In several previous posts I’ve illustrated some of the primary differences between a gun cabinet and a gun safe.  That said, I’ll be brief, and do you the courtesy of not hitting you with a flurry of redundancy.  Gun safes, the quality ones anyway, are built heavier, larger, more durable, and boast greater interior capacity than their cabinet cousins.  Of course, the downside is that they tend to be very expensive.  I’m a proponent for protecting your valuables with gun safes over gun cabinets if you can afford it.  However, the fact remains that not everyone can, and that’s ok.  Fire and burglar protection are one thing, but as a gun owner, your number one priority should be safety – namely, your children’s safety.

Metal gun cabinets are a perfect solution for the responsible firearms owner who doesn’t quite have the funds to float the purchase of a Liberty Presidential or a Browning Platinum Series.  Wooden gun display cabinets, discussed extensively in this post, are decent as well, but most tend to lack some of the organizational features that many metal units include by default.  If you shop carefully, you’re sure to find plenty of metal cabinets to fit the bill, but here are two of my favorites to get you started.

14 Long Gun Capacity Homak Gun Cabinet – with integrated quick access pistol box.

Homak has been a steel storage manufacturer for decades, and they have a fleet of fine products.  In my opinion, this is one of them.  This cabinet isn’t really much to look at from a sheer aesthetics perspective, but it redeems itself with it’s feature-full functionality.  Starting from the top, you’ll notice perhaps it’s slickest characteristic, one that you rarely see in large firearms storage units; a built in pistol box with an electronic lock.  Though I personally prefer the use of a bedside biometric handgun safe, this addition is a close second, particularly in a bedroom closet, or an adjoining room.  With just a 108 lb, 21x18x57″ footprint, this space effective cabinet can more than easily fit in most master bedroom closets (if you have to throw some of your wife’s shoes away to make room, don’t give her the combination to the pistol box).  I have a buddy who picked one of these up (the handgun safe being the deal breaker), and he’s been using it without a problem for two years now – loves it.

As advertised and previously noted, this model allows for the storage of 14 rifles and shotguns.  As always, this generally doesn’t account for extended scopes or high capacity magazines, so just to be safe, I’d rate this guy closer 10-12 firearms.  Quite frankly, I wouldn’t store any more than a dozen firearms in anything lacking fire protection anyway – if your collection has grown beyond a dozen pieces, the greater protection you get from a gun safe is justified in the cost.  That said, however, for a metal cabinet, this guy is built pretty darn solid.  It features a keyed entry, four point locking system backed by a hard plate, a tightly welded body, and the overall wear and tear resistant construction that Homak is known for constructing.

The walls are reasonably solid – definitely strong enough to keep out your kids or the neighborhood crackhead, but I should mention that the advertising for this product is little deceiving.  Most product descriptions mention that this unit is 7/8″ thick around the door frame.  Technically, yes, it’s 7/8″, but it sure as heck isn’t solid steel.  If that were the case, the sucker would weigh closer to 5000 lbs.  I don’t think there’s a residential gun safe on the market with an inch of solid steel thickness – you’re definitely not going to find it in a $300 gun cabinet.  Aside from that disclaimer, this “Quick Access” model is definitely my favorite unit to come off the Homak line..

8 Long Gun Capacity Stack On Gun Cabinet

If you’re asking why a no frills gun cabinet with a modest eight gun capacity is among my favorites, the reason is because it’s cheap, and does the job just fine.  As mentioned in the above review, I wouldn’t recommend putting more than 10-12 guns in anything lacking fire protection and a UL-RSC rating.  Additionally, the $300 price tag of the aforementioned Homak is the most I think I’d ever pay for a gun cabinet, and this steel Stack On model only runs $125…even better.

Now, it’s missing a few of the underscored features discussed in the Homak Quick Access blurb, namely the built in handgun safe and the larger capacity, but the cheap price and compact footprint mends the said shortcomings.  One nominal, but welcomed feature is padded rack inside to prevent dings and scratches of the interior contents.  It has a simple, removable shelf for added organization, and a slick looking baked on hunter green exterior gloss finish.  I wouldn’t exactly feature this in my dining room, but it’s a lot prettier than the silver vein Homak.  Of course, we’re not all that concerned with looks anyway, we just want to make sure unauthorized access is prevented.  With the three point, hard plate protected locking system, this will definitely keep your kids from getting inside.

Again, I want to stress that if you have a few thousand dollars tied up in your gun collection, I strongly urge you to consider a more heavy duty storage solution (this post features a few of my favorite cheap gun safes).  But if you’re just looking for an inexpensive, space-friendly way to lock up the $50 Remington 870s you just scored at the local police auction, this Stack On model will fit the bill.