View Full Version : Anybody Use The GunVault Safes???!!

August 21, 2009, 07:40 PM
I am in the market for a small safe to keep one loaded handgun and maybe two extra mags. I like the concept of the GunVault but have read greatly varying reviews. I have also looked at Stack-On Safes. They have gotten good reviews but aren't as quickly accessible. I have NO interest in any of the "bio-metric" fingerprint reader safes as these all seem to be an un-perfected work in progress. I appreciate everyone's input and experiences. Thank you.

Brian Pfleuger
August 21, 2009, 09:04 PM
I have one.... with two small kids I take no chances, in fact, I won't even leave the gun in the safe unattended. Paranoid? You betcha.

However, I have no rational reason to distrust the safe.

It is not rugged to the point that it will stop a determined thief but I don't see that as the point. If I'm not home then the gun isn't home either so Mr BG is doing a lot of work to get nothing. I consider it to be more for keeping curious hands off the guns than to prevent theft. If that's your goal, I think you'll find it more than satisfactory. If you're looking to stop a thief then you should get a "real" safe.

My only issue, and I'm not even sure if it's legitimate or not, is that the loop for the locking mechanism that is on the door sticks up far enough to conceivably catch the trigger on my "safety-less" Glock. It seems possible to me that you could catch the trigger and cause a negligent discharge. No big deal though, I just use my non-gun hand to cover the latch when I put the gun in the safe. Paranoid? You betcha.

You can set any combination you want, including multiple keys at the same time, making it virtually impossible to guess the combination.

August 22, 2009, 07:25 AM
Quick access, but secure from un-authorized handlers is my goal. Both safes I''m looking at could easily be picked up and carried away. Not a real concern in this circumstance. Anyone have success with a different brand safe?

August 22, 2009, 08:27 AM
I use a DAC sportsafe. Works great, and it was much cheaper.

The only thing these boxes are for is to prevent unauthorized access of the quick access pistols...

August 22, 2009, 09:58 AM
I usually suggest any quick access safe that uses the simplex mechanical locks. These locks are fast and easy to operate, built like a tank, and don't require batteries.

V-Line makes the largest selection of these types of safes, but similar units are also available through Fort Knox, Cannon, and several other companies.

August 22, 2009, 12:23 PM
I have one. It works well.

Brian Pfleuger
August 22, 2009, 01:07 PM
Both safes I''m looking at could easily be picked up and carried away.

The gun vault can be bolted down also. It's actually quite a nice safe, for it's intended purpose. If you had it bolted down it would certainly require a dedicated burglar to get inside. Like I said above, it wouldn't be all that hard but they'd have to be willing to spend a few minutes doing it.

August 22, 2009, 01:37 PM
I have one of the gunvault biometric systems. I know you said you didn't want to use them, however I thought I could still add a bit of help. The first one I had the biometric stuff stopped working and I called GunVault about it. I had no receipt or anything but they shipped me a new one and included postage to send back the broken one free of charge. So if nothing else they have good customer service. On a side not the biometric ones do have the ability to use a key to open them.

August 28, 2009, 09:33 AM
So if nothing else they have good customer service.

This was not my experience - quite the opposite really. I did a full pictorial write-up on my GunVault Multi Deluxe HERE (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=242167). The design of the safe lends itself to malfunction, and you will need the key to operate the safe when (not if) it fails. If you need a safe you can count on every time, get something mechanical.

I highly recommend you stay away from GunVault products.



Brian Pfleuger
August 28, 2009, 01:24 PM
You refer us to a 3 year old thread wherein you yourself stated that they have solved the issue you had on your safe, a problem solved since 2005?

