Top 8 Best Mechanical Nightstand Pistol Safes [Handgun Safes]

We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Thanks for the support! 👍

There are many people out there today, who don’t quite trust anything that requires electricity, or a battery to assure them that they will be able to access their firearm in an emergency. Because of this, there are tons of great options on the market today that offer an experience void of electrons.

If you are on the hunt for the best of the best, I have compiled my favorite mechanical handgun safes into this list. Each and every once of them has their own purpose, and should work for the person that it is meant for.

In this list you will find names you probably know like Fort Knox and Amsec, but also some names you may not know quite yet such as Stopbox and Shotlock.

Our FavoritesProductRating
Best Heavy DutyFort Kox PB15 / 5
Best Quick AccessStopbox5 / 5
Best UnderdeskAmsec HAS4104 / 5
Best Cheap SafeLiberty HD-503.5 / 5
Best Large Pistol SafeLocker Down VersaSafe4 / 5

1. Fort Knox Original Pistol Safe (PB1) – Best Heavy Duty Mechanical Pistol Safe

There are plenty of places on this site that you will find me recommending this safe, mainly because it is a blend of being just an awesome safe, but also being built by an awesome company.

At 10 gauge steel, with a large capacity it is an extremely heavy duty safe. If you are looking for something that will keep a thief busy, this probably is going to be that one.

It also offers one of my favorite locks, the Simplex lock, which is a push button mechanical lock. This means it operates like those easy to use electronic locks, but lacks the battery that can fail. You will find this lock on a couple different safes on this list.

Fort Knox also offers an industry leading lifetime warranty on their safes, and that extends to this safe as well.

Who this safe isn’t for?

It honestly is difficult to talk bad about this safe, however it isn’t for everyone. If you are looking for something that is portable, this is not it!

Also, while the Simplex lock is my favorite mechanical pistol safe lock, it does only offer 1,082 different combinations, meaning if someone had the time and patience, they could run through them quickly.


  • Locking mechanism: Simplex lock
  • Type of pistol safe: Heavy duty nightstand safe
  • Capacity: 1-2 handguns
  • Dimensions
    • External: 12.5″ wide by 4.5″ high by 10.5″ deep
    • Internal: 11 5/8″ wide by 3 5/8″ high by 10 1/4″ deep
  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Manufacturer reputation: ☆☆☆☆☆
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price: $$$$
  • Gauge of steel: 10 gauge (3/16″ door)

2. Stopbox Portable Instant – Access Pistol Box – Best Quick Access Box

This little quick access box takes a very different turn than the Fort Knox we just talked about.

Instead of a heavy duty steel, it instead is made of a plastic polycarbonate material!The design is mean to make it ultra-portable, and with the lock style, ultra-quick access.

I personally have spent a good amount of time with this one, and have found it to be awesome!

It is perfect for those looking for a good carry safe in between your home, and where you would store your firearm at your office, or on the go.

Who is this not for?

This safe is not for someone looking for a true safe, I would personally not leave this quick access box out of my sight if a firearm is in it. It’s really not meant for that.


  • Locking mechanism: Unit specific locking mechanism
  • Type of pistol safe: Quick access box
  • Capacity: 1 pistol
  • Dimensions
    • External: 9″ x 7.9″ x 2″.
    • Internal: 8.75″ x 5.75″ x 1.5″
  • Manufacturer reputation: ☆☆☆
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price: $$$
  • Gauge of steel: Plastic

3. American Security PS1210HD – 2nd Best Mechanical Heavy Duty Safe

Yes, I know, this safe is extremely similar to the #1 option on this list, however these safes are just so good, that I have to make sure you are aware of them.

Amsec makes a lot of safes, like a lot. This one is a great alternative to the PB1 we talked about earlier. However its addition of a carry handle to the front of the safe makes it ever so slightly more portable.

However, for what you gain in portability, you lack in warranty. Amsec only offers a 1 year parts and labor warranty on this heavy duty pistol safe. So don’t expect too much help from them after that time period is up.

It also is ever so slightly more heavy, and more expensive than the Fort Knox version, so keep that in mind.

So who is this not for?

Much like the PB1 we talked about, this safe is not going to be for someone that needs to be able to take this safe with them. Yes it has a carry handle, but no, you won’t want to throw it into your luggage.

Again, while the Simplex lock is awesome, it still has that low combination count as well.


  • Locking mechanism: Simplex lock
  • Type of pistol safe: Heavy duty nightstand safe
  • Capacity: 1-2 pistols
  • Dimensions
    • External: 12.5″ wide by 4.25″ high by 10.25″ deep
    • Internal: Unknown
  • Weight: 24 pounds
  • Manufacturer reputation: ☆☆☆☆
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Price: $$$$$
  • Gauge of steel: 10 gauge (3/16″ door)

4. American Security HAS410 Hide-A-Safe – Best Mechanical Underdesk Safe

If you are in need of a mechanical safe that is able to be hidden under a desk, or underneath of really anything this is going to be your best bet.

It offers all of the heavy duty features that the PS1210HD, but instead of sitting on top of something, it bolts underneath something.

