Review: The Gun Box

    I’ve been using The Gun Box for a few months now and finally have some good usage with it so I can share my experience. Some quick background is available in my write-up from a year ago covering their Indiegogo campaign. Overall, the safe has been nice to have around, although it has what some may consider a fatal flaw which I’ll get to.

    One of the immediate things that stand out are its looks. I dare use the word sexy. I just did. I compare The Gun Box to a sleek Apple product where you actually want to use it and show it off. Here’s a short vid highlighting this point, along with The Gun Box in action.

    The Gun Box has some good heft (4.7 lbs empty), telling the user that the aircraft-strength aluminum alloy can stand some abuse. The Gun Box opens via your fingerprint, RFID bracelet, RFID ring, or RFID sticker which you can put on a card, wallet, or other item of your choosing.

    Opening the safe

    I sat down and opened the safe 200 times total, using a combination of my fingerprint, RFID bracelet, and RFID ring. I have since opened it numerous times during normal use. The RFID accessories worked really well. I had zero problems using the bracelet and ring to open the safe. The fingerprint scanner is a little more problematic, but no more problematic than other fingerprint scanners I’ve used. Basically, if you don’t position your finger in a way that the reader can ID you, then you’ll need to lift your finger up and re-engage the scanner. Also, a dirty or greasy finger can cause problems, in which case you’ll not only need to wash your hands, but use an alcohol swab to clean the reader. As mentioned, this isn’t a problem specific to The Gun Box, but definitely worth noting.

    Other Features

    There’s battery backup in the event you need to travel with the safe or a power outage. The two USB ports on the back are nice so you can charge your devices by your bedside, kitchen table, living room, or wherever you have the safe. The base “RF” model at $279 only has RFID capability. The “RF+Biometric” at $299 is self-explanatory. The $475 “Premier” model comes with RFID, biometric, and the fingerprint scanner. There is a $75/year (first year free) subscription security service which will activate the GPS tracker, along with the alert service.

    One Major Problem

    I ran into one major problem while using The Gun Box in my first pass. I had my Glock 34 with Surefire X300 light, and Crimson Trace LG-617 laser grip, and Taran Tactical magazine base pad as my initial test gun. If you’ve never seen any of the aforementioned accessories, they add “thickness” to the overall dimensions of any gun. When I was closing the lid, I noticed that I had to force the lid closed. The pressure I used was significantly more than what’s needed to just close the lid in a normal fashion. The lid tapers toward the front of the safe, so this reduced clearance butted up against the magazine base pad, which I had to remove.

    When I tried to open The Gun Safe, I could hear the motor engaging the unlocking arm but the door was not popping open. The added thickness of my gun was forcing the lid up, which was applying pressure on the locking nub and causing a malfunction. I had a small moment of panic as my gun was well, locked in the box.

    I called customer service and was immediately assisted by a helpful employee who walked me through how to override The Gun Box’s lock. I obviously am not going to describe how one does this online, but I do have a concern that some kid could call in pretending he’s the owner and get into his parents’ Gun Box without permission. I don’t recall going through any security challenges over the phone, but I can suggest that The Gun Box put some stringent procedures in place if they haven’t already done so.

    After I was able to remove my gun, the company had me send the unit in for repair. The excessive pressure I used to close the lid definitely caused the problem. My recommendation to future Gun Box owners is to be careful of any accessories you add to your pistol that may increase its thickness, and to not force the lid down if you feel resistance when testing your setup.


    If you love the lock and key or combination locks, then The Gun Box probably isn’t for you. If you love the aesthetics of boring black safes, then The Gun Box probably isn’t for you. However, if you love RFID and biometrics and want to store your pistol in a sleek looking gun safe, then I would suggest taking a look at The Gun Box.

    Chris Cheng

    Chris Cheng is History Channel’s Top Shot Season 4 champion and author of “Shoot to Win,” a book for beginning shooters. A self-taught amateur turned pro through his Top Shot win, Cheng very much still considers himself an amateur who parachuted into this new career.

    He is a professional marksman for Bass Pro Shops who shares his thoughts and experiences from the perspective of a newbie to the shooting community. He resides in San Francisco, CA and works in Silicon Valley.