- 1 Best Gun Safes Under $1000
- 2 Things You Should Know About Safes
- 2.1 1. A good safe will protect your guns and valuables but only in the right conditions
- 2.2 2. Burglars are not your only concern!
- 2.3 3. Why placing your safe right is important?
- 2.4 4. Understanding the safe’s certifications and their worth
- 2.5 5. What are the risks of owning a safe? and how to avoid them?
- 2.6 6. Finding the right size for your safe
- 2.7 7. Safe anchoring! Is it necessary?
- 2.8 8. Why should you spare no expense when buying a gun safe?
- 3 In Short!
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
- 4.1 1. How will my safe be delivered?
- 4.2 2. How am I supposed to carry it in the house?
- 4.3 3. Is the manufacturing country important?
- 4.4 4. Does my safe need a dehumidifier?
- 4.5 5. How do I install a dehumidifier?
- 4.6 6. How do I anchor my safe?
- 4.7 7. Can I make anchoring holes where I want?
- 4.8 8. How do I open the safe if I forgot the combination?
- 5 Best Gun Safes Under 1000 Comparison Chart
- 6 Wrap Up
Before we walk you through the reviews of the best gun safes under $1000, it is important to know that people who want to buy a gun safe are actually looking for two things:
- First, they want a unit that will be able to keep their guns and valuable property safe from burglars.
- Second, they want to buy a unit large enough to hold all their weapons at a great value for the money.
But you’re probably wondering: “How am I supposed to find out which is the most suitable safe I can buy under $1000?” Read on!
Steelwater Heavy Duty 20 Long Gun
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Mesa Safe 14 Gun Capacity All Steel Gun Safe
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Barska Large Biometric Rifle Safe
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Steelwater Heavy Duty 16 Long Gun
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Mesa Safe 14 Rifle Gun Safe with Digital Lock
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Best Gun Safes Under $1000
1. Steelwater Heavy Duty 20 Long Gun
Steelwater 20 gun safe has a certified fire protection of 45 minutes at 1550o F. This fire protection is certainly a very good one, better than what most of the competition offers at this price range.
The manufacturer advertises that the average capacity of this safe is of 12 – 16 long guns, with a maximum of 20. When you see this kind of estimate, keep in mind that all manufacturers usually use simple rifles when they’re testing the capacity. This means that if you want to store long guns with scopes or modified stocks, the capacity will decrease. This safe’s door is 4 and 3/4 inches thick. It’s made out of 12 gauge steel and composite.
And it gets better; because the safe has a total of nine solid steel locking bolts, each of them being 1” in diameter. Other than those, there are 6 more active bolts, all of them chrome plated and three additional inactive bolts placed on the hinge side. The safe uses a gear-driven bolt system which adds strength against drilling, prying, and punch attacks. This safe has a fire-resistant door seal. The seal is designed to expand in case of a fire, so it can keep out the flames and smoke, and later the water used for extinguishing the fire.
There are 4 pre-drilled anchor holes and a pre-drilled dehumidifier hole. The interior provides a two-section gun rack capable of holding 10 guns each, four adjustable shelves and one full-length shelf. The lock is electronic. It is EMP-proof and has a double-sided bypass key you can use to access the safe. This model weighs 425 lbs and has the following exterior dimensions: Height – 59”, Width – 28”, and Depth – 18”.
This safe is very easy to use. Choose a code you’re sure to remember and you can open the safe in two seconds and close it in one. This unit is heavy, so make sure you’re certain where you want to place it and have enough room for it. Keep in mind that this is a product that comes with curb delivery. You will need help moving it into your home and position it.
2. Mesa Safe 14 Gun Capacity All Steel Gun Safe
Mesa Safe’s unit offers fire protection. It should be able to withstand temperatures of up to 1750o F for up to one hour. This model is should be able to fit 14 guns in it, but it will most likely hold only 6-8 guns, 10 if they don’t have scopes or modified stocks. The body is constructed out of 1 and 3/4 inch steel plates and has a fire-resistant material lining.
