Best Handgun Safe – Shelf Safes and Mobile Cases

Cabinet Safes secure your firearms safe from tampering and theft, but what if you need a gun right now because when seconds matter help is just minutes away.  We recommend a solid gun safe for your collection, as well as, a quick access safe for the middle of the night intruder.

Setup your home defense gun with a gun light and keep it ready.

You can’t be unsure in the heat of the moment.  

For a negligible cost increase, mount a light on your handgun or keep it in the safe, you will just be surprised how useful it is to have a dedicated place to turn in an emergency, especially when its midnight and the power is out. See gun light review

There is of course overkill. I have been in houses where a gun was not more than an arm’s length away. Unless you are an international assassin in a Bollywood movie, there is little reason more than three hidden firearms. But their methodology was solid; they just bought another safe every time they bought a gun.  I mean yeah why not. I am honestly worried why they had over 35 firearms locked and loaded around their house but each one was secure.

The best handgun safe is a personal option. I think a biometric, quick access safe by your bed is a must in every house. A Vaultek Slider gives more comfort and ease of mind then the police car that drives down the road every night at 1 am.

The big difference between a full-sized safe and a handgun safe is speed and security.  A handgun safe is like a bug-out bag. It is there to get out of immediate danger.  The faster you can access your firearm the better, which is why we recommend a biometric lock.

A Quick Note on Concealed Funiture

A full safe is a theft and mishandling deterrent. If you don’t have young children you could get away with a handgun in concealed furniture, however most concealed furniture doesn’t stop a criminal from access other than through concealment. Some pieces are great because they give both security and concealment, but it can come with high cost and an issue of aesthetics. Concealed furniture often looks terrible. 

Best Handgun Safes

Vaultek Slider

The Vaultek Slider is the gold standard for a quick access handgun safe. Mountable, movable, and able to hold a handgun with a light as well as a magazine it is by far the best solution for a handgun safe. As you can see from some of the other options on the list it is copied repeatedly. 

It looks like an external hard drive when closed and can easily mount on a nightstand or in a closet in your bedroom.

It’s small about 12”x9”x3, comes with several mounting brackets and it’s fast. How fast? About 2 seconds to open, and you can feel secure whether or not you keep one in the chamber. Opens with fingerprints, a 5 digit code, keys, or even a key fob.

I honestly don’t think any other handgun safe is needed. Others have their uses but this safe is quick, moveable, and secure.

Don’t wait for an emergency, grab this safe.

Alternatives to the Vaultek Slider

The alternatives to Vaultek, like I said it has been copied a lot. But does it matter? No. Any safe is better than no safe. But they aren’t the best.

Vaultek has been around for years with good customer service, quality construction, reliable locking mechanisms. Unfortunately, the Vaultek is more expensive, so what do you get for your money? Build Quality, some customer service, and experience, a bit of tech like key fobs and lighting.

But this isn’t the 10 cheapest gun safes. It is the Best Handgun safes. Go with the Vaultek.

BARSKA Steel Handgun Safe Pistol

Barska is a great brand, Pin code instead of a biometric lock. Good construction, but the mechanism is quite loud. Not the best if you don’t want to alert intruders or wake your partner.

However, it works at keeping children from playing with your firearms and it is quick access if you don’t forget your pin. It also works with a key.

I recommend it over nothing or several knockoff brands but only because I know the name. Like I said the Vaultek has been copied, a lot.

GunVault SV500 SpeedVault

The Speed vault mimics the Vaultek Slider but it doesn’t have the biometrics, just a pin code. The differences are slight. No biometrics. A 9 volt instead of rechargeable lithium, thinner gauge steel, less tech.

It can be just as good as the Vaultek, I had no problems with it but battery drain seems to be a known issue.


Dalmbox is another knockoff design of the Vaultek. Biometric access, solid build, but I just don’t trust it like the Vaultek Slider Safe, and it is quite loud.


