As an American, you certainly know owning a gun isn’t just a culture but also a dream of almost every citizen. Unlike other dreams, however, gun ownership tags along with a huge responsibility of keeping your weapon safe. And if you happen to be in California, you can easily lose the privilege for storing your firearm/s anyhow, especially within reach by a minor. In this article, we’ve compiled a list to help you find the best gun safe under 500, in case you still don’t own one.
Is It Any Worth Investing In A Gun Safe?
Well, this is one of the questions that you might find yourself wondering. But, did you know in California you can’t buy a gun if you don’t provide proof that you own a DOJ-approved gun safe?
That’s right. The California laws are very vigilant in ensuring under 18 children and prohibited persons have no access to firearms. For that, the state requires all guns sold or transferred to have a firearm safety device that passes the standards set by the California Department of Justice.
Simply, a “firearm safety device” is a device used to lock the weapon and prevent unauthorized users from firing it. Most guns don’t come with one, which means the dealers will include the safety device at an extra cost.
Luckily, if you have a gun safe that has passed the standard and tests from the DOJ, you can comfortably get a gun even without the safety device. You just have to present proof to your gun dealer and proceed with your purchase or transfer.
A gun safe storage is certainly worth having than the firearm safety device as it not only prevent unauthorized access to your tool. But you can also use it to hold other valuables items that you might have- if space allows.
In any case, here’s are some of the beauty of having a gun safe in your home.
- Prevent Unauthorized Access:
This is the number one main purpose of locking up your weapon somewhere safe. It helps ensure your firearm is only accessible to you or another adult family member. Not your minors or uninvited guested.
- Keep Your Family Safe
True, locking your gun in safe storage where your underage kids can’t access can prevent unforeseen damages or injuries. And not just to themselves, but also those around them. It can also prevent robbers from harming you with your weapons.
- Provide Quick Access
The worst thing that can happen is someone breaking into your property, but you can’t remember where you left your gun. With a good safe around the house, however, it can be easier to get your firearm when time is an essence.
- Protect Your Investment
Guns are not cheap, and the last thing you want is losing valuable possession to the thieves. But with a high-quality and solid storage unit, you can keep your gun, as well as jewelry and other important documents safe.
- Avoid Drawing Attention
It’s very wrong to leave your firearms in plain sight, where your friends or visitors can easily see it. Some of them may become uneasy being around you and others can have some wicked plans you weren’t expecting. But if you can keep it in secret storage that you’re the only one who knows about, you can avoid drawing unnecessary attention. Thus, ensuring your precious investment and all those around remain safe.
- Deter Robbery
If you cherish modernism and tech stuff, you can get a safe that has smart features like a built-in siren and tamper alerts. Thus alerting you and or warding off the potential burglar before he can reach to your firearm
- Protect From Damage
Rifles, pistols, and shotguns all consist of metal components, which means they’re prone to rust and corrosion. Therefore, a gun safe can help a lot in protecting your firearms from elements like water. Hence, ensuring they function properly and last longer.
- Hold Other Valuables
As mentioned, you can use your gun safe to hold other valuable items, including luxury watches, jewelry, money, and documents like passports. Hence, providing safety benefit while remaining cost-effective in the long run.
- Enjoy Insurance Discount
Just like any other security system, a gun safe serves the purpose of minimizing the risk of theft or damage to your content. Therefore, any legit insurance provider should give you a discount on the payment rates
- Provide Peace Of Mind
When you are positive your guns and the rest of the valuables are safe, there’s nothing to worry about then. You will be able to enjoy the moment with your family and even while away at work.
Top Choices Gun Safe Under $500 in 2022
Technically, various gun safes have different designs, features, and capabilities. Not all of them will provide the benefits above or even suit your specific situation. Therefore, you have to be very keen when choosing your storage to ensure at least you get a piece with most of the benefits.
In any case, the following selections comprise some of the best gun safes under $500 that you might find helpful in your situation. They include:
Editor’s Choice: V-Line 10123-S FBLK Semi-Flat Gun Safe
This is our best gun safe under 500 dollars in 2023 that you can get for your firearms. It’s CADOJ Approved, which means you can efficiently use it in California or any other state. The storage has a well-made semi-gloss construction, with a 12ga steel setting- equivalent 7/64-inch thickness. Then, topped with a black powder coating to provide extra protection against scratching and other wear.