Now, you want to know the best part? The door has a thickness of 5 and 1/8 inches and has a 3-way locking system. This model has 12 1 and 1/2 inch thick solid steel bolts and solid steel heavy-duty hinges. The lock is protected by a hard plate specially designed to withstand drilling.
The safe has an electrical outlet inside, so you can connect a light or a dehumidifier if you want to. There are 4 pre-drilled anchoring holes next to the corners you can use to bolt down the safe. This unit weighs 484 lbs., and has the following exteriors dimensions: Height – 59”, Width – 22”, and Depth – 20”.
All said this is a good, reliable model. The door is heavy and the safe is not very wide, so you should bolt it as soon as you have the possibility.
3. Barska Large Biometric Rifle Safe
Barska’s extra-large biometric safe has a biometric dial that allows you to access the inside of the safe quickly and securely with only a scan of your finger. This scanning technology can store up to 120 different fingerprints and is the perfect solution to have instant access to the contents of your safe. Now, you might think 120 different fingerprints might be an exaggeration, that nobody needs that many, and you might actually be true,
But the fact is, you shouldn’t scan a single fingerprint. Think about it, you only scan the fingerprint of your right index finger. All are good until the night you accidentally burn your right hand while cooking.
What should you do now? Waste time finding the spare keys? Nonsense. The best way to avoid this kind of problem is to scan all your fingers. If you can’t use one, use another. Simple as that. The interior is lined with material that protects your valuables from scratches and has a 16-position rack and removable storage shelves you can use to organize your guns and documents.
This safe uses a five-point dead-point system for locking and the construction is made out of solid steel. It also has 6 mounting bolts. The safe weighs 114 lbs., and has the following exterior dimensions: Height – 57”, Width – 13.75”, and Depth – 13.75”. This unit is not very large. It will only hold three long guns, but it will fit in small, tight spaces. This model does not offer any kind of fire protection.
4. Steelwater Heavy Duty 16 Long Gun
Steelwater’s safe has a fire-resistance certification and should be able to withstand temperatures of up to 1550o F for 45 minutes. This is a good period, better than that offered by most of its competition. The safe’s body is constructed out of 12 gauge solid steel and has a 12 gauge composite door. The door is 4 and 3/4 inches thick. OK, now we get to the safe’s capacity. The manufacturer advertises it to have a maximum of 16 long guns, and an average of 8 – 10.
Here’s the deal, we actually tested this safe ourselves, and there’s no way you could fit 16 long guns in it. That’s a gross exaggeration. We didn’t have many long guns on hand, but we were able to fit 8 of them along with several handguns. So we reached the conclusion that this model will actually fit only 10 long guns.
Quite fewer than advertised, isn’t it? We thought so too, but let’s not hold this against the manufacturer, this is actually a great safe model, with a good quality-price ratio. The construction has 8 ballistic resistant hard plates placed strategically so they would protect the most vulnerable parts, like the lock, re-locker, and the areas which are more likely to be drilled or attacked.
You can organize the interior with the help of 3 small shelves, one full shelf, and 4 adjustable shelves. The door has a total of 9 locking bolts made out of solid steel, each of them having a full inch in diameter. The locking system uses a 3-8 digit reprogrammable user code for access. The manufacturer also delivers an emergency double bitted bypass key. The unit weighs 351 lbs and has the following exterior dimensions: Height – 59”, Width – 22”, and Depth – 16”.
The bottom line is, this is a good, solid unit. It is not that large, so you might fit it anywhere, from hallways to garages. Due to the sheer weight of the door and the relatively small width, you need to bolt this model down if you want to make sure it won’t tip forward.
5. Mesa Safe 14 Rifle Gun Safe with Digital Lock
Mesa Safe’s model offers fire protection and should withstand temperatures of up to 1750o F for one hour. This is the best fire protection rating we encountered in the models we reviewed.
