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Published Aug 9, 2022 2:24 PM

A lot of biometric gun safes seem futuristic—the lights, the access scanner, everything about them really. Not long ago, they were closer to something you’d see in a sci-fi or top-secret military movie. Today, biometric gun safes are standard for many who want secure storage and convenient access for their home and self-defense firearms. Like other safe options, biometric gun safes can be accessed via a pin pad or standard key. Though, many allow you to quickly access their contents through fingerprint recognition or a convenient card swipe, so you don’t have to think twice about defending yourself or family if the need arises. To find the best biometric gun safes, I tested several models from the top brands and visited my local gun store to see which ones offered maximum security and reliable access.

Best Overall: Hornady RAPiD Safe Night Guard

Cabela’s

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Why It Made the Cut

This intuitive gun safe is an all-in-one wonder. A quick scan over the face of the safe with a programmed RFID tag quickly opens the case to access your firearm, and extra keys mean you never have to worry about losing access.  

Key Features

  • Weight: 18 pounds
  • Inner Dimensions:  2.2 inches x 9.2 inches x 6.9 inches
  • Electronic RFID technology
  • Includes digital clock and USB-A ports

Pros

  • Touch-free entry
  • Spring assist door
  • Three entry methods
  • Economical space

Cons

  •  Drawer is not padded

Product Description

This easy-setup safe allows for entry via standard keys, a set-yourself code, and RFID tags that come with the safe. The RFID tags come in three styles: one watchband tag, one key fob, and a pair of decals you can stick on almost anything. Hornady’s RAPiD safe operates on the included AC power supply or four AAA batteries. The keypad tones can be turned on and off, and the safe comes with a security cable. You can also remove the drawer and bolt the safe to a secure object. I also appreciate the low-profile appearance that looks more like an alarm clock and doesn’t scream safe.  

The Best Biometric Gun Safes of 2022
With plenty of entry options, the RAPiD ensures that you can alway access its contents. Jace Bauserman

While the inside drawer has plenty of room, it’s not padded. So, if you’re wanting to stash one of your best handguns, you’ll want to consider a DIY pad addition to avoid scratches. When it comes to security, quick access, and added features, though, this safe stands out from the rest of the bunch.  

Best Pistol Safe for the Home: Sentry Safe XL Quick Access Biometric Pistol Safe w/Lights

Cabela’s

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Why It Made the Cut

This large biometric gun safe not only ensures you can get to your firearm through a quick fingerprint scan, but it can also hold a pair of pistols and extra magazines. The case promises total open/close stealth, and the inside is protected with tons of foam to keep your handguns safe.  

Key Features

  • Weight: 15.75 pounds
  • Inner Dimensions: 14 inches x 6.5 inches  x 2.2 inches
  • Construction: Steel
  • High foam construction

Pros

  • Interior LED lights
  • Single-handed access
  • Bolt down hardware 

Cons

  • Standard key access isn’t the most intuitive

Product Description

Sentry’s XL Quick Access biometric gun safe provides excellent security, and the padded foam inside admirably protects your contents. The case is roomy, plenty big for a pair of 1911s or a few compact home-defense pistols. Thanks to the fingerprint scanner, entrance is easy. And the silent digital lock (no beep), and override key provides plenty of stealth. Excellent interior lighting makes it easy to access your contents when the lights in the house are out, and you hear an intruder in your home. 

I’m not a fan of the override key location, but that’s really the only complaint I have about the spacious safe. If you need the room to stow a pair of your pistols and other contents, the Sentry XL is hard to beat. 

Best for Rifles: Barska HQ800 Standard Quick Access Keypad Biometric Rifle Safe AX12760

Barska

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Why It Made the Cut

This isn’t the flashiest option, but Barska’s HQ800 Biometric gun safe packs plenty of features at a bargain price. 