Unlike many, this safe has a design of a pullout drawer that features an original SIMPLEX pushbutton lock. Hence, effortless to open and easy to program for the unlock code that suits you. The interior surface has a lovely foam layer that allows you to keep your gun and the rest of the items without scratching them.
More to love, this gun safe has a large capacity that can fit your pistol and still leave enough space for your Hublot or passports. It’s available with optional lift-out trays to help keep the space neat and ample.
Whether you want it under the truck seat or countertop, this firearm safe has a perfect form for it. It even comes with a mounting bracket for easy installation.
- It has interior anti-pry brackets for maximum security
- Features solid sliders for smooth and efficient operation
- Requires no battery to operate
- Made in the USA
- Has multiple mounting options
- Contains no electrical components that could be damaged by EMP
- It’s easy to transport and use.
- It’s pretty tricky to change the combination.
Best Design: VAULTEK VT20i Smart Biometric Pistol Safe
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If you heart innovation and state of the art design, this safe can be great company for you. It has a smart safe technology, which consists of an exclusive biometric scanner that can store multiple unique fingerprints. The safe also has an electronic keypad with a backlight feature for easier use in the dark. And there’s a unique traditional key that you can use to bypass the lock in case the batteries die.
Even so, this safe has Bluetooth support that gives you wireless access and control. The smart function allows you to easily manage your storage using a smartphone and the VAULTEK Bluetooth App. Some of the features that you can enjoy include viewing battery status, manage fingerprints, check tampering issues, and toggle your safe preferences.
Even better, this safe has a heavy-duty construction with solid carbon steel and upgraded anti-pry bars. The body has an addition of powder coat finish to prevent corrosion and ensure its durability while still keeping your items safe.
Speaking of your belongings, the safe has a padded foam interior to ensure your gun always remains as you left it. Sad to say, though, it has a limited space that can only fit pistols like Glock 17 plus magazine.
- It has dual anti-impact latches for enhanced locking
- Features interior hinges to avoid breathing from the outside
- Has built-in interior LED light for optimal visibility in the dark
- Includes multiple locking means
- Compact and easy to transport
- It uses a rechargeable battery.
- It can be a bit loud when opening the lid
- Fingerprint tech sometimes fails to sense.
Best Value: Verifi s6000 Certified Biometric Smart Gun Safe
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At its cost, this piece is certainly worth all the dime considering the various features available. For one, the safe is now amongst the approved devices on the list of California DOJ. So, you can use it in the state or any other without worries.
The safe has a rustic-yet-decent design, with black as the standard color. It has a tough and heavy-duty construction, which consists of 14-gauge steel walls and an 8-gauge door. In other words, this means the thickness of the walls is about 2.0mm and that of the door is approximately 4.5mm. Hence tougher to pry open.
If you still love smart tech, this safe can be a great alternative, particularly if you find the VAULTEK model above too small for your needs. The storage box has a superior TOUCHCHIP TCS1 biometric scanner that reads fingerprints at a high resolution of up to 508 dpi. In which case the FBI even tested and approved it to meet the Net Generation Identification [NGI] standard.
Furthermore, the gun safe has a small LCD that you can use to toggle various event logs. Some of these smart features include battery level, auto-locking, and self-check results.
- It’s reliable and durable
- Has tamper alerts and alarms
- Supports multiple unique fingerprints
- So easy to operate
- Includes a hidden override key slot
- Features pre-drilled holes for easy mounting
- It has a built-in LED light to illuminate the safe interior in dark backgrounds.
- The door doesn’t spring open after you unlock it
- Some doors play a little bit when locked
Top Bestseller: SentrySafe SFW123GDC Digital Fireproof Gun Safe
- Fireproof safe is UL Classified to endure 1 hour at 1700°F and keep interior temperatures safe for...
- Waterproof safe box is ETL Verified for 24 hours of protection in water up to 8 inches deep offering...
