SHOT Show: Vara Safety Reach Biometric Holster Safe [VIDEO]

Vara Reach holster safe

Dan Z for TTAG

Vara Safety’s Reach holster safe has come a long way since its early prototype days. Vara says their innovative open holster-style biometric gun lock is faster to access than a biometric lock box.

TTAG’s had one in hand for a few months now for testing. Look for a full review in the next few weeks.


  1. avatar d says:

    Biometrics is a terrible idea for anything that your life depends on.

    It won’t work if you finger has cuts, is dirty, greasy, bloody, Etc. Don’t walk from Biometrics, run

    1. avatar raz-0 says:

      You don’t need to run from biometrics, you just need to only buy into smart implementations.

      For example if you have opted to use a bed-side safe, and start with a reasonable design that isn’t easily compromised, biometrics can make it better. Take an iteration on that design that adds biometrics that makes access faster than it previously was and still leaves you the existing access options, and it is a better, faster product provided you know the limitations and when to skip the biometrics.

      1. avatar CWT says:

        Because when the biometric system fails it tends to take the other measures offline. Biometrics are fine if your life doesn’t depend on them.

      2. avatar d says:

        Sorry raz-0,

        Anything that does not work 100% the FIRST time in all circumstances, is not usable for defensive purposes.

        1. avatar Kyle says:

          Hell, even a straight forward Crossbreed holster could fail (dont ask me how, but i’m sure it could).

          I’ll wait and see how tag testing works out. Dont think I’d want one, but I’ve no issue with someone who would.

        2. avatar d says:


          What about “It won’t work if you finger has cuts, is dirty, greasy, bloody, Etc” do you not understand?

      3. avatar Anymouse says:

        I disagree. I have laptops and phones with better processors than any safe, and I often have to scan multiple times or use different fingers to get them to unlock. I like RFID systems, like Hornady Rapid Safes, or push button combos, like Gunvault. Also, how secure is a plastic holster? Does it meet the requirements of any jurisdiction that has “safe storage” laws? A minute with a saw should defeat it.

    2. avatar SoCalJack says:

      I have a Sentry Safe pistol box that can be opened using a key, keypad or fingerprint (mulitple can be programed in). One touch open makes it may favorite between my other pistol boxes hidden through out the house, a Fort Knox and a converted Ammo can with combination lock. If one goes biometric, like anything else in life, have a few back up plans in place.

  2. avatar Fred says:

    Interesting concept, but when you get your test sample, be sure to test it with wet or damp fingertips; my cellphone won’t unlock with the slightest trace or dampness on my fingers.

    Every time my cell phone refuses to unlock for me, I thank God that it’s only my cell phone and I’m not trying to pull the trigger on my carry gun.

  3. avatar L says:

    $300 product to put your gun on your nightstand. Why not just put it on your nightstand?

    1. avatar Jason says:

      People have kids, dude.

      1. avatar L says:

        Are you that insecure about how you raised your kids you have to pay $300 for an electronic no-gun-touchy nanny?

        1. avatar BusyBeef says:

          Kids are stupid, but even stupider are your kid’s friends.

        2. avatar jason says:

          Don’t be an idiot. No such thing as a reliably trained 3 yo.

      2. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

        I raised my toddler around guns. She never touched them. I only had to lock up my bed side gun if there were other kids in the home.

    2. avatar Curmudgeon says:

      Everybody has different storage requirements. If leaving a firearm unsecured works for you then do it. If this works as advertised it may be a good solution for many firearm owners, hence the point of doing a full review and reporting on it.

      BTW, on the nightstand storage point, how many people go to bed with dirty, greasy fingers? Wet I understand, but probably not after being woken up in the middle of the night by noises downstairs.

  4. avatar Smart tech says:

    So far I like what I see. I’d at least be interested to see the full review.

    I would have thought that a “smart” holster would be an achievable first step in so-called safe gun tech. For one thing, holsters can be bigger and they can have batteries built into the holster (like where the weapon mounted light would be, or where the rubber protrusion at the bottom of the holster would be). The holster would cover the trigger guard and it wouldn’t let go unless the biometric was triggered.

    You could put the sensor right where your pointer finger would rest on the holster, so it takes no change in hold. The holster could release the pistol quickly, but you could also just touch the biometric and release the grip pre-emptively if you sensed danger. It could re-engage the grip on the pistol after a user-specified duration.

    And of course, to have government encourage production of smart tech, they could go to shall issue states and tell them, anybody who uses this “smart” holster shall be issued a CCW. Users of “smart” holster can carry into otherwise prohibited spaces.

    But I’m just dreaming, huh?

    1. avatar Smart tech says:

      I meant to say *go to may issue states…


    2. avatar L says:


    3. avatar d says:

      “So far I like what I see. I’d at least be interested to see the full review”

      Why would you be interested in it after reading the first comment?

  5. avatar Jr says:

    I work in a machine shop so my fingers are regularly scarred, burned, dirty, etc. The fingerprint unlock on my iPhone works first try about 10% of the time. Biometrics will still have to improve a lot before I will trust my life them.

    1. avatar D says:

      By definition, biometrics (Fingerprint scans) will never work with scarred, burned, dirty fingers because the patterns of the changes to your fingerprints will never be identical.

      That is of course is unless they invent an instantaneous DNA scanner.

  6. avatar Shire-man says:

    Don’t just test how it works. You need to try to break into it with any number of print spoofing techniques used to break into phones and laptops.

  7. avatar American Patriot says:

    The only way I associate electronics & guns together is either lasers or lights!

  8. avatar CCDWGUY says:

    We don’t have kids in the house but I have still thought about some type of safe, just in case other people are here even for short periods of time. Have not found one I’d purchase yet.
    One question you should ask and also test in your review of this is what if you are left handed. Looks like this will only work if you draw with your right hand.

  9. avatar Gregolas says:

    I’m sure it works-until it doesn’t.

  10. avatar tim says:

    Does it work with a gun that has a silencer?

  11. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    this is great. i’m going to holster my armatix and place it all in the biometric safe inside my retina scanner vault out in the fallout shelter.
    or just mexican carry in my string tie sweats.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      -> in one of these <- goes in above sentence somewhere.

  12. avatar RGP says:

    Meanwhile, my iPhoney hasn’t recognized my fingerprint about 40 times already today. Great concept, bad idea.

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