Honest Gun Safe Reviews

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Gun Safe Reviews You Can Trust

Looking for real reviews of gun safes?  Welcome, you’ve come to the right place.

This site is dedicated to sharing the truth about gun safes.  That means the good, the bad, and the ugly that you won’t hear most anywhere else.

If you’re in a hurry, in 4 minutes you can learn the most important things you need to know.  Click here to read the 4 Minute Gun Safe FAQ.

Choosing a gun safe is not easy.  It’s actually harder than picking the guns you’ll put inside, or the house you put it in.  You may have lots of questions.  What’s the minimum fire rating you should look for?  How many locking bolts does a gun safe really need?

Believe it or not, neither of those specs is generally very important.  For the fire rating to matter, it would have to be tested to an accepted standard.  For the number of locking bolts to make a difference, they must be supported by a strong enough door and door frame.  For most gun safes out there, neither is true.

Gun safe companies have created a range of features to make their models seem better than their competitors’.  These features are marketed to buyers, giving you the impression you’re buying more protection than you really are.  Many of the features on today’s gun safes are little more than jewelry designed to get your wallet out.

As a result, most gun safes are overpriced for the protection they actually give you.

What do I mean?  For the quick answer, see the 4 minute summary in the Buyer’s Guide.

If you’re interested in in-depth information, the six article series below is entitled What You Need to Know Before Buying a Gun Safe.

These articles put together are the length of a short novel.  I tried to make it easy to read as little or as much as you want.  It may be a lot, but everything is there I wanted to know before I spent thousands of my hard earned dollars.

In addition to traditional rectangular gun safes, there are a wide range of other options.  These including modular gun safes that you can disassemble in case you move a lot, or for discrete installation.  There are hidden gun safes disguised as couches so you don’t have to give up a closet.  You can buy quick-access bedside gun safes, vehicle gun safes, wooden gun cabinets, and even buried gun safes.  The Buyer’s Guide has a summary of all of the different commercially available gun safe options.

Recommendation pages are devoted to the Best Gun Safes, as well as for Small Gun Safes and Biometric Gun Safes.

Making Sense of Gun Safe Reviews

When I started looking for a gun safe I just wanted to protect my guns, get a good deal, and to support American businesses.  Figuring out how to do that was a lot harder than I expected.

I researched this subject until my head was spinning.  Thanks to the internet, there’s enough information to drown in.  Unfortunately much of it is misleading or plain wrong.

Gun Safe Reviews, Beautiful Paint but pried open with Screwdrivers

This Gun Safe had beautiful paint, but it was pried open with these Screwdrivers.

For example, most gun safe reviews are not useful.  Every person seems to have their own rating criteria.  Some guys describe safes as “solid” or “sturdy”, which I thought were flimsy.  Some bragged how cheap it was, how good the paint was, or how great the shelving was.  Personally, I wanted to know if it would actually stand up to a burglar or a house fire before I worried about the paint.  Otherwise, I might as well buy a nicely-painted wood cabinet.

Everyone who wrote a review right after buying a safe seemed happy with it, until the day it got stolen or broken into.  Then their friends or the police shared photos of what was left.  That’s when things started getting interesting.  Anyone can claim their safe is the best available for the price, but if their claims have never been tested by a burglary or fire, they’re meaningless.

After a couple weeks of searching, I finally started to find some real wisdom in all the information.  I learned some surprising things, like:

  • Gun safes are not safes.  Most are closer to a gym locker than a safe.
  • Gun safe fire ratings means very little.  They’re not exactly made up out of thin air, but close to it.
  • The protection per dollar offered by most gun safes is low.  Readers on a budget will be better off buying a cheap gun safe and taking steps to make it more secure, or going with many of the gun safe alternatives.  You can learn about both paths in 100 Money-Saving Ways to Protect Your Guns.
  • How and where the safe is installed, can be more important than which one you choose.  A cheap gun safe, bolted down, in a good location is often more secure than an un-anchored expensive gun safe, in a risky location.  Make sure you know Where to Put a Gun Safe.

To make sure I didn’t buy a gun safe I regretted, I spent hundreds of hours researching gun safes.  I talked to friends, family, and FFL dealers about their gun safes, researched burglaries and fires, reviewed gun safe failures, visited gun safe showrooms, talked to safe professionals, had discussions with friends who design biometric security products, poured over thousands of internet forum posts and reviews, and researched manufacturers and models.

The internet gun forums and a few safe technicians that post there were a great source of information, but much of it is repetitive, unfocused, and poorly organized.  It seemed like every few months another person would join and ask “I have $X to spend on a gun safe, what’s the best one?”   Or, “I’m considering Brand Y or Brand Z gun safe, which is better?”, when both models had already been covered in hundreds of posts.