Seriously, this one looks like copyright infringement. Same great features as the Vaultek but with 4 AAA batteries. 

Quite loud but a good design, solid build quality. But If you like the design and features, why not save up a bit more for increased quality, and go with the Vaultek

Shelf Safes

The alternative to holster safes for a handgun at hand is shelf safes. The main advantage is a larger storage area than the holster safe, which is great for backup hard drives, passports, birth certificates, checkbooks, and other small items.  The other advantage is you don’t have to find a space to mount them, though most have the ability to be bolted into place to prevent theft. However, they look like safes and can be stolen easily or pried open.

Liberty HDX 250

The Liberty HD and HDX series smart vaults are great handgun safes that can be stowed in a variety of spaces, on top of the nightstand, dressers, in closets or just direct mounted to walls or under desks. 14 gauge steel, interior light, foam padded, with a tamper alert and key lock access. You will be able to talk to your kids if they are tampering with your safe, creating an all-knowing figure that helps prevent stupid incidents.

What I love about this safe is that it has an ac power with a battery backup so you will rarely need to change any batteries, as well as a key backup. It will just work. It can hold a gun, flashlight, and small documents that you may need in an emergency.

Ease of mind about the size of a shoebox.

Liberty HD 300 and HD 200

The HD 300 is a bit bigger, while the HD 200 is the smaller version, 16 gauge steel, lighted interior, touch combo, and a key backup. 

The HD series has an open door that allows you to see deeper into the safe with the drawback being it isn’t level so you can’t put much on top.

The lighted interior is great for grabbing and going at night without needing to turn on a room light. Fast auto open door is quick and thanks to the open interior you can keep your gun with an attached light and an extra mag or keep your gun clear and quickly load a magazine.

It’s a great safe but I prefer the HDX from liberty because it is biometric and doesn’t have the sloped top.

Mobile Cases

Vaultek Essential

The Vaultek Essential Series are fantastic handgun safes, they function like any other auto open safe, 4-8 digit code and quick auto opens. However, the Vaultek Essential Safes also have an anti-theft alarm sent to your phone when tampered with, as well as a cable lock similar to a laptop for security.

The Vaultek Essential series make great portable safes, if that idea seem strange to you ask yourself what you do with your gun on a family trip, might be the most common point in your life to need a gun for protection and you are leaving It in a hotel or motel safe, or in your vehicle, or worse you aren’t securing it at all.

The Vaultek Essential solves the problem with a light, for a safe, case, rechargeable lithium ion batteries that last for 4-6 months, 18 gauge steel and solid anti tampering protection, anti-pry bars and anti-impact latch.

Basically all the bells and whistle you have seen from every Vaultek safe on this list. Buy the model with the dimensions you need for your handgun.

If you are looking for biometrics check out the I series of essential safes. Same great safes but with a biometric scanner making it even faster to get to your handgun.

Vaultek VT20i

The Vaultek Essential but this time with biometrics. The ease of use with biometrics outweigh the minor increase in cost same 18 gauge steel and anti-tampering protection. The increased speed of access is impressive. While we have a clear bias for biometric locks, during the speed test between the models we never got close to biometric locks.

Concealed Funiture

Everyone seems to love the idea that they can have a concealed weapon for when it is needed but a normal looking piece of furniture the 99% of the time that a gun isn’t needed.

Casual Home products makes a great set of tables and nightstands for most homes that don’t cost much more than a similar piece of furniture.  The problem is there is no locking mechanism to stop children from accessing firearms.

The is a huge red flag if you have younger children because they will find the location eventually. It also offers little protection from theft or fire, trading It for low cost and easy access. It isn’t the worse solution but it isn’t as good as the Vaultek Gun vault.


When you need it, it has to work, is the only creed in an emergency. I hope you never need to use these safes to protect your family or yourself. The motto buy once, cry once exists because the gun community as a whole knows the price that has to be paid. It is high for quality because there is another higher price we are doing everything in our power to avoid paying.

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