The best hidden gun safes for discreet security

Are hidden gun safes a legitimate option or a gimmick?

Best Overall

Tactical Traps End Table

Tactical Traps End Table

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Best Value

Lockdown In Plain Sight Shelf

Lockdown In Plain Sight Shelf

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Honorable Mention

V-Line Tactical Closet Vault

V-Line Tactical Closet Vault

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Whether you want to admit it or not, there’s something undeniably cool about hidden gun safes. Having a pistol appear in a backlit drawer that pops out of a nightstand, or sliding a mirror aside to reveal a stack of rifles in the wall, feels like something straight out of a Hollywood action flick — and far too cool for our own homes. 

But what if you could actually have such a thing? It turns out that there are several compelling products on the market that can turn your house into a covert arsenal. We found gun safes that hide in plain sight and keep your firearms readily accessible. One concern is that, by trading steel walls and sophisticated locks for a disguise, you’ll have to compromise on security. Are hidden gun safes a viable option or just something to show off to your friends? That’s a fair concern that we’ll dive into before it’s all said and done.

In the meantime, let’s check out some of the best hidden gun safes out there and figure out which one — if any — belongs in your home.

Methodology

When we wrote our recommendations for the best gun safes, we looked for reliable locking mechanisms and anti-tampering features. This time around, we focused on ways to keep your guns from being found in the first place. People in the market for a hidden gun safe likely prioritize easy access, so we looked for products that can hide in plain sight and be opened rapidly. We also tried to appeal to a broad audience by choosing products that aren’t too specific to a certain decorating style. As always, we looked for options to satisfy a range of budgets.

Best Overall

Tactical Traps End Table

See It

Best Value

Lockdown In Plain Sight Shelf

See It

Honorable Mention

V-Line Tactical Closet Vault

See It

Best Premium

Tactical Walls 1450 Hinged Mirror

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Our verdict on hidden gun safes

We’re glad to see solid options available across the price range. If you need to keep costs down, the Lockdown shelf is a great solution. If you want the flexibility to move your hidden gun safe from room to room, go for the Tactical Traps table. If you plan on staying in your current home for the foreseeable future, a built-in wall safe should have you covered no matter what. Did we miss your favorite hidden gun safe? Share it in the comments section and tell us what you like most about it.

What to consider when buying a hidden gun safe

We know it’s tempting to pick the most creative hidden gun safe you can find, then show it off to everyone you know, but that defeats the purpose. Remember that a hidden gun safe that’s easily found is a lot like putting stickers for your favorite gun-maker on your car; you’re really just advertising what’s free for the taking when you’re not around. We’re here to help you narrow down which type of locking mechanisms and structural components might work best for you. We’ll also explain some of the key features and pricing considerations of hidden gun safes.

Types of hidden gun safes

Locked vs. unlocked

Most hidden gun safes do not use a lock to secure your firearm; instead, they’re disguised as something other than a gun safe to keep your weapon from being found in the first place. There is a certain amount of risk associated with this approach, but it can be effective. You can stack the deck in your favor by avoiding hidden gun safes that draw attention or are overtly firearm-related.

One popular security measure is to stash an RFID device nearby and use it to open your hidden gun safe. Manufacturers like Tactical Traps provide furniture with an object that has been equipped with an RFID card that will open the safe when placed in a specific location. Others, like V-Line, use a traditional, mechanical lock that doesn’t require batteries or any kind of key.

Freestanding vs. installed

The most convenient hidden gun safes are freestanding, meaning there’s no installation required. Safes designed as furniture, picture frames, or clocks can be placed in your home and immediately put to use. You can reposition them easily and take them with you when you move. Size is the biggest limitation of this style. Coffee tables and some wall art may be able to accommodate something like an AR pistol, but most are designed for full-size handguns or smaller.

If you’re open to performing a little home renovation, you can get some really creative hidden gun safes. Some of our favorites are designed to be built into a wall between studs, then covered with a hinged or sliding mirror. These are well-hidden and large enough to accommodate long guns. The downside is the need to modify your home’s walls and repair the hole in the event you move. If you opt for this style, a good wall scanner can help you locate studs, wiring, and plumbing before opening up your walls.

