Handgun safes with mechanical locks are what I consider the best type of gun safe. I know it's a bit old school in this day and age where everything is electronic and either biometric or voice-activated. And, of course, there are reasons to own an electronic or biometric safe which we cover in another article. But hands-down, if you want to be absolutely, 100-percent sure of getting into your safe then mechanical is the way to go.
Let me take a quick step back and just cover off on what the important features are for these handgun safes. All the recommended handgun safes with mechanical locks...
- Internal Threat: Can prevent a child (or roommate) from accessing the handgun
- External Threat: Can prevent a burglar from breaking into the safe
- External Threat: Can prevent a burglar from stealing the safe
- Accessibility: Can allow access to the handgun by the owner quickly if needed
- Capacity: Can hold at least one handgun with room for extra ammunition
The best mechanical safes all have Simplex Locks which offer 1,081 possible combinations. Now that's not going to prevent someone with a lot of time and determination from figuring it out through just trial and error but it will stop someone from figuring it out when time is of the essence - like a burglar who wants to be in and out in under 10 mins.
For those with children, you'll have to be the judge of whether or not your child will be able to figure out the mechanical lock. They'll certainly have the time to do it if they live with you. It's whether or not you think they'll have the determination to eventually figure out the combination. If so, then you may want to consider gun safes that are more difficult to crack. Sure you may give up some accessibility speed for yourself but you'll keep the little ones safer.
Similarly, if your main concern is an internal threat like a light-fingered roommate with time and determination, then you'll want a lock that's harder to crack.
Most handgun safes, and these are no different, are not so heavy that someone can't just pick it up and walk away with it. So it's important to secure them to something larger or heavier in your home. All the safes come with pre-drilled screw holes and it's up to you to supply the screws depending on where you plan on securing it. Typically, securing the safe in a bedroom closet or in a dresser drawer or a nightstand drawer is what people do. This allows for accessibility at night and some concealment.
The V-Line Top Draw Locking Tactical Gun Storage Box, Black is the lightest of these safes at 10 lbs. As you'd expect then, it also is constructed with the thinnest steel at 16 gauge.
This gun safe measures 12 x 9 x 3 inches on the outside and can hold at least one pistol, maybe two depending on sizes.
It comes with foam lining one the inside and has 4 pre-punched holes on the bottom to secure the safe.
The reason why I recommend this V-Line safe is that it's simple, solid and works well.
And for the money, makes a great value purchase.
This safe is made in the USA and meets CA and DOJ standards.
The AMSEC PS1210EZ Easy Carry Handgun Safe is very similar to the V-Line Top Draw discussed above. This safe is a bit heavier at 14 lbs because it's made with 14 gauge steel which is a little thicker.
With measurements of 12.3 x 10.2 x 4.2 inches on the outside, this safe can hold at least one pistol with room for ammunition and possibly two depending on their size. It has foam lining inside to help prevent scratches on your handgun and 4 pre-drilled holes to be able to secure it to a surface of your choice.
The bottomline is that besides that heavier gauge steel the difference between this AMSEC model and the V-Line Top Draw is the chrome handle. The handle adds that extra touch of convenience and allows you to easily transport your handgun from your home to the range.
What you give up for that portability though is the ability to secure it to a piece of furniture at home.
How can you not like a safe named Brute? The V-Line Brute Heavy Duty Safe with Quick Access Lock, Black is one tough handgun safe.
Made of 10 gauge steel with a lid that overlaps almost the entire height of the box, if someone breaks into it, it'll be hard to get upset as you'll be too busy being impressed. This safe is similar in size to the others at 12.5 x 9.5 x 3.6 inches on the outside but considerably heavier at 22 lbs.
Inside the lid is a gas strut that assists in opening it. A nice design touch considering how heavy the lid is. Like the other safes, foam lining interior and 4 pre-drilled holes on the bottom for securing it to a larger surface.
This V-Line Brute safe is my top recommendation. A great price for an extremely strong safe.
The Fort Knox PB1 Handgun Safe with 13.5 Inch Dean Safe Pistol Sock is very similar to the V-Line Brute. Made of 10 gauge steel and weighing in at 24 lbs, it's slightly heavier. It's also slightly larger than the V-Line Brute measuring on the outside at 12.5 x 10.4 x 4.3.
The gas strut assisted opening lid adds the same convenience as the Brute. And like the rest of the recommended safes, the interior comes lined with foam and there are 4 pre-drilled holes for securing the safe.
Besides the specifications and the color, the main difference between this Fort Knox box and the V-Line Brute is the lid design. The Fort Knox PB1 lid doesn't overlap the sides as much as the Brute.
Bottomline is this Fort Knox safe is plenty good and I've got no reservations in recommending it. I just gave the V-Line Brute the edge for the lid design. You may give the PB1 the edge for the extra weight and size.
The Stealth Original Handgun Safe Steel Pistol Box Concealed Weapon Storage is another great safe. This Stealth combines the strength and sturdiness and heft of the Fort Knox PB1 with the carry handle of the AMSEC PS1210EZ.
Exterior dimensions are 12.6 x 10.3 x 4.3 inches and, with 10 gauge steel constructed body, weighs 24 lbs - pretty much identical spec to the Fort Knox PB1.
Now for me, having a handle for this heavy-duty safe (pun intended) seems a bit odd. I just have a weight threshold when it comes to portability. Yes, having a handle for when you need to move it is convenient but for some folks the weight may require them to use two hands to carry it anyway - depending on how far you need to go.
For something this heavy, I'd just as soon secure it somewhere and not move it around which makes the handle unnecessary.
So the bottomline is that each of these 5 handgun safes with mechanical locks are worthy to own. Depending on your situation and what you're looking for will determine your choice.
If money is your priority, the V-Line Top Draw is perfect.
If you want overall tough and secure, then go with my favorite, the V-Line Brute.
If you like the Brute but prefer the color Silver, then the Fort Knox PB1 is your choice.
One thing to note is if you're measuring really fine on the height, all the measurements do not take into account the knob height on the lid. Make sure you add another inch to the height measurement to account for that. And if you go with the Stealth, make sure you take into account the handle depth - an extra 1.25 inches.
Last update on 2021-04-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API