Mechanical Gun Safes – Bedside Pistol Safe

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In this conversation, we’re discussing pistol safes for use in a defensive situation where everything’s on the line.

I imagine myself in a scenario where I’m woken up by a bump in the night. Likely taking place in the wee hours of the morning. An uninvited guest decides to bless me with their presence and take what they please. When my life is threatened, I’d confidently respond with a Glock® 17 and the necessary amount of Speer +P Gold Dots. Now, to get this out of the way. I have a love for all things Glock®, and think the Glock® 19 is the pinnacle of well-rounded self-defense weaponry in pistol form, and this is my scenario, so we’re sticking with the Glock®. To that end, I choose the 17 for my bedside defense out of a healthy respect for the benefits of increased sight radius. Also, I’m not confined by space for concealed carry, nor do I care about printing. Insert your firearm of preference for use with your imagination.

Obviously, in nearly any circumstance I’d always choose a rifle given the option, but remember, this conversation is about a bedside pistol safe for defensive use, that are accessible quickly. If we wanted to get into it, we could discuss benefits of room clearing, and reduced penetration through drywall of some pistol rounds in comparison to rifles. We’ll save this for another discussion, however.


I move towards my pistol safe and realize my RFID bracelet is in the kitchen next to my wallet. I don’t sleep in my kitchen. I don’t sleep wearing a Live Strong bracelet, and never will. No Bueno.


Adrenaline flowing, I roll towards my pistol safe and enter the super-secret passcode. I expect a loud Bleep, Bleep, Bloop, followed by a holy presentation of my Glock®. Only this time, the batteries are dead… Also, I left the override key near my wallet, in the kitchen, with my RFID bracelet from above…


You know where this is going. My IPhone 7 only works a third of the time when trying to unlock it in perfect conditions. My SpeedVault pistol safe set me back $180. No chance this is an improvement over the IPhone. I’m not even going to risk it. This is something I’d never consider as a defensive and readily available gun storage container with its challenging, at best, unlock mechanism. Not ideal for reliably dispensing my Glock® on demand.


Now we’re talking. Through muscle memory and repetition, I effortlessly enter my code. Feeling the quiet yet audible tactile clicks of each button, followed by a quarter turn of the release knock. I know what comes next. The safe opens via spring hydraulic lifts with a perfect presentation of my Glock®. It’s reliable, predictable, and highly resistant to failure – unlike many things in life. There are many good mechanical safe options on the market but look at www.Fas1safe.com for bed side or floor mounted placement.

Why a pistol safe?

In a perfect world, I’d have my rifle sitting bedside. One problem. In my perfect world, there are other people. Some of these people make it not so perfect. For my safety (i.e. unwanted access), and theirs, particularly with children in mind, a safe is the responsible option for me. The best I can do is apply the most effective tool for the job, and for me, that’s a mechanical pistol safe. Failure of deployment is unacceptable; it must be mechanical.

Mechanical safes are where I put my trust. I refuse to rely on electrical opening mechanisms, finger print scanners, and RFID bracelets to stand between me and my firearm. With that said, I’m a millennial, I love polymer guns, and 1911’s equally, and I have children, so I train for and prep with their safety in mind.

Soon, we talk large gun safes, mechanical vs. electrical.


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  1. 3rdMan

    June 21, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    I don’t support any firearm within arms reach of your bed. When you first wake up you’re disoriented and have no depth perception. It take almost 10 seconds for this to pass. There’re to many case of people waking up and shooting their kids or spouses, because they were still in this 10 second fog zone. Keep your weapon close, but it must be far enough away that you have to physically get out of bed. With that said keep a good tactical flashlight next to the bed. So, get the flashlight first, then the weapon, and then identify the threat.

    I personally woke up one night to someone in my kitchen with a flashlight. Thank God I didn’t keep my pistol within arms reach. I was able to identify the individual, who turned out to be a fellow officer, who was taking care of my animals while I was out of town. He thought we had already left. He works deeps and would stop by during shift to feed them. May have turn out badly if I had a weapon while still in the fog.

    • theprepperjournal

      June 24, 2017 at 4:51 pm

      3rdman, you bring up some interesting points. Some kind of light source is imperative for target identification, unless hostile intent has already been demonstrated. This goes back to the fundamental 3rd rule of firearm safety. However, it seems that there may be likely scenarios in which someone inhabiting a single story dwelling, or someone who lives in a bad neighborhood, may not have the time to cross a room and access a safe without fatal consequences. Wouldn’t you agree?

