Demonstration Videos
The videos below may also be seen on the Vimeo.

Bighorn Safe Co., P-20 Security Safe

This product has been recalled.

Handgun Safe Research received notice on April 4, 2016, that Rhino Metals issued a recall of the Bighorn Safe P-20 Security Safe. According to Jennifer King, President of Rhino Metals, about 400 units of this model were sold to dealers prior to the recall. For more details, please read the Rhino Metals recall notice as well as the Consumer Product Safety Commission recall notice.  This safe was examined January 9, 2016.



Bulldog Vaults BD 1050

This handgun safe is a Chinese-made generic product featuring a lock mechanism set called the ED Lock, made by Ningbo Lifang Metal Products Co., Ltd. The locking mechanism set includes a keypad fitting that leaves any safe with this locking mechanism installed on it vulnerable to covert access. Both Ningbo Lifang Metal Products and Suzhou Shuaima Metal Products Co. Ltd. manufacture safes with this keypad installed on them.  This safe was examined October 2, 2015.




Bulldog Vaults BD 1060

California DOJ Approved

This handgun safe is the second in Bulldog Vaults’ line of standard digital vaults. It has the same locking mechanism and the same defectively designed keypad as the BD 1050. The only difference between this safe and the smaller one is storage capacity.  This safe was examined October 3, 2016.







Bulldog Vaults BD 1070

California DOJ Approved

This safe is the third in Bulldog Vaults’ line of standard digital vaults. It has the same defectively designed keypad fitting as the BD 1050 and BD 1060. This line of three safes provides an excellent example of what happens when a line of products is granted California DOJ approval. California statute allows the DOJ discretion to approve a lock box without testing if it is sufficiently like another product already produced by the same manufacturer. This means that only one of Bulldog Vaults’ standard digital vaults needed to receive California DOJ approval for the others to be approved. The defectively designed keypad fitting, which is installed on all three safes, only had to be overlooked once for all three products to be vulnerable to attack.  This safe was examined October 6, 2015.



Bulldog Vaults BD 3000

California DOJ Approved

The biometric-controlled locking mechanism installed on this safe is made by Ningbo Shuangjiu Safe Co., Ltd. The company makes multiple versions of this locking mechanism, including the Fingerprint Lock (SJZ8007-1M) and (SJZ8007-1J). Several Chinese manufacturers install this biometric device on their safes. Rayoo Security Co., Ltd., which manufactures the Biometric Fingerprint Safe Box for Laptops (FIN-SA200R) uses this locking mechanism, as does Ningbo Lifang Metal Products Co., Ltd. The fingerprint reader is as reliable as any other fingerprint reader I’ve tested, though as the video illustrates the security of a safe is more dependent on how well protected the components of the locking mechanism are than on biometrics.  This safe was examined August 27, 2015.



Bulldog Vaults BD 4000

California DOJ Approved

This is a typical Chinese-made, generic safe with a solenoid locking mechanism inside. This safe is vulnerable to a form of forced entry not addressed in the video. One can pry the plastic fitting on the door enough to access a hole in the door where a cable is passing through. From there, one can insert wire to press the solenoid pin out of the way and retract the bolts. Thousands of solenoid-locked safes like this one are produced in China for export.  This safe was examined August 29, 2015.



Bulldog Vaults BD 4010

California DOJ Approved

This is another generic, Chinese-made safe. The safe is an excellent example of what can happen when recycled design components are thrown together without any consideration given to security. The keypad fitting on the door of this safe allows direct access to a hole in the safe’s door that in turn allows access to the main circuitry of the device. Everything from the design of the keypad fitting to the layout of the main circuitry board conspires to leave the electronics of this safe exposed.  This safe was examined September 15, 2015.



Bulldog Vaults BD 4020

California DOJ Approved

This product has been discontinued

This is the next size up from the BD 4010. As with the smaller safe, this device is an example of what happens when recycled design components are thrown together haphazardly. Though Chinese manufacturers appear to know something about manufacturing safes, judging by the size of their product lines, their products are not engineered. Any given Chinese-made safe is a collection of recycled design components, accumulated in the process of manufacturing products for U.S. companies and others.  This safe was examined September 16, 2015.