August 28, 2009, 01:39 PM
I had one installed day two after moving in to my new home in june. Also had one in both my last two homes. Suggest using a local locksmith/safe guy. This way if you ever have a problem, you have someware to turn. I always recommend bolting in to a cement floor when possible. Expect to pay in the $500.00 neighboorhood for a decent safe with electronic keypad and a backup key. Mine is large enough for a half dozen pistols plus ammo, and all my important papers. Fire retardent is a dfferent animal, if you are concerned about that, then you may have to spend a couple more dollars. Just make sure the guy that is putting in the safe, is experienced in installations. I was lucky enough to walk in cold and run into a locksmith that I had used two hours away for my business when I owned a health club, so I knew his work. He also re-keyed, my door locks for $15 dollars. Even though the builder told us that once you use the "owners" key, the ball bearings in the lock would fall out recutting the lock, "bullcrap", the loclsmith showed me that there were no such ball bearings in the lock. Also make sure that you have the install done during a week day when no one is around. That should be more than enough than you ever thought you needed to know, lol

August 28, 2009, 02:24 PM
i got one in the mini version and its working just fine. mechanical things do break. I can see it happening. Idk what I would do about it, probably use a dremel to force my way through.

August 28, 2009, 02:46 PM
You refer us to a 3 year old thread wherein you yourself stated that they have solved the issue you had on your safe, a problem solved since 2005?

LMAO.... That's funny! :D

I have a GunVault and have had it for over a decade. Not sure the model but it uses the four 'finger buttons' with recesses so you can feel it at night. I can very easily get it open in a matter of seconds. I have had no problems at all form it and I don't think I have actually EVER changed the batteries in it now that I think of it!!! Probably will do that tonight now. Have my over-ride key hidden close by as well just in case.

Lifetime Warranty and from what I have seen good Customer Service. I say good to go!

August 28, 2009, 02:57 PM
Have had one for a bit over a year now. Works well for me, with enough room for my 220 Compact and extra mag.

August 29, 2009, 09:45 AM
I have 2 of them. A mini for my Jeep because it has no lockable inside compartment-no problems with it. holds my G30 or my Kimber with an extra mag.

I bought the larger version of the Gunvault and my first one started having lock and battery problems almost right away. I called them and they sent me a replacement and a return shipping label withing a week. No questions asked.

I think the product does what is says which for me is to comply with Federal interstate transportation laws when in my Jeep and to keep little hands off my pistols when I'm not home. I normally just open my Gunvault when I go to sleep and close it when I wake up.

I and some other folks have had some problems but Gunvault Customer Service fixed the issue no questions asked and seems excellent to me.



August 31, 2009, 08:57 PM
Ive had the Gunvault delux for about 3 years now. No problems at all for me. Ive got it bolted to a built in shelf in my closet. I have 3 young kids, so my firearms stay in the vaukt if Its not on me. I can go min the closet in the pitch dark and access the firearm very quickly. I really like the finger code lock. when the door flys open and yes it opens very quickly, theres a little light allowing to see what your reaching for. So far no problems. I may purchase thier new notebook style vault for travel and to keep my firearm secured at my getaway cabin. My biggest concern isnt theft but keeping my children from getting curiouse.

August 31, 2009, 09:08 PM
Mine is fine. When you buy get the larger size. May not think you will need it but will find all kinds of stuff in it sooner or later-probably sooner.

September 1, 2009, 10:07 AM
You refer us to a 3 year old thread wherein you yourself stated that they have solved the issue you had on your safe, a problem solved since 2005?

They did not solve the issue - did you even read the thread? It an uphill battle just to get a hold of the factory "technician", who in turn did his best to just shrug me off. Terrible customer service, shoddy product design and construction. I developed my own fix, which has held just fine since the time I posted that thread, but like I said in that thread - the factory acknowledges it is a design flaw and breakage of that draw cable is quite common.
But no, by all means, patronize me with your snarky reply concerning a thread you couldn't even be bothered to read before commenting on. I'm just trying to keep a guy from wasting his money on an inferior product when a fail-safe mechanical device can be had for only a little more $.

i got one in the mini version and its working just fine. mechanical things do break. I can see it happening. Idk what I would do about it, probably use a dremel to force my way through.

