Last updated on: May 19th, 2019
It’s become common sense to have a gun for personal protection. That’s why the law gives the right for people to have guns but this comes with the responsibility of securing your weapons in a secure place. This is only reasonable because nobody wants children to get hold of the firearm and hurt themselves or others. It is your duty as a gun holder to keep it secure so you need a quality storage mechanism.
Luckily, the right solution is not hard. A gun safe is the best tool for this purpose and you don’t have to break a bank to get one. Manufacturers are developing new gun cabinets cheap to give gun owners the peace of mind they require. You can find a cheap gun safe out there, and in this buying guide, we are focusing on the best gun safes under $500. This review will further explain the features to look for before purchasing a gun safe in 2019 plus some safety tips you ought to know.
Finding the best budget gun safe for your rifle and firearm is not an easy task, but this article is here to simplify everything for you. Use this information whenever you need fire rated gun safes under $500 for your home or office.
What You Should Pay Attention To When Buying Cheap Gun Cabinet
At a price of $500, it is not easy to come by the latest gun safe features. This doesn’t mean you should compromise safety. By considering the fundamentals, you should be able to get the best gun safe for the money and one that allows secure access. You need to understand the quality ratings of a good cheap gun safe so you can make an informed purchasing decision. Here are the most important features to look for in cheap gun safes.
The most reliable way to gauge the effectiveness of the best gun safe for the money is to check the weight. Real gun cabinets are heavy and more rigid than those of RSC gun safes (residential security containers). Heavier cabinets are difficult to break into. If you find two safes with a similar price, let the weight guide you in picking the right one. Look for one made of steel as opposed to chrome plating and glossy cosmetic features.
- Fire Safety
Fire hazards happen all the time, that’s why you need an affordable fireproof gun safe. Keep in mind, there is no cabinet which is 100% fireproof because every material has its limit. Safes constructed in quality high gauge steel have been known to survive serious fire incidents. Gun safes cheap can only survive smaller fires. Check the fire safe rating before buying one. The UL 72 is considered a standard fireproof rating.
- Steel Thickness
The strength of a cheap gun cabinet is determined to a great extent by the type of steel used in its construction. High-quality steel provides the best protection. Doubling the thickness of the steel makes a gun safe 8 times stronger. As a general rule of thumb, look for a gun cabinet with steel thickness above 10 gauge or 0.1345”.
- Internal Hinges
The internal hinges allow the door to move 90⁰ when fully open. Sometimes, the fireproof lining might be cut out to let the hinges fit in as the door closes. When you close the door, the fireproofing must not be cut out for clearance. Avoid swinging a door with internal hinges too hard when opening to prevent damage to the door jamb. Note that you cannot adjust or remove an internally hinged gun safe door. When considering any cheap gun safe, make sure it has a welded tongue or locking bolts on the hinge door side. The bolts must be properly fixed and you should avoid any gun safe without hinge side bolts.
- A Secure Lock
There are some security questions to ask yourself when choosing various gun safes under $500. Do you prefer a keypad lock to a biometric lock, or do you simply need a good cheap gun safe that allows quick access and maximum security of your rifle? There are various locking systems from a numbered keypad combination, biometric, pattern keypad combination, and manual locks. All are good but the Biometric system is considered the best.
- Location of the safe
You need to figure out the best place to put a gun safe for maximum security of your cheap fireproof gun safe. Different locations offer varying degrees of protection from fire, theft, and flood. First, determine the most likely risks for you. Before you decide the location, measure the path for moving the safe and ensure the floor can support it properly. Consider hiring a professional installation if the safe is more than 500 pounds or if you have never moved a large safe.
- Standard Steel, Door Outer Sheet
The outer sheet of the gun safe door should not be thinner than 0.1793 inches or 7-gauge. Thicker steel on the outer sheet of the door is a huge plus because it is harder to tamper with. Note that a higher gauge number translates to thinner steel. 14-gauge steel is thinner than 10-gauge steel. Often, many adverts give the total door thickness rather than steel thickness. The easiest parts of a gun cabinet to break into are the wall, the top, and the bottom. As such, the best rifle safe under 500 has the thickest casing.
