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Fort Knox Original Pistol Box

After my attack on this safe in December of 2020, Fort Knox went to work coming up with a way to prevent the Simplex lock from being knocked through. In the video embedded here, I show their solution, a heavy steel plate bolted over the bottom of lock inside. It's a simple, effective solution to the problem. In the event one of these boxes is attacked, the lock will be ruined. I've posted a separate video showing how to remove a 9600-Series Simplex lock from outside the box. See The Simplex Lock for details.



In addition to improving the Original Pistol Box, Fort Knox reinforced the Simplex locks in their other pistol boxes, including the Personal Pistol Box. For those trying to find a small safe for the car, this is a good option. The safe has four pre-drilled mounting holes in the bottom of it, and the reinforcement for the lock will make breaking into the safe too time consuming for a thief.



This PSB 220 safe is the second MSafe product I've examined. This safe has the same high quality design and construction. The safe, including its locking mechanism, complies with European standards that exceed standards for U.S. Residential Security Containers.

PSB 220

Msafe PSB 300

This PSB 300 safe is the first MSafe product I have examined, and I am impressed by the quality of its design and construction. This safe is in compliance with European S2 security standards as per the certification plate on the inside of the door. These standards ensure that this device is considerably more secure than comparable safes currently marketed in the US.

PSB 300


The PSB 350 safe is the third MSafe product I've examined. This safe has the same quality design and construction of the other two safes. As with the other MSafes I've looked at, this one has an ECBs certified Class B high-security lock, and it complies with European security standard EN 14450, which means the safe will resist attacks with hand tools though not power tools.


rhino metals
longhorn strongbox lsb1014

The Longhorn Strongbox LSB1014 is the first keyed locking safe I’ve looked at that I can endorse. My reasons for endorsing the safe are as follows: 1) The safe is made with adequate steel. 2) It has big enough bolts to offer real resistance to forced entry. 3) There is no convenient tool that would allow one to jiggle or rake open the lock in a matter of seconds. 4) The safe is built in a way that allows one to swap out the lock.


rhino metals
longhorn strongbox lsb1818

The Longhorn Strongbox LSB1818 is the first small personal safe that I can recommend. None of the small personal safes I’ve examined before this have been remotely secure. They’ve always had holes, weak locks, and generally flimsy construction. This safe is not intended to take the place of a full-sized safe for storing a gun collection. But it’s something a first-time gun owner could store a handgun in, and also lock up ammunition, or emergency cash, or narcotic medications, or an expensive watch.


Stealth Safes

This is a success story: Stealth Safes responded to my attack on the initial release of this device, and released something better than I was expecting. The ShadowVault is an outstanding handgun safe, and my viewers should be happy that it costs under $300. The lock is reliable. Put an Energizer Lithium 9V battery in it, and you won't have to think about your ShadowVault for a few years.



This lock box is one of two keyed lockbox I recommend. (The other is the Large Steelhead Pistol Box.) I recommend this box for temporary storage only. If one needs to leave a gun in a vehicle for a brief period, this is one of the few pistol boxes I recommend. I discourage gun owners from storing guns in their vehicles for long, and nothing about my approval of this box changes that. Also, this pistol box satisfies TSA guidelines.

Steelhead Small HD Lockbox


This lock box is the first keyed lockbox I've been able to recommend. It is solidly built and has a decent lock on it. But I need to be clear about my recommendation: I recommend this box for temporary storage only. I have always discouraged gun owners from storing guns in their vehicles for any length of time, and nothing about my approval of this box changes that. But if one needs to leave a gun in a vehicle for a brief period, this is the best option I've come across. I also recommend this lockbox to anyone needing to satisfy TSA guidelines.

Steelhead HD Lockbox


For those who would like a pistol box with a Simplex lock, this Steelhead offering is a change from the typical pistol box. It has the same amount of storage that Steelhead's Heavy-Duty pistol box offers, and it provides the same level of security. Though I recommend this pistol box, I still try to discourage gun owners from storing guns in their vehicles for any length of time. Nothing about my approval of this box changes that. But if you need to leave a gun in a vehicle briefly, this is one the best option I've come across. I also recommend this lockbox to anyone needing to satisfy TSA guidelines.

Steelhead Fast Access
V-Line Brute Updated

V-Line Brute
Updated Design

In March of 2021, V-Line provided Handgun Safe Research with an updated version of the Brute handgun safe. V-Line developed an internal housing of 14-gauge steel to prevent the 9600-Series Simplex lock from being knocked through by force. After testing the new safe, I contacted V-Line with a suggestion for how to improve the housing. My video embedded here shows both the original and improved protection.

verifi smart safe s6000

The Verifi Smart Safe S6000 is built less heavily than other small safes I've endorsed, but it will serve as a perfectly adequate personal safe in low-security environments. The container allows no access to the controls inside or to the boltwork mechanism. The biometric system is high quality. And the bypass lock poses a challenge to a beginning lock picker. Most importantly, the boltwork mechanism is designed to make upgrading the bypass lock easy for someone comfortable with that kind of project.

Verifi S6000


Viking Safe added safes with mechanical locks to the product lineup in late 2022. The VS-12LSX is a standard-sized pistol box, much like the Fort Knox Original Pistol Box. However, the Viking Safe version has some added features, including LEDs that light up the interior and a storage pouch in the lid. Like other handgun safes with Simplex Locks, the VS-12LSX has a protective housing built into the lid to prevent an attacker from being able to punch the lock through from the outside..

Viking Safe VS-12LSX
Viking Safe VS-50SX


Viking Safe's VS-50SX is an ideal safe for a first-time gun owner. In addition to being a place to store a handgun, the safe has room enough for ammunition, cleaning supplies, and basic range gear like hearing protection and protective eyewear. Over all, the safe is a good investment for the new gun owner.

Viking Safe VS-52SXW

Viking Safe VS-52SXW

Viking Safe's VS-52SXW is the best wall safe I've come across that fits into the budget of an average home owner. However, installing a wall safe may be more of a home-improvement project than many people are prepared for. I suggest contacting a contractor for some advice before opening up a wall, especially if your house is older and has lath & plaster walls.

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