Car Safes… How do They Work?

I want a car safe. I can carry to and from work, but not at work. Additionally, when I’m running errands, sometimes I stop by places I can’t bring my Bodyguard in with me. I have a locking glovebox, but I don’t think that’s enough.

There are different kinds of car safes out there… at a gun show once, I saw a metal mesh bag gun safe. I haven’t been able to find one of those again. There are also key locked gun safes and combo locked gun safes. I’m not sure how easy either of those would be for me to open quickly in the dark.  I wish they made car gun safes with the same sort of open-sesame technology that is utilized on lockers for students with disabilities.

MasterLock's 1500iD

Abus 150/40 C


Masterlock makes a lock that has four buttons: up, down, left and right. The combo can be entered purely by touch. Abus makes a lock whose combination is entered by aligning mini-switches to positions numbered 1-4. It seems these locks would be easier to open in the dark in my car than a key lock or a combination lock would.

I’ve also seen fingerprint locking safes. Those just creep me out. For those of you who have a car gun safe, do you use the fingerprint, lock or combination type? Do you have any tips, tricks, advice, recommendations for me?


  • Sunshineblog says:

    I’ve thought about this quite a bit, and am in the exact same position you are. Something that was immediately clear to me, that unless the safe is securely bolted on to your car, a thief can grab it and open the safe somewhere else. There really isn’t a cable or chain strong enough to deter a thief with a pair of bolt cutters for more than a few seconds – a minute at the most.

    Since bolting a safe somewhere wasn’t really an option for me, I followed these guidelines:

    * Make your car an unattractive target. I drive a low-theft risk car (10 yr old hondas are great choices). No fancy expensive rims or radios or piles of CD’s or anything. We don’t leave keys, wallets, or any portable electronic gizmos in the car, ever. Period.

    * Park well. Well-lit areas, well-traveled areas. Walmart parking lots have a gazillion video cameras. Folks tell me that parking next to a high-theft risk car is good, but I never remember to think of that.

    * Keep the dang thing out of sight! I went with a standard hard-sided plastic gun case, because that’s the only thing that would fit under my front seat.

    * Deter the casual thief. I have a big padlock that secures the gun case to the car with a cable lock. I’m very much aware that it’s a delaying tactic at most. But if a group of punks are doing smash-and-grabs, they will not be able to remove the gun case.

    * Remember – the absolute safest place your gun can be, is strapped to you while you’re awake and in posession of your wits. 2nd safest is the gun safe at home. I found myself fighting my own apathy and boredom, considering just leaving the thing in the case when I didn’t have to. That is a mistake IMO. No, I don’t leave it in the car when I can have it on my person. It required an additional level of lifestyle change to do this – but it worked for me.

  • James says:

    From my experience working at a custom car shop, knowing a bunch of people who were in to expensive car audio systems, etc….

    There are several car audio shops out there who are used to setting up false panels and hidden motorized drawers for many of their customers. I will leave it up to you to figure out what for. This is a viable option. Hollowed out passenger airbag compartments, hollow headrests, false floor panels covered by floor mats, etc. I even saw one guy who took his factory radio and took the front of it off and had it secured in it’s normal place in the dash. Pushing a hidden button made the radio face pop out, revealing a hidey hole big enough for a Glock.
    Thing is, don’t make your car look like a likely candidate to have anything of value in it. Make it look like GB’s truck, sans the RKBA bumper stickers. =)

    There is a safe I think I saw at one of my local merchants of death that bolts to the floor of your vehicle and has impressions where you put your fingers. There are touch pads on the tip of each finger area which you tap in an order you preset. This is the code that tells it to unlock. I can’t recall the name.

  • North says:

    I have them for all of my vehicles. Small metal box with a steel cable attached to the frame of the car’s seat.

  • North says:

    Pfft! I forgot to mention mine use keys.

  • Drang says:

    We have a pair of el cheapo key-lock safes we picked up at Cabela’s for about $30 each, they work well enough. They have a cable that can wrap around the frame.
    There are others, we also picked up some of the “press the dimple” combo-types at Costco, but haven’t used them. If you go with a biometric version, make sure it will store prints from each of you fingers, and GB as well.

Leave a Reply to Sunshineblog Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *