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Old 09-16-2018, 01:42 PM
hostler hostler is offline
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Default Nightstand gun vaults

I've never worried about locking up our nightstand gun before but our lives are a changing. We have young nieces and nephews who visit us on a regular basis now. They aren't quite to the age of opening doors yet, but that's coming quickly. I need to get the nightstand gun locked up before they are able to open the bedroom door.
So, nightstand gun vaults? I want something quick that doesn't require much thought or fine motor skills, I think this eliminates combination locks and key locks. I've pretty much narrowed it down to fingerprint reader or RFID.
I searched and there are a few older threads addressing this but nothing in the last 6 years. The fingerprint readers didn't get a lot of praise back then but I'm guessing the technology has gotten better in 6 years. RFID still seems like a more reliable and easy to use technology but you have to keep a fob close by, still not a big deal, with some clever thinking I can hide a fob within reach of myself and the box and no one would find it (even a 3 year old).
I know there's still the group who says "Murchy's law, no electronics", I get that, but I'm ready to start trusting the electronics. These things have been around for a number of years now and I think overall have an acceptably low failure rate. Even the fingerprint readers don't seem to actually "fail", they are just picky and require exact finger placement to work. I'm leaning toward RFID because they will unlock using a more vague action, just a swipe in any direction near the sensor.
What are your thoughts and experiences?
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:10 PM
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I wouldn't touch one of the finger print readers with a ten foot pole. I know my iphone fingerprint reader sometimes take multiple tries and I wouldn't want that hassle when my life depended on it.

I have a Fort Knox with a Simplex mechanical push button lock. No batteries to ever go bad. It's quick to access with the simple pattern I programed and I feel comfortable that my four year old can't access the loaded Model 69. I believe this is the model I have, but I paid a good bit less from an online dealer than the suggested retail price listed Original Pistol Box w/Front Sight Training Certificate (included) – Fort Knox
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:17 PM
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Default ShotLock

I have a ShotLock, can use a key or mechanical push button combination. Every easy to work the combination.

ShotLock Solo-Vault | Shop | USA
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:26 PM
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I have the Sentry safe in the (crummy ) photo below. Have had it for about two years with zero issues - still on original batteries. You can use any of the buttons twice, unlike the Simplex style locks, so you can get the # of potential combos fairly high. Touch any button to light the key pad then put in your combo. One caveat, the gas-strut and spring combo only lifts the lid about two inches now - I have to manually open it the rest of the way. Looks to be a simple fix to remove one bolt and put in stronger spring. I wouldn't even begin to trust the finger print reader versions. And, goes without saying, something like this is to keep family members out of trouble. I imagine your typical burglar could pry it open in a few minutes. One last area of concern, the incorrect combo timer is at least five seconds - which would be an eternity if someone was beating down your door!



Edited to add: pretty sure this uses a solenoid so see warning below. It did come with two barrel keys to manually unlock it in the event of battery or solenoid failure.

Last edited by GeoJelly; 09-16-2018 at 03:47 PM. Reason: Mention solenoid
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Old 09-16-2018, 03:17 PM
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I wouldn't touch one of the finger print readers with a ten foot pole. I know my iphone fingerprint reader sometimes take multiple tries and I wouldn't want that hassle when my life depended on it.

I have a Fort Knox with a Simplex mechanical push button lock. No batteries to ever go bad. It's quick to access with the simple pattern I programed and I feel comfortable that my four year old can't access the loaded Model 69. I believe this is the model I have, but I paid a good bit less from an online dealer than the suggested retail price listed Original Pistol Box w/Front Sight Training Certificate (included) Ė Fort Knox
I also use the Fort Knox Original. Thing is bullet proof. Before I purchased, from the research I did, it looked the biometric safes weren't ready for prime time.
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Old 09-16-2018, 03:42 PM
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I had two Gun Vaults. They both died within five years. Won’t own another. Anything that relies on a solenoid will fail eventually. The same with biometric or RFID models. They still use a solenoid.

This is the primary reason why I have a V-Line which uses a combination lock. I understand they are not as convenient, but they work when you need them to.

