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Updated Jul 6, 2022 1:43 PM

In an unpredictable world, home defense is something no family should ever have to stress about, and a great in-wall gun safe will help do it right. From handguns or long guns, home defense or mere sporting goods, an in-wall gun safe provides secure storage for your firearms while making for a clean, unobtrusive addition to your home. Heck, you could get the villain lair started with a safe behind a comically-sized portrait above the fireplace. However, today’s gun safe market is colorful and saturated, so picking the right one can be quite the chore, but no worries — let Task & Purpose help you out.

Enter our quaint little buyer guide to in-wall gun safes of all breeds. I made short work of your homework so you can laser-focus on the perfect safe for all your defense tools, cleaning kits, or any other neat accessories you need to have stashed away, hidden, and safe. Regardless of what you need to have stowed inside that drywall, you’re sure to find a viable product here. So wander on over, take a peek, and most importantly, happy shopping.

Methodology

As journalists and fellow firearms enthusiasts, it’s always in our best interest to give you the most informative and honest takes possible in every guide. And while it would’ve been a timely and costly affair for a single author to round up a dozen safes for a round of tests, that hasn’t stopped me from diving deep into each one and analyzing every spec and reported ownership experience. As such, this buyer’s guide is primarily research-driven. 

The best safes will be the most effective at storing firearms, and will be capable of doing so with the commendable build quality, simple installation, and reliable locking mechanisms. Nearly all the curated products can be purchased through other retailers, including Walmart, GunSafes.com, and various manufacturer websites, however, it was Amazon that primarily served as our hub of specs and consumer feedback. 
As always, readers are always encouraged to come and learn more about how we at Task & Purpose generally curate our buyer’s guides.

Arguably the most versatile product here, as well as the easiest to hide from prying eyes, SnapSafe’s In-Wall Gun Safe is a fantastic approach to a hide-and-go handgun. It’s sized perfectly for housing a plethora of small firearms with room for ammo plus some tidbits of gear, and its slim shape allows it to mount flush with walls. For shoppers merely interested in this as a safe for valuables, the removable shelves and a trick “false bottom” hidden underfloor cubby expands your options. Overall quality and security are reportedly stellar, with this author being hard-pressed to find serious critiques from owners. Even the price isn’t steep enough to induce chronic wincing at a more-than-tolerable $240.

If there are any bones to pick, it could be that the shelves offer zero cushioning for delicate items, and the underfloor storage may have questionable use if used as part of a firearms-only safe. Perhaps it can house a spare magazine or tiny accessories. One owner reported a prominent keypad beep that they couldn’t figure out how to disable, so be wary if you’re searching for the ultimate discretion down to the sound.

Product Specs
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 4 x 16.25 x 22 inches
  • Weight: 35 pounds
  • Material: Steel alloy
PROS

Flush mounting for easier concealment

Strong price point among peers

Appropriately-sized for most handguns

“False bottom” hidden storage

CONS

Annoyingly-audible keypad beep

“False bottom” may have limited use in a firearm-only safe

The Able Recessed Wall Safe can’t possibly be a better deal in a market where rival walls safes consistently blow past $200. At approximately $110, this entry offers electronic locking via a keypad with backup keys and two interior shelves. The tiny size makes it easy to hide wherever you can mount it with the four included screws, and installation was universally praised for its simplicity and straightforwardness.

The compactness may become an issue for those looking to house larger handguns or a bounty of ammo. It’s the smallest, least spacious safe on this list with smaller dimensions by nearly an inch at the very least. Additionally, multiple brainfarts in Able’s quality control have surfaced, from scratched and dented surfaces to crooked and misaligned panels. They’re mostly minor with some panel imperfections being too insignificant to be easily exploited by dastardly fiends, and overall reliability is still commendable for its price point.