And there’s more; because this model is also able to withstand a 2-story drop impact without opening. When the fire seal is activated it will expand quickly to protect all the content from fire, smoke, and then water. This model uses a four-point locking system, and the lock is protected by a very resistant hard plate, which should be able to withstand drilling.
You might be impressed by these features, but you haven’t seen anything yet. There are 12 solid steel and deadbolts used in the locking process. All of them are 1 and 1/2” thick. The safe’s body is 1 and 3/4” thick, while the door is 5 and 1/8”.
This safe should be able to hold up to 14 long rifles, but it will actually hold only 10 or 11 if you really struggle and easily up to 8, depending on their features. There are 4 pre-drilled anchor holes, and the anchor kit is included. You’ll find it inside your safe on delivery.
This model uses an electronic lock, and you’ll be able to change the combination every time you desire. A nice feature of this model is the fact that it comes with plugs and USB ports. This way you can charge your devices, such as a dehumidifier or a light without having to pay extra. This unit weighs 551 pounds and has the following interior dimensions: Height – 55 and 3/8”, Width – 18 and 1/4”, and Depth 13”.
All in all, this is a great product. It weighs a lot and has a high holding capacity, so you’ll be able to deposit a lot of guns and other valuables in it. It is very sturdy and really seems impenetrable.
6. Blue Dot Safes Fire-Resistant Gun Safe
This safe offers fire protection. It should be able to withstand temperatures of up to 1700o F for an hour. This is one of the highest fire protection ratings we encountered. The body and the door are constructed out of 12 gauge thick steel finished with a black powder coat which gives it scratch resistance.
Do you want to know the best part? The lock is protected by a 5/16” thick drill-resistant hard plate, so you won’t have to worry about drill attacks. This model’s locking system is made out of 9 live steel bolts and 5 fixed ones. Each safe is equipped with a spring-loaded relocking device which will only come into action if the lock is attacked.
The interior has 2 pre-drilled anchoring holes you can use to bolt the safe to the floor. It is also carpeted and has holsters and pouches you can use for organizing. The advertised capacity is 30 rifles, 8 handguns, and 5 ammo pouches. We’re not sure if the figures are real.
But we guarantee you this, this safe is large. The storing capacity is superior to every other model we reviewed. This unit weighs 650 lbs and has the following interior measurements: Height – 55.18”, Width – 32.25”, and Depth – 25 Inches. The bottom line is, this is a great model and has a great quality-price ratio. The weight and security features make it one of them, if not the best safe under 1000$.
Things You Should Know About Safes
1. A good safe will protect your guns and valuables but only in the right conditions
Once you decide to buy and use a safe, you decide to put all your weapons and your valuables in the same place. But here’s the deal, they are only as safe as your safe is. Does that make sense? Of course, it does. If you decide to place the most valuable and expensive things in your home in a single unit, that unit has to be protected. You should not leave it in a dark corner of your basement and hope that burglars won’t bother with it because they most definitely will.
And it only gets worse because instead of taking all your possessions from inside the safe, they take the safe as well, so your loss only gets bigger. That’s why you should always make sure that the first thing you do after you buy a gun safe for your home is to fasten it to the wall, or to the floor. The best way to make sure that nobody can pick it up and run is to fasten it both to the wall and the floor at the same time. Additional security devices, like a home alarm, will increase the total security of the valuables and might also discourage some burglars.
2. Burglars are not your only concern!
Not only will a gun safes protect your valuables from burglars, but it will protect them from natural disasters, as well. All safes have a steel reinforced door to keep unwanted visitors out, but the best ones also have fire and water resistance. Now, you must think that these are not really important features for you, but they will be as soon as we reveal three crucial reasons.
- Maybe the first things you’ll deposit in your safe will be guns, but we guarantee that after some time you’ll end up placing valuable documents along with them. This is the first reason why fire protection is essential.
- The second reason is heat resistance. You purchase the safe so you can store all your guns and usually ammunition in it. You can probably guess what happens with ammunition once it’s exposed to high temperatures, right? Even if the fire is a small one, a safe that does not have fire resistance will heat up, like a frying pan. Once the heat reaches high temperatures, the ammunition alone will damage all the goods inside it, never mind the flames.
