lightweight and can be installed with relative ease
- Improved security: 3-point steel deadbolt locking system hardens its durability
- More expensive: it’s good value but it’s more on the expensive side
Stores several pistols and features a removable shelf. Viking Security has a reputation for robust manufacturing. However, be wary of some reports of electronic failure. It ticks a lot of boxes otherwise: multiple access points, multiple fingerprints (32) and it can be bolted down. It’s not overpriced ($150) but you may be better off with some of the other alternatives listed above.
- Multiple handgun storage: it’s nice and roomy
- Removable shelf: convenient for accessories and ammo
- Multiple access: keys, keypad and fingerprint
- Multiple users: biometric reader can store 32 fingerprints
- Some reports of electronics failure: equally we have spoken to many happy customers but do your research
Compares most easily to the Sentry Safe above. This is an excellent safe – it’s heavy-duty, easy to use, and very easy to set up. I particularly like the internal LED lights that automatically turn on when you open the safe. Like the Sentry, you have a keypad, physical keys, and a biometric reader. It’s fast access.
There were some customers who had problems with the spring-action of the door but customer care happily sent out replacement units. It’s a great bit of kit for the money ($129).
However, like other biometric safes, there have been reports of children gaining access with their fingerprints. Check and put it out of reach of young children.
- Great value for money: only $129
- Strong and sturdy: the construction for this price is excellent
- Internal LED lighting: nice touch for night time access
- Multiple access points: keypad, physical keys and biometric
- Multiple users: biometric reader can store 20 fingerprints
- Reports of a defective latch mechanism
- Some reports of defective fingerprint reading (always check)
The design is unique, designed to store one pistol and enable ease of access. The gun comes out semi-ready, with its grip accessible once opened. It features foam lining, an interior LED, a 9-volt battery (beats the AAs), and mounting. It fulfills the same range of features similar to others in this price range (~$120-140).
The design also enables better concealment (i.e. round the back of a bedside table, down the side of a bed frame), which will be appealing to some buyers. You can fit a handgun and a couple of extra magazines in there.
- Fast-access design: for speed of draw, this is the most efficient design encountered
- Concealability: safe can be concealed creatively in a home or office environment either mounted or unmounted
- Warranty: 17 year limited warranty in case of defects
- Multi users: can program 20 fingerprints
- Company expertise: has specialized experience of biometrics for >20 years
- Steel construction: 18 gauge steel hardened exterior
- Reports of safe being easily compromised with blunt force
These biometric gun safes can offer a good degree of protection and security for your firearm. They can also give peace of mind with their ready-access design and ability to be mounted discretely in a domestic setting, particularly the bedroom.
However, it is important to remember that all gun safes can be compromised and they should not be relied upon as the primary source of security for your firearms, particularly if your main motive is to restrict their access to children.
Having said that, there are some offerings in the mid-tier price range that deliver value. Now, if you are opting for an affordable yet efficient safe. Then I recommend the RPNB Biometric Quick Access Gun Safe. Let me know what you think, whether you own any of these safes and if there’s any I’ve missed out on.