Product Specs
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 4 x 13.2 x 18 inches
  • Weight: N/A
  • Material: steel alloy
PROS

Stellar value among electronic wall safes

Outstanding quality for the price

Universally-lauded ease of installation

CONS

The least spacious item on this list

A few minor quality control hiccups

The V-Line 31242-SA Long Gun Safe is a robust choice for in-wall firearm storage and a spectacular value among rifle safes. A smidge under $370 is all this puppy asks for in exchange for a safe space for ARs and shotguns. With an exterior length of 3.2 inches, this item will have no problem fitting within most walls and between most studs. V-Line ensures that the safe is versatile enough to be mounted horizontally over the traditional vertical position. The mechanical keypad buttons provide quick and easy access without the worry of battery life, and the foam innards and safety strap help keep weapons neatly upright.

Just know that the admittedly-agreeable price tag mostly buys you a cozy rifle safe and nothing else. There’s no shelving, no waterproofing, and no electronic gimmicks of any kind. As the smallest long gun safe on this list, it’s also quite limited to what long guns it can carry. Forget about the collector’s M16 from Vietnam or some jousting lance of a hunting rifle. You’ll want to keep this product limited to carbines and other shorter weapon systems.

Product Specs
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 3.2 x 12 x 42 inches
  • Weight: 10.91 pounds
  • Material: Steel
PROS

A compact choice for rifle owners

Shockingly light for a long gun safe

Agreeable price tag

CONS

Can likely only store one or two rifles

Better suited for carbines, SBRs or AR-pistols

Best for Long Guns

On the opposite end of V-Line’s wall safe lineup sits the Tactical Closet Vault, a superb mini-bomb shelter that rewards discerning buyers with bounties of space and security. No more fretting about whether a wall safe has enough space for all your kit, because this has plenty. The extra 11 inches of height over the 31242-SA allows for a much broader range of rifles and shotguns, and the MOLLE board creates new spaces for accessories and gear. Despite its inflated size, it still fits inside most walls and between most studs.

The added usability comes at a cost, both mounting- and cost-wise. The bank vault construction and trick MOLLE boards demand that you cough up at least $765 as tribute. And then there’s the matter of how it typically protrudes two inches outward — all contributing to interior depth — when installed properly. While two inches may not sound like a lot in the grand scheme of home decor, it may significantly hamper its ability to be concealed behind furniture in the same manner as flush-mounting wall safes.

Product Specs
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 5.75 x 16.75 x 53 inches
  • Weight: 62 pounds
  • Material: Steel
PROS

Perfectly sized for most long guns

Its size sacrifices little in its ability to mount inside walls

MOLLE board for holding gear and accessories

CONS

Priced on the steeper side

Protrudes two inches from wall

The Stealth WSHD1414 is the no-brainer call for buyers looking to turn their domain into a drywall-laden Kinder Egg with a lot of handguns — like, a lot of handguns — like, holy moly, that’s a lot of handguns in one spot! With 14 inches of height and 10 inches of depth, its enhanced storage abilities versus other handgun in-wall safes can’t be understated. The Stealth is perfect for homeowners who like to store multiple options for defense, or it can simply be the ideal bug-out box for valuables. Its steel walls and three deadbolt locks are remarkably thick, and buyers can choose mechanical or electronic locking mechanisms.

It’s just about perfect if you can stand the nosebleed price that nearly matches the V-Line Tactical Closet Vault, and that’s a long gun safe that can also stow holstered handguns on the MOLLE board. The value proposition isn’t quite as strong here, nor is its ease of mounting with the added depth and weight inhibiting where it can be placed in some households.

Product Specs
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 10 x 14 x 14 inches
  • Weight: 73 pounds
  • Material: Steel alloy
PROS

Extra room for extra stuff

Dense, thick walls and deadbolts

Electronic and mechanical locking variants available

CONS

Eye-watering price among handgun safes

Belongs in a gym with that much weight

A top-earning brand from prior gun safe guides, Barska’s AX12038 Biometric Wall Safe will happily bring biometric scanner capabilities to your drywall. Sporting one of the most secure and high-tech methods of locking, Barska’s take is easy to program and reliable to use with gremlins being few and far between. And, of course, a pair of backup keys for the manual emergency lock is included. Larger variants exist with the same functionality, just as with the other products under the family umbrella, and removable shelving allows for creativity in storing your firearms and accessories.