- The third reason is the fire seal. During a fire, the seal will firstly keep the fire and the smoke from reaching inside, and then it will keep the water out when the fire is extinguished. The seal will also keep most of the moisture from entering the safe daily, thus protecting your guns from rust.
3. Why placing your safe right is important?
In our experience, this is one of the toughest decisions you’ll have to make when the safe arrives at its destination. If your home doesn’t have an alarm system, you will be tempted to place the safe in a remote, hard-to-reach corner. That is usually a bad decision!
You need to get the safe placed in somewhere you’re most likely to use its contents. If for example, you want a gun safe to store all your hunting rifles, you might want to place the safe somewhere nearby your garage. This way you’ll be willing to go through the trouble of storing them after each hunt. If you place the safe two floors above, you’ll most likely ditch the weapons inside your trunk or on the walls, as you did before buying the safe.
Here’s the deal, you need to place it somewhere you’re sure to use it when needed. Another thing you need to think about is light. You need to have proper lighting if you want to see all the marks on a combination dial. These marks are usually quite small and you need to be able to pick out the right numbers for your combination. If you don’t have the proper lighting in the exact space you want to place the gun safe, don’t start remodeling your whole house because of it. You can purchase dial lights that go on top of the dial ring and illuminate it. A simple solution and elegant solution to the problem.
4. Understanding the safe’s certifications and their worth
In the United States, there are three certifications a gun safe can have. We’re going to explain their meaning so you’ll know what to look for in one.
- UL Certification: Some gun safes get tested by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). This testing ends up in certification. The easiest certification a safe can gain is the RSC. The Residential Security Certification means that the safe is able to withstand an expert attack for five minutes. This attack is made by employing tools such as pry bars, chisels, wrenches, screwdrivers and hammers under 3 lbs. As you can probably guess after reading the description, these safes will probably fail if they’re attacked with more forceful methods, so they have limited value.
- DOJ Certification: A lot of manufacturers brag about the fact that their gun safe is “DOJ approved”. This means that their product passed the standards required by the Department of Justice. You might think “Oh, this safe must be good if it passed the Department of Justice tests”, but you’d be wrong.
Here’s the truth of it. In 2012, security expert Marc Weber Tobias tested eleven models which were DOJ approved. Tobias reported that each and every one of the safes he tested could be opened with simple tools and techniques, like bouncing on them, inserting paper clips, drinking straws, or wires in their mechanism, or by using regular screwdrivers. And now it only gets worse. A three-year-old child was able to unlock four out of the eleven models. This is why this Tobias concluded that the DOJ Certification does not guarantee a certain level of security, and it should not be a valid point when you’re looking for a gun safe.
- Fireproof Certification: All the gun safes that are able to withstand fire have a UL classification. This classification is done by analyzing the safe’s build, and the inside of the safe must not be warmer than a specific temperature after a certain period of time. You’ll see markings such as “350 – 1 hour”, or “500 – 2 hours”, which means that the interior of the safe will not get warmer than the specified value if the safe is in a fire for the respective period of time.
5. What are the risks of owning a safe? and how to avoid them?
Owning and using a safe is not all sunshine and rainbows. They do present some risks, even if they are rare.
- The most important risk you need to take into consideration is the potential hazard risk it has on small children who might lock themselves in. The best way to avoid this risk is to make sure the door stays locked all the time. Locked, not closed. If you simply close the door without locking it, a child will be able to pull it open.
- Another major risk is having the safety tip-over someone. This can happen because the heaviest part of the safe is usually its door. The simplest way to eliminate this risk is to bolt down your safe. Not only does that eliminate the hazard, but it will also make your safe more reliable when it comes to burglary.
6. Finding the right size for your safe
Many people put this on the top of their list. Now, when it comes to gun safes, you can be assured that bigger is always better. Even though you don’t have many rifles and shotguns at the moment, that number will most likely increase over time, so you’ll need extra space for the new ones.
