- Holds up to three moderately-sized rifles
- Biometric fingerprint scanner
- Stores up to 120 fingerprints
- Floor and wall anchor points
SIZE: 8.6 x 9.8 x 52.17 inches
WEIGHT: 65.04 pounds
As a gun owner, safety is more than just an afterthought. It’s a necessity, and you certainly can’t afford to be lax about the way you treat your firearms. No matter what your particular needs are, they’ll usually tend to gravitate towards the same as those of your peers: reliability, ease of use, and function. Of course, you also have to worry about cost, but every now and then, you’ll be able to find a safe that meets all your needs while still being affordable. The BARSKA security safe certainly does have all the features you might want, but you’ll have to keep a few things in mind before you buy it.
What We Liked
- Footprint design
At first glance, it’s fair to say that the design of this safe is its main selling point. The tall and thin “footprint” design of the BARKSA make this safe not only easy on the eyes, but allows it to be placed almost anywhere in a home or office without taking up too much space. The fingerprint sensor and door handle are also placed sensibly at around eye level for an adult of average height, which is certainly useful as a deterrence against children trying to tamper with it.
- Accurate Fingerprint Sensor
Having a gun safe with a fingerprint lock is pretty standard these days, and the BARSKA certainly delivers with their biometric fingerprint sensor. The sensor works fairly accurately, registering the correct fingerprint in less than a second without any glitches. Programming the device is also relatively simple and quick, and we were definitely pleased that there weren’t any glitches or false-positives.
- Easy to Install
We were also particularly pleased with the ease of installation. All of the functions on the safe are pretty straightforward and self-explanatory, and we didn’t really find much use from the manual. The safe features pre-drilled anchor points for the floor and wall, both of which are certainly useful.
- Interior Lockbox
The safe features an interior lockbox that includes a separate set of keys, which can be pretty convenient when you’re trying to store small firearms, jewelry, or other personal belongings. Some might say that an interior lockbox is a waste of space, and even redundant, but the lockbox does provide a better use of the space inside, which we definitely appreciated.
What Needs Improvement
- Bolting down necessary
After spending some time using this safe without any anchors, it’s fair to say that this safe is improperly balanced. The safe door is significantly heavier than the rest of the housing, and we were definitely not pleased when the safe felt like it was going to tip over without bolting it down. Most safes don’t really ever have this problem because of adequate weight displacement between the door and the housing, and the mere fact that the safe could actually tip over without anchors lend to the idea that this isn’t the strongest safe on the market. But to be fair, safe doors should always be heavier than the rest of the safe itself anyway, and BARSKA does a good job with at least keeping the build strength to the right proportions between the door and housing.
The safe is advertised to hold three, and maybe even four, moderately sized rifles, but we felt that this may be somewhat of a false claim. Sure, there are some rifle models that will fit into this safe with relative ease, but rifles that include modifications, such as scopes, rifle butts, and various other accessories would have a problem fitting into this safe, especially in terms of quantity. You may be able to fit two modified rifles inside without any problems, but trying to pack any more inside would be pretty cumbersome.
- No interior lighting
Although we don’t place too much emphasis on small features like interior lighting when it comes to safes, we still felt that a gun safe cabinet of this caliber should at least include its own integrated lighting. Access a rifle safe in the dark can be one of the most excruciating experiences for a gun owner, especially if the safe is placed somewhere that is usually dark.
If you’re a gun owner who’s simply looking for an entry-level cabinet to store your guns and keep them away from children, the BARSKA is one of the best gun safes for under $500. It offers decent protection from theft, is easy on the eyes, and won’t take up too much space in your home compared to some of the higher end gun cabinets on the market. Although the safe isn’t as balanced in terms of weight distribution between the door and housing, you shouldn’t run into any problems as long as you bolt the safe down to the floor and against the wall. (In fact, you should already be anchoring the safe if you intend on buying a safe of this caliber in the first place.) The safe certainly isn’t big enough to fit any bazookas, but this shouldn’t be a big deal to a casual enthusiast.