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We say it all the time here at TTAG: the only two places a gun should ever be stored are on your hip or securely locked away. There’s been a boom recently in the number of bedside handgun vaults coming onto the market, but they all suffer from the same problems — namely they all look butt-ugly. Enter The Gunbox, a beautifully styled single firearm occupancy vault designed to not only provide some high-tech security, but to also look stylish while doing it. The only question left is does it work? . . .

There are two things that separate The Gunbox from the competition: aesthetics and security.

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The problem with most firearms accessories is that they all conform to the “tactical chic” style. Sharp edges, diamond plating, and boxy designs that would work great in a military barracks but don’t really fit in with a modern home. The Gunbox seeks to fix that by providing a modern stylish exterior that looks exactly nothing like a firearms accessory and instead could be at home in any room of the house.

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On the inside, The Gunbox provides plenty of space for whatever firearm you want to stash in there. I tried to fit my SIG SAUER Mk25 and AAC Ti-Rant 9mm silencer in at the same time, but as it turns out The Gunbox will only fit one at a time. There’s plenty of room for a full size handgun and a pair of extra magazines though, as this 5″ SIG SAUER P320 shows.

The only complaint I have about the interior is that it is a bit vertically cramped. The roof of the compartment is slightly sloped, and as a result there isn’t much clearance at the front of the box. However, if you keep your handgun flush against the back of the box it should close without a problem.

Getting into the box, however, is the other way in which The Gunbox separates itself from the competition.

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There are two methods of getting into the box — well, three actually — and neither require the push of any buttons.

The first metod of entry is using a pre-programmed RFID device. The box ships with an RFID bracelet that can be worn by the user, but that’s somewhat less useful if there are two people living in the house and both need quick access to the device. The solution is multiple RFID devices, and The Gunbox sells additional accessories on their website for just that purpose. You can program in a new RFID ring or perhaps an RFID sticker to open your box, but then there’s the problem.

The more RFID chips that can open your box, the less secure it is. So as a second option, The Gunbox can be programmed to open when a number of fingers are pressed against the fingerprint reader. The reader does indeed seem to work, but a simple hack seems to defeat the lock completely.

The above video shows me defeating The Gunbox’s fingerprint reader with nothing more than a piece of paper, some Scotch Tape, and a pencil. There was a talk a few years ago at DEFCON about defeating fingerprint readers using everything from this simple trick to dental grade silicone and I was so jazzed to be able to try every trick in the book on this device, but alas the box opened after the very first attempt.

Option #3 is probably the most secure, and it can be activated by flipping a switch on the under side of the lid. In this third mode, the person opening the box would require both a valid RFID chip as well as the proper fingerprint at the same time to access the firearm. More secure, but also easy to screw up when seconds count.

Speaking of things going wrong, having a battery powered gun safe might seem to be as smart as having a battery powered gun, but The Gunbox seems to have that area under control. The box is powered by a wall-mounted charger, and in the event of a power failure the box will continue to work for up to 8 hours. After that, you’re on your own.

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The entire point of a gun vault is to buy you time. No gun safe is impenetrable — every storage medium has their failure point. I was a little disappointed to see that the fingerprint reader could be so easily tricked, but I was glad that it was at least somewhat functional. In the end The Gunbox seems to work acceptably well at its task, namely that of preventing unwanted people from accessing your firearms. It leaves the choice to the end user of which access method to use and how much security they want to implement, which was definitely an appreciated touch.

It works, and it looks good doing it. It’ll keep most of the curious fingers off of your gun, but determined attackers will still not have any issues. Then again, if you have a determined attacker in your house, you should be counting on the contents of the box and not the sleek silver exterior.

Specifications: The Gunbox

Internal Dimensions: 8.9in Wide x 6.5in Tall x 1.5in Deep
Price: $299

Rating (out of five stars):

Overall * * * *
Twice the price of the other biometric gun safes, but also comes with twice the options. And a better appearance. Not bad.

