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Getting a quality full-size gun safe for under $500 is no easy task! The market is saturated with low-quality, no quality assurance brands that create their safes and ship them to customers without ever even seeing the safe in person (evident from photoshopped images). This article is dedicated to those that only have a $500 budget, but need a safe to get them by until they can upgrade to a bit better one down the road!
The past couple of years has been tough on the gun safe market, forcing manufacturers to raise the pricing (such as my previous favorite, the SecureIt Agile Model 40) on their safes to the point that there are not many full-size gun safes on the market under the $500 price point. That said, I got creative, and these are the top five best gun safes that can fit longer firearms on the market today!
1. Barska AX13100 Rifle Safe
The Barska AX13100 is a standard full-size gun safe, it offers 11 gun capacity, no fire rating, and comes with a key backup. While it doesn’t disclose the thickness of the steel, we would assume it to be between 14-gauge and 16-gauge steel.
You can easily mount it to the floor with the included kit and the holes in the bottom of the safe. The external dimensions of the safe are 52.25″ High by 13″ Wide by 13″ Deep. The interior dimensions are 52″ High by 11.5″ Wide by 12.5″ Deep.
What do we think?
Barska has been around for quite some time, making lower-end, yet high quality gun safes! While they normally include their biometric lock, I wanted the electronic lock option here for its reliability. Sure, this isn’t going to be the highest quality gun safe in the world, however, if you are looking for a traditional-style gun safe and are stuck to this budget, it presents a great option for you.
2. SnapSafe Under Bed Safe
The Snapsafe Under Bed Safe is a non-traditional gun safe. Instead of being placed upright, it is built to go horizontally under your bed, or it can even be placed in your vehicle if you prefer that.
The Under Bed Safe can be purchased in multiple sizes, however, for the sake of your $500 budget, the Large version should do just fine. Once under the bed, you can open the drawer out of the front of the safe to reveal all of your firearms and valuables. This 105-pound safe is 40″ Wide by 6″ High and 22″ Deep.
This safe is opened via an electronic lock (with key backup), and can be mounted to the floor with an anchor kit.
What do we think?
SnapSafe is most well known for their modular gun safes, however, they also build some great budget-minded smaller safes as well. This Under Bed Safe might not be a traditional safe, however, it makes up for it by being more discreet (hidden under your bed), and more usable (able to lay items horizontally) without the hefty price tag.
This would make an awesome safe for someone that doesn’t have room for a safe, or if someone didn’t mind the odd layout, but still wanted the best bang for their buck.
3. SecureIt Fast Box Model 47
The SecureIt Fast Box Model 47 is similar to the Snapsafe Under Bed Safe above, as it can be placed horizontally under the bed, or in your vehicle. However, it stands apart, as it can be placed vertically as well (with added option).
In vertical mode you can fit two firearms, in horizontal mode, you can fit one. It utilizes a very simple electronic lock (with key backup) and can be mounted to the floor or wall. This 39-pound, lightweight safe is 6 3/4” High by 47 1/4” Wide by 13” Deep on the outside, and on the inside it has dimensions of 6” High by 47” Wide by 11” Deep.
What do we think?
I wasn’t sure if I should include this safe on this list, mainly because it is well under the budget range for this article (around $300).
However, it offers an awesome, compact design that is on par with many of the other safes on this list, and this is a safe that I think everyone should be aware of if they need to fit long guns into an inexpensive safe.
My recommendation would be to purchase a safe like this, and when you have the budget for it, upgrade to thicker steel safe, and use this as a peripheral safe later on.
4. SnapSafe in Wall Long Gun Safe
This safe is unique in the fact that it is built directly into the wall of your home. It can be hidden behind pictures, built into the walls of the closet to keep it hidden, or placed wherever you would like it to be.
It features a 9-digit keypad with key backup and has 3 shelves and a false floor to place items into. This 61-pound safe is 16 gauge steel and is 44″ high by 4″ Deep and 16.25″ Wide.