It is also important to keep in mind that most safe manufacturers measure their safe’s capacity with normal rifles, without scopes or modified stocks. This number will be different once you place your own rifles and shotguns in it, so having a larger one will be better.
You might be wondering: “But some safes don’t advertise how many guns they can hold. How do I find that out?” The easiest and most reliable way is to find out a safe’s capacity is to calculate it’s volume. This is not a hard calculation. All you need to do is check online for the safe’s dimensions and multiply them. Be sure to calculate the interior dimensions, not the outside ones.
For example, if a safe has the following dimensions: 60” height, 30” width, and 30” depth, it’s capacity will be 60 x 30 x 30 = 54,000 cubic inches or 31.25 cubic feet.
7. Safe anchoring! Is it necessary?
Most safes are heavy, weighing over 300 pounds, so you might be tempted to place them somewhere and leave it at that. You think that the weight itself will prove enough security to keep them safe from being taken. The easiest way for burglars to break into your safe is to take it away somewhere they have power tools, but an anchor does much more than protect the safe from being carried away.
Here’s the deal, the heaviest part of all safes is the door. The door has the thickest steel plate because it’s usually the most exposed part of the safe. This means that every time you open the door while the safe is empty, there is a risk of having it tip over you. Another risk is having the burglars tip the vault over so they can use better leverage, or work quicker with their tools. Anchoring your safe will eliminate these risks and make it more secure when facing burglary. Most safes have one or more anchor holes that are easy to use. Keep in mind that you should always anchor the safe in concrete, not in the wood. If concrete is really not an option, you can drill holes in the wooden floor and use an angled iron bolt to get under the wood. If you decide to move the safe, remember to take out the bolts first.
8. Why should you spare no expense when buying a gun safe?
You use a safe to protect your guns. So you have to consider this:
- When you buy a firearm, do you always go for the cheapest one, or do you go for the medium or high-priced ones?
- Do you agree that, when it comes to firearms, the higher the price, the better the product?
- Are you usually willing to spend more on high-quality products?
If you answered “Yes” to at least one of the questions, why would you think about spending less on a product whose sole purpose is to protect the things you like and cherish? You need to think about what the safe is supposed to protect. If your gun collection is worth over 100,000 $, why would you settle on a cheaper model like $500 to protect it? On the other hand, if you decide the things you’ll store in it will have a value of 10,000 – 20,000$, you probably shouldn’t look for a 50,000$ safe. Safes manufacturers usually offer better quality at a higher price. The thing you need to look out for is actually the best quality-price ratio. You have to find the best gun safe on the market in your price range.
Using more security devices at the same time will increase the overall security of your valuables and lower the burglars’ chances of success.
- Your safe should be able to withstand burglary and natural disasters like fires and floods.
- Place the safe somewhere you’ll be sure to use it
- Most safe certifications don’t really mean anything. The only one you should take into consideration is the fire protection
- Safes are relatively safe to use. Most risks can be eliminated without significant costs
- You should always calculate the capacity of the safe to make sure all your weapons will fit in it.
- You should always anchor your safe. Anchoring it on the floor and in the wall at the same time will increase its security.
- You should consider buying a safe as an investment and seek the model with the best quality-price ratio
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How will my safe be delivered?
Most companies will deliver your safe as far as your driveway. If you want the delivery people to carry the safe inside your house check with the seller. Some of them give you the possibility to pay extra to have the safe carried where you want to place it, while others will even give you the opportunity to have someone help with the installation.
2. How am I supposed to carry it in the house?
Most safes weigh over 300 lbs., so moving them might be problematic. The great thing is you can remove the door, which is the heaviest part of the safe and carry it separately. Either way, you’ll need help carrying it. You should get help from some of your friends, or get some professionals to do it for you.
3. Is the manufacturing country important?
Most units under 1000$ are made in China. There are some that say the steel the Chinese use is inferior to that used my USA based companies, but that is very variable. Many manufacturers in the USA use Chinese parts and only assemble them.
