In the gun safe industry it really is true, you do get what you pay for. That said, not everyone is able to spend upwards of $2000.00 – $5000.00 for a gun safe.
Although to be responsible, people still want to have a gun safe with a good fire rating, and to keep their guns away from children and from smash and grabs. Because of this, that is why I highly recommend the following 4 gun safes.
One note I would like to make before starting, is when shopping for a safe, I recommend the safe you are buying be about 20% of the valuables that are in it.
So if you are putting $5,000 of valuables into the safe, this is the range you can be looking at. If you are putting more than that… I’d recommend saving up for a higher end safe.
So let’s get started with the list!
4. Sports Afield SA6040
The Sports Afield SA6040 is a huge safe for the price. At under $1000.00 it is 55″ high, 40″ wide, and a depth of 22″. The manufacturer claims for this safe to fit a total of 48 guns, however please keep in mind this is a standard layout safe… so you will probably fit half of that with most collections of guns that all range in size.
This safe “Sports” a 40″ minute fire rating at 1200 degrees. This is slightly above the industry standard, but nothing really to write home about. However for the price, it is a great value.
At 14 gauge steel, this is competitive to Cannon’s low end safes, or the Liberty Centurion series. It again is really the industry minimum. This safe is great for people that need to fit a lot of guns, or valuables but don’t have much money.
3. Hollon HGS-16
I think Hollon gets forgotten a bit too much in these lists. Hollon has pushed out some truly great safes at an affordable cost. The HGS-16 is a part of their hunter series, it has 12 Gauge Steel (this is probably the best gauge steel you will find under $1000.00), and a 45 minute fire rating.
Its a little bit smaller than my #4 pick at 55″ high, 24″ wide, and 18″ deep. This smaller size is definitely made up for by the thickness of the steel. Unlike any of the others on this list, Hollon is happy to sell this safe with a variety of lock options.
However you won’t find this safe at a big box retailer, so I’d recommend checking it out online to buy.
2. Steelwater SW592818
It is hard to not create a list of good value safes without including any Steelwater safe. These are really great safes for the price. This is also the cheapest safe on this list at under $900.00 but includes 12 gauge steel, a competitive fire rating of 45 minutes at 1550 degrees (which is well above industry standards) and good quality.
One thing I am not totally sold on this safe, is that it includes an electronic lock with a key bypass. Key bypasses tend to tell me a lock is not of good quality. However at this price, it might be worth it.
1. Bighorn 6030ELX
For under $1000.00 it is very difficult to beat the size, and functionality of the Bighorn 6030ELX (ELX stands for electronic lock). Bighorn is one of Rhino Metals import brands, and they really have gotten it right.
This is a larger safe, with a great lock, large interior, a great door panel, 3mm thick steel (somewhere between 8 and 10 gauge), and a whopping 70 minute fire rating at 1200 degrees.
This safe truly has some of the most features that any safe under a $1000.00 can have. Not only is this safe found on this list of under $1000, the gloss version is also is found on my list of best safes at Costco.
Also, take a look at a swing out rack in Rhino’s website as a great add on for this safe.
For more information about Bighorn Safes, I recommend checking out my full overview of their safes.
You really can’t go too wrong with any of these safes on this list, however the Bighorn safes really do offer impressive features for under $1000.