Finding eye-opening downsides proved to be a tricky task as it was with prior Barska safes. However, a few customers have reported minor quality issues such as unattractive welds, noticeable panel gaps, or chipped paint. Overall, functionality remained top-notch and reliable.

Product Specs
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 3.7 x 15.5 x 20.7 inches
  • Weight: 28 pounds
  • Material: Steel
PROS

Easy, reliable biometric scanner

Removable shelving included

Two sets of backup keys, just in case

Larger variants exist, if needed

CONS

Tight fit on the inside

Quality control issues reported

The Langger V Biometric Wall Safe throws nearly every locking mechanism choice in the book into one steel box to turn your wall into an action flick armory. As part of the standard package, consumers may use a biometric scanner, digital keypad, or manual locks to access all the goodies they can fit within nearly four feet of height and four inches of depth. Three removable shelves allow for creative storage solutions for handguns or personal belongings, and it can all be yours for a relatively inoffensive price tag.

The dimensions place it close to the V-Line 31242-SA, meaning it won’t be the most inviting space for sharpshooters and their mile-away target rifles. Consider something with a little more inches in height if that’s more like your bread and butter. Additionally, it’s shaped and sized in a way that may not provide such a tight fit inside your walls. One owner noted having to cut into his studs to ensure a tight fit; otherwise, installation is as straightforward as all the rest.

Product Specs
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 4 x 13.75 x 43 inches
  • Weight: 58.2 pounds
  • Material: Steel alloy
PROS

Your choice of three locking mechanisms

Suitable as a long gun safe

Three removable shelves included

All this space won’t decimate your bank account

CONS

Not the most cavernous long gun safe

Not a perfectly snug fit between standard stud spacing

Our verdict on in-wall gun safes

SnapSafe’s In-Wall Gun Safe wins at delivering its promise of a compact, easy-to-hide handgun safe with ingenious tricks to protect your valuables. The Able Recessed Wall Safe enters the fray against similar-performing rivals but at a fraction of the cost. And V-Line’s 31242-SA Long Gun Safe is a worthy contender for buyers interested in quality rifle storage without breaking the bank.

What to consider when buying an in-wall gun safe

Do you need deep or shallow safes? Are you looking for a smidge of home defense, or are you housing an arsenal? These are questions worth asking when taking a gander at your next could-be purchase as all in-wall safes do the same job, but they all do it a bit differently. Here are a few unique types and defining features that help differentiate in-wall gun safes.

Types of in-wall gun safes

Handgun

Handgun in-wall safes will be the smaller, more compact gun safes masquerading as post office boxes. These are better-suited to a Smith & Wesson M&P than a Smith & Wesson AR. Their taller proportions make even the slimmest safes capable of carrying multiple handguns, and their general size and weight make them the easiest to lug around.

They’re a fairly stress-free item to find a place for in your home and are popular choices for people merely looking for a place to store important documents and personal items. But these will also be the most limited in space, with many of the skinnier ones being eclipsed by some compact gun safes.

Long gun

Per their category name, these are the plus-sized in-wall safes for securing longer firearms such as rifles and shotguns with far more height and, in a few cases, a smidge of extra depth. Some premium models include removable shelving for storing extra gear and ammo or, better yet, to create a tall handgun safe for multiple firearms and other valuable items. 

Due to the added material, they usually command a higher price, but not by much. Many will sit in price ranges of $100 to $200 higher than smaller handgun safes and are generally several hundred, if not thousands, of hard-earned dollars cheaper than large, stand-alone rifle vaults. Their need to be compact for wall mounting will also greatly inhibit your ability to store a collection.

Electronic locking

In one fell swoop of my keyboard, these can be summed up as the highest-tech and most secure options, which also carry a few minor headaches to balance it all out. Digital keypads and biometric fingerprint scanners are all the rage with many manufacturers now offering such systems as standard or as an extra-cost upgrade. 

Biometrics are intended to only work with programmed prints. No amount of guesswork in the world can bypass that. Just know that whichever method you choose, you’ll have the added responsibility of programming — which can be harder with some safes versus others — and ensuring your batteries don’t go kaput. Electronic safes will thankfully come with an emergency backup key if such an incident occurs.