Instead of opening from the top, it has heavy duty sliders that slide the firearm out from the front of the safe.

The HAS410 still offers 7 gauge steel, 10 gauge door, a Simplex lock, and is just a great safe overall.

Who isn’t this safe for?

I think it is rather obvious who this safe is not for. If you need a portable safe, or don’t have an area to put this safe under, then this safe isn’t for you.


  • Locking mechanism: Simplex lock
  • Type of pistol safe: Heavy Duty Underdesk Safe
  • Capacity: 1 pistol
  • Dimensions
    • External: 4″ high by 10″ wide by 12″ deep
    • Internal: Unknown
  • Weight: 20 pounds
  • Manufacturer reputation: ☆☆☆☆
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Price: $$$
  • Gauge of steel: 10 gauge

5. Liberty Handgun Vault HD-50 – Best Cheap Safe

[Image courtesy of Liberty Safes]

If you are looking for a small, cheap, simple safe without anything fancy, you can’t get anything much better than the Liberty HD-50. There really isn’t much to it other than a metal construction and a key lock!

The HD-50 is TSA compliant, so if you are looking for something specific just for that, this also would be a cheap, higher quality safe for that purpose.

There of course are going to be cheaper options that resemble this safe, however I personally would only trust a highly reputable company when it comes to this price point of safe, and Liberty definitely is one of the best.

Who is this safe not for?

This safe is not for someone looking for a higher quality safe. This is about as basic as it gets, and only offers so much security.

Anyone with just a little bit of time would be able to access the safe with little to no issues. It just takes time. Remember, you are buying yourself time, not an impenetrable fortress, that goes for any safe you buy.


  • Locking mechanism: Barrel key lock
  • Type of pistol safe: Lightweight pistol box
  • Capacity: 1 pistol
  • Dimensions
    • External: 1.8″ high by 6.5″ wide by 9.5″ long
    • Internal: 0.75″ high by 6.5″ wide by 9.5″ long
  • Manufacturer reputation: ☆☆☆☆☆
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Price: $
  • Gauge of steel: 16 gauge steel

6. Stealth Portable Pistol Box – Best Portable Steel Safe

[Image courtesy of Stealth Tactical]

This safe is very similar to the Amsec, and the Fort Knox at the top of this list, but is a bit cheaper, and a little lighter, making it a great portable safe!

It offers a handle, 14 gauge steel, and the Simplex lock that I like!

One downside, is that the brand definitely doesn’t quite have the reputation of the other two I just mentioned.

However at half the weight, it might be worth it!

Who is this not for?

This safe strikes a great balance between the ultra light boxes we have talked about already, and the really heavy duty versions.

This safe though, wouldn’t be great for those looking for ultra secure safes, as 14 gauge isn’t exactly the highest end steel.


  • Locking mechanism: Simplex Lock
  • Type of pistol safe: Lighter duty Simplex safe
  • Capacity: 1-2 pistols
  • Dimensions
    • External: 8″ Deep by 12.26″ Wide by 4.13″ High 
  • Weight: 12 pounds
  • Manufacturer reputation: ☆☆☆
  • Warranty
  • Price: $$$
  • Gauge of steel: 14 gauge

7. ShotLock Handgun 200M Solo-Vault – Best compact pistol safe

Haven’t heard of ShotLock? You can be forgiven, it isn’t a huge name in the industry, but they make some really cool safes and you should check out the rest of the safes they offer.

The 200M in question here uses a Simplex Lock “like” locking mechanism. I don’t quite know what brand it is, but it is extremely similar.

It is also a bit more compact than the others on this list with a similar styling!

The safe also offers a little carry handle for on-the-go and actually looks really cool over all!

Who is this safe not for?

Due to its size, this wouldn’t be great for anyone that wants to fit anything other than just a pistol into it.

Much like the Stealth safe we just talked about it also has 14 gauge steel, which isn’t crazy thick.

It also isn’t for those looking for a budget safe. It definitely is up there on price.


  • Locking mechanism: Mechanical Simplex-like lock
  • Type of pistol safe: Lightweight, compact mechanical safe
  • Capacity: 1 pistol
  • Dimensions
    • External: 7.6″ High by 11.4″ Long by 2.4″ Wide
    • Internal: 7″ High by 9″ Long by 2″ Wide
  • Manufacturer reputation: ☆☆☆
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Price: $$$$
  • Gauge of steel

8. Locker Down Versasafe LD2002 – Best large pistol safe

We are finally to the last safe on this list! But that doesn’t mean its not up there with the best.

The Versasafe is the largest safe on this list, and can even handle a laptop!

LockerDown likes to use their 4 digit roller style locks, which work really well considering they were on my vehicle safe of the same brand.

It offers a respectable 12 gauge steel construction, and is great for those that want to fit multiple firearms!

This safe would be perfect to bolt down into a vehicle, RV, or your home.

Who is this not for?

This safe is not for you if you are looking for something any bit compact, this thing is large. It just wouldn’t work well if you ever plan on carrying this thing around.


