A gun safe may seem like an easy, trivial thing to buy, but if you’re a gun enthusiast, you know that there’s more to consider before purchasing one. Size is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a gun safe. As any gun owner knows, you need to put some serious thought into the size and type of gun safe you want to purchase for your gun or gun collection.
Guidelines in Deciding What Size of Gun Safe to Buy
You will be considering the kinds of firearms you will be putting in it today and in the future, and you must also consider the type of house you have now. Here are some tips in deciding on a gun safe size, so that you won’t regret your purchase:
1. Get a safe that offers more space than what you need right now.
One of the biggest mistakes gun owners make when purchasing safes for their long guns is that they assume that if it fits their longest rifles, then it’s the right size. However, you should always choose a safe that is bigger than you think you need. It’s like buying a closet you want one with more space for your future clothes. Think that your gun collection is bound to grow over time.
As a rule of thumb, pick a safe that is capable of holding twice the number you currently own. It doesn’t matter how many it is. Do you have a single pistol? Get a handgun safe that can fit at least two. Do you have 12 guns and rifles? Then get one that can fit 24. If you are inclined to buy more, make sure you have enough storage space for your future purchases. Since you will be spending a significant amount on a single safe, make sure you will be content with it for a lifetime. Buying a safe too small might make you buy another one in the future. It’s better to spend a little more and buy a safe just once in your lifetime, than end up buying another one down the road.
However if you’re sure that you’ll only have one handgun for security and safety purposes only, then at least buy a safe with enough space to fit magazines and other accessories.
2. Consider the things you will be putting in the safe, besides your firearms.
Besides guns, you must also determine what else you would like to keep secure in your safe. Do you have a set of your grandmother’s diamond earrings? Important documents? Large amount of cash? Consider getting a safe that will have extra space or compartment for these items. One day you may decide that you will add a few extra handguns, electronic files, boxes of jewelries, photographic equipment, and the next thing you know, the safe is already full. If you already have your own safe for these valuables, then buy safes that will fit your rifles alone.
3. Consider the available space in your home.
Before you invest in a safe, make sure it can occupy just the right amount of space in a spot in your home. Measure precisely how much space it is going to take up. Once you have decided about the specific spot where you will put your safe, make sure there’s extra room to breathe. It can be frustrating to buy a spacious, heavy safe, and then right after installation, you will realize that it’s just way too big. Don’t let a huge gun safe to interfere with your activities and daily routines in the house. It’s best to put a large safe in an area in the house where there is less traffic.
4. Consider the type of house you will be putting it in.
Of course, you don’t need a guide to tell you that you must not put a large, full-size gun safe in a studio type apartment. But if you’re living in an apartment or a home with full wooden floors, it may not handle the weight of a large safe properly. You need to protect this type of house, so a small gun safe may be your best option. Alternatively, if you are living in your actual house, you can benefit from getting a floor safe or a wall safe, if you want something hidden. However, whether or not you choose to use a wall or a floor safe may depend on the safe capacity that you need, as most wall safes are small.
Different Sizes of Gun Safes
Gun safes come in different sizes. While there is no clear distinction about the sizes, here are some of the common size categories for gun safes:
1. Small handgun safes
Small handgun safes are designed for storing handguns and pistols. Usually, these kinds of safes are light on technology, making it very affordable. Manual units use a key to lock and unlock, while electronic models use a digital keypad or a biometric system. Obviously, the manual units are the cheapest option that can help you save money while keeping your valuables safe.
These kinds of gun safes are handy to keep anywhere around the house and even to your car. Small safes are easy to conceal, and can protect children or slow down intruders. However, it can be prone to theft, as any thief may simply decide to take the safe away rather than open it at location.
The manual models that require keys can be safe from children and other people who would like to pry, but it can be vulnerable to accessibility issues. In case of emergency, you will need to fumble around your keys (or remember where you have put it) before you can open it and reach for your gun. Electronic models dispense with the key issue, but they require batteries. Some people can find themselves in need of a gun that’s locked safely inside a safe with dead batteries. The same problems can arise in plug-in gun safes when the power goes out.
2. Mid-sized gun safes
Between the small handgun safes and the large free-standing gun safes lies the mid-sized units. These kinds of safes can’t accommodate long guns, but it can store several handguns and ammunition, as well as other valuable items such as cash, jewelry, gadgets, and documents.
This size of gun safe is perfect for people who have a handful of handguns that won’t fit in small safes, while full-size safes may be too much. It provides a greater degree of security than a small safe in terms of access.
3. Long or full-sized gun safes
This is the category that most people think of after hearing the term “gun safe.” If you own any form of a long gun, whether it’s a rifle, shotgun, or other kind of gun, this is the safe you need to purchase. It accommodates the size of long guns, as well as provide space for more handguns. If you already have several handguns or if you anticipate owning additional guns in the future, getting a full-sized gun safe is an excellent choice.
If you are considering a long or full-sized gun safe, make sure it will fit in the space that you designated. It must fit through your doorways, and it must have unobtrusive handles or sealing so you will be able to maneuver it through as many doorways as necessary. Also consider if it’s heavy enough to deter theft, or if you need to bolt it down.
There are a lot of excellent gun safes you can find on this size category. High-end models offer the best security features, but they come in a high price.