85 Responses to Gear Review: The Gunbox

  1. Here is an idea; why not integrate the safe into a sofa or other furniture item? A theif can simply carry out a safe box, while it is much harder to haul out a safe-integrated sofa unnoticed.

  2. Call me ‘crazy’, that thing doesn’t look any more “secure” than the gun under my pillow with me sleeping on it.

    • I think its for people with kids. It looks like you could break into the thing with a Swiss army knife.

      I will continue to leave my .357 on the floor by my bed. I know from experience that in reality, scary, confusing situations would make lining the correct finger up on this thing difficult for sure. I mean, think of how difficult it can be to hit the snooze button sometimes. This would be 10x harder.

      I don’t think it’s a /bad/ product per se. It just fills a need that I don’t happen to have.

      • Exactly my point. I’d never consider *storing* a weapom in that soda can, so why use it at all? If my weapon isn’t locked in the actualy gun safe, it’s on my person.

  3. I went to their website where they say the shell is cast aluminum. The picture of the interior could easily lead one to believe it’s a molded plastic housing.

  4. I do not and will not support locking up your defense pistol, People who do this are ANTI-2A,someone is kicking in your front door at 2am and you have seconds to react and react fast…The law be dammed , we are talking life or death………

    • A little extreme in your reaction, are we? You go too far in your accusations concerning the 2A. Maybe a good stiff drink and a moment of reflection, eh!

      • Just read a story about someone breaking in a house at 2AM , 62 year old saved the family .. like it or leave it … when only seconds count a good 357 mag does the job and the cops are 20 to 30 min.s away if you can even make a 911 call ….WELCOME TO REAL WORLD>>>

        • I certainly agree that if you’re awake you’re best off with it on your person. However, if I’m asleep or out of the house I’m not leaving a firearm unsecured with a toddler around, house cleaner in here sometimes, guests of my wife (to include more toddlers), etc etc. The nightstand lockbox I have is sufficient to keep these sorts of folks safe from themselves yet allow rapid access for me should there be a criminal bump in the night. Obviously in the event of that criminal bump I’d rather I were already awake and bright-eyed with HD piece in hand and finger on the exterior light switch and dog barking, but I accept the small sacrifice of a gun vault to keep the roscoe away from curious types.

      • In study of self defense a attacker can move 45 feet or more in 1 min.or less You that must shoot soon as you can … NO TIME to think …shoot or DIE…

        • It’s a pretty big assumption to think an attacker can still move that fast at night or make a beeline to where you are sleeping, though.

    • which defensive pistol? my EDC is on me or on the nightstand when I go to bed. My home defense pistol is locked up in my quick access safe. that’s what I will go for if I have the time. My 19 year old has a 9mm in his quick access safe along with the magazines to the pistol caliber carbine. It takes literally a few seconds to open the safe, retrieve the hand gun, and assume a defensive posture.

      Your statement that locking up your defensive pistol is no more anti-2A than not having a pistol at all. People have to do what is right for them and their families.

    • The first thing I do every night when I walk in to my bedroom is unlock my pistol safe and set one of the pistols on the opened door, the other 2 are easily accessible after that.

    • So am I still anti 2A because I want to lock up my firearm from my kid, and still have something available on the nightstand? I’m pretty sure true anti 2A people would love to see the headline of a kid killing himself because his dad didn’t lock up a loaded firearm. If you don’t want to lock up your firearms, that’s your business, but don’t call someone anti 2A because we choose to follow gun safety rules and lock up a loaded firearm.

      • Only the LAW is anti-2A, you can do or not do as you want…that is the real point. and this is not being ready for trouble .

        • Not sure what war zone you live in but where I live, crime is very low. Even so, I’m installing a full security system (w/ cameras) and also the windows on the first floor will be treated with a solar film that will make shattering a window very difficult. I have a baby gate at the top of the steps to the second floor that a would-be intruder would struggle with in the dark. Hell, I struggle with it in broad daylight. I sincerely doubt they can get past all that faster than I can arm myself.

