5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Bedside Gun Safe
Part of responsible gun ownership is making sure that your firearm is secure at all times, yet still close by so that it is quickly accessible if an intruder would present themselves in your home. That's why most of us look for a bedside safe that will keep our handgun locked down, but keep it within arms reach if the circumstance arrives to need it.
When looking for a handgun safe, there is a dizzying amount of options at various price points that can make choosing one a tough call. That's why we put together this list of 5 things to consider when shopping for a bedside gun safe. This will make shopping a little bit easier and hopefully give you some food for thought.
Like we mentioned, safes comes in all kinds of price points and the truth of the matter is unless you spend thousands no safe is 100% impenetrable. There is a guy on Youtube who picks just about every popular safe on the market within seconds. While it is disheartening, it just goes to show that you don't have to spend a fortune to get an added level of security.
Usually, a little bit more expensive safe is going to feature heavier gauge metal, better hinges, and multiple modes of entry. It will not be impossible to access, but the goal in most cases with a handgun safe is to limit access to children or nosy visitors. Sometimes you may have local laws to comply with. Spend what you can afford now, and consider upgrading later.
Safes come in many shapes and sizes, and can vary depending on the size of gun you wish to store and how you want to store it. Slider style gun safes can be mounted to the side of a nightstand or dresser but many designs require clearance that can make mounting them a challenge.
Wall safes are great in theory, but probably not a good choice in a bedroom. Those few steps required to access your gun could mean life or death. We recommend choosing a safe that will sit on or in your nightstand so that it can be retrieved as quickly as possible. This means a lock box is your best bet.
Traditional lock boxes are inexpensive and common, but require keys that can get lost or that children can stumble upon. A good compromise is a slightly more expensive lock box that has multiple modes of entry such as a key and a second method of entry such as bio-metric, keypad, or RFID access. That way you can store the keys elsewhere and still be able to get to your firearm when needed.
Hornady Rapid Safe Night Guard
Where to place a safe can end up being a critical decision should you need to protect your family. Should you place it in a drawer, under the bed, in a nightstand, or choose a wall safe that hides behind a picture? The ultimate decision will be a personal one, but you should factor in who will have access to the firearm and how quickly and discretely you can access it.
Like we mentioned, a wall safe is great for hiding things out, but may not be the easiest to access quietly in the dark. We also like the idea of a safe that doesn't draw a lot of attention and blends into the decor. Hornady offers a small bedside safe that looks like an alarm clock or boom box with keypad and RFID access. This is the one we chose, but it isn't the cheapest.
Cheaper options will still do the trick, and can be hidden in a drawer or under the bed. We personally don't like the idea of crawling on the floor in the dark trying to access our handgun from under the bed but it may be an option for you.
Type of Access
Just about every safe is going to come with a key, but an additional method of entry can be faster and quieter in a critical situation. After all, you wouldn't want to keep the key right by the safe - but going for the keys then coming back to open it doesn't make a lot of sense either.
That's why biometric safes have become so popular. They are a valid option - but keep in mind that biometric readers don't always work every time. Even the best biometric scanners have a success rate around 80%. That means you might need a second try to access you gun. Think about the fingerprint reader on your cellphone. Would you be comfortable with that success rate on your gun safe?
That's why we like RFID better: it has a higher success rate than biometric scanners and often can be used with key fobs or stickers that can be secretly placed on items you keep close by anyway like a cellphone or keys. As much as we like RFID it isn't perfect either. The best option is a keypad since it will only fail if you enter the wrong code. After waking up in the middle of the night in a high stress situation, we don't trust that we would remember the code but you may think differently.
Who Has Access
Finally and most obviously, you are purchasing a handgun safe to limit access so who knows about your gun and its location should be on a need to know basis. That means you and your significant other if they sleep in the same room. Other than that, keep it a secret. Limiting access can be as simple as limiting who knows about it.