Most are well aware that a concealed carrier’s response time is paramount when dealing with a deadly encounter. The shooter must evaluate and react to the situation at hand, cleanly draw from concealment, and, if necessary, use lethal force to end that encounter.
However, time is a crucial element in responding to any lethal threat, including those that take place inside the home. In the event of a home-defense scenario, being able to access your chosen firearm quickly could mean the difference between life and death.
While quick access for some means a shotgun propped against the closet wall or a handgun stowed within a nightstand drawer, many others prefer a more secure option. Luckily, manufacturers produce a number of safes and secure storage options that offer a level of protection and control while keeping the firearm easily accessible.
Whether you prefer a shotgun, rifle or handgun for defending your home, this list of gun safes and storage products should have something to fit the bill.
Tactical Walls 1420M Bundle
“Hidden in plain sight” isn’t just a saying for Tactical Walls, it’s a principle the company lives by. As with the manufacturer’s other products, the 1420M Bundle is disguised as a fully functional piece of home décor—in this case, a classically designed mirror. It features a hidden cavity recessed in the wall behind the mirror with two compartments for handguns, ammunition or other small accessories. It comes with either a magnetic key system or—brand new for 2016—a RFID locking mechanism with key cards or fobs for even faster access. There are also several different finish and cover options. ($360- for standard models, $560- for RFID; TacticalWalls.com)
Bulldog Cases Digital Personal Vault
This personal safe from Bulldog Cases is an excellent quick-access option that can sit atop a nightstand or anywhere that is readily accessible. Due to its small size and the fact that it is TSA approved, the Digital Personal Vault is also a great secure storage option for anyone who wants personal protection while traveling. The vault is made with deluxe heavy-duty 16-gauge steel and fits guns up to 8.75 inches in length. It features LED “Night Light” buttons for nighttime access or it can be accessed via an RFID card or key fob, or an emergency key. ($83; BulldogCases.com)
Browning PV 1000
The Browning Pistol Vault 1000 provides safe-like security for those looking for a more secure handgun storage option. Almost twice the thickness of many of the pistol vaults on the market, the PV 1000 is built from 10-gauge steel and features a pair of tough, ½-inch diameter locking bolts. The safe has an electronic, four-button touch pad for entry that is easily programmable, but a unique, four-sided key is also provided. Eight AA batteries power the touch pad, but the vault also includes external electrical contacts for use with a 9V battery. Dimensions are 7 ½ inches in height, 14 ½ inches in width and 11 inches in depth. ($219; Browning.com)
Hornady RAPiD Safe 2600
One of the latest iterations of Hornady’s RAPiD Safe, the 2600 can hold most 4-inch-barreled pistols and 2-inch-barreled revolvers and is accessible via three different RFID options. These include a wristband, key fob and—brand new for 2016—an RFID sticker that can transform any everyday object, such as a phone, into a device that can unlock the safe. The exterior housing is constructed from 14-gauge steel, and the safe exceeds ASTM standards for childproofing. The safe also meets TSA requirements for travel in checked luggage. ($199; Hornady.com)
Pendleton Knight TAC-75
Pendleton produces a number of excellent safes that are highly customizable in their layout. The company is well known for providing storage options for shooters with incredibly large and varied collections with its modular, rotating shelving system. The Knight safes feature a 3/16-inch solid steel exterior, a convenient wide-access door and corner accessory shelving. The Knight safe in Pendleton’s TAC-75 configuration is purposefully designed for the tactical shooter, with a custom interior built specifically for your tactical firearms collection, whether it consists of ARs, a range of semi-auto pistols or even large .50 BMG rifles. (Price varies based on configuration; PendletonSafes.com)
Tactical Walls 1450M Bundle
Disguised as a full-length vertical wall mirror, the Tactical Walls 1450M Bundle is a recessed in-wall safe storage option featuring a hidden cavity with two compartments. The larger compartment, with a height of 40 inches, is capable of storing a variety of items, including long guns. Locking mechanisms include a magnetic key system or a brand new RFID option with a key card or fob for even quicker access. The RFID models of Tactical Walls secure storage products also feature a Tattle Tale function that alerts the user with a beeping sound if the unit has been left open for a given period of time. The 1450M Bundle is available in several different finishes and options. ($490- for standard models, $690- for RFID; TacticalWalls.com)
Revolution Safe Stronghold XL Tactical Edition
Revolution Safes utilize licensed Pendleton Revolution Technology to offer increased storage for a large number of firearms. The Stronghold XL Tactical Edition is built for those with a collection that bends toward the tactical side. It has three revolving shelves, with storage for up to 10 long guns, plus 20 additional AR-style rifles. Additionally, it will also hold up to 35 handguns, with an option available for storing up to 55 handguns without affecting long gun storage. The safe is available with manual or S&G electronic locks and features 10 1½-inch diameter bolts on all sides of the door to prevent prying; it has fire protection up to 1,200 degrees with a 2-inch thick fire liner. (Price varies based on configuration; RevolutionSafes.com)
Browning Beast Safe
As its name suggests the Beast safe from Browning is a heavy-duty option for those looking for greater protection and security from intruders and fire. Designed for those with a large gun collection, the Beast has outer dimensions of 58 inches in height, 44 inches in width and 27 inches in depth and features a 12-gauge steel body with a 1-inch formed door that has a partial inner plate. One-inch diameter chromed locking bolts on three sides help prevent access to would-be thieves, and ThermaBlock fire protection provides a 1,400-degree/60-minute rating for defense against exterior heat. Total long gun capacity is 56, with rapid access to 41 long guns. It’s also available with an electronic lock for quicker access. ($2,229 for mechanical lock, $2,299 for electronic lock; Browning.com)
Bulldog Cases Magnum RFID/LED “Quick Vault”
The Magnum RFID/LED “Quick Vault” offers quick and easy access to a handgun via an RFID key fob or access card or by using the LED “Night Light” push buttons or emergency key. A quick-opening, spring-loaded door opens when the user gains access to the vault, while “Soft Stop” technology in the door prevents it from being loud and giving away the user’s location. An interior light also makes finding your firearm in the dark an easy process. The “Quick Vault” is built using 16-gauge heavy-duty steel and is 11.5 inches by 8 inches by 5.5 inches.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the March 2016 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine
Other Great Quick-Access Safes:
QuickSafes QuickShelf Safe
This great little safe offers clandestine, easy-to-access storage for handguns and other valuables. Disguised as a simple shelf, the QuickShelf Safe is accessed via RFID fobs (two credit card keys, one fob and one token are included) for speedy access without fumbling with, or having to remember, combinations. The system is simple to install on a wall, and it is compatible with up to 16 programmable RFID keys. Dimensions are 23.5 inches x 2.75 inches. ($234.99; GunDigestStore.com)
QuickSafes Quick Vent Safe
Another secure storage option designed to hide in plain sight, the Quick Vent from QuickSafes looks like a plain air return vent at first glance. The device provides storage for a handgun and other valuables and offers immediate access through RFID keys. It comes with two credit card style key fobs, a standard fob and one RFID token. The Quick Vent easily installs between two studs, is compatible with up to 16 programmable RFID keys, and comes with a back-up battery pack. Its overall dimensions are 15.5 inches x 7.75 inches x 4 inches. ($219.99; GunDigestStore.com)