Owning a firearm is a constitutionally guaranteed freedom in the United States, but with great freedom comes great responsibility, and nowhere is this truer than when it comes to safely storing your firearms. Gun safes provide a secure method of gun storage that keeps weapons out of the hands of restricted people, such as children, criminals, and the mentally ill.
Gun safes can be expensive, but keeping your firearms stored safely and securely doesn’t have to drain your bank account. If you don’t want to spend a fortune, you don’t have to. Just check out our guide to finding the best gun safe under $500.
Top 10 Gun Safes Under $500 Table
How to Choose an Affordable Gun Safe
There are several things to consider before purchasing any gun safe. Here are just a few of them.
The Gauge of the Steel
When it comes to steel, the lower the number, the thicker the steel. For example, 10-gauge steel is thicker and more durable than 12-gauge. A higher gauge steel will make your gun safe lighter and easier to move. Keep in mind this is true whether you are attempting to move it to clean behind it, or if a criminal is trying to move it out of the house.
Most gun safes are layered with fireboard to maintain a cooler interior temperature in the event of a house fire. If you intend to store important documents or cash inside of your gun safe, you want to look for a gun safe with the best fire rating that you can afford.
The types and number of firearms you plan to store in your gun safe will influence the size you need. Will you be storing handguns, rifles, or both? Be sure you plan ahead and consider space for future firearms purchases. Upgrading to a larger gun safe in the future may not be an option. Often a gun safe is a once-in-a-lifetime purchase, so you want to be prepared.
You will also need to consider where the safe will be in your home. If you live in a fifth-floor apartment, it isn’t practical to purchase a massive gun safe, because you may never be able to get it up the stairs.
Today’s gun safes feature several distinct types of locking mechanisms.
- Mechanical Combination Locks. Like the lock on your old high school gym locker, these are the most common and reliable type of gun safe lock. They can only be opened by someone who knows the correct combination. However, opening them can take some time and it can be difficult to fumble through the combination when under stress or in a hurry.
- Electronic Combination Locks. With these locks, you just punch in your combination. They are extremely fast and you can usually set your own combination to make it easier to remember. Batteries may need to be replaced periodically, and it may be impossible to gain access to the safe when the electronic mechanism doesn’t have power. In this situation, a change of batteries is necessary before you can punch in your combination and get into the safe.
- Key Locks. This type of locking mechanism is most common on old-fashioned gun cabinets. They aren’t commonly used for today’s gun safes because they can more easily be broken into.
- Biometric Locks. These locks work by reading a fingerprint. In recent years, these types of locks have become popular for handgun safes because they allow quick access to secured weapons. However, they may not be as reliable as mechanical or electronic combination locks.
Top 3 Best Gun Safe Under $500 Reviews
Fast, secure, and accurate, this handgun safe opens with just the touch of a finger. You don’t have to worry about finding a key or remembering a string of numbers. All you need is the tip of your finger. Using an FBI silicon-based sensor, this safe provides the highest fingerprint recognition performance and security on the market.
But this safe’s technology doesn’t stop with its fingerprint sensor. It offers tamper alerts to keep you informed of any unauthorized access attempts. It also performs its own diagnostics to let you know if anything is wrong, as well as when the battery needs to be changed. With the auto lock feature, you never need to worry about remembering to engage the lock. If the safe is shut, it’s also locked.
Another notable feature of the Verifi Smart.Safe is the night light feature. When the safe is opened, a low-intensity light gives off a soft glow to illuminate the interior of the safe. This makes it easy to see inside the safe in the dark without blinding you.
If you want worry-free, hassle-free performance, then this is hands-down the best gun safe under $500.
This convenient high-quality keyless gun safe offers convenient access. But with two additional keyed locks, you can also employ extra security measures to protect the valuables inside. It is a compact, yet secure safe for storing your long gun.
The sturdy steel construction features a pry-resistant clam shell design, and with the premium powder coated finish to protect the steel, this gun safe is built to last. Although this gun safe may not be enough to prevent a determined thief, its quick-access gun is perfect for keeping your shotgun or rifle out of the hands of curious children or a home intruder. Thanks to its compact design, it can easily be hidden or concealed from all but the most determined criminal.
With a total capacity that can easily be converted to fit up to 31 guns, this is a fantastic option for a homeowner with multiple firearms who wants to conveniently and securely store them all in one place. It can hold long guns up to 54” and with the foam padded sides, you never have to worry about your guns being scratched.
The convertible “cabinet section” has three removable foam-padded shelves, making it perfect for storing handguns, ammunition, jewelry, cameras, or other smaller valuables.
The only drawback to this multi-gun steel security cabinet is the key locking mechanism. Although the three-point locking system with double bitted lock offers more security than a standard key lock, it doesn’t provide the same level of security as a combination or biometric lock. However, it can be difficult to find an affordable solution for safely storing multiple firearms, and in that case, the Stack-On 16-Gun Convertible Double-Door Steel Security Cabinet definitely fits the bill.