4. Does my safe need a dehumidifier?
It’s not necessary to have a dehumidifier, but it will certainly be better. Humidity can affect the guns, the ammunition, and even the safe itself.
5. How do I install a dehumidifier?
Most safe models have either an electric plug or a USB one. Some have both. If your safe doesn’t have either, you can buy a dehumidifier that works on batteries.
6. How do I anchor my safe?
You’ll be able to find this information in your owner’s manual. Most safes come with pre-drilled holes for anchoring, and the anchoring kit is inside your safe at delivery. If your model does not have pre-drilled holes, it should come with markings so you’ll know where to drill them.
7. Can I make anchoring holes where I want?
This is not recommended, especially if your model has some kind of fire protection. Making extra holes in it will most likely make that protection invalid. That being said, you can accidentally drill in a protection plate, which might damage both the drill and the plate.
8. How do I open the safe if I forgot the combination?
If you can’t remember your safe’s combination and you don’t have a bypass key, you should contact the manufacturer. Once contacted, he should be able to tell a certified locksmith how to open the safe.
Best Gun Safes Under 1000 Comparison Chart
PRODUCT PRICE WEIGHT SIZE WARRANTY FIRE PROOF CAPACITY SECURITY STEELWATER HEAVY DUTY 20 LONG GUN $$$$ 425 pounds 18 x 28 x 59 LIFETIME FIRE AND BURGLARY AND 1-YEAR IN HOME REPAIRS AGAINST MANUFACTURERS DEFECTS 45 Minute Fire Rated @ 1550˚F and EMP Proof 20 Long Gun Capacity 1/4 inch steel reinforced bolt down holes 8X the drill resistant hard plate Gear Drive System BARSKA LARGE BIOMETRIC RIFLE SAFE $ 114 pounds 57 x 14 x 14 1 Year Limited No fire protection It has Removable racks for storage space Revolutionary Biometric Fingerprint Technology Recognizing up to 120 different users Five Point Deadbolt System STEELWATER HEAVY DUTY 16 LONG GUN $$ 350 pounds 59 x 22 x 16 LIFETIME FIRE AND BURGLARY AND 1-YEAR IN HOME REPAIRS AGAINST MANUFACTURERS DEFECTS 45 Minute Fire Rated @ 1550 Degrees Maximum 16 Long Gun Capacity/Average Capacity 8 to 10 Long Guns 12 gauge solid steel Body with 12 gauge composite style door 1/4 inch steel reinforced bolt down hole EMP Proof Electronic Lock MESA SAFE 14 RIFLE GUN SAFE WITH DIGITAL LOCK $$$ 528 pounds 20 x 22 x 59 Limited lifetime 1 Hour / 1750 degrees Fahrenheit 14 Rifle All steel construction Four anchor holes Battery operated electronic lock BLUE DOT SAFES FIRE-RESISTANT GUN SAFE $$$ 650pounds 25 x 36 x 29 1-year factory warranty up to 1700°F 30 rifles, 8 gun holsters, 5 ammo pouches Two-way locking system with 5 fixed and 9 live bolts; drill resistant plate MESA SAFE 14 GUN CAPACITY ALL STEEL GUN SAFE WITH COMBINATION LOCK $$$$$ 484 pounds 20 x 22 x 59 Limited lifetime 1 Hour 1750° 14 Gun U.L. Listed Group 2 Combination Lock 4 pre-drilled anchor holes (anchor kit included) Solid steel construction
Not only a gun safe will protect your guns and valuables, but it will also protect your family. A gun safe is designed to save your gun and all its valuable accessories. Too many accidents happen because kids or teenagers are able to reach unguarded weapons. A good safe will offer protection against burglars, but the best will also keep everything protected from natural disasters, as well.
Having said all the above, we believe that finding best gun safes under $1000 won’t be a difficult issue. When you decide to spend money on a safe, look at it as an investment. You need to think about what you need to protect, now and in the future. Buying a larger unit than you need at the moment is always a good strategy when it comes to safes.
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