Key Features

  • Weight: 66 pounds
  • Inner Dimensions: 6.3 inches x 9.7 inches x 51.75 inches 
  • One-year limited warranty
  • Capacity: Four long guns

Pros

  • Three solid steel deadbolts
  • 120 fingerprint memory
  • Programmable silent mode access
  • Removable accessory shelf

Cons

  • Four rifles is pushing it
  • Not water or fireproof

Product Description

A trio of access methods in the Barska HQ800 makes securing and accessing your long guns easy, no matter which method you prefer. The integrated biometric fingerprint scanner lets any authorized user crack the safe with the simple touch of a finger. Or you can access the safe with a digital PIN code or two traditional keys. This alloy steel safe is relatively durable and provides decent protection for three (four is pushing it) scoped long guns. Each HQ series rifle safe has a removable storage shelf that can store additional items, which is great for handguns, magazines, flashlights, and other valuables like jewelry.

While this safe provides adequate protection and convenience when you need to quickly access your guns, it lacks any water or fireproofing capabilities. Not to mention, there are other safes that cost a few hundred dollars more that offer more storage and fireproofing capabilities. But if you’re on a budget or just need quick access to your hunting rifles, this safe will get the job done.

Best for Vehicles: Vaultek Slider Series Bluetooth

Vaultek

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Why It Made the Cut

Your vehicle is an extension of your home, so accessing your firearm quickly while you’re on the go is critical. The Vaultek Slider Series allows you to do just that with multiple mounting positions that fit most vehicles, and it will hold a full size 1911.

Key Features

  • Weight: 7.4 pounds
  • Interior Dimensions: 8.875 inches x 5.625 inches x 1.625 inches
  • Three-month battery life on a single charge
  • Included mounting plates

Pros

  • Vaultek Smart App
  • Edit stored fingerprints
  • Three-point slide system
  • Oversized fingerprint scanner

Cons

  • Three-month battery life is generous

Product Description

The Vaultek Slider Series conveniently mounts in your vehicle or under your desk, when you need quick access to your firearm away from home. The mounting hardware is a breeze to install, and with vertical, horizontal, or angling downward mounting positions, you can fit this compact case almost anywhere. I applaud this unit’s function. It’s simple to open and access your contents, and the Vaultek Smart App allows you to open the case with a straightforward swipe. The app allows you to adjust the settings, view notifications and power usage, and view the case’s history log. Though Vaultek boasts a three-month battery life, that can vary depending on your usage.  

Best Small Handgun Safe: GunVault SpeedVault Biometric SVB500

GunVault

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Why It Made the Cut

This small, single handgun unit can be mounted almost anywhere and is perfect for the home, office, garage, or wherever you need a secured, easy-to-access handgun. 

Key Features

  • Weight: 6.61 pounds
  • Interior Dimensions: 8.5 inches x 2.6 inches x 5.75 inches
  • Material: 18-gauge steel
  • Interior light

Pros

  • Holds up to 20 individual fingerprints
  • Fast access
  • Soft foam interior
  • LED low battery warning

Cons

  • No spring-loaded door
  • Small fingerprint pad

Product Description

I love the quick access that this biometric safe provides, and since you can mount it anywhere, it isn’t a bad idea to have a few of these bad boys mounted in various places. The interior foam provides plenty of cushion for your firearm, and once the door opens, accessing the pistol’s grip is intuitive, especially if you’re mounting this under a desk. I’d like to see a larger fingerprint pad, but this one works fine. While the added foam is a plus, you might have to alter it just a tad to accommodate larger pistols or ones with pistol lights/lasers.

Best Budget: awesafe Gun Safe

awesafe

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Why It Made the Cut

This inexpensive biometric gun safe will hold two standard handguns or one larger pistol with extra magazines. With similar features and almost half the price of other competitors, the awesafe merits serious consideration.

