Ultimate Buying Guide to the GunVault SpeedVault SV500 Gun Safe

GunVault has been known for their smaller gun safes. This small pistol holding safe packs a bigger punch than you may think in terms of features.

The idea behind the SV500 is a secure pistol safe that is so easy to open, you could do it with your eyes closed.  Better yet, while flailing your arms around in the dark after waking up.  (Ok, maybe you need to be a bit more coherent than that.)

That is to say, it can be accessible from your bed while still being safely concealed and secure.  No more feeling around for your nightstand, pulling open the drawer and shuffling through hoping to find the cold metal gun in pitch darkness.

Importantly, the creators of this unique safe didn’t want to make it too easy for the wrong people to get into.  This little guy is still secure enough to protect children and your crazy uncle from getting into things they shouldn’t be getting into.

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While I could go on and on about small pistol safes, this one checked the most boxes off my list.  Will it check all of your boxes?  Let’s read on.

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Where can the GunVault be mounted?

This gun safe was designed to work with gravity.  The gun is stored inside a chamber that drops down upon the code activating.  The best position is vertical so the chamber can open smoothly and automatically.

 You can install it horizontally, though you will lose the automatic sliding to open ability.  If it’s horizontal, it will take a small bit of manual work to get the safe to fully open.  If you wanted to conceal it horizontally under your bed, it’s possible.  Understand, though, that after you enter your code and hear it whirring, you’ll have to use your fingers to gently slide it open.

This design really gives you a lot of flexibility in your mounting options.  It lets you mount from the left and right sides or the back.  Because of this customizable mounting, you can install it in most places with a flat surface.

The back mount is great for walls next to your bed.  The side mount is perfect for installing securely into a nightstand or the side of your bed.  If you wanted to mount it in a corner of the wall or closet, you could secure it on the side for the best, most stable installation.

One of the best features about the mounting is that once you mount it, the safe covers up the hardware.  This means that it’s difficult for someone to quickly unscrew the safe and steal it.  The burglar or crazy uncle will have to actually open the safe first.

Can you mount it in your car?

You will need a lot of clearance for it to open properly.  Keep in mind, it weighs over 8 pounds without your firearm inside.  You might be able to get away with mounting it in a large trunk, but don’t bank on it.  It won’t provide you much more security than a locked glove box.  For some great safe options for your car, check out these car gun safe reviews here.

How does the code work?

There are four rubber buttons on the safe and are a similar feel to buttons on your TV remote. The code can be a customized combination of single or multiple pressed buttons. The combo can be between 3 and 6 entries.  So your code can be as simple as pressing buttons 1,2,3 or as complex as pressing 1,2,3 and 4 six times in a row.  This makes the code near impossible to crack, with over 12 million possibilities.

Remember to make it something you can enter quickly, though.  When programming your code, you only have 13 seconds to press the combination you want, and another 13 to confirm the code.

It’s also a great stress reducer when you have kids in the home.  Knowing as a parent that you can create a complex combination brings a great deal of peace of mind. It means even if your child hits a few buttons, it’s next to impossible that they’ll get it open. Remember, 12 million possibilities for combinations!

The gun safe is smart enough to detect tampering as well.  This comes in handy when you want to make sure your kids haven’t played with the safe.  Simply hold down specific buttons and an LED light will flash red if it’s tampered, or green if no foul play has been detected.  The safe does not lock up after a certain number of tries.

If you’re concerned about the wrong code being tried over and over, the SpeedVault will shut down for 2 minutes if someone tries to enter the wrong code 24 times.  An alarm will sound to alert you if they keep pressing during the shutdown period.  This means you’ll be able to hear clearly if your child is actively trying to play with the safe.

The buttons give off a beep each time they’re pressed.  This lets you know the button press was registered with the safe when entering the code.

What if the battery dies?

There are backup keys in case the 9V battery dies.  One of the most frequent complaints found in online reviews is the quick draining of batteries without any indication that they’re dead.  Some reviewers suggest buying lithium batteries for a longer lifespan.

If you’re planning on opening the safe every day, you’ll catch the battery dying before it actually does.  If you’re going to use it mostly for storage and open it every few months, you’ll likely have to keep your spare keys around to open it because the batteries won’t last.

How easy is it to open in the dark?

Because the four buttons are laid out in a quadrant, finding the right ones for the code is pretty simple even in the dark.  Some reviewers indicated they would have preferred a backlight when pressing the buttons in the dark, but many are happy with the large button design as is.  As long as you’re comfortable in the dark reaching for the place you installed the safe, you should be easily able to enter the code.

Once the code has been entered, you’ll hear a whirring noise as the safe unlatches.  It will open and a white internal light will illuminate the inside of the safe.  This is extremely helpful for grabbing your gun quickly out of the safe.  It can be a bit blinding though if you’re in pitch black darkness, so be a bit prepared to squint your eyes.

Does it have a silent mode?

If you’re using this primarily for easy access to your gun during a break-in, then the quieter the safe, the better, right?  You will want to mute the beeping noises that come along with entering the passcode. It’s loud enough to alert an intruder that you’re awake and ready for them. To take this possibility into account, GunVault creators made an easy way to turn off the beeping, which will greatly reduce the noise the safe makes.

Do bear in mind that the door dropping open is a bit noisy. Unfortunately, there’s no silent mode for this mechanical noise.  You can use your hand to catch the door as it falls.  It will help with the loud dropping of the door if that’s a concern.  As long as you accept that you’re not a ninja, you should be able to tolerate it.