What do we think?
Yes, we are needing to get quite creative with our gun safes to stay within that $500 budget. Although, if you need to keep long guns safe, then a wall safe might be a great option.
Much like other safes on this list, it isn’t the thickest steel in the world at 16-gauge, however you can easily hide this safe out of sight, which results in more timing being taken to not only find the safe but break into the safe.
SnapSafe is also a highly reputable brand in the gun safe world, making this wall safe in particular a great option.
5. WincentPro Large Gun Safe
This WincentPro safe offers a more traditional style gun safe experience and utilizes a biometric lock with a backup 8-digit keypad and even a key backup as well. It also has features such as an alarm system, interior lights, a door panel, and even a power receptacle. These are all higher-end features. This 110-pound safe doesn’t advertise its steel thickness (likely 16 gauge steel) and is 53.8” High by 16.5” Wide by 13.8” Deep.
What do we think?
I am not a huge fan of putting newer names on my favorite gun-safe lists, however, I opted to include the Wincent, as it is quickly proving its name in the budget-safe world.
This safe seems to offer a lot of features, including a biometric lock at a lower price point. It has great styling, and the interior is extremely functional. I do think with their locking bars, they are trying to seem tougher than they are though.
What to look for when buying a gun safe under $500
A full-size gun safe under this budget isn’t going to offer the best features, or the largest capacity, so make sure to keep an eye on these features, and be aware of what you are buying.
Unfortunately with the budget of $500 you will sacrifice on steel gauge for the safe you are looking at buying. Most of the safes in this range offer somewhere between 14 and 16-gauge steel.
This is about as low as it gets, and is getting close to just being a glorified garage cabinet. Manufacturers instead will generally rely on the safe’s ability to be hidden, which is why you see products like the Snapsafe Under Bed Safe and Fast Box 47 we talked about in this article.
With the allotted budget, there aren’t many safes that offer a fire rating. Not only is fire-resistant material expensive, but it is even more expensive to get it tested (which many companies just don’t do). That is why you only find one safe with a fire rating on this list.
Keep in mind, when talking about a budget safe you have to weigh all of the features. If you want customizability, you are going to sacrifice quality. If you want a steel gauge, the safe isn’t going to be as cool, or have a fire rating.
In this range of price, you are only going to find the most basic of security functions, however, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing by any means. Having a locking mechanism, some basic steel, and some locking pins can mean the difference between someone gaining access to your items or not. Far better than just leaving them out in the open.
Warranty is so incredibly important, and paying attention to what the manufacturer offers also gives you a good idea of the quality of their product. The longer warranty they offer, the more confident they are in their product. Also, use the warranty if you need to, don’t push it off like most people do and later regret it.
Having a great-looking safe is awesome! However, don’t put this over any of the other items on this list. You are going to want better security far before you want it to look cool next to the TV stand.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much should I spend on a gun safe?
What you should spend heavily depends on what you will be using the safe for! If you want basic protection, then a budget like this article at $500 will be just fine. However, if you have a large sum of money or expensive firearms, you should think about upgrading to $2000, $3000, or even $4000.
Are gun safes worth the money?
No matter what firearm you own, you should have it secured in some way with a safe. Because of this, even inexpensive safes make a gun safe and worth it. Keep in mind though, the less expensive a safe is, the lower quality it is, resulting in the need to rely more heavily on other things like hiding the safe well within your home.
Will money burn in a fireproof safe?
Money will burn in a fireproof safe. Fireproof is not fireproof and is better referred to as fire resistant. Gun safe fire ratings that you see are rated for how long, and at what temperature a safe can handle a fire until it reaches 350 degrees, this 350 degrees is when the paper (aka money) will begin to burn.
When it comes to finding the best gun safe under $500, you have to make some sacrifices. However, there are still plenty of options out there that will give you more than enough security for your firearms.
As always, be sure to do your own research as well and read reviews before making a purchase. And don’t forget, the most important thing is to have fun and be safe!