SentrySafe is one of the top providers of safe storage, trusted by thousands for their unbeaten quality and convenience. This piece is no different, which is why it’s a favorite of many and a top-seller on the market.
The gun safe has a rugged design that holds an impact resistance of up to 15 feet drop. It’s UL classified, having passed the fire protection test at a rate of 1700°F for up to one hour. And it can also hold a breath in 8 inches of water for up to 24 hours. Thus, not only great for protecting your firearms, but also important documents and digital media such as USB drives and DVDs.
The safe is quite spacious inside, which allows you to store multiple items with ease. Still, the interior is neatly organized with a double rack and additional pockets on the door. This door relies on a digital keypad to open, but you can also by-pass with the secondary tubular key provided.
The gun safe weighs 87 pounds, which is not very hard to move around. Hence, you’ll need to anchor it to the floor to prevent thieves from running away with it.
- It features four live-locking bolts for solid security
- Has an interior drawer with lock and key
- Very easy to use
- You can set and reset your combination code
- It’s so easy to arrange your items
- The safe is budget-friendly and durable.
- The interior shelves are flimsy
Best Capacity: AmazonBasics YB-66YLA-F Electronic Fire Resistant Safe
- 2.1-cubic-foot fire-resistant safe for protecting important documents and other valuables from theft...
- Complies with modified UL 72 Standard for Safety Tests for Fire Resistance of Record Protection...
At a 2.1 cubic feet volume, this gun safe is certainly a perfect fit for your two handguns and a few other small items. The interior has a neat setting, with two top shelves to hold your watches and a bag of the mag. If not that, you can easily remove one of the racks or rearrange them to optimize the space.
Apart from the shelves, all the other interior surfaces have foam insulation to ensure your items remain intact, without scratches.
The housing is rugged 14-gauge steel, with a fire resistance of up to 20 minutes at 1200°F heat. It has multiple external active bolts and internal deadbolts to provide solid protection and make it harder to break into.
The safe uses a digital keypad that you can easily control with a key code of your choice. And in case you forget the code, there’s a manual override key that makes it possible to access your content, plus change the unlock code.
The box comes with a ½-inch predrilled hole at the base that you can use to bolt it down on the floor. Hence, ensuring it impossible for the burglars to remove it from your home or office.
- It’s spacious and neatly organized
- Provides quick and easy access
- Auto locks after 5 seconds
- You can turn the keypad beep tone off/ on
- It’s pretty heavy and durable.
- It has a flimsy keypad system
- The door doesn’t shut tightly.
SentrySafe QAP1BE Compact Biometric Gun Safe
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This can make a great alternative if you need a gun safe to use in your vehicle or home. It features a solid steel design, with a pry-resistant door for added security of your weapons and prolong lifetime.
The safe has a compact setting, fit for only a single handgun and mag. It has a lovely protective foam liner to prevent your firearm from scratching and rattling while in transport. Then, there’s a digital keypad and a fingerprint scanner to allow quick access in times of need. Furthermore, the safe’s door has an exclusive compression gas strut that makes the door to automatically lift after unlocking.
Thanks to the compact design and light weight, this storage system is so easy to move around. As such, it would be better if you could anchor to a security object to ensure burglars don’t skip away with it.
Similar to the lot from the renowned brand, this handgun safe vault has passed the California DOJ standards. Hence, you can comfortably buy your gun without having to get any other firearm safety device.
- It has a solid and durable make
- Effortless and quick to open
- Light and easy to transport
- Easily concealable
- Has low-battery indicator
- Includes a manual emergency key
- It‘s very affordable
- It can drain the battery pretty quick
- The fingerprint sensor tends to lag as it wakes up.
GunVault SV500 Black Mountable Handgun Safe
- For handguns
- Exterior dimensions: 6.5 inch high x 3.5 inch wide x 13 inch depth
This is another single handgun safe that you can have for your home. It has a unique design, with a solid 18-gauge steel housing to deliver maximum efficiency. Still, the body has black powder coating, which gives it an enhanced look while simultaneously preventing scratching and corrosion
The safe features an easy-to-use electronic dial pad, plus a manual key slot that you can use for emergency entry. It has a tougher lock mechanism and a pry-resistant door setting. Hence, virtually impossible for the opportunistic burglar to get in.
