At a Glance: The Best Small Gun Safes
Comparison of The Best Small Gun Safes
Our Top Pick
|Hornady Rapid Night Guard Safe||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|Snap Safe 2-Gun Keypad Vault||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|Hornady RFID Rapid Safe 2600||View Latest Price|
As a handgun owner, it’s your responsibility to protect your gun from getting into the wrong hands. Whether you want to keep your weapon away from curious kids or safely secured from potential burglars, a small gun safe is what you need.
Pistol safes are compact and lightweight, which makes them easy to carry while taking up minimal space. Despite their size, the best small gun safes will be incredibly difficult to crack open. Furthermore, this investment will not just protect your handgun. You can use a gun safely to store other valuables, such as passports, jewelry, or electrical devices.
This article will explain what makes the best small gun safe and what to look for to find the highest quality security boxes on the market.
Our Review Of The Best Small Gun Safes In 2020
We have tested and reviewed the 8 best small gun safes and cases available this year to assist you further. Our thorough reviews will help you determine the gun safes that give the highest security to your weapon, and therefore, you and your family too.
Hornady Rapid Night Guard Safe
The Hornady RAPiD Night Guard handgun safe uses high-tech RFID technology for speedy, touch-free access to your firearm, along with superior security. The safe comes with four patented RFID biometric tags that unlock the safe faster than any keypad can.
Another unique selling point of the Night Guard safe is the additional clock function and USB charging ports, making it the best small gun safe for your nightstand. Along with the advanced technology, the safe has a strong, tamper-proof steel construction, including heavy-duty exterior housing and hardened interior locking lugs.
Other features include the discreet glass-tempered display panel with an access code keypad for an additional entry option and the spring-assist drawer that slides open smoothly and quietly to reveal a padded interior to protect your gun from scratching and damage.
The safe can use both AC and battery power, and there is a key included for manual override. With a 10.5″ height, 12″ width, and 3″ depth, the Night Guard safe will fit most full-sized handguns with some additional space for other valuables. Moreover, the safe offers top-notch security with the 1500-pound-rated security cable and predrilled mounting holes.
It’s not the easiest to program, but it does have one of the most robust constructions out of all the small gun safes we tested. What’s more, the RFID tags give the most rapid entry possible, allowing you to access your gun instantly in an emergency.
- RFID technology gives rapid, touch-free access
- Heavy-duty, tamper-proof construction
- Also functions as a clock and USB charging port
- Gives a high level of security
- Includes a 1500-pound-rated security cable and predrilled mounting holes
- Programming could be easier
Snap Safe 2-Gun Keypad Vault
The Snap Safe 2-gun keypad vault gives you access to your guns using a programmable 2 to 4 digit keypad code. The safe features a shelf creating two compartments and enough space for 2 handguns or 1 gun plus other valuables.
The vault is built using 16-gauge steel and has predrilled holes for easy mounting to a bedside table, shelf or desk. The door is spring-loaded to open immediately and fluidly. Inside, there is a protective foam liner to protect your valuables against damage.
The keypad vault is operated by 4 AA batteries and features an audible and visible low-battery indicator. What’s more, a back-up key is provided for peace of mind. I found this safe to be effortless to set up, and despite having the capacity to hold 2 guns, it still appears compact and feels lightweight.
Overall, this is a simple to operate, well-constructed gun safe that could easily be the best small gun safe for gun owners needing to store two firearms or those merely wanting additional space in their safe.
- Compact and lightweight yet spacious
- Spring-loaded door for trouble-free access
- Strong and durable construction
- Easy to mount
- Does not give as fast access as other safes
Hornady RFID Rapid Safe 2600
The Hornady RFID RAPiD handgun safe boasts a heavy-duty, tamper-proof construction and advanced RFID tag access for fast and secure entry. It’s certified child-resistant and meets TSA requirements for taking on a flight.
The security case exceeds ASTM International safety standards for child and pry-resistance, based on the lock strength, drop/pick/saw tests, and hinge attack resistance. It is built with 14 gauge steel and two internal hardened locking lugs.
