The Gun Box

I was sent, for a limited review time, The GunBox Biometric Hand Gun Safe.

First the negatives.

They have a YouTube video on how to get into the box with a common tool. The video is not listed so that helps but security through obscurity is, putting it mildly, frowned upon in the security world.

The interior height should be a little greater. It was tough to get the lid to close with my STI Eagle. The oversized magazine well would hit the lid when I tried to close it. I was finally able to find a configuration to get everything, including hearing protection, in but it was tight:

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And if I didn’t have the gun in just the right spot it would fail to open unless I put some pressure on the lid when the mechanism was activated.

My Gun Blog .45 fit fine in most positions. Some positions were still an issue. The magazines had to be laying flat which took up more space than I thought they really should. My Surefire 6PX Flashlight was limited to certain locations in the box as well.

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Next, the positives.

It does seem to be pretty tough. I was a little disappointed in the testing in their video:

I would have like to have seen attempts at prying it open by someone with a little more skill and strength than the small children shown in the video. But it’s cast aluminum. A hacksaw is going to cut through it in seconds so anyone that has access to tools, time alone with it, and doesn’t care about damaging the box will easily gain access. This is not intended to be protection against skilled and determined thieves.

It is opened via an RFID (wristband, optional ring, or RFID label to put on your phone or drivers license) or fingerprint. The slowest access time is with your fingerprint as it takes longer to read and process it than it does with one of the RFID access methods. From “the buzzer going off” to “first shot” took me about four seconds. With the wristband I could do it in three. I was a little annoyed with the wrist band in that I had to present a certain portion of the band to the sensor. For the easiest access to the box the buckle of the wristband needed to be on the top of my wrist which is the least attractive way to wear the band.

Initially I wasn’t too keen about the opening mechanism but I was focusing on the wristband. I still don’t think I would wear the wristband all the time. And if you left the wristband in a drawer or in a closet then it would be more susceptible to discovery by the kids. Don’t worry about having the wristband around if you don’t plan on using it or if you lose it. You can have the box unlearn all fingerprints and RFID devices and reprogram it for just the opening methods you plan to use.

And I might see putting the label on my drivers license even though it would be much slower to find my wallet in the pile of clothes beside the bed. It could read the label through the wallet just fine. It wasn’t necessary to remove the label from the wallet so the time to open would be primarily the time to get your wallet to the sensor.

Some people might find wearing a ring acceptable. I’m not a ring person and I wouldn’t wear a ring just for this gun box.

The fingerprint method seemed to work well enough. This is how I think I would use it. I programmed it to accept three of my fingers and one of Barb’s then she, her daughter, and I all tried all our other fingers in an attempt to get a false match. All attempts at false entry failed.

I occasionally had failures to open on the first try with both my index fingers. I think it was the vertical angle (airplane pitch) I used when it was learning the fingers. When it was learning the fingerprints it was on the floor where I was taking pictures. When I was doing extensive access testing it was on the desk while I was sitting.

I had it learn the same fingers again with the angle I used when sitting at the desk and access was almost 100% on the first try. They claim it will hold “approximately 100 unique fingers” so you might consider programming it for the same finger in different orientations for more reliable opening. You do not need to do this for various horizontal (airplane yaw) angles. The sensor works just fine for 360 degree access on the horizontal plane. That is very nice feature and it work flawlessly for me.

Here is one of their many videos on the use of The Gunbox:

I liked this safe and for keeping guns out of the hands of children and casual access attempts by unauthorized people I would recommend people give it serious consideration. It’s attractive enough to leave on the nightstand and functional enough to keep the kids out of it.

8 thoughts on “The Gun Box

  1. Pingback: Review: The Gun Box - The Gun Feed

  2. I’m guessing that the reason you had to orient the band around your wrist is the sensor is low powered, in some manner. Our library uses this system for checking out books, and I can stack 5-6 books on the sensor plate, and it can normally see them all. Maybe really dense bones? 🙂
    Did you try rolling your wrist as you got close to it? Although, that might not be a remembered action in the middle of the night.

    • Low power is my guess too. Yes. You can roll your wrist and get it to unlock but it has to be very near to a 180 degree roll.

      And I’m a bit uncomfortable with the concept of that particular wrist being the only way to open it. You could wear band on each hand or put an RFID tag on the back of your watch and wear a wrist band on the other side. But I think I prefer the index finger of each hand to be accepted.

  3. I am NOT a fan of any locking gun box which cannot be bolted down.

    You DO realize that the most common way for burglars to defeat safes is by safe-kidnap?

    If someone can just pick up the locked box and walk, then the smaller it is, the easier it is to hide in a backpack, etc.

    I am fairly sure that this particular box is being developed to comply with so-called “safe-storage” laws, and for little other reason.

    My take on safe storage is a SAFE. That is, a safe that requires special electro-hydraulic equipment to move into place, and THEN is bolted down.

    In my home, I have a local + central-station alarm. In my safe room (a former pipe chase that is just big enough for the safe plus two shelves), I have an alarm zone within the zone. When I activate it, the house can be offline, but anyone going into the safe room sets off the alarm, either locally with a siren or to the central-station, or both, all programmable.

    There are no kids here, nor will there be except by my express invite, so yes, I have hideout guns near to hand, as the primary threat here is home invasion (my neighborhood is claimed by one Mexican gang, and has black gang members living in it also).

    When “safe storage” laws come to this burg, they will be ignored in my house, as they will be in 60-70% of homes here.

    • There are two “almost holes” in the bottom that can be drilled out the rest of the way so it could be bolted down. I’m thinking the intended application for box is the nightstand where you wouldn’t normally bolt it down. In fact it has connectors for two USB cables for recharging your phones, powered from the same power supply that charges the internal battery, that is further evidence of this as the intended application.

  4. You do realize this gun safe is not meant to cram all your stuff in it right? The main objective is to have fast access to your handgun when needed and most importantly, keep kids away from your gun. This product was created with the intent to keep kids out. So the fact that there are kids wailing on it makes complete sense. There was a video of a toddler getting into like 6 different gunsafes on youtube that I saw. Those gun safes were considered “child proof”. Also if a burglar comes to your house equipped with the tools to break into your gunbox…I think you have bigger troubles than you think.

    • Yes. I understand.

      But even with the gun alone I had problems with closing, and sometimes opening, the lid unless the gun was placed just right.

      I would like to see what a teenage kid could do with 15 minutes and their choice of tools from the garage. Not just an eight-year old and a screwdriver.

      • From what I understand of safe ratings, nearly all gun safes on the market can be opened in 15 minutes or less with the proper tools. That includes models weighing several thousand pounds. There are UL ratings (TL-15 and TL-30) which stand for “it takes at least 15 minutes, or 30 minutes, to break open this safe”. A few high end gun safes have such ratings. Most have insurance ratings (like “B”) which apparently represents nothing about testing, only about the thickness of steel used.
        http://www.amsecusa.com/burglary-ratings-explained/ has some interesting details.

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