One of the first questions everyone always asks themselves when buying a gun safe is “How big of a safe do I need?”
I mean, you plan on putting a ton of stuff in here, like firearms, jewelry, that random item you have no idea why you are hanging on to.
That means you will have a collection that continues to grow, and you need a safe that can handle it all.
Get a safe bigger than you think you need
Really. I mean it.
The last thing you want to do is spend hours shopping for a safe, spend the money, and get it into your house, start putting your things in it… only to realize it won’t fit everything.
You generally should decide on a size safe you want to buy, and then get one size bigger to be “safe” (yes, a pun, I know).
How can size affect my budget?
Sometimes the size of the safe you need will affect your budget. Obviously the bigger the safe you need, the more expensive the safe will be.
If you need a big enough safe, you may have to look at a lower-end version if your budget is limited.
When shopping, I would follow this order…
- Set a budget (generally in the range of 10% – 20% of the valuables in the safe).
- Decide how big of a safe you really need by following this guide.
- Figure out if you want a USA made safe, or are okay with an import.
- Look for safes that match both of these criteria.
I say this… because if you do it the other way around, you’ll be spending much more than intended.
How many long guns can you fit in a safe?
This question is a hard one to answer exactly.
Many manufacturers will claim a specific number in their description, however a quick look at the safe makes you question if that really is true.
Some manufacturers, however, have overcome the small size of safes by creating interiors that maximize the space. These include Browning, Rhino, SnapSafe (like the Titan XXL pictured below) and some other big names.
Pro Tip: Another solution to fit more guns into a smaller safe is to look at the Rifle Rods by Gun Storage Solutions. This rod allows for many more rifles to fit into a safe.
A good rule of thumb is to look for a safe twice the size of what you need. Basically, if you need to fit 25 Rifles into your safe, look for a safe that advertises 50 guns instead. This will allow for you to fit your rifles, and maybe some of your belongings as well.
How much space do I need?
A safe can be fit into very small spaces, or can fill much of a room.
Decide where you want to put your safe, and look for safes that fit those dimensions.
For closets, many manufacturers like SnapSafe, and Fort Knox build safes specific for fitting in that small space. For larger rooms, make sure that your safe will fit in that corner, or in that open space just the way you want it.
Pro Tip: I recommend cutting out a piece of cardboard the size of the safe you want and put it right where you intend to put it. Make sure it fits!
In the end, make sure you get a safe that is bigger than you think you need. You will always want to put more things in there, and no matter how big of a safe you get, it will fill up. However make sure to think ahead, and buy a safe that fits all of your needs.
To see more info that you may want to think about when buying a safe, check out our buying guide!