Pistol Safe: What to Know and Why You Need One

Pistol Safe: What to Know and Why You Need One

Owning a handgun comes with a lot of responsibility, pistols can also be relatively expensive. So protecting your investment while ensuring it’s safely stored is very beneficial. This helps prevent pets, children, and other unauthorized individuals from easily accessing a firearm.

Understanding Pistol Safe and Its Benefits

Pistol safes are safes designed to accommodate handguns. They can be designed for travel, mounting to a hard point/piece of furniture, or as stand-alone pieces. Their primary purpose is to prevent someone from using a handgun without authorization.

These safes differ from regular gun safes in their size. Most are similar to safe deposit boxes although some models are smaller or larger depending on the manufacturer’s dimensions. The biggest benefit pistol safes provide is a safer environment while still allowing access to a handgun for defense.

Types of Pistol Safes

There are a number of pistol safes on the market. The most popular types are divided according to locking mechanisms: biometric locks, combination locks, manual key locks, and electronic keypad locks. Most models will use one or more of these styles of locks. Newer safe designs will also use different methods of securing the firearm. 

GOSAFE Mobile Safe

The GOSAFE Mobile Mag and Mobile Safe is a new design that incorporates a magazine and a safe that locks the pistol from inside.  It offers the most versatility in terms of mobility and immediate access to your handgun.   It allows you to seamlessly choose between unlocked and locked depending on the situation.    GOSAFE is available in loadable and non-loadable versions depending on your preference.

The only drawback is that the Mobile Safe is made for specific pistol models and does not work with revolvers.

Keyed pistol safes

Keyed safes are the baseline style of pistol safes. They use a simple mechanical lock to secure the safe and use physical keys to lock and unlock the safe. These are often featured as backup access methods to other lock designs due to their reliability and lack of batteries.

The drawbacks to keyed safes are losing the key and having a lock that could be picked with the right tools. However, this style is still a good option on a budget.

Combination lock pistol safes

Combination locks are great for those who don’t want to worry about a key. They can either be electric or mechanical depending on the design. This means you can come up with a code and use it instead of using the key every time. This type of safe is a good “middle of the road” option in terms of price and functionality.

There are several drawbacks to these designs. The first is forgetting the combination you selected. The next drawback is the limited number of possible combinations. This allows potential thieves to try out all the combinations until they find the one that works since most combinations are around four digits.

The third drawback is using the electric keypad’s programming against it. Lower-cost electronics can be bypassed with the right tools in order to reset the codes. Additionally, if a master code exists for the safe mode, it can be used to override the safe.

Biometric pistol safes

Biometric pistol safes allow you to input your fingerprints as a means to unlock your safe. These safes are good if you don’t want to forget a key or a combination. They are arguably one of the quickest access styles of safe after keyed safes. Just a quick scan of your selected finger and the safe opens. You can even load multiple fingerprints of yourself or other authorized individuals into most biometric safes.

The major drawbacks to biometric safes are the biometric reader and cost. Biometric readers can have a hard time reading a fingerprint if it isn’t at the exact angle of the original scan. This is why it is recommended to scan the same print multiple times at different angles as your additional fingerprint scans.

The other major drawback is the price of a quality biometric scanner. Fingerprint scanners that can get the clearest prints easily are not cheap. The most affordable options will have trouble reading some prints, especially if there is dirt or something else blocking the scanner or print.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Pistol Safe

When buying anything there are a few considerations we need to keep in mind, and pistol safes are no different. We’re going to go over some of the most common considerations so you know what to look for in a pistol safe.

Size and Capacity

Not all pistols are the same size and not every safe has the same dimensions. Make sure you know the general length, width, and height of your pistol with any of its accessories attached. Then make sure you have the internal dimensions of the safe, because this will be the space your pistol will have to fit into.

You should also consider how many pistols you may want to fit into one safe. Some safes are only capable of holding one gun, while others are designed for multiple guns.

Portability and Mounting Options

One of the benefits of a pistol safe is how easy it is to move. This allows you to secure your pistol wherever the safe is. This also poses a problem if you plan on leaving the safe in the same place. If you choose to keep your pistol safe in the same area you should get a safe that can be bolted down or tethered in place.

Tethering or bolting makes it hard for the whole safe to be stolen, adding additional security for your pistol.

Construction and Durability

Since pistol safes are usually smaller than large-scale gun safes/vaults, there are a few things to keep an eye out for. Make sure your pistol safe is impact resistant so that it can’t be opened by throwing against the ground or hitting with something.

The external material of the case should be a few millimeters thick at the minimum. This can help ensure that if the pistol safe is bolted down, it won’t be easily ripped from the mount. An additional consideration is how fire-resistant you want the safe to be.

Be sure to choose a safe that has anti-prying features and tampering protection. This can range from recessed locking bars to additional alarms for electronic locks.

Ease of Access and User-friendliness

Since pistols are often owned for self-defense you may need to access them quickly. Safes with easy-to-understand controls are very beneficial if you need to get to your pistol in a hurry. The ease of access to the pistol needs to be balanced with how secure it is, otherwise, it defeats the purpose of having a pistol safe.

Your pistol safe should be easy for you to open but not for anyone else. This comes down to the style of safe and locking method that works best for your environment.

Cost and Budget Considerations

The cost of a safe can often cause people to forgo getting one. The most affordable pistol safe often trades off durability and security for cost. These safes are mostly just used for light travel and are usually under $50.

Safes in the $80-$120 range are going to be the best balance between quality, security, and affordability. They use better materials and have more anti-theft features.

The $200+ range is where you’ll get some of the best components but with the drawback of being almost the same price as the pistol(s) you’re trying to secure. While these often offer some of the best security, they are not budget-friendly.

Top Tips on How to Choose the Right Pistol Safe

Here are some tips on how to select the ideal pistol safe that meets your specific requirements:

  • Research on the different types of pistol safes, and weigh their pros and cons.
  • Evaluate your needs, preferences, and budget.
  • Read customer reviews and feedback.
  • Seek professional advice from firearms experts or local law enforcement.
  • Check to see if your jurisdiction has any firearms storage requirements.

Picking the Best Pistol Safe For Any Scenario

Not every safe is going to be a good option depending on your particular lifestyle. However, some designs can fit a wider amount of scenarios than others. These types of safes are like the GOSAFE Mobile Safe. Find the right GOSAFE product for your pistol today.


Are pistol safes worth it?

Pistol safes are a great way to secure your pistol, especially if you have children or pets in your household.

Where can I hide my pistol safe?

A pistol safe can be hidden anywhere that has enough space for the safe to fit. This can be in furniture, closets, etc.

What should I look for in a pistol safe?

Pistol safes should balance accessibility and security. This can be from quality materials to mounting materials.

Where is the best place to hide a pistol in your house?

The best place to keep a pistol in your house is in a safe that is out of view. This is usually the bedroom, but any area that is not visible from outside the house will work. Other options without a safe are less secure but should follow the same rules of being out of sight.

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