Best Gun Safe Under 1000

So you are looking for best gun safe under 1000 dollars. The good news is you are at the right page we have done tons of research. We have not only found the best gun safes but have also compiled a buyer’s guide. You can either read the buyer’s guide first or move with the flow to read the reviews of the best gun safes.

These safes are specifically designed to hold your guns but in addition to  guns accessories you can also store other valuable items inside a gun safe as well. So they will not just keep your guns safe you can make use of customisability of the safes and make smaller compartments for other items. This article is based on assumption that you have  more longer guns than small ones. This is why you will see all big safes in this guide.

So Let’s get started
best gun safe under 1000

NameExt DimensionsInt DimensionsWeightPrice
STEELWATER AMSW592216-BLK59 x 22 x 16 inchesNot Available350 poundsClick Here
MESA SAFE MBF3820E40 x 22 x 22 inches36.5 x 19 x 16286 poundsClick Here
SENTRY SAFE EF4738E37.72 x 21.69 x 19 inches35.72 x 19.37 x 11.73 inches224 poundsClick Here
STEELWATER AMSW592818-BLK58 x 28 x 18 inches55.5 x ~20 x 10 inches425 poundsClick Here
BARSKA LARGE BIOMETRIC SAFE57 x 19.8 x 16 inches56.5 x 19.3 x 14.88 inches139 poundsClick Here



Here are the best gun safes under the mentioned budget. Read review for each and decide what suits your current number and size of the guns the most.


Steelwater AMSW592216-BLK

best gun safe under 1000

A gun safe which can hold upto a total of 8 long guns. Although the advertised capacity is of 16 long guns but as per general rule the actual capacity is half of the advertised capacity. Therefore, you can comfortably place 8 long guns without squeezing in the guns. Under the mentioned budget it is one of the best safe you can have for the money.

The capacity is not high in comparison to what you can achieve when compared with models much more expensive than this one but still it is reasonable for someone with modest gun numbers. Steel water has claimed the model to last for 45 minutes under strict fire environment of 1550 degrees. It has passed the strict standard regulations of the State of California.

Steelwater provides both the dial lock and keypad lock with the safe. This reinforces more safety on board and increases safety. Another safety feature is the spring loaded bolts that come into action in case the front locks are removed. This makes the life of burglars more difficult and hence adds into the time which accumulates up to 45 minute of cracking time.

best gun safe under 1000

The steel plates are quite hard that are difficult to drill and made safe even for explosive material. What makes it more better is the portability, it is quite low in weight just around 350 pounds. It is quite less if you consider the higher end models reaching up to 1000 pounds of weight. The keypad allows you to store locking code upto 8 digits. This makes it secure even from the children. Incase the lock malfunctions you can use the emergency bypass key which comes with this safe.

If you own more long guns then the good news is that the racks are removeable and you can remove them to create more space for the guns. Among the problems is the door which is extremely heavy and feels very difficult to open and close. As doors are cracked easily that is why doors are made very strong and heavy. You can bolt it on to the ground, bolting with the wall is an option. Lastly from pictures it looks a like a big lad but it is actually slimmer then what it looks.

Mesa Safe MBF3820E

best gun safe under 1000

Mesa has been around for almost 4 decade and been producing nice safes at reasonable price tags. This model MBF3820E is lighter in weight and price lower than the Steelwater model reviewed above. Mesa claims this model will take 2 hours to get cracked down  because of its thick steel build, locks, strong hinges, anchoring bolts. We personally feel it is slightly exaggerated as cracking time should be around an hour.

The design is elegant and looks fine quality just by professional finish. The lower weight of upto 300 pounds make it slightly more manageable than the Steelwater one. Thick walls with exterior dimensions of 40’’ x 22’’ x 22’’ and interior of 36.5 ‘’ x 19’’ x 16’’. The interior has two shelves which creates three compartments with inner for longer guns in vertical positions. You can alter the racks and shape the interior according to your requirements as well. It operates on battery and with three factory fitted electrical sockets, USB Ports and power cord you can take care of that.

It is an all steel construction and claimed to have not used hard rock at all. All steel construction makes its much more durable and strong. You can anchor it with the floor, being heavy in weight and attached to ground makes it almost  impossible for thieves to completely steal it away. The electronic keypad on front is drill resistant. The hard plates used in construction make it difficult to drill into the safe. If multiple incorrect combination attempts are carried out then the keypad will get locked to prevent further attempts. In case the power runs out, you can use the override key to unlock the safe.

best gun safe under 1000

Door is quite thick and heavy and covered with fire resistant material with seal which is heat activated.  Mesa claims that it can withstand 2 hours of intense fire with temperature of 1830 degrees Fahrenheit. After all this model is from Mesa MBF series which is among their premium line up.