      • 3rdMan

        June 25, 2017 at 9:49 pm

        “may not have the time to cross a room and access a safe without fatal consequences. Wouldn’t you agree?”

        Nope, unless you have a child or love one somewhere in the house you should stay put (hold your ground) and call 911. You shouldn’t conduct single person tactical operations unless you have to get to a love one. I recently read an NRA source that stated only 3% of gun owners used a firearm yearly to protect their home.

        The bottom line is there is no way to get around your brain not being fully functional for at least 10 seconds upon waking. Some people taken even longer. If your willing to take that risk, than you must be willing to accept the consequence for make a bad call during to fog.

        I recommend you have someone wake you in the middle of the night and have them start giving you complex instructions. Have them time you to see how long it take you to understand them and are able to carry them out. This can help you decided how far a firearm should be situated from you at night.

    • Dan

      June 25, 2017 at 10:43 pm

      a valid point but not everyone wakes in a fog. I have been awakened on three occasions in the middle of the night when it appeared we had an intrusion (all false alarms) but I did not experience any fog – just the opposite- adrenalin rush, scary situation etc. So I think it depends on the individual.

  2. R. Ann

    June 22, 2017 at 1:45 am

    One thing I want to toss out there about bedside and mattress guns of various types – they’re great in case you’re in bed and awake.

    When most of us first hear a crash-boom, dogs growling, or something that makes us launch, we launch.
    Even with past military training for boots-vest/carrier-rifle immediate response (with some exception for boots-pants, gear-on-the-go firefighter training), most of us are at the foot of the bed or near our doors by the time the brain engages that this is not the average baby-crying, doggy disagreement, or invasion of owls.

    A nightstand or mattress holster (or safe) means we then have to turn around. A gun nearer the foot of the bed, beside or in a bookcase or dresser, or tucked just into a closet has a lot of applications.

    And while there tends to be a lot of back and forth on the subject of ambient light, lighting up the house, creating a ray or cone that points to you, flash-off tactics that let somebody know where you are in the house, and others, it’s not a terrible idea to have a solid mag light or 6V torch with a flat enough handle to allow a hand to go through and manipulate something else at the same time right there near the gun – something capable of disorientation, smacking sturdiness, and lighting up a full stretch.

    It’s also not a terrible idea to go ahead and just have either a belt with holster and pouch(es) or something like a lunchbox, soft-sided mini cooler, purse, fanny pack, etc right there with the gun, open enough to swim into it cross body.
    It keeps a reload, light, phone/walkie, siren button, holster, gloves and whatever else you want right there – faster than a carrier or vest, not as heavy or likely to slide down a shoulder as a backpack, nice and compact.
    Rebecca Ann

    • theprepperjournal

      June 24, 2017 at 5:09 pm

      Wonderful insight Rebecca, thank you!

  3. BobW

    June 23, 2017 at 12:35 am

    Please understand, my comments are my own, and the words have nothing to do with any single person on this site.

    In my opinion, this has everything to do with mentality. Jump out of bed guns blazing? This, again, IMO is a paranoia based mindset, as in “one day, I’m going to wake up with the jack-boots finally coming to get me.”

    The jack-boots will come when they come. I can’t live my life in a state of anxiety where wake, pull heels without thought, and fire in the blind. People who live in such a state of anxiety that they wake up with a primal response of “shoot” really need to check where they have chosen to live, and why they have a firearm in the first place.

    My job is to get to my people, and make sure they are OK, not hunt trouble. I’m not pouring a magazine worth of lead through a closed door “in case” there’s a bad guy on the other side.

    I’ve jumped up in the middle of the night with a loud bang or crash. I’ve grabbed my trusty fire-harded sharp stick even, but not once did I rush out the door tip first.

    This is where the fast old guy racers used to tell the new racers, go slower to go faster. One must engage their brain before operating heavy machinery, like that .44 Mag hand cannon you keep under the pillow. 999,999 times out of 1,000,000 midnight wake ups, its your 12 year old getting a drink of water, or the 17 year old coming in 2 hours after curfew.

    I suppose one might look back through their past, and count all the times a bump in the night wound up being masked serial killers. Maybe I’ve lived a sheltered life, but my count came up to ZERO. Sure, i’ve chased off Coyotes, even rescued a guard dog who got cornered by a couple coyotes, but only that one time with the coyotes have I really had a reason to pull the trigger in the middle of the night.

    Consider reshaping the latent paranoia prepping can accentuate into something more positive. Break the Rambo mindset and think about how you WANT to respond to the unknown bump in the night instead of how you think you might.

