There is nothing more worthless in a self-defense situation than an inaccessible gun. That being said it’s neither practical nor safe to keep a handgun lying about. The Gunvault SpeedVault SV500 gun safe was designed to fill the need for a quickly accessible handgun while keeping it secure and away from unauthorized hands.
I bought this safe based solely on two factors, convenience and practicality. A large rifle safe is great for storing long guns and a collection of handguns, but in a home invasion type situation it’s completely impractical.
Fumbling through a dial combination under duress and rooting through the safe to find the right handgun is going to waste a significant amount of time in a situation where seconds can make a world of difference. The SV500 gun safe allows you to have access to a handgun at a moment’s notice in a worst case scenario.
In addition to the practicality of the safe I’m a huge fan of the mounting possibilities. The entire unit measures only 6.5″ x 3.5″ x 13″. You can literally mount it anywhere that you’re willing to drill holes. It’s entirely feasible this could even be mounted in a vehicle, assuming you’re alright with drilling into it. Mounting is facilitated by a simple L bracket that takes four small screws which are included.
Depending on your dominant hand and selected spot you can mount the safe with the bracket on the left, right or back side. The ability to choose the mounting side is an often overlooked feature; you don’t notice its convenience until you don’t have the option. Once the bracket is mounted the safe is affixed with included thumbscrews. This covers the mounting hardware entirely so the unit can’t be unscrewed from the wall.
The safe is constructed of thin 18 gauge steel, so I was slightly hesitant about its capabilities at first. It’s most certainly not designed to withstand a full on prolonged attempt at entry, but that’s compensated for with its mounting possibilities. More likely than not you’ll be mounting this in a somewhat concealed location, it’s not going to be facing a prolonged tamper attempt. In the event someone does make an attempt to pry open the safe, the tolerances are tight leaving little opportunity.
Four raised buttons operate the locking mechanism which is powered by a single nine volt battery. You can select a three to six digit combination, meaning there are literally millions of possible combinations, however there is a manual key override if you forget the combination or the battery dies. The buttons are easy find and allow for quick entry, even in zero visibility.
Each button press results in an audible chirp which can be turned off if you find it annoying. Unlike a lot of programmable gun safes, the SV500 doesn’t require a PhD in engineering to set your personal entry code. You certainly need to read the instructions, but it’s not overly complicated.
As an added safety feature the lock will time itself out if the wrong combination is entered within twenty four button presses. Any additional attempts to enter a combination during the two minute lock out period results in a flashing red LED to indicate a tamper attempt.
When the correct combination is entered the safe emits another chirp, which like the others can be turned off. The door operates on a drop principle rather than spring action, but it opens just as quickly. The interior of the safe is designed to fit a large frame handgun and cut to allow your hand to easily grab the weapon. The cavity will hold a full size 1911 or Glock, and possibly a full size USP, but likely not much larger. If your defense handgun of choice is a large revolver or a Desert Eagle you’re going to be out of luck with this model.
Overall I’m both impressed and happy with the SV500. The lighter gauge construction made me a bit apprehensive at first, but the ability to mount it completely out of sight more than makes up for it. The relatively inexpensive price tag coupled with the ability to have a handgun quickly and easily accessible makes this one of top gun safe purchases I’ve made.