Key features of in-wall gun safes

Locking mechanisms

Simple enough. It’s the question of, “How does it open?” Being reshaped and repurposed into run-of-the-mill gun safes, expect no surprises as all the same locking mechanisms carry over from other styles of safes. In-wall safes can be had with a combination tumbler, digital keypads, basic lock-and-key sets, and even biometric fingerprint scanners. 

Some safes may use familiar mechanisms that have been redesigned and compacted to serve their purpose better, so they may appear slightly different on in-wall safes yet function the same. Additionally, the same caveats will carry over, especially with electronic safes where ease of programming and battery life are added concerns. 

Depth 

Here is the ultimate determining factor: if your chosen safe will fit in your home. Ask yourself, how thick are the walls you want to mount this safe in? Then ask, how deep are the safes you’ve been eyeballing? Nobody likes the posterior of a bulky safe poking out the other side like a poorly-rendered video game asset clipping through the walls. 

However, deeper safes will give you an advantage in storage, allowing you to store additional firearms, ammo, gear, etc. It’s a trade-off that you really have to ponder before buying, as this breed demands more of your household to have the optimal mounting spots than any other safe.

Materials

The materials used in constructing your safe determine the overall ability to house your weapons safely. Stainless steel and high-carbon steel alloys have excellent corrosion resistance, which shouldn’t be a massive concern in today’s market as nearly all safes come dipped in some form of protective coating. The outer shell and the guts within your safe work together to potentially provide more effective fireproofing than others, although experts insist that no gun safe is truly 100 percent fireproof and a gaggle of other factors come into play. 

A word of caution when choosing gun safes is to spring for the proven products from more reputable manufacturers, and this is for more than just stout build quality. Some less-than-stellar safes have been noted to have poor choices of interior materials that may degrade over time. Certain ingredients may also react with moisture and catalyze to produce corrosive chemicals.

Pricing for in-wall gun safes 

Expect nearly all in-wall gun safes to ring within a few hundred dollars of one another in terms of price, placing them between compact handgun safes and monolithic vaults for rifles. Quality, slim-fitting safes can be snagged for anywhere between $240 to nearly $300. Safes of somewhat higher grade can hover between $300 and $500. On the other hand, specialized safes of excellent quality and reputation, including the V-Line Tactical Closet and Stealth Heavy Duty safes can easily crest $800. Bringing things down to Planet Earth is our Best Value-winning Able at roughly $110, undercutting its competitors by tens if not hundreds of dollars.

Tips and tricks

  • Ensure that your chosen safe and mounting location are perfect matches with a snug fit. Looseness between the safe and your wall studs may leave your in-wall safe vulnerable to prying.
  • For wannabe Garand Thumbs looking to house an expanding collection, consider deeper safes. Just know that they will be trickier to mount and trickier to conceal if they’re meant to protrude a smidge.
  • Some long gun wall safes, as with the V-Line 31242-SA, can be mounted horizontally for those who prefer to grab their rifles from a level position.

FAQs about in-wall gun safes

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

Q: Is a wall safe secure?

A: Absolutely. Wall safes take the DNA of a standard gun safe and adapt it into a package that becomes one with your house. The typical locking mechanisms from other safes carry over including combination, keypads, and manual keys. Biometric locks are arguably the most secure.

Q: How deep is a wall safe?

A: Aside from a small number of “deep” wall safes, most wall safes measure between three to six inches deep, just enough to fit in most walls without protruding out or intruding on possible pipes or wiring. Deeper wall safes can stretch to 10 inches.

Q: How can I hide my wall safe?

A: Ever watch mystery thrillers or shows with elaborate supervillains holed up in mega-mansions? The right in-wall safe makes the perfect storage solution to hide behind TVs or picture frames. Some rifle safes can be stowed behind easy-to-maneuver bookshelves or curtains. Even try behind clothes hung up in your closet.

Q: Can you bolt a safe to the wall?

A: In most cases, yes. Most in-wall safes will be sold with some form of mounting hardware in the form of either screws or bolts. In a few cases, some larger long gun safes may rely on their heft and their placement between the studs to resist movement and prying.

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