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.
Here are some things you should be thinking about, when shopping for a safe, to make sure you get the right sized gun safe.
- 1. Take an inventory of what you are going to put into the safe
- 2. Get a safe bigger than you think you need
- 3. Don’t be fooled by most gun safe capacity stickers
- 4. Figure out how much space you have to put the safe
- 5. How can size affect my budget?
- Final Note
1. Take an inventory of what you are going to put into the safe
Before you start anything, or do any shopping whatsoever, find out exactly what you are going to be putting into that gun safe.
Ask yourself the following questions
- “What firearms do I need to put into the safe?”
- “Who all needs to put something into this safe other than me?”
- “Do I have any priceless valuables that need to be put in here?”
- “Am I going to be discontinuing my safety deposit box, and put those items in here?”
2. 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).
3. Don’t be fooled by most gun safe capacity stickers
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.
Pro Tip: Another solution to fit more guns into a smaller safe is to look at the Rifle Rods by Gun Storage Solutions. These 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 the safe says it has, and 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.
4. Figure out how much space you have to put the safe
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 larger rooms, make sure that the 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!
5. 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. (that said, here are some under $1000)
When shopping, I would follow this order…
Set a budget
Before you do any form of shopping for a safe, you are going to want to set a budget. This is because safes can range so heavily in features, and more importantly by price.
If you set the budget ahead of time, you hopefully won’t go far over budget once you dip your toes in the water of expensive gun safes.
As a rule of thumb, you are going to want to buy a gun safe that is around 10%-20% of the valuables that you will be putting into the gun safe.
Determine the size you need
Make sure to re-read through this article again a few times to make sure you know exactly what size gun safe you need.
Import vs USA Made
This is also extremely important when you are trying to weigh your budget, to the maximum size you can buy.
The imports will be cheaper, and allow you to buy larger, however USA made will be more expensive, and smaller, but higher quality (generally).
Find the safe
I say this… because if you do it the other way around, you’ll be spending much more than intended.
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!
Ready to shop?
Alright, you know what size safe you need, and are ready to start shopping! Click the button below to see the top gun safes I would recommend you look at first.
Editors Note: This article was originally published on March 26th, 2018. It has since been updated for accuracy, formatting, and to further discuss the subject.