There’s absolutely no need to shell out a small fortune to secure your rifles and shotguns. There are plenty of options in the budget realm that get the job done. Heck, there are even good budget long gun safes made in America. Welcome to our guide to choosing the best long gun safe for the money. In this guide, we share our top 5 picks, tips on how to choose a model for your needs, and reviews of each safe.
You’ll find large fireproof, under-bed, and tactical models in the chart below that are sure to satisfy. All of the safes below provide a good mixture of security, quick access, access methods, and organization to help you protect your home and make life that much easier. Let’s get started with an overview of the safes before working our way to the reviews of each model.
|#1) New and Improved Steelwater HD593024-EMP Extreme Duty 2-Hour Fire Rated Gun Safe
|#2) Hornady 98195 RAPiD Safe Ready Vault
|#3) BARSKA AX12760 Biometric Rifle Safe
|#4) SecureIt Agile Ultralight: Model 40
|#5) V-Line Quick Access Keyless Shotgun Safe
Reviews of the Best Long Gun Safes for the Money
We’re confident that the five safes in this guide take care of all gun owners’ needs. There are biometric, RFID, mechanical, and keypad access methods offered by the safes above along with a wide range of storage options. Clearly, quick-access safes are the ideal choice for folks who want to keep their firearms secure yet have near-instant access to them in the event of a break-in or home intrusion. Biometric, RFID, and Simplex push-button mechanical locks are all great choices for speedy access.
Outside of home defense, you may also want a good fireproof long gun safe to store your guns, cash, and other valuables. That’s where the Steelwater safe in this guide comes into play. Lastly, for California residents, unfortunately, not all of the safes in this guide are California DOJ approved since California Regulatory Gun Safe Standards require single-walled gun safes to have a minimum of 12-gauge steel walls. However, for the rest of us, these safes are all A-OK.
Now, let’s get started with the reviews.
#1) New and Improved Steelwater HD593024-EMP Extreme Duty 2-Hour Fire Rated Gun Safe
Steelwater fireproof gun safes are the ultimate bang for your buck safes in the fireproof department. You’d be hard-pressed to find a 2-hour fire-rated gun safe with the same security features as the HD593024-EMP, and for this reason, this safe is perfect as the #1 choice in our guide. In addition to its outstanding fire-resistance rating, this safe gives you the most storage capacity of the five models in this guide.
However, don’t be fooled by the 22-gun capacity rating because this is a max number. The real number is 14-18 long guns, which is still the highest in our guide. Along with the long gun racks, you’ll find a high-quality door organizer to secure your handguns, accessories, and any personal valuables you want to access easily. Another storage feature we like in Steelwater safes is the addition of steel u-channel plates to prevent sagging in the full-length top shelf.
Finally, the greatest perk to owning this safe is the level of security. Of the five models in this guide, the HD593024-EMP is the most secure with features such as twenty 1.5″ solid steel locking bolts, spring-loaded re-lockers, an 8X drill-resistant hard plate, an E.M.P. proof digital keypad, 9-gauge steel (exceeding California DOJ requirements), and the sheer weight of this beast means it’s not going anywhere.
- The most secure long gun safe on the market for the money
- 2-hour fire-rated at 1875°F is 2X more time than most models offer
- It uses a high security, drill-resistant bypass key rather than a keyhole that’s easily picked
- A good tough powder coat finish
- Heavier than the other four safes in our guide, no one is easily running off with this safe
- Removable shelving to customize the interior
- Easy-access front-facing rifle/shotgun racks
- 1-Year manufacturer’s warranty
- Includes an automatic interior LED light
- Made in China designed in the US
- We like the tactical racks in SecureIt and Hornady safes more
#2) Hornady 98195 RAPiD Safe Ready Vault
Hornady manufactures the best RFID gun safe, and the 98195 model is an excellent choice for long gun owners who dig RFID tech. If you’re unfamiliar with RFID tech, it allows you to program different items including stickers, key fobs, wristbands, and tags to open the safe. Once you get the hang of it, you may find that RFID provides quicker access than biometric locks and certainly keypads. The 98195 includes four programmable RFID tags.
One issue we do want to point out is for long gun owners with children. If you have children and choose an RFID safe, please always make sure to know exactly where the RFID tags are at all times and secure them in a place only you or your significant other knows.
Next, let’s discuss how awesome the inside of this safe is. First, the interior peg walls allow for tons of configurations, plus the option to add shelving and/or gun safe accessories including interior lighting. Second, the patent-pending Hornady gun rack allows you to slip handguns between long gun barrels to fill out the empty space. Third, the deep standoff allows room for optics and other long gun accessories. Fourth, the anti-slip neoprene floor mat keeps your guns in place.
Overall, this is one of the best usages of space we’ve seen offered by a long gun safe right alongside SecureIt’s tech. For fans of RFID and long gun owners, this safe is a dream come true. Lastly, you’ll be happy to know that the keypad runs on both battery and AC power to avoid having to worry about battery life.
- Easily the best long gun RFID safe currently available
- RFID tech allows for extremely quick access
- You’ll love the Hornady combination racks for easy access to your firearms and optimal usage of space
- Square peg walls allow you to personalize the interior
- AC power w/ battery power backup
- Removable shelving to customize the interior
- Five hardened locking lugs for good pry resistance
- Includes RFID key fob, Hornady wristband, and decals
- The option to pair with two additional RFID safes (good for vehicles, under-bed, nightstand, etc.)