What guns can it hold?

The GunVault was made to hold just about any standard pistol. Revolvers other than small snub nose revolvers may have some trouble fitting in, though. Reviews about revolvers being able to fit were mixed.

The maximum overall length that the interior of the safe holds is 8.5 inches. The exact dimensions are 2.25 x 5.75 x 8.5.  The best thing you can do is get a ruler out and measure your own gun or look up the dimensions of the pistol on the internet.

I’ve compiled a list of firearms that reviewers say they’ve used in their own GunVault SpeedVault safes.

Note that these are standard and don’t have flashlights, lasers or other accessories.  Some additional accessories may fit for you, but I suggest measuring your own weapon to make sure the safe can house it properly.

  • Beretta 92 A1
  • Bersa .380
  • CZ 75-P07 Duty
  • CZ P-09
  • FNX-9
  • Glock 17, 19, 22, 23, 26, 30, 32
  • H&K p30L
  • H&K USP .45
  • H&K VP9
  • Kimber 45
  • P226
  • Ruger LC380
  • Ruger P95
  • Ruger SR40
  • Ruger SR9
  • Ruger SR9C
  • S&W 469
  • S&W 669
  • S&W M&P 9 mm
  • S&W SD9EV
  • S&W Sigma .40
  • Sig Sauer 229
  • Sig Sauer MK25
  • Sig Sauer P227
  • Sig Sauer P250
  • Sig Sauer P320
  • Springfield .45 XDM
  • Springfield XDM .40
  • Standard 1911s
  • Walther PPK 380

Is there room for extra magazines?

The safe wasn’t designed to hold extra clips.  The main purpose is keeping a single gun securely locked. If your gun is locked in this safe, you could store extra clips and ammo in your nightstand or under the bed in arms reach.

That being said, it’s possible that with smaller pistols, you might be able to cut a slot in the foam and slide in an extra clip, but don’t bank on it for larger firearms. You can keep the pistol loaded and in the safe, though.  This means it’s ready to go as soon as you open the safe.

Are these GunVault safes fireproof or waterproof?

Neither. This gun safe isn’t airtight, so it doesn’t protect against water. It isn’t intended to protect against fire either.  With a thin 18 gauge steel shell and a foam interior, a fire will easily damage the gun.

If you’re looking for fire or water protection, you will want to look elsewhere. This gun safe is best for someone looking for quick, easy access to a very secure firearm.

Where is GunVault SpeedVault SV500 made?

I was seeing a bit of confusion around this.  Reviewers are saying they are manufactured in China, but certain websites have this listed as made in Bolivia.  I called the manufacturer to verify where this gun safe is made.  They confirmed that it is made in China.   The good news is, GunVault is owned by Cannon Safes, an American company. There are American made safes out there, but for a pistol safe that is this creatively designed, you’ll need to weigh your priorities carefully.  

See the latest price on Amazon and any deals here.

Does it have a warranty?

Yes, there’s a limited warranty available. You’ll need to sign up for the warranty to actually be covered.  One of the great points in the warranty is a replacement on gun safes that have any fire damage or attempted burglary within five years of purchase. 

If you’re worried about manufacturer defects, there’s a one-year warranty that will cover your gun safe. It’s not a very long warranty, so make sure you fully inspect your safe and experiment with it opening/closing several times.  That way if there are any issues, you can catch them early on and can get a replacement.

I talked a bit about modifying the safe to fit your needs.  Whether for adding extra magazines, or making sure your gun fits nicely.  This will void the warranty!  So weigh the pros and cons before doing any permanent modifications to your safe.

Any last details?

For those of you who haven’t got enough yet, I’ll summarize the rest of the stats about this GunVault SpeedVault SV500.

It weighs a solid 8.2 pounds and the exterior dimensions come in at 6.5 x 3.5 x 13 inches.

That weight is caused by the black 18 gauge steel that surrounds this safe.  Inside there’s a soft foam that will carefully cradle your pistol of choice.

Just one 9V battery is required.  Remember to keep backups, though, because the gun safe drains them fairly quickly.

The Verdict

Like I said at the beginning, this creatively designed safe is in its own class of gun safes.  It’s no surprise that it’s so popular on Amazon.  You have lots of options to mount the safe, which makes it extremely versatile.   There are millions of options for your personalized code, which protects the gun from getting into the wrong hands.  And it fits the majority of standard sized pistols.  Meaning, you can fit your 1911 in yours while your wife can store her P22 in her own.  (Anniversary gifts, perhaps? Just saying…)

The few flaws that have been noted by reviewers are that it is not completely silent while opening, it’s not fireproof or waterproof, and the battery life is somewhat short. As noted above, if you’re planning on using the safe daily, you’ll notice when it’s low and there won’t be any surprises when you actually need the gun.

For the best deal on the GunVault SpeedVault SV500, try Amazon. The great news is that they offer Prime shipping, so you could have this lovely safe in your hands literally 48 hours from now.  From what I’ve seen, Amazon has the gun safe on sale the majority of the time, so you won’t have to pay full price.

If this gun safe is right for you, click here to grab it from Amazon for the best deal.

I hope you found this review valuable.  I scoured the internet to find the best, most reliable answers to your questions about this product.  If you have any other details or questions about this gun safe, feel free to contact me so I can add content and help out all future readers.

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