  • Locking mechanism: 4 digit combination (upgradable to others)
  • Type of pistol safe: Large top opening pistol safe
  • Capacity: 2-3 pistols
  • Dimensions
    • External: Unknown
    • Internal: Unknown
  • Manufacturer reputation: ☆☆☆
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price: $$$$
  • Gauge of steel: 12 gauge

Types of mechanical pistol safe locks

There honestly aren’t that many different types of locks that will work on a pistol safe nowadays. The two major ways you can access a mechanical pistol safe is via a Simplex lock (or a similar style), and then of course a key lock.

Of course, there are other proprietary locks as well, for example the StopBox we talked about earlier in this article.

Pros & Cons of owning a mechanical gun safe

Owning a mechanical gun safe isn’t for everyone! However the upsides can quickly outweigh the downsides for many.

The main upsides have to do with the lack of batteries that can go out at any time, and of course just over all reliability. In a more rare circumstance, many people won’t get any safe with an electronic lock because of an EMP blast. This could technically lock out anyone out of their safe, however most people won’t think of this as being an issue.

As for some downsides, is just the capabilities the electronics can give a safe! Safe companies like Vaultek, and Gunbox give some amazing features like tamper notifications, biometric, and phone access, and so much more. You just can’t get that in a mechanical safe, as it requires power.

What to look for when shopping for a mechanical pistol safe?

Locking mechanism

When you are hunting for a pistol safe, the lock is always going to be the first thing you should think about. Before even the thickness of the steel.

In the mechanical safe world, you definitely have limited options that we have already talked about.

If you don’t have a good lock, you can’t get in it, so get a safe with a good lock, and from a reputable brand.

Type of pistol safe

Now that we have gotten the lock out of the way, you should also be thinking about what kind safe you need.

As you likely have found from this list, there are lightweight safes, quick access safes, and tons of other safes.

Make sure you are keeping an eye out for your personal situation, and buy for that.


Do you need to fit more than one firearm in the safe you are looking to buy? Don’t buy one that can only fit one.

I always recommend cutting out the internal dimensions of the safe before buying, and seeing if your firearm(s) will fit into those dimensions.


Much like the capacity, you need to be thinking about overall dimensions, and that you can fit the safe where you need it.

Are you wanting to put it next to your lamp on your nightstand? Make sure it fits there.

Manufacturer reputation

In the pistol safe world, you can’t really compare specifications like you can in the full-size safe world.

Because of this, you have to look more closely at the brand you are buying from!

Look at their website, look at sites like this one, read customer reviews. Get a feeling of if this manufacturer you are buying is reputable.


I like warranties. You should use them if you have them! Some manufacturers only offer a 1 year warranty, others offer up to a lifetime.

Make sure you are buying a safe with a warranty that you think will work for your purposes!


This probably should be higher on the list, but isn’t for some reason. Make sure you set yourself a budget, and don’t go over that!

Like anything in life, you need to decide what your safe is worth to you. However a good rule of thumb is to spend about 10% of what you are going to be putting in the safe.

Gauge of steel

The more steel you have, the harder it is to access it…. for the most part. Remember, when you are buying a safe, you are buying yourself time.

The thicker steel, the more time it takes, and the more likely they will get caught.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where should I keep my gun at night?

You should always keep your firearm in a locked container, whether that be a full-size gun safe or a nightstand safe like you have found on this list.

Is it safe to sleep with a gun under your pillow?

Please for gosh sakes don’t keep your gun under your pillow, it isn’t safe in any capacity. Having a loaded firearm under your pillow 100% of the time, to save you from the massively small percentage of time you may have a break-in does not pay off.

The other downside, is that if it is under your pillow it is going to float around, or be lost behind the bed or to the side.

If it is in a pistol safe like what is on this list, it will always be in one place, and much safer at that.

Do pistol safes have a fire rating?

I don’t know if there is a true pistol safe out there today that offers a fire rating.

Giving a fire rating on safe requires a ton of space, weight and cost, which is not really conducive of a mechanical handgun safe that generally will need to be moved semi-regularly.

If you need a fire rating, a full-size gun safe will likely be a better bet for you, and then keep the things that need to be saved from fire in there.

Should I bolt my mechanical pistol safe down?

Yes, just like a full-size gun safe, you should always bolt down your pistol safe.

If your safe you buy has the capability, why not use it? It keeps you safe, and your family safe.


This article definitely got long, however I hope I was able to help you out on understanding what great safes are out there, and why you should be looking at those!

Any of the safes on this list should work for a variety of people, and I hope they work for you!

About The Author

Get a FREE Gun Safe Specifications Spreadsheet!

Subscribe to our email newsletter and get access to a spreadsheet where you can easily sort through features over over 160 different gun safes!

Sort By: Steel Gauge, Weight, Fire Rating, Brands, Import vs Domestic, Dimensions, Locks & More.

Includes Brands Like: Liberty Safes, American Security, Browning, Ironman Safes, Steelhead Outdoors, Vaultek & More!

Almost there! Check your inbox to confirm your subscription and receive your spreadsheet.