Can A Gun Safe Be Laid On Its Back?

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

Moving a gun safe is a pain, most of them are heavy and are incredibly top heavy. If you aren’t careful, they can fall over and hurt someone, or damage your home! However there are some easier ways to move a safe, and laying a safe down might just be an option.

So can a gun safe be laid down? Most full size gun safe can be laid on its back without an issue, as long as precautions are taken to make sure you can get it back up in the end, as well as to keep an eye on minimizing any damage that may happen to the internals of the safe and the contents of the safe.

While it is possible to lay a safe down, there are definitely things to keep an eye on, lets take a look at how you can successfully do this yourself, to make things easier when you are moving your safe around your home (or upstairs), or even from building to building.

Remove the contents of the safe

Before you do anything that has to do with moving around your safe, especially onto its back, remove everything from the safe.

This means shelving, rifles, other firearms, valuables, like everything. If you don’t do this, you will quickly find everything will get smashed, and damage everything else. There is a reason you have a gun safe, and that is to keep things safe… don’t ruin that by tipping it over with stuff in the safe.

Remove interior panels if they are removable

The next thing I would do, is to remove any interior panels that may not be secured to the walls of the safe. 

Some manufacturers, like I believe Browning, will secure their interior panels to the steel walls, while others more or less lean them up inside of the safe (Snapsafe is a good example). With these safes, make sure to remove those panels before tipping your safe over.

If you don’t, you will quickly find that your fireboard on the inside of the safe is no longer fire resistant… because its in pieces.

Wrap the safe in a blanket

If you are going to lay your safe on its back, I would always recommend putting a blanket on the safe. You don’t want the paint to get scratched or damaged while it is being moved, and not protecting the pain during this process is the quickest way to do this.

Keep a close eye on your locking mechanism

While this is something you should always do with your safe, it is even more important while moving the safe on its back. Make sure nothing bumps the locking mechanisms, bends it, or damages it, as your newly relocated safe won’t be able to be opened.

Remove the door if you can

About a ⅓ of the weight of a safe is in the form of the door! It has boltwork, extra steel (generally), and tons of other stuff. This means it is the heaviest part of the safe!

If your safe has external hinges, it (generally) is able to be removed, making the safe lighter, and easier to get back up after it has been laid on its back.

Before doing this, contact the manufacturer of the safe to make sure the door can be removed! Not all safes with external hinges can have the door removed, and you don’t want to hurt your safe.

Other Reading

Are there any safes you should not lay on their back?

Alright, so I said that gun safes are able to be laid on their back, however are there safes I wouldn’t recommend laying on their back? Yes, there are two different reasons that I would not recommend laying a safe on its back.

The first reason would be if a safe has glass relockers, or extremely complicated relockers. Without digging too deep into what a relocker is, and how it works, they essentially trip when a lock, or safe is tampered with, and makes it so you are unable to unlock the safe without a professional locksmith.

My worry, for many safes that have these relockers, is that they will get triggered when a safe is on its back. Because of this, if you have an expensive safe (probably over $3000), I would highly recommend contacting the manufacturer before putting it on its back.

The second type of safe I wouldn’t recommend laying on its back, are safes that are just too heavy. If you can’t get the safe back up from its back, then you probably shouldn’t tip it. Be smart before you tip a safe over.


Putting a safe on its back can most definitely be done in many of the safes on the market! You just have to be smart, and make sure you don’t damage anything while doing that.

I hope I gave you some great thoughts to keep an eye on while you are transporting your safe within your home, or even outside of your home.

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.