    FOOTNOTE: I used to think the super-dooper 6v flashlights were a gimic to sell wannabe’s. I tried one out on the homestead. SOLD SOLD SOLD. The batteries suck to purchase, but the streamlight I purchased (weakest they sold) is the bees knees. Makes what I considered a top notch LED light look like what the old incandescent bulbs looked like compared to it. These suckers are wicked powerful, and IMO a must have for any person serious about surviving a disaster.

    • R. Ann

      June 23, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      “FOOTNOTE: I used to think the super-dooper 6v flashlights were a gimic to sell wannabe’s. I tried one out on the homestead. SOLD SOLD SOLD”
      – I know. I resisted them a while, but finally got sold after using one just a couple of times. They’re mostly handy to keep me from yelling at the gray, yellow and white buckets to get their butts to the porch NOW. (I now automatically look to see if the dogs are actually snickering under the vines or around the corner – I think they do these things so they can hit me with those injured looks and reap a nighttime biscuit out of the deal.) There has also been a no-glasses possum-cat moment. THAT would have been hard to live down. 😀
      On other practical sides, they make sweeping areas for sign a whole different game, and when there’s flash flooding in the area, I’ve yet to find something better for gauging whether I want to drive my truck through, and they pick up the mud shine well without mirror-glassing off every slick and wet surface.
      I have to say, too, the batteries hold up, especially without a ton of use. I keep some in the sheds, some in the vehicles, and those only get used once every 12-18-24 months. Despite negative-double-digits all the way up to 110+ and seriously 140 in the back of a pickup box, I have yet to have a 6V kill a torch the way AA, C, and D have all given out and leaked or just died-died. Even the crazy 9V lights don’t hold up as well.

      • theprepperjournal

        June 24, 2017 at 4:49 pm

        Rebecca, all of those are great suggestions! Thank you for your input!

    • theprepperjournal

      June 24, 2017 at 5:08 pm

      BobW, I agree that there is always the potential for accidents to happen with a “shoot everything that moves” mentality. However, I would suggest that the vast majority of those accidents can be mitigated by proper training, a tactical light source for proper target identification, and the right mindset. After all, we’re not suggesting that a gun be kept on top of a nightstand. I’d never condone looking for a fight in the middle of the night. However, if some has come looking to bring the fight to your dwelling, and to you or your family, don’t you want every advantage possible? Everyone’s living situation, neighborhood, and personal situation vary. There’s clearly no one size fits all solution, and I’m not suggesting that the boogyman will come to visit everyone, but, as the old adage goes, isn’t it better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it?

      • BobW

        June 30, 2017 at 11:55 pm

        Sorry for the slow response. I agree completely, TPJ. My comments went specifically toward mindset, not doodads. Whether you have protection on the night stand, under the pillow, or in a gunsafe matters not, so long as you practice what you preach.

        When I read the first post on the article, I read mindset, not tools. It alluded to snap movements that put the unknown child, mom/dad, house guest at serious risk. Having spent time on the savage frontier, where that unknown sound could be a buddy relieving himself, or unfriendly visitors was real. RAP suggested making it take a little work to bring defensive weapons to battery. The idea is right on. Activating brain before engaging booger hook is critical. When I had firearms, all ‘ready’ firearms were staged the same way, and I’ve preached the method to family. The idea was to be ‘ready’, not half-cocked. It takes a nearly unconscious action to put any of them into full functionality. But it does take that action to do so. It is simple, but requires engaging brain to make it happen.

        LIke I said previously, the mission is to protect my people. I can’t do that with a shoot first mentality. This isn’t to be confused with passivity, giving up initiative, or foregoing decisive action. It means I understand that I need to be cognizant of my environment to be effective at protecting my people.

        I understand that many people wake up in fog, and it takes more time to snap out of it. This makes decisive action before the fog clears terribly dangerous to those you desire to protect.

        I apologize if this isn’t coming across, not all of us have that wonderful gift with the spoken (or written) word.

  4. BobW

    June 23, 2017 at 12:41 am

    As to gunsafes, I coulnd’t agree more about the need for solid, reliable mechanical operation. There are enough uncertainties in this world. I don’t need to add electrical malfunction, power outage, battery failure or heaven forbid, lost RFID bracelet to the mix.

    For a bedside type safe, I would thing push button operation would be the optimal set up, as it prevents the need to spotlight yourself in the room, hunched over a safe, trying to spin the dial to hit the code.

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