Among the problem is a small gap in the door which can allow moisture to come in and create humidity inside. It will damage what is inside  if kept locked for long period of time. There are 4 holes to anchor safe to the bottom but the package includes only two anchors, they should have been four. You cannot anchor it with the wall.

Sentry Safe EF4738E

best gun safe under 1000

It is an Executive category safe from Sentry. EF4738E offers great security for your guns and other equipment. It is not primarily designed to hold the big guns for can certainly hold smaller one with great care. The exterior dimensions are 37.72 x 21.69 x 19 and with great difference in inner dimensions of 35.72 x 19.37 x 11.73 which means that the walls are reasonably thick and offer great defence.

The interior is divided into different shelves which can be customised to cater your requirements. So you can alter the heights of the racks and hold longer objects in vertical positions like your longer guns. Another great aspect of interior is the carpeted flooring which prevents scratches for both the guns and the safe itself.

Security is further reinforced by the locking keypad. Like other model reviewed above Sentry at very reasonable rate offers keypad security for quick unlocking of the safe. The override key will help you open the safe in case you forget the passcode or have it locked. Another unique featured offered by Sentry is the water resistance, It can remain waterproof when submersed in a foot of water for 3 days. It is pretty reasonable specially if you are living in an area with history of floww.

best gun safe under 1000

Like other models it is also fire resistant and can withstand heat of 1400 degree Fahrenheit up to 30 minutes. It is lower than the other two models reviewed above but if you take into account the price then the fire rating is pretty much justified. The fire protection is validated by standard ETL fire protection. You can also fix it with the floor with the help of anchor bolts. Another great plus is its weight which almost 100kg, that is quite manageable and makes it easier to handle.

Among the shortcoming is the weight too. While it is less it also means that less material  like steel is used in construction. Hence it will be easier to break through this machine. It is not primarily designed for guns but is a multipurpose safe that can be altered to store guns and other valuables. Because it is lower in protection than Steelwater and Mesa model you would have to buy higher insurance fee to cover up the difference.

SteelWater AMSW592818-blk


best gun safe under 1000

Another SteelWater gun safe that makes into the list of best gun safe under 1000 dollars. With  massive weight of 425 pounds, SteelWater are sure that no person take this thing away from your home as they have not provided any floor anchoring bolts. You will not be able to anchor it as its big weight will allow it to remain fix and stable at its allotted position.

SteelWater has made it fire proof and it can withstand 1550 degree of intense fire heat for 45 minutes. The advertised capacity is to hold up to 20 guns but as per our explanation in the buying guide as well that it the advertised capacity is always lower than the actual capacity. Manufacturers post the capacity which is the squeezed capacity. All guns are not of the same shape and size and manufacturer do no mention the type of guns that stacked up to 20 in number.

There are two gun racks where you can store up to a good number of guns. The steel construction is 12-gauge which is just reasonable but is strong enough to feel secured. The outside dimensions are 58’’ x 28’’ x 18’’ – h x w x d. Therefore,  it is a massive unit and with strong build looks a strong storage safe. Security is further increased by Gear Drive System which prevents pry and punch attacks.  The interior dimensions are 55.5’’ x ~20’’ x 10’’, imparting thickness of 8.14 cubic feet and an interior capacity of 6.38 cubic feet.

best gun safe under 1000

Although the model is big in size but nice steel finish makes it great to be placed in some corner of your home.  The customisable racks make it changeable according to your requirements. Grooves in the interior are used for the altering purpose. SteelWater also provides a door pouch which has compartments that can hold small guns, holsters and other equipment. There are additional pouches available but you would have to buy them separately. SteelWater customer services has always been praised by their customers. It is a brand with established authority.

Now let’s have a look at the problems. There is no light inside the safe, you will have a hard time when you need to find your ammo in quick and emergency situation. As an advice, keep a small backup light inside or on the side of the safe.  The size is big and heavy it will take up a lot of space. In case you are not at home, burglars can take the whole thing away if they come in a group because it cannot be anchored to the ground or wall.

Barska Large Biometric Safe

best gun safe under 1000

Barska biometric safe are available in wide variety of sizes. The one reviewed here is the biggest offered by Barska with biometric security. Available at a very reasonable price tag and offers sufficient amount of space to hold long guns. It is the only model in this list of best gun safe under 1000 which has the finger print scanner. It will make opening or closing the safe incredibly easy and quicker.