Not to offend anyone, but stay away from store brands such as Sentry, Stack On, Brinks, and any other brand made in China. I see these all the time in my shop because they won’t open.
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Old 09-16-2018, 03:47 PM
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Iíve got a Gunvault speed vault SV-500 mounted on the wall below the headboard. I reach through the opening between the mattress and the headboard and can easily access it. The way I mounted it, I can reach it without moving my body at all from my normal sleeping position. More easily accessed than if it was in a nightstand or mounted on the side of it.
You would never even know it was there unless you pulled the bed away from the wall. I wish they did make them with the Simplex mechanical lock because Iím not a big fan of technology in stressful situations, but I do think itís better than a biometric.

GunVault SV500 | SpeedVault Handgun Safe
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Old 09-16-2018, 03:51 PM
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I got four gun vaults around the house. The oldest is 18 yrs old and working fine. I love them. I can open them in the dark, sight not required. I chg the batteries every two years.
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Old 09-16-2018, 06:17 PM
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The Hornady rapid safe I'm looking at has RFID as well as combination and key entry. It operates on a/c or batteries. So it's electronic but with backup systems and a few entry options.
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Old 09-16-2018, 07:06 PM
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I’ve had issues with the Liberty HD-100. Overall, it has served its purpose, but I won’t buy another.

After about a month the lock became inconsistent when engaging the lid. Requiring me to slam the lid, re-enter the code etc for the lock to engauge.

Their CS quickly replaced it for me with a new one, but within a few months the replacement began malfunctioning -gas-strut/spring issue. Since then the lid does not open by itself.

The plus side, it has never once failed to open and battery life is great.

Having said that I’m sticking to a mechanical lock from here on out.

Fort Knox, Vline and maybe will consider the ShotLock.

Last edited by Ballanrk; 09-16-2018 at 07:07 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:48 PM
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My night stand gun is on my right side about 4:30 IWB and isn't on the night stand unless I am in bed ..
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:26 PM
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When seconds count, the police are minutes away.

When seconds count, your batteries will have died, leaked, shifted out of position, or your solenoid will have frozen stuck, or one of your finger prints will be wet or have a bandaid on or you can’t get your key inserted in the dark or your RFID tag is found and used by someone unauthorized or . . .

Do I need to go on?

KISS. Keep it Simplex, Silly.

Simplex 5-button mechanical pistol safe locks. They work.

Forget electronics. Forget batteries. Don’t do keys. Don’t do RFID. Just don’t. Seriously. And anchor that safe so the whole thing can’t be stolen. Really.
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Old 09-16-2018, 11:10 PM
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Default Nightstand gun vaults

I use a GunVault on the nightstand. It has a four key pad up top and room for a couple guns. Most evenings, it's open with the "gun du jour" on the dropped door. I put my iPhone next to it so that I remember to lock up or pack the gun.

This is a relatively new development. We have a 16 month old daughter (She's S&WCA Member #3299, by the way. I signed her up in Reno) and the new rule is that a gun not holstered must be locked up. Gone are the days of just tossing it on the counter with car keys.

* Soon, we'll swap out that stuffed cat for a nice snubby.


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Old 09-17-2018, 03:51 AM
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When seconds count, the police are minutes away.

When seconds count, your batteries will have died, leaked, shifted out of position, or your solenoid will have frozen stuck, or one of your finger prints will be wet or have a bandaid on or you canít get your key inserted in the dark or your RFID tag is found and used by someone unauthorized or . . .

Do I need to go on?

KISS. Keep it Simplex, Silly.

Simplex 5-button mechanical pistol safe locks. They work.

Forget electronics. Forget batteries. Donít do keys. Donít do RFID. Just donít. Seriously. And anchor that safe so the whole thing canít be stolen. Really.
The problem with that is, when seconds count, a five digit code is not simple.
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Old 09-17-2018, 04:49 AM
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The problem with that is, when seconds count, a five digit code is not simple.
The Simplex locks have 5 buttons. You donít need to set them up for a 5 digit code.
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Old 09-17-2018, 05:08 AM
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The Simplex locks have 5 buttons. You donít need to set them up for a 5 digit code.
Either way, I don't trust myself 100% to be able to recall a combination of to manipulate a series of buttons in the correct order, under stress.
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Old 09-17-2018, 06:27 AM
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The problem with that is, when seconds count, a five digit code is not simple.
You have five buttons available for your personal code. Only four need to be pressed to open. They do not have to be pressed sequentially.

