If you own guns, then you need to buy a gun safe. Even if it isn’t a State mandate, you really should have your guns locked up. We don’t really need to go through all the reasons why here…
So let’s say you’re a responsible gun owner and you want to make sure that your prize possessions and your loved ones are protected. But you’ve got exactly $1000 of gun safe money to spend and not a cent more.
Surprisingly, you tend to get the best price on Amazon, and that gives you the peace of mind that goes with their payment system and delivery too. This is a big thing, and it’s good to know that Amazon is responsible for getting it to you.
What are the best gun safes for sale under $1000 on the market right now? Here’s our helpful gun safe buying guide.
1 Steelwater Standard Duty 16-Long Gun Safe
- Price: $799.00
- Fire Resistant: Yes, 1 Hour.
- Capacity:16 Long Guns, Door Organiser Panel for Pistols
- Size: 16 x 22 x 59 inches
- Weight: 380lb
- California Compliant: Yes
Now the capacity on this safe isn’t all that and the general feeling in the user reviews is that realistically you are looking at 9 or 10 guns rather than 16.
But then this Steelwater standard duty safe is more than enough for 95% of American gun owners, it doesn’t take up too much space and it’s absolutely the best of the best in terms of security.
It looks cool, too, like an Old West safe with that big tri-spoke opening mechanism and hard-wearing paint job. So it’s not ugly, which means it can actually blend in pretty well to most houses and you can even turn it into a focal point.
It’s not outlandishly big, too, and you’ll be surprised where you can fit this Steelwater heavy duty gun safe. The gun safe reviews on Amazon and just about everywhere else say this is always one of the top picks and we think it’s the best compromise of fire protection, solid locking bolts, design and cost.
You can decide on your own gun safe layout and there are endless options, compartments and add-ons to give your pistols, ammo and cleaning gear there own sections if that’s what you want to do. Or you can turn it into a simple long gun safe.
This safe would probably be the best place for your family heirlooms and serious valuables too, because it’s basically theft-proof. So try and save yourself at least one compartment for the priceless things in life.
Nothing is impossible and there is no safe that can’t be cracked. But any smart thief would see this safe and simply walk away. It’s not going to be worth it unless they’re an elite safe cracker, in which case they really should be in a Monaco bank, not in your house…
You also get a full hour of fire protection from this gun safe, which is seriously impressive in this price bracket. Steelwater guarantees this compact, heavy duty gun safe will protect your guns, ammunition and valuables from an 1875 degree inferno for at least 60 minutes. We like this level of fire protection.
The front door is 4.75 inches thick and comes with two layers of fireboard and there’s a double layer on every external facing surface. It’s overengineered everywhere, but then this thing has one job. it needs to be unbreakable…
The digital lock comes with a drill and ballistic resistant backplate that extends more than 8 inches. That hard plate is another sign of quality and something you should be looking out for. If people can just drill your gun safe, it’s kind of less impressive.
The E.M.P. resistant electronic lock itself is a simple PIN-based system, and there’s a bypass key for emergencies. Just don’t get lazy and leave that on top of the safe…
You also get cool touches like electronic keypad entry, automatic interior LED lighting, pry resistant composite doors with a gear-drive locking system, larger and longer 1.5 inch bolts than the best-selling gun safe predecessor and it’s the complete gun safe.
Yes, if you have a big collection, then you might need a second safe. But if you have a selection of crown jewels, favorite firearms that you hold a near irrational level of love for, then they would be the A-Team in your Steelwater safe.
That way you’ll enjoy gunfire, and never feel the pain of a gun fire. They are very different things…
If you spend thousands on your guns, and lots of you do, then this is a small investment to make sure they stay safe in the event of a fire or break-in. Of course you might have bigger ambitions, in which case Steelwater will be happy to fix you up with their range-topping Steelwater Heavy Duty 45 Long Gun safe for sale.
The price on Amazon is a little out of this particular league, though.
2. Stack-On FS 24 MB
- Price: $912
- Fire Resistant: Yes
- Capacity: 24 Long Guns
- Size: 20 x 29.2 x 55 inches
- Weight: 415lb
- California Compliant: Yes
Yes you can get Stack-On gun safes for sale that look just like this one for about $200 less.
But the Devil is in the detail. That FS means it’s fire resistant and we think that’s a big deal in a relatively cheap gun safe like this.
One small buying guide tip for getting a good gun safe, watch those letters. They’re not meaningless marketing fluff and they can make hundreds of dollars of difference.
Sometimes, when you think you’ve got a bargain, you find you’ve ordered the gun safe without fire protection or legal compliance. Don’t do that…
It’s a serious USP for the Stack-On FS 24 MB and we think it makes it one of the best gun safes under $1000. It might just save you from an expensive gun fire of the wrong sort.
You can store 24 rifles or shotguns, or you can mix and match your storage for pistols, ammo and paperwork. This is a fireproof, relatively theft-proof safe that is built to the highest standards. It’s heavy duty, in other words.
The Stack-On Test has been independently proven to withstand 1400 degrees Centigrade, which is a pretty intense fire, for at least 30 minutes. The door stripping expands when it comes into contact with extreme heat, protecting your insuring your guns and your valuables.
The reinforced steel doors contain fire retardant material sandwiched between the metal layers, too, and this double fireproof layer is the hallmark of quality that you really want to look out for. If it’s got that, it’s probably got some other cool shiz too and it’s one to put on the shortlist.