The exterior is simple with black finishing. It is advertised to be of 16 gun capacity but as general rule mentioned in buyer guide consider it to be 8-10 guns only. The racks are removeable and customisable.  You can change the layout to match what you currently have and place it in the safe according to your capacity. The interior dimensions are 56.5’’ high x 19.3’’ wide x 14.88 inches deep. So there is plenty of space you can experiment with in this price tag.

best gun safe under 1000

The exterior dimensions are 57 x 19.8 x 16 inches so you can plan it where you would like to place it in your home.  The dimension difference is not much between interior and exterior its an indication that not much steel is used. Matching it with price tag it is should not be complained. With low steel use you also get the benefit of low weight that is 139 pounds. This indicates the portability and ease of moving it around. You can also drill it to the floor  by the help of anchoring bolts.

Among the problem is weight, its light in weight that is  positive but there is other side of the story as well. The light weight means that low amount of steel is used in construction. Burglar will find it easier to crack or drill into this  safe as compared to other heavier safes. This is not fire proof so place it in a place which is least susceptible to fire.


There are a number of factors that if known can help you decide to select the best gun safe under 1000. Different gun safes have different features and most of the time it is the manufacturer gimmicks with fancy terms that are able to sell out something which is not really worth it. Here are some of features you should read details of.


Weight is a tricky factor of a gun safe. When you compare two gun safes and both have more or less the same price tag then look at their weight. The one with higher weight usually has  more steel in construction.

Moreover, if you have shortlisted two safes and both have the same dimensions both weigh also the same. Then it might be because one safe has fancy inner compartments which is making up its weight. You should avoid such safe and go for the simpler one.


There are multiple type of gun safes if categorized on wider scale. Here are some of them.

Biometric Gun Safes

They are also called as fingerprint gun safe. You can open or close these safe simply by your fingers. With ability to store more than one finger print you can give access to more than one person. This also means that you get quick access to your guns with in a second. Other locks would take time to open up and it can be annoying to open and close them up with time taking procedure.

Electronic/Keypad Gun Safe:

They usually run on battery and offer a digital keypad. These are also quick but still  takes more time than a biometric safe.  As the operation is via power source therefore, you must manage a backup power source to keep it running. One problem with keypads is that they begin to show the wear and tear with time and pattern gets marked on the keypad. Therefore, it would be a smart decision to keep changing the gun safe code.

Dial Gun Safe:

This is one of the most reliable method of opening a gun safe. As digital circuitry is not used in this gun safe therefore it is not vulnerable to unknown failures that come with such machines. Dial Safe will take more time to open and close but it is still better than unreliable fingerprint and keypads for long term usage.

Handgun gun safes:

Very small gun safes made to hold pistols and handguns. They can be small enough to fit into your side table drawer. Bigger sizes are also available, it depends on your personal preference. Many of them have compartments even in the small box to hold other gun accessories.

Longer guns gun safes:

Bigger size gun safes and the type of gun safes reviewed in this article.  They are designed to hold bigger and more than one gun. Being available in  multiple sizes and layouts. You can store the guns either in vertical or horizontal compartments. If placed properly you can stack up good amount of valuable guns in this safe.


A general rule of thumb, the advertised capacity is always less than the actual capacity. Manufacturers will tell  you the capacity with guns totally squeezed in, you will not necessarily put all your expensive guns thee same way. A top advice would be to always get choose gun safe with more capacity than your current stock. You will build up on your guns portfolio over time and run short of space. So invest in something bigger and keep future in mind.

Before buying any guns safe, measure all your current guns so you know the exact minimum size you need. If you buy a bigger gun safe, you need to make arrangements to conceal it as it would be a clear target for burglars. If you cannot conceal it then keep it in the basement.


You can also look for gun safes that are used and available at reasonable rate. Buying used item from amazon is still a better idea then buying from any other barter website. If you are in US then look to buy a model which is made with in USA.  Buying a model from abroad will be more expensive and may not offer the same good features of a local safe. The reason is the foreign models have to pay the shipping fee as well. A general advice would be not only to look for bigger gun safe but also take this as one time investment and get a high end unit. The expensive gun safe will give you more features and protection.


Apart from the main lock and bolts to fix the bottom also look how many other features your chosen fun safe is providing you. Different gun safe offer different additional security features. In this list best gun safe under 1000 dollars, we have covered wide variety look for gun safe. As the security increase so is the price tag. So it is also a matter of how much your budget is allowing you.