In addition to the RFID entry, you can program a 4 to 6 digit security code for a secondary access method. A security cable is included for securing this compact to any stationary object. Measuring 10.7″ long and 8.7″ wide, the case snuggly fits one pistol/handgun.
This Hornady small gun safe gives high-level pry-resistant, tamper-proof security, along with lightning-fast entry when you need it. If you’re looking for a compact, portable gun case that will securely hold your pistol wherever you go, this is the best small gun safe for you.
- Rapid access thanks to RFID technology
- Tough, tamper-proof construction
- Additional keypad entry method
- Comes with a security cable
- Ideal for travel and meets TSA requirements
- Can be a tight fit for some guns
- No space for additional items
Liberty Safe And Security Co. Hd-100 Quick Vault
The Liberty HD-100 quick vault features a slim, notebook design for portability and travel. It uses a battery-operated quick access electronic lock with an auto-open door for immediate access to your firearm. There is also an interior safe light, allowing you to see your gun in dark conditions.
Measuring 2.5″ x 10.8″ x 8.3″, the HD-100 will fit in most backpacks, laptop bags, and travel bags, yet it can still hold most regular-sized handguns. Weighing just 6.25 lbs, the gun case will not add much weight to your luggage either.
Approved by California DOJ, this gun vault is constructed with heavy-duty steel, anti-pry technology, and a tamper alert light that informs you of an attempted break-in. These security features make the HD-100 one of the most secure, anti-theft small gun safes we tested.
A security cable comes included, giving the ability to fix the portable safe to a stationary object when you need additional protection, and it comes with a key back-up override too.
The HD-100 vault is extremely well-made, and the extra security functions give you peace of mind that the product will protect you from attempted break-ins. If you’re looking for the most dependable and guarded storage for your gun, the Liberty gun vault will meet your needs well.
- Impressive security from the anti-pry technology
- Auto-open door for quick access
- Tamper alert light
- Strong and sturdy construction
- Comes with a security cable
- Portable design makes it great for travel
- Will not fit larger-sized handguns
- No extra space inside for ammo
Snap Safe Keyed Lockbox
The Snap Safe keyed lockbox will securely store your handgun both at home and when traveling thanks to the heavy-duty 16-gauge steel cable. This lets you secure the safe to any stationary object at home, in the car, or to your luggage while on the move.
This lockbox uses a manual key operation, and the entire interior is lined with thick foam to protect your firearm from scratching or damage. There are also predrilled mounting holes should you choose to permanently secure it to your bedside table, desk, or shelf.
The design of the lockbox meets TSA guidelines and has been approved by the California DOJ. Snap Safe offers 3 sizes to choose from, to fit all handguns and give you the capacity you want.
- Large – 6.5″ (H) x 9.5″ (L) x 1.75″ (W)
- X-Large – 7″ (H) x 10″ (L) x 2″ (W)
- XX-Large – 8.5″ (H) x 11.5″ (L) x 2.5″ (W)
This versatile gun case has the easiest operation and works equally great as a storage box in your vehicle, a travel carry case, and a small home gun safe. The larger sizes will give you more capacity to store other valuables too.
It may not be the strongest safe against thieves and break-ins, but it will keep your gun protected when traveling and safely away from children and unauthorized users while at home.
- The most versatile option – perfect for travel, in the car, and at home
- Comes with heavy steel cable and predrilled mounting holes
- Foam-lined interior
- Meets TSA guidelines
- Approved by DOJ
- 3 size options to choose from
- Not the strongest against theft and break-ins
Gunvault Nanovault 200 Pistol Safe
The Nanovault 200 pistol safe from Gunvault is a compact, clamshell-style gun case that can discreetly fit in a bag, under a car seat, or in a desk drawer. It is also tamper-resistant and meets TSA checked baggage guidelines, making it a great travel choice. Plus, with almost 108 cubic inches of capacity, it will hold a full-size pistol plus magazine.
