The Best Handgun Safes for Preppers

Handgun Safes For Preppers (1)

Courtesy Dave Goetzinger

By Dave Goetzinger

As readers well know, gun sales shot up when Covid-19 was declared a pandemic. People who had never considered buying firearms or the prepper lifestyle were buying bags of rice, medical supplies, gas masks, freezers. Then they headed to the gun shops, and after filling out their background checks and putting down deposits on new handguns, they went home and went online to shop for handgun safes.

Quite a few of them ended up at my site, But the situation was bleak. Visitors wanted to know how cheaply they could secure their guns, having spent most of their remaining savings on guns they hadn’t yet fired.

They also wanted to know about preparing for home invasions. But I had no safes to recommend and I wasn’t providing therapy for people who probably should have stopped binge-watching The Walking Dead during Lockdown.

What I did was hit up every manufacturer of handgun safes I felt I could endorse and asked for a product to review. These, combined with a safe I previously examined, comprise a short list of items I now call Handgun Safe Research Approved safes.

The safes below all have pre-drilled mounting holes and are resistant to an EMP (electro-magnetic pulse). All are California DOJ approved.

Fort Knox Original Pistol Box

I had already examined the Fort Knox Original Pistol Box and endorsed it prior to the outbreak. The Fort Knox Original Pistol Box has a distinctive powder-coat finish called “Silvervein,” and it features a 5-button Simplex lock. The main features of the Original Pistol Box are the Simplex lock, its 10-gauge steel construction, and the gas strut that supports the heavy lid. The safe also has “egg-crate” style foam lining the bottom.

American Security (AMSEC) manufactures an identical box, also sold under the Stealth Tactical brand name. AMSEC manufactures both safes. Because these are based on the Fort Knox Original Pistol Box, I’m letting the Fort Knox pistol box be a stand-in for both of the AMSEC versions.

The only significant difference between the boxes is that in the AMSEC box, a steel plate covers the lock inside to prevent the lock from being knocked through. However, I’ve seen no evidence online that this is likely to happen, and no one has ever demonstrated that such an attack could be accomplished easily.

Titan Pistol Vault

The Titan Pistol Vault is a compact, strongly built handgun safe that also features the 5-button Simplex lock. In fact, the designer and owner of this product, Matt Miresmaili, once worked for KABA, the company responsible for the original 5-button Simplex lock design. Matt is also a mechanical engineer, so he was able to solve all the security problems long before going into production.

The Titan Pistol Vault comes with a lot of hardware that gives the owner a range of mounting options. In my video about the device, I demonstrate a quick-and-dirty installation under a desk. The device can also be mounted under a bed on the frame, on a headboard, or on a wall. In addition, the safe can be released from its mount to function as a portable case.

V-Line Brute

I was so impressed with the V-Line Brute that I placed it at the top of my recommendations list on YouTube. A lot of thought went into its design, and the details add up to this being an exceptional handgun safe. This device also relies on a Simplex lock for access.

Made of 10-gauge steel, the Brute has a deep lid profile that covers the front and sides of the box, preventing someone from gaining purchase with a pry bar. The lid also has a handle piece welded onto it that surrounds the faceplate of the lock, making it virtually impossible to pry at the lock.

Inside, the gas strut assists you when opening the lid, and the foam that lines the safe is perforated so that the owner can customize the interior storage.

A Note About Simplex Locks

I’ve received more questions about Simplex locks than any other matter pertaining to gun safes. So I recorded a series of videos that answer most of the questions people ask. Ever wonder how many combinations are possible with a Simplex lock? The total is 2,162, and you can learn a simple way to calculate this in my video, How Many Combinations Are Possible With a Simplex Lock?

In my video, Can a Simplex Lock Be Opened With a Magnet?, I address a widespread rumor alleging that these locks are easily opened. In my video, The Simplex Lock Hidden Defense, I demonstrate how these locks are designed to prevent forced entry. And finally, I’ve recorded the most comprehensive tutorial you’ll find on how to use these locks: How To Change Your Simplex-Lock Combination.

Rhino Metals Longhorn Strongboxes

The Rhino Metals Longhorn Strongbox series includes a couple of small safes that don’t feature Simplex locks, though they are ideal for use as handgun safes. The first one I recommend is the LSB1014.

Like the other safes in the Longhorn series, this safe has an antique style about it. The safe is key locked, and for the average person the lock is adequate. However, because of the way the safe is constructed, a person who is mechanically inclined and knows something about locks could replace the lock with something else if needed.

The other Rhino Metals safe I recommend is the LSB1818. This one is larger and features a Securam lock that’s powered by 9V battery. To operate this, you enter an access code on the entry pad, which sends power to an electronic bolt inside that ultimately frees up the main bolts in the door.