          Guns don’t have to be your first line of defense, your home should be.

        • We had a home attack last year , bad guys left inter state and hit a house at will 2 guys attacked front door and the 3 rd. bad guy came in the back window , owner 62 shot him with a 357 mag in leg. after shooting they run off. MORAL … BE READY .. so NO such thing as a safe.. area …. now seeing reports that ISIS has crossed in from MEXICO… BE READY and I be dammed if I will lock up my defense weapon …. BEST OF be safe to all….and the bad guys shot the front door 45 times it held .wow

  5. Surprisingly enough I could see this working for someone like me. I don’t need a safe necessarily to store my gun in, but for those times when I’m asleep or need to take my gun off for showers or changing clothes it would be plenty to keep my roving two year old’s from getting into it. My only concern is with it being an electronic lock does it have any sort of delay from the time you activate the lock until it opens? I was trying some models out a few months ago and found a couple of fingerprint safes that took from 2 to 6 seconds for the lock to trigger and then release. That’s a lot of time in my book. Is this one near instantaneous?

      • True, but they do require me to think. Which if a 2 a.m. break-in ever occured I’m not sure would be my greatest attribute.

        • The GunBox also requires you to remember which finger you need to open your box, which takes more brainpower than remembering to flip off a safety. I think the “don’t have capacity to think” problem is overstated. I would argue that having a little time to collect oneself can be an asset.

          Then again, I’m an extremely light sleeper and live in a creaky old house. No intruder would get past the third stair without waking me up.

        • Funny enough, I’ve never heard of someone using 2am practice drills to be prepared for such an event. Doesn’t the army train people to immediately get to attention and form up upon being woken up in the barracks?

          If they can train that behavior, you’d think people could use drills to train certain behaviors when awaken in the middle of the night by the alarm or something.

        • I actually think that being forced to engage your brain before arming yourself in the middle of the night is a good thing. I like the idea of forcing myself to pause and think, even for just a few seconds, before drawing my gun.

  6. The RFID ring is a great option. Only eight hours on a backup charge is not….unless that time does not include a proper battery backup.

    I’m intrigued, but the price of entry is way too high for a married guy like me…..

      • having to get permission from the spousal unit to spend $299 . . . . . We all have our limits. fortunately, for me, I am the sole breadwinner and pay all of the bills. . . . very easy to hide purchases

      • Married with a baby and a new house. Budgets are tight. My wife is all in for firearms purchases, but a 100 gunvault wins the feature vs price contest.

        This bad boy gets pricey with all of the options and extra RFID devices needed.

        • I don’t think budgets being tight or loose have much of anything to do with being married… 😉 I just think it’s funny (and glad I chose to never get married again) that the perception is married = broke or no financial freedom.

  7. Not fond of requiring a bracelet (might get lost or damaged) and not fond of fingerprint ID. Too much can happen to your fingerprints – cuts, abrasions, dirt, oil, blood.

    Safe storage is a must with kids around. I will stick with standard quick action safes.

    • Anyone who’s tried to live with the iPhone fingerprint sensor will shy away from this box. The fingerprint sensor works just fine, when I’m moving slowly, and putting my finger on the sensor is JUST that right way it likes. But every one in a while, it just won’t work – and if I’m in a rush or moving quickly, the odds of missing it go up. And that’s with clean, undamaged fingertips!

      I wouldn’t accept a pistol that “almost always” works with my self-defense ammo, so I’m not ready to trust my life to any fingerprint sensor based on today’s technology when seconds may very well count for everything.