Because you can set your own code, it can be very simple, fast and sure. You can press two buttons at a time, then two different ones together and it opens. Four buttons pressed in two quick actions. There are other variations to keep it simple and fast.

It is definitely not a problem unless one makes it one.
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Old 09-17-2018, 09:57 AM
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You have five buttons available for your personal code. Only four need to be pressed to open. They do not have to be pressed sequentially.

Because you can set your own code, it can be very simple, fast and sure. You can press two buttons at a time, then two different ones together and it opens. Four buttons pressed in two quick actions. There are other variations to keep it simple and fast.

It is definitely not a problem unless one makes it one.
You could set it to work with one button if you wanted to which I wouldn’t advise.

The buttons have to be pressed in the correct sequence. The same as any other push button pistol box.

A way around this it to push all but one leaving one to be pushed in an emergency. Just need to remember to resest it in the morning.
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Old 09-17-2018, 12:38 PM
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I’ve been using a Gunvault Biometric for about 8 years or so. Actually this is my 2nd...The first one went bad after the warranty expired - about two years. I called GV, and they immediately sent out a new one for free, which has been flawless. I change the battery about every six months, and I keep the AC backup ready just in case. There is also the key option...

A couple of things help fingerprint devices read your print better. One is to keep the battery strong...the other is to keep the glass clean and your finger slightly moist when scanning. These readers, even the expensive commercial ones, have a problem with really dry skin. I’m in the habit of licking my finger very lightly before using the reader.

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Old 09-17-2018, 06:42 PM
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Have had 3 VLines with Simplex 5 button lock in the house and one in the truck for several years. I have no doubt that I can open any of these in the dark as quick or quicker than a biometric lock. And I never have to worry about dead batteries at an inopportune time. You create the combination of which and how many buttons are pushed in which order...make it a sequence that makes sense to you and you’ll likely never forget it. My $.02 but I would never trust my or my family’s life, well being or safety to something dependent on a battery. Never.
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Old 09-17-2018, 07:31 PM
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The 100% mechanical "Simplex" lock can be set to open with just 1 button push if desired (but that's not secure). Heck, you can set it to open by just turning the knob and no button pushes.

The caveat is that you can only push each button 1 time in the combination and that's what limits the amount of available combinations to under 1100. You can push 2 or more simultaneously if desired, but I would not try pushing more than two at a time. 3 simultaneously is hard to do constantly.

I'm still in the camp that I trust myself more than any electronics in this price range.

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Old 09-17-2018, 07:52 PM
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Fort Knox with the mechanical push button lock. I've had one for 5 years, open & close it twice a day almost every day of the year. Secure, reliable and fast.
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Old 09-17-2018, 08:55 PM
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I got four gun vaults around the house. The oldest is 18 yrs old and working fine. I love them. I can open them in the dark, sight not required. I chg the batteries every two years.
I don't have quite that many, and they aren't quite that old, but I like them best of any that I have seen. They work, and work well.
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Old 09-27-2018, 06:04 PM
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I've never worried about locking up our nightstand gun before but our lives are a changing. We have young nieces and nephews who visit us on a regular basis now. They aren't quite to the age of opening doors yet, but that's coming quickly. I need to get the nightstand gun locked up before they are able to open the bedroom door.
So, nightstand gun vaults? What are your thoughts and experiences?
Unless the kids stay overnight, I wouldn't fool with a nightstand gun vault. If they're too little to even open a door, just put the gun somewhere you'd have to climb up on a 5-foot stepladder to reach it.

Or even better, go to the nearest home store and buy a lockset that takes a key to open...install it on the bedroom door. This'll not only keep unwanted visitors out, it'll add a measure of security for you against home invaders if you sleep with your bedroom door shut. I have keyed locks installed on all interior doors in my house.

Plus...if the kids are too small/young to open doors, they probably need to be watched most or all the time they're in your house or on your property.
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Old 09-27-2018, 06:57 PM
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[QUOTE=hostler;140169598]The Hornady rapid safe I'm looking at has RFID as well as combination and key entry. It operates on a/c or batteries. So it's electronic but with backup systems and a few entry options.[/QUOTE

This is what I have. Been on my nightstand about two years. Wear the electronic wrist ban constantly even in shower, never comes off, has never failed.

I check its operation about three times a week at bedtime. Got 11 grandkids most under 12 years old, so will be wearing that wrist ban for a while yet .
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Old 09-27-2018, 07:44 PM
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Default Great thread!