Also, the interior has a soft foam lining that ensures you always get your pistol as you left it- clean and free of scratches. The space available, though is specifically for only one gun, no more. It, however, has a built-in interior LED light to ensure optimal visibility and quick access while in the darkness.
Even better, this safe has got California DOJ approval. So, you can use it in the austere region, as well as other states without issues.
- It’s very easy to mount to your desk or wall
- Provides quick and easy to access
- Features audio/ LED low battery warning
- Easy to hide
- Available at a friendly budget
- It has a solid and durable construction.
- You can turn off the combination beep sound.
- It drains the batteries pretty fast
- No backlight for the pushbuttons.
SentrySafe QAP2EL Digital Dual Handgun Safe Storage
- Gun safe provides secure storage for two standard handguns or one larger pistol and extra...
- Gun safe features a gas strut to instantly and quietly open safe door for single-handed access to...
Although compact, this safe can be a great option if you have two standard handguns but a little short on the finances. It’s a look-alike of its sister, only that it has few extra features, including larger capacity, to offer a better experience.
Designed with the rich SentrySafe quality, the gun safe is surely security tight and long-lasting. It has solid steel construction and a pry-resistant door to give extra strength to the protection. The door operates via four-button electronic keypad, which is easy to operate even in the darkness due to the backlight.
Furthermore, the door has the exclusive gas strut arm like that of its peer. Hence, it will automatically and quietly open immediately you patch-in the combination.
Happy to mention, the safe has soft interior padding that allows your guns to rest cozily without ratting or scratching. In addition to that, it has a fantastic interior lighting that allows you to easily see your content while in the darkness.
The storage vault weighs about 16 pounds, which is very easy to transport with you, even in the car.
- It’s safe to use in California
- Quick and effortless to use
- Very affordable and durable
- Highly portable and flexible
- Includes a bypass lock-key mechanism
- It can be mounted or secured with a security cable.
- No fingerprint feature
- The pushbuttons fail to open when pressed fast.
BARSKA AX11652 Biometric Long Rifle Gun Safe
- 🔐 Secure Firearm Storage: California DOJ approved rifle safes provide a secure and dedicated...
- 🔒 Secure and Silent Access: Biometric rifle safes with silent mode ensure discreet and secure...
This is certainly the best rifle safe under 500 on our list that you can efficiently use with your long-barrel rifles. It’s quite spacious and tall as you can use for four rifles of up to 40-inch long, yet still have a space for a small shelf. In which case you can use to store small items like ammunition boxes or passports.
The safe has a well-made construction that consists of steel walls and three built-in prey-resistant steel deadbolts. It has a 14-gauge thickness which is, of course, is not the best, but fairly enough to serve your home security needs.
The safe uses a spectacular biometric sensor that you can use to scan your finger at different positions. It has a reliable memory that can store up to 120 unique fingerprints of different adult members of your family.
Furthermore, the gun storage does support stealthy mode, whereby you can mute the factory default beep when you open.
- It’s excellently strong and durable
- Has CA-DOJ safety approval
- Features protective floor mat
- Includes a hidden backup key
- Has low-battery alert
- It comes with predrilled holes to allow easier mounting.
- It’s fairly shallow
- No the best option for high-level security
BARSKA AX11620 Biometric Mini Gun Safe Box
- Advanced Biometric Security - Biometric home safes provide advanced protection through 2.5-sec...
- Built to Withstand - These safes are meticulously crafted with robust materials, designed not only...
Last on the list is another product by the BARSKA creators, but for use with handguns and other smaller items. The safe has rugged 15-gauge steel construction, with double motorized deadbolts that are also solid steel.
Similarly, the mini gun-safe has an advanced biometric system and a hidden manual key for backup/ emergency entry. The electronic mechanism relies on battery power, but, sadly doesn’t send warning alerts when low like its brother.
Nonetheless, it does have the option to deactivate the factory default beep tone when you open. Thus, allowing you to operate it silently without detection in the event of a break-in.