Exactly right - all things can break. I am only trying to draw attention to the poorly-conceived design of that draw cable. Like I said in my original thread, you can get into the safe just fine with the key - no dremel needed :). If you are not going to depend on a safe like this to house your primary defensive firearm, then by all means - knock yourself out - it doesn't matter. But if you're going to rely on it to open every time, I'm just trying to relate why I wouldn't trust GunVault products, based on my personal (documented, photographed, and shared) experience.

Lifetime Warranty and from what I have seen good Customer Service. I say good to go!
Sure, except it's not? No one is claiming you get a lifetime warranty - where are you getting that info? Their website and owners manual explicitly state that GunVault gives you a limited 1 year warranty from date of purchase. Their regular "inside the first year" customer service is probably ok (as per swinokur's experience) - if it breaks the first year, they will send you another, no questions asked. If that draw cable gives out on you 1 year and 1 day after purchase, you're going to talk to the technicians, and they are going to tell you there are no parts and you're on your own. It's ok though, because we already have a thread (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=242167) that shows you how to fix it. :D

September 1, 2009, 10:19 AM
I would never rely on electronics, whther its fingerprint coded or number coded.

Just a safe bolted to the floor with a lock and a few extra keys for me.

September 1, 2009, 10:39 AM
I've got the little Stack-On drawer model. It uses a push-button code (so I can open it in the dark) and has a key override in case the battery is dead or you forgot the combination. The drawer model opens from the top, so it fits in a bedside chest of drawers easily.

It won't prevent theft. It will, however, prevent a curious child from picking up my loaded pistol.

September 1, 2009, 11:40 AM
I have both a GunVault and the StackOn handgun safes and they both work fine.

My GunVault Deluxe is bolted into my nightstand - it has AC power with battery backup and if those fail, a mechanical lock.

StackOn is powered by batteries, but also has a mechanical lock for backup.

They both work exceedingly well for what they are intended for - keeping kids and curious folks away from your loaded guns while still giving you quick access to your firearm should you need it. They will not make it impossible for a thief with all the time in the world to make off with your goodies.

September 1, 2009, 10:29 PM
I've read many posts from people who claim they have had GunVaults for many years with no issues so perhaps GunVault made some sort of improvement. From working in the automotive industry I've seen bad parts fail (recalls) if the part is not improved upon you will usually see many consistent failures. Haven't read any bad things on the Stack-on safes, they are a little less quickly accessible but maybe that is an acceptable trade-off for relaibility:confused:.

September 2, 2009, 01:02 AM
I believe in bolts and studs. Shelves and overhangs. Hiding in plain sight and hiding in a busy room. The shear mass of items attached together...

A good cheap safe is easy to find.

Harbor Freight sells some pretty cheap stuff.

Seriously, the insides are functional, new, and I plan on replacing the batteries every winter, routine type stuff.
I will simply remove a couple of screws and inspect the workings and life should be just fine. I have a key backup and I saved a few bucks.

If I need to upgrade their crap, it just gives me something to do. I can make it better...I have the technology...a welder and a hammer.

I had a Stack-on keyed box but returned it, didn't like the idea of playing with keys.

Surprisingly, to me at least, HF had a Gun-Vault safe on their shelf. It was the smaller unit and was designed for horizontal mounting. Seemed like a nicely built unit. The door sprung open crisply. I almost bought it, I still might buy one. Just a larger size.

In the mean time I'll rely on my reconditioned Chevy, er, ah, my quality Chinese cheap box, er my; whatever.

September 11, 2009, 03:15 PM
I have a couple of them and they work well, but I did have one in which the lock cable snapped. Fortunately, my customer service experience was good as I got a free replacement unit within a week of calling it in (even though it was beyond the 1-year warranty period).

April 24, 2010, 05:41 PM
I have had a gunvault for some time. I had the exact same problem Syntax had. Keep your key nearby just incase the drive cable breaks!

April 25, 2010, 11:59 PM
I have had a problem with the GunVault. It's interesting to see the cable snap, I'm sure they're replace that if you're within the warranty time.