- A light-colored interior for clearer vision
- Solid steel locking bolts would be better
- Not the heaviest steel (important for California residents)
#3) BARSKA AX12760 Biometric Rifle Safe
Barska manufactures our favorite budget biometric safes, and the company’s AX12760 model for long guns is very reasonably priced. One of the inherent problems with cheap biometric safes is an unreliable fingerprint scanner. For this reason, Barska is one of the only budget brands we trust that manufactures a reliable scanner. One of the reasons Barska scanners are reliable is that each scanner retains up to a whopping 120 fingerprints. It’s wise to take advantage of this feature by scanning the same finger multiple times to ensure your finger works 100% of the time.
As far as security, the AX12760 offers some beefy features for the money. Unlike the Hornady safe above, the AX12760 features three solid steel deadbolts for better pry resistance than the hardened lugs on the Hornady safe. The 2mm steel body isn’t quite 12-gauge steel, however, it is close, making this a fairly heavy-duty yet lightweight gun safe at just 60 lbs.
Several final highlights are the backup access options including a hidden keyhole & battery backup, a padded rifle rack for up to four long guns, a top shelf for additional accessories, long 1-year battery life, 1-year warranty, and pre-drilled holes at the back and bottom panels for multiple mounting options. All in all, the AX12760 is a great bang for your buck biometric long gun safe.
- Program up to 120 fingerprints with the option to scan the same finger multiple times for the most reliable access
- Three solid steel locking bolts
- Comfortably fits 4 long guns with attachments
- The package includes a pistol holder for 2 handguns on the back of the door
- Light enough for one person to move
- A good choice for gun owners who desire quick nighttime access
- Easy to program and set up
- No need to worry about remembering combos, especially in high tension situations
- Extra-long 1-year battery life per set of AA batteries (1st set included)
- Made in China
- Its low weight is a pro and con if you don’t bolt it down
- The rack certainly isn’t the best in our guide
#4) SecureIt Agile Ultralight: Model 40
SecureIt manufactures a range of modern-style gun safes that we feel are the best tactical gun safes currently on the market, especially for the price. Compared to traditional gun safes that weigh close to a ton, SecureIt prides itself on its newer lightweight yet secure safes that are both modular and easy to assemble/disassemble. For this reason, it’s important to bolt down a SecureIt safe to ensure no one runs off with it.
The greatest selling point of SecureIt safes is the internal organization. Of the five models in this guide, SecureIt’s Cradle Grid tech is the most advanced, even surpassing what the Hornady safe above offers. Instead of peg walls, SecureIt’s Ultralight 40 safe features a louvered back panel that allows you to configure the safe interior to your liking. Additionally, it’s more secure than pegs and ensures that your long guns are held perfectly upright to skip re-zeroing your scopes between uses.
In addition to the back panel, SecureIt’s Cradle Grid includes upper cradles with easily removable bungees and stock bases to secure your long guns and keep them aligned. The Ultralight Model 40 holds six long guns up to 50″ in length. Lastly, it’s important to consider that this safe offers keypad access with no solid steel locking bolts, making it convenient but undoubtedly the least secure of the five models.
- You’ll probably like the louvered back panel for organizational purposes even more than Hornady’s peg panel
- Easily remove your long guns without moving other guns or colliding with other barrels
- Perfect for gun owners who want a tactical safe for quicker visual inventory and efficiency
- Key override to ensure you never get locked out
- The modular design is perfect for combining with other SecureIt models or existing safes you may own
- A good choice for gun owners who desire quick nighttime access for protection purposes
- Store your long guns with scopes attached
- Customize the interior by adding shelving to the back panel
- The least secure of the five models in our guide
- Not as quick as biometric or RFID access
- 16-gauge steel is the lightest of the five safes
#5) V-Line Quick Access Keyless Shotgun Safe
Last but not least is V-Line’s quick-access under-bed shotgun safe. This is the perfect safe for gun owners who want an under-bed safe to protect themselves and their families. First, you’ll be happy to know that V-Line safes are made in America for affordable prices, meaning you’re unlikely to run into any annoying quality control issues that commonly pop up on safes made in China.
Second, we’re big fans of Simplex push-button mechanical locks, especially for gun owners with children and owners who want to skip having to rely on battery power or keypad access. Simplex push-button locks are easy to program and allow for over a thousand combinations with the option to push multiple buttons at once for quicker access.
This low-profile safe stands just 3.5″ high, making it compatible with just about any bed frame. The only real drawback is that you have to slide the safe out from beneath the bed to open it, which doesn’t allow you to mount it to the floor unless your bed is high enough or you construct a pull-out drawer yourself. Other than that, this is a sturdy safe that gets the job done and is best reserved for emergency situations.
- Zero reliance on battery power
- Customize your access code for minimal pushes and quicker access
- Good for under-bed usage and to mount vertically (includes an elastic band for wall-mounted installations)
- Key override to ensure you never get locked out
- Spacious enough for most shotguns with room for rounds
- Made in the USA
- Sturdy steel construction
- The two additional keyed locks are for added security rather than functioning as override key access, meaning no one can pick the locks to open this safe
- Too tight for some shotgun models with accessories, especially side-mounted lights
- The easiest safe to pry open of the five
- Minimal interior padding
These are the five best long gun safes for the money that offer the widest variety of storage options. For gun owners with children, we prefer the Steelwater and V-Line models in this guide as the best child-proof gun safes. Typically, gun safes feature override locks that are easy to pick, and Steelwater beefed up its key security while V-Line offers safes with no key override access. Simplex mechanical locks are great for parents because the only way in is to know the code.
Finally, be sure to consider the levels of security and organization you desire. Hornady’s 98195 is the best blend of security & organization while SecureIt’s Ultralight Model 40 is the most well-organized for tactical purposes. Other than those points, your final decision comes down to your preference, gun collection, and unique storage needs.