Fort Knox Pistol Safes Review: All 5 Options in 2023

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The Fort Knox Pistol Safes are a category of safes built by Fort Knox Vaults. While Fort Knox mainly specializes in full size custom safes and vaults, they have also branched out and created some of my personal favorite pistol boxes.

These pistol safes all have quite a few features in common, and their main differences come down to the size and shape of the container.

Want to know the exact specifications that each of these safes share?

Below is a quick list of what you can expect each safe to have, and then we’ll get to the differences.

  1. Locking Mechanism – Simplex mechanical push button lock by Kaba
  2. Steel thickness – 10 gauge steel body, and 3/16” plate door
  3. Fire rating – None (Normal for pistol safes)
  4. Security Features – Bolt down holes
  5. Warranty – Lifetime warranty
  6. Aesthetics – Very utilitarian design
  7. Additional Features – Foam Lined interior

Now we can discuss how each of these safes are different, and the purpose for each one. This way you can decide which is the best fit for you and your situation.

Our FavoritesProductRating
Best for NightstandsFort Knox PB15
Best for CarsFort Knox PB54.5
Best for StorageFort Knox CAB4
Best for UnderbedFort Knox PB44
Best for Long GunsFort Knox PB64

At a glance

Before we dig too far in, if you want to see all of the dimensions of the safes in one place, this table below is a great things to view at a quick glance!

Original PB1Personal PB4Auto PB5Shotgun PB6
Simplex LockYesYesYesYes
Steel Thickness10 gauge10 gauge10 gauge10 gauge
Weight22 pounds20 pounds14 pounds62 pounds
Internal Dimensions10 1/4″D X 3 5/8″H X 8 1/4″W10.5″D x 8.25″W x 4.75″H4.75″D x 3.75″H x 7.75″WUnknown
External Dimensions10.26 × 12.5 × 4.259 × 5 × 12 in9.3 × 5 × 6 in5 × 45 × 9 in

1. Original Pistol Box (PB1)

The PB1 Original Pistol Box is one of Fort Knox’s first pistol boxes they made. This is a top opening and just like all the rest of the pistol boxes, it has the Simplex lock on it.

This safe mainly would be great to be used for being bolted in or on a night stand, or kept in a car or camper. Due to its heft, it really isn’t meant to be a portable safe, but rather a heavy duty pistol safe.

If you want something lighter that you can take with you wherever your go, there are much better options out there.

Hint: This safe shows up on my list of best nightstand gun safes, that you can read here!




2. Personal Pistol Box (PB4)

The Personal Pistol Box is a very similar product to the Original, however this time the door is on the face of it, and it is obviously a different shape as well.

This safe basically is for those that can’t use the PB1. I previously mentioned that the original wouldn’t be great to fit under a car seat, or under a bed. However this Personal Pistol Box fixes that issue! 

With its front opening door, it can lay flat into a confined space and easily be opened.

That said, it wouldn’t be great in a drawer, as you couldn’t access the inside of the unit. It also isn’t as easy to access in a pinch because of the smaller door opening.




3. Auto Pistol Box (PB5)

This gun safe’s purpose should be pretty obvious from the name. It is mainly meant to be used in vehicles! It is almost exactly like the Personal Safe PB4, however it is just 6 inches shorter in length than that one.

The reason for the drop in size, is so that it can easily fit into most vehicles.

It maintains the front facing door.

If you are on the hunt for a good vehicle safe, this article right here might be a great option to help you solve that problem!




4. Shotgun Security Box (PB6)

Surprisingly the Shotgun Security Box PB6 is my favorite security box by Fort Knox. This is mainly because there really isn’t anything else on the market like it!

It carries all the same great features of the other boxes, but lengthens it out to 45” in length. This allows for shotguns or other long guns to be kept in it.

This would be great for the back of SUVs or Trucks, as well as under the bed.

It might even be a great option for being in a closet, but you would definitely want to make sure you can pull the firearm out of the top and still have room up above.




5. Controlled Access Box (CAB)

This controlled access box by Fort Knox is actually not really meant to be separate from a gun safe. Instead it is meant to sit inside of the safe, and be a safe within a safe!

Here is an example for who this safe is for: A family has four people in a home, and the primary owner wants all of them to be able to access the safe, because they should have access to hard drives, the firearms and more.

However they don’t want them to have access to the deed to the house, or certain jewelry.

This is where the CAB comes in! It allows for the whole family to be able to access the safe, but only the people you want to have access to access the CAB.

These CAB units come in 3 different sizes, a 20″, 24” and a 28” version.




More About The Simplex Lock

The Simplex is one of my favorite locks on the market right now. Basically it gives the best of both worlds, it works like an electronic lock, however has the reliability of a mechanical lock.

This lock has over 1000 possible combinations.

That isn’t a crazy amount when you think about it, but remember, you are buying yourself time when buying a gun safe, and this is pretty adequate. 

You also have to remember, they are more likely to try and steal the safe or try to break into it, than try to put a ton of combos into a lock.

So just make sure to secure your safe down to something sturdy, that way they waste their time doing that instead of trying to put in every code possible.

If you want to learn more about different gun safe locking mechanisms, I recommend you read this article that I wrote detailing all the different ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are Fort Knox safes made?

All safes made by Fort Knox Vaults are made right here in the USA! More specifically they are made at their factory at 993 North Industrial Park Rd. Orem, UT 84057.

Are Fort Knox Safes worth the money?

In the gun safe world, you get what you pay for, and that isn’t more true than with a Fort Knox pistol safe. While they are expensive for such a simple safe, they offer a great value for safety to the dollar.

What is the best bedside gun safe?

The Fort Knox PB1 is hands down one of the best bedside safes out there right now. It offers quick access, thick steel, and reliability. A rare combination in the safe world.


If you are looking for a heavy duty pistol safe that you don’t want to move regularly, Fort Knox is the name to beat.

All of their safes are meant for a very specific task, and really don’t compromise on that. They are meant to defeat a burglar in a smash and grab.

The Simplex locks on these safes are both a major strength and somewhat of a weakness, due to the amount of possible combinations available.

However I think the strengths of being quick access, easy to use, and the lack of battery far outweighs any downsides.

Fort Knox also offers lifetime warranties on their products, and continue to be one of, if not my favorite manufacturer of gun safes on the market today.

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