A gun vault is always needed to store weapons safely and securely. But what about a portable gun safe for your car?
Loose guns in your house are one thing; having a pistol chilling in your glove box unguarded is another. If you have a permit to carry a handgun around, and you want to do so, you need the right protection.
In this article, we’ll go over which car gun safes are the best for your money, benefits, necessary characteristics to have in your car safe, and other frequently asked questions.
The name gives it away. A vehicle gun safe is a heavy-duty safe that can fit in your glove box. They typically include a combination lock or keypad of some sort, high-quality steel, and interior foam padding.
Also known as a pistol box, these gun safes are built to fit in the various nooks and crannies of your vehicle, including car seats, tucked into the trunk, and storage compartments.
Benefits of Having a Handgun Safe in Your Car
Car safes are interesting and very helpful for many reasons:
If you want your gun in your car, odds are you want to get to it as fast as possible in a pinch. Easy access car safes mean you can protect yourself with speed while keeping others OUT.
Unbreakable Locking Mechanism
Whether it’s biometric or a key lock, these safes make sure your valuable stuff stays in your possession. Gun safes, be it for the car or the house, have locking systems that are top-of-the-line, making it ridiculously hard to break into.
Quality Steel Construction
High-gauge steel is sturdy, durable, and resistant to any break-in attempts. Armed with solid steel and a lock with multiple bolts, your car gun safe is tamper-proof.
You Can Attach It to Your Car
These safes come with security cables or mounting brackets to make it near impossible to wrench the safe away from the car itself. The best gun safes are impervious to thieves, and you should expect nothing less from your car safe.
Protects Your Weapon
Protective foam keeps your pistol or handgun in place and ready to go. This will keep your gun from flying into the walls of the car safe and denting both the safe and the weapon.
Store Other Valuable Items
Ammo, documentation, sentimental items… these things need protection too. Luckily, a glove box safe should be able to fit both a handgun as well as other firearm paraphernalia.
What to Look for in a Car Gun Safe
You should expect nothing but the best from your pistol box. So before you run off to Amazon, here are some things you should be looking for:
Type of Lock
The type of lock is important to get clear on for your own preferences. You might want a mechanical lock, or maybe even a fingerprint scanner for ultimate security. Also, if your ideal safe comes with a backup key, make sure you hide it in a solid place that only you can find or put it on your key fob so it’s always on hand.
You don’t want your gun and gun equipment rattling around in a metal safe. Having a foam-padded interior keeps your valuables safe, no matter what you and the car are up to.
Lifetime Warranty: This goes without saying, but you want to have a durable car gun safe. That means if there’s ever something that happens to the safe, you want a long-term warranty to have it be fixed or replaced.
Type of Steel
You’ll want high-quality steel. That means 20-gauge steel or 18-gauge steel. (Note: This is even heftier than some at-home gun safes.) Carbon steel — a metal alloy combination of steel and iron — is also a good option.
Steel Security Cable or Mounting Hardware
You don’t want your car safe stolen at all, so make sure it comes with attachment hardware like steel cable or mounting brackets. That way, you can tether the safe to your car. Thieves would have to steal — steel? — the whole dang car to access the safe! (Which we hope never happens, of course.)
Size and Shape
Know where you’re putting your gun safe in your car. Measure out the dimensions. See how a car gun safe could theoretically fit in the glove box or behind the front seat. Then you know what you’re really after.
Bells and whistles are always nice. Do you want the hinges to have gas struts so that it opens up pneumatically? What about compartments so that things remain separate within the case? Whatever you need, make sure to include it in your search.
Now that you’re prepared, let’s get into these gun safe reviews!
The Best Car Gun Safes
SnapSafe Treklite Combination Lock Box with TSA Combination Lock
First up on our list is a SnapSafe lockbox that provides superior security.
It can fit in any small spot, including underneath car seats. While it’s perfect for storing handguns, you can also fit jewelry, important documents, cash, and medications in there as well.
This safe is actually made with advanced, impact-resistant polycarbonate. This material provides you with unparalleled strength similar to steel, while only weighing a third of the weight of a steel car safe.
The Treklite comes in two locking mechanisms: A combination access code or a key lock. It includes a 1500-pound rated security cable and a space-saving receiver/connector to allow for maximum interior storage space.
SnapSafe also provides you with four thick protective foam inserts to protect your valuables from scratching or any other damage. Plus, there’s a durable non-slip rubber over-mold to further decrease impact damage.
This safe meets TSA airline firearm guidelines, so you know that the SnapSafe Treklite Combination Lock Box is worth the price.
Hornady has been known to make super-protective safe equipment, and their Alpha Elite car gun safe is no different.
With tamper-proof construction, as well as a three-foot steel security cable with a 1500-pound rating, you can be sure that your valuables aren’t going anywhere.
Their patented cable receiver allows for maximum storage space, while it also comes with padded foam lining. Add to that a pry-resistant security band and barrel key lock, and you’ve got one heck of a safe.
Hornady also makes a large and extra-large model, but nothing beats out the Alpha Elite. If you want to keep your handguns out of the wrong hands but also leave it in your car safe and sound, go with Alpha.
GunVault has two different car safes on this list; you’re about to see why.
Firstly, the MicroVault only weighs four pounds, even though it’s constructed out of 20-gauge steel. It also has buttons to make it easy to program over 12 million user-selectable access codes. And the patented No-Eyes Keypad allows you to have quick and secure access, even in the dark.