And if the fire brigade can’t get it under control within 30 minutes, well the fire’s pretty bad to be honest.
It is the ideal place for your valuables, family jewelry and important paperwork too. It’s completely compliant with the California Department of Justice code and it’s basically one of the best gun safes under $1000 we can find.
We like the electronic lock, we like the brand and we like the fit and finish on this gun safe.
3. Mesa MBF3820C UL Listed Group 2 Combination Lock
- Price: $750.68
- Fire Resistant: Yes, 2 Hours
- Capacity: 12 Long Guns
- Size: 22 x 22 x 40 inches
- Weight: 310lb
- California Compliant: Yes
Mesa makes no-frills gun safes in terms of the design, and they come in at a price point while beating the same functional benefits of the best gun safes on the list.
Really. The Mesa safe is basic and yet technically superior. In fact, on a purely functional level it might be the best gun safe here. It’s an interesting contrast from a company that specialises in wall safes.
This Mesa safe has been dropped from two storeys, so you don’t have to, and it has been attacked from more or less every angle to give it a rating as good or better than the top two on the really important stuff.
You get a traditional combination lock and a fairly drab exterior that certainly won’t set the room alight with its looks, but don’t judge this book by its cover. It beats the best gun safes for sale on the basics like fire protection, which is one of the biggest USPs of gun safes in this price range.
Two hours is huge, it’s basically total peace of mind and the kind of engineering that goes into two hours of fire protection and two-storey impact protection means you’re safe from all but the most brilliant safe cracker too.
Mesa has used all of its know-how and experience, so things like a hard plate surrounding the barrel are a given. It isn’t a simple matter to drill this safe and it comes with solid ballistic resistance thanks to that extended hard plate too.
So if you don’t care what your safe looks like, you just want it to, you know, keep guns safe, then the Mesa safe is the one for you. There is almost no chance of a gun fire with this safe.
It has killer ratings in the gun safe reviews online, which makes sense. It’s a cost-effective option. As long as it does what it’s meant to, then everybody will be happy.
It does have adjustable shelves, but you will need to come up with your own interior layout with standard fit gun safe accessories.
The Mesa MBF3820C comes with three solid bolts for the locking system on the long edge of the front door that is 4.5 inches thick. It is solid, basic engineering that puts function over form at every step of the process. It’s a gun safe for inside a cupboard, or in a cellar, then.
It’s California compliant, it will do everything and it’s basic, mechanical engineering. There is no electronic lock to crap out, and this safe could be a one-time purchase that you keep for the rest of your life.
The more I look at the old-school wheel on the combination lock, the more I actually like the purity of that design vs the keypad and electronic lock. Biometric scanners are another thing, of course.
The company doesn’t specify how many long guns you can fit in there, because it’s a general purpose safe. But you can configure yours however you want to accommodate your valuables, handguns and super expensive rifles.
It’s basic in there, but you can kit it out for a long gun section or however you want. So it’s a rifle safe, a shotgun safe, a just about everything safe and you just have to take one look at those locking bolts to know that the all-steel construction doesn’t have weak points.
We think you’ll probably end up with closer to 10 than 16 long guns in there, but most of the manufacturers seem to make bold claims and we’re not going to handicap the Mesa with a conservative number.
4. Kodiak KB19ECX Gun Safe
- Price: $869.68
- Fire Resistant: Yes, 30 Minutes
- Capacity: 30 Long Guns, 4 Handguns and Door Organiszer
- Size: 20 x 28 x 59 inches
- Weight: 300lb
- California Compliant: Yes
Capacity is the big selling point with the Kodiak gun safe, with space for 30 long guns and a few handguns. Mix and match the storage as you see fit and you should find this is a great gun safe for all seasons.
Home defense, hunting, this gun safe can handle them all.
You only get a 30-minute fire rating at 1400 degrees, but if you can live with that then you can get a lot more guns under cover and away from prying eyes. It’s fully compliant with every judicial code, including California, and you will have no issues with this if you can find the space to accommodate it.
It’s a pretty safe, which could form the focal point of any mancave. But do what you want with it, it’s your money and your place…
The electronic keypad entry system is EMP safe and this is one of the best gun safes you’ll find in the price range. If capacity is king, this is your safe.
5. Barska Quick Access Biometric Rifle Safe AX11652
- Price: $236.40
- Fire Resistant: No
- Capacity: 4 Long Guns, 2 Handguns
- Size: 8.6 x 9.75 x 52 inches
- Weight: 65lb
- California Compliant: Yes
What if you need a safe for up to four guns in a bedroom, office or corner of the house, even under the bed? Well then you don’t need to spend anywhere near $1000.
This Barska gun safe is less than $250 and it will do this specific job perfectly well. The biometric gun safe access pad might be a bit much for you, or not, but it does work and you really don’t have to worry too much about greasy fingers locking you out of your gun safe at the critical moment anymore.
There is a failsafe, a key that fits into a hidden lock. But yeah, the biometric gun safe is pretty solid and gives you access to your firearms within 2.5 seconds. That’s marginally faster than a keypad entry, but fractions of a second can count at times like these.
You get three steel deadbolts and inevitably all-steel construction. It isn’t as heavy as some on this list, which means you’ll probably want to fix it to the walls for added security.
It will go anywhere, including under the bed, you don’t get real fire protection, beyond a steel shell that will stop your guns burning up. As an under the bed rifle safe, though, or an extra tactical advantage in a corner of the house, this is a seriously good and cost-effective option.