- Anchor Holes
A gun cabinet that is not bolted down is completely useless. It requires 4 strong bolt holes located at the outer base corners. These anchor holes prevent pry bars from piercing under the safe. Some gun cabinets from China feature mid-holes at the base which is not a good design. The main purpose of the holes is to make bolts extremely hard to rip out. It takes a strong bolt fastened to a strong steel body to keep your firearm safe. Note that the corners of the gun safe cheap act as a fulcrum when ripping out the bolts.
- Door Seal
As much as cheap gun safes help you save money, it is imperative to find one with proper door sealing. Some low-quality models don’t have door seals – a bad indication. A door seal assists the dehumidifier to keep moisture from reaching the firearms. In case of a fire the door seal plays a crucial role in keeping out hot gases and smoke. Without a door seal, hot gases can get into the safe easily and melt composite stocks, wood, and paper. We recommend a cheap fire resistant gun safe with an intumescent door seal which expands seven times its volume when the temperature hits 248 °F. During expansion, it seals the door of the gun cabinet so that smoke, water vapor, and hot gasses don’t penetrate the safe.
- Lock Types
Awesome gun safes come with secure, easy to access, and practical locks. There are 3 major categories of gun safe locks: electronic, biometric, and mechanical. An electronic lock is very easy to access. It is just a matter of entering the key combination. However, electronic devices are prone to failure, particularly the cheapest ones. Mechanical locks are the most durable options. They don’t need electric power to operate but it takes longer to open them so they are not good for emergency cases. Lastly, biometric locks are the most recommended. You don’t need to remember a combination of keys because all you need is your fingerprint and the door opens in a second. No burglar can fake a fingerprint.
- Door Construction
The first line of defense in a gun safe is the door. The thickness determines the strength, hence the protection ability. When purchasing a gun safe under 500, check the door to ensure it is not constructed with thin metal. Thicker and heavier plate steel are better. Open the door to determine the steel thickness. Some doors may seem sturdy at a glance but they are constructed with two thin layers of steel so they offer minimal protection against forced entry. The best door is constructed with at least 3/16” plate steel. For added strength and rigidity, a double steel door casement would come in handy.
- Body Construction
The main function of a gun safe is to give maximum security. It is a no-brainer that the strongest body of an affordable gun safe is made of high-quality steel. Gun cabinets are designed differently. The biggest differences are found in the body and door construction. The amount of steel used on the body is paramount. The most secure bodies feature one thick piece of quality steel that is pressure formed to a 3-sided shape plus full-length welding at the top and bottom. The welding reinforces the strength and safety of the entire safe. Most gun cabinets feature a single-steel body but a double-steel body is tougher, more secure, and provides better heat protection. Also, consider torch-resistant stainless steel welded on the six sides. If a safecracker attempts to torch the body, the flames spit back at them.
Safety Tips for Using Gun Safes Under $500
If you have firearms at home, we urge you to ensure they are always secured so burglars, nosy guests, and kids cannot get them. Note that you will be liable for any damage that happens due to negligent storage. Also, you don’t want something as valuable as a gun to be stolen from you. To avoid these troubles and keep everyone safe, here are tips on how to store a gun safely.
- Know how the gun works from opening, closing actions, and how to take ammunition out.
- Keep guns locked in a safe which cannot be broken into easily.
- Store guns unloaded with safety settings on.
- Put all firearms out of the reach of children as well as adults that don’t know how to use them.
- Clean, dry, and oil your guns before storage.
- Keep your finger from the trigger unless you are ready to fire.
- Keep the gun safe keys away from those who shouldn’t access them.
- Store your guns in a cool dry place far away from fire.
- Always direct the gun’s barrel in a safe direction (preferably to the ground) so even if an accidental discharge happens, nobody will be hurt..