- It supports multiple unique fingerprints
- Has passed CA-DOJ certification
- Quick and straightforward to use
- Effortless to move to around
- Includes pre-drilled holes and mounting hardware
- It’s very affordable and durable
- It’s available with no shelves or wall padding
- Has no option to selectively remove fingerprint access. It erases all saved.
While there are others, these are some of the top-selling brands that you can use to choose the best gun safe under 500 dollars that suits your needs. All the safes consist of a steel construction but with different thicknesses.
Here is a chart that can help you under the different standard gauge ratings in the approximate thickness in inches and millimeters.
|No. of Gauge|| Thickness in Inches
| Thickness in Inches
| Thickness in Millimeters
Quick Guide: Key Factors to Consider when Choosing a Gun Safe Storage
As shown in our reviews, different gun safes pack unique designs and features. Therefore, they all have different capabilities, which may or may not fit your situation.
With that, here are some of the aspects that can help ensure you get the most out of your safe…
Interior capacity: the gun safe you get should suit your needs perfectly and efficiently. You can go for a smaller safe if you have one or two guns and you no plans to add another in the future. But if you have no other home safe in the house, you can consider a bigger size so that you use to store other valuable items.
Steel strength: without a question, a heavy-duty safe should be your first choice of all. Not only will it provide better protection, but also serve you for a long time while still intact. Therefore, ensure the walls and door are solid steel, with a lower gauge as possible.
Soft cushion: this usually comprises a soft foam lining on the interior to make it possible to hold your content without scratching them. If it’s a compact storage, the cushioning will also allow smooth transport without rattling.
Well-made lock system: Different storages come with different lock systems. Luckily, manufacturers have gone for combination and biometric digital locks, which in most cases come with a backup manual key. The good thing about digital locks is that they’re pretty easier and quick to open. Hence, allowing quick access in time of emergency.
Fire and water protection: these two can help enhance the protection of your items, ensuring no damage during an incident.
Smart alerts: This is not a must-have, but it can be very helpful in keeping you on high alert in times of critical scenarios. Two of the most common warnings include battery status and tamper alerts.
What company makes the best gun safe?
There are numerous providers of safe storage today. The four top providers, trusted by most Americans are American Security [also called AMSEC], Browning, Fort Knox, and Liberty Safe. However, SentrySafe and V-Line gun safes are also great and all engineered in the United States, just like the rest.
What is the best gun safe for the money?
The perfect gun safe for you definitely depends on your requirements. If you have long rifles, the storage should be tall enough to handle your firearm without having to force them in. Meanwhile, handguns can do well in a compact safe, as long it’s spacious enough to hold even the mags. A good example is our favorite piece, V-Line 10123-S FBLK Semi-Flat Gun Safe, which can efficiently hold a Glock 43 and some jewelry.
How much should I spend on a gun safe?
Truthfully, that depends on how many guns you have and the kind of features that you’re hoping to enjoy. In any case, a budget between 100 and 3000 dollars is the appropriate amount, whereby the least is for a simple, standard safe for one handgun.
Where should I keep my gun at night?
The last thing you want is going a mile to get your gun when the invaders have already got into your house. Therefore, the best place to keep your gun at night is right closer to where you sleep. You can let it remain in the safe if you have it in your bedroom. But if the safe is concealed in your study chambers, you can bring it nearby the bed out of the storage.
Where should you keep a gun in your house?
Simply, the best place to keep guns is where unauthorized persons can’t get them and you can have quick access when time is an essence. The tool can be lethal when mishandled, which is why in California you have to own a DOJ-approved firearm safety system. Otherwise, no gun if you can’t afford to ensure its safety.
Despite it being your first line of defense against burglars, a gun is a lethal weapon that can cause serious damages and injuries when mishandled. Therefore, keeping it safe is not just a responsibility, but a critical requirement if you surely want to keep your family 100% safe.
Fortunately, there are many storage options that you can get for holding your weapon. In our article on the best gun safe under 500 dollars, we’ve shared ten different selections that can assist you in the decision making. We’re hopeful you found the guide helpful and with a solution you seek.
While choosing your safe, though, do remember California has tougher laws against children and prohibited persons accessing a gun. So, you have to pay attention to the CA-DOJ certification to avoid the chances of a misdemeanor conviction.
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