Bulldog Vaults BD4030


This is one of Bulldog Vaults’ Magnum RFID/LED Quick Vaults. The device comes packaged with an access card and key fob, giving the user a couple of different ways to activate the RFID sensor. Unfortunately, the device also has a familiar design vulnerability I’ve found in other safes—namely, a large gap around the bypass cylinder on top of the safe. The gap allows access into the interior of the locking mechanism. This product was examined September 18, 2016.






Bulldog Vaults BD 4050

This portable case is a generic import made by Rayoo Security Co., Ltd., based in Zhejiang, China. It’s the model GUN-HD58. The case is not California DOJ approved. Nor does Bulldog Cases & Vaults market it as being TSA complaint. I included the case among the other devices I examined for the simple reason that Bulldog Cases & Vaults markets the case as being appropriate for storing a firearm. The box it comes packaged in shows a snub-nosed revolver sitting inside it.  This safe was examined November 25, 2015.




Fort Knox Original Pistol Box

California DOJ Approved


This handgun safe is made in the U.S. and features a mechanical bush-button lock, the KABA Simplex, also made in the U.S. The pistol box has no electronics, needs no batteries, and therefore has no keyed override lock. In terms of construction, this device is heavier built than most other handgun safes. However, the Original Pistol Box has limited appropriate uses as a result of the mechanical lock. This style of lock cannot prevent one from entering combinations repeatedly in an effort to gain unauthorized access.  This safe was examined February 1, 2016.



Fortress P2EA

This is a generic Chinese product made by Ningbo Yosec Industrial Co., Ltd. and Yangzhou Super Industry Co., Ltd. The device is sold in the U.S. by numerous importers, including Caesar Safe, Costway, Fortress, Gettysburg, Ivation, and Tracker Safe. It is also imported by Barska with a customized keypad fitting. Although the device is not California DOJ approved, I included it among the other safes I examined for two reasons. First, Fortress’s packaging shows a couple of semi-automatic handguns sitting inside the safe, which means that Fortress represents the product as being appropriate for storing firearms. Second, the locking mechanism is a spring-release latchwork mechanism I’ve found in other handgun safes, a byproduct of China’s disregard for intellectual property law.  This safe was examined October 14, 2015.



GunVault GV1000S

California DOJ Approved

This handgun safe, called the Minivault Standard, features a release-wire locking mechanism that is extremely common throughout China’s industry of copied and recycled locking mechanism designs. This style of locking mechanism is inherently vulnerable, because its most critical components, the latch and release wire, move independently of the motor that actuates them; the motor’s gearing is not used to lock any part of this mechanism in place. As can be seen in the video, this locking mechanism is vulnerable to attack if the safe has extraneous holes allowing access to the mechanism.  This safe was examined May 20, 2015.



GunVault GVB1000

California DOJ Approved

This handgun safe, called the Minivault Biometric, features the same release-wire locking mechanism found in the GV1000S. The main difference between the two safes is that this one has a fingerprint reader. Though it is a fancier, more expensive device, the GVB1000 is no more secure than the less expensive model; the mechanical components of the locking mechanism are accessible through holes in the side of the safe. This safe was examined February 23, 2016.




Homak  HS10036684

California DOJ Approved

This device is one in a line of three pistol boxes sold by Homak Security. In all three devices, a solenoid is used in place of locking boltwork; the solenoid pin is the only “bolt” holding the door in place. Normally, in a solenoid-locked device, the solenoid pin is used as a “stop” to prevent the safe’s boltwork from being retracted until someone enters a correct access code. These Homak pistol boxes are the only devices I’ve found that use a solenoid pin in place of proper boltwork for holding a door locked.  This safe was examined September 30, 2015.



Hornady RAPiD-Safe, Model 98150

California DOJ Approved

This handgun safe is designed by Hornady and manufactured in China. The structural oversight in the framework of this device, which I exploit in this video, is likely the result of sloppy production practices in the Chinese outfit fabricating these safes. To confirm that I had not uncovered an anomaly, I tested another two RAPiD safes, and I was able to break into the others in the same way demonstrated in the video here. This safe was first examined April 27, 2015.