The Nanovault 200 is made from 18 gauge steel and given a black powder coat finish. It features a manual key lock with 2 keys included. What’s more, it comes with a security cable for attaching to any solid fixture and predrilled holes for a permanent mounting solution too.
I found this gun safe to be very well-made both inside and out, and I particularly liked the thick protective padding inside. Nonetheless, the locking mechanism is simple and does not offer the highest security against theft.
This is also not a rapid access case, so it is not the fastest way to get to your guns in an emergency. Even so, if you’re simply looking to secure your weapon safely, either on the move or at home, Nanovault’s simple but effective operation will serve that purpose.
- Compact design to discreetly fit in small places
- Great for traveling and meets TSA guidelines too
- Features a security cable and predrilled mounting holes
- The Interior is thickly padded
- The locking mechanism is not as pry-resistant as others
- Not a rapid access case
Bore Stores Long Term Gun Storage Cases
Bore stores offer various soft, cushioned, rust-resistant cases, which are custom-fit for most handgun models. These foldable fabric cases work well as a quick-case for travel or to provide maintenance-free, long-term storage of your pistol.
These lightweight fabric cases feature a velcro closure. They are made with open weave exterior fabric that allows thorough air circulation, preventing moisture, corrosion, rust, grit, and dust from getting inside. Moreover, the soft pile interior cushions protect your gun against nicks and scratches. The fabric was thicker than i expected, and it felt like a durable and protective material.
Bore stores offer 15 size options to choose from! All are custom-made for specific handgun models and sizes such as ar-15, ak-3, and m1.
While this isn’t a product to protect your gun from theft or unauthorized users, these alternative gun cases are great if you battle with humidity or mold in your home. The soft cases will prevent moisture from getting to your firearm, and thus, completely prevent rust or corrosion.
- Unique soft case for protecting your gun from scratching and damage
- Open weave fabric circulates air well and keeps moisture out
- Prevents mold, corrosion, and rust
- A large array of sizes for a custom-fit
- No theft protection or security
- Does not meet tsa guidelines to take on a flight
Colt Handgun Storage Case
The Colt handgun case is an excellent choice for both storing and transporting your firearm. The hard, durable exterior and the useful carry handle make it an ideal case for taking to the range. The safe is made with blue molded plastic, and the construction includes two locking latches, steel hinge pins, and a Colt logo imprinted on the top.
Inside the box is protective padding, but this doesn’t cover the whole inside of the case on one side. The case measures 38cm long, 21cm wide, and 6.3cm deep, fitting most pistols and revolvers. It is a solid case with enough space inside for additional magazines.
As you can see, this is a factory case rather than a safe, so its purpose is not to protect your gun from theft. Even so, I would have liked to have seen a manual key lock mechanism. However, if you want an affordable gun case for transporting your gun to and from the range, this is still a worthy choice.
- Hard plastic box with latch locking mechanism
- Carry handle for easy transporting
- Spacious enough for magazines or accessories
- A great case for protecting your gun from damage when going to the range
- No secure locking system
- No theft-protection and is not pry-resistant
Things To Look For When Choosing A Small Gun Safe
When buying a small gun safe, there are certain things you should look for to ensure you choose the best small gun safe with the highest quality and performance. The following factors should be considered when searching the market for a gun case to secure your firearm and protect it from unauthorized users.
Even though you want a small gun safe that does not take up too much space, you need to ensure that it still offers sufficient space for your firearm and any accessories it may have.
There are two types of security devices that we have included on this list. Some are small vault-type gun safes that are suited to a bedside table or desk. Others are gun cases/lockboxes, which are ideal for travel and portability purposes.
- Portable gun cases are a great option if you plan to travel with your gun. Their compact and lightweight design provides a safe and secure way to transport your firearm. However, this does mean that there is very little capacity inside.
- If you may want to store your ammo in the safe too, and perhaps some other valuables such as passports, jewelry, or money, a large capacity gun safe will suit you better.
