Dedicated gun safe...biometric or code?

What is your preferred access method for a firearm safe?

  • biometric

    Votes: 4 10.0%
  • code

    Votes: 19 47.5%
  • key

    Votes: 3 7.5%
  • combination

    Votes: 14 35.0%

  • Total voters

Texas Matador

Founding Member
Hey everyone.

Currently, I have a bed side biometric dedicated handgun safe. My thinking at the time was that I wouldn't have to worry about somehow forgetting the code during a high stress situation. What I've learned is that the biometrics are pretty flakey...sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. When it doesn't work, I can sometimes get it open after a few tries but more often than not I end up hunting down the backup key. I'm likely going to replace it with a code based safe keeping the code somewhat "unforgettable."

What are your thoughts on biometric versus code based dedicated handgun safes?
A good biometric safe should have a backup on it. such as a key. One of the largest problems with a biometric safe is that your thumb or finger has to be read properly. If it is slightly off and the device isn't smart enough to know that you are rolled slightly it won't let you in.
My thoughts are that if in a emergency situation are you gonna be able to place your finger in the right position to get it to unlock right? With a code at least it’ll only take the one entry hopefully.
If you get a cut/scar on your finger/thumb, the biometric device will lock you out forever. I'll NEVER buy a biometric ANYTHING!
I was leaning toward bio-metric at one time, but as minuteman1969 pointed out above, and I learned from my bio-metric scanner on my phone, is that after a hard day working in the yard or on a wood working project my prints are trashed for days and and the reader wont recognize them. I use a coded safe and if you get a three or four button coded safe you can program in a button pattern rather than thinking about the numbers on the buttons. The patterns of pushing the buttons are easier to learn, remember, and reproduce in high stress situations. Just my thoughts based on experience.
I have several Sentry bio-metric fingerprint pistol safes, and to date they have always worked first swipe (unlike my GunVault bio-metric that I have to swipe several times). This model also comes with the 4 button keys that you can code so that they can be use as an either/or option along with the fingerprint scanner. You do have to "wake" the scanner by either running your finger over the scanner twice, or by hitting one of the code button keys to get the blue lights to come on around the button keys. I do agree with other posters that trusting your life to an electronic device is risky, as I live alone, I usually sleep with the GunVault safe lid propped open with a piece of wood so the lid can accidentally be shut and/or I take the pistol out of my sentry safe in the nightstand drawer and lay it on top of the safe for quick access. I use these safes primarily for safety if adults or kids do come over, the pistols are then safely secured.
Use a code. Always a code. After my time as a criminal defense attorney and dealing with issues involving biometrics on cell phones, I strongly recommend people use codes instead of biometrics in all situations, though it's probably less of a problem in a safe than in a cell phone.
My home safe is a code (large sacs, handguns and long guns).

My travel safe can cable to a car seat frame, tucks under a seat easily out of sight, and uses RFID chips. It came with 2 keychain discs, and one credit card. Wave the chip over the spot on the safe, green light, beep, and it pops open. I can also program the 3 buttons in a pattern, I just haven't yet. Traditional key backup.
I prefer a code for a quick access, I use a VAULTEK for my EDC . And for the rest I prefer a key combo for the security of the safe . It took me a while to decide on a quick access safe that didn’t have a video online on how to enter it with a straw or magnet
Biometrics can be flaky and not work right so I stay away from them. Plus the cost is just too much for something that doesn't work right all the time. Now they could make one with a good sensor on it that works every time but like it has been said if you get a cut it's all out the window and not going to work. A key is good and not too slow if the key is right there when you need it. The only trouble I know of with a code is if somebody else knows it then they can get in. Like your kid sees you put the code in.
I prefer a code for a quick access, I use a VAULTEK for my EDC . And for the rest I prefer a key combo for the security of the safe . It took me a while to decide on a quick access safe that didn’t have a video online on how to enter it with a straw or magnet
Which Vaultek do you have? I'm considering them for my next safe purchase.
I have the vr10 has some cool options like Bluetooth and a app that gives you tamper alerts, check battery, and can open from app, or you can disable Bluetooth if you prefer to keep it simple. The battery life is great, I open mine anywhere from 2-6 times a day and get about 4-5 months out of a charge
Always thought Bio would be super neat. Then on a Mythbuster's show they lifted a print off a glass with scotch tape, placed the tape over the Bio reader backed up with a thumb. Pop, lock opened right up. So much for that idea.
All my arms are secured in locked cases, with trigger locks, inside the vault. My EDC is always hanging around me or someplace close. I don't want my weapon to be like a cop. Taking me minutes to get at when I may have only seconds to respond.