Gun safes weigh a lot and you will be moving it around to change its position. With guns inside or outside it does not matter you need man power to move a gun safe. Some gun safe come with wheels, you can move the gun safe and take the problem of weight out of question. But once again this compromises the security of the gun safe. You don’t want a burglar to simply wheel your gun safe away. A gun safe with detachable or retractable wheels with locks would be a right choice.


On average more than 350,000 residential fire cases are reported in USA alone. The loss is worth almost 4.4 billion USD. Although with better technology these days, most of the electrical or kitchen equipment is designed to minimize any such mishap.

Most gun safes do not provide UL Fire Rating. It is because making a gun safe really 100% fire proof will increase its weight to the unmanageable category. Secondly, due to internal USA policies its very hard for manufacturers to get UL test protocol worth 50 thousand USD. Therefore, manufacturers have their own terminologies to describe gun safe fire resistance.

The problem is, safes are made up of small discontinued sheets of steel that have gaps between them. This gap is filled with material that is flammable. Therefore extra coating of inflammable material is necessary.


Gun safes are made of sheets of plates. The steel used has gauge rating read as 12-gauge steel or 10-gauge steel. The lower the rating heavier the rating is going to be. However, with thicker walls you will get lower space inside for storage. Some safes are double walled which makes them much more heavier but very strong as well. Before buying a safe it is necessary that you know the actual thickness of both the door and the walls of the safe.

Most manufacturers will assert door thickness instead of the steel thickness of the doors. It is because they are not telling you the truth, by front door thickness they are including the safe dial, drywall, inner panel and air space. Do not fall to the gimmicks of total door thickness.

Manufacturers will also tell three inch thick side walls. Well it is usually just the outer metal sheet up to 1 inch and then inner filled with hard rock.  Steel is the most important part of the gun safe and it is usually the least focused upon by the manufacturer. It increases the cost by many folds and may also goes beyond the reach of the customers


Another safety equipment is the relockers. Gun safe these days have upto 10 relockers according to the size. These are strong pins which come into action if a burglar tries to drill into the safe.


Do check how is the layout of the interior. Some gun safes are designed to hold guns vertically while other are smartly design to hold guns both vertically and horizontally. Some even have drawers inside to further secure your handgun.


The gun safe should be totally sealed. It should not let any air or moisture to seep inside. Overtime your equipment will get affected with the moisture from the environment. Most gun safes are not designed to counter this problem. Look for gun safe that has no margin to let corroding air to get inside.


While it may seem like a luxury feature, but at times you will be using your gun safe in low light conditions of scenarios where you cannot afford to use light. Or you might have placed gun safe hidden somewhere in your home where there is not light and interior light is necessity.


Gun safes come with an option to be either bolted a wall or to the ground. Ground gun safes are more secure and difficult to remove in case of burgulary. If you are buying an overseas gun safe with bolts inside the interior side of the gun safe specially the Chinese ones this will make it even difficult for the thieves but is not the conventional design for gun safes.


Look your state rules and regulations about guns and their maintenance. Rules may differ from one state to another. Therefore, a gun safe is must. In case of theft your gun safe must have had the basic safety features that you can show in your defence. Compromising on a cheaper one may lead to further financial loss.


It is a smart idea to get your guns insured. If you have a gun safe and that is up to the required standard of your insurance company then you  will get further discount from your insurance company. So you get benefits of protection not only from your safe but also from reliable insurance at lower and affordable rate.


All safes have hinges they can be internal or external. Manufacturers put a lot of importance on hinges. They claim their own benefits of hinges being outside of inside of the safe. If you see bank vaults then you can observe the hinges are mostly outside of the safe. Although, manufacturer emphasize this factor a lot but it is not something to spend an extra $100 on.

But do keep in mind that external hinges can be moved to full 180 degrees allowing you the ease of access. Also you will be surprised to know that the gun safe doors weigh almost 30 to 40 percent of total weight. So when you are relocating the safe you can remove the door via external hinges and make it more portable.


After reading the complete article you must have decided how much guns do you have and how much space you think you need. It can be little tricky to measure different products but for gun safes it is relatively easier.

In this guide of best gun safe under 1000 we have covered wide range of budget. There is something for everybody here. As a general advice we would like to recommend you that look for something bigger. You will be increasing your arsenal over time and building up on your guns portfolio. If you run short of space you would have to buy the gun safe again. In such  a situation, you would be have been better if you had chosen a bigger safe.

So get a gun safe today and make your valuable assets specially guns more sercure.




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