I'm also shopping for a new pistol box. Additionally, mine has to be top combination, top draw, as I will leave it in the large deep top drawer of my nightstand. I travel a lot, that gun stays there. It's not my normal CCW, as it's full size and with a light.

This is purely for keeping kids and nosy people away from the handgun. I may even leave it open at night when I'm in bed, and close it when I'm gone.

I was considering the Gunvault, but it looks like both Fort Knox and Vline have top button safes with the Simplex lock. Any others?

Thanks.
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Old 09-28-2018, 02:27 AM
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My opinion is to think carefully before buying electronic & biometric safes. Mechanical with a key override is wise. Shotlock markets an excellent handgun safe.

This one is an excellent deal:



It's made of 14 gauge steel, same as Shotlock.

https://winchestersafes.com/product/...-handgun-safe/

Unlock it before bed & lock it when you awake. It's easy to take it from bedroom to car.
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Old 09-28-2018, 08:26 AM
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My opinion is to think carefully before buying electronic & biometric safes. Mechanical with a key override is wise. Shotlock markets an excellent handgun safe.

This one is an excellent deal: Amazon.com : Winchester Safes Defender by Keylock Handgun Safe, Flat Black, 1 Gun Capacity, : Sports & Outdoors

It's made of 14 gauge steel, same as Shotlock.

Defender Keylock Handgun Safe | Winchester Gun Safes

Unlock it before bed & lock it when you awake. It's easy to take it from bedroom to car.
Besides price what's the advantage of that over electronic lock, rfid or biometric? They all have a basic key lock if that's what I want to use.
If I want to fumble with a key and lock I would just install one of my many trigger locks the have come free with new firearms.

Last edited by hostler; 09-28-2018 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 09-28-2018, 08:34 AM
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Whatever you select, I applaud your desire to keep your gun away from inquisitive minds and fingers. I wish there were more people like you. Perhaps we wouldn't read about child fatalities with unsecured bedroom guns.
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Old 09-28-2018, 08:36 AM
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I've had a Hornady Rapid Safe for years and I'm pleased with its performance. Easy access in the dark if needed. I use the card taped to the inside of the back page of a paperback book children and criminals aren't likely to find appealing.

You can always take the gun out of the safe at night if the kids aren't in the house.

I liked the multiple entry options for this safe when I selected it after hours of online research.
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Old 09-28-2018, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
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Unless the kids stay overnight, I wouldn't fool with a nightstand gun vault. If they're too little to even open a door, just put the gun somewhere you'd have to climb up on a 5-foot stepladder to reach it.

Or even better, go to the nearest home store and buy a lockset that takes a key to open...install it on the bedroom door. This'll not only keep unwanted visitors out, it'll add a measure of security for you against home invaders if you sleep with your bedroom door shut. I have keyed locks installed on all interior doors in my house.

Plus...if the kids are too small/young to open doors, they probably need to be watched most or all the time they're in your house or on your property.
The kids are still to young to open doors but I probably won't be able to say that next year.
I'm not putting our house in "lock down" mode every time we have the kids visiting, plus our animals (and the wife and I) enjoy full reign of the house at night, so locking the doors is something I'm not going to do. I just need to lock up one gun, not the whole house.
The whole idea is easy quick access from the bed, why would I put the gun up high where I need to get up and reach for it up on top of something?
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Old 09-28-2018, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by federali View Post
Whatever you select, I applaud your desire to keep your gun away from inquisitive minds and fingers. I wish there were more people like you. Perhaps we wouldn't read about child fatalities with unsecured bedroom guns.
Thank you, it just seems like common sense.
The kids of concern right now are twin boys going on 3 years old. It's amazing how quick they can get into things and how nosy they are. We keep our door shut now and they have yet to be able to open it but the fact that there's a shut door seems to draw them to it.
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Old 09-28-2018, 09:54 AM
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Either way, I don't trust myself 100% to be able to recall a combination of to manipulate a series of buttons in the correct order, under stress.
Train, just like you do with your guns. You will resort to your training.
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Old 09-28-2018, 03:44 PM
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Hello, I’ve had a the gun box for about 6 months now, it works great even the fingerprint. The only problem is my wife’s finger print won’t enter her print is to smooth, mine works great.
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