Gun safes are useful and essential for all types of gun owners, whether they own just one firearm or several.
However, not every type of gun safe is created equal. Classic gun vaults are intended mainly for safe storage under calm and quiet conditions and can be hard to get into quickly, especially in a life-threatening situation.
When you are in the market for a bedside gun safe, there are several critical factors to consider before making your final purchase.
Best Bedside Gun Safes for Quick Access
1. Hornady Rapid Safe Night Guard
You may know Hornady as a reputable manufacturer of ammunition and reloading components. They’re also at the forefront of innovation for home defense gun safes.
The Hornady Rapid Safe Night Guard is part of the company’s Rapid line of gun safes, all of which feature a triple security system: RFID electronic locks, electronic keypads, and back-up mechanical keys.
Inside, you will find enough space to store one full-size pistol or revolver, alongside a few magazines. This makes it an excellent option if you prefer using a handgun for home defense.
The RFID electronic lock system provides a fast and convenient method of opening your gun safe because it requires no touching or typing in a keycode. All that is needed is to hover a wristband, keyfob, or object featuring an RFID. Each safe can remember up to five different RFID tags so that all your family members have access to the contents.
The backup electronic keypad can be programmed with a 4- to 6-digit security code. If either system should fail for some reason, or your device is out of power, you can still use the good, old-fashioned mechanical lock-and-barrel keys to retrieve your firearms inside.
The Night Guard is intended to look like a large, old-fashioned alarm clock and is designed to disappear in plain sight alongside other objects you would typically place on a nightstand or bedside furniture. You can even use it as a charging station for your smartphone and electronic devices via the two USB ports in the back.
Despite its unassuming looks, this is a heavy-duty, durable, and tamper-proof unit, made out of steel and weighing 18 lbs. empty. It is ideal for keeping young and curious children or teenagers away from your firearms.
The Night Guard is intended mainly for use as a bedside gun safe plugged into an AC power outlet. If desired, you can also secure it to another object or piece of furniture with the pre-drilled mounting holes.
It also accepts 4 AA batteries, a useful backup source if your house loses power or you want to use the gun safe inside your car.
2. SnapSafe 2-Gun Keypad Vault
SnapSafe is a Hornady subsidiary specializing in manufacturing lockboxes, vaults, vault doors, and safes, including gun safes.
The SnapSafe 2-Gun Keypad Vault was designed first and foremost as a secure storage device with ample inside space, enough for up to two handguns plus magazines or other small items and valuables. The keypad entry system minimizes any fumbling with keys or a traditional spinning safe lock code, giving you rapid access to your firearm when you need it.
The black finish makes this safe virtually invisible in a dark room. Use this stealth feature to your advantage to quietly access your firearms in case of an intruder.
The 2-Gun Keypad Vault is intended to safely store two full-size home defense handguns, with ample space for spare magazines and ammunition. There are many other applications and configurations for which this product is also a suitable choice.
For example, if you want to safely store the most valuable items in your EDC (keys, phone, wallet, money, medication, passport, and of course, holstered handguns), you’ll have more than enough space for it all.
Regardless of your needs, whatever you choose to store inside the Keypad Vault will be protected by the safe’s durable, 16-gauge steel construction. The primary locking mechanism is an electronic keypad, which allows you to program in a combination between four and six digits long.
A single 9V battery powers the unit, and the battery compartment can only be reached from the inside. Even if your house loses power for any reason, the Keypad Vault will still function. There’s no need to worry about power cords, so the 2-Gun Keypad Vault can even be used as a gun safe for your car.
Roomy internal storage means relatively large dimensions; 8.8” x 9” x and 12.7”. Make sure you have enough space if you’re considering this unit.
For additional safety, it is recommended to bolt the unit to the floor or a piece of secure furniture, such as a deep bookcase, or to use it as an under-the-bed gun safe instead of a nightstand unit.
3. SecureIt Fast Box Model 47
If your preferred home defense firearm is a long gun, such as a shotgun or an AR-15, you may recognize the need for a quick-access gun safe designed for long guns. Traditional gun safes are not practical; even if you have the space for one in your bedroom, they can take a considerable amount of time to unlock. The SecureIt Fast Box Model 47 is specifically intended to address that issue.
Although it functions as a classic gun safe, either in a vertical or a horizontal configuration, the Model 47 comes with mounting hardware for an under-the-bed gun safe. It can be installed on a wood or metal bed frame or mounted directly onto the floor.
When in a horizontal configuration, you have access to no less than 47” of internal length, 11.75” of depth, and 6.25” of height. This is more than enough space to store two long guns with magazines and optics installed. You can also store additional items such as handguns, extra magazines or ammunition, or other essential belongings. Some people use their gun safe to store passports, birth certificates, and other identification documents.
At 39 lbs., the Model 47 is a heavy and cumbersome unit, but not so heavy that determined thieves wouldn’t attempt to take it away. Using the mounting hardware is highly recommended.
The locking mechanism is an electronic keypad with four input buttons, which can be programmed with up to eight digits for additional safety. A 9V battery powers the electronics, and the battery compartment can only be reached from the inside of the safe.
Although the buttons are tactile and easy to feel even in the dark, they do not produce any audible beeps or noises when pressed, letting you access your stored firearms quickly and discreetly.
This safe is great to take with you in the back of your pickup truck, your RV, or even your boat. You’ll never be caught without your rifle, even if you are frequently on the move.
4. Cabela’s Home Defense Biometric 4-Gun Safe
Some households have an emergency plan for home invasions or other emergencies that involve the whole family. For these scenarios, you may want everyone in the house to quickly access a weapon. You need a reliable, fast-access gun safe that can store everyone’s preferred home defense firearms.
The Cabela’s Home Defense Biometric 4-Gunwas designed with family home defense plans in mind.