Liberty Safe, HD-100 Quick Vault

California DOJ Approved


The HD-100 Quick Vault is one of the Home Defender Series products made in China. As portable cases go, it’s reasonably well made. Unfortunately, the lid fits loosely and allows one to insert a paperclip to press the setup button (also called a reset button) for entering new access codes. The design oversight is extremely common with portable cases. This safe was examined January 16, 2016.






Liberty Safe, HD-200 Quick Vault

California DOJ Approved


In many ways, the HD-200 Quick Vault is a decent product for a Chinese-made handgun safe. It has no obvious holes in its framework, and the front has a backward-slanting profile that makes accessing the safe’s contents easy. However, the hole for the latch is accessible over the top of the door. I was able to push in a zip-tie, which folded on itself, and by drawing it out I was able to catch the door’s release and open the safe. This safe was examined March 11, 2016.





Liberty Safe, HD-300 Quick Vault

California DOJ Approved


The HD-300 Quick Vault is the “big brother” of the HD-200 Quick Vault. It has the same good features of the smaller safe as well as the same vulnerabilities. I was able to open this safe using a plastic zip-tie. This safe was examined September 2, 2016.








Liberty Safe, HDX-150 Smart Vault

California DOJ Approved


The HDX-150 Smart Vault was originally made by 9G Products and was called the Inprint-Micro Biometric Safe. Liberty Safe acquired 9G Products in 2014 and took over production of this handgun safe along with the larger one that would become the HDX-250 Smart Vault. In updating this safe, Liberty neglected to address vulnerabilities that remain built into the HDX-150 Smart Vault. The framework surrounding the bypass lock has a gap, which allows access to the administration button for registering new fingerprints.  This safe was examined January 21, 2016.



Liberty Safe, HDX-250 Smart Vault

California DOJ Approved


The HDX-250 Smart Vault is the second of the two biometric handgun safes acquired by Liberty Safe in 2014. While Liberty updated the safe by giving it heavier steel construction and a scratch-resistant paint finish, the safe has inherent vulnerabilities built into it that Liberty failed to address. As with the HDX-150 Smart Vault, a gap surrounds the bypass lock, allowing access to the administration button for registering new fingerprints. This safe was examined September 3, 2016.



Liberty Safe, HDX-250: Updated Design

California DOJ Approved

After I examined Liberty Safe’s HDX-250 Smart Vault in September of 2016, Liberty addressed the security issues. They sealed the gap around the bypass lock, and they secured the container’s plastic corners in place so that they cannot be removed. The resulting safe is considerably more secure than it was before. The safe does still have a tubular lock for a bypass, as do the majority of handgun safes on the market, but in terms of resisting attack with common household tools and materials, the HDX-250 is the most resistant handgun safe they offer. This safe was examined January 8, 2017.



Paragon Quarter Master 7650

This product has been discontinued

This handgun safe is manufactured by Suzhou Safe Way Trade Co, Ltd., based in Jiangsu, China. It’s the model GS800. The device is not California DOJ approved, though I felt it was important to include it among the safes I examined. The importer’s website represents this product as being appropriate for storing a handgun; Paragon’s site features a picture of this device with a semi-automatic handgun sitting inside it. I believe that most anyone who watches this video will agree the GS800 (or, Quarter Master 7650, if you prefer) is inappropriate for storing a firearm.  This safe was examined September 21, 2015.



Sentry Safe, Quick Access Pistol Safe QAP1E

California DOJ Approved

This safe is made in China to Sentry Safe’s specifications. The device lacks most of the design weaknesses I have found in other handgun safes, though it does have design issues that leave it vulnerable to attack. This safe has no internal shielding around the mechanical components of its locking mechanism, and the framework has gaps that allow room for metal shims. However, these design problems are less easily exploited if the safe is bolted down, which reinforces the importance of bolting down any handgun safe before use. This safe was examined February 16, 2016.



