Choosing the Right Gun Safe Size
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Choosing The Right Gun Safe Size

Finding the right gun safe size is simple: Choose one that fits your guns today and has room for tomorrow’s additions. Whether you have a small handgun collection or multiple rifles, the right size ensures your firearms are secure now and remain so in the future.

The perfect size for your gun safe is one that comfortably fits your current arsenal while leaving room for future additions.

When choosing the safe don’t make a common mistake of picking the one that is too small. More on that and other nuances of different safe sizes in this guide.

Biggest Mistake When Selecting Gun Safe Size

The most common mistake? Buying a gun safe that’s too small. It’s easy to think only about what you have now, but what about the future? Guns vary in size, and you might get more. Also, you might want to store other items. A small safe now means buying another one later, costing you more money and hassle.

Different Size Types of Gun Safes

Gun safes come in three main sizes: small, medium, and large. Each size serves different needs and spaces.

Different Size Types of Gun Safes - compared to a man
  • Small Gun Safes: Ideal for handguns or a small collection. They fit easily in closets or drawers, making them great for quick access while keeping guns out of sight.
  • Medium Gun Safes: A step up, offering more space for handguns and several rifles or shotguns. They’re good for growing collections and can usually fit in closets or corners.
  • Large Gun Safes: The best choice for extensive collections, including rifles, shotguns, and handguns. They often come with extra shelves for ammo and accessories. Due to their size, they need a dedicated space in your home.

There are also small handgun boxes, often referred to as handgun safes. These compact containers offer a convenient way to store a single handgun or a couple of small firearms. However, they’re not technically safes but rather security boxes. They provide quick access and basic protection, falling under a separate category due to their limited security features and size. They’re perfect for bedside or travel use but don’t replace the protection a true safe offers.

Nuance of Safe Dimensions: Exterior vs. Interior

There is a difference between exterior and interior dimensions. And sometimes gun owners forget about it when picking a safe. Disregarding this difference can lead to sour results of your safe not having enough space for your gun collection.

  • Exterior Dimensions tell you how much space the safe will take up in your home. It’s crucial for planning where to place your safe and ensuring it fits.
  • Interior Dimensions reveal the actual storage space available inside the safe. This is what matters most for fitting your guns and accessories. Because of safe walls’ thickness for security and insulation, the interior can be significantly smaller than the exterior suggests.

Remember, a safe might look big outside, but the inside tells the true story of how much it can hold. Always check both dimensions to make sure it meets your storage needs and fits in your desired location.

The Pros and Cons of Different Safe Sizes

Each gun safe size offers its own set of benefits and limitations. Depending on your needs, one these will make most sense. But first let’s see what advantages and what limitations each size brings with it.

Small Safes:

  • Pros: Compact and easy to hide, offering quick access. Ideal for storing a few handguns.
  • Cons: Limited space. Not suitable for long guns or large collections.

Medium Safes:

  • Pros: Versatile. Good balance of size and storage capacity, fitting several handguns and a few rifles or shotguns. Often offer fire-resistant rating.
  • Cons: May quickly become too small if your collection grows significantly.

Large Safes:

  • Pros: Ample space for a large collection of various firearms, plus ammo and accessories. Offers the best security. And comes with a good fireproof rating.
  • Cons: Requires a dedicated space and can be challenging to move.

Easy Guide for Determining Your Perfect Gun Safe Size

To find the perfect gun safe size, just answer a few simple questions about your guns and plans. This makes it easy to see which size you really need, now and later. Let’s break it down.

Easy Guide for Determining Your Perfect Gun Safe Size

Assess Your Collection:

  • Type of Firearms: Do you have handguns, long guns, or both? Long guns require taller safes.
  • Current Size: Count how many firearms you have. Ensure there’s enough room for each, plus a little extra space.
  • Future Additions: Plan for growth. If you intend to add more firearms, choose a larger size now.

Consider Your Space:

  • Safe Location: Where will the safe go? Make sure the exterior dimensions fit that space.
  • Floor Strength: Larger safes are heavy. Ensure your floor can support the weight, especially if placing it upstairs.

Consider your current guns, potential new ones, and where you’ll put the safe. This helps you pick a size that works for now and later.


Selecting the right gun safe size is all about planning for now and the future. By considering what you currently own and potential new additions, you can ensure your firearms are securely stored and easily accessible.

Remember, it’s not just about the number of guns you have, but also their types and your available space. With the right size, your safe will be a one-time investment that grows with your collection.

FAQ – Answering other common questions about safe sizes

How large of a gun safe do I need?
Choose a gun safe based on your current collection and expected growth. Consider both the number and type of firearms, ensuring there’s extra space for future acquisitions.

How big is a 24 gun safe?
A 24 gun safe typically measures around 55 inches tall, 29 inches wide, and 20 inches deep. However, dimensions can vary by manufacturer.

How big is a 12 gun safe?
A 12 gun safe usually has dimensions of about 50 inches in height, 22 inches in width, and 18 inches in depth, but sizes can differ across brands.

Can I increase the capacity of my safe?
Yes, by using organizers or door racks, you can maximize space. However, physical dimensions limit overall capacity; choose a larger safe if significant expansion is anticipated.

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