What makes a safe a gun safe?

Looking for the right safe for firearms, weapons, and ammunition you are wondering whether any safe can be used as a gun safe, aren't you? If you visit our showroom in Las Vegas, our professional sales associates will show you the difference between a gun safe and all other safes. In case you have no time to do it, keep reading the article. It describes the most important features which make up a "gun safe".

What makes a safe a 'gun safe'?

Gun Safe Vs. Regular Safe

First of all, let us show you the main difference between a gun safe and a regular safe. Whereas the former is more expensive, the latter has several benefits which are worth much more than the money you pay for it.

The most significant one is the level of humidity in the storage. Regular safes are built with the intention to protect documents, cash, and other valuables which require a humidity level to be more than 50 %. Guns and ammo lose their functionality in such conditions. The door seal that is included in the construction of gun safes, prevents moisture from getting into the safe.

Another important difference is storage racks which allow keeping firearms in an upright position. The right position of the gun protects it from being scratched, broken, or exposed to dirt or erosion. This way you will ensure gun safety.

Don´t you think that it will be cheaper for an owner to purchase an appropriate safe rather than constantly repairing guns or buying new ammo?

Gun Safes Types

Hopefully, we have convinced you that only a gun safe is proper storage for your firearms. Even if we have done it, don´t rush into buying the one immediately.

Gun safes aren't all the same. As there are different types of guns, so there are different types of gun safes. In order to buy suitable storage for your weapon and not to overpay, run through the description of the three basic types of gun safes below.

Handgun Safes

A handgun safe is compact and light. It is designed for keeping one or several small guns. A pistol safe can be easily transported from one place to another. Such boxes are generally bought by people who often travel with their firearms. However, there are larger pistol boxes that are built either as car consoles for being adjusted in a vehicle or as home safes for being installed at home.

Rifle Safes

Long gun safes are tall units featuring about 60” or a five feet tall. Rifle safes vary in width and depth a lot, depending on the number of guns that they are able to accommodate.

Multi Use Gun Safes

True to the name, a multi-use safe for gun storage is intended to keep not only guns but plenty of other valuables including documents, cash, and jewelry. They may have various interior and exterior designs. Multi-use safes may be tall, wide, compact. They usually come for sale equipped with a number of drawers, adjustable shelves, racks, and compartments.

Gun Safe Features

Regardless of the type and size, a quality gun vault should meet the standards and requirements of the industry. There are gun safe features that are necessary to consider while choosing storage for your firearm.

Steel Strength

The most essential component for a quality gun safe is the material it is built from. Units made of thick steel provide a significant level of security. They are able to withstand a drill or prying attack. In order to choose reliable storage, check what gauge it is, not only of a body but also a safe door. The lower the number, the higher the steel strength is. For example, a gun safe built from 12-gauge is 2.057mm (0.081”) thick, while 14-gauge is 1.626mm (0.064”) thick. Gun safes made of 12 gauge steel and lower provide better level of protection.


A locking mechanism is another serious consideration. On the one hand, it should be high quality and strong, on the other hand, it should allow quick access and be convenient to use. The last feature is a question of the owner’s preference. Mechanical lock gun safes are cheaper and require less maintenance. Meanwhile, electronic lock gun safes open quicker and lock automatically. Whereas a dial or combination lock is more traditional and robust, an electronic lock is more up-to-date and offers as quick access as extra features like multiple users, lock out modes and biometric access. A reliable lock added to a door and body made of solid steel provides good fire resistance and burglary protection.

Fire Protection

Fire is one of the most serious dangers that a gun owner may encounter. Guns begin to melt at 425° C (800 F) but bullets explode or detonate at 190–200°C (374–392°F). Therefore, fireproof gun safes have a special design that enables keeping the inner temperature cool in case of fire. The feature of fire protection is achieved by means of quality insulation and insulation coverage, thick and rigid material a good gun safe is built from, and the right seals. Fire rating is an important indicator that shows how long and at what temperature a gun safe would keep the content undamaged in the event of a fire.

UL Ratings

If you want to be 100% sure that the gun safe you`d like to buy is fireproof, choose a UL-rated one. Such a unit is tested and certified by independent Underwriters Laboratories. There are three standard class ratings: UL Class 350-1, UL Class 350-2, and UL Class 350-3. Gun owners benefit as they can choose the level of security that best fits their protection needs gun safe manufacturers offer.

Responsibilities Of Owning A Gun Safe

Unfortunately, buying a good gun safe does not release an owner from responsibilities to regularly maintain it. If you would like to have peace of mind that your guns are in a secure place and will serve you long, you need to

  • put your gun safe in a secure place, so that it is hidden from kids and burglars;
  • keep it clean inside to prevent your guns from being expose to dust and dirt;
  • possibly anchor your safe to the floor, making it impossible to tip the safe over.


So, we found out what makes a safe a gun safe. As you can see a properly chosen, responsibly installed and maintained gun safe will allow you to keep calm and relaxed. Your firearms will be kept in a reliable place, hidden from kids, protected from burglars and fire. Just like other valuables. If you are still not confident in what exactly gun safe you need, you may either visit our store in Las Vegas, contact our support team by phone, or leave a message on the website. Our professionals will help you make the right choice.

Written by

Kirillo Byelin
General Manager at The Safe Keeper Las Vegas
Security Safe Expert
Kirillo Byelin