- Regardless of which style you choose, be sure to check the safe and your gun measurements to avoid purchasing a safe that is too small.
Does It Meet TSA Requirements?
Talking about travel, if you plan to take your handgun on a flight, you will need a gun case that meets TSA requirements.
Different airlines and airports may have slightly different rules regarding the storage of a gun, but the general requirements are:
- Your gun must be stored in a small, hard, and lockable safe box.
- The lock has to have a combination code or a manual key.
- You must be the only person with the combination or key for the safe.
According to Federal law, the TSA cannot open the gun safe themselves or use a TSA-master-keyed lock. Therefore, your gun safe does not need and should not have a TSA lock.
You should check the product description of a small gun safe before purchasing to check it is TSA compliant. These safes should be built to withstand the demands of 100 round trip air flights.
Type of Locking System
Most safes will feature one of the following types of locking mechanisms, and some will have more than one type of access system:
- Manual – usually a combination lock. For this type of device, there is no power supply needed and no need to replace batteries.
- Electronic or Digital – typically uses a passcode. This type of lock gives greater ease of use and does not require re-locking every time.
- Biometric Technology – such as fingerprint or key fob access. These safes usually give the fastest access and the most expensive.
The locking mechanism you choose comes down to personal preference, as well as what you want from your gun safe. For example, suppose you want a safe that will give you rapid and silent access in the event of an emergency. In that case, a biometric safe will be the best choice. Moreover, many biometric safes will also have a digital keypad and come with manual keys, offering all three mechanisms in one.
If you’re looking for a safe that is fire-resistant to protect your guns and other valuables against a potential house fire, you should look for a small gun safe with a BF certification.
- A safe with a BF certification means it meets a specific fire rating level from ETL-Intertek laboratory testing, which is the industry’s leading independent laboratory for gun safe fire testing.
- According to ETL, all BF rated gun safes have superior fire protection for up to two hours against 1200ºF heat. Most house fires only reach temperatures of 1100° F.
- BF Gun Safes use a proprietary fill material called DryLight, which offers exceptional fire protection while keeping the safe lightweight.
- The safes are tested by being placed in a furnace with gas burners which reach an outside temperature of 1200ºF. This temperature is maintained for 120 minutes. A safe will fail this test if temperatures exceed 350°F anywhere inside the safe.
Do You Need a Dehumidifier?
As a small, enclosed space, many safes are at risk of humidity, especially if located in your house’s damp area. Humidity can lead to mold and mildew, which can be destructive to your firearms and your ammunition.
- With the presence of mold and mildew, both the safe itself and your guns could become susceptible to rusting and corrosion.
- A humid environment will reduce your ammunition’s shelf life significantly.
- Moreover, bullets subjected to moisture in the air will lose their accuracy and may not even fire at all.
The best way to keep moisture out of your safe and protect your guns from humidity is to use a dehumidifier. A good quality dehumidifier that is correctly maintained will result in optimum moisture levels and thus no humidity and mold issues.
However, bear in mind that dehumidifiers do require space, so depending on your gun case’s capacity or safe, this may not be a possibility.
One of my favorites is the Eva-dry Wireless Mini Dehumidifier.
Which Is the Best Small Gun Safe?
Suppose you’re looking for a compact home safe that will protect your gun from unauthorized users and provide rapid access when needed. In that case, the Hornady RAPiD Night Guard safe is the top choice. The RFID biometric tags give the fastest entry possible, and the strong, tamper-proof steel construction will keep thieves out too.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a case to protect and carry your handgun while traveling, I would recommend the Liberty Safe And Security Co. HD-100 quick vault. The slim, notebook design means it will easily fit in a bag or under a car seat. Yet, it offers the highest security level, too with its heavy-duty steel build, anti-pry technology, and tamper alerts. If that’s not enough, the auto-open door and electronic keypad give rapid entry also.
We hope this article’s information and advice will help you find the best small gun safe for you and your handgun.