  8. There are a number of disguised gun holders that look like clocks, books, etc, but they are not secure if you have children too young to understand firearms safety. I like the V-line Quick Vault (Closet Vault for long guns) which installs in your inner (usually closet) wall between the 2×4 studs. Its use is to lock the gun up when you are not home, but have it accessible when you get home. Installed in the back of your closet with clothes hanging in front, it is pretty inconspicuous. It would not be as quick as having the gun on your belt, but it is a decent place to store a gun while you are not home, and is quicker to open than a gun safe. No batteries required. HOWEVER: if the wall studs in your closet are on 24″ centers rather than 16″ centers, be prepared for about a 3 hour sequential vortex involving lots of cursing while you try to fit additional 2×4 spacers in the opening to secure the vault. (http://vlineind.com)

  9. oh come now Nick, you yourself posted a video of you defeating the poorly secured biometric reader with pencil, paper & tape: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inNQ0e_tjoM

    as you cited above:

    The above video shows me defeating The Gunbox’s fingerprint reader with nothing more than a piece of paper, some Scotch Tape, and a pencil.

    so, how could you give 4 stars/recommendation to a ‘security’ product that’s NOT secure?

    plus, it looks like George Foreman Grill 3.0. Now, if the intent WAS to be inconspicuous and REALLY REALLY look like a GF grill so it can blend in with other tabletop kitchen appliances, it’d be one thing. But it looks like an imitation of an imitation, with a very poorly executed ‘white’ ala iRobot or Tom Cruise’s flick Oblivion ‘design’ sensibilities.

    and even function-wise, the locking mechanism itself is screwed onto the plastic lid, with no noticeably secure metal sub-frame. Even though it seems like the sub-box inside the plastic exterior seems to be metal ‘box within a box,’ but it’s pointless for a gun’safe’ with a ‘box within a box’ design, to NOT extend the basis for which the locking mechanism is to be attached to the said metal sub-box.

    It’s a poor design. Nick, you’ve shown you could defeat this easily, which no doubt other thieves would, too. Granted, defeating this box once invading a homeowner would be too much a bother, to be a target of opportunity; the product does buy some time (which ALL security products can only do, in the aggregate) before fully defeated, but not enough, for a product that purports to provide such ‘solution.’

    If so driven, a thief can easily get a Domino’s pizza warmer ‘bag’ to block any RFID signal then take it under a basement of their home or wherever then literally melt through plastic portion of the box with a simple blowtorch, or common gardening shear or a sheetmetal shear, then can take any metal tool to pry it open to steal the gun inside.

    if this product was infinitely better than other single pistol safe designs already on the market, it’d be one thing, but as it’s designed, it really doesn’t offer any solutions to an existing problem to warrant a purchase, over the others.

    this is what happens when the ‘touchpad’ generation takes over design: they honestly think items related to guns can be ‘smartphone-d.’

    until lightsaber and blaster tech becomes secure or the norm, anything related to the function and accessing a lifesaving tool should be simple and ‘dumb’ as possible, IMHO.

    • The shell is “aircraft strength aluminum alloy,” not plastic. Definitely agree that it looks like injection molded plastic due to being powdercoated white and being a cast piece, etc, but it isn’t — it’s aluminum.

    • It’s all about time.

      This isn’t designed to keep your gun safe for ever and ever from a determined attacker, this is designed to keep your kids from getting their hands on your gun while still letting you get to it fairly quickly.

      Compared to other small safes designed for similar purposes, it’s on par if not better. The biometrics aren’t foolproof, but no biometrics ever are. It’s one factor in an optional two factor authentication process, and that’s something new.

      I like it. I reviewed it warts and all so you can form your own opinions, and you’re more than welcome to them.

      • Thanks for updatin’ Nick. Indeed, as far as time-to-access aspect, I whole-heartedly agree, as stated previously:

        Granted, defeating this box once invading a homeowner would be too much a bother, to be a target of opportunity; the product does buy some time (which ALL security products CAN only do, in the aggregate) before fully defeated, but not enough, for a product that purports to provide such ‘solution.’

      • If you don’t have children in the house then the only time that every firearm in said house should actually be secured is if you are not home.
        Look at it this way, things like multiple locking doors, windows and burglar alarms are intended as reactionary gaps to give you time to react in a defensive scenario. Similarly every barrier between your hand and your firearm is a reactionary gap that you have voluntarily ceded to potential criminals.
        If you have children then yes, by all means, secure the weapon in some manner, but it shouldn’t be anything too onerous.
        If you don’t have children and are serious about home defense then you’re deliberately degrading your defensive capability by securing every single gun all the time.

