Different Types Of Gun Safe Locks That Have Keys

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Gun Safes can come with many different options, and accessories. One of the most important aspects of any gun safe is the lock. This article will cover different versions of locks that specifically use keys in some way.

1. Mechanical Lock with Key Locking Dial

[Image courtesy of Fort Knox]

Most of the time when someone wants a mechanical lock with key. The key is regarding specifically to a key locking dial. This keys purpose is to lock the dial so that the dial is unable to move. This can serve a couple different functions.

Firstly, if safe is unlocked, and is needed to stay unlocked, one can lock the dial in the unlocked position so that the safe can be opened without issue and it cannot be reset unless you have the key (This is seen a lot in safe show rooms).

Secondly when the Mechanical Dial is locked and then the key locks the dial, it serves as one more level of security. Even if someone does know the combination to the safe, they are unable to access it without the key.

Companies like Browning, Liberty, and Fort Knox offer these options.

2. Electronic Lock with Key Bypass

The Snapsafe Vault Door has a key bypass behind it’s electronic lock [Image courtesy of Snapsafe]

The next lock that utilizes a key is generally found on lower end import safes. Electronic Locks with a key bypass are units that can be pulled off the face of the safe, behind the lock is a hole for a 5″ key to be inserted, turned, and unlock this safe.

This is great when a safe does not have a quality lock and has a possible high fail rate.

This can also be true for high end safes where an EMP resistant feature is needed. If an EMP blast happens and disables the lock, it gives a non electronic option for access to the safe.

I highly recommend keeping the key separate from your safe, but in an easy to access place in your home.

These locks are used by companies like Snapsafe.

3. Standard Key Lock

This key lock is one you would find on big box retailer gun cabinets. It is very similar to what you currently have on your key ring for your home. It is a key that is inserted into the tumbler, then when turned it releases the locking mechanism.

This is not a method I would have on a gun safe, or a safe that is containing large amounts of money, or valuables. Anyone that has any experience with picking locks can access your safe.

4. Abloy Key Locks

The Abloy key lock is technically a standard key option, however is special. This lock is used by many police forces, and can be found on the Locker Down vehicle safes. It is a lock that is very difficult to pick, and is very trust worthy. This is a lock I would personally trust.


While gun safe locks with keys are not super common in the industry, they can be used for quite a few different things! They aren’t just for unlocking the safe itself, but can even be used to unlock… a lock to unlock the safe…

To check out more information on parts of a safe that are important when looking to buy a safe, visit our buying guide.

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