Key Features

  • Weight: 9.4 pounds
  • Material: Alloy steel
  • Pry-resistant door

Pros

  • Durable exterior
  • Trio of entry mechanisms
  • One-year warranty
  • Easy firearm retrieval

Cons

  • Inner dimensions are too small for some handguns

Product Description

For an option under the $130 mark, this illuminated-inside-the-case beauty is one of the best biometric gun safes for the money. I prefer safes that offer multiple ways to open them, and this case delivers in spades. To pair with the biometric locking mechanism, this case also accepts a physical key, and you can program and use the keypad. The one-year warranty is a nice touch, and battery life is adequate. I also appreciate the gas struts, a feature often found in more expensive biometric cases. These help the door open rapidly, which means you can get to your handgun quickly. The inner dimensions are small, though, and fitting two handguns is a stretch. But for a biometric gun safe on a budget, this one outperforms its price point.

Best Under the Desk: MAXSafes Pro-Underdesk Safe

MAXSafes

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Why It Made the Cut

I’m a huge fan of the Vein ID port, and this heavy-duty safe mounts cleanly via an attached frame portion under any wooden object for concealed but quickly accessible storage.

Key Features

  • Weight: 18.3 pounds
  • Material: 16-gauge metal
  • 50 vein ID capacity
  • Dimensions: 19.1 inches x 16.5 inches x 6.2 inches

Pros

  • Simple setup
  • Backlite keypad entry
  • Easy installation
  • Padded drawer bottom

Cons

  • Two full-size pistols are pushing it
  • No LED in the drawer

Product Description

The easy to install Underdesk Safe from MAXSafes features one of the best biometric recognition systems. Dubbed Vein Recognition, a small door located in the drawer of the safe allows for finger insertion during setup, and in three easy steps, the safe will scan and store your vein pattern. Of course, the safe also allows for PIN and standard key entry, but after scanning my finger, I had no trouble opening the door. And the Silent Mode keeps the safe hushed. MAXSafes claims this one will hold a pair of full-size handguns, but it’s a tight fit. For an added bonus, the padded drawer is fitted with pre-cut foam that allows you to custom fit your handguns.

FAQs

Q: How much does a biometric safe cost?

Biometric gun safes, depending on size, materials, and features, run anywhere from $100 to over $1000. 

Q: Are fingerprint safes reliable?

No technology, no matter how advanced, is completely immune to failure, but I’ve personally never had a problem with fingerprint safes failing. Luckily, most biometric safes offer multiple access methods should something go wrong.

Q: How does a biometric gun safe work?

A biometric gun safe scans and reads your fingerprint, key card, or one of the pre-programmed fingerprints, which then causes the safe to break open. It’s a fast and efficient method designed to give you access to your firearm for home or self-defense scenarios.

Q: Are biometric gun safes worth it?

For home defense, biometric gun safes aren’t just worth it, they are also necessary. They can save valuable seconds, and when your nerves are high, it’s much easier to scan a finger than to remember a PIN or fumble with a physical key. If you have children, these cases keep your firearm(s) safe and out of their hands.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Biometric Gun Safe

Biometric gun safes might feel more like insurance than buying a new piece of gear, but they’re definitely a piece of equipment that you won’t regret buying if you ever have to use it. There are plenty of options, but unlike a lot of products, you can visit a registered dealer and give your safe a solid once-over before shelling out any greenbacks. 

Do you need a safe that simply stores your handgun, or do you need one that quickly deploys for self-defense? If you just need storage, there are plenty of options that will do that admirably without breaking the bank. If you need something that keeps your handgun out of reach of your kids or quickly deploys for self-defense, consider an option with quick fingerprint scanning or gas struts. If you have a few long guns you want to store, along with ammo, magazines, jewelry, and family heirlooms, it might be best to invest in one of the best gun safes

Methodology

For this review I either personally tested the safes or inspected them at a few local gun stores. I focused on the interior dimensions, overall footprint, and accessibility, which included the time each safe required to deploy and which access methods each one required. In addition to these requirements, I also considered the features that each safe included for its respective price point. 

Final Thoughts

The best biometric gun safes should provide immediate access to your firearms when you need them most. All of the options on this list will deliver in those regards, so it’s up to you to figure out which features best fit your needs.