This safe also has soft foam padding, two backup keys, a security cable, and a tamper-resistant locking mechanism. However, one potential con is that it doesn’t come with a 9-volt battery; you’ll have to open with the key first before charging the rechargeable electronic lock.
The MicroVault also has a five-year replacement promise, which is more than some other safes on this list. So no matter what happens, you and your guns are protected for the long-term.
GunVault NanoVault 300
The second GunVault is the NanoVault 300, which has 18-gauge steel construction and an easy-to-operate three-number combination lock. It’s a little simpler than the MicroVault, but sometimes you don’t need a flashy gun safe — you need practical.
This vault also meets the TSA guidelines for airline security, making it one of the safest car gun safes on this list, right up there with the SnapSafe Treklite.
The interior is lined with half-inch thick memory fitting foam. This further protects your guns and valuables from impact damage.
The NanoVault can also come in a style that fits full-size 1911-style pistols, but they come from independent retailers. That’s why we’d recommend the “pack of 1” option.
Of the two GunVaults, we would say the MicroVault wins head-to-head. However, if you’re looking for a straightforward, practical safe that doesn’t break the bank, the NanoVault works.
First Alert has always been one of the top players in the gun safe industry. There 5100K and 5200DF models are no exception in terms of quality.
Starting with the 5100K: This 18-gauge steel, powder-coated lockbox has a key lock and weighs a measly three pounds. As well, it meets TSA guidelines, plus it includes a steel cable to attach the safe to your car.
Then there is the 5200DF, which is a quick entry with a three- to eight-digit number keypad. It’s locking mechanism is springloaded and highly durable, and it also includes a steel cable for additional protection.
Both options are extremely sturdy and made out of high-quality material. First Alert has been in the game for a long time, and you won’t go wrong with either of these choices.
Merging great value with durable products is tough when it comes to car gun safes, but SentrySafe manages to pull it off with their PP1K Pistol Safe.
For starters, it has interior foam, constructed out of solid steel, and has a strong pry-resistant door. It’s also built with a carrying handle for easier transportation and a tether cable for extra security.
This safe is a key lock safe and comes with two keys. It is a California DOJ-approved gun safe (as are the rest of the gun safes on this list), and it can fit a handgun or pistol along with other small valuable items.
The PP1K is an ideal blend of safety, price, and features. Plus it’s SentrySafe, which in our opinion is second only behind SnapSafe in terms of brand quality. While it clocks in at a heftier 7.5 pounds, you can request a manufacturer’s warranty if you want.
SentrySafe is a company you can put your trust in, which is important when selecting your car gun safe.
a href=”https://www.amazon.com/SentrySafe-PP1K-Portable-Pistol-Safe/dp/B00FYO3310?tag=tacticalhun0f-20″>Buy The SentrySafe PP1K Pistol Safe On Amazon
Fort Knox PB1
Last on our list of the best car gun safes, Fort Knox has an Original Pistol Safe that is everything you would ever need in a gun safe.
It has a Simplex lock, in which you can program up to 1081 possible combinations. Pre-drilled holes in the bottom make it easy to bolt down to your glove compartment or trunk. Featuring a silver powder coat finish, as well as a heavy-duty hinge to protect it from attacks, this safe should last you a lifetime.
It’s lined with an “egg crate” foam that protects your pistols and handguns. What’s more, depending on the size, you can store up to two handguns in this safe, which is nice if you need options.
You also get a Fort Knox Lifetime Warranty on the PB1, and it’s made out of 10-gauge steel with a 3/16-inch door. Add to that the welded and concealed hinge, and you have an amazing car gun safe that checks all of the boxes.
Fort Knox has a reputation for a reason. Put your faith in their PB1 and sleep tight knowing your weapon is safe and sound in its car gun safe.
a href=”https://www.amazon.com/Fort-Knox-Handgun-Safe-Pistol/dp/B00V6TDX4E?tag=tacticalhun0f-20″>Buy The Fort Knox PB1 On Amazon
Where Should I Keep My Gun in My Car?
Put your gun — safely stowed in its car safe — somewhere that’s A) hidden, and B) accessible to you from the driver’s seat.
Here are some solid places to safely keep your gun safe in your car:
Underneath a back seat or passenger seat (if possible)
The trunk (or the secret compartment in some trunks)
The middle console (if it can fit)
What Is the Best Gun to Carry in Your Car?
Any pistol or handgun is ideal for stowing in your vehicle. It would be best to have a weapon that is quick and easy to use in a pinch. You’re putting a gun in your car for a reason; make sure it’s a pistol or something that’s simple and straightforward so that you can keep yourself safe.
Can You Legally Keep a Gun in Your Car?
This varies state by state. Check with your state government to figure out whether or not you can carry a loaded gun in your car. Some states allow you to carry so long as it isn’t concealed or readily accessible, and some states won’t recognize other state permits.
Who Makes the Best Car Gun Safe for the Money?
Of all of the options above, our top pick goes to the Fort Knox PB1. It has most of the things we are looking for in a car gun safe, plus it comes with a lifetime warranty and a lot of storage space.
For your money, hands-down, we have to give the top spot to Fort Knox. (The SnapSafe Treklite comes in a close second.)
Car safes are vital if you want to store a handgun in your vehicle. Gun owners should seriously consider looking at our list, checking it with our top characteristics, and going with the one that works best for them.