  10. Well, I don’t go around leaving smudgy fingerprints on loose pieces of paper, so I think I’d be fine. However, the opening mechanism should be simpler. Why not just a spring loaded lid that pops open once the lock is disengaged? I guess it makes it seem high tech if it opens slowly to the sound of grinding plastic gears.

    And yeah, the price. A bit much. The purpose of these types of safes is to prevent or slow down someone from getting to your gun while allowing you quick access. There are less expensive options that work just as well.

    • The two rods you see, one is a spring, the other a shock. It has a controlled open because it’s designed to be mounted in any orientation. Do you want to have it mounted upside down, open and fling your loaded gun toward you? I don’t.

  11. Nice but useless. Also if you take your pistol everywhere with you, (for example you are caring your firearm when when sitting on the couch) you do not need something like this.

  12. Or how about you just teach your kids to not mess with things that don’t belong to them? My home defense guns are stored in various drawers in condition 3. I know where they are and who has access to them. There is no reason why a condition 3 handgun can’t be left loaded in an easily accessible space if the people in your family have half a brain in their heads.

  13. No kids, just the wife and I. My gun is in my bedside table and her gun is in hers. Oh, and the 6.8 is in the corner on my side.

  14. *shrug*

    Lock the gun up in a Secure-It safe with a keyed lock.

    Hide key – you can even use a magnet to stick it under the bed or whatever.

    At night, unlock the safe with the key. Place the gun on the nightstand. In the morning, lock the gun back up again. Even with kids, if you can gunproof your kids (meaning they know not to come into your room while you are sleeping and shoot you in the head) this plan works.

  15. I personally bought one of these when they were “pre-order only” from the indiegogo website. I know it doesn’t replace my liberty safe for protecting my firearm but the wife and I recently had a baby and the gun under the bed idea just wasn’t secure enough and we wanted to have quick access to the firearm. I waited about 3 months before they finally started shipping which was to be expected and a nonissue. I have a biometric safe to hold our valuables and after a few attempts to open it without success I usually just manually punch in the code so I wanted the Gunbox strictly for the RFID capability because I don’t trust biometric scanners.

    When I first received it I wasn’t happy that they went from a ring or bracelet option to only having the bracelet as an option. It is very cumbersome and the RFID chip has to be basically placed on top of the lid which led me to wearing it upside down on my wrist for easy access. The rubber that they use for the wristband is a super sticky kind so within 2 weeks of having it the first time I put a coat on the bracelet grabbed onto the inside of the coat and ripped the rubber band in half.

    The Gunbox did ship me out a new one free of charge and I received it within a few days. Finally they started shipping the ring at an additional $100 cost to the consumer! They claim it has to be made by a jeweler and that it costs them more then $50 actual manufacturing costs. Within having the ring for 10 days I heard something hit the hard wood floor in my kitchen. I look at my $100 ring and the front plastic piece with the RFID chip is what had hit the floor.

    Had I been out anywhere or on the carpet I wouldn’t have even known it came off. At that point I had enough and figured I would give the biometric reader a try as it seems to be my last option. After programing my finger print I tried opening the safe numerous times. It worked 1 out of every 4 or 5 times. When seconds count and your life relies on a product you don’t want it to work 20-25% of the time. I have called the company twice and left messages for the VP of Operations Rob Simpson and still no response. There customer service is completely lacking along with there product in my opinion.

    Unfortunately I am not in the 30 day window to return the product or it would be on it’s way back already.

  16. I live in Hawai’i where the average lifespan of electronics is about two years. How embarrassing to try and retrieve your firearm on day 800……..

  17. Ever see mercury on aluminum? Not that the thief would have the foresight for that or be willing to wait that long.

  18. These things are an enigma.

    Home burglaries are much more common than home invasions. A burglar will grab that thing and go. Any home safe that’s not bolted down securely is little more than security theatre.

