After buying your first firearm, you need to carefully consider where it should be stored. For many people, the answer is a handgun safe. But when you start shopping around, you’ll realize there are many different kinds to consider. Where do you start?
The Essentials of Firearm Safes
All safes are different, but many include similar features. When shopping around for a safe that fits your needs, make sure you consider the following:
- Size. There’s nothing worse than investing in a safe that’s too small. However, buying one that’s too large can be a waste of money and space. Take your time when determining the appropriate size and keep important factors in mind. You’ll need to determine how many firearms you own, whether you plan to buy more in the future, and where the safe will be stored.
- Protection. A safe is worthless if it can’t protect what’s inside. When buying a safe, consider the steel thickness and level of fire protection. For more information on these factors, check the steel gauge and fire rating in the owner’s manual.
- Lock. What type of locking bolt does the safe have? One thing to consider is how many locking bolts there are. Conventional wisdom advises consumers to purchase a safe with at least four bolts. Another important factor is whether the bolts are on the interior or exterior, what level of thickness they are, and how tight of a seal they create.
- Ease of entry. While you want a safe that’s hard for children or intruders to access, it shouldn’t prohibit you from using it. Look for a safe that allows easy entry for the owner, while still providing excellent security. This usually means investing in a combination lock.
- Warranty. A high quality safe will come with a warranty. However, just because a warranty is advertised it doesn’t mean the safe is fully covered. Many warranties only cover portions of the safe. Review the fine print and try to find a lifetime guarantee if possible.
- Gimmicks. Be wary of falling for marketing or sales gimmicks. The firearm industry is very competitive and companies will use any tactic necessary to increase sales. This often includes “selling” consumers on extra features that don’t provide any real value. Look at the top-rated safes to determine which features are necessary and which are superfluous.
How to Buy a Safe
Once you determine what you’re looking for, it’s time to actually buy the safe. Once again, you’ll have plenty of selections to choose from. You can choose to purchase in a firearm specific retail store, at a major sporting goods store, or online. Prices vary greatly— anywhere from a few hundred dollars to more than $10,000—depending on what size you’re looking for and which features you want.
When shopping for the safe, it’s important to actually see and inspect the safe to determine whether it will satisfy your needs and demands. For that reason, it’s best to look at the safe in person before purchasing online. However, it can be helpful to check out online reviews and connect with experts in the field before deciding on which brand or model to go with.
At Springfield Armory®, we are committed to firearm safety and continuing education. When buying a firearm from us, feel free to ask us for more information on purchasing a high quality safe.