The safe is made with ample steel, and it has no extraneous holes an attacker might exploit. But the main reason I recommend this safe to preppers is that you can go online to Securam and order an entry pad that is EMP resistant.

And that’s my current recommended list. It’s a short list that continues to grow. The safes aren’t cheap, but they also aren’t cheaply made.

Why do I suggest that preppers consider these safes? Traffic to my site seems to rise and falls with the shifting tide of Covid-19 cases. Traffic also spikes following certain police-involved shootings, which the public now expects to be followed with violent protests and property destruction.

These facts keep sending people to gun shops and from there to my site. By “people” I mean just about everybody. Visitors to my site are on personal networks as well as those of Senate offices, the House of Representatives, US Courts, US Department of Justice, US Department of Defense, the White House, and municipal and university networks too numerous to list.

My visitors may not consider themselves preppers, but their actions reveal that a lot of Americans are preparing for grave eventualities, however likely or unlikely they may be.


Dave Goetzinger is the publisher of His video reviews can be seen at YouTube and Vimeo


  1. avatar Specialist38 says:


    I kind of expect to at least see MSRP in a review.

    Storage laws notwithstanding, someone with one gun probably needs to keep it on them.

    1. avatar WI Patriot says:


      Your life if you can’t get it open in time…

      1. avatar Specialist38 says:


        I don’t use any safe for defensive guns. Only to limit access to the ones I’m not carrying.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Dunno what such a teensy safe would do for a prepper, don’t they wish to protect a few tons? A gun safe starts ot as a safe, right? Mine has something over $100K in gold and jewelry, $5-6000 in cash, and a bunch of important papers besides guns. You figure it out, I was spending the cost of a safe every year for nearly 20 years on safe deposit boxes, before I figured it out.

  2. avatar RGP says:

    My preferred handgun vault is a Mernickle PS6. High ride but FAST.

  3. avatar Geoff "Ammo. LOTS of ammo..." PR says:

    It seems to me that in a ‘prepper’ situation where theft from home-business invasion and looting is a concern that hiding from discovery in the first place may be a more effective strategy…

    1. avatar Durrrrrrr says:

      Who asked you?

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Who are you?

  4. avatar enuf says:

    Well okay but I’ve no real interest in a handgun safe. I use Stack-On steel gun cabinets. Two for long guns and one that claims to be a pistol safe but it’s really just a sheet steel box with a “Looks like a safe” style about it. They all bolt to the wall frame of a walk-in closet. The long gun cabinets came as kits in a box you assemble yourself.

    Next, put a keyed lock on the closet door the gun cabinets are in.

    It’s about what you are really looking for in securing your firearms. If you want to make them too much trouble for a burglar to get into and survive a housefire, you best start piling up the dollars and doing some serious research on safes. Because none of these boxes are at all adequate to that test.

    If you just want to secure guns from idle and curious hands, child or adult, but criminals and fires are not the worry, options grow considerably.

  5. avatar Alex W. says:

    I use the Fort Knox box. Quick, robust, no battery to fail, easy to hide and has the option to be bolted to the floor. Most importantly to me, the tactile buttons and knob mean that it’s easy to open it quickly in the dark. I store four duty-sized handguns in mine.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      “No battery to fail”? My safe uses 9V battery, I keep a 6-pack on top so if one dies it will delay my entry about a minute while I replace it. It gives several months of warning it is about to die. My immediate access guns are not inside. What’s the problem?

  6. avatar possum says:

    I can just see someone sneaking into my tree and me fumbling to get the safe open. I’ve been attacked while sleeping and it was all I could do to get my hands on the fire gunm let alone open a box. Shit happens fast. But if you want to put your handgunm in a strong box be my guest.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      5-6 hand gunms in box, 4-5 not in box. Plus Mossberg.

  7. avatar No one of Consequence says:

    It’s called a “holster.”

  8. avatar possum says:

    I just thought , with all the new technology one could probably be made to open on voice command, like “open sesame” or “oh sht”, that would really help, no greasy fingers pushing buttons, or fingerprint stuff. Now if someone comes up with that it was my idea first so I want some money

    1. avatar A O says:

      The closest we got is a pistol that recognizes voice to change ammo, called the “Lawgiver”.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      “Siri, open safe, load Mossberg”.

  9. avatar John Galt says:

    I kept a lock box with a simplex lock By my bed and kept it open when I was home. No biometrics, electronics or keys EVER!!!

    The box was (my) child defense and nothing more. Any moderately determined thief could easily take the box no matter how you lag bolt it

    I had it from the time my first child could crawl and until my fourth child’s friends were known, responsible, gunsafe kids…….then I passed it on to an adult child moving out of the house. Still works as new after 30 years. Now that my kids are adults the guns are on me, strategically placed or in the safe

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Wow. Well played, sir!

  10. avatar Covfefe-19 says:

    Are any of these items made in the USA, or at least not made in China?

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