    It may have some limited value in keeping young children away from your gat. But it has the same weakness as a “smart gun.” Dead battery = no gun.

  19. “in the event of a power failure the box will continue to work for up to 8 hours.”

    For the first year or two, perhaps. If I had one of these, I’d make sure to get in the habit of testing its battery-backup mode at least monthly. There will come a point when the battery has lived its useful life and no longer holds a charge. And Mr. Murphy will be there to make sure that that’s when you need to get into the box…

  20. This gun box sucks. I’ll stay with my tried and true AR15 in the drywall approach. Put one in every room. You take your fist and you bust it into the drywall (don’t hit a stud – I know where the studs are). You grab the AR15 hidden within – then rip it out of the wall and yank back on that charging handle – good to go. Since there is one in each room and you know where they are you are good to go no matter which room you are in when the criminals bust in your home.

    • That is hilarious! I’m not doubting you, or anything, but the image I have is Ahhnald busting down his wall to get a gun. Again, if it works for you, gopher it… but it seems a little “Hollywood” to me.

  21. Did they fix the issue where a Hex key through the bottom can open it?

    I had seen a group previously (4gunguys in an interview on PracticallyTactical) state that one issue they had with it, was a Hex key through the bottom hole on Gunbox, if moved around would open it up.

  22. I saw this on ENDO a few weeks ago. The general consensus is that it’s not suitable for really securing your gun. At most it’s good enough to keep the kids away from it. A thief will simply toss it in his or her bag and crack it open at home where they have time to work at it. Also, the RFID is susceptible to jamming or hacking, and it looks like the biometrics are as well.

    My procedure right now is to have an available weapon on me at home. Home carry, it’s no big deal. I have control of the firearm so kids can’t get at it and I have it ready on the off chance of a home invasion. All other guns are secure and locked away, but I do have one ready to go at all times. One gives me enough chance to respond to an incoming threat in this small apartment. When I get a bigger residence, of course my HD plans will change.

  23. “This gun box sucks. I’ll stay with my tried and true AR15 in the drywall approach. Put one in every room. You take your fist and you bust it into the drywall (don’t hit a stud – I know where the studs are). You grab the AR15 hidden within – then rip it out of the wall and yank back on that charging handle – good to go. Since there is one in each room and you know where they are you are good to go no matter which room you are in when the criminals bust in your home.” LOL, and when you find out your cat or dog just knocked over a vase you can go to work repairing your wall. Not to mention that the time it takes to knock down the drywall will likely be much longer than it takes to open a safe like this or any other safe for that matter. Pretty funny post though. BTW do you recommend sleeping with a sledge hammer to bust through the drywall or just using a karate kick or three? 😉

  24. I told my wife that Tesla came out with a wafflemaker (our old one recently broke). She wants one now.

    WHAT HAVE I DONE?

  25. “There’s been a boom recently in the number of bedside handgun vaults coming onto the market, but they all suffer from the same problems — namely they all look butt-ugly. Enter The Gunbox, a beautifully styled single firearm occupancy vault designed to not only provide some high-tech security, but to also look stylish while doing it.”

    Still ugly. Looks like an Apple product.

  26. Batteries only last 8 hours in case of power failure and no key backup in case the batteries die. Ya, I’m gonna have to pass. That is just unacceptable considering the battery in my $100 gunvault will last 9 months to a year and it has a backup key in case there is no power from either the AC adapter or the battery.

  27. I asked this question on the TacTv video with this box, they actually took it down the first time.

    I would need a backup lock, something like a barrel or wafer lock. If for what ever reason the battery fails and you can’t charge it, you would have to break it to get your gun and if you needed it ASAP you would be screwed. Wafer locks and barrel locks suck, but this isn’t really meant as a safe I imagine it would be sufficient.

    Personally I like simplex locks, for ease and speed of use in the dark along with being as hard to defeat as any other lock box out there (most people will steal the whole box anyway).

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