The Ins and Outs of Gun Safes

It's time to take a closer look at how safes built for gun storage work.

A gun safe is one of those things you own but often overlook because you've grown so accustomed to it. Safes come in many different sizes, depending on the amount of gun capacity you need, and also come with many different features and functions. When it comes down to it, how much do you really know about your safe?


There are three main types of gun safes. The first and most common are your standard long gun safes. Used to store full-sized firearms with an interior dimension height of at least 60 inches.

Next, you have smaller handgun safes. These are normally smaller than a briefcase, and designed to fit handguns. Many of these safes are often sold with the firearms.

Finally are the all-encompassing, multi-use safes. These are designed to hold several guns as well as other items. You can typically add other shelves and compartments to store important paperwork and other valuables.

Important Features

The features are what make or break a gun safe. All contribute to the security and convenience of the safe. Starting with steel strength. The thicker the steel, the stronger the safe. Most safes are drill-resistant with the thickness of the steel being measured in different gauges.

The next features to look at are the various environmental protectors that can come with a safe. You can purchase a fireproof safe, which has a thin layer of insulation to protect your belongings from heat. In addition to fireproofing, you can purchase waterproof or water-resistant safes. This can keep the items protected in the event of a flood.

Hinges are another feature to look into when considering a safe. Externally mounted hinges let the safe door open wider at the expense of security. A thief could cut the hinges off to gain access to the safes contents. Internal hinges are safer but don't allow you to open the door as wide.


You can break safe locks down into two different types. Physical dial combination locks and electronic locks. A physical lock allows you to spin a dial to the right combination to gain access. An electronic lock is similar but either allows you to punch in the numbers or uses biometric entry. Just like with your iPhone, you can use your fingerprints to unlock the device for relatively quick access.

There are also still key-lock safes out there, but there pretty dated nowadays.

When your device locks, several thick bars engage from the back of the door, locking the door in place. The thicker the bars, the more secure your safe is.

How do they work?

All this information is great but, how does a gun safe actually work? Well, this video breaks it down for us.

Hopefully now, you know a little more about your gun safe. Or, you'll at least know what to look for you're buying one. The one piece of advice I'd like to leave you with is that you should get a safe with fireproofing abilities. A fire is far more likely to cause damage to your firearms and valuables than theft.