- Store ammo in a secured place separate from the gun itself.
- Use trigger locks when the gun is not in use.
- Teach your teenagers basic safety tips for firearms.
Purpose of a $500 Gun Safe
There are many reasons you should get the best affordable gun safe. You want to be a responsible citizen who cares about the safety of kids, other family members, and neighbors.
- Theft protection
Many times, criminals steal firearms and use them to conduct their activities. Besides being a source of security, your firearm is a valuable asset which you can’t afford to lose. A gun safe is not a simple case. It comes with various features including secure locks and heavy-duty metal construction. These impenetrable boxes discourage thieves from accessing anything in a gun safe.
- Keeping children safe
A lot of cases are reported every day where kids get killed or injured due to negligent gun storage by their parents. If you are a caring person, your children should come first and forbid them from touching guns. The only sure way to ensure this is by using a gun safe. Kids are very curious and can discover even places which you think are most secure.
- Fire protection
Fireproof gun safes cheap ensure protection against destructive fire accidents. Always check the fire rating and make sure that it has insulation layers to prevent heat damage. Some of the best safes have fire resistance of the temperature as high as 1800⁰F.
- Quick access
It is very risky to hide a firearm anywhere. An intruder can break into your house anytime so you need to have quick access to the weapon. Locking your gun in a cabinet ensures no one can access it. You can mount cheap handgun safes anywhere in the house. All you need to do is enter the security code to gain the access or verify the biometric fingerprint.
- Storage of valuable items
It is true that gun safes are for firearms but they can also store other important items such as jewelry, keys, tax records, bonds, passports, and money. This protects those items from theft. There is always room for storing extra stuff.
- Child Access Prevention compliance
There are several laws which have been enacted to safeguard kids from firearm hazards. Most states have a Child Access Prevention Law. Any gun owner must keep their weapons from kids and make sure no kid knows how to unlock the safe.
- Protecting firearm ownership rights
Poor handling of firearms is unwarrantable in the court of law. The charges are even worse in case an accident happens. Storing your guns in a safe makes you a law-abiding citizen and a responsible gun handler. Do everything you can to stay away from the wrong side of the law. Fire rated gun safes under $500 are good long-term investments that are certainly worth your money.
- Fulfilling the conditions of an Insurance company
Firearm insurers require clients to have safe storage of their weapons if they want a comprehensive insurance policy. A gun can be placed in any locker but it is always advisable to secure it in a cabinet that has been certified and equipped with an alarm. An insurance company provides a certificate which guarantees fast recovery of loss in case of damage or theft. You can even get an insurance discount. Most discounts are offered for very safe and cheap fireproof gun safes. If you have to spend an extra amount of money, make sure that is a discount.
- Escaping unwanted lawsuits
When a burglar steals your gun, they may engage in further criminal acts and you might be sued in the court of law, yet you are unaware of the circumstances. The authorities can trace you, but a gun safe will protect you against such lawsuits. Because a safe is reinforced to the floor, it is not easy for a thief to break in and take your guns. It is also important for the authorities to know that you are a responsible gun owner.
- Firearm Locking Device compliance
In most states, you are expected to lock a gun safely. That is why you need a certified cheap rifle safe. Whether you have children or not, you must comply with the Firearm Locking Device Law for maximum protection.
Best Cheap Gun Safe Reviews
Home’N’Roll has come up with a list of the 5 best gun safes under 500 dollars in 2019 available online. We have posted this review to help anyone who is confused about choosing affordable gun safes. Our selection is based on weight, fire protection, locking mechanism, and other aforementioned factors. Read the 5 reviews to get a better understanding.
The Best Beginner Gun Safe
When looking for the best cheap gun safe, there are two things you don’t want to compromise on: security and ease of access. GunVault SpeedVault digital handgun safe delivers both worlds and so much more. Thanks to its compact design, you can install it anywhere.
