Barska AX11556 Fingerprint Safe – Review

Whether you’re trying to secure your small firearms or your precious valuables, you’re going to want a safe that is easily accessible by you, and you alone. Safe owners are constantly plagued by a growing number of safes on the market that only offer the illusion of safety, especially when it comes to fingerprint gun safes. But if you’re in the market for one of the best gun safes under $300, you won’t need to look any further than the Barska Top Opening Fingerprint Safe.

Product Specifications

  • SIZE: 11.4 x 14.8 x 5 inches
  • WEIGHT: 21 pounds

Product Rating


Product Features

  • Biometric Fingerprint Scanner -The main selling point of this BARSKA safe is a biometric fingerprint scanner that requires your thumbprint for entry. Biometric technology has been around for some time, but we’ve found that the technology can sometimes be flawed with certain models. Fortunately, this safe doesn’t come up short. This scanner won’t register a false-positive with any other fingerprints that aren’t programmed into the scanner like some other safes on the market. The scanner is also very easy to program. In fact, the fingerprint scanner can store up to 30 users, which makes this safe particularly good for business use.
  • Mounting Hardware - If you’re buying a small safe for home, it’s very important that your safe is mounted. This particular model only weighs about 20 lbs, which is relatively heavier compared to some Sentry safes and Viking Biometric safes, but that still won’t stop a burglar from stealing the entire safe outright. We definitely appreciated that Barska recognized this by offering mounting hardware with their safe. The safe itself also includes pre-drilled holes for the mounting hardware, which we found really convenient.
  • Two Backup Keys - Even though biometric fingerprint scanners are pretty reliable nowadays, you’ll still want at least a key or two just in case it goes haywire.
  • Drawer Gun Safe - This Barska safe is specifically meant as a drawer safe. Rather than a typical front-facing door, the safe opens from the top. The safe itself is relatively small, and able to fit in most conventional desk drawers in your home or office.

Product Test


When you’re in the market for a safe, you have to be certain that it’ll function well. Our main concern was with the biometric scanner. The scanner has to be clean and dry to work correctly, otherwise it will not register your fingerprint. Overall, however, the safe functions relatively well as intended. The door opens with ease and we didn’t have any problems with the fingerprint scanner or the bolting mechanisms. There’s also enough space in the safe for medicine, money, or one or two firearms.


We found that this Barska gun safe had a pretty solid construction. It fared well against certain stress tests and seemed sturdy enough. You may be able to dent the outer body of the safe with relative ease, but you still won’t be able to get it open without major blunt force. The door features a thick motorized deadbolt which will prevent it from opening without either a key or a programmed fingerprint.


Because this safe is meant to be mounted inside of a desk drawer, you’re obviously going to have a decent level of discretion. You may not be able to hide it as well as an in-wall safe, but it’ll certainly be out of plain sight. The biometric scanner is pretty noticeable on the safe, so we wouldn’t recommend leaving it out in the open, especially if you intend on securing firearms inside.

Product Review

What We Liked

  • Inexpensive - Overall, the Barska Top-Opening Drawer Safe is one of the best drawer gun safes on the market, and functions best as an inexpensive and practical alternative to something like a gun cabinet safe.
  • Ease of Use - Getting used to the biometric scanner and programming it was simple and easy. The safe is constructed fairly well and can withstand a decent amount of force without breaking open.
  • Mountable - Any safe that can be mounted is definitely worth having in our opinion. Mounting the safe to a drawer or surface was generally simple, and this is something every safe owner should look for.

What Needs Improvement

  • Not Ideal for Stress Situation - Our main concern was the scanner’s efficiency. For things like medicine, money, and other personal belongings, this safe would definitely serve its purpose. In a stress situation, however, you may want to have faster access to your firearms. Biometric safes, such as the Viking Biometric SafeStack-On Safe, and Verifi S6000 Smart Safe, usually take an inordinate amount of time to access compared to some other safes on the market, and this Barska model isn’t that much different. If your primary goal for owning a safe is to store firearms, you may want to purchase a Gunvault GV2000S which features a combination lock, which is more practical for quick access.
  • One Size Doesn’t Fit All - We didn’t really have a problem mounting it to our desk drawer, but you’ll have to be mindful about the exact dimensions of this safe before you purchase it. Not all desk drawers are the same size, and this safe requires a drawer that is a bit on the bulkier side.