Key features of hidden gun safes

Easy access

Most gun owners keep their firearms in a private area of the house, like their bedroom or closet. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it might not always be the quickest location to get to. If you don’t want guns on display or in an obvious safe in your living room, a hidden gun safe is a convenient solution. By hiding your firearm in plain sight, you can keep it someplace that’s readily accessible when you’re up and about.

Many hidden gun safes don’t have any kind of locking mechanism, and those that do usually incorporate an RFID-style lock. This makes them extremely easy to open in a hurry. This obviously removes a layer of security, but if a well-disguised gun safe is used correctly, no one should ever know your firearm is present to begin with. Only you can determine what’s best for you.

Protection against unwanted access

While hidden gun safes offer quick, easy access, they’re designed to prevent anyone but you from getting ahold of your firearms. In the event of a break-in, a small safe might just delay the inevitable if a burglar decides to take it with them and crack it at their leisure. That won’t happen if they can’t find it in the first place.

If your strategy is built around a hidden gun safe, don’t provide clues about its presence. Even if no firearms are visible, it doesn’t take a master thief to see a closet full of ammunition, cleaning kits, range bags, and a full-length mirror to do the math and find your hiding place. 

Alternative uses

Hidden gun safes can be great at their intended purpose, but they aren’t limited to it. First of all, if you use one to store a pistol, remember to include other essentials like a spare magazine and a tactical flashlight. That way, everything you need is in one place.

Beyond weapons, hidden safes are great for hiding valuables like jewelry, passports, and important documents. It can be comforting to know that all your critical information is out of sight and within reach. Just remember that most hidden gun safes offer no degree of fire protection.

Hidden gun safe pricing

The range of prices in the world of hidden gun safes varies tremendously. On the cheap end, you can carve out the pages of an old book for free and have a prison-style hideaway. On the other end of the spectrum are hidden doors leading to massively expensive vaults like my personal favorite, the arsenal in Boondock Saints (Irish flag not included).

The hidden gun safes on our list fall between about $75 for the Lockdown In Plain Sight Shelf and more than $800 for certain configurations of the Tactical Traps 1450 Hinged Mirror. Spending more doesn’t always get you a better result; solidify an overall firearm security strategy before diving into the deep end of hidden gun safes. If you want one place for all your gear, a large, in-wall vault is a fantastic solution. If you just want to keep one handgun accessible, there’s no reason you shouldn’t spend less for something simpler. 

Tips and tricks

There’s more to using a hidden gun safe than clicking “buy now” and hanging it on your wall. Here are some of the things we think you should keep in mind as a responsible gun owner.

  • Use common sense. Kids will mess with anything they can get their hands on, so never use a hidden gun safe where a child could access it.
  • Avoid hidden gun safes with branding that gives them away.
  • Pick a safe that fits in with the other furniture and decor in your home so it doesn’t stand out.
  • If your safe is disguised as a picture frame, put a personal photo on display. If it’s disguised as a clock, set the time.
  • Resist the temptation to show off your hidden gun safe. It’s not hidden if every friend, coworker, and delivery driver hears about it.
  • It might be a good idea to keep your home defense weapon in a hidden gun safe by the bed, and the rest of your collection in a traditional safe.
  • If your hidden gun safe uses batteries, set a reminder to replace them. Just don’t name it “replace the batteries in the gun safe disguised as a bookshelf on the living room’s east wall.”

FAQs for hidden gun safes

You’ve got questions, Task & Purpose has answers.

Q: Are hidden gun safes secure?

A: Yes, just not in the same way as traditional gun safes. Hidden gun safes are easy for anyone to open, but hard to find. There’s a case to be made for each kind of gun safe. 

Q: Are hidden gun safes fireproof?

A: Most hidden gun safes are not fireproof. If you don’t have a way to protect your firearms from fire, take out an insurance policy or be prepared to replace them out of pocket.

Q: Are hidden gun safes legal?

A: There are no states that prohibit hidden gun safes, but some states do require you to lock up your firearms when they’re in storage, according to the Giffords Law Center. Also, some of those states require you to use an approved locking device. This could be a safe and/or a trigger lock. Either way, you should review local and state laws to ensure compliance.

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Scott Murdock

Commerce Reporter

Scott Murdock is a Task & Purpose commerce writer and Marine Corps veteran. Since 2020, he’s selflessly committed himself to experiencing the best gear, gadgets, stories, and alcoholic beverages in the service of you, the reader.