- Weighs 8.2lbs
- Measures 6.5” x 3.5” x 13”
- Biometric- SVB500 and Combination- SV500 lock systems
- The biometric scanner records 20 fingerprints
- Made of 18-gauge steel
- Foam lining interior
- Interior light
- Fast Activation drop-down drawer
- Uses a 19 V battery
- Black color
- Backup override key
- Can be installed anywhere
- Easy to unlock with the reliable biometric system
- Discreet design
- Durable construction
- The interior foam cannot be removed
It may not be the fanciest safe on the market but GunVault SV500 multi vault standard gun safe is a step ahead when it comes to ease of access. We highly recommend it for first-time gun owners.
The Best Small Safe Under $500
Barska quick access biometric rifle safe ax11652 holds 4 rifles without modified grips and scopes. With 120 different fingerprints, it means you can record numerous identities which comes in handy during an emergency.
- Smart biometric lock system that records up to 120 fingerprints
- Quick access by Instant Home Defense
- Solid steel body and 3 deadbolts
- Weighs 62lbs
- Measures 9.75″ x 8.63” x 52.13”
- Stores 4 rifles
- Backup access with 2 hidden keyholes if the battery dies
- Approved by CA DOJ
- Opens silently
- 1-year limited warranty
- Has a fingerprint reader
- Neither fireproof, nor waterproof
This Barska quick access biometric rifle safe review targets any gun owner looking for a small cabinet with basic features. If you have a larger weapon like an AR-15, you might want to consider other gun safes for cheap.
The Best Electric Keypad Lock Safe
V-line quick access keyless long gun safe is a compact and sturdy gun cabinet which can store 2 long guns without flashlights or scopes. Wide rifles are difficult to fit but a single rifle fits perfectly well. The best feature of the safe is a mechanical lock which is programmable so you can change the combinations. There are other two extra locks for improved security.
- Weighs 30.8 pounds
- Measures 3.5” x 12” x 42”
- Keyless high-end lock
- Constructed in 16-gauge steel
- 2 extra keyed locks
- Pre-drilled mounting holes
- Can store large rifles such as an AR 15
- Easy mounting thanks to the pre-punched holes
- Elegant glossy finish
- No batteries are needed
- The steel thickness is prone to prying
V-line gun safe is perfect for anyone who prefers an electric locking mechanism for one or two guns. Lack of batteries is a great plus if you like using a bedside gun safe. It guarantees quick access.
Best Value For Money
For only $330, you get to own a Verifi smart safe, a small but reliable gun safe. It has plenty of space for guns and other items you might want to keep prying eyes away from. It comes with a 3D FBI-approved fingerprint scanner meaning it recognizes your identity easily with just a single finger touch.
- Weighs 31.3 pounds
- Measures 13.2” x 13.8” x 7.9”
- Solid steel construction
- NiteLite alerts
- Uses 4AA batteries
- Motor actuated
- CA DOJ approved
- A biometric scanner which can record 40 fingerprints
- Mounting holes for the floor and walls
- 20mm locking bolts
- Quick and accurate auto-lock mechanism
- A secret backup key on the back
- Soft night-light
- Easy to install
- The back panel is recessed leaving the panels sticking out
Verifi safe offers more value for money and is definitely worth buying. The safety performance is satisfactory while the advantages by far outweigh the disadvantages.
Conclusion: What is the best gun safe under 500 dollars?
Family security means everything. You should take care of whether your legal firearms are stored safely and out of reach from children. One of the biggest concerns of the Best Gun Safe Under 500 is ease of access regardless of the time of the day. Some safes can be stolen easily by thieves and result in further damage and hurt people. According to Home ‘N’ Roll, the above affordable gun safe recommendations are good but there is one product which impresses more people in terms of safety and access – Verifi s6000 smart safe. This safe will give you great value for the money. It is the safest cabinet among the five especially due to its biometric lock mechanism. Its doors lock automatically when closed and there are very clear instructions for reprogramming the safe. When compared to other brands, Verifi Smart Safe is more energy efficient as it uses 4 AA batteries which run for a long time.