Stack-On PC-900

TSA Compliant

Stack-On claims this device “Meets TSA Airline Guidelines.” According to TSA Guidelines for Transporting Firearms and Ammunition, firearms may be transported in “a locked hard sided container.” The guidelines do not say how resistant to unauthorized access the container must be, aside from stating, “Locked cases that can be easily opened will not be accepted.” The phrase “can be easily opened” is the only language in the guidelines that might be construed to address unauthorized entry, covert, forced, or otherwise. Since the TSA does not endorse products (or services, or entities), responsibility is left to manufacturers to decide whether their products are TSA compliant.  This safe was examined November 24, 2015.



Stack-On PS-514-12

California DOJ Approved

This is one of the most common safe designs manufactured in China for export. The basic solenoid-locked mechanism inside is used in thousands of Chinese-made safes. Even the keypad fitting is installed on products made by multiple manufacturers, including Bolice Machinery & Equipment Suzhou Co., Ltd., Mexgrand (Suzhou) Metal Products Factory, Wujiang Granden Electronic Mechanical Co., Ltd., Yangzhou Super Industry Co., Ltd., and others. Put simply, this Stack-On safe is as generic as a product can possibly be.  This safe was examined September 17, 2015.



Stack-On PS-1514

California DOJ Approved

This is an updated version of an earlier model, the PS-514. The components of the solenoid-locked mechanism inside the PS-1514 have redesigned to prevent “bouncing” the safe open. The redesign also includes shielding for the solenoid, making the new safe much more resistant to tampering should an attacker try to insert wires through the door. This safe was examined December 18, 2016.





Stack-On QAS-1200

California DOJ Approved

This product has been discontinued.

This handgun safe features a motorized latch mechanism with components that are actuated indirectly by a rotating fitting attached to a motor. Because the mechanism’s latch assembly moves independently of the motor, this mechanism is inherently vulnerable. If someone attacking this device can find access to the independently moving parts, that individual can release the door without using the safe’s electronics. Another example of this kind of mechanism is found in the Paragon Quarter Master 7650.  This safe was examined October 27, 2015.



Union Safe Co. (Harbor Freight Tools), Item #62984

California DOJ Approved

Harbor Freight Tools once sold their safes under the brand name Bunker Hill Security. Then Harbor Freight changed the name to Union Safe Company in 2016. The one handgun safe they sell, featured in this video, is called an Electronic Handgun Safe, Item #62984, previously sold as the Bunker Hill Security Handgun Safe/Vault, Item #61581. The safe is an OSPON-brand product, the model OS600, made by Yiwu Ospon E-Commerce Enterprise, in Jiangsu, China. The device is also made by another Chinese manufacturer, Proway Industries Co., Ltd. Theirs is called the model GS-140E Gun Vault. This safe was examined January 28, 2017.



Vaultek Safe, VT20 (Original release)

The original release of the VT20 had a substantial security vulnerability, as seen in this video. In November of 2016, Vaultek was made aware of the issue, which was common to the VT20 and VT20i. Vaultek temporarily stopped sales of the safes and began exploring ways to update them. Handgun Safe Research received updated models of both safes on 12/07/2016, and found that the security issue shown here was addressed, though the devices were still vulnerable to unauthorized access.  This safe was examined October 18, 2016.



Vaultek Safe, VT20i (Original release)

The original release of the VT20i had a substantial security vulnerability, as seen in this video. In November of 2016, Vaultek was made aware of the issue, which was common to the VT20 and VT20i. Vaultek temporarily stopped sales of the safes and began exploring ways to update them. Handgun Safe Research received updated models of both safes on 12/07/2016, and found that the security issue shown here was addressed, though the devices were still vulnerable to unauthorized access.  This safe was examined November 29, 2016.



Vaultek Safe, VT20i: Design updates 1 and 2

Handgun Safe Research received an updated model of the VT20i on 12/07/2016, and recorded an examination on 12/19/2016. Though the safe had been improved, it was still vulnerable to unauthorized access, as can be seen in the first part of this video. In February of 2017, Vaultek Safe sent another update of the device, examined 02/06/2017. The current device now has additional shielding around the bypass cylinder and is less vulnerable to unauthorized access.