Goals for Gun Safe Reviews Guy

Which brings us to the goals for this website:

  • Save gun owners time by providing a centralized and easy to read resource for learning about gun safes.
  • Separate the facts from the B.S. and marketing hype to so that you know exactly what you’re getting.
  • Save fellow gun owners from wasting our hard-earned money.

What’s in this for me?  That’s an important question to ask before taking anyone’s advice.

I researched gun safes for my own personal knowledge and gun safe purchases.  I’ve been working on my writing and web design skills putting this site together.  I’ve learned a lot about the realities of hosting a site the web, from the trolls to other websites using “negative-SEO” (sending SPAM in my name and linking to this site from bad websites).  There are some advertisements here to pay for the costs of web hosting.  Where I linked to a product sold online, if possible I included a commission link.  That means if you buy something through the links, at no cost to you I get a couple bucks for ammo.  Likewise I added a donate button for anyone to contribute a couple dollars if you wish.

I make all recommendations honestly, which means usually there is no way for me to make a commission. Most of the recommendations are products to avoid buying.  In general my advice is not to buy online anyway.  Instead, buy American made gun safes or used commercial safes from your local safesmith.  Many of the best gun safes for the money are only sold factory-direct.

To me, in the long run supporting American workers and local businesses is more important than earning a few quick bucks.  Gun owners already have enough to deal with in the current political climate.

What’s with all of these Gun Safe Reviews websites?

At this point there are at two dozen gun safe reviews websites, most started in early 2013.  Where did they all suddenly come from?

The answer lies in internet search engines, which have created a new industry called Internet Niche Marketing.  If someone searches for information like “gun safe reviews”, search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. will try to find that information.  Internet Marketers look through what people are searching for and find “niche” search phrases.  If they find a search term that meets their needs, they make a website to provide that information and make money off of it.  Some of them provide good information.  Many of them don’t.

Google Searches for Gun Safe Reviews

Search Traffic Peak after Newtown Tragedy

For a niche search term to be profitable, it must meet a few criteria.  “Gun Safe Reviews” had a lot going for it, but did not have enough people searching for it.

At the end of 2012, the Newtown Tragedy changed that.  Fearing that Congress would enact more gun control laws, we went to stores and voted with our wallets. After buying guns, owners needed a place to secure them too.  So, gun safe sales exploded as well.  Suddenly “Gun Safe Reviews” had enough traffic that internet marketers noticed it (see right).

By a quick glance, the gun safe reviews websites that have popped up run the gamut from several experienced internet marketer, to two beginners who built their sites by following the step-by-step instructions on a guru’s blog.  Based on their writing, I doubt a many of them own a gun at all.

And how is Gun Safe Reviews Guy any different?

Internet Niche Marketers often have literally hundreds of niche websites.  They usually cover completely unrelated areas from electric toothbrush reviews to bed bug treatments.  These marketers usually don’t know much about their topics, so pay others to write for them.  Some pay for traffic to bring people to their site, to make money off of the traffic.  Their goals are to make as many commissions as possible, by maximizing traffic and recommending every product they can.

Gun Safe Reviews Guy is a different type of website, an Online Information/Critic site.  Guns owners are a community I belong to and care about.  My first priority is to provide honest information, like many other gun websites have done for me.  I recommend the same things online that I have recommend to my own friends and buy myself.  If they didn’t like what I recommended for them, I would have to hear about it.  With what I know about gun safes, I can’t ethically recommend most of the products out there.

Proper safe construction is a unique field that most don’t have a feel for without doing some research.  Most companies don’t try to educate their customers because it is usually less profitable than leveraging customer misconceptions.  Because I’m not selling anything, just offering information, I have more freedom than they do.

If you find useful information here, you can help spread the word by clicking the Sharing links at the top or bottom, posting on your gun forum, or telling a friend.  I welcome any suggestions for improvements; send me a message.

It’s been gratifying to publish this site now for a few years.  It slowly rose to, and has remained at, the top of many gun safe-related internet searches, despite underhanded competitor’s.  It’s been great to get feedback from readers and see links posted in gun forums.  I’ve even received pictures of custom built-in gun safes, fabricated after reading my articles.  With the good came some bad, but you have to take them together as the saying goes.

The best part though is that gun safe consumers have gotten more educated.  Products are actually improving.  I’ve had to update articles because bad gun safe models I criticized were discontinued or upgraded.  Good gun safes also have gotten better.  My best gun safe for the money models both added worthwhile steel upgrade options.  When I started this site, there was one handgun safe I could heartily recommend.  Now there are multiple models from several manufacturers.  I’m happy to have played whatever part I have in gun owners getting more for their hard-earned money.

Ready to get started?  Head over to the first article 16 Reasons to Own a Gun Safe (and 12 Reasons Not To).  Or if you’re in a hurry, skip to the Buyer’s Guide.

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