This unit possesses enough storage space for three long guns, as well as a top-mounted shelf that can hold a mid-size handgun, extra magazines, ammunition, or any other items you wish to store securely. You may also store additional handguns with the included three extra hangers.
The entire unit is made out of heavy-duty steel, measuring 4’7” inches tall, 12” wide, and 11” long, and weighing approximately 90 lbs. It is intended strictly for a vertical configuration.
This safe can be bolted to the floor, an adjacent wall, or both for added safety. However, you should avoid using this safe in a garage or a part of the house where temperatures can fluctuate greatly, as it may interfere with the biometric reader.
The biometric lock can remember up to 20 different fingerprints. The instructions are straightforward, making it easy to add all your family members, housemates, and trusted friends into the memory.
Of course, there is always a mechanical lock and corresponding keys if the biometric reader fails or is out of power.
This safe comes in at a great price point, so you can buy more than one to store in different strategic locations in your home.
5. Tactical Walls Concealment Night Stand
Firearms are among the top five most commonly stolen types of objects in a home invasion after electronics, jewelry, medication, and cash.
One of the philosophies of gun safes for home defense is that they shouldn’t only be convenient and quickly accessible, but also easily hidden, or better yet, inconspicuous. The theory is that if a home invader makes it inside your home, they will be attracted to whatever looks to be immediately valuable and ignore what doesn’t.
Tactical Walls is a family-owned company based in Virginia, whose products follow the principle of hidden in plain sight. The Concealment Night Stand is a 100% US-made piece of furniture, made using real US-sourced maple wood.
The Concealment Night Standis suitable for use as actual bedside furniture. It is available in various finishes such as cherry wood, black, dutch walnut, early American, or even raw, so you can paint and finish it yourself. At 31” tall, it is easy to reach from a bed or even a couch.
Hidden under the tabletop is a retractable storage compartment with enough space to store two full-size handguns, spare magazines, and other items such as a flashlight, valuables, or anything else you can think of.
To open the storage compartment, all you need is to use a magnetic key. Slide it near the front of the table, where the sensor is located, until you hear the inside mechanism beep, then push up on the underside of the compartment. The compartment then slides down, presenting its contents for you to access in under five seconds.
This bedside table is a unique way to keep your handguns in a nondescript location if you have children. The Concealment Night Stand is ideal for use as a bedside storage solution for your home defense handgun.
6. Tactical Walls 1242 RLS Rifle Concealment Shelf
If you find the hidden in plain sight philosophy appealing, but you prefer to use a shotgun or a rifle for home defense, Tactical Walls offers several solutions.
Like other Tactical Walls products using wood in their construction, the 1242 RLS Rifle Concealment Shelf is made entirely out of US-sourced materials. This shelf is made of high-grade plywood and hardwood suitable for use as furniture and uses no ABS, cheap wood, or fiberboard materials.
You can order this shelf in a variety of beautiful finishes to match your interior home design. Alternatively, you can order it raw, allowing you to paint, varnish, and finish it yourself and give it that personal touch, so it blends in with your existing décor.
Like the Concealment Night Stand, the Rifle Concealment Shelfis designed to hide firearms in plain sight, locking them securely via a magnetic key. The entire shelf is approximately 42” long and 12” deep and possesses two sensors for your magnetic keys, one on each end of the shelf.
The hidden gun compartment has plenty of space for multiple home defense firearms. There is enough room inside to store an AR-15 carbine with a magazine, a red dot sight, and a suppressor installed, alongside a full-size handgun and spare magazines for both.
This configuration is only one example; the inside compartment is rated to accept up to 20 lbs. If you so choose, you can keep two long guns, multiple handguns, or any other combination of items. As long as you have space and keep the total weight within this limit, you can safely store any number of firearms you desire.
Although installation is relatively simple, follow the instructions and have someone help you hold the shelf while mounting it onto your wall. If you have children in the home, it is often recommended to install the shelf at a high point so they cannot reach it.
Gun Safe Criteria
A bedside gun safe should meet the following specifications:
- Speed: You must be able to reach the contents of the safe quickly. When you hear a noise in the middle of the night, you don’t have time to fumble with keys.
- Simplicity: The lock or safety mechanism must be simple to operate so even if you’re tired and half-awake, you can still open your safe easily.
- Safety: The safe design should be robust, and the safety mechanism must be resistant to tampering, prying, basic lock-picking, and theft. A safe bolted to the wall, the floor, or a piece of large and heavy furniture will also deter thieves.
- Stealth: Ideally, your bedside gun safe should be easy to hide from view. Specific gun storage systems are even designed to be hidden in plain sight, functioning as furniture. Your safe should also be quiet to open, so you maintain the upper hand over an intruder.
Of course, factors such as price, build quality, and warranty are all important as well. However, don’t assume that a high price tag automatically means more security. Ensure the product you’re looking at meets these criteria before checking the price tag.
Ideally, your gun safe manufacturer should also offer a good warranty, preferably a lifetime one. Avoid gun safes with no warranty. A manufacturer that won’t stand behind its product is probably not making anything worth your money. Your gun safe should be an investment for your home and your safety.
Because a gun safe is approved by the California Department of Justice (CA DOJ) or the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) does not necessarily make it a secure or dependable product. Many safes, typically low-cost models, are solely designed to pass minimum legal requirements and may be entirely inadequate for safe and secure storage of firearms.
More About Bedside Gun Safes
Regardless of your preferences, safe storage solutions for your home defense firearms must strike a balance between safety and accessibility. Traditional gun safes are secure but hard to access, whereas leaving unsecured guns around the house is hardly advisable.
Whether you prefer handguns, rifles, or shotguns for home defense, there is a quick-access gun safe that can suit your needs, in any style, and with your choice of a locking mechanism.