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Everything You Should Look for in a Gun Safe

gun safe
Getty: victorass88

There are a lot of gun safes out there--here's how to make sense of all the features.

There are a myriad of gun safes available today for gun owners to choose from for their safe gun storage needs, of all shapes and sizes, with all kinds of locking mechanisms and ways they can be mounted on walls or under furniture. Heck, some even are furniture.

There are a few things you should consider before making a major gun safe purchase.

The best gun safe for you is the one that best meets your needs and gives you peace of mind.

How big should a gun safe be?

This is a big decision and one you could end up living with for a while. If you only have one handgun and don't keep much ammo on hand, then a simple handgun safe or pistol safe will be enough. Even a lock box is better than nothing.

But, if you have or plan to have a larger gun collection that includes both pistols and long guns, then you will need a large safe. Period.

Be sure to get one bigger than you think you'll need. You always end up needing the space, and this will allow you to put off buying a second safe. And remember, a long gun safe can always be a handgun safe as well.

Features you should look for

Since a big safe will have a high gun capacity, it should be high-quality and of heavy-duty steel construction. Make sure it's a thick-enough-gauge steel (10-gauge steel or 12-gauge steel), so it will stand up to tampering and break-in attempts from burglars with pry bars.

Also, make sure your home safe has a good fire protection rating. A good fire rating can mean the difference between rescued property and an insurance claim. You want it to be your own personal Fort Knox.

The more expensive models will plug into the wall and come outfitted with LED lights inside, and often even a small dehumidifier. Even without this feature, you can buy rechargeable or battery-operated lights and moisture mitigation devices for your safe or gun cabinet.

Make sure the interior has adjustable shelves so you can customize it and get the most out of your storage space.

Always look for a lifetime warranty, or at least a good warranty.

If you're buying a smaller safe, they will usually come with pre-drilled holes in the back so they can be affixed to studs in a wall.

What kind of lock?

Some folks are content with an old-school combination lock with a wheel. Many modern safes come with an electronic keypad and an electronic lock that engage a mechanical lock. Most of these can be overridden with a physical key lock that will retract the locking bolts if the digital keypad or lock lose power for some reason.

Smaller safes for valuables and pistols often come with biometric locks for quick access in a self-defense emergency.

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Everything You Should Look for in a Gun Safe