First Alert 5200DF Portable Handgun or Pistol Safe Review
Many people may not realize it, but there are more reasons to take a firearm with you on-the-go then there are keeping it at home. With all the dangers in the world, having access to your handgun when not in your house can be very convenient. But not everyone has a concealed carry license, so there has emerged a market for a portable handgun or pistol safes. However, the same concerns you might have with a home safe are the same ones for portable models. Should you settle for something extra secure or should you instead choose a safe that gives you easier access to your firearm? The First Alert 5200DF Portable Handgun/Pistol Safe attempts a blend of accessibility and security and is (for the most part) successful.
Who Is It For?
The First Alert 5200DF Portable Handgun/Pistol Safe is perfect for
– gun owners want to be secure while traveling
– Police officers or other security personnel
– Vulnerable family members who don’t feel safe on the street in their car
– Firearms professionals or instructors as educational tools
The First Alert 5200DF Portable Handgun/Pistol Safe can grant access to its content in seconds without having to remember or enter a combination or pass code. We were surprised how easy it was to use the quick access “no see” keypad utilizing a 3-8 digit code. There was even braille indicators for the blind to use this safe. Though it can only hold a single handgun, there is ample room for ammunition you also wish to store inside. We would have like a little more room for multiple pieces, but this unit is perfect for those only concerned with their main piece.
Once you enter the right code, a spring-loaded locking mechanism is opened and you can gain access to your firearm inside. This means there are no other moving parts and you don’t have to load the locking mechanism yourself with a key or lever – greatly reducing the time it takes to access your pistol. This feature cannot be overstated, as many deaths involving people trying to access their weapon during an emergency report victims in the process of trying to open their safe before they’re shot. We tested it out multiple times and the spring-loaded mechanism was consistently smooth and reliable, so you won’t have to worry about this safe not opening after extended periods of use or inactivity.
Optimized for Portability
Though it’s made of heavy 18-gauge steel, this safe only weights about 4lbs. making it extremely easy to take with you. This makes it’s portability unquestionable. Clearly meant for storage in vehicles, it comes with a 1500 lb test steel cable meant to lock the unit down in a car trunk. Not only that, it comes with the pre-drilled mounting hole if you want to secure it to a truck bed or inside lining of your trunk without the cable, (though we’d recommend you keep this inside or in a covered truck bed rather than exposed).
The black powder-coat finish goes well with gray or steel shelves or trunk beds, making them blend in with their surrounding quite effectively.
Being able to take your gun with you in a protected, portable safe means it’s vulnerable to shocks and bumps while on the go. Luckily, there’s a foam padding all around the interior to protect your firearm from any kind of damage. This also protects ammunition stored inside from jostling around too much and getting lost in the crevices on the safe. There’s nothing worse than gaining access to your handgun only to find out that the bullets aren’t easily accessible and having to fumble around until you find them.
California Department of Justice Certified
One of the nation’s foremost state-operated justice department, the CA Department of Justice has been one of the most forward-thinking law enforcement institutions – innovating in both procedural matters and the kinds of equipment they use. Recommendations by this agency are indeed a compelling endorsement. This portable safe is certified by them – meaning it’s recommended for their own law enforcement personnel for reliability and security.
- CA DOJ certified
- Spring-loaded locking mechanism for easy access
- Sturdy but lightweight design
- “No See” quick access keypad
- Plenty of room for 1 gun w/ammunition
- Cannot store more than one gun, recommended for higher caliber pistols to reduce need for more than one firearm.
- May need extra trunk customization to fasten this safe to trunk bed, recommend professional help in drilling for floor or shelf mounting.
- Such a portable safe isn’t meant for mounting upside down, recommend mounting it to the floor instead.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: I need to fit this safe in a tight space. What are its dimensions?
A1: Its dimensions are 3.5 x 9.3 x 11.5 inches.
Q2: Can this safe hold a full size 1911 45?
A2: Yes, with plenty of space for ammunition if necessary. It can also hold a 357 with a 6-inch barrel
Q3: This uses batteries to operate the keycode. Are they included and what kind?
A3: Yes, the 4 AA batteries are included.
Q4: What if the batteries go out with my gun inside?
A4: A back-up key and keyed entry come with this model.
Though a portable gun safe might seem like an odd idea to some, for licensed gun owners who travel often and want to feel secure, it’s virtually essential. You may only be able to store only one handgun inside, but the dimensions are big enough that you won’t be limited to only carrying a snub nose 22. with you. The First Alert 5200DF Portable Handgun/Pistol Safe comes with our highest recommendation for gun owners who want reliable and quick access, significant portability along with the best gun safe.